Is NLP training for you or will it be effective for you? To have an answer for this question let’s discuss what actually NLP is and what are the pros and cons of it. NLP is the abbreviation of “Neuro-linguistic Programming”. It is a behavioral modification technique that works on the basis of the connection between Neuro (Brain) and linguistics (language) and its effects on the human behavior, skills, thoughts, the way of perceiving the world and responding to certain situations. NLP trainers believe that this training can help the person with mediocre abilities to improve his/her abilities in a certain field by “modeling” or absorbing the skills and behaviors of the geniuses in that field. This training helps the people to better understand themselves by a considerable increase in self-awareness and changing their behavioral patterns and mindsets to achieve a higher goal.

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This technique was first introduced in 1970’s by John Grinder, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an undergraduate student Richard Bandler.  They began their NLP by modeling three geniuses Fritz Perez, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. The skills of all three of them were modeled into Grinder and Bandler as they absorbed the unconscious patterning inherent in them and gave the description of their behaviors without being provided any conscious description from the geniuses and hence NLP was born.

This technique was first introduced in 1970’s by John Grinder, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an undergraduate student Richard Bandler.  They began their NLP by modeling three geniuses Fritz Perez, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. The skills of all three of them were modeled into Grinder and Bandler as they absorbed the unconscious patterning inherent in them and gave the description of their behaviors without being provided any conscious description from the geniuses and hence NLP was born.

This technique was first introduced in 1970’s by John Grinder, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an undergraduate student Richard Bandler.  They began their NLP by modeling three geniuses Fritz Perez, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. The skills of all three of them were modeled into Grinder and Bandler as they absorbed the unconscious patterning inherent in them and gave the description of their behaviors without being provided any conscious description from the geniuses and hence NLP was born.

This technique was first introduced in 1970’s by John Grinder, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an undergraduate student Richard Bandler.  They began their NLP by modeling three geniuses Fritz Perez, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. The skills of all three of them were modeled into Grinder and Bandler as they absorbed the unconscious patterning inherent in them and gave the description of their behaviors without being provided any conscious description from the geniuses and hence NLP was born.

          A definition of NLP provided by John Grinder, appears in Oxford Dictionary as: "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior."

NLP

NLP Modelling:

          Modeling is an integral part of NLP as it allows oneself to recreate the excellence and skills acquired by an expert. What was different from the attempts made before was rather than merely copying the behavior or skill, one master the psychology, specific thoughts and beliefs that underlie that specific behavior. As described above Grinder and Bandler did not attempt to copy their behavior but to understand the thoughts and psychology behind them.

           The difficulty in modeling is that usually, excellence is unconscious, you cannot describe how you walk, write or stand, but you simply have excelled in these skills. Similarly, when asked to an expert about their success, everyone has his own different theory of success which may include irrelevant habits and superstitions. NLP modeler has to sieve the required thoughts and beliefs underlying the skills.

Is NLP a science?

          An NLP trainer, when asked this question, says “yes” and quotes many principles and theories to support his techniques. They refer to its benefits in business and media industries where it is used to increase communication and compel people to understand your thoughts. Although none of the research papers or evidence is ever brought to the scientific society for scrutiny and approval. But on the other hand, when asked to other experts in the fields of psychology and neural sciences they deny its claim of being a science and label it as a pseudo-science. As science is defined as: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” On this criterion, NLP cannot be referred to as a Science, as it is not supported by enough scientific material, experimental practices and laboratory evidence which are the essentials of any science. Moreover, it was also admitted by the founder that NLP is not meant to be tested within more formalised laboratory methodology. He also said that it neither is a treatment nor a therapy, it is merely a method of “optimising individuals”

          Taking Neuroscience as an example, all of the work done in the field till now is collected and observed through rigorous experimentation on the structure, functionality, chemical and hormonal aspects of the brain and also how it process a certain situation like fear for example, and all of the findings are well supported by substantial and empirical scientific material. All of the work in this field is carefully done and observed under very discrete and specialized levels in laboratories and can be reproduced as and when required. But the weakness of NLP lies in not having research, experimentations and substantial supportive material. Most of its controlled trials failed made its claims dubious and faded the interest. Unlike neuroscience which has a wide range of highly specific disciplines, after the founders, no one took its ownership and every trainer took it in the different dimension and created a mess. If any organization or any society takes its ownership and encourages research in it, it may become a specialized science like others, who knows.

Reviews on NLP:

           When you search for NLP on any search engine you will come across two types of reviews. NLP experts discuss some techniques that are helpful in fighting phobias, fears, anxiety, bulimia and performing core transformations and anchoring the state. Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories, a technique used nowadays to remove any traumatic event from the patient's mind. But this technique is believed to be presented by Grinder and Bandler decades ago. Similarly treating bulimia, a psychological disorder in which patients undergo self-induced vomiting and instead of preventing the situation, they are kind of proud of it and do it more often. By using sub-structures of the senses, vomiting can be made more difficult and uncomfortable for them. NLP techniques introduced by Bandler are also helpful in fighting anxiety. It includes noticing your feelings, from where they originate, where they pass from and where they end. This can help you control your feelings and getting rid of the anxiety.

          The other type of reviews found on any search engine is the discredited one. You will find the word like pseudo-science, quasi-religion, cult, and magic or in the worst comments, it is also referred to as fraud and scam. Scientific reviews say that this technique is only based on anecdotes and personal testimony. Many literature reviews have failed to prove NLP’s assumptions or effectiveness as a therapeutic method.

Is Nnlp_manLP for me?

          In my personal opinion (or biased as well after reading more of against it than in favor), NLP is definitely not a methodology I would invest my money or time in. Although we have some positive responses as well, yet it has not yet proven its scientific effectiveness. As discussed above no organization or society owns this technique and also there is no authority in the world that regulates the practices or contents being taught or that can certify any person to practice. Uncertified persons may prove fatal as we cannot distinguish between the real master and the quack having nothing but false claims under his belt. Every person linked to NLP has his own methods, techniques and set of rules and procedures. There is no “Perfect Procedure” for it as most of its controlled trials failed and the methodologies we see being practiced by the modelers are completely and utterly based on personal testimony and thinking. There are not enough scientific evidence underlying NLP to persuade me or that can prove its worth as a therapeutic or skill enhancer technique.

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