NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

NLP is a specialised set of techniques used by life coaches, therapists and change facilitators where the ‘Neuro’ stands for the brain and refers to the way we gather information from the outside world with our five senses; ‘Linguistic’, the study of language and refers to the way we make sense of that information by organising it into the structure of language and ‘Programming’ which as we know is a set of instructions to control something so in this case it refers to the way our interpretations of the world control our actions, choices and behaviours in day-to-day life. NLP teaches us that by changing or reprogramming how we make sense of the world, we can then adjust our behaviours and actions in order to make the most of ourselves and our lives.

By harnessing the power of language, NLP life coaches break down the subconscious barriers we all unknowingly create for ourselves over time and habit. NLP is considered by many to be one of the most useful and accessible tools to come from modern psychology.

How can NLP help?

Because it is essentially a tool-kit for the mind, NLP can help all areas of life. It is particularly effective for improving the following situations:

Stress management, improve empathy and communication skills, resolve destructive relationship patterns and encourage clients to move out of their comfort zones towards fuller, happier, and infinitely more satisfying lives.

How do life coaches use NLP?

We convey meaning in a wide variety of different ways both verbally and non-verbally in our language – through pitch, tone, volume, pace, facial expressions, body language and of course words. Most of this is communicated unconsciously. Life coaches specialising in NLP are trained to pick up on these subtle clues that give clues to how their clients are really feeling and interacting with their environment. By unveiling their clients’ unique maps of the world (how they see the world), life coaches can identify any self-imposed restrictions and then help to challenge them.

The three main types of limiting beliefs are thought to be:

  • worthlessness
  • hopelessness
  • helplessness.

By thinking thoughts such as: ‘I’m not good enough’, or ‘other people are better than me’, you set yourself up for failure. Taking a defeatist attitude can really limit your experiences and your accomplishments.

As an NLP life coach I assist you in uncovering these limiting beliefs by asking the following questions:

  • Why do you feel undeserving of happiness or success?
  • Why can’t you succeed?
  • What is preventing you from succeeding?

These questions can help to reveal the thoughts and feelings that cause the limiting beliefs. We will then start to explore and challenge these limiting beliefs in a bid to help transform them.

What to expect in an NLP session

Although different coaches may have different practices, the standard NLP session will follow the same basic pattern:

1. You will be asked to state what you want to change and what problems you want to overcome. My job is to pay close attention to what you say and how you say it, and tailor questions according to your responses.

2. I will work through different exercises with you in order to piece together your map of the world and introduce new thought processes in order to widen your boundaries and territories. All you will be required to do is sit back and relax – there will never be any physical contact, aside from a quick touch of the knuckle in some exercises.

3. You will probably be given a few exercises to take away with you and practice. This will help you get accustomed to the techniques you learnt during your NLP session. Although the main neurological changes will have occurred during the session itself, they may need to settle in and develop as you subsume the new changes into the routine of your life.

4. In your next session, you will be asked to report any changes you’ve noticed and then, when you’re ready, move on to the next change you want to make.

NLP is so popular because it is future-focused. It explores future possibilities and solutions, rather than encouraging you to dig up your past. NLP is about adding choices and widening perceptions rather than dwelling for too long on the problems.

Irish Institute of NLP Accredited Life & Business Coach

Irish Institute of NLP