Topic 1 – Frames of Understanding

Cause and Effect

In all situations you have a choice about how you respond.  You can make excuses and blame others so that any possible solutions will need to be the responsibility of other people. This response will mean that you are powerless; you will make it appear that there is nothing you can do.

Alternatively you can take responsibility to respond to the situation in the most resourceful way you can and so empower yourself and allow yourself to be part of the solution.  You have a choice about how you respond to every event in your life, understanding that gives you the power to constantly influence and direct your results.  

CAUSE  >   >   >   >   >   > EFFECT

Perception is Projection

In order to make a judgement (or projection) about someone or something you must have first recognised it in yourself, otherwise how would you know what it was?

You notice the things outside yourself that are really you and you can use this as a source of feedback to help you learn and grow.

What other people do is up to them, what you do with it is up to you

You will interpret people’s actions to fit in with your model of the world and so people will act the way you unconsciously want them to.

Whatever you focus on and pay attention to is what you will get, so project onto other people how you want to be yourself

The Connection between the Mind and the Body

Deepak Chopra says:

“The mind and body are the same system.  Every cell is eavesdropping on your internal dialogue”.

The human nervous system is an incredibly complex organ composed of approximately 86 billion neurons and an estimated 500 trillion synapses. That’s a number with 14 zeros, or 500,000,000,000,000.

Each neuron can be connected to between 1 and 17,000 other neurons.

Neurons communicate with each other via electrical and chemical signals, forming vast networks and circuits that underpin all of our thoughts, behaviours, and experiences.

The complexity of the human nervous system lies not just in its sheer size, but in its organisation and functionality. Different areas of the brain are specialised for different functions, such as perception, movement, language, and emotion. These areas are connected by intricate pathways that allow for communication and coordination between them, and with all other parts of the body. How else would you know if you bath is too hot? How else to gauge whether you have eaten too much? Or that your tongue is feeling a bit strange this morning?

Moreover, the nervous system is highly plastic, meaning it can adapt and reorganise in response to experiences and learning. This plasticity allows us to continually develop new skills, form memories, and adapt to changing environments.

NLP is our way into helping humans take control of this plasticity and create thoughts, feelings, memories, beliefs, ideas and strategies for whatever they want to achieve.


All meaning is dependent on the context in which it occurs.

For example, a scream will have one meaning if it comes from a happy child having just opened the present they always wanted, and a different one if the scream is from someone who has just fallen over and hurt their ankle.

Without realising it, we automatically assign meanings to external events. This process is largely unconscious to us, and almost instantaneous.

However, we can take charge of this process when the meaning is not beneficial to us. For example, imagine that a work colleague looks at you in a particular way, that you immediately associate with someone being annoyed. First stop, and ask yourself, how do I know that this person is annoyed at me? After, I cannt read minds. Next, ask what else this behaviour could mean? Are they in some kind of physical discomfort from the large slice of cake they consumed? Are they annoyed with themselves for a reason you don’t know? Maybe that’s just their ‘thinking face’?

Of course, a sure-fire way of knowing is to ask them! Say “Your expression looked to me as if you were annoyed? Is that accurate?” And proceed from there.

So, we often assume meanings, especially the intentions of others, where little or no evidence exists for our assumptions.