NLP – Strategies and tools for rapid mental and behavioral change that serve your goals
Reality is personal; everything is experienced through a sort of filter system that our genetics and experiences form over time. Everything we experience is really an interpretation of sensory inputs; the signals bombard us through our eyes, skin, ears, nose and mouth, and millions of sensory neurons in our gut, lungs, muscles and joints. We make sense out of it as we can, and call it reality. But the interpretation is something we can change at will, if we know how. The first tenant of NLP is – “The Map is not the Territory”, meaning that our internal representation of reality is by definition partial and incomplete – and can either help or hinder us depending on how well it facilitates our walk through life. We don’t get a user’s manual for the brain, we just assume that we are using it correctly as we grow up. As we mature, we become aware that some people seem to be running their brains better than others. We develop strategies or behaviors for responding to the world around us. And we get locked into behaviors that sometimes are not serving us well at all.
Do you have ways of dealing with the world that you would change if you could? Would you like to be excited about activities you now avoid, or motivated to change patterns of behavior that no longer serve your greater good? NLP began as a study of successful strategies for psychotherapy, and focussed on three very effective therapist who could bring about rapid change and healing in patients, but seemingly had no idea of how they accomplished that outcome. In studying the methods of these therapist, Richard Bandler and John Grinder began to see common language patterns used by them to get inside their patient cognitive processes and make change for the better. That led to exploring the nature of cognitive or thought processes to answer the question – what is the nature of thought, both conscious and unconscious? They rapidly came to understand that thought is a construct of our sensory inputs and that language is a primary component of our experience. The words we use internally to represent a situation or circumstance elicit our behavior in that event. In fact, words are abstract symbols we use to represent very large patterns of images, sounds, sensations – both touch and internal, smells and tastes and the gut feelings that make up much of what we experience as emotions.
An example of that would be to imagine that you are swimming in the warm Australian waters over a beautiful reef, and you hear the word “Shark!”. By now you have already undergone a cascade of images, sounds and emotions just from reading this line – you may be nearly unaware of it or you may have felt a huge shudder of dread, depending on your experience. The point is that it was completely internal – you were not there in reality – yet a single word elicited a vast pattern of internal experience and perhaps strong emotion.
As they shared this understanding of language and thought with others of similar interests, methods of therapy began unfolding rapidly. NLP began expanding in many directions, but all related to the concrete understanding of how the brain catalogs and interprets our sensory experience. Many Psychiatrist and Psychologists became practitioners of these developing therapeutic strategies and certification programs developed to train practitioners. The NLP community produced a vast catalog of rapid phobia cures, mental/visual patterns to effect rapid emotional change, word/language patterns to ‘reframe’ an experience to make it less powerful, strategies to create rapport with others very quickly and ever so much more. There are even techniques for change based on ‘timelines’ – the methods we humans use to distinguish events of the past from those of the present or imagined events in the future.
The purpose of this category is to present the tools available to change our thinking, our feelings and our attitudes for the better. This tool, Neuro-linguistic Programming or NLP is a powerful collection of tools to rapidly and permanently change the way our brain works, if we want such a change. If you have ever wished that with a wave of your hand you could change your experience to better serve you, you should embark on the NLP journey – it will change your life, without hardly trying. For a very comprehensive course from NLP Toolbox Click Here!.
For a great way to see the resources available to learn NLP check out Amazon’s Selection of NLP Books, DVDs and training sites.