What is NLP?

NLP began its life as a modeling technology, when John Grinder, Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik embarked on their now legendary work in capturing patterns of genius inherent in Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson.

NLP is the practice of coding how people organize their thinking, feeling, language and behavior to produce the results they do. NLP provides people with a methodology to model outstanding performances achieved by geniuses and leaders in their field. NLP is also a powerful change technology in helping people have new experiences in life through changing their own mental maps.

A key element of NLP is that we form our own unique internal maps of the world as a product of the way we filter and perceive information absorbed through our five senses from the world around us.


Neuro: Each individual has established their own unique mental filtering system for processing the millions of bits of data being absorbed through the senses. Our first mental map of the world is constituted of internal images, sounds, tactile awareness, internal sensations, tastes and smells that form as a result of the neurological filtering process. The first mental map is called ‘First Access’ in NLP.

Linguistic: We then assign personal meaning to the information being received from the world outside. We form our second mental map by assigning language to the internal images, sounds and feelings, tastes and smells, thus forming everyday conscious awareness. The second mental map is called the Linguistic Map (sometimes known as Linguistic Representation).

Programming: The behavioural response that occurs as a result of neurological filtering processes and subsequent linguistic map.

  • ” A modeling technology with specific focus on the set of differences that make the differences between the performance of geniuses and average performers in the same field of activity. The objective of modeling is to explicate in a transferable and learnable way, a set of differences. The core activity of NLP is the mapping of tacit knowledge onto an explicit model”
    - John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair, ‘Whispering in the Wind’.
  • ” NLP is a methodology for explicitly mapping and tracking human experience for the purpose of modeling, communicating effectively and creating change.”
    - Michael Carroll
  • The study of the structure of subjective experience.
  • The study of excellence