What is Neuro-linguistic programming and NLP? Find out Now.

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What is Neuro-linguistic Programming?

Neuro-linguistic programming is a collection of techniques and strategies that can be learned and lead to excellence. NLP explores the connection between neurological processes, language and experiential behaviors that enable success.

Neuro-linguistic programming helps to provide answers to the issues that people struggle with in their daily lives. By learning, practicing and coaching NLP, people can unlock their full potential. In addition, people can enrich the lives of others and help them to answer the questions that they also struggle with.

Definition of  Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

neuro linguistic programmingNeuro deals with the neurological system. NLP is founded on the idea that experiencing the world is through your senses and that these translate sensory information into thought processes, consciously and subconsciously. Thoughts activate the neurological system, and this affects physiology, behavior, and emotions.



Linguistic refers to the use of language to make sense of the world, to conceptualize experience, and to communicate that experience. Linguistics in NLP is the study of how your words and your body language influence experience.


neuro-linguistic programmingProgramming relies heavily on learning theory and addresses how experiences are coded or represented mentally. Your individual programming comprises internal processes and strategies that you use to make decisions, to solve problems, to learn, to evaluate, and to get results. NLP shows how to re-code experiences and how to organize internal programming in order to get the outcomes desired.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is the study of the structure of subjective experience. According to (Stevens, 1980),

“NLP is a detailed operational model of the processes involved in human behaviour and communication model of the processes involved in human behaviour and communication… NLP is not itself a psychotherapy. Its principles can be used to understand, and make changes in any realm of human experience and activity… This technology is detailed and explicit, and can be easily taught and learned.”

The process of neuro-linguistic programming can be derived from its name.

neuro-linguistic programming - your five sensesNLP suggests that all behavior is the result of neurological processes.  These neurological processes are ordered, represented and sequenced into maps and strategies through systems of verbal and non-verbal communication. The various components of this system are programmed to accomplish specific results.  Behaviour is programmed by ordering neural representations of sights, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. All external stimuli are processed through internal representations, and unique outcomes are generated for each stimulus. Our sensory experiences provide the basis for various strategies that are defined for generating and guiding behavior. NLP concentrates on the form, not the content, of behavior.

History and Origins of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

The originators of the NLP model are John Grinder, a former professor of linguistics and Richard Bandler, who was a mathematician who also led Gestalt groups. At the University of California, Santa Cruz in early 1970s these gentlemen sought to delineate the specific communication patterns that enabled various outstanding individuals in psychotherapy to be successful and highly effective. By direct observation and videotape analyses, they analyzed people such as Fritz Perls (Gestalt’s founder), Virginia Satir (family therapist), and Gregory Bateson who was an anthropologist and a social psychologist.

neuro-linguistic programming Virginia Satir.

Virginia Satir

neuro-linguistic Programming Fritz Perls

Fritz Perls

neuro-linguistic programming Gregory Bateson

Gregory Bateson


Their first discovery was that Satir matched her predicates (verbs, adverbs, and adjectives to those of her clients without being aware of doing so. Some clients would use visual predicates mainly, while others used auditory or kinesthetic predicates. This led to the proposition that for any person, one of the senses (seeing, hearing or feeling) is more highly valued and is reflected in the words that he or she selects. When Satir matched her words with the predicates her clients used, the clients appreciated that Satir understood them. This created rapport, which made her interventions more acceptable.

Eye Accessing Cues

Next, Grinder and Bandler discovered eye accessing cues which are movements of the eyes, may indicate whether one is using pictures, words and sounds, or feelings when thinking, remembering or learning.

neuro-linguistic programming

For instance, when a right-handed person looks up towards the left, he is probably remembering visual images.

Subsequently, Grinder and Bandler, after studying Milton Erickson, refined the linguistic patterns used by therapists to effectively influence people’s behaviors.

neuro-linguistic programming four pillars of nlpPillars of NLP

These are the four pillars (foundations) of the neuro-linguistic programming


NLP provides an important gift to build relationships with other people. Rapport can be described as connecting quickly with others. Creating rapport creates trust from others. Rapport can be built quickly through understanding modality preferences, eye accessing cues and predicates.

Sensory awareness

Sometimes when you walk into someone’s home, you notice that the colors, smells, and sounds are subtly quite different from yours. Neuro-linguistic programming enables you to notice that your world is much richer when you deliberately pay attention to your senses wholly.

Outcome thinking

An outcome is your goal for doing something. Outcome connects to thinking about what you want, as opposed to getting stuck in a negative mode of thinking. The principles of outcome approach may help to make the best decisions and choices.

Behavioral flexibility

Behavioral flexibility means being able to do something differently if the way you’re currently doing it isn’t working. Being flexible is a key aspect of practicing NLP. Learning NLP helps you to find fresh perspectives and to build these habits into your repertoire.

Neuro-linguistic Programming Training

The main reasons a person may take an NLP training are to:

  • neuro-linguistic programming skillsBe a powerful and inspiring communicator
  • Be skilled at reading non-verbal cues
  • Increase your subconscious and sensory awareness
  • Master and be in control of your thinking and emotions
  • Alleviate fears and phobias
  • Motivate and empower
  • Develop depth in personal and business relationships
  • Attain success and achievement
  • Rectify unwanted behaviors in yourself and others
  • Effectively communicate and get information from others

Levels of NLP Training

There are many organizations that oversee, organize, and often accredit training centers. All NLP organizations agree to the following levels of NLP training, which can be found at many NLP training centers. However, this does not mean that one can move from training center to training center, hoping to acquire the next level of training. Often training centers have their courses build on the previous course content. Therefore, it is best to either commit to taking all your training at one center or checking with the training centers prior to starting your NLP journey.

NLP Practitioner

neuro-linguistic programming sealNLP Practitioner is the first level of NLP training. There is generally no requirement of NLP experience, and anyone can enroll. An NLP Practitioner training encompasses learning the basic elements of NLP, as well as the techniques of combining these elements to apply them with skill and elegance. This training provides a series of skills and strategies for success, as well as creating value in life. Thus, it includes addressing challenges in relationships, business, family, as well as education. Learning to solve such issues leads to greater personal growth. A quality NLP practitioner course usually involves projects of real-life application of the NLP Skills. These skills help others to overcome fears and phobias, in addition to learning greater confidence.

NLP Master

neuro-linguistic programming master sealAn NLP Master training builds on the Practitioner level material in more depth or adds more complex techniques and models. Some of the key areas addressed include modeling and language. In this level, people develop skills to change beliefs and values in themselves and in others that better fit their lifestyle, family, and work systems. Master training usually covers developments in communication techniques. These may include quantum linguistics, discovery and retraining of the unconscious behavioral competence, and why people think differently and how they do it, which is our individual values. Training may also cover filters to our personality – Meta Programs, which are advanced strategies, advanced NLP sub modalities, mediation skills, and also advanced linguistic negotiation. Each training center has their own set of courses they specialize in. Taking the NLP master course is vital for completely transforming your business, health, as well as relationships. Taking this training enables you to expand and profit in substantial ways.

NLP Trainer

neuro-linguistic programming trainer sealNLP Trainers train NLP Practitioners as well as NLP Master Practitioners. This program enables discovery of your unique identity as a trainer and as a presenter, which is what makes a difference. A person learns how to be confident, which allows them to have fun and be at ease in front of people. This training prepares you to become a charismatic and transformational presenter. It delivers skills and techniques to successfully influence groups, to understand, analyze and coordinate group processes, and also the mastery of skills to be a charismatic presenter. Upon completion, a person is able to present in front of groups of any size with perfect confidence.


Types of Trainings

Traditionally, NLP trainings were conducted in person or a group setting. It was thought that NLP needed to be taught in person to really be understood. However, over the years and with the development of the internet, online training has become more popular and accepted as an effective training style. Additionally, some centers offer a blend of online and private training. There are many benefits to online training as the ability to learn the material and practice it in your daily life before moving on to new material and techniques.

However, as with any neuro-linguistic programming or NLP training, it must fit your personal style and needs. The things to consider when evaluating what training is right for you is:

  • The quality of the material taught
  • Their philosophy and focus
  • Financial affordability
  • Time required to complete the training(s)
  • Credibility of the training center and staff
  • Accreditation and endorsements
  • Support during and after your training

Make sure to ask as many questions as needed to find out if the NLP training center meets your criteria.


iNLP Center

iNLP Center offers a comprehensive NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner, and NLP Trainer program, as well as NLP Life Coach training that will prepare a student for work as an NLP coach, NLP trainer, or to simply enhance their current career.

capStudent Testimonials

"What a fantastic introduction to NLP. This was a great way to get started without getting overwhelmed. These techniques are so simple, I am excited to share what I have learned and to continue learning how to improve myself."
"I love the idea of curiosity and keeping an open mind. The questions you ask yourself will either improve your results or else they won’t. I also love how you went through the self-sabotage in the video – it is so good to be aware of what can hold us back. Thanks for encouraging us to be explorers:)."
"This is a great course with a well structured curriculum. For some time I have considering to take an NLP class, luckily I have found the iNLP center and this online course."
"WOW! At first glance, i thought i was on another planet! Trying to understand and define the meaning of these words. However with the explanation of Mike Bundrant and my full conscious in place. I found it, both understandable, and most informative. Looking forward to learning more."
"I was very impressed with the way Mike handled the “ethics” connundrum. Whenever I hear a discussion of NLP and in particular generating rapport, I also hear the question regarding whether or not this is ethical. This is the first time I’ve heard the clever reframe of learning a foreign language. It’s a great point, because understanding rapport and using it well really is akin to learning and speaking a foreign language. Nice way to handle this!"
"This training made me realize how infrequently I practice creating rapport. I find myself getting annoyed or bored by people who are not speaking on my same passionate wavelength about subjects that really interest me. I also feel intimidated and repressed by those who are speaking passionately about subjects that do not interest me. I will try to notice my avoidance behaviors and replace them with rapport building communication." Read more testimonials
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About Hope Bundrant

Hope Bundrant is the director and co-founder of the iNLP Center. Among being happily married to Mike Bundrant and managing their circus of monkeys, she also finds time to contribute content to this blog. With such a variety of personalities surrounding her, she has been able to develop a keen sense of how to help others become the best they can be. If you have questions, please contact her at hope@inlpcenter.com.

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