Main components and

core concepts of NLP

NLP can be understood in terms of three broad components and the central concepts pertaining to those:

Subjectivity. According to Bandler and Grinder:

     ° We experience the world subjectively thus we create subjective representations of our experience. These subjective representations of experience are constituted in terms of five senses and language. That is to say our subjective conscious experience is in terms of the traditional senses of vision, audition, tactition, olfaction and gustation such that when we—for example—rehearse an activity “in our heads”, recall an event or anticipate the future we will “see” images, “hear” sounds, “taste” flavours, “feel” tactile sensations, “smell” odours and think in some (natural) language. Furthermore it is claimed that these subjective representations of experience have a discernible structure, a pattern. It is in this sense that NLP is sometimes defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience.

     ° Behavior can be described and understood in terms of these sense-based subjective representations. Behavior is broadly conceived to include verbal and non-verbal communication, incompetent, maladaptive or “pathological” behavior as well as effective or skillful behavior.

     ° Behavior (in self and others) can be modified by manipulating these sense-based subjective representations.


NLP is predicated on the notion that consciousness is bifurcated into a conscious component and an unconscious component. Those subjective representations that occur outside of an individual’s awareness comprise what is referred to as the “unconscious mind“.


NLP utilizes an imitative method of learning—termed modeling—that is claimed to be able to codify and reproduce an exemplar’s expertise in any domain of activity. An important part of the codification process is a description of the sequence of the sensory/linguistic representations of the subjective experience of the exemplar during the execution of the expertise.

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