NLP: What is Neuro Linguistic Programming?
Mental health and substance abuse treatment programs use a range of techniques and models to help you. For example, most programs use talk therapy. Some employ holistic therapies. You might also encounter neuro linguistic programming (NLP).
What Is Neuro Linguistic Programming?
The neuro linguistic programming model works from the idea that people’s sensory experiences create a set of mental maps. These maps inform and drive your behaviors. Unfortunately, these maps don’t always reflect an accurate view of the world.
For example, a map can include unconscious biases. If your map tells you that girls don’t excel in math and science, you might put less trust in a woman doctor. If your map tells you that you can handle using drugs, quitting drugs becomes much harder.
By exposing flaws in these maps and rewriting them, you can change your behaviors.
Neuro linguistic programming uses a wide variety of techniques that help you change your behaviors. Anchoring, for example, pairs a feeling with a trigger. You might recall an intensely vivid happy memory and tap the side of your leg. You repeat the process until tapping the side of your leg alone is enough to trigger happiness.
The re-framing technique helps you by providing a tool for altering your perspective on an event. Let’s say you lose your job, which most people consider terrible. It’s enough to send you into an emotional tailspin. With re-framing, you ask yourself questions about your reaction.
Is this really the worst outcome? Did I actually like that job? Is this a disaster or an opportunity for something better?
By considering the situation with reasonable questions, you reduce some of the emotional sting. That lets you take a more balanced view and react in productive ways.
Other common techniques include:
- Loop breaks
- Pattern interruption
Each technique helps you rewrite those mental maps that hold you back from your chosen goals in life.
Two people get credit for developing neuro linguistic programming: Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Bandler and Grinder started with recordings of Fritz Perls, one of the developers of Gestalt Therapy. They also observed noted therapist Virginia Satir.
Based on what they gleaned from Perls’ recordings and observing Satir, they wrote a two-volume book that forms the core of NLP. The volumes were titled The Structure of Magic 1 & 2. They based later volumes on the work of Milton H. Erickson.
Use in Treatment
Mental health and substance abuse treatment rarely boil down to a single therapy method. Instead, therapists apply several therapies they believe will best serve the patient. Neuro linguistic programming can offer a lot of benefits when it’s built into a comprehensive program that includes:
- Group therapy
- Holistic addiction treatment
- 12-step alternative program
- Individual therapy
- Reality therapy
- Spiritual psychology
Neuro linguistic programming isn’t a standalone therapy for addiction or mental health conditions. It doesn’t, however, support those other therapies. That makes it a potent tool for helping you achieve long-term recovery.
The Clearing offers a residential mental health treatment program in Washington state. We focus on helping clients resolve underlying core issues. We also specialize in dual diagnosis treatments.
Don’t let addiction and mental health challenges decide your fate. You can overcome them with a quality rehab program that offers dual diagnosis treatment. Call The Clearing today to see if we’re the right choice for you.