So, what is NLP anyway?! The name Neuro-Linguistic-Programming may give us a clue.

Richard Bandler maintains that he just made up the name, 2 alternative stories exists:

1) That he was driving down the highway in his S-Class Merc when he was pulled over for doing “about warp factor 9” (in his words!), when the policeman asked what he did he was a bit stuck for a short explanation (this was the early days of NLP) he glanced over at his passenger seat and saw 3 books, one on neurology, one on linguistics and one on computer programming, so blurted out “I am a Neuro-linguistic-programmer”!

2) Grinder and Bandler, early on in their research wanted to study patients in mental institutions, but because they didn’t have the correct qualifications weren’t allowed in. So they made up their own field and thought the name NLP sounded very clever!

However I think he tells these stories to reinforce that NLP isn’t a “thing”, it is a series of idea’s, models, and rules of thumb that allows us to better understand human behaviour in a very practical way. This understanding then gives us the tools to communicate more effectively and help people change behaviour very quickly and very effectively. NLP in itself does not exist.