What is NLP?

At the heart of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the ‟modelling” of human excellence. In the 1970’s mathematician, Richard Bandler and linguist, John Grinder drew upon a multitude of disciplines including systems thinking, psychotherapy, cybernetics and general semantics and reshaped them into NLP. 

Bandler’s interest in computer science got him involved in transcribing some audio and video seminar tapes of Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt Therapy, and Virginia Satir, the founder of Family Therapy. He found that by copying certain aspects of their behavior and language he could achieve similar results, and began running a Gestalt Therapy group on the campus.

John Grinder was intrigued by Bandler’s abilities and reputedly said to him, ‟If you teach me how to do what you do, I’ll tell you what you do”.

There is no set definition for the science and art of NLP and for the benefits it produces. It has enormous breadth and depth and can be used in so many different ways, in so many areas of our lives.

NLP is a science, a process, a study, a model, a set of procedures, a manual, a blueprint of our neurology, a map, a system, an attitude, a strategy, a technology but it is all of the above.

‟It’s the science of how the brain codes learning and experience.”

‟It’s a model of communication that focuses on identifying and using patterns of thought that influence a person’s behavior as a means of improving the quality and effectiveness of their lives.”

Whichever way we wish to perceive the science of NLP, we could easily sum it up by saying it’s an extensive study of how the human mind works and how to use the language of the mind to consistently achieve our specific and desired outcomes.


What is the technical nature of the name – Neuro Linguistic Programming?

Neuro: Relates to neurology, to the ways in which we process information from our five senses through our brain and nervous system.

Linguistic: Relates to the use of language systems – not just words but all symbol systems including gestures and postures – to code, organize and attribute meanings to our internal representations of the world, and to communicate internally and externally.

Programming: Relates to information processing and computing science on the premise that the way in which experience is stored, coded and transformed is similar to how software runs on a PC. By deleting, upgrading or installing our metal software, we can change how we think and, as a result, how we act.

When linking all the words together we are essentially concerned with the process by which we create an internal representation – our experience – of the external world of ‟reality” though our language and through our neurology.

According to Psychology Today Magazine, “Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is arguably the most powerful Behavioural Science on the planet today”. Science Digest describes it as, “the most powerful vehicle for change in existence.”

When it comes to the techniques of NLP, they have produced some of the most powerful patterns ever devised for facilitating change in people – it is a combination of attitude and methodology. People around the globe now use its vast array of techniques to help themselves and to get what they want out of life.


NLP can be applied in the following areas:

  • Personal development: To remove negative emotions and behavioral patterns, build confidence and self-esteem, and set and achieve goals.
  • Improve relationships: Relationships are based on how we communicate with our partners, family and other people. By improving how we communicate with other people we gain rapport and a deeper level of understanding about how they feel.
  • Good health: To reduce stress, give energy, maintain a healthy body by changing beliefs, ideas and negative thoughts that surround diet, exercise and fitness so we can obtain and maintain perfect health.
  • Coaching and therapy: To accelerate changes with clients by looking at the processes that underlies a particular pattern, emotion or habit.
  • Education and training: To promote and accelerate learning and memory. NLP helps us understand how people process new information and assists them to develop strategies that utilizes the 5 senses and allows them to take on the information and absorb it more effectively.
  • Sport: To enhance performance.

NLP is a detailed blueprint for the mind. It explains why people do what they do, what motivates them and what shuts them down and it shows how to change in order to get our desired results. It provides a number of quick and effective techniques that can facilitate change in a person, thereby putting that person back in charge of their own mind and getting the results they desire.

NLP utilizes top mind-body techniques to help individuals discover and tap into their most powerful physical, mental and emotional resources.

Old habits and patterns of behaviour can be eliminated and replaced with new and empowering behaviour patterns. In the world of NLP the focus is not on the problem, rather it emphasizes the process or strategies employed in how a person deals with the problem. By identifying and changing the filters, the thinking, the strategies, and the mental and emotional programs a person employs, positive change can happen instantly.

Here are just some of the benefits of NLP:

  • Help you know what you want and how to get it
  • Help you to build stronger, deeper relationships
  • Help you to control the way you think, feel and act
  • Enable you to accomplish your personal and professional goals
  • Help you to perform at your best for more of the time
  • Help you communicate more effectively and persuasively
  • Honing beliefs and values which are the key drivers motivating you to take action
  • Increased self-awareness and self-empowerment

The magic of NLP is available to you right here in Ottawa through Natasha Skibola and New Life Path.