Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

What is NLP?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes.

NLP therapists work with people to understand their thinking and behavioral patterns, emotional state, and aspirations. By examining a person’s map, the therapist can help them find and strengthen the skills that serve them best and assist them in developing new strategies to replace unproductive ones. This process can help individuals in therapy reach treatment goals.

Modeling, action, and effective communication are key elements of neuro-linguistic programming. The belief is that if an individual can understand how another person accomplishes a task, the process may be copied and communicated to others so they too can accomplish the task.

Proponents of neuro-linguistic programming propose that everyone has a personal map of reality. Those who practice NLP analyze their own and other perspectives to create a systematic overview of one situation.

Supporters of NLP claim the approach produces fast, lasting results and improves understanding of cognitive and behavioral patterns. NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Some advocates of NLP compare the approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but assert positive changes may be made with NLP in less time.

Since its creation, neuro-linguistic programming has been used to treat a wide range of issues. These include:

- Anxiety, phobias, and panic
- Communication issues
- Posttraumatic stress
- Depression
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity
- Addiction
- Schizophrenia
- Obsessions and compulsions
- Borderline personality

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