“NLP cannot be dismissed as just another hustle. Its theoretical underpinnings represent an ambitious attempt to codify and synthesize the insights of linguistics, body language, and the study of communication systems.” – – Psychology Today
NLP was born initially as an alternative school of psychotherapy in California, USA, during the mid-seventies. It was initiated by John Grinder, a linguistics professor, and Richard Bandler, a mathematician, at the University of California at Santa Cruz under the sponsorship of Gregory Bateson.
The two co-founders were at the time students of Bateson’s at UCSC, and published their first book “The Structure of Magic, I” in 1975. In this book, they tried to extract the rules of human verbal communication, which would be equivalent to linguistic grammars or to mathematical formulas, by modelling such genius “therapeutic wizards” as Milton H. Erickson, the most important Hypnotherapist, Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy and Virginia Satir, one of the authorities of family therapy.
Since around 1980, NLP has transformed itself from a mere alternative tool to psychotherapy to a full-fledged methodology of “communicational psychology”, which assists its practitioners in such areas as;
“NLP is an attitude which is an insatiable curiosity about human beings with a methodology that leaves behind it a trail of techniques.” — Richard Bandler
NLP provides us with a set of “belief statements” an underpinning philosophy, or as I call them, The Philosophy of Success. NLP doesn’t claim that they are necessarily true, but if you act as if they were they are extremely powerful, in the sense that they will assist those who follow those models of the world in achieving more easily what they really want to achieve.
There are many different strands that make up the NLP Community, but as a rule of thumb, it has been said that John Grinder is the best theoretician of NLP, Richard Bandler the best practitioner of NLP, and Robert Dilts, one of their students, the best developer of NLP techniques. Indeed, Robert Dilts, has written more books on NLP technologies than any other person in this field. Other key developers have been Judith DeLozier, Charles Faulkner, David Gordon, Stephen Gilligan and Steve Andreas.