NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Neuro refers to your neurology; Linguistic refers to language; programming refers to how that neural language functions. In other words, learning NLP is like learning the language of your own mind!
NLP is the study of excellent communication–both with yourself, and with others. It was developed by modeling excellent communicators and therapists who got results with their clients. NLP is a set of tools and techniques, but it is so much more than that. It is an attitude and a methodology of knowing how to achieve your goals and get results.
In essence, all of NLP is founded on two fundamental presuppositions:
1. The Map is Not the Territory - As human beings, we can never know reality. We can only know our perceptions of reality. We experience and respond to the world around us primarily through our sensory representational systems. It is our 'neuro-linguistic' maps of reality that determine how we behave and that give those behaviors meaning, not reality itself. It is generally not reality that limits us or empowers us, but rather our map of reality.
2. Life and 'Mind' are Systemic Processes. The processes that take place within a human being and between human beings and their environment are systemic. Our bodies, our societies, and our universe form an ecology of complex systems and sub-systems all of which interact with and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to completely isolate any part of the system from the rest of the system. Such systems are based on certain 'self-organizing' principles and naturally seek optimal states of balance or homeostasis.
NLP therapists work with people to understand their thinking and behavioral patterns, emotional state, and aspirations. By examining a person’s map, the therapist can help them find and strengthen the skills that serve them best and assist them in developing new strategies to replace unproductive ones. This process can help individuals in therapy reach treatment goals.
Supporters of NLP claim the approach produces fast, lasting results and improves understanding of cognitive and behavioral patterns. NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Some advocates of NLP compare the approach to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) but assert positive changes may be made with NLP in less time.
The following are just some of the issues that NLP can treat: