Development of NLP
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the mid-seventies by Richard Bandler, then a mathematician, computer expert and psychotherapist, and John Grinder, an associate professor of linguistics, through their work as ‘behavioural modellers’. They were concerned with how things worked rather than theoretical explanations of them.
The name reflects the synthesis of the many fields they integrated:
Neuro from neurology – how the brain processes the five senses
Linguistic – how our thinking structures and is structured by language
Programming – from cybernetics and mathematics – how behaviour can be structured and sequenced for ease of learning.
Benefits of NLP
NLP emphasizes the importance of meeting clients at their model of the world. It provides skills and models, rather than theories, to improve the quality and effectiveness of communication.
NLP can be applied in all areas of communication and offers a wide range of specific behavioral skills for interacting with clients to improve the effectiveness of our communication. Through NLP we can become more flexible in our responses and therefore more able to deal with situations which in the past may have proven difficult or overly challenging.
Operational Presuppositions of NLP
We have included a selection of presuppositions that guide the use of NLP. The presuppositions included overlap Ericksonian approaches, systemic and brief therapy approaches and DBM. Not all NLP trainers would agree with all of them and the application and training of NLP has not always been consistent with them. They are drawn from a variety of sources that NLP drew upon and are of particularly useful if NLP is used on its own.
There are 17 in our book.
“Develop your mind to develope your life and enjoy the proces”. E.C.Hansen. Ed. Talaiots, Palma de Mallorca
1. People Operate Out Of Their Internal Maps And Not Directly On The Sensory Experience.
This first principle acknowledges that each individual perceives the world from a unique vantage point of his or her own frame of reference (Korzybski). Keeping this principle in mind sensitizes the worker to the individuality of the client. Interventions will be greatly enhanced by tailoring them to fit the clients model of the world. From the vast array of sensory experience people select particular areas and interpret these in terms of their own models of the world. They impose meaning and structure on their experience in terms of what they see, hear, feel, taste and smell directly. Indeed we do not wait passively for sensory experience, we go seeking certain experiences; we listen, look etc. for certain things. We will have more to say about models and maps in the next chapter.
2. Mind And Body Are Part Of One Cybernetic System.
All external and internal behavior are part of one recursive system. As such ‘external behavior is part of the ‘internal thinking’ and the ‘internal thinking’ is part of the ‘external behavior.’ The structure of the ‘internal subjective experience’ can be monitored through its external components, the internal experience being sequences of the five senses. The five senses, what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell, are the basic building blocks of experience.
3. People Make The Best Choice For Themselves At Any Given Moment.
This does not mean that a person always makes a choice that other people would consider the best. What it does say is that from a person’s own individual frame of reference and life history, even a so-called problem behavior or feeling is the best choice the person has learned to make in a particular circumstance. In increasing the choices that people have, the choices have to be practically available to that person’s own model for them to be real choices for that person. If they are not compatible with the individual’s own model then they would not become real choices for that person although to the outside observer they look as though they are options. The actual choices made will indicate where particular blocks exist and where additional choices would be useful.
4. The Positive Self Worth Of The Client Is Held Constant.
A distinction is made between self, intention and behavior that the person engages in. This allows the intentions and behaviors to be explored and improved relative to their usefulness and effectiveness while maintaining support for the person as a unique individual. It is not that one is right and the other is wrong or one is accurate and the other inaccurate. It is rather that they represent accurately different parts of that person’s model of the world. This is an important aspect of communication.
5. The Explanation Or Metaphor Used To Relate Facts About A Person Is Not The Person.
This includes the client’s explanation and ideas about themselves as well as the worker’s ideas, theories. This principle is particularly important in the area of assessment. The minute after a formal assessment is completed it is out of date. As people change, the circumstances change and assessment has to be updated. Even the most consistently updated assessment is still not the person. It is only as useful as it usefully facilitates successful interventions to produce the outcomes agreed by the client and worker. The dangerous situation can arise whereby we respond to the assessment rather than the person. Conferences, meetings, case files, can all discuss the map they have made rather than the person.
6. Comunication is at the Multilevel: verbal and non – verbal also others levels of comunication.
There are many messages sent simultaneously during any communication. There are verbal and non- verbal components, there are multilevels in each. As theorists grew more aware of the non-verbal components, a debate ranged over which was the real message and therefore, which one should be responded to as opposed to the other. We consider it disrespectful to the whole person to view things in this way. As we concern ourselves with the whole person all messages received from that person should be respected. Increasing our own skills in multilevel communications will enable us to further improve our work with the whole person. Bringing the two messages together by pointing out consciously to somebody that their body does not match what they say is not respectful of the fact the client chooses to give the two messages independently. This superficial way of dealing with different levels of communication is rather clumsy and disrespectful of the subtlety of the client’s communication.
7. Teach Choice and he will see opportunities out there
This principle follows on principle 2, namely that people make the best choice themselves. In addition to this principle, we have a sub category that states that you should always leave a client, or an individual, at least no worse off than when you found them, and at best, better off than when you found them. Some behaviors, attitudes or feelings that people consider negative or bad may at some point in the future be useful for that person to be able to choose. In the mean time a new choice if more appropriate will be chosen. To take the old choice away, however, would be to debilitate the person in a possible future situation. It is therefore important to add to choice and not as behavior modifiers do substitute one choice for another. Our aim in our work is not just to substitute choice and therefore keep individuals equally limited as to the flexibility they have.
8. The Resources The Client Needs Lie Within Their Personal History.
For the vast majority of people, a great variety of possible behaviors have been experienced, either first hand through their direct interaction with others or through their observations of the behavior of others. This observation can be through seeing others in day-to-day life, through media and television, books and through their imagination (fantasy can be as useful as external experience). These resources are potentials of future behavior, attitudes etc. Our role in helping people is to enhance these resources in order to accomplish the desired changes.
9. Meet The Client At Their Own Model Of The World.
To set off on a journey to anywhere , you have to start from where you are. The old joke of a stranger asking a farmer the best way to the nearest town and being told by the farmer that he would be better starting from some where else is relevant at this point. If we aim to help an individual, family, organization etc. move in a certain direction then we have to start from where they are and then move on. The concept of rapport is crucial in meeting others at their model of the world not just verbally but non-verbally. Following this principal of matching the clients model will help sensitize the individual to their model of the world and greatly facilitate the level of rapport; and therefore the level of co-operation in whatever work is undertaken.
Estif C Hansen, has been coach of top athletes, teaching NLP for more than a decade, Sistemic Terapist and Social Worker at the UIB University and estudied Psicology at the Nacional Spain University UNED
Estif Hansen, Trainer NLP – Master Coach, Manager Excel Coaching Institut Palma de Mallorca
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