N.L.P. Counselling

N.L.P. CounsellingThe practice of N.L.P. is to provide the means to experience the wonderful feeling of being, which makes us want to shout out: "I am!" And for this, there is no need to undertake difficult exercises, deprive yourself of anything or spend your entire life to achieve this goal.

But first, what does N.L.P mean? NLP stands for the " Neuro- Linguistic Programming".

Neuro refers to the automatic actions that are " ingrained " in our brains.

Linguistics: this means that this programming is expressed through our verbal and non- verbal language (conscious and unconscious behaviour).

Programming: refers to our education and our past experiences. Due to this education and these past experiences, we are programmed to reproduce certain behaviour, certain habits, certain automated or reflexive actions. N.L.P is thus an effective communication tool and is a set of techniques of metal stimulation to achieve the development of the potential for each individual. N.L.P. takes into account the spiritual dimension and is based on three fundamental principles: the pursuit of love, the conscience and a sense of responsibility, in order to establish a harmonious connection between the heart and logic.


NLP was born in the 70s, created by two people: John Grinder and Richard Bandler. 3 reputable practitioners became the representativse of this approach. - Fritz Perls: neuropsychiatrist and psychoanalyst who created Gestalt therapy.  - Virginia Satir: the mother of family therapy.  -Milton Erickson: famous American psychiatrist and hypnotherapist.  NLP is also influenced by many approaches from the School of Palo Alto:

  • Cybernetics 
  • Systemic approach 
  • Constructivism 
  • The anthropological 
  • General semantics 
  • Transformation

In 1972, at the University of Santa Cruz, California, Richard Bandler, psychologist and linguist John Grinder met and pooled their knowledge and experience together, to develop what would become N.L.P. They worked on the theme of "excellence" in communication and explored different types of situations to identify their common characteristics. They started off on the principle that it is possible to update the characteristics producing "excellence" in all kinds of communication situations. For Grinder and Bandler, "excellence" is measured in terms of the result, its suitability to the intended objective and the economy of the means used. Psychotherapy soon becomes their main field of investigation because it can produce some very significant behavioural changes. They then measured the "excellence" based on the achievement of clearly defined objectives and speed of results.

Through careful observations and data recorded during many sessions, they managed to highlight the constant elements of effective communication in any given situation. They thus set up models of efficiency that would later be applied to psychotherapy, to personal development techniques, but also to very different contexts like parenting relationships, education, teaching, selling ... 
NLP quickly transformed, at the same time meeting other practices extra to its original context, other subjective disciplines. Today, NLP models are used in conjunction with :

  • Spiritual disciplines like Buddhism and shamanism
  • Energy Systems such as acupuncture and chakras
  • Management methods such as management
  • Healing techniques such as magnetism and psychic
  • Simultaneously with this revolution NLP was re- rooted in the origins of:
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • General Semantics
  • Phenomenology


NLP contains supportive hypothesis from many practices. They are:    "The map is not the territory"

There is a big difference between a presumed reality and the actual experience of an organism of this reality 
Each person has his own map of the world - its development is determined by the morphogenesis (the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shap.) and the personal history of the individual. 
No model of the world is more "true" or "real" than another 
The choices of an individual are limited by their own models of the world and the possible responses that he already knows, rather than the territory or the reality themselves. 
Models which give access to more choice, or a rich array of choices, may prove fruitful 
Each person has built his own model of the world through his nervous system 
Neurological patterns consist of sensory perceptions and are stored through our representational systems (VAKOG= Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory and Taste).

  • Knowledge, meaning, thoughts, etc. are the result of internal computations consisting of overlaps (synesthesia), correlations (behavioural equivalences), and connections (associations) between the representational systems.
  • "The spirit and the body form a cybernetic system"
  • For each neurological pattern, there is a concurrent behavioural manifestation and vice versa,
  • We adjust the value of the signal of information in our representational systems through behavioural alterations or ocular access
  • Neurological programs operate as feedback loops (TOTE) rather than in the form of linear reflex responses of the stimulus.
  • The behaviour is more goal oriented rather than determined by the stimulus
  • A pattern of association can be established by a single experiment in contrast to a linear pattern
  • There is a deep "neuro-linguistic" interaction between language and our neurological models of the world.
  • The individual capacities are a function of the development and sequencing of the representational systems.
  • Conscience is a limited phenomenon
  • Individuals can hold seven, plus or minus two "elements" of information in their consciousness at any moment (the average capacity of memory)
  • The type of element will determine how experience is reacted to
  • Coding congruence; that is to say that the same behavioural patterns will keep reproducing themselves and therefore become more automatic.
  • Biological interactions are systemic (cybernetic) rather than linear
  • Human interactions form cybernetic systems, that is to say they are in constant interaction
  • The cybernetic systems are geared toward adaptation.
  • The Cybernetic systems are organized in different structural levels of logic.
  • The rules of change and of reinforcement of a level will not be similar to those of another level. What is positive at one level may be negative at another level. 
  • People make the best choice in their power, taking into consideration the possibilities and capabilities which they perceive as being available to use in their own model of the world.
  • The Law of Requisite Variety: the part of the system that provides the most flexibility will be the catalytic element
  • Effective behaviours are organized into TOTE (Test-Operation-Test-Exit) that is to say they have a fixed objective and they characterize the means to achieve the objective

The basic techniques

Anchoring The anchoring process is a simple and natural process of associating an internal state ( an emotion, or a feeling) to an external stimulus of at least one of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste). Thereafter, the mere existence of the stimulus is enough to recall the whole experience. This goes for both good experiences and bad. Anchors will help us to go and seek and implement a particular resource such as self-confidence, calm, motivation ... in the context where it is necessary.

The swish pattern The tool of the Swish Pattern (R. Bandler, 1985) is actually a process developed to break a chain of thoughts that will lead to unwanted behaviour. The person wanting to change their behaviour is invited to visualise an element that precedes the appearance of such behaviour, and switch (swish) to an image which represents the state obtained with the desired behaviour.

Reframing Reframing is an opportunity presented by the therapist to "consider another point of view" and thus give another meaning to an experience. The meaning of the experience having changed, the reactions will be modified as well as the person's thoughts and their behaviour. Reframing may be used on presuppositions, on a particular context, or regarding values.

Practice A session of NLP will follow guidelines which consist of several steps: The practitioner will first strive to create and maintain a link with the person, taking time to listen, to stay in his "world model" to show that he understands and that he is with her. This is called the "Bridge of the heart."

Then he will: - Clarify the present situation. This will give a quick understanding of the current situation, with its various mechanisms, without particular interest in the reasons why, rather just to determine the beliefs of the client. The practitioner will seek to clarify several points such as:

  • The context, who is involved and how? In which conditions or circumstances?
  • The precise situation: how and when does this happen?
  • Where do the problems lie: what is experienced as a troubling experience?
  • What beliefs or values that are violated: why these?
  • The "process" implemented: what happens?   Continuing attention will be given by the practitioner, known in NLP as "logical levels." He will try to understand, during his questioning, at which level the problem is, in order to provide a solution or a change at a higher level.

Determining the objective. The fact of clearly identifying an objective, with the steps above, may already be a great step forward.

  • The practitioner will help the subject to identify an objective himself, by leading him to:
  • Formulate his words in an affirmative manner
  • Accept that the problem comes from him
  • Set specific goals
  • Focus on something even more important
  • Clarify the scope of the problem
  • Accept that change is possible
  • Set up a strategy: Find out how and what to do to switch from one thing to another.
  • The practitioner will build a personalised "strategy" of support through appropriate techniques, adapted to the level of logic of the client and according to the construction of the symptom that is the problem:
  • Research and "anchoring" of the resources or capabilities
  • Visualization and learning a new behaviour
  • Work on the internal processes (mental images, emotions etc.)
  • Work on the "part of the personality" concerned
  • Work on the past trauma that caused the trouble
  • Change the beliefs of the client

The practitioner finally tested techniques and strategy on the expected change of the subject's behaviour. The practitioner then tests these techniques and the strategy , according to the expected change of the client's behaviour.

The scope of NLP is really broad and ranges from behavioural problems (smoking, alcohol, bulimia, anorexia, etc.), phobias, through stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, life trauma, nightmares, inner conflicts, unhappiness in life, etc. It can also help to motivate, hence its use in the mental preparation of athletes, in coaching, management, training, learning, education And It allows, in all cases, to enhance self-confidence.