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What is NLP?

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming, and how does it work?

Changing Your Outer World by Changing Your Inner using NLP

NLP was created by co-founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 70s.  They discovered that by paying attention to what people said and did they could uncover their thought processes and their behavioural patterns, this became known as modelling. 

Today, NLP modelling is a vital part of NLP coaching and NLP training; it is used globally in education, business, sports, health as well as for personal development and transformational change.

NLP has been described as having the USER MANUAL FOR THE BRAIN

N - Neuro

L - Linguistic

P - Programming

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What is NLP Modelling?

By studying people who have succeeded in their specialized fields, people regarded as being geniuses Dr. Bandler and John Grinder discovered that there were patterns of thinking, behavior, and strategies that people used to achieve their successes.  

Often times the geniuses were unaware of how they actually did what they were renowned for.  They had unconscious competencies. Early examples of these geniuses are Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Fritz Perls; they had unconscious competencies that set them apart from others in their fields of expertise. It was Richard and John's attitudes of curiosity that enabled them to identify the genius strategies, code their language patterns, and this allowed them to learn how geniuses did what they did. They then discovered how to teach these genius skills to others.

When asked about what it takes to be a genius, Dr. Richard Bandler replied

"There is nothing special about being a genius. It's just that most people are too lazy to discover exactly what it is that the geniuses do"

It was during their early experimentation and their work with Milton, Virginia, and Fritz that they recognized all of them used language in similar ways that bought about change for their patients. In preparation for meeting and working with Milton that  Richard and John studied hypnosis and discovered just how effective technology for change hypnosis is.  Hypnosis is regarded as an essential skill in the NLP toolbox of skills as it enables behavioral change to be made in very powerful ways.

NLP modelling and hypnosis are often misunderstood. Hypnosis is not about stage hypnosis and having control over a person for the sake of entertainment it's about communication to the part of the person often called the unconscious or subconscious in order through language and techniques make behavioral changes.  It is a skill many are initially skeptical about but with some training and informed knowledge rather than biased uninformed opinions most become impassioned about.  Think of hypnosis as a form of meditation with additional benefits!

Read more about Hypnosis in our blog section


Many think that to model is to copy. NLP modeling is not about copying or mimicry, it's not about personality traits and pigeonholing people, it is about observing and identifying the conscious and unconscious behaviors that can be learned. This includes thought patterns, language patterns, physiological patterns all of which make up how people do what they do.

Between NLP modeling and hypnosis you will have a comprehensive way to learn how to make incredible changes to your personal and professional life.

Using NLP gives you a competitive advantage in every aspect of your life. 

  • NLP gives you more self-awareness

  • NLP gives you behavioral flexibility

  • NLP gives you personal power

  • NLP enables you to become more influential and persuasive 

  • NLP techniques allow you to tap into your subconscious

  • NLP enables you to change habits

  • NLP gives you personal empowerment

  • NLP gives you greater concentration and focus

  • NLP enables you to set and achieve goals

  • NLP helps you gain control over your emotions 

One of the greatest strengths of NLP is that it addresses not only the surface behaviors but also what lies beneath human behavior - the emotional context and the things we learn over time, including habits and beliefs.


NLP techniques and tools enable you to get in touch with underlying programs that drive human behavior. By changing our behavior we can change our actions and by doing so we can change our lives for the better.

  • NLP is like a doorway into your unconscious mind, that allows you to more easily access it and make changes to the way you think and feel.

  • NLP is a collection of methods and techniques that model human experience and communication. 

  • NLP is an attitude of curiosity and a methodology that leaves behind it a trail of techniques.

  • NLP is like being given the user manual to your brain

  • NLP has also been called “The modeling of human excellence”. 

The methods constitute a full range of strategies and a complete and complex toolbox for getting any behavioral gain. 

Does NLP Work?

Some people claim NLP is a pseudoscience or that it doesn't work

The co-creators have never claimed that NLP was a science, however, the many definitions of science put NLP in the ballpark of being science at many levels.


"The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment"


Dr. Bandler and John Grinder have simply recognized human behavior and looked at what people do successfully, and been able to notate and codify it. Through observation and experiment, they produced a systematic study of the structure of human behavior. They studied what works so how can what works be therefore said to not work! Rare claims that NLP doesn't work completely miss the point that NLP is the study of what works.

When you learn NLP with quality training and guidance, you will discover that what works, works very well when you do what works. 

Wherever you see people doing things successfully you will find NLP because NLP is not a thing. It's not real, it's not a cult, it's not anything other than it's just what people do when they do things well.

Some examples of how we use NLP to model are:

  • If someone had a fear of something and got over it, how did they do it?

  • If someone is resilient, how do they do that?

  • In business, if someone is a great negotiator or manager, how do they do what they do so well?

  • If someone is an amazing communicator, what do they do?


Once we know the answers to these questions, we can model and teach others to do what they can.

There is no pseudoscience, there is just common sense logic which took a genius to see it. 

About Dr. Richard Bandler, the genius behind NLP

Dr. Richard Bandler is the co-creator of neurolinguistic programming he is a prolific author and regarded by many as the creator of NLP, he is renowned for being a formidable character, with an incredible intellect and deep understanding of the discipline he created he has a sharp wit and sense of humour, and a unique way of training NLP by demonstrating what can be done by doing it.


NLP is experiential, not theoretical, some can talk about it - but the difference which makes the difference is those that can demonstrate the tools and technologies of NLP.

Richard Bandler co trains with John LaValle and Kathleen LaValle. They run Licensed NLP certification courses around the world. John LaValle is the President of the Society of NLP.  


The Society of NLP is the oldest and most established professional body organizing NLP courses. Its licensed trainers are all fully qualified and experienced in their own right within the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

How do I become an NLP Practitioner?

Becoming an NLP Practitioner, what does this mean?

The Society of NLP authorizes training under strict license conditions; its licensed trainers are eligible to offer training to NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner levels. 

The NLP practitioner learns the foundation skills of NLP, and the NLP master practitioner builds upon these skills.

Some NLP training companies also offer licensed certification training as an NLP Coach and NLP Business Practitioner. These specialized programs have to be authorized by the Society of NLP.

How do I decide who to do my NLP training with?

Selecting your NLP Practitioner training company 

Only licensed training companies licensed by The Society of NLP provide accredited certification where the students, upon completing their training receive a Society certificate countersigned by Dr. Bandler and John LaValle and the NLP MasterCLASS trainers with the approved Society seal.

Regrettably, there are training organizations offering unapproved NLP training, as in any industry there will be people who want to take shortcuts or cash in on an opportunity. As training is an investment in time and money, be sure to check the credentials and authenticity of your trainers.

Tips on what to avoid

  1. Indications of unapproved training can be over-exaggerated and unverified claims such as being  "The countries number one NLP training company." Really? According to whom.

  2. Claiming that small groups mean better training. NLP is experiential and that means working with as many people as possible so you discover how diverse humans are and how effective the techniques are. In a small group, there is limited interaction and the group sizes are more a reflection of poor marketing than an added benefit.

  3. A focus on academic work. NLP is experiential in theory there is no difference between theory and practice. However in practice there is a world of difference.

  4. A lack of demonstrations - NLP is best learned when you see change happening in the training room. Check your trainers have been out there in the world running successful coaching, therapy, businesses whatever it is they are training, and make sure they have a successful track record and aren't just training. In NLP this is called going there first; it's when we "walk the walk"

  5. Avoid the cut-price bucket shop deals. You pay for what you get. Value the experience of your trainers and it will be worth the investment. 

  6. Trainers claiming they are "Master Trainers" or holding titles such as "Master and Trainer of NLP". This simply means they have taken a Master Practitioner and then a Trainers course, it does not mean they are a Master Trainer. 

  7. A Licensed Master Trainer is a status only achieved by delivering an outstanding contribution to the field of NLP and can be awarded only by Dr. Bandler himself. As Dr. Bandler once stated "the difference between a Licensed Master Trainer and others claiming to be Master Trainers is that Licensed Master Trainers have been vouched by me and the others have a colour printer."

When selecting your NLP trainers look for the following criteria.

  1. Qualified accredited training 

  2. Experience in the use of NLP as a coach, therapist, or consultant.

  3. The training is experiential; and it includes live demonstrations. Avoid theoretical training with an over-emphasis on academia and online content. Study and online are useful but nothing beats putting what you learn into practice.

  4. Ensure the training includes hypnosis. Hyposis is a foundation skill in the NLP toolbox, if it's not demonstrated and taught then it's not NLP.

How can I use NLP?

What do NLP Practitioners do with their newfound skills?

Once you have qualified in NLP you can use it for any number of things. Some of the many possibilities include:

  • Helping people to unlock their potential and unleash their natural skills 

  • Becoming a life coach or counseling practitioner

  • Life planning for yourself or with your clients

  • Performance coaching for any kind of role in the workplace, whether business executive, tradesman, manager, teacher etc. 

  • Helping people with stress management and burn-out recovery.

  • Opening your own therapy or counseling practice, whether working individually or in a support group modality.

NLP is the study of human excellence for goal setting and creating desired outcomes so you can live a life of success on your terms.


Choose your NLP Mastery Growth Path and discover how easy it is to transform your life with NLP

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