What is NLP

What is NLP


Neurolinguistic programing is a method of psychotherapy, which relies on three key attributes:

  • Neuro – tied to the brain, we use our senses to interpret what is happening around us;
  • Linguistic – tied to language, for us understand the world around us we typically change in the inputs our brain gets into words
  • Programming – tied to the models we have in our brains, the patterns in our thinking, which often lead to the same outcome, how we are programmed to react in certain situations.

NLP is quite a new (developed in the 1970s) psychotherapeutic method, which was developed by the mathematician, programmer and psychologist Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder. The founders came up with the bases for NLP by carefully observing the therapeutic work of Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir and Friedrich Perls.

Originating in the United States this psychotherapeutic system later got to Europe and apart from being used in psychotherapy it is used to help train managers, salesmen, consultants, ad creators and many other professionals, who need to improve their communication capabilities, including soldiers and policemen.

The methodology is based on the presumption that we form these inner maps (mind maps, neuromaps), which are formed before we speak (even inner dialogue) and so are then expressed by words. More simply put, our inputs work as follows: senses – language – behavior.

These inner maps are based on how we interpret the world around us, meaning which input channel is most dominant. According to the initial theory they are the following three:

  • Primarily visual (thinking in pictures), this person is more inclined to remember pictures and where words were on a page.
  • Primarily auditive (thinking in sounds, melodies), this person learns better by listening rather than reading, can better remember what was said and by whom.
  • Primarily kinesthetic (either emotional or body), this person is much more aware of his body and his feelings, remembers things through the feelings they evoked.

Since the way a person thinks is tied to the maps they form and how they express themselves when people of two different perception models communicate, difficulties can arise – NLP aims to eliminate these misunderstandings. One such NLP technique is reframing, which is describing the situation using different words to help the other person understand (better fit his mental map), words which are more clear, understandable and suitable.

There are of course critics of NLP, who often state that when communicating people do not consciously use neurology or neuroscience to express their ideas and it is not connected.

Programming can be better explained as a certain chain of processes, not actual “reprogramming” of a person’s psyche. The therapies of NLP are often simplified and distorted.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that many top sportsmen (who use NLP to prepare before competitions) or gurus in the field of communication, business or even hypnosis know first-hand how effective the methods of NLP can be. I leave it up to you to form you own opinion.


  • golfer Tiger Woods
  • tennis players Serena Williams, Andre Agassi
  • sports teams like the L.A. Kings, and several clubs in the English Premier League – Manchester United and others


  • guru Anthony Robbins


  • author Paul McKena


Application of NLP methods today

As I have mentioned earlier, there are many variations and possible applications of NLP based on the depth, quality and particular methodology used. The principles of NLP as therapeutic methods are not simple but l can say that when I choose to use them I use them to help communicate better with my clients and to quickly change their inner programs. They are used to improve one’s capabilities, to increase flexibility and – as I explain in my courses tied to the basics of NLP – to improve communication with oneself.