The Theory Behind NLP

By Charles Cook

The Name

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a method of psychotherapy that got its name directly from the fundamental ideas behind the theory: Neuro - relating to nerves or the brain, Linguistic - relating to language, Programming - software or controls that run a computer.

The Goal

NLP aims to help patients overcome many personal problems related to programs in their mind that prevent them from reaching their full potential. The overall goal is to help greatly improve the patient's life by uncovering the root causes of the things that are holding them back and reprogram their minds in a positive way.

The Theory

It is believed that each person has a set of programs instilled in their minds based on past experiences, beliefs and learned behaviors. For this reason, the two definitions of the word programming mentioned in section one are appropriate.

It's easy to see the analogy between the human brain and the computer. Both take input in the form of data and process it into something understandable. This is a hard task for the human brain due to the sheer volume of data that is thrown at it every second. Sights, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells are all delivered through our five senses at a steady rate and the brain has to try to make sense of it all. To do this efficiently, it deletes and changes much of this information. It makes assumptions about other information. If 'Factor A' is present and 'Factor B' is present than 'Outcome C' is going to happen. Here we get the basis of the program.

The theory behind NLP is that these programs can easily become corrupted - much like a bad program on your computer. If these programs are corrupt, your brain will have trouble processing new information. This hinges on the fact that 'Factor A' plus 'Factor B' will not always equal 'Option C' as the program would have you believe.

Because the program in your mind is telling you that 'Option C' will happen you are going to react to 'Factor A' and 'Factor B' on an assumption. If this assumption is wrong and you react negatively anyway, this can have extreme consequences and that is exactly what NLP seeks to correct.

NLP also teaches that many individuals stand in the way of their own success because of these programs. Self-limiting thoughts are a cornerstone of the methodologies of NLP. If a person allows these programs to tell them something isn't possible - that pursing that promotion or talking to the person they're attracted to will lead to failure - the person is much less likely to attempt to achieve their goal.

The Applications

Keeping in mind what we've just discussed, the benefits offered by NLP are obvious and wide ranging. Some of the possible problems that NLP can help patients overcome include:

* Learning disabilities * Psychosomatic illnesses * Habit disorders * Depression * Anger * Phobias * Shyness * Communication problems * Poor self-esteem or self-image * Self-limiting thoughts

The Final Thought

NLP is an extremely beneficial tool, readily available for anyone choosing to pursue it. - 32509

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