The History of NLP

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a set of techniques and tools used to understand and change human behaviour and communication. It is based on the idea that language and behaviour are interconnected, and that by changing the way we communicate and behave, we can change our thoughts and emotions.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) was developed in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Some of the psychologists and therapists that Bandler and Grinder are known to have modelled include Fritz Perls, the founder of gestalt therapy; Virginia Satir, a family therapist; and Milton Erickson, a pioneer in hypnotherapy. This was in order to understand how they were able to achieve their results.

Bandler and Grinder sought to identify patterns in the language and behaviour of these successful individuals, and to develop techniques based on these patterns that others could use to improve their own communication and personal development.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who were both students at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Bandler was studying mathematics and computer science, while Grinder was studying linguistics.

The pair became interested in the idea of modelling human excellence, and began studying the language and behaviours of successful therapists, educators, and leaders in order to identify the patterns and strategies they used to achieve their success. They then developed NLP as a method for replicating and teaching these patterns and strategies to others.

Bandler and Grinder initially focused on developing NLP techniques for improving communication and personal development, but the scope of NLP has since expanded to include a wide range of applications in fields such as business, coaching, education, and therapy.

Bandler and Grinder also studied the language and behaviours of other successful individuals, such as social activist Mahatma Gandhi and the motivational speaker Anthony Robbins.

By studying and modelling the language and behaviours of these individuals, Bandler and Grinder were able to identify the patterns and strategies they used to achieve their success, and develop NLP techniques for replicating and teaching these patterns and strategies to others.

NLP has evolved over time, and there are now many different practitioners and trainers who teach NLP techniques and methods. However, the basic principles and techniques of NLP were developed by Bandler and Grinder in the 1970s.

In the 1980s and 1990s, NLP became increasingly popular as a personal development and coaching tool, and was adopted by a wide range of organizations and individuals such as Tony Robbins.

NLP has continued to be used and studied by many people and organizations around the world, and has been integrated into a variety of fields, including business, education, and therapy. Today, NLP is recognized as a popular and influential approach to personal development and communication, although its effectiveness and scientific basis continues to be debated.

Fritz Pearls – Gestalt therapist Click to buy book

Virginia Satir – family therapist Click to buy book

Milton Erickson – hypnotherapist Click to buy book

It was from these three that much of the initial NLP work was created – perhaps most importantly and significantly the 'meta-model' – a methodological use of language to both elicit information and expand the subject’s experience of reality. It was from the use of the meta-model that most of what we have in NLP came about.

Shortly after Bandler and Grinder got together they were joined by others who had varying degrees of input into NLP creation and direction. They include Robert Dilts, Judith Delozier and Leslie Cameron-Bandler.

The originators and co-developers went on to model the best minds in business, sport and psychology.

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