NLP Online

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This article summarizes the core of NLP.

NLP Online

Your brain is a blank slate. Fill it up with positive things

Every field has a vocabulary one-of-a-kind to its functions and NLP is no exception. NLP presents numerous ideas and new terms to explain its models, techniques and procedures. Some of these terms come straight from linguistics and the science of perception, while others were invented to explain discoveries that did not fit into any previous category.

NLP is a large field and no brief summary page can begin to cover its breadth and depth. However, there are a couple of crucial concepts which I utilize so regularly in my practice. These core concepts assists both my clients and myself through common lexicon.

It is not necessary for you to “learn” or memorize all NLP concepts.  Simply check out over the parts of this page that catch your interest and let whatever sinks in do so on its own.

The entries on this page are very short, just the terms and a brief definition for each. For more in-depth information, there are a number of NLP books I’ll be happy to recommend if you ask me about them.

Neurological Levels

  • Spirituality
  • Identity
  • Beliefs and Values
  • Capability
  • Habits
  • Environment

Concept: The higher the level, the more of your neurology is involved. NLP offers explicit processes for making use of these levels and for integrating experiences between them to accomplish full congruity for goals and resolutions to issues.

In concept, the higher levels operate on, define, or influence the lower levels. Certain internal conflicts result from lower levels being given precedence over high levels, or confusion of levels. For example: “I don’t eat right …” [behavior] … and that means there is something wrong with me.” [identity]

These levels are not formulaic and may differ from culture to culture, particularly at the top levels. For instance, in Far Eastern models of spirituality, the logical levels may look more like this:.

  • Spirituality and Identity.
  • Mission and Purpose.
  • Beliefs and Values.
  • Capability.
  • Behavior.
  • Environment.

In this model, Environment wraps around to Spirituality and Identity. It’s one of the first things learn about NLP Online

John Grinder, one of the original co-developers of NLP, recently suggested that instead of proposing a fixed model of neurological levels, a formal NLP process needs to be modeled and developed to enable practitioners to determine each unique individual’s hierarchy. To date (2004), such a formal process has not been developed.

Perceptual Positions.

A perceptual position is a point of view which includes all of our representational systems (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, olfactory, linguistic). Our body’s somatic syntax, our beliefs, our patterns and behaviors, etc., are also parts of what we perceive, and thus can be essential elements of our perceptual position.

Our brains are capable of representing more than one perceptual position. When in a perceptual position, a person internally represents the world, occasions– past, present or future– and relationships in a linked way from within that position. Here is a brief synopsis of the four main perceptual positions as described and made use of in NLP Training, Coaching and Therapy:.

  • 1st Position: The perceptual position of oneself. What one sees, hears, feels, tastes, smells; plus exactly what one believes, one’s capabilities, behaviors, etc
  • . 2nd Position: The perceptual position of another. Another can be a person, an animal, veggie or mineral. Another can be genuine, envisioned or kept in mind, a character from a novel or movie, a supportive mentor or a critic, a future or ideal self, or any number of archetypal roles.
  • 3rd Position: The perceptual position of an observer. An observer can be a fair witness, a scientist from another planet, a fly on the wall, or any uninvolved entity, real or imagined, with the ability to perceive in a disinterested and well intentioned way.
  • 4th Position: The perceptual position of the larger system or systems. The system can see all of the other positions at once, as a whole, and use all of the representation systems to perceive such things as relationships between various other positions, results on the system itself, and systems within systems to any level of magnitude, large or small.


Submodalities are the specific attributes of each of our sensory representational systems. For example:.

  • Visual submodalities: size, shape, color, focus, transparency, motion/still, angle, brightness/darkness, contrast, vertical position, horizontal position, distance, speed, peripherality, panoramic/bordered, visual texture, 2D/3D, point of view (associated, disassociated), and so on
  • Auditory submodalities: volume, pitch, timbre/tonality, duration, distance, movement, source, direction, place, consistency, dissonance, rhythm, tempo, development, characteristics, phrasing, staccato, legato, and so on
  • Kinesthetic submodalities: place (inside/outside), tactile/proprioceptive, temperature, pressure, texture, solidity, weight, intensity, duration, often/frequent/constant, movement, fullness/hunger, sticky/smooth/rough, hardness/softness, sharp/dull, wet/dry, flexibility/rigidity/brittleness, and so on
  • Olfactory submodalities: sweet, pungent, fresh, stale, putrid, chemical, burnt, smoky, animal, faint, strong/mild, etc
  • . Gustatory submodalities: sweet, sour, salty, hot, bitter, tart, savory, juicy, dry, etc
  • Submodalities are different from analyses. Submodalities are qualities of sensory perception. Interpretations are intricate secondary evaluations of perceptions and their meanings. The following are examples of interpretations, not submodalities: good, bad, calming, upsetting, boisterous, lovely, uninteresting, uncomfortable, stress-free, irritating, puzzling, uneasy, pleasant, appealing, etc

Association and Disassociation.

These terms are made use of in a different way in NLP from similar terms utilized in the psychology model. In NLP association and disassociation are characteristics of perceptual position. This is a key learning you’ll discover about NLP online.

Association is perception and experience as if one is inside the scene or experience being stood for internally, whether that representation’s time location is in the past, present or future, and whether that representation is in any of the four perceptual positions. An associated state is one in which the individual experiences the state as if immersed in it or surrounded by it.

Disassociation is perception and experience as if one is outside the scene being represented inside. A disassociated memory, for example, is one in which one can see oneself in the memory as if viewing it from the outside. Disassociated states do not have to include an image of oneself, but can have the quality of perceiving others in a non-identified way.

In NLP, the capability to associate and disassociate are considered skills. One is not ‘better’ than the other. The benefits and drawbacks of each depend on the access, flexibility and appropriateness of their use in different contexts. Most people tend to favor one over the other as a default, but can learn and improve in the use of either with practice.

Meta Programs

Meta Programs are practices or “programs” of attention– what we pay attention to and what we filter out– the awareness of perception in numerous contexts.

The conscious mind, it is said, can only attend to a maximum of 7 +/- 2 representations at the same time. Yet our sensory receptors are actively perceiving uncounted millions of perceptions every second of our lives, and our brains are processing the vast majority of that unconsciously.

Our conscious minds are designed for focus. How, then, is that focus to be selected? The mindful mind can manage the choice within 7 +/- 2 (seven, plus or minus two) representations. It would be overwhelmed, however, at the complete infinitude of sensory choices on a moment by moment basis.

It’s an advantage, then, not a bad thing, that our subconscious can deal with millions of sensory representations at once. The question is, how is it doing that, and is it serving us in the best way?

What if the unconscious is habitually selecting things to present to awareness that our conscious mind would prefer not to be aware of at that time or place? And what if we wish to change the selection criteria or update it to adapt to new situations?

Meta programs can be changed with NLP. Nevertheless, it is often more useful to keep them as they are but increase our material in their use more appropriate to certain contexts.

There are many meta programs, but the following are a few of the most important. Each is a binary selection– that is, attention is concentrated on one or the other. Remember that Meta Programs are neither good nor bad outside some specific context. They are not a form of personality typing. In basic, a person take advantage of having actually increased access to, and choice about both sides of the following pairs.

  • Toward vs. Away-From: Attention is directed either toward exactly what is desired or far from what is not wanted.
  • Internal Reference vs. External Reference: Attention is directed to internal processes or external processes (including people, objects, etc.).
  • Big Chunk vs. Little Chunk: Attention is directed to the big picture or small details.
  • Options vs. Procedures: Attention is directed to selecting from options or following procedures.
  • Match vs. Mismatch: Attention is focused on what is the same or what is various.

Goals, Intentions and Action

An objective, an intention to reach it, and the action necessary to get there are all required to achieve a preferred outcome.

Well-Formed Outcomes: NLP specifies the following six conditions for a goal, or other kind of desired outcome, to be considered “well-formed”– that is, complete, fully congruent, and ecologically sound for the person internally as well as for his or her external relationships and environment.

The Six Criteria for Well-Formed Outcomes are:.

  • The desired outcome is stated in positive language.
  • The desired outcome can be defined and evaluated according to sensory based proof– including internal sensory representations.
  • The desired outcome is initiated and maintained by the person who desires it.
  • The desired outcome can be attained in methods that protect any important benefits or positive intentions of today, pre-goal state.
  • The wanted outcome is properly sized within a specific context and is compatible with internal and external ecologies.

Note: The actions necessary to reach the goal are worth the effort.

Intentions: NLP defines ‘intention’ in numerous ways according to the context. In relation to an objective, a person’s intention is the “meta outcome” of the objective– the deeper something, the “even more important” something which having the goal will bring to the person. Often, the positive intention is several meta levels deeper or larger than the specific goal.

In some cases a specific goal, action or behavior connected to a favorable objective is no more the best choice when new resources become available, yet it continues programmatically, as if on autopilot. When the positive intention is known and preserved, a person can have greater versatility, selection and power to follow through on well formed goals and actions.

Another means ‘objective’ is used in NLP relates to setting one’s determination to act. To mean to reach a goal is more effective than simply to want it. Intention is active. It has direction and movement. An objective, by itself, is more like the place of a point on a map. It could be worth getting to, however if a person doesn’t mean to obtain there, it isn’t most likely to occur.

Typically, at the beginning of an NLP session, I recommend that we ‘set’ our intentions for the session. For instance, “I plan to be completely present and open to brand-new knowings,” or “I mean to give myself consent to consider brand-new possibilities.” Setting intention is more effective than saying, for example, “I want to get my outcome.” Intentions that are ‘set’ have an effective way of pervading a whole context and multiplying its resources.

Action: In NLP, both internal and external processes are considered actions, whether carried out purposely or unconsciously. Having an objective and a goal still needs some action to manifest them, to create motion along an instructions. Action can include excellent conscious effort or the leisure of effort to enable a bigger procedure to self-organize within us. The kind of action appropriate to approaching a particular well-formed objective with a set objective differs with ecology, timing, where along the path an individual is located, what resources are needed and offered, and so on

Whatever the kind, action is where the “rubber burns up the highway” Where there is no action, absolutely nothing takes place, even with well-formed objectives and compatible intentions. Usually, if absolutely nothing is taking place, it shows that a person has continuing to be ecology problems which should be attended to and resolved previously action will be appropriate– which is to say that the well-formedness of the objective, or the congruency of the intentions, is not yet complete.

Particularly with regard to action, the NLP presupposition, “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback,” is an useful frame of mindset.

Positioning in Time.

Positioning in time is a phrase originally used by Milton Erickson, M.D. to describe the ability of individuals to totally connect into experiences in the past, in addition to the thought of future.

NLP found that people do not need to be in a hypnotic trance to experience alignment in time in this way. In fact, property owner in common states of mind routinely recall memories in an associated means, replaying them representationally as if they were in them.

Associated memories in time might be pleasant or undesirable relying on content, with foreseeable resulting feedbacks. Neurological and physiological feedbacks to associated memories are typically equally as strong as the original occasions, suggesting that, at least in some contexts, the brain does not distinguish between present (“real”), remembered, or envisioned events.

People likewise regularly think of the future in a linked method, as if they are in it. Similar to memory, if they like what they picture, they have one response; if they don’t like it, they have an additional feedback.

NLP expanded on this preliminary concept of positioning in time, and now makes full use of the human mind’s ability to represent time inside in a variety of effective ways.

Throughout procedure work, we can subjectively move through time, forwards or backwards, change its instructions, duration, speed, chunk size and submodalities. This capability enables us to work in past, present and future contexts with ease.

Are you ready to unleash the power of NLP? Get out there and take action!

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