What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
What Is It?
Neurolinguistic Programming is a therapy which aims to replace
negative reactions to illness, which inhibit healing, with reactions
that are more beneficial to the healing process. Advocates of this
therapy suggest that people with illness become victims of their
own negativity, to the extent that their illness becomes a part of
their identity. The aim of Neurolinguistic Programming is to remove
psychological barriers to healing by training the mind to replace
negative thoughts and images with positive ones.
NLP was developed in the mid 1970s by John Grinder and Richard Bandler,
who studied how language influences mental states. The name Neurolinguistic
Programming originated from the separate disciplines which influenced
the early development of the therapy; it began as an exploration of
the relationship between neurology, linguistics, and observable patterns
("programs") of behaviour.
How Does It
The aim of NLP is to reprogram automatic responses, replacing
debilitating patterns with reactions that combat your illness. It
teaches you to replace negative thoughts (especially in relation
to your illness) with positive thoughts and images. This reprogramming
helps remove psychological blocks which inhibit the body’s
ability to heal itself. A positive attitude is thought to be beneficial
to the immune system, boosting healing processes within the body.
What Happens During
A Neurolinguistic Programming therapist will look for ingrained, unconscious
attitudes hindering your healing process. S/he may do this by analysing
the underlying meaning of words you use when you describe your illness
or problem, or by studying facial expressions, body language, or changes
in skin colour.
Your therapist will help you modify your reactions to any problems
you have by breaking the self-reinforcing cycle of negative thoughts
you may have about your illness. Therapists often use a technique called “guided
imagery”, which aims to replace negativity with a more beneficial
outlook on your future health. This more positive, healthier image
will eventually become ingrained in your unconscious mind, and allow
you to deal more effectively with your problem. NLP programmers generally
begin and end sessions by evaluating what you think you’re capable
of accomplishing, what you’re actually doing, and how you’re
going about doing it. These evaluations help a therapist to keep your
treatment in balance with your basic values and beliefs. The length
of treatment will vary depending on your situation and response to
What Is It Used
Neurolinguistic Programming can be useful for easing pain,
speeding recovery from injury, combating allergies, promoting relaxation
and improving your outlook on life during illness. It is also helpful
for personal or emotional problems such as low self esteem, shyness
and addictions, and can help with weight loss.
NLP should not be used in place of conventional treatment
for serious injuries or illness.
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