NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming, and it deals with three basic aspects, which are neurology, language, and programming. It is a science concerned with behaviour, and the thoughts, and feelings, which influence it. It is a system of therapy that attempts to analyse how behaviour and patterns can be changed through effective communication.
It was originally founded in the 1970s as a form of psychological therapy and counseling. It was mostly used to help people overcome their fears and phobias, and help them deal with depression, and handle different disorders. In the past, it had a little support from the scientific community, but now many people believe in NLP, and wish to become trained NLP practitioners. It is now a lucrative industry, with many self-help workshops, seminars, audio tapes, and books being introduced every month for all types of issues.
An NLP Practitioner is a person certified by law to practice NLP therapy. Nowadays, being an NLP Practitioner has a tremendous scope, and it is a good career path. There is a great demand for NLP Practitioners all over the world, and they make good money. By being an expert in this field, you will be able help others, as well as apply the techniques yourself to be better at communicating with people, and convincing them.
One has to study many different areas of NLP while training to be a Practitioner. First are the fundamentals of NLP and basic beliefs. Every area i.e. neurology, language, and programming has to be studied in order to get a complete understanding. You will be taught the effective ways to build rapport with different kinds of people, and be able to connect to people on a higher level.
It is important to realise the importance of language, and the words we use, and their impact on the behaviour of different people. There are certain strategies, and plans that one can follow for different issues and an NLP practitioner must be expert in all of them. Hypnosis is also a part of the training.
Many institutes and academies offer NLP training courses for different lengths of time. Duration of courses can range from seven days to twenty-four days, depending on how many credit hours you take every day. Foundation courses usually take two to four days, and build on the basics.
The Association of NLP, which is a UK based non-profit organisation promoting NLP, recommends 125 “contact hours” with an NLP Trainer, spread over 20 plus days, to become an NLP Practitioner. According to the Association of NLP, this is a reasonable time to cover all the aspects of the syllabus.
Some organisations offer online trainings, as well as CDs, or audiotapes on NLP to get you acquainted with the subject. Although it can be used as additional material, it is important to work with a trainer in person. NLP is an area that is more practical than theoretical, and builds on experience. Once you are a certified practitioner, you can work with individuals, or offer consultancy/training services for businesses.