Neuro Linguistic Programming

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Last updated: June 1, 2019

History of Neuro Linguistic Programming Abstract This paper covers the history and development of Neuro Linguistic Programming in the field of psychology covering its techniques and its growth from behavioral modeling and the influences of Gestalt psychologists Fritz Perls; Virginia Satir, and Milton Erikson.Richard Bandler and John Grinder are considered the fathers of Neuro Linguistic Programming and this paper covers the skills they developed and their discovery of the ways to identify the representational systems someone uses even when that person is not talking, by recognizing eye movements that reveal that the person is making pictures, hearing sounds, or sensing feelings. NLP can be used in psychotherapy but also in many other fields such as management, sales, marketing, public relations, education, therapy, the military and police, sport, and personal development.History of Neuro Linguistic Programming Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) was first developed in the U. S. in the early 1970’s from studying the thinking and behavioral skills used by particularly effective and successful people. It is the way of organizing and understanding the structure of subjective experience (Bandler ; Grinder 1975).

Developed by a mathematician; Richard Bandler and a linguist John Grinder, NLP has been clinically demonstrated as a useful technology for generating change.Together they studied the three most successful therapists at the time to uncover the structure behind their work. The three where the founder of Gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls; Virginia Satir, Mother of Family therapy and Milton Erikson, the pre-eminent hypnotherapist of the modern era (Tan REV) NLP grew out of the ‘behavioural modelling’ activity of Grinder and Bandler in studying Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and Milton H Erickson. Richard Bandler (1949- ) enrolled as a psychology student in the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1970. John Grinder, (1940- ) was an associate rofessor of linguistics. Bandler joined the group of Grinder-followers and they became friends.

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Soon they were using Grinder’s linguistics to pursue Bandler’s interest in the work and the success-rate of Virginia Satir (mother of Family Therapy) and Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt Therapy). They analysed writings and tape-recordings to discover what accounted for the successful results achieved by Satir and Perls. Later, through a friend of Bandler’s, they got to know and became admirers of Gregory Bateson who, in turn, introduced them to the work of Milton Erickson.Using their studies Bandler and Grinder where able to develop skills to of modeling that allowed them to identify the structural elements of another individual’s behavior and teach that behavior to a third person (Dilts, Grinder, Bandler, Cameron Bandler & Delozier 1980). Bandler and Grinder noticed that the words people use to express themselves are a literal description of their mental experiences and at the basic level of understanding, people input, process internally, and output information using one or more of the five sensory channels; visual, auditory, kinesthetic, smell and taste.The first three are the most important in day to day information processing (Andreas & Andreas 1982).

As they began to come up with ideas, insights, and techniques they tried them out on friends (including Robert Dilts, Judith DeLozier, Leslie Cameron Bandler, and David Gordon) who soon joined them in developing and extending the work. The enthusiastic and highly creative group grew and this was how Neuro Linguistic Programming was developed. NLP has acquired a reputation for enabling people to become mind readers; this is partly because of the work of Grinder and Bandler.They discovered that there are ways to identify the representational systems someone uses even when that person is not talking, by recognizing eye movements that reveal that the person is making pictures, hearing sounds, or sensing feelings.

And out of this search came many of the methods that are still part of good Practitioner and Master Practitioner Trainings such as anchoring, sensory acuity and calibration, reframing, representational systems, and the two Language Models – as well as many of the personal change techniques such as the New Behavioural Generator and Change PersonalHistory. Using eye movements as a method of determining the preferred representational system Falzett (1981) found that a male and female interviewer where rated as more trustworthy by subjects when predicated systems where matched by the interviewer than when the interviewer used mismatching predicates in responding to a subjects verbalizations. The NLP model states that because of a specific neural wiring, humans move their eyes in predictable patterns when they are accessing representational strategies.Breathing rate can also be used, high in the chest with short choppy breaths is a visual access, low in the stomach with deep breaths in kinesthetic access and even breathing in the middle of the chest indicates auditory access. Other behavioral aspects are the positioning of the shoulders, posture shifts, skin color changes, heart rate and also body temperature changes.

(Schaefer, Beausay & Pursley 1983). NLP states that these accessing cues are the process where an individual modulates their neurology to access various representational that are necessary when trying to make sense out of their environment.During therapy, NLP is process orientated; it is directed at the production of therapeutic change by affecting formal strategies that a person constantly employs. Expanding and challenging theses strategies is performed with the use of anchors. An anchor is a specific word which represents behaviors classically conditioned to evoke a specific response. This response can be cognitive or behavioral.

An anchor does not need to be to be reinforced with its response and it does not need to be conditioned over a period of time. Language is a common anchoring system.For example, the word dog will be an auditory anchor to an image of four legged animal that barks, an effective anchor with little cognitive effort. The smell of a hospital or a family member screaming in anger is examples of anchors that have been unintentionally installed and they operate out of an individual’s awareness and direct control. Neuro Linguistic Programming operates to install new anchors which work just as well as these unintentional anchors and work toward evoking a response that increases the behavioral flexibility of a person and it is through these anchors that changes can be made in the strategies of thought.Using NLP a therapist can establish a map of one’s cognitive representation of the world and place anchors that be established in a clients strategies that provoke responses that differ from those expected using their original strategy.

It is now used internationally used by millions of people throughout the world in such diverse fields as management, sales, marketing, public relations, education, therapy, the military and police, sport, and personal development. (Schaefer, Beausay & Pursley 1983). Grinder and Bandler proposed certain assumptions in their model of communications, NLP.They assumed that people, (a) organize experiences into representational systems reflecting one or more sensory modes, (visual, auditory and kinesthetic); (b) vary in tendencies to encode experiences primarily in one sensory mode or another; (c) express such individual differences through choice of verbal predicates and through eyes movements; (d) communicate best with others who use the same representational or predicate systems. (Fromme & Daniell 1984) The sensory mode utilized and the sequences of modality utilizations are critical to the performance of any given task.

A person who is skilled at a certain task will have a radically different processing sequence from someone who performs poorly at the same task. The systems are sensory specific, grounded in a definable sensory system that provides the material for the experience. A person who uses a visual preferred representational system (PRS) will primarily attend to images, facial expressions and colors. Similarly, an auditory PRS may focus on sounds, tones, and volume.

The kinesthetic PRS will focus on bodily sensations such as proprioceptive information, tactile experience, and the experience of affect. Hossack,MClinPSychol&Standidge1993) References Andreas, C, & Andreas, S. (1982). Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A new technology for training. Performance & Instruction, 21(5), 37-39.

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