History of NLP


NLP Founders

Whilst traditional psychotheraputic approaches have a long history, the history of NLP is quite recent in that it only began 35 years ago, and you may be familiar with the following people who are credited with developing and promoting NLP:

  • John Grinder; originally assistant professor of linguistics at university of California.
  • Richard Bandler; originally student of psychology at university of California.
  • Fritz Perls; innovative psychotherapist and originator of the school of therapy known as Gestalt.
  • Virginia Satir; family therapist.
  • Milton Erickson; Internationally acclaimed hypnotherapist.
  • Gregory Bateson; Anthropologist and writer on systems theory and communication.

From these beginnings in the 1970’s NLP developed in two complementary directions. Firstly as a means of discovering and using personal excellence, and secondly as a means of discovering and using the communications patterns of other peoples excellence.

We like to think of NLP as the art of science and personal excellence. Art because everyone brings their unique personality and style to what they do, and this can never be adequately explained in words or techniques. Science because there is a method and process behind achieving change and new outcomes. Personal excellence because it IS possible to do things so elegantly and effortlessly that it takes your breath away, and you are able to have more of that.

NLP for Personal Excellence

As a social species, we share a genetic trait common with many other social mammals: that is the drive to get along with other people. Put several strangers in a room together and pretty soon they’ll start talking to one another. We learn the skills of getting along with others right from birth and one of the ways we do it is by doing the same things they do. I’m sure everyone will have had the experience of hearing small children watching an adult doing a task and saying “me help, me help” and trying to do it the same way the adult does. In NLP terminology this is called modelling.

Modelling is recognising another persons behaviours, body language and communication patterns, trying them on oneself and becoming so proficient that the process becomes unconscious.

Modelling is a foundation stone of NLP and will help you achieve personal excellence. By using your mind and body in the same way as a peak performer you can immediately increase the quality of your actions and results.

It is possible to model any behaviour by understanding the beliefs, values, physiology, specific thought processes and strategies that combine to make up that behaviour.

Personal excellence can also be defined as being successful in life. There are people who seem to conduct their business affairs, careers and personal relationships with an effortless ease. People like this are called successful.

NLP provides strategies to achieve greater success in all areas positively influencing other people, always getting an agreement, being able to manage conflict situations and come out on top. Developing the resources to eliminate negative emotions, beliefs and decisions, knowing what you really want and feeling motivated are all key components of personal excellence.


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