Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)


The research is to find out where the therapy originated, including the name of the person who first introduced the therapy and a brief history if possible. Provide a short summary of any clinical research or scientific evidence that supports the validity of the therapy. List of conditions the therapy is best suited to treat. A summary of how the therapy works to assist the client. Contras or dangers associated with using the therapy. A bibliography listing the resources used to find the information, including websites and publications.


Neuro Linguistic programming was developed in the 1970s at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Its primary founders are John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, an information scientist and mathematician. Judith DeLozier and Leslie Cameron-Bandler also contributed significantly to the field, as did David Gordon and Robert Dilts.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analysing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behaviour learned through experience to specific outcomes.
Proponents of NLP assume all human action is positive. Therefore, if a plan fails or the unexpected happens, the experience is neither good nor bad—it simply presents more useful information.

In the early 1980s, NLP was advertised as an important advance in psychotherapy and counselling, and attracted some interest in counselling research and clinical psychology.

However, as controlled trials failed to show any benefit from NLP and its advocates made increasingly dubious claims, scientific interest in NLP faded.

Numerous literature reviews and meta-analyses have failed to show evidence for NLP’s assumptions or effectiveness as a therapeutic method.

While some NLP practitioners have argued that the lack of empirical support is due to insufficient research testing NLP, the consensus scientific opinion is that NLP is pseudoscience and that attempts to dismiss the research findings based on these arguments an admission that NLP does not have an evidence base and that NLP practitioners are seeking a post-hoc credibility.”

Surveys in the academic community have shown NLP to be widely discredited among scientists.

Among the reasons for considering NLP a pseudoscience are that evidence in favour of it is limited
to anecdotes and personal testimony, that it is not informed by scientific understanding of neuroscience and linguistics, and that the name “Neuro Linguistic Programming” uses jargon words to impress readers and obfuscate ideas, whereas NLP itself does not relate any phenomena to neural structures and has nothing in common with linguistics or programming. In fact, in education, NLP has been used as a key example of pseudoscience. NLP can be understood in terms of three broad components and the central concepts pertaining to those: 

Subjectivity. According to Bandler and Grinder:

We experience the world subjectively thus we create subjective representations of our experience. These subjective representations of experience are constituted in terms of five senses and language. That is to say our subjective conscious experience is in terms of the traditional senses of vision, audition, tactition, olfaction and gustation such that when we—for example—rehearse an activity “in our heads”, recall an event or anticipate the future we will “see” images, “hear” sounds, “taste” flavors, “feel” tactile sensations, “smell” odors and think in some (natural) language. Furthermore it is claimed that these subjective representations of experience have a discernible structure, a pattern. It is in this sense that NLP is sometimes defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience.

Behavior can be described and understood in terms of these sense-based subjective representations. Behavior is broadly conceived to include verbal and non-verbal communication, incompetent, maladaptive or “pathological” behavior as well as effective or skillful behavior.

Behavior (in self and others) can be modified by manipulating these sense-based subjective representations.

Consciousness. NLP is predicated on the notion that consciousness is bifurcated into a conscious component and an unconscious component. Those subjective representations that occur outside of an individual’s awareness comprise what is referred to as the “unconscious mind”.

Learning. NLP utilizes an imitative method of learning—termed modeling—that is claimed to be able to codify and reproduce an exemplar’s expertise in any domain of activity. An important part of the codification process is a description of the sequence of the sensory/linguistic representations of the subjective experience of the exemplar during execution of the expertise.


There are no findings of any dangers associates to Neuro Linguistic Programming. I would say by my readings that you either love it or you don’t.