Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) is aimed at enhancing the healing process by changing the conscious and subconscious beliefs of patients about themselves, their illnesses, and the world. These limiting beliefs are "reprogrammed" using a variety of techniques drawn from other disciplines including hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.
Neurolinguistic programming has been used to change the limiting beliefs of patients about their prospects of recovery from a wide variety of medical conditions including Parkinson's disease, AIDS, migraines, arthritis, and cancer. Practitioners claim to be able to cure most phobias in less than one hour, and to help in making lifestyle changes regarding exercise, diet, smoking, etc. NLP has also been used to treat allergies. In other fields, claimed benefits include improved relationships, communication, motivation, and business performance.
Studying the well-known psychotherapist Virginia Satir, the hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, the anthropologist Gregory Bateson, and others whom they considered "charismatic superstars" in their fields, Grinder and Bandler identified psychological, linguistic and behavioral characteristics that they said contributed to the greatness of these individuals. On the other hand, they found that persons experiencing emotional difficulties could be similarly identified by posture, breathing pattern, choice of words, voice tone, eye movements, body language, and other characteristics.
Grinder and Bandler then focused on using these indicators to analyze and alter patterns of thought and behavior. After publishing their findings in two books in 1975, Grinder and Bandler parted company with themselves, with a number of other collaborators, and with the University of California, continuing their work on NLP outside the formal world of academia. As a result, NLP split into a number of competing schools.
Popularized by television "infomercial" personality Anthony Robbins and others, NLP was quickly adopted in management and self-improvement circles. During the 1990s, there was growing interest in NLP's healing potential.
In a health-care context, practitioners of neurolinguistic programming first seek to identify the negative attitudes and beliefs with which a client has been "programmed" since birth. This is accomplished by asking questions and observing physical responses such as changes in skin color, muscle tension, etc. Then, a wide variety of techniques is employed to "reprogram" limiting beliefs. For example, clients with chronic illness such as AIDS or cancer might be asked to displace the despair and loss of identity caused by the disease by visualizing themselves in vigorous health. Treatment by NLP practitioners is often of shorter duration than that of other alternative practitioners, but NLP self-help seminars and courses can be quite expensive.
For those who wish to try self-treatment with NLP, a wide variety of books, audio tapes, and videos are available.
NLP is particularly popular in the self-improvement and career-development fields, and some trainers and practitioners have little experience in its use for healing. Practitioners should be specifically asked about this.
Because NLP is intended to enhance the healing process, it should not be used independently of other healing methods. In all cases of serious illness, a physician should be consulted.
NLP is believed to be generally free of harmful side effects.
Research and general acceptance
Although some physicians and mental health practitioners employ principles of neurolinguistic programming, the field is generally considered outside of mainstream medical practice and academic thinking.
Association for NLP. PO Box 78, Stourbridge, UK DY8 2YP.
International NLP Trainers Association, Ltd. Coombe House, Mill Road, Fareham, Hampshire, UK PO16 0TN. (044) 01489 571171.
Society of Neuro-Lingustic Programming. PO Box 424, Hopatcong, NJ 07843. (201) 770-3600.
"Neurolinguistic Programming." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/neurolinguistic-programming
"Neurolinguistic Programming." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Retrieved October 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/neurolinguistic-programming
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.