Understanding NLP and Strategies

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies people use to communicate, think, and behave to model and change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior. Strategies, in NLP terms, refer to the sequence of internal representations—such as sounds, words, feelings, smells, and tastes—that culminate in a particular outcome. These are essentially the thinking patterns we’ve learned and internalized over time.

The Cycle of Habitual Thinking

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Our brains are wired to repeat familiar sensory sequences in our thinking patterns, leading to consistent behaviors and results. This concept aligns with the NLP presupposition that if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we’ll keep getting the same results. When we’re “stuck” and not being resourceful, it’s often because we’re repeating non-resourceful patterns in the same way each time. Observing a person’s eye accessing cues and listening to their language can reveal these repetitive patterns.
Eye Accessing Cues and Synesthesias

Eye accessing cues are movements of the eyes in specific directions that are believed to correspond with the accessing of certain types of cognitive processes. For example, looking upwards is often associated with visual thinking. When we’re “stuck” in a problem, we may lock our internal representations into a single, confusing synesthesia, where multiple senses are combined into one representation, making it difficult to separate them and think clearly.
Breaking Patterns with NLP Techniques

The NLP techniques described in this article aim to introduce new sensory representations to situations where we’ve been stuck, thereby increasing our flexibility and creating new choices. By adding more sensory inputs, we can break down limiting synesthesias and reorganize our internal representations into more resourceful ways of thinking.

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