Everything You Need To Know About Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Everything You Need To Know About Neuro-Linguistic Programming | HealthSoul

Learning NLP – neuro-linguistic programming – is a widespread practice to understand how our thinking process and the language we use affects our reactions and overall behavior. Introducing NLP techniques, methods, and modeling into your life results in more effective communication, goal setting, and improving interpersonal relationships.

Moreover, you are most likely already familiar with basic NLP techniques; you just do not realize it yet.

But how does NLP work? Although this article will not replace a comprehensive all-in-one NLP training experience but will provide you with all the necessary information to get a clear picture of what it is. Let’s dive in!

What Is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a system of techniques and practices of a psychological nature to model the necessary subjective reactions of a person to external (objective) factors. The name of the NLP therapy itself implies the ways of influencing and perceiving information (signals):

  • neuro means nerves and the transmission of signals from the sensory organs to the brain through them,
  • linguistic means language, verbal,
  • programming – setting a program (reaction and behavior).

The founders of NLP techniques are Americans John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They grounded their approach on the fact that each person, receiving signals from the external environment, reproduces the subjective reactions unique to them only (visual and auditory images, bodily and taste sensations, and others), prompting them to some actions. Their main idea was to develop an effective method that allows copying the patterns (schemes) of the behavior of famous successful people in any field.

They have long studied works of famous psychotherapists (for example, Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls), communicated with their patients, and conducted various seminars. As a result, they could separate neuro-linguistic programming from other fields of psychology, such as gestalt therapy (developed by Fritz and Laura Perls) or psychoanalysis.

Here are the initial definitions of NLP created by their founders:

  • Richard Bandler: “NLP is an attitude which is an insatiable curiosity about human beings with a methodology that leaves behind it a trail of techniques.”
  • John Grinder: “The strategies, tools, and techniques of NLP represent an opportunity unlike any other for the exploration of human functioning, or more precisely, that rare and valuable subset of human functioning known as genius.”

Main Neuro-Linguistic Programming Techniques

In neuro-linguistic programming, special attention is paid to the habit developed or learned by the human brain to respond in a certain way to a specific situation. Our brain knows exactly what to feel and how to act in certain situations. As a result, each time, you unconsciously act in a certain way and always get the same result. What if you do not like the result?

To change your reality, you need to change or adjust your internal responses to external factors. There are many (over 85) different NLP training techniques that allow you to successfully implement changes in your life. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Anchoring. An anchor is an association with a particular feeling or thought. Creating anchors in moments of strength, success, and happiness allows a person to use them to get resources in difficult situations or overcome negative experiences.
  2. Swish Pattern. This technique allows a person to quickly change the attitude to a particular situation (reaction to it) by introducing multiple sharp changes in the mental image. It requires taking a trigger that leads to unwanted behavior and replacing it with a stimulus that evokes abilities and qualities desirable in that situation. Thus, when these two triggers are connected, an action that led to the undesirable behavior now automatically leads to the desired one.
  3. Reframing. This NLP practice allows you to change the point of view, and therefore the perception of an event or object, by removing the focus from the negative elements and transferring it to the positive ones.
  4. Fast Phobia Cure. This technique implies observing both the situation that causes fear (phobia) and yourself as if from the outside (dissociatively). Then, you scroll the same situation backward, only with a sense of personal presence in it (associative participation).
  5. Timeline Therapy. This technique uses the possibility of changing (transferring) events or situations along a person’s timeline – their subjective idea of the spatial arrangement of the past, present, and future. Thus, moving the timeline allows joyful events to occur in the present and be visible in the future.

The most important thing that NLP practitioners need to learn is to ensure that the desired changes are of an ecological approach, meaning safe for a person. Before changing a person’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and systems of reactions to situations, it is necessary to make sure that the changes will not harm their personality and will only benefit them.


Neuro-linguistic programming is such a popular approach due to its ability to provide people with tools that enable them to control the situations and their reactions. Isn’t it what everybody wants in their life? To be conscious and mindful of their actions. In prospect, NLP training may put you in a positive mind state and improve your self-esteem.

Numerous NLP research papers study the impact of NLP on depression and anxiety treatment alongside how NLP works in various fields of life – from education and public speaking to marketing, sports competitions, or recruitment processes. With a thoughtful and ecological approach, you have the opportunity to choose what techniques work best for you and use them to your advantage.