What is NLP - Neuro-Linguistic Programming

What is NLP?
How Neuro-Linguisitic Programming works.

NLP is a technology. It's got techniques that you can learn and apply. Well, it is skill based so you need to learn the skill in order to implement the techniques otherwise the techniques could fail but your skills will not.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of excellence, which describes how the language of our mind produces our behaviour, and allows us to model excellence and to reproduce that excellent behaviour. NLP takes the viewpoint of looking at "how" the system works, not "why".

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a simple, skillful technique for studying what goes on inside a person (subjective experience) - the processes people use to build their unique, distinctive maps or models of the world. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is an experiential approach. Therefore, if a person wants to understand an action, they must perform that same action to learn from the experience.

The six logical levels of change in NLP

NLP practitioners believe there are natural hierarchies of learning, communication, and change.

  • Purpose and spirituality: This level from the Logical Levels theory is about the deeper-rooted question: ‘what else are we here for?’ This level can also be called spirituality, referring to the larger system we might be a part of. 

  • Identity: Identity is the person you perceive yourself to be and includes your responsibilities and the roles you play in life.

  • Beliefs and values: How your personal Values support or hinder you.

  • Capabilities and skills: These are your 'internal behaviours'. The level of innate capabilities and learned skills which you have and how effectively you use these.

  • Behaviors: Behaviors are the specific actions you perform.

  • Environment: Your surrounding: the people and places that you are interacting with, and responding to, when you are engaged in a particular activity. This is the lowest level of change.

The six logical levels of change in NLP

The purpose of each logical level is to organize and direct the information below it. As a result, making a change in a lower level may cause changes in a higher level. However, making a change in a higher level will also result in changes in the lower levels, according to NLP theory.

How NLP works in Therapy

How NLP works in Therapy

“The map is not the territory” NLP is intended to help clients understand their own minds, how they came to think and behave the way they do, and to learn to manage their moods and emotions and reprogram the way they process information so that it leads to more acceptable and successful behavior. A therapist who practices NLP must therefore understand how a person in treatment perceives their “map” and the effect this perception may have on that person’s thoughts and behavior.

An individual’s map of the world is formed from data received through the senses. This information can be auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, or kinesthetic. 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. 


NLP therapists work with people to understand their thinking and behavioral patterns, emotional state, and aspirations. NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. NLP therapists believe that their clients have the answers to their problems within themselves; it is simply a matter of helping them draw out those answers.

Neuro-linguistic programming has been used to treat a wide range of issues. These include:

  • Anxiety, phobias, and panic

  • Communication issues

  • Post Traumatic stress

  • Depression

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity

  • Addiction

  • Schizophrenia

  • Obsessions and compulsions

  • Borderline personality

How NLP works in Therapy


NLP is a broad field of practice. As such, NLP practitioners use many different techniques that include the following:

  • Anchoring: Anchoring is a form of classical conditioning that associates a specific touch on the arm, or paper napkin on the floor, with the experience of a specific state.

  • Rapport: The process of establishing a relationship with a subject that is characterised by harmony, understanding and mutual confidence.

  • Swish pattern: Changing patterns of behavior or thought to come to a desired instead of an undesired outcome.

  • Visual/kinesthetic dissociation (VKD): Trying to take out the negative thoughts and feelings associated with a past event.

How NLP works in Therapy

Benefits of NLP

  • NLP helps you align your unconscious mind behind the goals you want to achieve and gives a clarity on your vision, purpose & values.

  • NLP techniques will help you to destroy limiting beliefs and overcome limiting beliefs. It teaches you how to reframe your current beliefs by applying different meaning to behaviors, situations in life.

  • NLP offers better choice in the way a person communicates, how a person responds and feels and helps one to focus on building confidence to levels where lives can be changed.

  • NLP teaches you about the process of building rapport through mirroring and matching at various levels, showing you how to connect with difficult people and help them cooperate with you.

  • NLP can develop your leadership capabilities and assist leaders and management to get ahead of the gain line from the advanced language patterns and physiology techniques.

  • NLP helps you examine your current way of thinking and develop your ability to think differently. This involves looking at the way we unconsciously structure our thoughts and our ability to divide a problem into chunks, as well as the power of reframing problems and turn them into positive states.

  • NLP teaches you how to listen to signals of your body and deal with pain as a signal.

  • With the use of NLP, you can take absolute control of your mind, creating more freedom & choice over your mindset.

  • Through a series of NLP interventions that work in the unconscious (like time line, N-step reframe, parts integration and provocative or performance coaching) you are able to break poor patterns for ever.

  • NLP helps you in improving your communication & presentation skills.

  • NLP can help you to learn new ways to motivate others and get to the core of complex issues quickly to be able to communicate effectively.

  • NLP can help you in understanding the capabilities, strategies & mindsets of successful people.

  • NLP gives you the tools and coping mechanisms to create more energy & relaxation in your life.

  • NLP offers tools to assist in leading or managing teams or stakeholders, through a combination of perceptual positions and evoking positive states.

How NLP works in different settings

For HR

NLP for HR professionals is like a microphone for a singer. It amplifies your role, makes what you’re singing about more memorable and the effects can reach people at a deeper level. Have you ever heard a song that you absolutely adore and it has great meaning for you, then you find that years later you can still sing it even if you haven’t heard it in a long time? That’s the power of the microphone that is NLP. You’ll be impactful, memorable and will create experiences that people will sing about for years to come.

For Business

NLP skills improves and enhances communication, rapport building and goal setting. All of them are applicable to the business ventures and have a proven positive effect on business performance. Specific skills for dealing with people who perceive the world differently from us will help improve relations with peers, bosses, customers, new prospects.

For Training/Coaching

NLP provides the coaches with models, techniques and processes to follow that help bring about change, challenge people’s blocks and excuses and has something called a well-formed condition, and a process by which a coach can establish the true legitimacy and value of goal pursuit with their clients.

For Teaching/Education

NLP includes understanding how we learn, develop strategies for students and teachers, using our 5 senses, and making use of accelerated learning techniques. NLP helps teachers and learning mentors appeal to each individual’s style of learning. Knowing whether children respond to visual, auditory or kinaesthetic instructions enables the teacher to cater to the pupils needs.

For Sales & Negotiation

NLP helps you better your negotiation skills by showing you how to integrate different parts for a more successful result using a higher positive intention. Sales people and other professional communicators are widely taught to mirror all sorts of more subtle signals, as a means of creating trust and rapport with the other person, and to influence attitudes.