What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

An introduction

Originally written by Joseph Clough (NLP Trainer)

Joseph wrote this article explaining in simple terms what this Art and Science called NLP is. We felt, as we here in both Bournemouth Hypnotherapy Clinic and Cambridge Hypnotherapy use NLP and Hypnosis extensively it would be nice to reprint the article here too.


An Introduction to NLP (My thoughts)

I guess your thinking ~ So what is this NLP stuff, ?
Well, it stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. And now your thinking ‘Neuro Linguistic.. what?’ right?

Okay to us, to put it simply, it’s how our language (linguistic) can change (programming) how our mind and body (neurology) works. From reproducing excellence in any area of our lives, to eliminating fears, limiting beliefs, unresourceful behaviours and in turn actually acquiring the positive feelings/emotions, behaviours and positive mind-sets we want.  When we came to earth we weren’t given a manual on how our brains worked, but we like to think of NLP as that manual.


So let’s break this down a little:

Neuro: The nervous system (the mind), through which we experience our life via the five senses:

•  Our Sight

•  Our Hearing

•  Our Touch

•  Our Smell

•  Our Taste

Linguistic: Our Language and other nonverbal communication systems- through the internal images we hold in our mind. For example how you perceive the world around you. I.e. is the glass of water half full or half empty? It’s whatever you believe, right?

Programming: The ability to discover and utilize the programs that we run inside ourselves- such as beliefs, feelings and behaviours to achieve our specific and desired outcomes in life.


Okay to put it simply, changing your mind therefore your results.

So where did it come from?

NLP was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 1970’s.

Richard and John met at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Richard was a student at the university, he was a mathematician, computer expert and therapist. Whereas John was a language professor at the University.

Together they began to study experts in field of human change and development, where they began to uncover some interesting patterns in renowned therapists in America. When studying and modelling the therapist Virginia Satir for example (a very successful family therapist in Palo Alto, California) they discovered that she had the ability to affect and change her clients behaviour by being very specific. A little later, Gregory Bateson told them of a brilliant hypnotist in Arizona who would get his results utilising hypnosis and artfully vague language patterns. This guy was called Milton Erickson, he was a medical doctor and he took hypnosis from the stage to the therapy.

The successes that Bandler and Grinder discovered led to the Meta Model (Satir’s process) and Milton Model (Ericksons process) being created. The Meta Model is very specific and the Milton Model is vague and ambiguous. These language patterns would get results in minutes and hours rather than the psychotherapist’s months and years.

This was the start of Neuro Linguistic Programming. Through the experimentation of their discoveries and using the techniques which they modelled from people who got great results, they created processes of learning.

John and Richard studied the strategies of people who were the very best in their field, which in NLP we call Modelling. Once they organised these techniques, they taught their students to replicate them and used them with their own clients. Their students would then be able to install the behavioral changes using these techniques inside themselves.

Through this attitude of this experimentation and learning NLP has been expanded throughout the years. From the original training of eight, there are now many experienced and effective NLP trainers throughout the world.

NLP begins to give us the tools for personal change so that we live the life we truly deserve. Whether that be in our health, relationships or careers.

In addition to therapy, NLP has been used successfully in sales, business, education and many other vocations and to me that’s a brief history of NLP to date.

Joseph Clough is a practicing Hypnotherapist, Trainer and Coach based in Cambridge. He uses Hypnosis for all his CDs and MP3 downloads for many issues for the following issues such as 

For more information about Joseph and his work go to or

Paul Clough is a practicing Hypnotherapist, Trainer and Coach and Luke is apracticing Hypnotherapist and Coach.

For more information about Luke and Pauk a go to about us at Cambridge Hypnotherapy or our hypnotherapy for phobia website

Use hypnotherapy for better results. Through hypnosis Joseph, Luke and Paul Clough, three Master hypnotherapist can help you change your thought patterns.

To find out about Cambridge Hypnotherapy call call (01223) 720120 or contact us

Hypnotherapy at The Bournemouth Hypnotherapy Clinic

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