The use of external senses and internal representational systems to identify and choose the content of thoughts and activities. Attention can be conscious or unconscious or a combination of both. Where one places one’s conscious or unconscious attention has an effect on cognitive processes. First attention or the attention of the conscious mind is limited. (See conscious awareness). Second attention refers to the processes and organisation of the unconscious mind.


Experiencing the present with all your attention; seeing, hearing and feeling the living action that is taking place in the moment. For referring to memory or imagination, living a past or future experience from your viewpoint of the time; seeing, hearing and feeling as if you are present in that moment.

As If frame

A way of shifting into a different perceptual framework, and thus obtaining another quality of information. This can be especially useful if the content you are thinking about involves a stuck feeling. To use an “as if” frame, think of what it would be like As if you had the needed resource.


The study of man in his / her various environments.


Applying a gesture, touch, or sound just before a state peaks, either in oneself or someone else, so that the anchored state can be re-activated by reapplying that gesture, touch or sound. A smell can also be used as an anchor. Eg. as you remember the smell of a rose, you may find a memory of some experience that involved roses coming to mind. Psychologists recognise the pattern of anchoring as stimulus response conditioning.

Analogue Shaping

Shaping the body posture, breathing and movements of the subject.


Continuous change over time: continuous movement. An example is the light dimmer switch in contrast to an ordinary light switch which is either on or off (digital).

Aligned Perceptual Positions

A term coined by Connirae Andreas to describe the process she developed to achieve clearly well sorted perceptual positions. When in First Position, seeing out of your own eyes, hearing with your ears at their location, and feeling in your own body, with only your feelings. When in Third Position, seeing self and other, hearing both of them, and only experiencing feelings about the interaction. When in Second Position, seeing, hearing and feeling as if the other. See perceptual positions. Each perceptual position has a particular organisation as a means of accessing high quality information.


Having official recognition by a national government through a government body, government department, Act of Parliament or Royal Charter with reference to a set of government approved standards. In the case of educational or vocational courses, accreditation confers recognition of the qualification offered and an assurance of adherence to a government approved set of standards for quality.

Behavioural Technologies

Systems and models of psychology orientated to changing and extending human behaviour.

Behavioural Psychology

A school of psychology which deletes internal cognitive processes from its descriptions of psychology. An example of Western society’s predilection for first attention.


Any human activity, this includes internal thought processes, such as visual, auditory or kinaesthetic processing and involuntary as well as involuntary movement such as blinking or heart beat.


A review, both verbal and non-verbal, of the last portion of a discussion, presentation or set of instructions.


The generally agreed upon maps within a particular community of people which guide behaviour. These agreed upon maps form collectively a consensus reality for the group and generally operate outside conscious awareness.

Cultural conditioning

The assimilation of beliefs, values and ways of one’s culture of upbringing is sometimes referred to as cultural conditioning. We have all been shaped to a greater or lesser extent by the social context in which we grew-up, and by the social, political, economic and cultural contexts in which we live subsequently. One of the benefits of the models Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian hypnosis is the capability to evaluate the various belief systems that one adopted, and to update, change and enrich those maps of reality if so desired. This process brings added flexibility and choice into one’s life.


Taking any repetitive behaviour on the part of the subject, and matching that behaviour through a different communication channel. You could speak in time to the subjects breathing. If the person is blinking, you could tap a pencil in time to their blink rate. Cross-pacing builds rapport with the person’s unconscious mind and is a subtle, less noticeable approach to building or maintaining rapport than mirroring the subject’s behaviour directly.

Cybernetic epistemology (systems epistemology)

An orientation to pattern and the relationship between parts of a system, rather than usingquantification, and reductionism as in Newtonian physics. Cybernetic epistemology is based on the premise that living systems such as a person, family or ecology function on different rules to the world of physics. (See Epistemology and Systems Thinking).

Criterion (S), Criteria (P)

An individual’s or organisation’s definition of what is important to them in terms of their particular standards and values.


The situation, time and place within which designated activity takes place.

Content Reframing

Can be of two forms; either changing the response to an experience by changing the meaning of the experience in that context, (meaning reframe), or leaving the meaning of the behaviour the same and placing the behaviour in a different context (context reframing).

Conscious awareness

The conscious mind is limited in terms of the amount of information that can be held at any one moment in time to seven plus or minus two chunks. The size of the chunks is variable. A metaphoric description is the experience of shining a torch around a darkened room. As the light beam moves from one place to another, you notice different items. You can never see the entire contents of the room with the torch light. Like the torch, conscious attention shifts from one experience to another.


The match of a person’s body language (gestures, posture and voice patterns) with their verbal output (auditory digital) while they are communicating. Congruence in communication is one of the patterns found in charismatic people. Note though, when a person is communicating with congruency, this is not necessarily an indicator of truth, rationality or sensibility in terms of the content communicated. It means that in the moment, they believe what they are saying. Eg. Hitler communicated congruently, yet many of his ideas (content), were unecological in their effect on third parties.

Dovetailing Outcomes

Two or more parties’ outcomes, in which the achievement of one facilitates achievement of the other(s). The first step in negotiating anything is to elicit all parties’ outcomes, then derive a common set of outcomes by chunking up to a higher logical level. At this point the outcomes are said to be dovetailed.


Inaccurate reproduction of events in any recording medium, including human representation. Distortion in language refers to demonstrably inaccurate comments on any subject.


The process of stepping outside the point of view of experiencing the world from one’s physical position; seeing oneself from outside the self and, for internal representations, from outside the image and separate from the sounds.

Discovery Frame

Involves a psychological state, (see State) and an attitude in terms of perception. Expectation, judgement and desire are suspended for the duration of the exercise in order to discover what happens to one’s perceptions and ideas as a result of participating in it. That subjective state and attitude in relation to the wider world. ie. the expert being modelled and / or the world at large.


Sudden change in state. A standard light switch is digital, it can only be on or off.

Description (map, model)

An internal representation that we have that guides our behaviour. Primarily we have sensory representational systems, that is, we represent the world in mental images, sound tracks and sensation. There is also secondary representation, language. ie. we can represent our internal pictures, sounds and feelings in language.


The process of excluding portions of experience of the world from one’s internal representations, and one’s speech.

Deep Trance Identification

A hypnotic process where the subject enters a profoundly altered state and makes arrangements through his or her unconscious mind, in trance, to model specific or general patterns displayed by the model of excellence.


The comparative study of the behaviour of creatures, which include humans, living in their natural environment. Used to be known as ‘natural history’ before humans were included in the study.

Ericksonian Hypnosis

Communication models developed from studies of the innovative psychiatrist Dr Milton H. Erickson, for working with an individual’s subjective experience. In contrast to traditional Hypnosis, which uses ritual inductions and direct suggestion, Ericksonian hypnosis stresses the importance of respecting the uniqueness of each individual and the development of trance states shaped for that person. Subsequently, an Ericksonian approach to hypnosis involves calibration, the use of context and indirect suggestion to facilitate learning within the individual. In Ericksonian hypnosis the relationship between guide and subject is important, and therefore attention is given to rapport, communication, high quality information gathering and feedback.


The study of how we know what we know, how creatures or groups of creatures, including humans, from families to cultures, societies and the global living system, think, and decide. It reveals the premises underlying outer behaviour and inner thinking. These premises may be based on the history of society and the individual, and they set filters which allow or limit the passage of new information of difference into the mind. Sub-systems such as an individual, or a family may have a particular epistemology. Systems such as an extended family, culture or society may have a dominant epistemology, and the greater system of interconnected life has a number of epistemology’s. The dominant epistemology of the West is still based on Cartesian mind-body dualism, although some thinkers perceive this to be in error. They believe it to be a major contribution to the present imbalance and damage to the greater system of life on earth.


A statement of recognition or approval from a non-official and non-government body or individual. Can be a signal honour and provide a boost to credibility when given by a credible or knowledgeable person. Endorsement does not denote or confer offical recognition nor accreditation.

Emotional states – mapping and shifting

It is possible to unpack and define the structure of emotional states, whether experienced as enhancing or limiting to the individual. Once a particular emotion has been mapped out, the structure of the state in question can be altered if desired, to create something more useful for oneself.


A sequence of internal representations and external sensory input, usually ending with a kinaesthetic (hence the colloquial term “feeling”). An emotion may occur in response to sensory input or internal representation, whether these activities are conscious or unconscious. Compare with “Thought; a sequence of internal representations and external sensory input”.


The art through communication of getting a particular response or piece of information from someone. As practitioners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian hypnosis, we are involved in eliciting from clients the resources they need to take themselves from the present state to their desired outcome.


In NLP elegance describes the performance of a particular pattern in a streamlined, efficient, and natural way. Elegance denotes the minimum activity that is necessary and sufficient to produce the desired outcome with acceptable and ecological consequences. “The minimal number of distinctions necessary to provide an effective replication of the talent” (Grinder, DeLozier and Bandler, 1977).


The process of considering the effects of any change in behaviour across a number of time frames, situations and places for self and others. What are the consequences now, in the future, for oneself, for significant others, in various contexts such as home, career, lifestyle, as well as possible effects on the physical environment. The use of the answers to these questions is determined by the values held important by that individual.


The context surrounding a given set of events and behaviour, imparting meaning to those interactions by its presence.


An extended range of behavioural responses that can be drawn upon. Each sensory channel has an extended range of ways of recalling and constructing representations. Also an extended range of emotional responses which can be elicited, created and expressed for each situation encountered by the individual. At a more complex level of processing, flexibility describes access to an extended range of perceptual filters. The use of flexibility is in its application to any given context, such that the individual can use behaviour which serves them in that context, whether conventionally accepted or otherwise, with reference to their own ecology.

First Position

The act of looking out of one’s own eyes, hearing with one’s ears, feeling, tasting and scenting, using one’s own organs within one’s body, and making one’s own internal representations.

First Order Change

Change occurring on the same logical level as the problem state. Eg acting on behaviour to obtain a change in behaviour.

Feldenkrais method

A system of movement re-education developed by the nuclear physicist Moshe Feldenkrais. The Feldenkrais method works with the patterns of movement, breathing and posture and re-imprints new, more functional patterns into the nervous system. The Feldenkrais technology has been referred to as the NLP of the body because of its ‘systemic thinking’ approach. See systemic thinking.


The set of mechanisms that let you know whether or not you are moving towards your desired outcome.


A chosen distinction that one attends too while observing the model expressing the target capability. Some of the features Neuro Linguistic Pogrammers traditionally attend to are eye accessing cues, changes in skin colour, muscle tone, voice tonality, and voice rhythm. Through careful observation one may detect a new feature that operates in some sort of pattern. Within the NLP community the term distinctions is used interchangeably with features.

Gestalt Psychology

A school of psychology unrelated to Gestalt Therapy.

Gestalt Therapy

A type of psychotherapy categorised within humanistic psychology. The first model of NLP, the Meta Model was developed through John Grinder modelling Richard Bandler doing Gestalt Therapy.


The totality of an experience at all logical levels and in all senses.

Genius State

An up-time resource state in which an individual’s attention is directed outwards, into the environment. Often it includes long distance and peripheral vision, an absence of internal dialogue, and optimal physiological posture and movement. It often includes awareness of well formed outcomes, how to act as if, the ability to construct pictures and sounds, to use multiple perceptual positions, different logical levels, and conscious/unconscious interface.

Generative Change

A change that creates the possibility of further change ensuing through time as a result of the initial change taking place. Eg. Feeding someone for a day provides three free meals only. Teaching them to fish enables them to provide their own food, earn their living, and teach others. That is a generative change.


The act of taking a specific incident or behaviour and generalising the content across contexts, as if it were a generic pattern. Eg “people always do that”, or “if it works at all, it will work everywhere”.


Literally, the stillness of sameness. A state of stability.

Internal representation

The pictures, sounds and feelings that we make on the inside; our thoughts. Our internal representations, also known as mental maps, govern our behaviour in the world.

Internal negotiation

The act of separating out different parts of oneself which appear to want different and conflicting outcomes for the whole person. Having elicited each part’s outcome, one can ascertain the function of each outcome, and chunk up through logical levels to a point where each part shares beliefs, values and a common outcome. It is then possible to align the parts to the common cause, and sometimes integrate them into each other.


The reason or purpose behind a specific piece of behaviour. The answer to the question, “What did you do that for?”. Intention is not always apparent from behaviour, and is deemed to be positive, at least for the person doing the behaviour, according to their model of the world.


Integration is the act of embodying learned material, and is mediated through the vestibular apparatus. This specialised sense enables us to live in the whole of ourselves, experience states of pleasure and is involved with spatial orientation and movement towards our outcomes in the external world.


Gregory Bateson describes information as “news of difference” (Mind and Nature; A necessary unity, 1979). Our sensory apparatus and neurology responds to difference in the world as information.


A partial or divided response which is indicative of uncertainty in the mind of the respondent. An incongruent response can be elicited in someone by offering them incongruent communication (mixed messages) or insufficient information with which to operate. Where internal conflict is already apparent, there is a shortage of information in the individual’s own system. Incongruence can be simultaneous, as described, or sequential, in which case the subject appears to be congruent in favour of an action while in a given state and equally congruently against the same action when in a different state.


In most animals imprinting is the triggering of an innate instinctive behaviour, such as attachment to parents or parent substitutes, during a critical or sensitive time period. With most animals imprinting is irreversible. In humans imprinting is reversible, and takes place in many formative situations in which beliefs and values are learned.


The conventional concepts of self image, self esteem and self concept are examples of identity. In this work the construct of identity includes the way we see, hear and feel about ourselves. An identity representation of this type, aligned and matching in all senses is a significant pattern found in individuals who are able to bring their dreams to fruition.


The formal study of body language.


The formal study of languages. In English linguistics is broken into the following major areas of study; phonology, the study of phonemes the basic components of sound in spoken language, morphology, the smallest meaningful components of words, syntax, the rules or grammar of language and semantics, the meaning of language. Syntax is an important component of Neuro-Linguistic Programming as the order and sequence of utterances has a profound effect on the meaning of what is said.

Lead System

The first sensory system to take in information from the outside. Can be outside conscious awareness. The lead system was once thought to be relatively constant in an individual, but according to Grinder (Boulder; Pattern Detection 1996) the lead system is subject to change. The lead system is the first element in any strategy.


Using verbal and non-verbal communication to elicit a desired response from another person. Usually preceded by pacing, to establish rapport prior to leading.

Multiple Descriptions

We act on and through our maps of reality rather than on the world directly. Having and using multiple maps of the world offer distinct advantages over any single map. Different descriptions for different circumstances, as well as multiple descriptions for a particular context add richness in terms of possible choices in how to act and be in the world. A minimum of three examples of any given skill, concept or activity, thus allowing the learner to cross refer and understand in depth. The purpose of creating multiple descriptions is to enable the individual to access a wider range of information, including that which may have been outside their awareness. That having and using multiple maps of the world offer distinct advantages over any single map. Different descriptions for different circumstances, as well as multiple descriptions for a particular context add richness in terms of possible choices in how to act and be in the world.

Model of the World

The sum total of an individual’s beliefs and values, perceptual filters, desires and expectations, experiences and learning’s about the world. Each person has an unique combination of the above. As human beings, our behaviour is governed by how we perceive, believe, and think about ourselves and the world. It is our internal representation of reality, and the processes we use to organise our internal representations that shape our actions. These internal maps and the relationships within our minds are referred to as our model of the world.

Modal Operator

Linguistic term referring to words which denote requirement or options. Cited in meta-model as modal operators of necessity (should, must, have to) and modal operators of possibility (might, could).

Modelling (modeling) see also, (replicating talent) (NLP Modelling)

The effective description, replication and transfer of human capabilities from one person to another. It includes the detection of patterns of behaviour, the relationship of those patterns to a particular context, and some intended outcome. When modelling, we elicit and describe a series of templates of the thinking patterns used by an expert in the course of their expertise. We develop models within the framework of elegance, that is using the minimal number of distinctions necessary to provide an effective replication of the talent (Grinder, DeLozier & Bandler, 1977). By removing any inessential features the capability is streamlined. A form of learning where a person is exposed to the behaviours and qualities of a significant other, which leads to the representation, internalising and later expression of those behaviours and or qualities. Examples include children modelling parents, students modelling a mentor or teacher, and the apprenticeship system. When done deliberately, modelling is the elicitation and replication of particular skills and expertise from a chosen expert in that field. Often the most valuable components of their skills were previously outside their conscious awareness.

Mission Statement

A general statement of a vision in word form. It is important to have a rich representation of the vision in all the senses. Then the mission statement can be written in language which allows all parties to it to derive meaning from it, yet be precise enough to guide them towards achieving it. It is a general statement of intent, normally restricted to five or six lines of type.


Doing something differently from another person with the result that rapport is broken. For example, breathing at a different rate, speaking more quickly or slowly than the other. Can be conscious or unconscious.

Milton Model

The Milton Model is a reflection of the Meta Model, in that it has the exact opposite function. It was developed by John Grinder, Richard Bandler, and Judith DeLozier after they modelled the psychiatrist and hypnotist Dr. Milton H. Erickson. Instead of filling in the gaps in language left by distortion generalisation and deletion, the Milton Model deliberately distorts, generalises and deletes information to offer direction for thought with non-specific content. This allows each listener to construct or remember their own experience within the framework offered by the speaker or writer. Examples where the Milton Model is used include Hypnotic induction and utilisation, political speeches and religious ceremonial language.


A set of tools, techniques, procedures and investigative methods, used to collect, store, analyse and present information. Scientific methodology involves the development of hypotheses and predictions, investigating the manipulation of particular variables while maintaining all other variables constant, using measurable, objective measures and statistical analyses in order to come to conclusions about the topic under investigation.

Meta Programs

Content descriptions of some of the ways in which people can and do place their attention. The first meta programs were described by John Grinder as a humourous method of showing the distinction between patterns and content models for his students at UCSC. The distinction is made by chunking up from a content example to the pattern that informs it. Meta programs were taken up by Leslie Cameron-Bandler and her colleagues and used for profiling people. Cameron-Bandler now identifies meta programs as content. As a content model, meta program categorisation and use has no place in the context of NLP.

NLP Modelling

A five step process described by Grinder and Bostic in “Whispering in the Wind” (2000). This is the form of modelling which is taught in NLP. 1. Identify one or more appropriate models of excellence in the skill to be modelled. 2. Model implicitly by unconscious uptake for as long as it takes, with explicit intent to refuse to allow conscious analysis, understanding or coding. 3. Continue implicit modelling until as competent as the model and performing at that level of competence and in the same time frame as the model. Continue to use the skill unconsciously. For practical purposes this is the last step in the process. 4. If there is a need to make the skill explicit, only do it after a period of practice with the skill after modelling is complete. Allow the patterns to become conscious and choose an appropriate form of coding for the explication of the model. 5. Teach the patterns you have identified and coded to someone else. The evidence of your accuracy will be in their behaviour.

New Code

A description of NLP which uses a systemic approach to demonstrate and teach the patterns by providing a series of contexts in which they manifest spontaneously. In the New Code of NLP the unconscious of the client is explicitly assigned the responsibility for the selection of the critical elements-the desired state, the resource, or new behaviour. The unconscious is explicitly involved in all steps. There are precise constraints placed upon the selection of new behaviour, more specifically, the new behaviour must satisfy the original positive intention(s) of the behaviour to be changed. The manipulation occurs at the level of state and intention as opposed to that of behaviour. (Grinder, Bostic 2000).


A branch of psychology, also called physiological psychology. Neuroscience is the study of the functioning of the nervous system which includes the structures and functioning of the brain and its relationship to behaviour.

Neuro-logical Levels

A list of specific content categories, developed by Robert Dilts to assist people to sort their ideas. Refers to environment, behaviour, capability, belief, identity, mission. Called “neuro-logical” levels because in Dilts’ opinion, the further up the list, the more neurology is involved in the experience. Does not belong in the field of NLP being of a different logical type.

Neuro Linguistic Programming

NLP models patterns of human excellence. This includes the way people of excellence take in information from the world, how they describe it to themselves with their senses, filter it with their beliefs and values, and act on the result. In summary there is a person, their descriptions and the world; and NLP studies the relationships between them. NLP Application is the application of NLP modelled patterns to topics and contexts where they can contribute. NLP Training is the art of enabling others to learn the patterns of NLP and to distinguish patterns from content. NLP Training using the New Code methodology is the art of enabling others to learn the patterns of NLP accurately and generatively through discovery and unconscious uptake, before they become conscious of what they are doing.


In Neuro-Linguistic Programming a representation of what we want in a specific context, involving all representational systems. To be well-formed, an outcome is also stated in positive terms, has defined resources that the individual can get access to, is within the individual’s control, has demonstrable evidence and is ecological.

Other than conscious Mind

Another way of describing the unconscious mind. That which is outside conscious awareness.


Pertaining to the sense of smell.

Psychographic Space

The use of the space around an individual or group of individuals to influence the person/s placing and accessing of internal representations. A simple example is placing words for children to learn to spell, high up on the class room walls so that visual accessing takes place. The art of shaping psychographic space can be more sophisticated than this example.


Anything which is assumed, not stated, and can be inferred by referring to the source of the presupposition, be it an utterance, a sentence, a model, book, etc. For example, in the sentence, ‘you have knocked it over again,’ the presupposition is that you have knocked it over before. Cultural presuppositions are the unstated shared beliefs and understandings found in a culture. Personal presuppositions include beliefs and values which are important to an individual, although often outside conscious awareness. A quick way to elicit conscious awareness of anyone’s presuppositions is to expose the person to a context in which their presuppositions are not shared by others.

Present State

In NLP the present state is a description of the current cognitive and emotional state of an individual or group of individuals with reference to an outcome that they have selected. A Neuro-Linguistic Programmer may assist an individual or group to take an inventory of their Present State.

Primary/Preferred System

The favoured representational system an individual uses in a particular situation or context. Used to be thought permanent but is now known to be too fleeting to label for use.

Practical dream

Is a well formed vision represented in all the senses, placed in an appropriate position in the individual’s future. This type of vision acts to set a direction and motivate an individual at both a conscious and unconscious level. To have the vision work effectively as a Practical Dream, it is essential to resolve any objections, especially those at the level of belief or identity.

Posture, breathing and psychological state

The way we hold and move our physical selves in space has a direct affect on our psychological and emotional states as well as on our patterns of thinking. Learning additional movement patterns through the Feldenkrais method or the Alexander Technique enables greater flexibility of thinking and behaviour. Conscious access to the posture and movement patterns which accompany resourceful states allows the individual to recreate those states at will.


Matters pertaining to the physical body and its use. The general posture and breathing of the individual is highly correlated with psychological state and cognitive processes. Note for yourself the difference in ‘physiology’ when contrasting a resourceful and unresourceful state eg. excitement and interest compared to depression.

Phonological Ambiguity

A word with different meaning and sometimes different spelling which sounds the same. eg. Heal and heel.

Personal evolution

The interaction of pattern, communication and relationship in our ongoing experience leading to new learning and new choices in one’s behavioral flexibility.


Emotional responses to any experience.

Resourceful State

A psychological state that presupposes adequate information, choices, flexibility in behaviour and self reference in directing oneself in the world.


A piece of knowledge, an understanding about the world, a belief, a behaviour, a skill, a person or an object, which contributes to the achievement of an outcome.

Representational Systems

The internal use of the senses for thinking; we can represent the world in mental images, internal sounds and feelings.


A picture, sound or feeling generated from within to represent a concept, or a historical or future event.

Requisite Variety

A basic principle of cybernetics which states that in any system of man or machines, the part of the system with the greatest range of variability in behaviour is the controlling element.


The reorganisation and alteration of primary, significant core representations from which individuals derived limiting beliefs, and which act as templates for behaviour within present contexts.


Putting a different frame or perspective on one’s thoughts about a situation or example of behaviour. Eg The half full/half empty glass. If you want more, it is half empty; if you have had enough, it is half full.


A pattern found within some scientific models of the world, where everything is ‘chunked down’ into smaller elements during analysis.

Reality Check

The act of making external checks periodically to ensure ecology is in place during internal processing.

Systemic thinking

Thinking in terms of pattern recognition, recursive manifestation of patterns, relationship between parts of a system, relationship between systems, patterns at similar and different logical levels, and patterns between logical levels.


The sensory components within each of the modalities of the senses. Eg the sensory modality of visualisation is made up of components such as brightness, colour, hue, size and whether the image is framed of unframed etc. The auditory sensory modality has components such as stereo or mono, loudness, tempo and timbre quality etc.


Any sequence of representations that leads to an outcome. The sequence and organisation of representations (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory) which together comprise a thinking pattern. An effective strategy includes a representation of an outcome, employs feedback from the environment, and takes the minimum number of steps in a choreographed sequence to achieve the particular outcome of the strategy. Example of strategies explored in NLP include decision making, motivation, convincer, reality, learning and creativity strategies.

State Choice

In the NLP model referred to as state control. The act of choosing deliberately to construct and inhabit a particular state in a given context, with the intention of achieving one’s chosen outcome in that context.


The set of specific values in a person’s physiology, neurology and biochemistry that gives rise to their behavioural expression and their subjective experience of themselves and the world in any given moment. Some states recur in each culture with sufficient frequency to have acquired labels in the appropriate language. Examples include joy, depression, happiness, angst, and joie de vivre. Naming states implies a commonality of experience, which is not necessarily the case. Naming states does not describe the differences in individual subjective experience which actually exist within any particular named state: I.e. one person’s generation and experience of elation, misery or anxiety will be different from someone else’s and two people deliberately generating the same conditions within their bodies may call the resulting state by different names

Simulation Programming

Mental rehearsal of a future course of action with reference to a specific and expected situation, using internal representational systems to programme in the desired behaviours, capabilities and perceptual filters so that you can achieve the desired outcome in that situation. Also known as ‘future pacing’.

Sensory Cues

The indicators we have through observation, listening and touch, of a subjects ongoing experience. These cues indicate that mental processing is taking place; they do not identify the content being processed.

Sensory based Description

A description in terms of what one can see, hear and feel, either in the external world during an experience, or in the describer’s internal experience.

Sensory Acuity

The ability to make refined distinctions in what one see hears and feels. During a face to face communication, practitioners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming attend to changes or shifts in the other’s skin colour, muscle tone, eye movements, breathing and posture, and to voice tonal patterns, rhythm and language used by the other. On the telephone, auditory information alone is available, and can be sufficient. This information is used to calibrate the other’s internal state and cognitive processes. It is considered in the world of NLP that sensory acuity is a capability that can always be improved.


Any state alteration from a pre-calibrated baseline state. Commonly used to refer to states induced by someone using hypnotic techniques, whether self or other.

Time Orientation

Past, Present and Future: Individual preference for referencing one’s perception of time. The past oriented person refers to history, enjoys nostalgia and relies on precedent to provide them with standards. Change has to be tried and tested before they will accept it. The present oriented person lives in the moment, likes instant gratification and does not make long term plans. The future oriented person plans, works and lives for the future, sometimes at the expense of ongoing experience. A combination of all three allows people to benefit from past experience, act in the present and plan for the future. They are also able to derive the most benefit from activities which relate to any one of the three orientations, eg a lawyer, who sails and invests in property.


The internal subjective organisation of individual perceptions of the passage of time. A timeline is the representation, usually by location in chronological order, of events from the past and projections of the future as images, sounds and feelings.

Through Time

A state in which the passage of time is perceived as being outside an individual, where they can see the past, present and future simultaneously. This is very good for planning, and activity which is enhanced by a dissociated state. This is the perception of the fixed duration appointment, and concepts of lateness, on time, lunch hours etc. Most western business uses a through time system.

Third Position

This is an example of a meta position. Third specifically is the observer of the relationship dance between the same person in first position, and the other, with whom they are interacting. Third is sometimes described as the observer, or director position. It watches, it has opinions about something which is occurring.

Third Order Change

Any change in which the intervention is made two logical levels above that of the problem state. If first order is designed to be remedial, and second order generative, then third order is evolutionary.

Unspecified Verbs

Verbs which apply to generic activity

Universal Quantifiers

Words denoting totality of quantity, eg all, every, none.

Unconscious mind (other than conscious mind)

Those parts of one’s mental processes currently outside conscious awareness. Given that the conscious mind can only hold 7 + or – 2 chunks of information simultaneously, and the unconscious mind holds the bulk of one’s information, the unconscious mind is worth cultivating.


Pertaining to sight or the act of seeing.

Vestibular System

Originates from the Latin word vestibule, which means to contain or hold. The vestibular system is the sensory apparatus we use to orient our bodies in space, and to detect whole body movement. Its physical location is the semi-circular canals in the ear, and the whole nervous system. As a representation system, the vestibular system is involved in the integration of information in the other representational systems, synaesthesia patterns, and the ability to dissociate and associate. Use of the adjectives and verbs which predicate the vestibular system produces rapid induction of trance states in many subjects.


Those tenets upon which an individual’s life is founded, made up of beliefs and ideals arising from the person’s culture and family of origin, combined with their understanding of their own life experience. Normally classified in a hierarchy of importance. Eg stealing may be unacceptable normally, but with no money, and hungry dependents, one might steal for food and remain true to one’s values.

Well-formedness Conditions

Those conditions which, when met provide for a strategy to be workable and ecological for its owner or those conditions which when met ensure that an outcome is well-formed.

Why Study with us?

We are the only training organisation in the world that has undergone the rigorous assessment process required to offer government accredited post graduate certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Our commitment to the quality of our training is a promise that our participants get the very best qualification available today.

Thankfully our students also enjoy the training, giving us an overall satisfaction rating above 90% since our school began in 2002.

Student Outcomes include:

  • Improved Confidence & Resilience
  • Advanced Career Progression
  • Excellence in Communication
  • Better Leadership & People Management
  • Greater Life Satisfaction

Contact us today to discuss your individual or organisational goals


If you are looking for training or coaching in Neuro-linguistic programming, I thoroughly recommend Inspiritive. The teaching of Chris and Jules Collingwood is first class, and clearly comes from a deep knowledge of the subject that can be lacking on the average course. Inspiritive’s course is a truly immersive, and experiential process. Years on from pursuing the Graduate Certificate in NLP I still find that what I learned and developed during the course assists me in multiple facets of my life – in both personal and business settings.

Read More Testimonials

Applications for the 2022 – 2023 Graduate Certificate in NLP are now open

Apply Now for access to our Advanced Mentorship Program

Subscribe Now!

Stay Up-to-Date with Our Latest Courses and Special Offers

Stay in the loop with new course releases and opportunities by completing our form. Never miss out!

What would you like to be updated on?