What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that focuses on the relationship between language, behaviour, and the mind.

Society of NLP Emblems

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is based on the idea that the words we use and the way we communicate can shape our thoughts and behaviours. NLP practitioners know that by understanding and using language in specific ways, we can change our own thoughts and behaviours, as well as those of others.

NLP techniques

NLP techniques are often used in therapy and coaching to help individuals overcome negative thoughts and behaviors, improve communication skills, and achieve their goals. Some common NLP techniques include reframing, anchoring, and pacing and leading.


Reframing involves changing the way a problem is perceived by altering the language used to describe it. For example, rather than thinking of an obstacle as a ‘problem’, it could be reframed as ‘an opportunity for new solutions’.


Anchoring involves associating a specific stimulus, such as a word or gesture, with a particular emotional state. For example, a therapist might ask a client to think of a time when they felt confident and then associate that feeling with a specific word or gesture, such as squeezing their fist. The therapist can then use the word or gesture as a trigger to help the client access that confident emotional state in the future.

Pacing and leading

Pacing and leading involves matching and then gradually changing the verbal and nonverbal communication of another person in order to influence their thoughts and behaviors. For example, a therapist might mirror a client’s body language and speech patterns before gradually introducing more confident body language and language patterns in order to help the client adopt a more confident mindset.

Conclusions about NLP

Overall, NLP is a controversial field because the effectiveness of its techniques is applied in both legitimate and pseudoscientific or ‘questionable’ contexts. Many researchers and even Wikipedia sometimes confuse applications of NLP with being NLP, rather than being an effective or ineffective example of using NLP. Like a bridge that’s stood the test of time being an example of effective engineering, and one that fell down being an example of ineffective engineering.

One of the most pervasive examples of NLP applied in our daily lives is in video advertising. Many ads use NLP by pacing and leading your thinking to induce a state of mind that frames and anchors a product/service as a solution you desire.

It is important to note that while applying NLP to ones own thinking and behaviour has a significant ‘therapeutic’ affect, if you are under a doctors care for mental health treatment, do not discontinue treatment without consultation with your doctor.