What is and how is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) used?

What is and how is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) used?


  • 1 How NLP arises
  • 2 What is NLP and how is it applied?
  • 3 The map is not the territory
  • 4 NLP: Sensory representation systems according to personality
  • 5 Goal: know how to express what you want

How NLP arises

The Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP arises thanks to the research of two young Americans: Richard Bandler (computer scientist) and John Grinder (psychologist and linguist), who wanted to investigate why the treatments of the three therapists of great success in the United States (Virginia Satir, Erik Erikson and Fritz Perls ) were more effective than their colleagues.

After their long investigations, relying on systematic observation, they concluded that the procedure they used with excellent results was the use of a very particular communication pattern.

Based on the data obtained through all their research, Bandler and Grinder developed the system that today is used as a generic learning system or as a therapy: NLP.

Through this system, effective results are achieved, such as: self-motivate and motivate, lose fear, build self-confidence, harmonic interpersonal relationships, pleasant sexual intercourse, leaving bad habits or vices, and even cure some diseases. Bandler and Grinder claim that a well-trained therapist can achieve effective results in their patients with only one or two exercises. This has been one of the characteristics evidenced by NLP, achieving successful results in a short time, unlike other psychotherapeutic systems, in which results are obtained after several years of treatment (psychoanalysis).

Until now, there is no theory that supports what there is a skepticism in the academic sector; However, NLP courses were implemented to train educators and psychologists in the process of human orientation, the results being so effective that being known by competitive businessmen in the economic world, NLP has spread throughout the world for the preparation of managers and human resources to adapt to the changing social context, lead groups of people, creating situations conducive for their employees to develop their full potential.

The NLP, is considered a ideal tool to live in freedom, an objective that humanity wants to achieve since its inception. It is a suitable instrument to transform the vital situations that marked our identity during childhood or adolescence, to rewrite the history of our life, to consciously relive the episodes of our existence. Reliving a traumatic situation allows us to obtain diverse conclusions to be worked through the NLP tool and thus change our future life.

What is NLP and how is it applied?

NLP means Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Programming refers to our ability to produce and apply behavioral programs. Neuro refers to the sensory perceptions that determine our subjective emotional state. Linguistic refers to human media, both verbal and nonverbal.

If the concept is interpreted literally, then you think about computer science and computers. To understand how the process of change occurs, you can imagine the person entering data into the computer (brain) who processes, stores and updates when circumstances require. Data is sensory experiences (what you hear, feel, feel, taste, see). This is processed and stored. When it is necessary to decide on how to act in a given situation, the data is updated and the one who will decide how to make the decision is put before it. NLP starts from a specific sensory experience stored in the brain. The important thing to work with her, is to know the structure and conditions in which the experience was processed and stored.

The map is not the territory

We do not act directly on what we usually call reality, but on a representation of it, which is our personal map. Each person is different therefore each map of reality differs from the map of the other.

Many conflicts arise because we start from the principle that the other has the same references as us, uses the same thought paths and must know what we mean.

The construction of the memory, the structure of the experience are based on our choice of information that we consider useful or relevant depending on the objective or action in progress.

When we communicate with others, we generally do not take into account this selection of information, as clinging as we are to the belief of acting on the same reality as the other, this is a source of misunderstanding and misunderstanding.

NLP: Sensory representation systems according to personality


  • Something stiff posture.
  • Upward movements
  • Superficial and rapid breathing
  • Sharp voice, fast pace, choppy
  • Visual words (see, look, observe)


  • Relaxed posture
  • Telephone listening position
  • Fairly wide breathing
  • Voice well ring, medium pace
  • Auditory words (hey, listen)


  • Very relaxed posture
  • Movements that pamper words
  • Deep and wide breathing
  • Serious voice, slow pace with many pauses
  • Reference to sensations in the choice of words (feel, attend, smell, taste)

The strategies

The observation of the access code sequences allows us to know the strategies. The most notable fact is that we usually have only one activity strategy.

In a strategy they are distinguished Three stages: entry, operations and exit. This observation allows us to know how and with which sensory representation system we are going to present our information, and with what will be represented by another person, since if we respect the sequence of our own and other people's strategies, we will more easily understand what we have to say the other.

Sensory perception thus becomes the starting point of this work tool., correctly perceiving the interior processes is extremely important when we must deal with other people. The seller who insists again and again before a buyer with a hesitant attitude may get the product, but he will have lost a customer. The boss who is not able to recognize the symptoms of future problems among his collaborators will not be able to prevent them from growing and getting worse. A teacher who does not know the way in which his students assimilate his presentations, will not be able to properly direct his learning processes. The lover who does not realize that his beloved needs certain signs to feel loved, will run the risk of losing her and be replaced by someone more attentive. A psychological counselor who fails to identify the problematic states and internal resistance of his clients, will not succeed in his therapies. The first step in NLP, then, is to sharpen perception to avoid misinterpretation.. (Mohl, 1999).


The observation of a series of modifications in a person that evokes a pleasant situation, allows us to obtain a photograph that allows us to recognize when it is in a positive state.

The signs at the visual level are: facial expression (skin muscle tone), skin color, visual access codes, movements, posture.

The auditory signs are: the quality of the voice (tone, rhythm, volume), the choice of words and the content of the speech.

At the kinesthetic level: touches, handshake.


CALIBRATION: A) The interlocutor is asked to think of something that is an important part of his pleasant personal experience. B) Pause. C) Ask him to think of something inconsequential. D) make your calibration. E) Ask questions and try to know if you tell the truth or not. F) After ten questions, change roles.

INFORMATION SELECTION: A) The group is asked to look around distinguishing the number and sequence of colors they can see. B) Ask them to distinguish in sequence the noises they can hear. C) Ask them to feel the sensations of their body and write them down in sequence. D) Comparison of experiences from two to two and in the group.

MEMORIES OF EXPERIENCES: A) A participant (1) asks another (2) to remember a banal and frequent event, describing what he saw; for example, take a bus, enter a cafeteria, etc. A third participant (3) describes it separately. B) Participant 1 asks participant 3 to describe what I hear during the similar activity; while participant 2 does it separately, C) The answers of 2 and 3 are compared. D) 2 and 3 are asked to describe what they felt during the common experience. E) Similarities and differences stand out.

INFORMATION SELECTION: A) A situation arises in which a person quotes another in a place, when he arrives he tells him that he arrived late. B) References are requested for such affirmation. C) The different options are contrasted. Another alternative is to raise the situation of feeling lost in a place you do not know and then ask: How do you know that you are lost ?, How do you try to find the right path again ?, How do you know that you have found it?

COMPARISON OF INFORMATION I: A) The group is interrogated about those who have visited a particular place, until they find at least two that have done so. B) How do you verify that the person has really been there? Which different reference elements does each use? C) Similarities and differences in memory are compared.

COMPARISON OF INFORMATION II: A) Participant 1 explains to participant 2 the details of a problem and its solution, while participant 3 is excluded. B) Participant 2 explains to participant 3 the same, participant 1 is excluded. C) Participant 3 explains the procedure to participants 1 and 2. D) The differences and similarities between the versions are highlighted, studying the similarities in relation to references to representation systems, a value system or beliefs and assumptions

COMPARISON OF INFORMATION III: A) The participant is asked for 1 information about an event that has occurred for a long time and most likely known to everyone, and is asked to provide ample details. B) Participant 2 asks questions about the event. C) Participant 3, asks questions that he has forgotten to ask 2 and completes the answers and provides details of those made by 1. D) Among all the information they choose the ones they consider most useful and classify them in order of importance. E) The group is submitted to complete them and they are classified in relation to: values, beliefs, assumptions, emotions.

Goal: Know how to express what you want

The objective must first be defined. Know the how more than the why, that is, the objective defined in the form of a process and not of rationalization or justification.

Ask yourself:

  • What does he want?
  • How will you know what you have achieved?
  • How will the other person know?
  • What will happen when I have achieved it?
  • What prevents you from getting it?
  • When do you want it?
  • What could I lose by getting it?

You are advised to consider the following:

Accept only positively formulated responses (I want to be thin, instead of not wanting to be fat; kiss me, instead of you you never kiss me; you want to leave, instead of why we don't go out and others).

Prefer the answers expressed in concrete terms (this dress makes me look thinner, instead of the clothes I wear makes me look fat; I like to hear that you love me, instead of you you have never loved me; we can go to the cinema, in place you never take me anywhere and others).

To achieve effective results, you must:

  • Define short, medium and long term objectives.
  • Coordinate the objectives over time.
  • Define the objectives, projecting new stages to the future.