Use NLP When All Else Fails

Once upon a time there were the tools subtly offered to patients by their psychoanalysts, but that got nobody anywhere except back to the psychology drawing-board and perhaps the philosophy aisle at the book store. Then came hypnosis, but that seemed to harsh. Then there was electro-shock therapy; the widespread prescribing of pharmaceutical medications and L. Ron Hubbard brought us Scientology.

All of these ideas are out there; are available; but how else can we learn to control our own minds so that we harness its power, cut out the non-desireables and become healthier, more confident and powerful? Well, if you can’t get the shape to fit the mold with all the above listed approaches, “a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the subjective experiences (especially the thought patterns) underlying them” is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also known as, NLP. Jointly founded, or created by linguist, John Grinder, (inspired by the psycholinguistic theory of Professor Noam Chomsky) and Richard Bandler, NLP is “a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior“.

Bandler and Grinder claimed that NLP would facilitate “finding ways to help people have better, fuller and richer lives.” According to these two fearless pioneers of the human psyche, there exists a direct connection between neurological processes, language and behavioral patterns, learned through experience – “programming” or “conditioning.” If organized properly, these can help people to achieve their goals in life.

Originally introduced in the 1970s, Neuro-linguistic programming was a form of psychological therapy capable of addressing phobias, habit disorder, depression, psychosomatic illness and even learning disorders. Real life success stories claimed it succeeded in espousing the potential for self-determination, by emphasizing well-being and healthy functioning, and most importantly, by conquering learned limitations.

The meta model was introduced in 1975 in two volumes, The Structure of Magic I: A Book About Language and Therapy and The Structure of Magic II: A Book About Communication and Change. The idea wished to challenge distortion, generalization and deletion in the client’s language. For instance:

Client: “I feel lousy.”
Therapist: “How does one get to feel lousy?”
Client: “… Dunno, it just, happens.”
Therapist: “Does it happen randomly, or at specific times and places, where there are specific people involved?”


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