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What is NLP?
And what do NLP, Hypnosis, and Uncle Milton have in common?
by Rich Aanrich

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is an innovative and leading edge way to find out how people create their REALITIES. NLP is both subjective and objective, compassionate, elegant and skillful…depending on the training, experience and the Heart of its practitioners. The term NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming was the term coined by its founders back in the 1970’s. The initial study was in determining how people create their “Realities of “Excellence” and in many places it is still referred to as the “Study of Subjective Reality”. In essence NLP is about how we create and communicate our internal Representations-of-Experiences to ourselves and to others.

Who is Uncle Milton (as I fondly refer to him) and what does he have to do with this emerging NLP thing? Milton H. Erickson was clearly the most profound researcher and practitioner of clinical and medical hypnotherapy, who changed personal change work forever. Milton Erickson’s high standards and genius changed old directive hypnosis into an elegant client directed hypnotherapy. Brief therapy had its roots here with its great abilities to make deep and lasting change. He took hypnosis, which previously was considered a stage entertainment, and moved it into solid behavioral science with integrity and a totally new way of treating patients and clients.

“You Are All-Ways So Much More Than You Think You Are!”
 Milton Erickson heavily influenced NLP founders Bandler & Grinder in their exploration of how people create inner realities of excellence. In studying Erickson they found out quickly that he had an incredible ability to focus so completely on people that he could discern how each individual created their internal patterns. As an MD he knew these representations were communicated through the Central Nervous System from Sensory and Thought Processes. He knew each person had his own unique language and that if you just observed and listened carefully to the clients they would provide clues that would become obvious. He showed that you could learn these keys to discover each individual’s ability to change. Decades after Erickson’s death people still study his work, understanding that he was one of the greatest masters of human behavior. Scores of books, and thousands of articles have been written about his methods and his genius. Thank you Uncle Milton for sharing yourself for the betterment of us all!

The technology of NLP or Neuro Linguistic Program is about the uniqueness of individuals and their own individual ways of creating and changing realities through their Internal-Representations. NLP has been applied to excellence and behavioral processes in every conceivable area from business, health and personal change to personal empowerment and spiritual areas. It is all about internal and external communications. This great knowledge opens up expansive opportunities for helping people in changing their lives for the better.

NLP: Neuro Linguistic Programming -Neuro…communications through the mind-body system that are carried as signals from the brain and body through the central nervous system. -Linguistics… is how we utilize language, how we communicate to ourselves and to others -Programming… is the patterns and processes through which we continue to habituate and sustain our identities, beliefs, internal- representations and behaviors (realities).

 NLP has been referred to as the “Software for the Brain” and the “Owners Manual for the Human Being” it is about the ability to understand how we and others operate through our internal processes. Words are only the surface structure of what is happening in the deeper processes from which the words or thoughts appear. The NLP principle states… “The map is not the Territory.” NLP is the technology of change and is a highly effective way to help people enjoy a greater quality of life in virtually every area imaginable, from business, sports, counseling, personal empowerment to health & wellness.

Many practitioners use NLP alone to help people make changes. Others have found that by adding NLP to Hypnotherapy they get an even wider range of possibilities for directing personal change. Erickson’s Law of Requisite Varity says, ”The person with the most options is always in control.” We could equally say that the person with the most choices has more options for change.

So, what do Hypnosis and Uncle Milton have to do with NLP? Without Milton H. Erickson the modality of NLP and professional Hypnotherapy as we know it today would not exist. We are wonderfully indebted to Erickson for a quick and effective method for profound personal change.

Remember… “You Are All-Ways So Much More Than You Think You Are!”

Rich Aanrich has a Counseling and Hypnotherapy/NLP Training Center. His trainings include, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy Certification & NLP. He can be reached here in Portland at (503) 525-0595