NLP is… The art of modeling the form & sequence of internal states, internal computations & external behavior so that any known ability maybe replicated and taught (mostly).
A model is a set of instructions, procedures or steps that allows people to understand how a given talent or ability or can be performed. Models are different that theories. Theories deal with the “why” and not the “how” of experience.
Think about this way: The theory of flight gives you the reason why or why not successful flight will occur. A model airplane either flies or doesn’t fly. Because NLP is a model, it may not always work in theory, but it usually works in practice. And, a model is not the truth, but provides usable information about the truth.
Richard Bandler (one of the guys that created this NLP stuff) defines himself as the world’s best human modeler of unconscious behaviour. His career has been aimed at developing behavioural technologies to help people solve problems and achieve goals. And, I think at its essence, this is really what NLP is about – helping people be, do and have what they want.
In my own practice I’ve seen people change in front of me when they realize what the want is in their grasp. What many people don’t realize is that if they want something and someone else has it, it is available to them through this modeling technology. And, if the model that is currently being used in not working it can be changed or re-modeled into something that works better for that individual.
The reason why someone might opt for this technology instead of counseling, coaching or psychotherapy is that imbedded in the structure of the practice of NLP is teaching the client’s brain how to do the work so that they don’t need to be reminded to be different – In essence teaching them how to fish rather than just giving them a fish.
The process of modeling behavior whether applied to individuals, groups or organizations requires representations of the present state, desired state and resources. That is, the internal and external smells/tastes/picture/sounds & feelings that go along with the present state, desired state and resources.
Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com