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Glossary of NLP Terms


Accessing Cues

The observable features of our physiology that are associated with particular mental processes. For example, eye movement typically discloses whether information is being recalled or invented.

As-if Frame

A thought process used to move the subject into visualising, feeling or hearing a situation that needs to be positively accessed. An essential skill in creative problem solving, and the setting of well-formed outcomes


A process whereby any stimulus or representation gets connected to a response/perception/state, and can be used to trigger that response/perception/state


Through hearing, one of the three main representational systems


Any physical or mental activity that we engage in


One of the higher logical levels and a non-factual understanding that is thought to be 'true' to the individuals at a particular time. Beliefs can be changed


Moving from a larger to a smaller focus on a particular issue, or the reverse


Showing compatibility through the logical levels of a particular thought or emotion


Describing deliberate thought at a voluntary level.


The pre-intellectual process of removing extraneous information from a range of sensory inputs in order to identify what is important and to make sense of the received stimuli. Deletion results in an incomplete representation and the missing part may be important. Life would be impossible without the deletion process


The deliberate process of removing oneself mentally from an experience in order to avoid the emotional involvement.


The pre-intellectual process of adjusting the information from a range of sensory inputs in order to make sense of the received stimuli

Ecology Check

The process whereby a given course of action is checked against feelings within oneself (at a range of logical levels) and with people places and events outside the individual.


Letting the individual give himself permission to take responsibility for certain courses of action. It is usually associated with increased vitality and improvement of self-esteem within the individual

Future Pace

A process whereby an intervention is tested by using a visualisation of the future consequences of the intervention in a familiar context


The pre-intellectual process of applying models to information from a range of sensory inputs, in order to make sense of the received stimuli


A totality of awareness based on a collection of memories and stimuli taken together.


The lack of agreement between the various logical levels a particular line of action or opinion may generate. Usually a sign of an ineffective strategy


The process whereby an image or idea can be given to a second party by use of sub-modal cues

Internal Representations

The 'map' generated by an individual that helps him/her make sense of a particular issue. It is a precursor to a model and is partly pre-intellectual, partly conscious


Describing, motion, one of the three main representational systems

Logical Level

One of the five elements of Dilts's hierarchy of values (Environment, Behaviour, Capability, Belief and Identity). Some authorities make it six and add Spirituality above Identity


A 'shorthand' term for an internal representation.


The process where an individual mimics certain behaviour, language, posture of another when in rapport with that person. It can be unconscious or a deliberate strategy to help develop rapport.


The habitual thinking patterns used by individuals to filter and understand external stimuli, and to develop their opinions and strategies for a given situation.


The process where an individual says, acts, behaves the 'opposite' of another. This can be an unconscious tendency, or a deliberate ploy to break a certain state.


A description of how something works. In NLP it is the internal sense made from the deleted, distorted and generalised perception of external stimuli

Neuro Linguistic Programming

The objective study of subjective behaviour; the application of this study to develop excellence.


A specific result, the knowledge of which is a useful precursor to embarking on a strategy


Maintaining rapport with another individual by joining his patterns of behaviour and language in order to improve the rapport and develop the option to influence


The process of leaving a car for a period of time in a tidy orientation with respect to the kerb, other vehicles etc

Perceptual Positions

A variety of mental states associated with attempting to adopt the thinking processes of self and others


Sensory based words indicating a preference for a particular representation system.


The state of being in complete and meaningful communication contact with another person. It is promoted by matching behaviour and is also identifiable by this characteristic.


Changing the context and interpretation of a set of circumstances so that it has a different meaning.

Representational systems

How mental information is coded using sensory systems (visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, kinaesthetic).


Any means available to an individual (intellect, experience, access to information, resilience etc) that can be used to develop an outcome.

Resourceful States

The feeling of well-being imbued by being resourceful.

Satir Categories

The five communication structures (Computer, Blamer, Leveller, Placator and Distracter) identified by Satir

Sensory Acuity

The ability to use noticing skills (through all senses).


The sum total of all thoughts and physical processes within an individual at any moment in time. The overall perception of self.


The unconscious or conscious process of planning a course of action to achieve an outcome or state.


The finer distinctions within a Representation System. (eg in the Visual System, distinctions such as bright/dull, fuzzy/clear etc)


The motivational force that drives an individual's behaviour and underpins the opinions developed about particular situations


The Representation System of sight: seeing, imagining etc.


The imagining of a visual representation. (Images in the mind)

Well-formed outcomes

The definition of achievable and verifiable results that will be compatible with an individual's aspirations relationships and environment.