Revisiting Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) may be thought of as the underground current that runs through many psychotherapies. NLP is a combination of communications theory and psychotherapy. Many psychotherapists use some NLP techniques and ideas, often without even realizing it. NLP posits that we have characteristic ways of responding to people and new experiences based upon unconsciously learned physical, cognitive, and linguistic responses. It further posits that by helping clients reprogram these learned responses, rapid and profound change occurs, often in a few sessions. Now, therapists can heighten their awareness of the NLP tools they already use and add powerful new ones to their repertoire. NLP is not without its critics, however. It has been criticized for lacking internal consistency and using loosely defined terms, among other things.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming includes:

  • Exercises and strategies for resolving conditions, such as compulsions, phobias, addictions, trauma, depression, or guilt
  • Using NLP to enhance learning business and organizational skills
  • In-session transcripts of NLP sessions
  • Recognizing each client’s characteristic way of interpreting information to enable matching the best NLP technique
  • Freeing clients from their limiting beliefs
  • Helping clients hear and utilize negative feedback

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