Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP for short, is a therapeutic system of mental exercises that originated at the University of California in the early l970s. Dr Richard Bandler, a mathematician and John Grinder, an expert in linguistics, brought together ideas from other academic disciplines such as psychology and hypnotherapy in an attempt to reach a better understanding of human behaviour.
The result was NLP and their first book on the subject, "The Structure of Magic, I" was published in 1975. Since then the theory had been redefined and continues to evolve through new research.
One of the key concepts behind NLP is that people already have all the resources they need within themselves to achieve their full potential and overcome any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. The emphasis is not on healing in the accepted sense; instead NLP concentrates on unlocking those inner resources through a systematic set of techniques that can be taught. Practitioners believe that we all live in our own unique version - or model - of the world, and that when forced to make a decision we always make the best choice open to us, given our individual perspective and the situation we find ourselves in.
This approach to human behaviour explores the conscious and unconscious processes involved in the way people react and offers the possibility of fast and effective change in organisations as well as individuals. Maintaining that the person with the most flexibility and ability to vary their own behaviour can control the outcome of exchanges with other people, this therapy has often been used to aid personal growth, creative development and improve communicational skills, as well as tackle deep-seated personal problems.