Neuro-Linguistic Programming

NLP is a really difficult therapy to describe in brief, because it encompasses so many different ideas and techniques. Basically NLP which stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, sums up the areas that this therapy deals with, neurology, language and programming. It describes the dynamics of how mind, language and programming interact to influence our behaviour.

NLP was developed jointly by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 70’s after researching the work of Virginia Satir (Family Therapy) and Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), plus the work of Milton H. Erickson (Medical Hypnosis).

Together they created NLP as a therapy and self improvement tool, however their partnership didn’t last and as they split, so the therapy they created diversified into various branches. For this reason, therapists can be trained in NLP and not necessarily have had the same training. This lack of standardisation means that no two therapist are the same, each uses a variety of basic techniques which they adapt to suit circumstance or situation.

The various techniques used successfully to control the panic attack symptoms are usually centred on visualisation techniques.

These visualisation methods consist of numerous tools such as timeline regression, where you are led backwards in time in order to correct a past memory. The quantity and variety of these tools are limited only by the therapists’ imagination, but the base techniques from which they are derived are extremely powerful and in the hands of a good therapist NLP can really make a big difference.

Like everything else, NLP is not for everyone and is not a heal all, quick fix. Particularly good at resolving individual traumatic memories, NLP is again something that takes hours and hours of work. As with all the other therapies don’t be fooled by anyone offering to get rid of your panic attack symptoms in an hour or two, because you will lose your shirt.

Our View - Good and Not so Good


Powerful technique in the right hands, witness what Derren Brown can do with it on some of his TV shows!

Wide range of methods

You don’t have to do things that might induce panic attack symptoms

Plenty of therapists about

Works well for lots of different things, not just anxiety

Not so Good

Not very well regulated

Again private, so expensive, especially given that many, many hours will be needed to make an impact on panic attack symptoms.

There are so many different types of NLP out there, that its difficult to know which therapists use methods best suited to remove your panic attack symptoms.

Useful NLP links

Further information on NLP

The Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming -
Includes information plus a directory of practitioners searchable by location or speciality (no mention of anxiety or panic attack)

European Association for Neuro-Linguistic Psychotherapy -
Really theoretical site with some good research resources on it

Further reading

Introducing NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming
By Joseph O'Connor

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