Should I trust neurolinguistic programming

Neuro-linguistic programming - what is it?

Where does NLP come from? Who discovered it? How does NLP think and what do the three letters mean?

Who is successful?

In the early 1970s, the mathematician and psychologist Dr. Richard Bandler and the linguist Prof. Dr. John Grinder absolutely knows why some therapists in the American therapy scene, above all Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls, were so significantly more successful than their colleagues. They asked themselves: why are people so effective? What is the secret of your good relationships with others? What does it look like? The success of these therapists and other effective managers, doctors, salespeople, artists and teachers was, in short, their particular way of communicating and of the resulting reactions in other people. Bandler, Grinder and their colleagues from the very beginning gained formats and models from this which, together with the findings of modern brain research, they called "neurolinguistic programming". Since then, neurolinguistic programming, or NLP for short, has been continuously developed in Germany by practitioners in therapy and business, education and medicine. It was quickly adopted in economics and psychology like no other method.

How does NLP think?

NLP is firmly anchored in humanistic psychology and, like other methods of the so-called third force in psychology (client-centered talk therapy, gestalt therapy, family therapy, hypnotherapy according to Erikson), stands in the tradition of a development-oriented, positive image of man.

NLP is convinced of the self-efficacy of people, of the fact that they basically have potential for solutions and self-creation and that they have an inherent urge to develop. This is where NLP clearly differs from those deficit-focusing concepts that have pervaded the European-Occidental intellectual and religious history since its inception. These include positions and ideas such as original sin (Old Testament), the constant endangerment of humans through their emotions (Stoics), their aggressiveness, their wolfness (Hobbes), their natural laziness and negligence (Taylorism) and the imbalance of unregulated sexual and Death instinct and the demands of the superego (Freud). In contrast to these positions, NLP is solution and development-oriented and believes in the positive, self-chosen and self-initiated development ability of people.

What do the three letters mean?

The term neurolinguistic programming indicates the connections between physical (neurophysiological) states, language (linguistics) and internal, personal thought and behavior programs. Precise training in perception (looking and listening) and a high level of sensitivity for the use of language (meaning and subjective effect) are the basic prerequisites for change work.
NLP is a communication method to address, develop and effectively support the unconscious and positive self-forces on a holistic and humanistic basis. The intellectual background is based on trust in human potential and action geared towards concrete results.

The philosophical basis of NLP is constructivism, i.e. every person constructs his own reality and reacts to his own construction and his programs. Can "beliefs", i.e. thoughts / attitudes about oneself, the world and others, be changed, behavior and feelings can change (the concept of reframing).

NLP and brain research

In 1970, the effectiveness of the behavioral altering approaches proposed by Bandler and Grinder had yet to be proven. From the perspective of academic psychology, they appeared to be offers of change that took getting used to, solving problems in surprising speed and in new ways. NLP was new and spectacular and, with the provocative naming alone, represented a decisive step in a completely different direction.

And to get straight to the point: Bandler and Grinder were right in a lot of things that they only suspected at the time. Forty years later, we have made decisive progress in understanding the processes involved in NLP thanks to the fascinating imaging methods used in brain research. The part of the name “Neuro” appears today as a wise anticipation of the internal processes that NLP triggers. Our brain is actually endowed with a lifelong potential for change (neuroplasticity). "You can not teach old dogs new tricks"? This sentence is long out of date. Its opposite and the knowledge of epigenetics (our genes react to environmental influences) are becoming more and more common. With appropriate stimulation, nerve cells begin to write off previously unused gene sequences or to shut down others that are no longer used. This realization is a paradigm shift. Likewise, the way away from the psycho-repair workshop to the development of human potential.

We can change, even into old age. This is something NLP has always believed in. If changes are to succeed, we need new traces in the brain, and for this we need an “offer” with the help of which old structures can be shut down, transformed or inhibited and new paths established or expanded. This has been one of the basic assumptions of NLP for 40 years.

What are the benefits of NLP?

One of the basic assumptions of NLP is that people already have all the skills they need for the desired changes, they just do not always use them or have not learned to awaken them in the appropriate contexts. NLP helps to match the desired goal with the right inner resources.

Changes are not viewed backwards (why do I have the problem?), But the focus is on the solution (what do I want and how do I get there?). Little time is spent searching for guilt and neglect, rather it is important to know where we actually want to go, which path we are best to go and what could help.

It is not about "removing" something that is supposedly "bad", but about expanding your own perception and behavior in order to gain more choices and decision-making options. It is about breaking away from restrictive actions and ways of thinking in order to look new and optimistically at the design possibilities of your own life.

Training in Germany

Neurolinguistic programming is an extremely elegant and flexible method, the effectiveness of which has led to an unprecedented spread in the last few decades, especially in Germany. The DVNLP, Association for Neurolinguistic Programming, as the largest method association in Germany and one of the largest NLP associations in Europe now has 2000 members and there is certainly a 6-digit number of users who have learned the method in the last 25 years. In Austria, NLP has now been approved by the health insurers as a psychotherapeutic method. It is one of the most widely used methods in business coaching.

Training levels recognized by the association (DVNLP) are: the NLP Practitioner, DVNLP (often starting with the basic course), the NLP Master, DVNLP, the trainer and / or NLP coach training. Advanced Master’s training courses on different areas such as pedagogy, medicine, sales, sports, teams, etc. complement the range of courses. There is also his series of seminars in which NLP is more or less used, but which are not carried out by teaching trainers and also have no certification from the association.
In order to become an approved DVNLP teaching trainer (currently approx. 300 actively certifying teaching trainers) you must have completed all training levels yourself, have accompanied several training courses as an assistant, meet 500 hours of teaching experience, study literature, self-coaching and a lot more requirements and prove experience. As with any "art", it is a matter of experience, talent and the basics you have brought with you (e.g. a degree in psychology) that determine the quality of the training that a trainer can offer. Here the differences are quite large and you have to see how experienced, recognized and serious a provider is or how screaming the “5 minute cure” or the “NLP crash course” is.

NLP and other methods

NLP appears in some dubious combinations and different approaches to change are often uncritically “incorporated” and mixed with NLP. Here training in the unadulterated method of combination with other more or less serious, esoteric or lifestyle variants (flirtation techniques, aura work, test psychology, quantum healing, ...) is preferable, as other methods (psychological and philosophical) are often not compatible with NLP.

NLP was and is a clear "state" approach, in which the situation-related activation of a client's resources and his here-and-now action is more important than an assumed fixed (pathological) personality attribution or the immovable trait. . The assumption of "changeable flow properties" and the focus on the constantly changing conditions of a situation is a clear psychological, educational as well as political statement and core of the human image in NLP.

There is also no given “ideal” image of man in NLP to which one must strive because one was “bad” beforehand, but everyone decides on their own path (very different from any sects a la Scentology).

NLP Psychotherapy Procedure

The analysis of the problem and the activation should only be relevant insofar as it increases the emotional "operating temperature" and accordingly stimulates the transmitter production in preparation for changing interventions. The deep digging in the past with tearful cathartic sequences, spectacular, often theatrical interpretations (back to the umpteenth generation) and changes through supposed gain in knowledge are rather alien to NLP.
The NLP is very perceptual, individual and pragmatic: Those who are badly off have not learned how they are doing well and how they can experience good feelings and that can be changed. (Richard Bandler).
NLP is about increasing the number of options, since NLP does not make any diagnoses or pathologizations, it is more about freedom of development than about "determining" what you have now when things are not going so well.

In order to unlearn negative feelings such as fear, NLP uses a variety of models: e.g. phobia model, anchoring, strategy work, work with submodalities. The approach that is similar to all of these models is clearly confirmed by brain research. A resource physiology is used in all formats, i.e. the brain is initially offered a state that is neuronally incompatible with fear (resource physiology). The problem situation is "processed" through mixing and integration. The recognized behavior therapy (VT) also works in a similar way.

Knowledge-generating models and formats such as the model of the logical levels, the timeline formats, the work on beliefs have often led to a profound understanding, opening up of their own perception and conscious change in life in addition to the ease in the procedure for users. The focus here is on the issues of reconciliation and mental-emotional realignment.

Through a deeper understanding of one's own programs in the form of behavior and thinking habits and the awareness of one's own, often buried resources, positive, hopeful and constructive relationships with oneself and other people are possible.

Who does NLP?

NLP sensitizes and expands your perception and thus your world. Participants who are looking for professional training, personal knowledge and personal development come to NLP. Private usage requests and specific professional interests are roughly evenly distributed.
NLP is not dry theoretical knowledge, it can be taught and learned and enriches one's personal horizon of experience and one's own communication skills. Used therapeutically it can help effectively with personal problems, in professional life it supports with contact, with important conversations, with the achievement of goals, motivation, in the team and with conflict management.

NLP is one of the most important methods that trigger such changes in a brain-friendly way. NLP is often viewed by its critics as a simple, because it is too positive, "American" method that is rather reluctant to intensively "work through and recognize" old problems. But here, too, there are two sides. If NLP is applied superficially and tool-wise in some areas (sales), there are other areas and fields of application where profound changes and psychological, emotional healing with NLP are made possible with therapeutic mindset and experience.

Are there any dangers?

Any method that works and produces results can also be abused.
The question, however, is always what do I do with my knowledge, what responsibility do I deal with the increase in my knowledge and the associated tools? Take a burning match as an example. I can use it to light a candle to have a wonderful evening for two, but I can also use it to set houses on fire. The responsibility for the application lies with everyone and of course in the way the trainer teaches them. It is therefore important not only to teach a sequence of techniques in NLP, but to live NLP as an attitude. Here psychologically / philosophically trained NLP trainers (possibly with a degree) are clearly to be preferred. Many users are not familiar with the psychological and philosophical basics of NLP and some trainers are also on thin ice when it comes to reflection and knowledge.

The longer and more profoundly someone deals with NLP, the more the aspect will be on cooperation, developing one's own potential and responsibility. It is about long-term improvements, making one's own efforts more effective, stable change towards the desired results and enabling enriching personal experiences. The self-image of the NLP user, his charisma, his hope, his positive image of people - all of this plays a decisive role. And there the NLP is as good as its users.

How do you recognize a good NLP trainer?

  • You have concrete, solid experience in the implementation of NLP (coaching, therapy, projects in companies, pedagogy, etc.) and not only attended an NLP training course yourself (in the worst case read a few books).
  • They are well-read and broadly educated and know / know other psychological-therapeutic methods.
  • You have a broad background in change work, are confident, clear and confident.
  • If you offer “Business” NLP, you really know your way around industry and business and not only work on a therapeutic background, but also the other way around.
  • They are not gurus, but rather see NLP as realistic, open and relaxed.
  • You haven't just been doing NLP yesterday, but have been mentally at home with the method, sometimes for years. They know their possibilities and also their limits.
  • They not only teach a few techniques and tricks, but also the attitudes associated with humanistic psychology. That can be felt and seen.
  • You do not like yourself in the role of the vain “magician”, but pass on the art of NLP with appreciation and respect.
  • They promote the participant's flexibility of perception and action and do not limit it.
  • They don't live from exaggerations in their seminar announcements and loud social media chatter, but from a good reputation and recommendations built up through longer work.
  • They feel emotionally connected to the method because it has also improved their personal life.

NLP teach and learn responsibly and reflectively

NLP teachers and users should not only know the conceptual fundamentals of NLP, but also internalize them: humanistic psychology (development-oriented image of man), responsible hedonism (community-oriented pursuit of happiness), constructivism (respecting subjective experience instead of knowing "truths") and brain research (scientific findings instead of esoteric explanations). And they should heed the most important element: teaching a state and not a trait approach (flow properties instead of character diagnosis). NLP is designed to help people live their personal freedom in a satisfying, reconciled and responsible way and to find solutions to challenges in a world that is always changing.

Richard Bandler's core concern, formulated many years ago, still applies: “NLP is not about therapy, it is not about marketing, it is not about hypnosis! - NLP is about freedom !! - Freedom from all the conditioning and learned believes that are governing our lives. "

Due to its universal applicability, NLP has high ethical demands on everyone who uses it. NLP is a state of the heart and has had a positive impact on my life to the greatest extent and in the 25 years in which I have been teaching NLP, I also hear this from many of my participants and I am happy every time that others have benefited as well and a little Become self-determined, happier, more successful, healthier, happier and more conscious. Make a difference.