What Is NLP?

NLP is Neuro Linguistic Programming.

‘Neuro’ refers to the brain and nervous system; ‘Linguistic’ is about how our language, both verbal, and non-verbal is specifically ‘Programming’ our behavior via the five senses; visual, auditory, feeling (kinesthetic) including tactile sensation and emotion, and smell (olfactory) and taste (gustatory).

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is can also be thought of as a set of techniques or tools for enhancing personal and professional development and facilitating change…

What can NLP do for me?


Q. What is NLP?

A. NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a set of techniques or tools for enhancing personal and professional development and facilitating change.


Q. What can NLP do for me?

A. NLP can help you change your behaviors quickly and painlessly.  NLP techniques can interrupt old unwanted programming and install new choices so that your new behaviors become automatic.  Lifelong habits, fears and phobias can be eliminated in moments.


Q. What else can NLP do?

A. NLP is sometimes referred to as the science of modeling expertise.  What if you could learn to model (copy) human excellence.  NLP professionals say that if you can learn enough quality information about how a person produces any acheivement or result in life, then you can reproduce a similar result.


Q. Where is NLP useful?

A. NLP is valuable wherever communication skills can enhance results–in business, management, sales, training, negotiations, the court room, the class room, counseling, therapy, personal relationships, parenting, nursing, public speaking, sports performance, and more.


Q. Is NLP manipulative?

A. NLP is so powerful in getting results that people want to know that it will be used to benefit them. The integrity and ecology of the value systems of each individual is of utmost importance.  NLP is a learning process and you may find you have more control over what you accept or reject in attempts at manipulation from other people including advertisers or politicians. NLP is about giving you more choice.


Q. Can NLP be used on yourself?

A. Yes. You can apply many NLP patterns to make your own life more rewarding.  You can change how you feel, install new learning strategies, change habits, motivate yourself, and much more.  Some processes require facilitation by a trained NLP Practitioner.


Q. Does NLP deal with emotions?

A. Yes! One of the wonderful things about NLP is that even highly emotional issues can most often be resolved without dredging up or reliving painful experiences from the past.  NLP helps people transform debilitating emotional experiences into empowering, resourceful states, pleasantly and effectively.


Q. What about communication with others?

A. NLP offers powerful tools for effective communication; within yourself, and with others.  Most of us naturally assume everyone else is operating just like us.  By recognizing that other people have different values and brain patterns, you can learn now to communicate beyond the conscious filters of an individual, in the way they need to get the information, instead of the way you would want to receive information.


Q. What is TimeLine Therapy?

A. Based on the observation that much of our behavior is temporally (time) based, time line processes are powerful and dramatic technology for affecting change at the deepest levels.  Shame, fear, guilt, phobias, anxiety, are eliminated quickly and easily; even personal history can be changed.


Q. Can I get results from reading a book, or is it better to attend a seminar or training?

A. NLP is an experiential science.  Books and tapes are useful, but seminars conducted by competent trainers allow you to observe live demonstrations, practice in a supportive environment, get individual feedback in real time, and make safe, effective, and permanent personal change.


“NLP cannot be dismissed as just another hustle. It’s theoretical underpinnings represent an ambitious attempt to codify and synthesize the insights of linguistics, body language, and the study of communication systems.” Psychology Today, Aug. ’79.

Contact Bill Thomason for private coaching sessions or NLP workshops (602) 321-7192.


What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis Is Not
Everyone goes in and out of trance every day.

It is not necessary to go into a deep trance state for behavior change to occur and for new programming to make a positive difference in your life.

You won’t be embarrassed in any way and you will not do anything you would not do under normal circumstances.

Remember, the more times you go into hypnosis, the easier it is and the deeper you are likely to go.


About NLP:
The quality of your life is directly impacted by the quality of your communication.

Relationships, career, finances, and personal happiness all depend on your ability to communicate effectively within yourself and with others.

Now, you can learn to identify limiting behaviors, interrupt old habits and patterns, and integrate new choices, and you can, you know, do it quickly, easily, and permanently.

NLP involves powerful techniques to help you make a profound change in your life. NLP is effective for everything from eliminating phobias, to improving effectiveness in communication and building better relationships.


Definition of NLP
NLP has been called the ‘New Technology of Achievement.’  It is also called the ‘study of subjective experience’ (Robert Dilts), and ‘the study of human excellence’ (John Grinder).

I prefer, ‘the study and application of excellence.’  If there is an official definition of NLP, it is this one.

Richard Bandler, one of the co-founders of NLP, suggests that “NLP is an attitude and a methodology leaving behind a trail of techniques.

Bandler goes on to say, “the attitude is ‘CURIOSITY’ and the methodology is ‘BEHAVIOR MODELING.”


NLP is not a theory about human behavior

It is a whole set of tools that work to help people perform better and live more productive happier lives.

People report getting free of negative programming and limiting beliefs that used to hold them back from achieving what they dreamed of being and doing in life.


High Quality Information
The underlying technology of NLP is Behavior Modeling.

The primary belief of Behavior Modeling is that…

‘if anyone can create an achievement and I can get enough high-quality information about how they do it, I can produce a similar excellent result.’

By eliciting enough specific high-quality information about an individual produces expertise, genius, or any excellent results in their lives, the NLP Practitioner ‘models,’ or copies, these specific behaviors in themselves.

The NLP Success Coach is skilled at installing patterns of excellence in others.


The NLP Story
NLP started in the mid to late 1970’s. Richard Bandler was a computer science major and John Grinder was a Professor of Linguistics in Santa Cruz, California.

In the beginning was the ‘Meta-Model.’ According to Judith DeLozier, Richard went to John and asked questions about how he could ‘model’ language and behavior from the excellent results being produced by people like Fritz Perlz, the Father of Gestalt Therapy.

John asked Richard to, “Show me what he (Fritz Perlz) is doing and I’ll figure out how he’s doing it (producing the results).”


The Early Days of NLP
At a recent NLP Conference in London, Judith DeLozier delivered a ‘keynote’ presentation that frames where NLP is in the world today.

Judith asked some great questions and she answered audience questions about the early days of NLP.

Judith DeLozier asked this group consisting primarily of NLP Practitioners, NLP Master Practitioners, and NLP Trainers, “What is our greatest asset?”

Participants of the conference gave several answers and then Judith gave her answer with the word ‘diversity.’

Since the earliest days, NLP has grown and spread worldwide to people in all walks of life and among a number of different cultures.

In fact, she noted that NLP is currently more robust and well attended in England than in the US where it started all those years ago.

Judith went on to ask what is our greatest need.

Her answer; ‘respect.’ To the question, What is the greatest contribution she answered with a question, “Who are we becoming?” and added, “Who else could we become?”

Her point was instruction to the audience not to be too attached to specific outcomes and allow for the possibilities of what NLP becomes and what each of us individually becomes.

As Judith pointed out, the questions were not so much to be answered in the talk, but to be questions we all contemplate and answer over time.


Early History of NLP
Judith DeLozier then told us about the early days of NLP in Santa Cruz, California where Richard Bandler modeled Fritz Perlz and wrote the first draft of the manuscript for the book, Structure of Magic I. Judith was there and spent time on the land with Gregory Bateson and others.

Bateson authored the book Steps to an Ecology of Mind and contributed greatly to NLP during that time.

As DeLozier reported it, Bob Spitzer, who owned a publishing company called Science Behavior Books, was there at the time and a couple of wonderful jazz musicians Judith recalled were also there living on the land in those days.

Richard Bandler showed Gregory Bateson his manuscript and Bateson shared it with Margaret Meade, the famous Anthropologist.

They loved it and suggested that the group should go to Phoenix, Arizona and meet Milton Erickson, the foremost hypnotherapist of the time.

Of course, the group modeled Erickson’s work.

According to Judith, Richard and John “…’did strange things’ in those early days.”

It was a time when they were listening to the metaphors or stories contained in language.

If a person was expressing they were being ‘martyred’ or ‘crucified,’ someone would start collecting large boards and nails for a cross.

In a now famous story of that time, an in-patient in a local institution decided he was not Jesus after all when he became convinced the pile of wood and the nails had been collected just for him.


We Started with the MetaModel
As Judith reports it, the small group of students studying with Richard Bandler and John Grinder had only the MetaModel, a set of questions that helped people become more precise in their language and the representations that the language was reflecting.

Since every sentence in the English language (and presumably other languages) is missing information, it can be said that ‘language is imprecise.’

The MetaModel questions help people fill in or retrieve the missing information as in “Johnny went to the store.”

Although we tend to interact as if we know what that means, we really do not know which Johnny, how he went to the store, what store specifically, where the store is located, etc.

We ‘fill in’ or ‘intuit’ meaning.


Modeling Behavior
Toward the end of her talk, Judith recounted the story about going to the horse racing track.

She reports sitting in the box area and noticing that her little pile of money was getting smaller with each race, but that a man at the next table seemed to come back with more money after each race.

So, she leaned over and began to ask some questions. In the conversation, Judith learned that the man thought it was important that the conditions of horses were important.

He seemed to know what they were eating, how far they traveled to get there and how recently, how many races the horse had been in recently, and more.

After all the circumstantial factors, however, when it all boiled down, she learned that in the end, it was more intuition that actually determined how the man bet his money.

He made a statement that encapsulated the difference the makes the difference.

What she learned was, “You gotta hunch, bet a bunch.”

Great communicators are great storytellers.



In the 1980’s, NLP Co-founder, John Grinder along with Carmen Bostic St. Clair, and Judith DeLozier and others started looking at the early framework that NLP had been based upon and found a few things that they thought needed to be revised. 

NLP New Code was designed to address any new issues relating to codification for teaching and delivery of NLP patterns.  Grinder described the problems with the original or Classic NLP coding as design flaws saying that he was disappointed with the level of incongruence in NLP Practitioners. 

Grinder noticed that NLP-trained people were often able to ‘weave spells of magic’ for their clients and yet some were failing at applying NLP to their own lives. 

As I have reviewed the information on New Code, I realize that, although I am not familiar with some of the ‘games’ developed, my early training had already incorporated much, if not most, of what John and other developers were saying in the mid-1980’s when I got my first training. 

As a generalization, the incorporation of my Anthropological background and training along with my penchant for using metaphor in training, coaching, and persuasion contexts matches well with the training style I have observed with John and Judith. 

I particularly like John’ references to Carlos Castaneda’s and his character, Don Juan the Man of Knowledge.  

As another example, in the book Turtles All the Way Down, John and Judith make great points about perception from the point of view of an African man who cannot believe he is seeing anything more than insects in the distant plains that are actually water buffalo.  One of the games in the book involves walking across a bridge with a partner while keeping one’s eyes closed to limit visual cues. 

I believe the point is that these stories impart deep level connections that cannot be easily explained by conscious mind training.  The trainer or coach trusts the unconscious mind of the client to make the best connection possible for the highest good of the individual.  John says the book Whispering in the Wind is the best specific description of New Code.  

In explaining New Code, John says, “I, therefore, set out with the intention of designing a set of patterns that would both correct the coding flaws of the Classic Code (his work Bandler from 1974-1978) that could not be effectively presented unless the presenter was congruent with self-application (of NLP patterns).” 

The goal of New Code was to:

1. Create specific involvement of a client’s unconscious mind for choosing desired states, resources, and new behaviors.  The problem John was seeing was that some Classic Code processes led the client’s conscious process to ‘right’ answers and therefore was contaminating unconscious connections that might have been made.   

2. The new behavior would satisfy the original positive intention of the behavior. Remember the Presupposition of NLP that, “Every behavior has positive intent and purpose.”  Every behavior is ‘trying’ to do something for you, or you would not have created it.

3. Change should occur at the level of state and/or intention, rather than the level of behavior.

New Code Patterns added by Grinder and Bostic:

1. Multiple perceptual positions.  See Perceptual Positions including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Positions.  Note: There is now a movement to call these positions Self, Other, and Observer Positions. 

2. Explicit Framing.  Tools include outcome setting and intention, exploring consequences, and incorporating relevancy challenges. 

3. Hierarchical organization.  These include Logical Levels.  (original context in conversation and thinking, etc. not the model developed by Robert Dilts from Gregory Bateson’s learning theory)  

4. Time lines.  (Originally developed by John Grinder and Robert Dilts, then Leslie Cameron-Bandler and others)

5. The Verbal Package.  A streamlined version of Meta Model with reduced questions, explicit framing, and more refined verbal distinctions; Terms description, interpretation, and evaluation.

The Meta Model includes a set of questions designed to allow a person to become more precise in language and thinking and to aid in discovering underlying restrictions in belief and thinking patterns. 

6. A 4-step format for a change.  A variable 3rd step includes games like the Alphabet Game, the NASA Game and Roger Tabb’s Trampoline exercises. 

7.  Sanctuary.  A process for working with an unwanted state that either creeps up on you slowly so you are not aware of it until you are experiencing it deeply or so quickly you lose control.

8. Multiple forms of involuntary signals for unconscious communication.

9. Characterological adjectives. 

What was different (in New Code) was designer models which occurred as a natural consequence of deep extended modeling and training activities of experts, and partially explicated design variables underlying the classic code. 

The re-coding of NLP offered Grinder et.al. an opportunity to correct what he/they deemed to be flaws in the classic code patterning. 

New Code takes the design variables of Classic Code formats to the extreme.  For example, resource states in New Code can be created by a game or task that activates a content-free high-performance state which has no historical experiences attached. 

One of the key aspects of New Code change formats is the verification and selection of behavioral changes by calibrating with the unconscious mind using explicit kinesthetic signals.

Contact Bill to register at 602 321-7192.

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