Reframing Neuro-Linguistic Programming: The Shift from Classic to New Code and the Imperative of Self-Application

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has long been a part of the self-improvement and behavioural change industry. By modelling successful behaviours and mindsets, it offers a diverse range of processes designed to promote personal transformation. However, as with any discipline, the field of NLP has limitations. These become particularly evident when considering the application of NLP patterns to oneself. This article focuses on a major shift within the field, from the Classic Code of NLP (the original) to the New Code, highlighting how this transformational approach addresses the issues related to self-application of NLP.

It is common for students and practitioners of the Classic Code of NLP to encounter difficulties with self-application. This challenge, often overlooked in mainstream training, poses a serious impediment to mastering NLP and deriving personal benefits from it. Short NLP programs, many promising proficiency in as little as five to seven days, contribute to this predicament. By relying on scripted techniques, these programs often produce practitioners who lack the ability or inclination to apply NLP patterns to themselves.

To address this predicament, the New Code of NLP, along with our postgraduate program, provides the opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding and ability to apply NLP patterns both with others and, importantly, with themselves. A key element in this transformation is mastering the patterns through self-application, a process that equips students with the capacity to modulate and alter their emotional states and patterns of behaviour effectively.

The New Code isn’t just a reaction to the limitations of the Classic Code; rather, it’s an evolution of the original framework, fixing historical discrepancies that have emerged over time. John Grinder and Richard Bandler, co-founders of NLP, indeed demonstrated exceptional communication and change skills, but at the time they failed to articulate specific criteria for learning and teaching their material, inadvertently paving the way for other people to produce scripted techniques and content models.

The New Code, by contrast, provides clear benchmarking criteria for classifying material within the domain of NLP. It demands the application of minimal yet sufficient elements for change and exploration, making the NLP technology more easily applicable, ecologically sensitive, and widely transferrable. This updated approach ensures that anyone can gain the benefits of this profound discipline, extending its influence beyond the realm of practitioners to everyday individuals seeking personal development.

The shift to the New Code in our postgraduate program doesn’t require a complete departure from the foundations laid down by Grinder and Bandler. Instead, it offers a more refined understanding of the principles of NLP. The new code design respects and elucidates the principles of the New Code, introducing appropriate material and re-coding some of the classic code formats for systemic and ecological content-free use. By grounding NLP education in first principles, our students not only learn to be adaptable when applying NLP with others but also master the vital skill of self-application.

In conclusion, the shift from the Classic Code of NLP to the New Code and the emphasis on self-application marks a pivotal moment in the field. This evolution of NLP, represented by the New Code, takes the discipline to a new level, improving its efficacy and making it more accessible to a wider audience while maintaining fidelity to its founding principles.

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Check out our course, Competitive Advantage, States and Performance.

(Note: If you would like to learn more about the New Code of NLP you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

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