Neuro Linguistic Programming

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  • Topic: Neuro-linguistic programming, John Grinder, Richard Bandler
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History of Neuro Linguistic Programming


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 professor of linguistics. Bandler joined the group of Grinder-followers and they became friends. 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....
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