NLP Communication Model

Understanding the NLP Communication Model and its Major Assumptions

A communication model, which explains the neuro-linguistic process of assimilation of information into thoughts by the human brain, is known as the NLP communication model.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Neuro-linguistic programming, is defined by the Oxford dictionary as, "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this, which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior."

The Model

The human brain or the nervous system, receives a huge amount of information, around 2 million bits per second. However, only 7 bits are consciously 'assimilated' in a period of one second. The information is processed, after which, it affects the thoughts, physiology, and behavior.

When the information enters the mind, it is filtered and either deleted, distorted, or generalized. Generalization of the information takes place due to the effect of ideas, values, memories, and beliefs that are already present in our mind. Based on these memories, ideas, or values, an internal representation of the information is formed. This representation has an impact on the physiology, which further guides behavior. Changes taking place in the behavior are reflected in the form of posture, body language, and facial expressions.

Assumptions in NLP

Assumption 1
The sensory organs help us collect information from our surroundings. This information passes through many filters such as values, beliefs, thoughts, etc. and forms a map of the world around us. This picture or map is actually a reflection of our mind and not reality.

Assumption 2
Many a time, the efforts we put into a task don't yield the desired results. The feeling that results from the inability to perform the task is generally termed by the mind as failure. However, the result which is perceived to be a failure is actually a feedback of the past programming of our mind. Thus, failure is just a state of mind. One has to constantly change the way he/she performs tasks in order to avoid failure. If one doesn't change the thought process, the feedback obtained will be redundant.

Assumption 3
Thoughts have a huge impact on the end result of the efforts we put in our work. The perception one has about reality, will always come true for that particular person. For him, the truth will be in the form of his perception.

Assumption 4
Every single person has the resources to bring about desirable changes in his thoughts and behavior. Thus, it is possible to change the thought process by means of the resources present within.


The NLP model is useful in the treatment of depression. People who suffer from depression can benefit from the therapy, which is based on this model. These people can learn to filter out negative emotions and thoughts in order to deal with depression. If the treatment being used is such that it takes into account the assumptions mentioned above, it can definitely help in speedy recovery.

The NLP communication model is used in hypnotherapy, cognitive therapy, and occupational therapy, in the treatment of mental problems. Therefore, the model has proved to be useful in dealing with many problems related to mental health.