NLP evolution

NLP evolution

Developed in 1976 by a professor at the UC Santa Cruz and a graduate student whose names need no mentioning, NLP has grown to be much appreciated. NLP is not based on a certain theory, but consists of models, techniques and their creation processes. NLP has progressed over the years through empiric and pragmatic knowledge. The entire field is only 3 decades old so methods have to be improved and researched continuously.

NLP represents the progress of techniques that originate from other fields like Ericksonian Hypnosis and Classical Conditioning. These techniques are refined and remodeled and their methodology for apprehension is accelerated. So, there is a strong bound between NLP and hypnosis. Bandler's and Grinder's book "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, Volume I" is proof of the connection between these two. There is also a strong bound between NLP and Psychology. Research made in the Psychological field was used as theoretical support for some NLP techniques. Please consider as an example the "Submodalities".

The NLP name itself (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) comes from the influences other disciplines have had over this field. Because Richard Bandler was an information scientist and John Grinder a linguist, it is obvious that these two fields influenced the birth and development of NLP. Making use of the sciences in which they specialized and combining their knowledge with techniques used in Behavioral Psychology and Systems Theory, they created NLP. Their goal was to discover and use information regarding how communication impacts the subjective experience and influences behavior.

The created models consist of tools that work, but still need research done about them. Though successful, NLP needs to progress continuously and prove its theories because its research is still in infancy. The early research made at the University of California at Santa Cruz, based on the work of a family therapist, an anthropologist, a hypnotist and the founder of Gestalt therapy (Virginia Satir, Gregory Bateson, Milton Erickson and Frits Perls), is no longer enough. Without forgetting the purpose of NLP techniques meaning effective, quick, permanent and natural benefits for those who need them, new developments have to be made:
  • NLP has to eliminate failure (though very rare) and replace it with constant success.
  • Very rapid systemic changes have to be possible when dealing with the multiple problems of one person.
  • Methods and processes have to be improved for a more systematic NLP
  • More systemic and holistic maps have to be made
  • Though the general approach of NLP is of solving people's problems, the possibility to "create generative change" has to be taken into consideration also.
The NLP development work has to divide itself between these 3 parts: the theory, the application and the modeling or map creation. All these aspects are interconnected and test each other. Each theory has to be useful in applications and help develop effective processes. 

Some areas of NLP are currently being explored. Questions like: how much longevity is influenced by NLP and how come childhood memories are still able to represent a totally changed mature person, have to be answered. There are many studies made on volitional and automatic processes, on kinesthetic systems, on adaptation of NLP to group intervention, on mind distinction between reality and imagination and on elicitation. Volunteers and NLP experts work alike so that people can get the results they want. The hope is that in the near future more things will be cleared out in the benefit of those using NLP.

NLP still has a lot to work on, but, until now, its results have been amazing. More and more people appeal to NLP nowadays because of its safe and healthy way of dealing with problems and because of its curative successes. NLP promises a lot to the future because of its past and the continuous struggle of improvement.