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What is NLP?

Essential NLP knowledge:

– “The key to all sciences is undoubtedly the question mark and we have most of the major discoveries in how, and wisdom in life is perhaps to ask for anything, why?”

Honorè De Balzac

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (also NLP) is an area of ​​practical psychology that studies the structure of people’s subjective experience, developing the language of its description, revealing mechanisms and ways of modeling experiences in order to improve and transfer the identified models to other people. The very first name of NLP was Meta-knowledge, that is, the science of how our knowledge and experience are structured.

In the title “NLP” part of “Neuro” indicates that to describe the experience of a person it is necessary to know and understand “brain languages” – those neurological processes that are responsible for storing, processing and transferring information. It has achieved special success in understanding the device of internal perception. “Linguistic” emphasizes the importance of language in describing the features of the mechanisms of thinking and behavior, as well as in the organization of communication processes.

“Programming” determines the systemic nature of mental and behavioral processes: the “program” in Greek means “a clear sequence of steps aimed at achieving a result.”

Thus, this name indicates that NLP refers to life and to the subjective experience of people as to systemic processes that have their own structure. This is what makes it possible to study them and identify the most successful experience of what we often call intuition, talent, natural talent, and so on.

NLP can be regarded both as a scientific field of knowledge and as an art, because it can be represented both at the level of practical tools and technologies, and at the level of spirituality. NLP is based on a holistic approach to the consideration of human experience based on the concept of unity of mind, body and spirit.

NLP was born on the basis of interdisciplinary interaction of people studying the experience of brilliant psychotherapists – Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson. The founders of  programming are John Grinder (PhD), a professional linguist, and Richard Bandler (later PhD), a psychologist and a mathematician, a person whose range of interests is unusually wide.

Among the co-authors of NLP also include Leslie Cameron, Judith Delozier, David Gordon, Robert Dilts, Frank Pucelik. At the moment, the field is developing and is being supplemented with more and more new developments, and the circle of co-authors is constantly growing.

As an independent integrative field of knowledge NLP has grown from various models of practical psychology, absorbing all the best from an applied point of view. Initially, it was very eclectic, but over time it acquired a powerful methodology, largely based on the epistemology of Gregory Bateson and his theory of transforms, works on the ecology of reason, communication theory, and the theory of logical types of Bertrand Russell, which became the prototype of logical levels in NLP.

At the first stage of NLP development began with the modeling of Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, taking into account all the main approaches and principles of Gestalt psychology. Therefore, the way NLP looks at behavioral and mental patterns is largely related to the Gestalt method. Another “model” was the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, who used in his work special linguistic patterns that created trans states of varying depths. John Grinder has achieved a doctoral degree in linguistics, using the work of Noam Chomsky, so it becomes quite understandable that the scientific roots of NLP should be attributed to linguistics. The authors of NLP proceeded from the idea that internal processes of subjective experience are reflected in speech and linguistic structures.

The founders of NLP went further than behavioral psychologists who compared our internal experience with the “black box”; they advanced the study of human experience and the understanding of what is on the “input” (information coming to us from the outside world) and how this is related to the “exit” (how the processed information is realized in external behavior, communication).

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