Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, is an approach to psychotherapy and personal development that focuses on modeling successful people. The name refers to the focus on the three different aspects of understanding and modifying human behavior, neurology, language, and action. Working with a skilled NLP practitioner can be very beneficial for some people. However, due to its lack of overarching organization and licensing standards the quality of each NLP therapist can be vastly different. However, NLP therapy can be worth your time if you do your research first.
NLP therapy is for those people who are looking for change. Whereas many types of therapy aim to change your conscious thinking, NLP works on a much more subconscious level. Instead of treating the symptoms of unhealthy thinking, NLP therapy attacks the root of the problem. Because NLP is less mainstream than regular psychotherapy and other therapy techniques, many people approach it as a “last resort.”
Specifically, many people will seek out NLP therapy for issues like weight loss, stress reduction, smoking, fears and phobias, confidence building, obsessive compulsive disorder, relationship issues, and depression. A legitimate NLP therapist will not be able to guarantee you results because each client responds differently to NLP techniques. However, because NLP works on a very basic and subconscious level, it can be very beneficial for a large group of people experiencing a large group of problems. Indeed, even people who are overall pretty happy with their life can benefit from learning and implementing NLP techniques.
The core basis of NLP was developed by understanding how people who had overcome psychological issues had actually reached those results. NLP is a very results-driven therapeutic method. NLP simply codified the best habits and skills that successful people have implemented so that others may enjoy those results as well. By addressing and changing assumptions about how people see and interact with the world, an NLP practitioner can bring about profound change in someone’s life. Undertaking NLP therapy will focus on the past because it holds the answers as to why you are where you are right now. However, NLP therapy does not wallow in past mistakes. It helps you take your past and mold it into the future you want.
NLP therapy is a very individualized therapy method. Each person has their own unique journey through life that may have allowed them to arrive at similar results as someone else. On the client’s ends, NLP therapy requires that you be very honest with yourself and with your therapist. You will use a variety of methods and techniques to address and change the subconscious beliefs and thoughts that form the basis of his or her behavior.
One benefit of NLP therapy is that it often works very quickly. Traditional psychotherapy often takes many months to achieve lasting change whereas a large percentage of NLP therapy clients experience lasting change in only a few brief sessions. NLP operates under the principle that everybody already has the tools and resources to be successful, they just need help uncovering or learning how to use those latent abilities.
NLP is quickly becoming more mainstream although as of right now it is not recognized by most Psychology organizations. It has not been proven to be successful in any substantial scientific studies but the anecdotal evidence of many, many people who have had their lives changed with NLP techniques is overwhelming. Many believe it is on the cusp of becoming a major component of traditional psychology and psychological treatment. It is increasing in respect among the scientific community and many think it is only a matter of time before it is accepted as a legitimate and viable alternative to traditional psychotherapy.