NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a theory that is used by Hypnotherapists and Counsellors around the world. NLP is the study of words and how humans use words to make sense of the world around them and also use words to communicate their views with others.
The name Nero Linguistic Programming comes from the three areas it brings together:
N-Neurology-The mind and how we think
L-Linguistics-How we use language and how it affects us
P-Programming- The actions to complete a task or to achieve our goals
Everyday we use words to communicate with our internal and external world. We use words to communicate our own personal view of the world and also to understand how we as humans understand the world around us.
N or Neurology Is the mind and how we think. Our wonderful mind stores information of the world around us and determines how we think and process information. We process the information in words and symbols or imagery. The way we experience the world around us is via our five senses (seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling and tasting). To make meaning of what we experience through these five senses is through words. Words become associated with certain tastes, sights, smells, sounds etc..
For example, how would you describe a lemon? Yellow, round, sour, juicy....you may notice that we just used words to describe our experience of a lemon.
L or Linguistics which is how we use language and how it affects us. As mentioned above we use language to describe the world and experiences. The language we use is so powerful it can affect our moods, emotions, body language, health and outlook on life.
P or Programming is how our actions are organised so that our goals can be achieved. We systematically put in place a procedure to achieve a goal. 90% of the time we function by habitual behaviours, this means that we do things without even thinking about it. Habitual behaviours or habits are so easy to form and they quickly become a part of our day to day lives.
For example, making and drinking a tea or coffee at around the same time each day and going to the Gym or driving home from work a particular route even if you know there is a quicker way home.
Putting it all Together
Exploring how words affect you and the processes you go through to achieve goals is central to NLP. A therapist who uses NLP will find out and understand the words you associate to a particular experience and how it affects your functioning. With this understanding the therapist can use your language to change and modify the way you experience and interpret the world. Sometimes it is as easy as changing a meaning you have to a word which then could completely change the way you interpret an event, therefore changing a possible negative experience to a positive one.
NLP also explores the programming we use to perform actions and tasks in our lives. When someone is performing a task that isn't working for them often they can become frustrated and annoyed as they are not getting the desired results. By breaking down the process and steps of the task one would be able identify the steps that are having a negative affect. By constructing and implementing a new behaviour or step could change the whole process so that the person can achieve the desired outcome, this in turn has a positive affect on the person.