Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and Jhon Grinderin, USA in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. Bandler and Grinder claim that the skills of exceptional people can be "modeled" using NLP methodology then those skills can be acquired by anyone. Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, myopia, allergy, common cold and learning disorders, often in a single session. NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and in seminars marketed to business and government.
Reviews of empirical research show that NLP has failed to produce reliable results for its core tenets. The balance of scientific evidence reveals NLP to be a largely discredited pseudoscience. Scientific reviews show it contains numerous factual errors, and fails to produce the results asserted by proponents. According to clinical psychologist Grant Devilly (2005), NLP has had a consequent decline in prevalence since the 1970s. Criticisms go beyond lack of empirical evidence for effectiveness, saying NLP exhibits pseudoscientific characteristics, title, concepts and terminology as well. NLP serves as an example of pseudoscience for facilitating the teaching of scientific literacy at the professional and university level. NLP also appears on peer reviewed expert-consensus based lists of discredited interventions. In research designed to identify the "quack factor" in modern mental health practice, Norcross et al. (2006) list NLP as possibly or probably discredited for treatment of behavioral problems. Norcross et al. (2010) list NLP in the top ten most discredited interventions and Glasner-Edwards and Rawson (2010) list NLP therapy as "certainly discredited".
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience and what can be calculated from that and is predicated upon the belief that all behavior has structure. People such as Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls had amazing results with their clients. They were some of the people who's linguistic and behavioral patterns Richard Bandler built formal models of. He then applied these models to his work.
Because these models are formal they also allow for prediction and calculation. Patterns that may not have been available in any of these people's work could be calculated from the formal representations he had created. New techniques and models were (and still are being) developed.
Since the models that constitute NLP describe how the human brain functions they are used in order to teach them. NLP is not a diagnostic tool. It can only be applied and can therefore only be taught experientially.
Well trained Neuro-Linguistic Programmers™ will always teach by installation, not by teaching technique after technique. Techniques outdate themselves too quickly to base the field of NLP™ on a set of techniques. It is based upon the attitude, the models and the skills which allow for constant generation of new techniques which are more effective and work faster.
Although many providers make certain courses prerequisite to the attendance of other courses, Dr. Bandler has no such prerequisites for any of his seminars. Learning does not come in levels. Once the underlying pattern, by which something can be learned has been taught, the material becomes not only easily accessible but a logical extension. For example, once somebody has learned how to read it no longer matters whether a book is five pages or two-hundred pages long. Similarly, once someone has been taught the spelling strategy it does not matter whether the word is two or five letters long, you just have to look at the picture. Each seminar is based upon different sets of knowledge. Therefore, it is not necessary to do them in any specific order.
Each seminar that Dr. Blander teaches is different. Once someone has attended one practitioner course it does not mean that the practitioner material has been learned and that person should therefore go to a different course. You have to remember that the names and certificates are only names and certificates not the material nor the knowledge!
Neuro-Linguistic Programming was specifically created in order to allow us to do magic by creating new ways of understanding how verbal and non-verbal communication affect the human brain. As such it presents us all with the opportunity to not only communicate better with others, but also learn how to gain more control over what we considered to be automatic functions of our own neurology.