Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the early 1970s by John Grinder and Richard Bandler at the University of California at Santa Cruz. They observed that people with similar education, training, background and experience were achieving widely varying results, ranging from wonderful to mediocre.

They wanted to know the secrets of effective people. What makes them perform and accomplish things. They were especially interested in the possibility of being able to duplicate the behavior, and therefore the results, of these highly effective individuals.

They started studying how successful people communicate (verbal language, body language, eye movements, and others). By modeling successful behavior, they created patterns of thinking that assisted in the subject’s success. They theorized that the brain can learn the healthy patterns and behaviors and that this would bring about positive physical and emotional effects.

The basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect our inner, subconscious perceptions. If our words and perceptions are inaccurate, they will create an underlying problem as long as we continue to use and think them. Our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The NLP process starts by analyzing the words and phrases you use when describing your concerns about a problem. It is important to analyze all forms of communication including facial expressions and body movements. When you determine the errors in your perception, you will be able to understand the root cause. Then you can remodel your thoughts and mental associations to fix your preconceived notions. These preconceived notions may be keeping you from achieving the success you deserve.

How Does Neuro-Linguistic Programming Work?

NLP uses self image and attitude to effect change and promote healing. Hope is our greatest asset. It is one of the main reasons why placebos work. We also know prayer can be effective when combined with faith and hope. When someone loses hope and feels helpless, the body may just “quit trying.” When you become aware of your unique abilities and possibilities, you can begin to see things differently and take different actions.

NLP is based on presuppositions which emphasize concepts that work, as opposed to ones that should work. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different. Flexibility is the key element in any system. The person most likely to do well responds to changing (or unchanging) circumstances appropriately. NLP is concerned with getting results.


Presuppositions are beliefs that you will find useful when effecting change, both in yourself and in the world.

  • Communication is more than what you are saying.
  • No one is wrong or broken. People work perfectly to accomplish what they are currently accomplishing.
  • People already have all the resources they need.
  • Behind every behavior is a positive intention.
  • Every behavior is useful in some context.
  • The meaning of communication is the response you get.
  • If you aren’t getting the response you want, try something different.
  • There is no such thing as failure. There is only feedback.
  • Having choice is better than having no choice at all.
  • In any system, the element with the most flexibility exerts the most influence.
  • The map is not the territory.
  • If someone can do something, anyone can learn it.
  • You cannot fail to communicate.