What is an NLP Practitioner?

We are all looking to make positive changes in our life. The supposed “solutions” to these changes appear everywhere: in advertisements, at the gym, or online. People offer holistic treatments, hypnosis, or other practices that work with the body and the mind to accomplish certain goals. If you are a person who is always seeking to better yourself, you may have run into the idea of NLP. NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, has become a hot topic among psychologists and fans of self-help. If you want to dive into NLP training, you can start by becoming an NLP practitioner. This video is going to break down exactly what it means to be an NLP practitioner and how you can find training to start your journey deep into the world of NLP.

key in brain

What is NLP?

If you are new to NLP, let me break down what exactly it means. NLP stands for “neuro-linguistic programming.” In some circles, NLP stands for “natural language processing.” Don’t get these two terms confused. While natural language processing does involve linguistics, it’s more for computer scientists who want to strengthen the abilities of artificial intelligence.

Neuro-linguistic programming focuses solely on the communication that is happening within and around the self. When we think about “communication,” we probably think about the words that are being exchanged between two people. But did you know that is only just a fraction of the communication that we engage in every day? Not only do we communicate with others nonverbally, we also take information from the communication that we have with ourselves.

Think of all of the times that you sat around, waiting for someone to call you back. You resort to thinking about all of the mean things the person could be saying about you, or telling yourself all of the things you did wrong in your last conversation with them. All of that communication that you are having with yourself is going to have an effect on your mood, your confidence, and how you communicate with the person when they do give you a call.

NLP uses a set of tools and practices that help you recognize the communication that you might not have noticed in the past. Once you dive deeper into NLP, you can adjust your communication and habits in order to optimize every interaction that you have with yourself and others. By understanding the foundational ideas of NLP and putting NLP’s tools into practice, you can improve your mood, reach your goals faster, and build deeper relationships with other people.

What Does an NLP Practitioner Do?

NLP practitioners go through training in order to use, apply, and strategize with the tools of NLP in their everyday life. Many practitioners take this training to overcome phobias. Others want to learn how to use NLP to be a better salesman, entrepreneur, or friend.

two minds connected by gears

NLP sounds great, right? If you really want to learn more about neuro-linguistic programming, you can become an NLP practitioner. This training process allows you to dive deeper into the ideas of NLP, maybe even learning from the psychologists who first discovered and developed these ideas back in the 1970s.

Even if you do not plan on making a career out of NLP, you can advance to the “next level” by becoming an NLP practitioner.

NLP can be used to address many issues at work or in your social life, and NLP practitioners take those first steps to really target these problems using NLP.

Although you can use your certification to show that you are qualified to use NLP, becoming a practitioner is simply the first step in your journey.

What Does It Take to Become an NLP Practitioner?

Since “NLP Practitioner” is typically the first certification you get, you do not need any prior experience to enter into a training program to get this certification. Anyone can sign up for an NLP certification course and learn more about these tools and practices. You don’t even need to know what NLP stands for! NLP is something that everyone, regardless of their profession or skills or age, can use.

Depending on the organization you choose to get certified with, you may be able to take a course and earn an NLP “diploma” before you become a practitioner. In order to earn your diploma, you would attend a two- to a four-day course to learn the basic concepts within NLP.

Certification courses usually involve around 120 hours of training. This training includes instructions from experienced NLP trainers, sessions in which you practice NLP on others, and further reading about how you can use NLP in your everyday life. Before you can get your certification, you will likely have to take an assessment to prove that you have retained the information in the course and are able to ethically and accurately apply these skills. Each certification program typically adheres to a specific code of ethics that all practitioners must follow. NLP is a powerful tool and should be used wisely.

Other Levels of NLP Training

Does your NLP Practitioner certificate mean that you are all-powerful in the ways of NLP? Not exactly. The 120 hours of NLP training may be just the beginning of your journey.

Once you become an NLP Practitioner, you can move onto the next level: NLP Master. This training allows you to really tap into the unconscious mind and start to rework (or completely change) the beliefs within yourself and others. You will be able to see individuals more clearly, and may also get a much better understanding of specific tools like mediation or negotiation.

Moving up the ladder, you may find that you want to teach others how to become NLP Practitioners and NLP Masters. At this point, you will want to train to become an NLP Trainer. NLP Trainers can build their own businesses, not only as a consultant, but also as a trainer for other people interested in getting their NLP certification.

Many people pair these certifications with other qualifications. Life coaches, meditation teachers, reiki masters, and others find that their training as an NLP Practitioner opens the doors to more control over the way that they think, believe, and communicate, as well as the clients they can reach and the services they can provide.

minds collaborating together

How Can I Become an NLP Practitioner?

Those are a lot of good reasons to start your NLP journey and become an NLP Practitioner! And the best part about this journey is that you can begin it today. Again, you do not need a base level of NLP or any other skills to start learning these tools.

NLP is recognized as a useful tool by many people around the world, but it remains a self-regulated industry with many groups overseeing the training and accreditation process at all levels. Places where you can begin your journey include:

Before you dive into a course, take some time to research it. Will you have to attend Zoom meetings or talk to people in-person? Who are the trainers and coaches running the course? Can you reach out to other people who have taken the course, and how would they describe their path to becoming an NLP practitioner?


Practical Psychology

Practical Psychology began as a collection of study material for psychology students in 2016, created by a student in the field. It has since evolved into an online blog and YouTube channel providing mental health advice, tools, and academic support to individuals from all backgrounds. With over 2 million YouTube subscribers, over 500 articles, and an annual reach of almost 12 million students, it has become one of the most popular sources of psychological information.

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