Brief History Of NLP

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) began as the work of John Grinder and Richard Bandler during research done at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during the 1960′s and 1970′s. Working under the direction of social scientist, anthropologists, and linguists.

The aim of the research was to study the methods of the world’s most effective therapists. By “effective,” they aimed to study therapist who demonstrated quantitatively and qualitatively the most success at helping clients actually transform their behaviors. To that point, it was the conviction of Grinder and Bandler that the primary aim was helping clients understand the root of their particular problem.

Therapist studied included Virginia Satir (pioneer in the area of Family Therapy), Fritz Pearl (who coined the phrase Gestalt therapy) , and Milton Erickson (Hypnosis)

These individuals were studied for the purpose of discovering their unique approaches, language patterns, gestures, vocal tones, word usage, and facial expressionsin order to discover a common blueprint that could be transported into other setting.

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

The term neuro refers to the mind (the nervous system). Particularly, it refers to the methods in which human being process life experiences (visual, auditory, kinesthetic/touch, olfactory/smell; and gustatory/taste.

Linguistic refers to all verbal and nonverbal communication systems through which neurology is classified and given meaning. These classification meanings are, unsurprisingly: pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes, and words (how we talk to ourselves).

Programming is a term brought to the table in reflection upon computer technology. NLP contends that people utilize mental and emotional “programs” (self-communication) is order to make sense out of life. Often the programming (like that of a PC) can be corrupted by bad experiences. Conversely, the programs can be alter, fixed, repaired, and/or replaced. In other words, people can be reprogrammed.

Grinder and Bandler believed that the success of the therapist they studied was just at this point. Satir, Pearls, and Erickson did not try to help clients understand their throughts/feelings/and behaviors. Rather they aimed toward and successfully reprogrammed their clients into healthier behaviors.

NLP strategies aimed at modifying or changing people’s behavior has found its way into other social sciences. These included law enforcement, medicine, marketing and sales. Most every political campaign also includes NLP experts who seek to help candidates with everything from vocal tones, facial expressions, posture, and word selection, in order to modify the electorate.

NLP strategies are often employed by life coaches to help clients better create the life they dream about.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Bill Nieporte is Pastor of the Patterson Avenue Baptist Church. He is also a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotist, and NLP Practitioner. His ministerial blog is He is currently building success skills blog at and a wellness/fitness blog at