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NLP and positive psychology therapy session

Deep Dive into the Psychology of NLP Therapy

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) therapy and techniques can be used to benefit practically anyone. NLP therapy can be used to help with your career, your relationships, your daily habits, your stress management skills, and more.

History of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro-linguistic programming is a form of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves talk therapy treatments intended to help people find relief from an extensive range of mental health concerns in their day-to-day lives.

NLP and positive psychology techniques were developed in the 1970s in the United States by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Bandler was an undergraduate psychology student at the University of California in Santa Cruz, and he approached Grinder, a linguistics professor, for help on modeling gestalt therapy. Together, they went on to do more work together, eventually laying the foundations for neuro-linguistic programming techniques.

Their work can be summed up by two main goals;

  • To understand the actions of the mind are merely by-products of learned behavior; 
  • And, to enable people to develop new patterns of thought and shed unwanted behavior or thought patterns.
    • NLP psychology techniques instill ways to manage new behaviors while helping someone unlearn behaviors that are detrimental to their daily life and their goals.

Man discussing NLP psychology with therapist

Benefits of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Due to its focus on strengthening the connection between your conscious and unconscious mind, NLP in therapy can be used to develop new skills and end unwanted patterns of behavior.

New Skills

For those looking to live as their best selves, but are struggling to change their daily habits and behaviors to accomplish this, NLP therapy can be a great help. Many people use neuro-linguistic programming techniques to encourage skills that benefit their careers, relationships, and daily lives. For that reason, NLP and positive psychology techniques are part of organizational psychology employed by companies when conducting managerial and leadership training.

Skills that are commonly focused on in NLP therapy include creativity, problem-solving, productivity, and stress-management. 

While a skill like creativity cannot necessarily be taught, the positive behavioral patterns that allow for being more creative can be. By merely fostering positive behavioral patterns, you may overcome creative blocks and may even find new inspiration.

Stress management is one of the most common reasons people choose to undergo NLP therapy. While no form of counseling can completely eliminate stress from someone’s life, NLP psychology techniques can provide the right support to help people navigate stressful situations.

Undesirable Behaviors

If you struggle controlling your emotions and reactions to external stressors, you are not alone– many people deal with negative learned behaviors such as poor eating habits or emotional outbursts. 

For example, children exposed to significant strife between their parents may learn the wrong coping mechanisms and detrimental communication techniques. While that is not the child’s fault, it is something someone can tackle and resolve as an adult with the help of NLP and positive psychology techniques.

Neuro-linguistic programming focuses on the positive. Oftentimes, therapy sessions can feel like a course. The goal is to truly understand what thought patterns lead to success and productivity, which in turn will help you identify which thought patterns you may have that don’t. With the proper support from a qualified practitioner, you can retrain your mind to replace the negative thought patterns with more productive ones.

Two women hugging in a park

Examples of NLP Techniques


For those seeking to improve their relationships, this NLP psychology technique is vital. Rapport building focuses on the importance of synchronizing your communication style with your conversation partner. By doing so, you both will foster trust more easily. A 2006 study conducted by a researcher at West Virginia University found that the rapport building technique led to conversations that created more trust than the conversations that did not employ any neuro-linguistic programming techniques. Nonverbal signals are particularly important and can be learned via NLP therapy.

Outcome Orientation

Many people allow others to guide them toward their goals instead of setting their own. However, that may lead to decreased satisfaction and productivity. NLP and positive psychology techniques not only encourage you to become goal-oriented, but also provide the tools necessary to actually achieve the goals you set. 

Take control of your own life and experiences, and ensure the work you do and the choices you make lead to results that matter to you. John Grinder himself said, “Always have another dream behind each dream so that after you achieve your dream, another dream will motivate you.”

Sensory Acuity

Sensory acuity is a neuro-linguistic programming technique designed to increase your awareness of the world around you through your five senses. People pay more and less attention to different stimuli based on their own experiences and preferences. 

NLP psychology can help you open up and use all five senses to see, feel, hear, and notice more than you did previously. This gives you a better understanding, and therefore can lead to making better decisions.


Flexibility is a major predictor of success. One aim of NLP therapy is to increase your ability to be flexible in a variety of ways, such as creating more options for yourself, responding better to changing plans, and being willing to stop what you’re doing if it isn’t working. The more behavioral flexibility you have, the more control you have over any situation.

Woman smiling while hugging man

With NLP and positive psychology, you can achieve a new level of control over your life and future. Get started on your better future and schedule a phone consultation with Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. It’s always a good time to learn neuro-linguistic programming techniques and lead your future in the direction you choose.

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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