There are a variety of influences for NLP, which first appeared in the early 1970s when an Associate Professor from the University of California, Santa Cruz, John Grinder, teamed up with an undergraduate Richard Bandler.
Modelling is the core activity in NLP, and the influences for this come from three pioneering therapists - Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, Virginia Satir, the family therapist, and Milton Eriksson, the ground-breaking hypnotherapist. Each of these three were working as agents of change in the domain of therapy.
Grinder and Bandler used these NLP influences as their models. Instead, Grinder and Bandler observed and absorbed the patterning inherent in the work of the three, and then provided a description of it.
In 1975 Grinder and Bandler first presented their ideas to the world in two written volumes "Structure of Magic I and II." In these books they presented the synthesis of their ideas, showing how these models were transferable to others, and how learners could us the ideas and models in their own work.
They also offered training courses in the application of their models, allowing people in fields such as communication, behaviour and change to learn how they could apply these skills to successfully effect change.