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Can Neurolinguistic Programming Really Transform Your Life?

0 2 years ago

Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) is a communication and interpersonal skills training model developed in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Popularized by their 1975 book, “The Structure of Magic,” NLP has become fairly well known around the world.

In a nutshell, NLP suggests that changing unhelpful thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and communication patterns can:

  • help shift your worldview for the better
  • improve your relationships
  • make it possible to influence others
  • help you achieve goals
  • boost self-awareness
  • improve physical and mental well-being

Practitioners also say NLP can help address mental health conditions like anxiety and depression as well as physical symptoms like pain, allergies, and vision problems.

A single approach that offers such a wide range of benefits might sound pretty great, and NLP has received plenty of positive attention and acclaim.

But the approach has also received plenty of scrutiny and criticism from experienced mental health professionals because almost no evidence supports any of its purported benefits.


Is NLP a type of therapy?

You might come across the term “NLP therapy,” but experts don’t recognize NLP as a type of psychotherapy.

Some consider it pseudoscience, at best — and at worst, a fraudulent and ineffective approach that mainly exists to make money.

A therapist trained in NLP might use the approach’s techniques as part of a combined approach to therapy, though.


Interested in learning more? Below, we’ll unpack NLP theory and principles, explain key techniques and how they’re used, and explore what research says about its suggested benefits.

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