What is NLP?

What is NLP?

If you have ventured into the world of personal development, you’ve probably heard about something called “NLP” or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. At Evolve and Relaunch Education, we are passionate about helping people study and understand more about this life-changing modality. 

Juliet and Paul (our lead presenters and co-founders of Evolve and Relaunch) have had incredible personal transformations and seen thousands of clients and students experience the power of being coached and guided through applying these tools and techniques.

Let’s explore what NLP actually is.

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Origins/History of NLP

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. What this effectively means is understanding the language of the mind and how it is programmed so you can consistently create new and more desirable results in your life.

NLP was developed all the way back in the mid-1970s by its co-creators, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Richard Bandler was a Computer Engineer, and John Grinder was a Linguistics Professor. Together they were curious about whether they could reverse engineer the process of creating change and excellence, and they wanted to discover what the best therapists of their time were doing to get results with their clients.

They were able to discover and then replicate (model) the therapists’ communication (both verbal and non-verbal communication, language, tonality, gestures), intention and strategies in order to achieve positive outcomes for people. But they wanted to take this further – they also wanted to create a system that could be replicated and repeated to allow anyone to follow steps and get the same outcomes. As a result, they developed the tools and techniques that make-up NLP to help humans create transformation in their lives.

The idea behind NLP is that any person who has achieved success in any area of life has done so by having a certain mindset or methodology. And this methodology can be modelled or replicated to create results. For example, people who have success in investing, health, relationships or business all have certain beliefs, values, habits and associations that help them create results.

Main components and core concepts

NLP is the study of subjective experience and explores how everyone creates their own internal model of the world based on how they delete, distort and generalise information. Hence, no one really ever sees the same reality. For that reason, there are as many definitions of NLP as people perceiving it.

Because everyone perceives a different world, NLP gives you the tools to change your perceptions and therefore change your experience of reality

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

This opens up a whole new world of possibilities and potential.

NLP is built upon the concept of modelling. That is, finding what works in human behaviour and replicating it. The core concept is around understanding how each of us filters our reality differently, based upon a number of factors (our beliefs, values, experiences, memories, strategies and other unconscious filters).

In NLP, we learn that people are not their behaviours and to accept the person whilst helping them change their behaviour.

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Popular NLP techniques

Although the field of NLP is so much more than techniques, these are some popular NLP techniques you may or may not have heard of:

  • Swish pattern (for changing minor emotional states and unwanted habits)
  • Parts Integration (reducing inner conflicts and incongruence between a part of you wanting one thing but a part of you wanting something else)
  • Submodality work (understanding the pictures in your mind and how to change their meaning)
  • Anchoring
  • Reframing
  • Time Line Therapy(™) to clear emotions and limiting beliefs and set goals
  • Values work (taught in our Master Practitioner training)
  • And many more!

How does it work?

NLP is essentially about adopting a mindset of curiosity and finding what works to get results. This curiosity allows us to explore the deeper layers beneath someone’s behaviour and the unconscious motivations behind why we do what we do and how we can change it. The first key in NLP is to discover your specific desired outcomes. That is, what you want to achieve.

Does NLP work?

A number of people claim that NLP is discredited or is a ‘pseudoscience’. This is because there haven’t yet been any scientific studies that demonstrate its effectiveness. From our experience, this is simply because there have only been a small number of studies that have been carried out, and the belief of the people carrying out those studies will also affect the result. We suggest that you experience it for yourself as every single student who comes through our training experiences effective, noticeable changes in their lives, as detailed in our book ‘Evolve Your Mind’.

What are the benefits of NLP?

  • Increased self-confidence 
  • Increased self-awareness and understanding 
  • Being able to stop bad habits
  • Stress reduction 
  • Stopping self-sabotage
  • Understand how to break free of trauma and learn from (and grow from) painful experiences in your past
  • Changing patterns 
  • Achieving goals and outcomes
  • Improved communication skills and more

How can NLP be used in real life?

The skills taught in our NLP Practitioner training are applicable in education, business and coaching settings. Many of our students report happier relationships, better communication with children and co-workers, and more skills to handle life’s day-to-day stressors.

The coaching skills, questions and frameworks taught in our courses help to uncover some of the unconscious blocks e.g., limiting beliefs, negative emotions and habit patterns that are holding you back or sabotaging your success. 

Using these tools to reprogram your mind will help you to see a massive improvement in your ability to take action and get out of your own way.

Then by understanding the “language of the mind”, you can effectively set goals and use your mind to move forward by using the tools and techniques to communicate with yourself and influence your motivation and ability to take action and create new empowering habits to create a new trajectory in your life.

By letting go of the past (beliefs, emotions, traumatic experiences, negative self-talk and stories), you can remove the handbrake that keeps your wheels spinning and is holding you back from taking flight. In the present moment, it will bring you clarity and energy to love and accept yourself and also fully understand how you become who you are and why you have the results you have.

The way we teach NLP also gives you the power to make conscious choices of where you want to go, so you are fully empowered, no longer looking outward and giving your power away but taking full ownership and responsibility for your life.

Lastly, NLP is incredibly powerful in helping you create your future, as you will finally have the operations manual on how to run your mind and body for results. You will know how to accelerate (increase your motivation and inspiration in the direction of your dreams), steer and correct (how to communicate with your mind and body to give clear instructions that create changes in real time) and then set a clear direction and destination/destiny (by using the tools it’s like setting an internal GPS that will unconsciously navigate you through any obstacle and to your goals/outcomes).

Who is NLP best suited for?

NLP is perfect for people who truly want to create change in their lives. People who feel stuck, lack confidence or feel like they want to evolve by choice instead of chance. NLP is not just suited to coaches, as approximately 50% of the students who study our Evolved NLP training are doing so for their own personal growth and benefit.

A group of NLP graduates

Are NLP and hypnosis the same thing?

This is a great question. In the beginning, in the early stages of development, Milton H. Erickson was modelled because of his incredible ability to connect with clients and to create rapid and profound changes with them. NLP has drawn upon his use of language, ability to create deep connection and rapport, how to communicate to the client on multiple levels, both consciously and unconsciously and how to use altered states and trance.

At Evolve and Relaunch Education, we integrate those teachings into our NLP Practitioners course and also teach our Hypnotherapy Practitioner training as a stand-alone course for a number of reasons.

Unlike other courses that use scripted templates for hypnosis and don’t really explain the mechanics of how and why it works, at Evolve and Relaunch, we developed our hypnosis training to allow you to deeply understand and embody the hypnotic nature of our language and how we are all hypnotising ourselves all day every day with unuseful beliefs and stories.

NLP is incredibly powerful for helping people understand how they filter reality and how people create issues with their thinking and language.

The course is highly practical, and Paul installs the hypnotical language patterns and framework in you so that you can work dynamically and co-operatively. This means instead of being stuck to a piece of paper and just reading a script and hoping your client fits what is written, you have the confidence to tailor your communication to suit your client’s unique challenges and situations.

Hypnotherapy helps you understand how to create change at the unconscious level very fluidly. It also establishes a very confident basis as a coach to approach any issue a client comes in with and know that you can help them find the answers inside.

The two modalities tend to work together a little, like yin and yang. Most of our students end up studying both courses because they blend together powerfully.

Paul teaching hypnosis on a client

Scientific criticism about NLP

There are some common misconceptions about NLP we want to clear up.

It is manipulative and mind-control
Whilst NLP can influence others to create change, NLP certainly cannot cause someone to control another’s thoughts and actions. We spend time in our training teaching our students about how to make changes in an ecological manner that is a win/win for the client, their family, society and the planet. It doesn’t work
This misconception about NLP usually comes from people that have studied a little NLP, tried one or two NLP techniques or had an NLP coach who wasn’t confident or skilled and then was unable to achieve the results that they were looking for.

We have found our students are able to achieve incredible results in their lives. One thing to remember is that we filter reality by our beliefs. So, if you book an NLP coaching session and carry the belief that NLP doesn’t work or you can’t be helped, then it’s likely you will filter your reality for that and have an experience that reinforces that belief for you. 


We always recommend that if you are curious about NLP, then it’s probably best for you to form your own definition of what it is through your own direct experience. 

For our students, the common answer is that Evolved NLP is life-changing, inspiring and enlightening. They finally realise WHY they have done (and not done) the things they have in their life and how to create change for their future.

We invite you to explore more on our website or in our book, Evolve Your Mind.

You are also welcome to book a no-obligation course enquiry call with our team here to find out more.

Keep Evolving!

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