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What is NLP?

At its core, NLP, also known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming, was originally about modeling successful behavior so that potentially anyone can have the skills of anyone else. What exactly is a financial genius thinking as she makes an investment? Master that, and you can invest the same way. Modeling top psychiatrists, psychologists and self-help gurus has been particularly successful.

That’s where it started. NLP has become much more, too.

NLP is the applied study of human nature. When well-applied, NLP is used to help yourself and others get more of what is wanted while honoring everyone involved. This is generally done by gaining new, often remarkable, understandings of current and desired situations. These are the most common formats:

Personal: Learn new ways to communicate more clearly, lovingly, respectfully, effectively. Help friends, family and co-workers when they are in need of support. Help yourself in many ways including better health, memory, personality, confidence, and so on.

Professional: Practitioners (also known as neuro-linguistic programmers) help clients discover blocks to success and happiness, and sometimes even health, typically in one- or two-hour sessions.

Business: NLP can be used to identify and repair less-than-perfect advertising and publicity. Use NLP techniques to create happy, productive work environments. With NLP, you can develop the best possible communication with customers and clients so everyone profits.

The process: NLP is more about learning to understand things from new perspectives than anything else. Often, it is about consciously discovering erroneous beliefs that we formed as very young children, and noticing how we have acted on those beliefs ever since. Many other times, it is simply a matter of attaching new meaning to things that we thought we understood. The Neuro-linguistic programmer will typically have a caring, honoring conversation with the client that involves asking specially-designed questions. Sometimes these questions cause wonderful changes all by themselves. The programmer may also offer metaphorical stories, reframing of perspectives, and anchoring. Anchoring takes many forms, such as a carefully timed squeeze of the arm, a bit of standing on specific spots on the floor, or a change of voice tone.

The changes can be remarkable. NLP is well-known for curing phobias, overcoming some addictions, helping with mind-body health issues, granting more confidence, or happiness, and ending procrastination. The changes are often permanent. (You can’t un-learn something. You can’t hide your car keys from yourself.)

There is also a negative side to NLP. It can be used badly by unlicensed programmers, it can be used to sell products, or for ‘speed seduction.’ However, like a pickup truck, it is innocent in itself. A pickup truck can carry bombs, or it can carry food.

NLP has its roots in many fields of research and practice, taking what works, and leaving the rest. The edges of the vast realm called NLP are fuzzy. For instance, you’ll often find NLP melded with hypnotherapy, law of attraction, the work of Byron Katie, Family Inheritance, and other pursuits. As your editor, I will attempt to bring you the most relevant and important information first, and work as far into those edges as is sensible. I am planning for unending growth of this website, and hope you’ll enjoy coming on this ride with me!

It is my intention that the NLP section of this website will teach NLP in its truest form, which honors and respects all people, and that you’ll not only learn NLP techniques here, but also the spirit of good NLP.

Take care! – Jeff Napier

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