The birth of NLP
The birth of NLP
NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a practice that is rapidly growing. Though you may not know it, NLP has been adopted by many doctors, teachers, HR departments and even the police to improve their performance. It’s been called “The Science Of Success” and many of its exponents claim it can produce dramatic and life changing results.
First let’s define what NLP is. According to co-creator Dr. Richard Bandler, NLP is the study of subjective experience and in particular its models of successful behaviors. You first model successful behavior and then you teach other people to repeat it. Just like computer programs, there are good ones and there are bad ones. If you examine at the best pieces of all of them you can write a more elegant and effective program.
In 1960 California, Fritz Perls developed Gestalt Therapy, one of several new forms of psychological intervention that emerged around that time. A common theme to many of these therapies, was the attempt to find a shorter alternative to the long and ofter painful process of psychoanalysis. During the middle of the 20th century there was a move towards cost effectiveness, short term therapies and direct attack on the symptoms rather than digging for the “root causes”.
A model like NLP really nestles within a wider movement which would include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Gestalt, Cognitive Analytical Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and many others. Richard Bandler, a student of the University of California Santa Cruz, started to observe the work of successful family therapist Virginia Satir. At the time he was living in a house that was owned by a psychotherapist who know Virginia Satir. Her explanation of what she was doing did not make sense to the square logic oriented Bandler.
After observing her at work, he managed to express Satir’s intervention in predicate calculus to the point where he could predict what she was going to say next. The way therapists like Virginia Satir used language to build rapport with their clients later became the basis of NLP. As he started teaching other people he met John Grinder who was a Transformational Grammarian.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder observed (or to use the proper NLP term: modeled top therapists like Virginia Satir, Gestalt founder Fritz Perls and the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson and managed to distill their therapeutic excellence into 2 well documented, complementary language models. The Meta Model and the Milton Model. Those two language models were the foundations on which NLP was built.
Mazon Affersen is an avid self learner, with a strong interest in social sciences. You can find out more about the author at his best carpet steam cleaner blog. Mazon Affersen is an NLP Practitioner and he frequently writes about psychology and NLP.