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What Is An NLP Practitioner?



Neuro-Linguistic Programming – or NLP as it is slightly more commonly known – is a type of therapy that has been around since the 1970s but has undergone a transformation in recent years.

No longer solely a treatment therapy for those struggling to overcome fears and phobias, the same skills exhibited by practitioners are now also used to maximize professional effectiveness or to create a calm and positive mindset.

But what is a practitioner, and what kind of skills do they use? Here’s a guide to what you can expect.

Physician heal thyself

As NLP is a very holistic type of therapy that involves a deep level of engagement between the practitioner and the individual, the practitioner must first work on any issues they may have.

This means that in many cases, the practitioner will have undergone a self-examination and experienced NLP from the other side. Eradicating their negative behavior cycles or verbal responses is essential for an NLP practitioner to be effective. Failure to form a rapport between a practitioner and the individual will prevent the program from being a success.

A variety of courses/qualifications

NLP has undergone many changes since it was first launched. Although the concept has its roots in therapy, it is now suitable for use in many other settings too. It is, therefore, essential to find the right practitioner who has experience in the right field.

Unlike some other types of therapy, an NLP qualification does not always provide an indication of the specialty of the practitioner. There are many courses available, some of which are accelerated with a higher degree of self-learning, whereas others insist that practitioners gain more practical experience before offering their services.

Check the credentials

As a general rule, it is preferable to use the services of a practitioner who is registered with a central body and has been certified following the completion of a course or qualification which is endorsed. Although diversity is one of the most attractive features of NLP, it can sometimes make it difficult to be sure about the credentials of the practitioner.

Using a practitioner registered with a body such as the Professional Guild of NLP provides reassurance that the individual has attained a certain standard and will follow an industry-approved code of conduct. Another central register worth checking is the International NLP Trainers’ Association (INLPTA). Both the INLPTA and the Professional Guild work together to improve and maintain standards amongst NLP practitioners.

What fundamental principles do NLP practitioners share?

Although practitioners can offer different treatments and specialize in various fields, the underpinning principles of NLP remain unchanged.

A practitioner should always set desirable and attainable targets and goals with the individual based on a two-way interaction. An NLP practitioner mustn’t attempt to force their views, beliefs, or opinions upon the person.

How to become successful is a critical component of NLP – whether that means being successful in overcoming a phobia or achieving professional goals. The practitioner will help to demonstrate the assumptions and core beliefs that will form the basis of success.

By having NLP, the individual will grow to be able to identify their emotional responses to any given situation and be able to control and influence them. The ability to recognize subtle changes in not only themselves but others as an indicator that there has been a change in behavior in intensity will also be learned.

A practitioner has the option of using many different techniques to elicit the desired response, but language will form a core part of any program. Learning how words can alter both the internal and external response can be a powerful tool, and developing the skills to change the way language is used can be a surprisingly effective method.

Practitioners may work on both a conscious and subconscious level, as many methods have an overlap with hypnotherapy. Sessions may not necessarily be static either; moving around the room or standing can sometimes be used to achieve the desired outcome.


An NLP practitioner has the potential ability to unlock hidden skills in the individual; one of the fundamental assumptions is that the capacity is already contained within the person, just waiting to be released. However, the wrong practitioner can leave the individual doubting the effectiveness of the therapy. Therefore, if you are considering looking for an NLP practitioner, make sure you research their background thoroughly to make sure they are appropriately qualified and specialize in the area you want before going ahead.