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NLP and Coaching

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

A simple definition of NLP is that it is an approach that gives people the tools to become more effective and successful in their lives. A more formal definition is that NLP is “The study of the structure of our subjective experience”.

Where does NLP come from? NLP is an offshoot of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy and was developed by Dr.’s Bandler and Grinder after they studied three successful psychotherapists, Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), Virginia Satir (Family Systems Therapy), and Milton H. Erickson (Clinical Hypnosis). Bandler and Grinder aimed to discover and model the successful patterns of behavior and communication distinguishing these exceptional individuals from others in their field of therapy.

If we look at the 3 components of NLP, then:

Neuro relates to the way the brain interprets our experience of the world. We experience the world through our 5 senses; this activates our brain (our neurological system) and affects our physiology, emotions and behavior. For instance if 2 people are given a menu, one may feel pleasure, the other, a person who finds making even small decisions difficult, may start to panic, creating stress in their body.

Linguistic relates to the idea that the way we use language influences our experience.

Programming looks at how the way we do things; learn, make decisions, get results. NLP says that in the same way that a computer uses different software packages to do different tasks, so does the brain. Some of these software packages are highly effective, others less so.

By looking at:

The way we think

The way we speak; which is an indication of the way we perceive the world and our beliefs

Our strategies for doing things

NLP can help us rapidly achieve the changes we want, by helping us develop more useful and effective strategies.



Coaching is an approach that embraces the idea that the client has all the resources within them to find the solutions to their issues. The role of the Coach is to assist the client in this process. Even though the client might want the Coach to give the answers, the job of the Coach is to avoid giving advice, but instead to ask the client the right questions, so that the client discovers that:

They can solve their own issues

They are more powerful and resourceful than they realise.

They develop useful strategies for dealing with challenges that they can use in other situations, learning through this process how to achieve their potential.



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