What is NLP?


Neuro: refers to the mind and the senses with which we experience the world.

Linguistic: refers to our language verbal and non-verbal involved in our communication.

Programming: refers to strategies, habits or patterns that we make use of in our day to day lives.


Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a cutting edge branch of psychology with applications for coaching, psychotherapy, sports, business, sales, and behavioural health.

NLP is based upon some basic philosophical tenets about human nature.  These aren’t necessarily universal truths, but rather are useful ways of thinking about people and self-improvement.  Here are a few………..

…. People do not operate on reality.  They operate on their internal maps of reality.  These maps are always imperfect.  NLP  helps us understand our maps and improve them.

…. Human thoughts, behaviours and feelings have structures, or patterns.   NLP improves those structures, so that people have increased flexibility in their thinking, behaviour, and feelings.

…. Self-improvement methods are not useful, lasting, or effective if they conflict with a person’s core needs and values.   NLP teaches people to honour their needs and values in order to feel congruent about the changes they make.

…. The causes of some behaviours and emotions lie outside conscious awareness.   NLP works with both the conscious mind and the ‘subconscious’ mind, through hypnotic processes.

…. People communicate both verbally and non-verbally.   NLP helps people to better understand the meaning of both kinds of communication.

…. People have the internal resources they need to make the changes they desire.   NLP helps people access these resources.

…. Most behaviours, even problematic ones, are based on underlying positive intentions, which may reside in the unconscious mind.   NLP brings about insights that explain these underlying motivations.


NLP is based on communication patterns and structured cognitive exercises that combine conversation, hypnotic language, trance work, metaphor, visualisation, physical movement, breathing and posture.   NLP is ‘process’ oriented.   NLP helps people change their behavioural-cognitive-emotional ‘states’, so they can alter their behaviours to those that serve them better.

None of us are perfect, and that’s OK. We are all different and experience the world in a way that is unique to each and every one of us. How we view our world depends upon our life experiences, past and present and the emotions we attach to them. Some of these emotions work well for us, yet others are less helpful and may actually be problematic when they contribute to unwanted behaviours, stresses, anxieties or fears.

If we understand that our brain makes the best choice it can for us according to the information that is available, then we can start to understand that not only are we influenced in part by unconscious thought patterns, but that by increasing our knowledge and the options available to us, we are able to make better choices in our lives.

NLP enables us to understand why we respond the way we do in certain circumstances, when others respond differently. By understanding the ‘difference’ we can create a strategy to enable us to move away from unhelpful behaviours and towards a more positive future

The good news is that everybody can effect change in their lives, it is often simply about creating, or discovering resources within ourselves and making more informed choices. This may involve revisiting the past in order to gain a greater understanding, examining what we do in the present, and in most cases looking to the future with positive intent and with the tools to create a brighter future.