Research into NLP

Written by NZANLP Contributors

While NLP has not had as much research as other therapy modalities such as cognitive behavioural therapy, there have been some interesting studies that have shown some good results, and suggest that further research would be most useful. You can read a summary and access some of this research here.


Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) has been shown to eliminate Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in over 90% of returned US military veterans who were treated using this NLP protocol. The pilot study was first published in 2015 and subsequently replicated three more times in 2017 with similar results.


4 Steps for Dealing with Bereavement was developed using NLP modelling techniques. This research paper explains the model, discusses two case studies to demonstrate its application in both short-term and long-term therapeutic processes, and concludes that this NLP model provides a practical set of techniques to apply in crisis intervention as well as undertaking deeper therapeutic work.



One of the most exciting NLP studies was by Muss in 1991, who used the NLP Trauma Method to help PTSD sufferers from the forces. 100% of the trial group got rid of their symptoms and maintained wellness.


“Re-minding the body of its own abilities” is an article by NLP trainer and nurse Richard Bolstad, looking at placebo studies, the role of the mind in overcoming pain, and in increasing immune function.


Sales / Marketing

Dr Richard Bolstad reviews some of the research into the science of purchasing with a multiple of referential sources. He concludes with 3 areas to improve sales through NLP. These include a powerful state of mind, rapport, and language patterns.


Relational skills are absolutely necessary for trainers and managers to create a bond with their audience. This paper demonstrates how a NLP approach to the presentation process, provides a better understanding of the linguistic characteristics, techniques and strategies which enrich and make our speech more persuasive.



This article explores the contribution NLP has to make to coaching and concludes that NLP is “a useful model for coaches because it allows them to codify and respond appropriately to their own and their clients’ experience”.


This paper offers an informed, detailed and more academic view of NLP in relation to its role in the development and validation of professional coaching practices that are grounded in established psychological theory and research.



A comprehensive analysis of the research done thus far, as well as areas requiring further research, in terms of how NLP applies to classroom education. This is published by the CfBT Education Trust in the UK. Although cautioning practitioners in the field of NLP to ensure they adjust their terminology to align with scientific evidence about the brain, the authors nevertheless conclude that: “there would appear to be benefit in teaching elements of NLP to teachers and indeed to children. Specifically, teachers in this study reported benefits that may offer ways to support those students who are struggling in the areas of self-motivation and the control of impulsivity (both of which were identified as significant for attainment by Rodeiro, Bell and Emery, 2009)”.


A study with two control groups of Iranian EFL students – one group received an NLP based approach to learning and the other did not. The former group showed more progress: The results…indicated that the young Iranian EFL learners of English not only increased on their motivation level as a result of receiving NLP techniques, but showed a considerable improvement in EFL proficiency. Furthermore, NLP techniques contributed positively to teacher's success…”.



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