NLP was created for the first time in the year 1970. John Grinder and Richard Bandler were its creators. They had claimed that NLP had theories, principles, practices, methods and techniques of three varied fields, namely, linguistics, computer science, and neurology.
NLP has often been defined as a ‘modeling excellence’. Some also define it as the art and science of useful and productive communication. Others call it ‘the study of the structure of subjective experience.’
NLP, however, has never enjoyed much support from the faculty of psychology. Skeptical psychologists have long ago written NLP off as a pseudo-scientific approach to psychotherapy. A recent survey shows that professionals are dealing with mental wellness rate NLP as a psychotherapeutic method of disputable merit and authenticity.
Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy is an application that has emerged as an offshoot of NLP. United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy recognizes this form.
History of NLP
Richard Bandler, a student of Santa Cruz University, California, had been appointed by psychiatrist Robert Spitzer to teach drums to Spitzer’s son. Soon he was engaged in a different project for Spitzer and transcribed the recorded therapeutic sessions of therapist Fritz Perls. During this process, it appeared to Bandler that he could identify certain sentence and word structures that helped in the acceptance of the positive advice and suggestions offered by Perls. With this revelation, Bandler went to the linguist and teacher John Grinder. Then the Bandler-Grinder duo created a model named the ‘Meta Model’. They claimed this to be a model of (a) powerful and persuasive word structures and (b) the way in which those work. They then modeled the sessions of the therapist.
Bandler and Grinder published a book named ‘The Structure of Magic’ in the year 1975. This book contained a detailed description of their work and also declared that it was possible to break down and encode the therapeutic procedures of therapists Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir. They told that even if a therapy appeared magical and extraordinary, it always followed a identifiable structure, which could be learned by anybody.
Soon they got introduced to Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist from America. Erickson was a founding member of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis. He had one of the most unconventional and controversial approaches to psychological therapy. He could make the favorite phrases, the past, the convictions, the ideals, the family and cultural background and even the neurotic habits of a patient, his tools for helping the patient change. He treated the unconscious mind as a precious, contributive, creative and positive medium (in much the same way Derren Brown uses the unconscious of his subjects to make it appear that he is controlling their minds). Soon Bandler and Grinder had Erickson as the third model for NLP.
The founder-duo claimed that NLP was a faculty of communication in addition to a therapeutic technique and soon began its marketing as a business instrument.
The present day finds NLP as a profitable industry. Numerous forms of the concept are applied in books, workshops, audio programs and seminars as theories and exercises aimed at influencing emotional and behavioral transformations. Derren Brown uses NLP as part of his act; videos are available online that show Derren using NLP to influence the behavior of his subjects. These are amazing to watch, and show how people can be easily suggestible.