NLP Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on NLP

Concepts of NLP
  1. What is the concept behind NLP?
  2. What does NLP stand for?
  3. Why is it called ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming’?
Myths about NLP
  1. NLP is Mind Control and Manipulative.
  2. NLP Does Not or Will Not Work for me.
  3. NLP is Therapy
Arguments surrounding NLP
  1. Has NLP been scientifically validated?
  2. How come NLP is so popular with seemingly little scientific evidence?
  3. NLP is a quasi-religion?

of NLP


What is the concept behind NLP?

NLP is the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their results. These communication skills can be learned by anyone to improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally.

Joseph O’Connor & John Seymour, 1990  (Introducing NLP)

What does NLP stand for?

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming

  • Neuro  refers to thought processes
  • Linguistic  examines language structure
  • Programming  addreses patterns and sequences of actions


Why is it called ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming’?

NLP came about 40 years ago, to come up with a name that would comprehensively describe the scope of the concept. The name may not have been the best choice because it has resulted in much misunderstandings, especially because of the inclusion of the word ‘programming’ in the name – many people are put off because they perceive this to be about programming peoples’ minds. The ‘programming’ in the name actually refers to the mental and physical programmes which we use to do everything we do.

about NLP


NLP is Mind Control and Manipulative

NLP is about connecting with people at an emotional or unconscious level, outside of their conscious awareness. Even though you can use NLP to influence other people, NLP cannot control or manipulate someone else.


NLP Does Not or Will Not Work for me.

One of the key powers of NLP is being able to tailor it to your actions and behaviors. NLP helps you break down approaches and strategies so that you have a better understanding of how things work for you and those you are working with and how to make them work even better. And if there are areas that are not working well for you often making minor changes to a process or strategy is just what you need to make a big difference in your personal or professional results.


NLP is Therapy

People can gain therapeutic benefits from lots of different things including: reading a book, going on vacation, walking in nature, meditating. That does not make it therapy.
Likewise, NLP models and techniques can be successfully used in the context of leadership, sports, sales and persuasion, public speaking and coaching to name a few. NLP practitioners regularly help people
overcome habits or limiting beliefs in a single session. However, that
doesn’t make them a therapist.

surrounding NLP


Has NLP been scientifically validated?

No, nor does NLP make any claims to be scientific or to be based on studies that compare the average behaviour of one group with the average behaviour of another.


How come NLP is so popular with seemingly little scientific evidence?

We live in the concept of scientific reductionism, we want everything around us explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanism. However, this approach fails to understand the reasoning behind NLP. NLP is not really interested in why things work… all it wants to do is to understand how you do something and then fix it.


NLP is a quasi-religion?

Most certainly NOT. One of the first things you learn in any contact with NLP is that there’s only one person in charge of your thoughts, your internal state and your behaviour/actions, and that’s you!