NLP Origins

Neuro Linguistic Programming began its life early in 1970s when a Linguistic Professor from the University of California, Santa Cruz, John Grinder, teamed up with an undergraduate, Richard Bandler and also Frank Pucelik. All three of them had a fascination with human excellence which charted path for them to model behavioral patterns of selected genuises.

Modelling is the core activity in NLP, and is the process of extricating and replicating the language structure and behavioural patterns of an individual who is excellent at a given activity.

Grinder, Bandler & Pucelik began their NLP quest by modeling three people- Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. These geniuses were outstanding as professional agents of change, working in the domain of therapy.

All three geniuses, Perls, Satir and Erickson performed their magic from a perspective of unconscious excellence. The geniuses did not present Grinder, Bandler & Pucelik with a conscious description of their behaviour. The modellers (Grinder, Bandler & Pucelik) unconsciously absorbed the patterning inherent in the geniuses and then provided a description.

With little direct knowledge of each of the geniuses speciality and little knowledge of the field of psychotherapy on the whole, Grinder and Bandler over a two-year period set out with enthusiasm bordering on fervor, to explicate selected portions of the geniuses’ behavior. They coded the results of their work in language-based models.

Through NLP Modelling, Grinder and Bandler made explicit the tacit skills of the geniuses and NLP was born.

In 1975, Grinder and Bandler presented the first two NLP models to the world in the volumes- “Structure of Magic I and II”. The volumes published by the respected publishing house- ‘Science and Behaviour Books Inc’ put NLP on the map and interest in the new field of NLP spread quickly.

People in field related to communication, behavior and change sought to learn how they too could get amazing results when doing change work.

Grinder and Bandler willingly offered training courses in the application of their models. The training courses Grinder and Bandler conducted proved that the NLP models were transferable to others, meaning the learners could use the NLP models successfully in their own work.