NLP – or Neuro Linguistic Programming – is a methodology formed by Dr Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
The NLP techniques they developed were based on the work of three famous and brilliant therapists – Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Dr Milton Erickson. As such, NLP has many overlaps with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Examples of NLP techniques include the fast phobia cure, anchoring and ‘parts therapy’.
Three important aspects of NLP are:
1. Effective communication with yourself and others
Millions of bits of information are processed through our five senses every second. Our minds cannot possibly keep track of them all at once, so it builds a ‘map’.
We all have a different map. Imagine having to create a map of London that is 100% accurate. This map would have to be an exact replica of London and therefore the same size – making it useless. A map is very much an abridged version of reality, hence one of the reasons why each individual thinks differently – because their map is unique.
By understanding our own map and the differences in other people’s maps, this can help us to communicate much more effectively.
Each of our five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch – are made up of many subtle contributing factors. For example, within sight we have color, brightness, tone, contrast and field of view etc. Within sound we have volume, rhythm, pitch, bass and treble etc. These submodalities are hugely important to how our mind records information and builds our own unique map of reality.
3. Positive visualization
Imagine an actress rehearsing for a lead part. She visualizes everything as she wants it to be, practices her lines with the right tonality, stands in the correct posture and visualizing being the person she is playing.
In modern life, particularly when we are anxious about something, we do the opposite. We rehearse and visualize it all going wrong. But there are some little-known subtleties essential to getting positive visualization to work effectively.
How we can help
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