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NLP Hypnosis Training Blog

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John LaValle on Hypnosis

(You can listen on the MP3 file below but please allow up to 2 minutes to download http://www.nlp-expert.co.uk/hypnosis/john.mp3 )

Michael: Firstly John, thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this podcast,

John: Thanks.

Michael : To kick it off would you introduce yourself so that our listeners know a little bit about who you are and what you do?

John: Well my name is John, my last name is La Valle, and I think most people might know who I am apart from those who might not, I do NLP trainings, and I do lot of them with Richard Bandler, I also take care of the administrative things for the Society of NLP for Richard. I do a lot of training, I co-wrote a book with Richard of Persuasion Engineering, sales and business, things like that I think that most people would probably know who I am though.

Michael : What is hypnosis?

John: Hypnosis to me, really, really is nothing more than exquisite, really exquisite communication.

Michael: And what drew you to the subject, and what's your background in it?

John: I have to tell you years and years and years ago, oh gosh, I must have been twelve, or even thirteen something like that I was fascinated by the idea of hypnosis, and I remember seeing those little ads at the backs of comic books and things like that, and the guy with the darts coming out of his eyes and the hypnotron wheel, and I remember seeing those and thinking whoa, this stuff looks really cool!, and so I learned hypnosis and all of these things. Of course I was only young at the time so didn't really get into it, but it really peeked my interest, that far back.

And then a friend of mine, I forget how old I was, I might have been maybe in my twenties, early twenties maybe I was twenty years old or so, and I'm happily talking to a friend of mine, and happened to mention that I was interested in some hypnosis, and learning hypnosis and what it was about, and he told me that he was actually doing hypnosis, which I really didn't have any idea that he was. And he sent me one of these self-hypnosis cassette tapes.


John : So I immediately plugged it in. And I was fascinated. I went into an altered state and was able to program myself based on the instructions on the tape where it said at the end of this tape if you want to stay in this nice relaxed state or whatever it was or if you want to relax for another ten minutes past that, or to tell yourself that whatever, and it happened, and I was really really amazed that I could give myself a set of instructions in a deep altered state and it would work.

Michael: And how's it helped you personally?

John: I've been able to relax better with it, I've been able to reprogram myself better with it, I've been able to do all kinds of things, I guess. I've learned a lot of things over the last twenty years or so.

One of them being that just about anything is possible in trance, and so if there's something that people want to try out, is that they ought to try it in an altered state and the altered state by the way, is really a chemical state change that we produce in our brain, now I do think it's about exquisite communication, I believe hypnosis is going on all the time. That's how people change beliefs, they could be watching TV and watching the news, getting hit with so many things of the same topic, and also they'll be hit with something that they then realise is true.

So I really believe that it's going on, I believe that it's going on all of the time. So for me it's been a way for me to go in and reprogram some things that I've needed to reprogram for myself, even to learn some things, and more than anything else to learn to relax when I want to.

Michael: Building on that, what would you say it's main use is generally?

John: Well, you know Michael, when I look at it, there are a couple of things I said earlier that I really believe that hypnosis is exquisite communication which is really going on all the time, I think that the main use that most people think that it's for is for therapeutic or coaching types of activities, things where they want to change personal behaviour. But the fact is, I believe that it's really going on and being used in the mainstream by media, by politicians and things like that, whether they know it or not so the only other question is if they don't know it, than they ought to, and if they do know it there's more than that many uses for it.

So I hear lots of people making distinctions where they want to know the difference between the conscious and the unconscious mind, which of course don't really exist in an abstract sense, but to me they do exist in terms of how much activity is going on. So conscious is what we're aware of and unconscious it what we're not aware of.

But everything is really going on, so my thought is, if they're consciously aware of what's going on then they know, and if they're not, it doesn't mean that these process's are no longer occurring.

Michael : Ah, taking that a bit further, do you think that there are any specific business applications or do you think that's been covered by what you've said before?
John : I think it's been pretty well covered. In business it's really quite an entertaining idea when you think about it, most business will not entertain the idea of doing any hypnosis within their business and I understand that.

I remember when my son was back in school the kids were forbidden to have or even ask another child to close their eyes and think of something. Because they were afraid that the children would be able to hypnotise the other children. Then, that didn't mean that they weren't, it meant that the teachers weren't aware that they were actually doing all these things.

So I think in business, we actually call it closed eye process's how can you not if hypnosis is everything, I looked up a definition once, for hypnosis, and it said something about altered states and I looked up altered state, and altered state really only means the state other than the one that you were just in previously so we really do go from state to state, emotional state, brain chemistry states, things like that, but this is happening in business every day.

So whether or not we're allowed to tell people to close their eyes, or get them to do a guided imagery, or closed eye process, or lets do hypnosis! is basically, to me, irrelevant, because we'll just do open eye hypnosis if that's what people want to do.

The fact is they still have to follow the law -I tell people the following thing I go here's something that you have to understand about anything you do about hypnosis, or about what you consider to be hypnosis, or exquisite communication you must listen and then hear or first hear and then listen to, every word that the speaker says. And that's just so you can understand what they're saying.

And that's before you can disagree. But by the time you've already gotten it into your brain, it's already too late. It's already in there, you've already gotten the suggestion, you're going to carry it through.

That's why when I hear the silly things, like when they're in court and they say to the jury please just disregard that last statement, there's no way that they can disregard it.

Michael: (laughter)

John: What they might do with that information is it could end up being something else, but they've already got it into their brain. To me it's not about whether somebody closes their eyes, or whether somebody swings a watch in front of their eyes, before they close their eyes or anything like that it's just a matter of how well is the communication passed through? So I think that there's a lot of opportunity in business.

Michael: Ok, taking from that, do you think that there are any dangers, or are there any caution that you'd give somebody who was thinking about seeing a hypnotist, or considering going on hypnosis training?

John : I tend to think not. I've heard different arguments from different people about whether or not somebody could be harmed with hypnosis or whether or not we could control another persons mind, and I really believe that we're really in control of our own behaviour.

If somebody could truly be programmed, and it requires something a little bit more than hypnosis when I look back at the Jim Jones thing where he had all these people drinking this poisoned cool-aid and stuff that was beyond hypnotism, that was something other than hypnosis, it certainly required a set of skill that he had in order to influence them and convince them, that would also require protein deprivation, sleep deprivation, and a whole bunch of other things over an extended period of time before they would be willing to follow this guy.

And I'm not that sure that he was all that good at hypnosis anyway, in terms of being able to getting people to do these kinds of things.

I think it's true that if some body's going to see somebody who does hypnosis they should be sure that the person is pretty well qualified, but not because they might get hurt, it's only because they should be sure of what they're getting.

Michael: What do you think that some of the characteristics are lets start with of a good hypnotic subject?

John: There's really only a couple of things. One is willingness, two is the belief that they can do it. I mean, I believe that they can do it, it's just a matter of whether they believe that they can do it or not. And it's what their idea of hypnosis is. And I think that most people that would be entertaining the idea of doing hypnosis or some hypnosis have some belief that it will work.

There's always a portion of the population that will say well I don't really believe it hypnosis but I want to try it out. Well if they want to try it out, than they must believe that part of it is going to work. Or some thing's going to work or they wouldn't be willing to try it why would they waste their money?

So I think that the characteristics of a good subject would be, number one, willingness two is the belief that they can do it and that things will happen. And possibly the third thing is not just the willingness but the ability to just go for it, and relax really.
Michael : What about the characteristics of a good hypnotist or good hypnotic trainer?
John : I think that the criteria I would look for personally, is number one that person doing the hypnosis, that the hypnotist or the trainer is that they're not following a script. It's paramount. It's really important that they're following along and calibrating the other individual, in terms of knowing what to say, and what to do next.

Not that they have a script written out, they can't possibly know where to take the other person, or what's going to work next unless they're really, really observing that person. So the people that are good, they don't follow scripts they might have some pap phrases to help them follow some things but when it really comes down to doing some hypnotic phrases, they're not reading from a pre-written script with fancy language patterns.

And the next thing would be that they have some really good experience, not just gone to a three day hypnosis seminar. And it's not just hypnosis that they want to learn, it's really about language patterns, and using language really well. That's what makes a good hypnotist.

And I tell people, that some of the guys that are really good, who are out there, whether or not I agree with some of their personal beliefs, religious beliefs or anything like that, happen to be people that are really, really good at convincing large groups of people into doing things. Zig Zigler, real well known I guess is out there, I'm not sure about the UK, I'm guessing he is, he's a master at this here's a guy who could motivate tens of tens of thousands of people at one time, and he was really good using his own language, there are a lot of people who are like that. I think those are the criteria for me if I were going to look for somebody.

Michael: Now before I ask you if there's anything that you'd like to plug, and to give your contact details, is there anything important about hypnosis that you'd like to finish with?

John: I think people ought to realise that there's a lot of things that they can do when they do go into altered states, and more relaxed states. Now the fact is, just because they do something in those altered states doesn't guarantee that they going to keep the behaviour when they come out of that altered state, although it certainly increases the possibilities.

Which means, if they're going to generate the behaviour they're going to have to get back into that altered state or regenerate another state in order to carry through that behaviours.
Most people will do the behaviours after they've done the hypnosis but they've got to take notice of the fact, for example we could take someone to do something in an altered state and they may or may not do the same thing out of that state because of the vast difference in the chemicals, in the neuro-chemical change.

Richard recommended once, I asked him the question what if someone for example, because it's just a brain chemical state change, comes in and they happen to be on some kind of medication, or some kind or mind-altering something or other, whatever? Or even if they just had a glass of wine for lunch before hand, or something, and he said well, what I would do, when I do the hypnotic piece with them, I record it, and then I would give that to them. Because when they come out of that dream state change and they go into another reality basically, another state then if they come off the medication, or if the glass of wine that they've had has finally worn off, they should go off and listen to that again. Because then they're going to be in a different neurochemical state. And that's going to make a difference to whether it stays in their brain and is usable, or whether or not it isn't.

So again, all this goes back to the neuro-chemistry, and to what state they're in, they're brain-state.

So I would suggest that people learn to relax, there's a lot of things that people can do if they would just study a little hypnosis, study self hypnosis learn how to do it, it's really easy enough if they're going to go to a hypnotist, make sure the person really is good. Ask for a few recommendations, most people will not get recommendations because a lot of people that go out to see hypnotists won't know what's out there.
Yes, I've been hypnotised and I've seen some of the most incredible things that can occur in hypnosis, whether or not somebody does it for themselves, whether or not somebody helps them to do it. I suggest people just go for it, try it.

Michael: Ok. As we bring this to a close is there any activity that you're doing or product that you've just done that you'd like to mention and let people know about?

John: Well, we're active all the time. We've got products, I'll just mention the two websites really, our main website iswww.purenlp.comand that's where a lot of things are happening, we have schedules up there and everything else, and any of the new products we have, any products that we carry are up atwww.nlpstore.comand I think it's fair to mention that you carry many of them on your site as well.

Michael: Absolutely.www.nlp-cds.co.uk

John : So let me throw that in for you. So if people go to those sites, they'll figure out where to go from there. And there's alwayswww.richardbandler.comfor people that are interested that's really about it for now.

Michael: Ok, and your own contact details?

John : People can reach me at jlavalle@purenlp.com that's really the best way to do it. Our other contact information and mailing address, but I recommend that people don't really mail me I'm not here that often. But that's NLP Seminars group international and that's at PO box 424, and that's in Hoppatcong, New Jersey, 07843 in the US.

Michael: Ok, thank you very much for that John.


Brian Mahoney on Hypnosis

Brian Mahoney

(Please allow up to 2 minutes to download the MP3 file if you want to listen to this discussion)


Michael : Good afternoon Brian. Firstly can I thank you for taking part in this podcast, I've heard a lot about what you're doing. If we could just kick it of with you saying a little bit about who you are and what you do. 

Brian : Sure. Firstly I'd like to say thank you for having me. I am Brian Mahoney, I run Boston hypnosis in Boston Massachusetts, over in the US, I do therapeutic hypnosis on a really wide area of issues, mainly behavioural, emotional, although there are some physical issues as well. 

Michael : As far as you're concerned, what actually is hypnosis? 

Brian : Well, you've got the textbook definition'a state of highly focused attention - for the purpose of selective thinking'and there's others as well. For my purposes, hypnosis is a stage, it's a stage for people to get some work done so people can get some things solved for themselves. 

Michael : And what drew you to hypnosis and what's your background in it? How did you get to the expertise that you've now got? 

Brian : Well, it's kind of interesting. I think with a lot of people in the NLP community my door was Tony Robbins. I did a lot of his stuff through the nineties, as I was in a more traditional business career, and at the tail end of that I began to do some coaching work with some guys that I was managing. And I was just wowed by the quality of results that these guys got for themselves, with this pretty basic stuff that I was teaching them from Tony Robins, Phil Carnagy, Steven Covey, so I decided that I liked coaching. 

And when I left the company I was with I began to do some coaching work and I pretty quickly realised that the type of tools that I had didn't really have the horce power I needed to really help people sort some things out within themselves. And I knew that Tony came out of NLP so I decided'well, I should learn this stuff.'so I went to see John Grinder in London in 2003, and from then it was just a whirlwind of training, with who I think really are the best minds in NLP, and hypnosis. And in 2004 I opened the doors at Boston hypnosis. 

Michael : And how would you say it's helped you personally? 

Brian : Well from the career standpoint it's enormously rewarding, it's rewarding in the way that every day I get to see people solving major life problems for themselves, or almost every day anyway, and there's a lot of satisfaction to be found in there. I also really enjoy running my own business, making a good living. I think there's a lot to be gained from'cleaning out the closet'so to speak, I think there's a lot of subtle improvements that I've made personally that made me into, basically a happier guy. 

Michael : And generally, what would you say are the main uses of hypnosis? 

Brian : Well, again, I'll speak from my biased standpoint, because obviously there's a wide, wide, variety of uses for hypnosis. For my purposes its therapeutic. People come in with their different types of problems, and I will use hypnosis so that they can get the problem solved for themselves. 

Michael : What sort of problems?

Brian : Everything form the traditional smoking, nail biting, phobias, weight loss, the different anxiety issues - actually a lot of anxiety issues, as well as some physical issues as well. Things like rashes, vertigo, I had client who was vomiting every day with no medical reason for it. 

Voice issues, someone who is particularly hoarse, there's a pretty wide variety there too, and I would point out that I probably do a lot more of that type of work, I've done a mentorship with a guy called Steven Tarkel who works exclusively with people with physical issues, mostly people with cancer, and he doesn't just make the pain go away or anything like that, he actually makes people cure themselves. 
So really I've been trained by the best. 

Michael : You were saying that your background is business, what business applications of hypnosis do you think there are?

Brian : I think that the same type of work applies to business. It's interesting, actually, earlier on I met a student of Richard Bandlers, a guy named Stever Robins who was into NLP, who I think you know as well, and he was doing business coaching at the time, and I remember asking him'Boy! How is NLP different when you're working with business people?'and he said it's the exact same thing, as when you're doing one-on-one therapeutic work. 

So an example of someone that I have worked with, I have recently worked with is the CFO's of two major, well-known companies, and one, he was nail-biting, he was kind of taking his overall personal image up a few notches, getting a few things taken care of, he needed that done. And another one, he had an issue with confrontation, which in a job like that, very high pressure, very high profile, it wasn't working for him, and I did two sessions, maybe three, and he resolved the issue for himself.

Michael : Looking at the other side of this, are there any cautions that you would give anybody that was thinking of seeing a hypnotist or going on a hypnosis course. Are there any risk? 

Brian : I think in terms of going to see a hypnotist, I think it's tricky, especially for a layman, to identify who's going to be really good and effective, against someone who's perhaps taken a weekend course, who's going to give them a progressive relaxation induction and then read them a script. However there's no danger there, beyond that they're just not getting their moneys worth, and I'm not aware of any hypnotists out there who have done any harm to a client. 

Michael : From your point of view, what are some of the characteristics of a good hypnotic subject? 

Brian : The ability to imagine and to connect with what they imagine, emotionally. People who can feel, people who haved active see-feel circuits, make for really good subjects. The super-analytical, dry, can't-access-emotion types, in the work that I do, are much more challenging to work with. 
Michael : Can you explain a little bit more what a see-feel circuit is? 

Brian : In the work that I do I really need to be able to help people to access the emotion that is likely to be at the root of the problem. so, if someone is overeating for example, maybe that's the feeling or emptiness and anxiety that they get, that even though they're physically full, they feel that they need something to eat. With a phobic, it will be a feeling of fear, so when they're in the office I want to be able to coach them to get them into that situation so basically we have the problem-state active. 

If the Problem state is active, the chances are extremely high that we can get the problem solved. For the folks that can't find that feeling no matter what it's more challenging and I'd have to take a different approach, 

 : What do you think are the characteristics of a good hypnotist or a good hypnotic trainer? 

Brian : A good hypnotist, and here I'm going to unveil my professional bias and say somebody that's skilled in regression work, regression or timeline therapy, I think that's really important. I think to some degree, they don't need to be nice and warm and fuzzy or anything, but people who generally care about the clients. People who just see the clients as numbers, who say'next! come on, let me take your money. Whatever. Do it, do it, do it."that is not the kind of person that I would recommend someone go and see. 

Michael : Just say a few words about regression and timeline therapy.

Brian : Sure. I find that in doing this work and in seeing clients every day, and guaranteeing in my work as well, seeing the problems that I see solved, in eight out of ten cases is to regress, and timeline therapy regression, basically the same thing. Timeline, which is Ted James'work, is a little bit cleaner and neater, but is essentially the same thing, which is to find out - and I hesitate to say cause and effect - but find out why someone is there, like if someone has a phobia of spiders, chances are there's a memory earlier on in their life which is charged with fear and relates to spiders - if you can find that and get it resolved - all of a sudden that person has normal perception. Basically we find the cause and fix it, and people feel better. 

Michael : Now I appreciate that hypnosis is a very large subject, but before I ask you to give your contact details, and come up with anything you may or may not to plug, is there anything else important about hypnosis that you would like to add? 

Brian : Just that I think it's a really, really fantastic way for people to get issues solved, in a way that's much much faster than most of the therapies that are out there. 

Michael : Ok, is there anything that you're doing that you'd like to plug? And then if we could have your contact details. 

Brian : No, nothing really that I'd like to plug. I just see clients, I don't do cd's, I don't write books, I don't do training, I just do hired client work. My contact information is Boston hypnosis, 48 melgrove street, Boston Mas, 021116 and my website iswww.bostonhypnosis.com.

Michael : Excellent, thank you.

Brian : You're welcome.


Doug O'Brien on Hypnosis

Doug O'Brien

(Please allow 2 minutes for the MP3 file download if you want to listen to this discussion)


Michael : Firstly if I could just thank you for taking part in this podcast. Can you give our listeners a brief introduction to who you are and what you do? 

Doug : My name isDoug O'Brien, I'm an NLP trainer, hypnotist, hypnotherapist, and trainer of Ericksonian hypnosis here in New York city. I travel and do seminars elsewhere, but most of my work is done here in New York city. 

Michael : What do you understand by'hypnosis'? How would you define hypnosis if somebody asked you?

Doug : Oh boy, that's a great question. I do a lot of seminars where I have to expose people to hypnosis for the first time. Everybody seems to have this idea of what they think hypnosis is, it's one of those words that makes people go'Oh! Yeah, hypnosis, yeah.'But nobody, I think, really, truly understands it because they have a lot of misconceptions based on theatre and stage hypnosis, and movies, where people are under the control of the Sven Gali type person. And it's not just that, I think hypnosis is .... an unfortunate word! 

For example when I'm working with a client that wants to quit smoking, I do more traditional transinduction work, where I will relax them and then give them suggestions that they will quit smoking - And that works for most people, it works very well. 

There are other situations however where I feel that hypnosis is a natural state, its the type of state you go into naturally on a long run, or when you're driving your car without thinking, but your body is doing it, you're driving the car perfectly safely, but your mind is elsewhere. This sort of automatic behaviour is a trance. And I think really in a sense that's where the opportunity lies for true realisation of the phenomenon, because as an example, I think most problems are trances - for example if someone raises their voice and you go into this'oh god I can't handle this'confrontation, then that's a trance, from childhood associations probably, of loud voices or whatever, but its a trance. 

As you're going into a trance which isn't very productive, and I think trance sometimes is a de-hypnosis, where you're hoping to get people out of those unproductive trances and get into more automatic, unconscious behaviour that's more productive. It's just as automatic, but its a positive trance if you will. 

Michael : What drew you to the subject? and tell us some of your background in it. 

Doug : Well, a long time ago, at this point, I was working as a musician in New York city, and I was brought to a Tony Robbins seminar on how to walk across hot burning coals, and I thought it was the silliest things that I'd ever done, but to my surprise I was fascinated by what he was teaching, this NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, and I got involved, and I started taking more and more seminars from more and more people, and it seemed like the better you got at NLP you could do this thing called hypnosis, there was this thing called Ericksonian Hypnosis, a lot of NLP apparently came from Milton Erickson. 

So I said'Ok, I want to learn that!'so I start doing whatever I could to do to learn more of the subject, and I've taken seminars from whoever would teach me. sometimes I've snuck my way into seminars that I wasn't supposed to be, because they were kept away from the riff-raff, that's supposed to be taught the people with PhD's or whatever. 

I was a musician, I had many degrees et cetera, but none were in the field of psychotherapy, but I did what it took to do all of this stuff and have a great understanding. 

Michael : How's it helped you personally? 

Doug : It's exceptional. I don't know who or what I'd be if it weren't for NLP and hypnosis. it's been a life changing event. From the behavioural side of things just by stopping smoking or losing weight, I have an ability, I chose to exercise it by the way, I don't think everyone always does and certainly I can't claim to always do it, but I have the ability to effect change on a behavioural level when I want to. And also it's been enlightening and empowering in a lot of ways, just as a quick aside. 

Back in the seventies, there was a lot of talking about a lot of things, a lot of live experimentations with altered states that but they were mostly chemically induced, I was also interested in Eastern philosophy, meditation and that sort of thing. It wasn't very well centred, if you will, and I think what hypnosis offers is an ability to utilize altered states in a useful way. 

So it's really helped me utilize my totality as a human being much more than I would have done otherwise. So it's behaviourally important to me but also - I don't want to use the word'spiritual'but humanly important to me as well 

Michael : Now you would have already answered some of this, but what do you think are some of the general uses of hypnosis?

Doug : Well most people I work with across the country, and the world, I guess, is in behavioural change - people want to change something in their life that they're unhappy with it's often stuff like smoking or weight loss.

Weight loss is very large if you will, it's a heavy issue for many people - but, it is. And so are changes like stopping biting nails or any number of behavioural changes - but also things like emotional reasons, people have fears and phobias, traditional NLP approaches if you will. But typically what it comes down to is your response to stimulus, your response to the world and how are you responding to what the world is giving you. 

And hypnosis helps you to have better response, to respond the way you want to, other than the way you sort things out habitually or 

Michael : You've given some of the uses of hypnosis - would you give anybody any cautions or warnings before they went to a hypnotist, or before they went on a hypnotic training?

Doug : Not really. I've been to about a million trainings, as I've said before, I would tale training for whoever would teach me, and I've come across a misunderstanding, of people who don't really get it and are claiming to, and I have come across ineptitude - people that have one way of doing it, but not more than one way of doing it, like for instance they may have one way of doing a trance where they swing the*watch in front of their face, but they don't know the other ways of going into trance, that is hypnosis to them. 

So I've come across ineptitude, but I don't think it's very easy to really screw somebody up with hypnosis, I think we have a lot of our own natural safeguards, to protect ourselves, I believe that - so people are free to go off and explore 

If there's someone who wants to quit smoking, as an example, they might find someone who's not very good at it, so they don't quit - but it doesn't mean that hypnosis doesn't work, it's just means that they came across an inept practitioner, so try it again, find someone else, or maybe it wasn't that person, maybe they just had a bad day or there was more of the onion to peel, if you will. 

Michael : What do you think are the characteristics of a good hypnotic subject?

Doug : That's a very fascinating question. Even in traditional hypnosis there is this idea that there are some people who are hypnotisable and some people who are not hypnotisable, and that is true, there are some people who are not hypnotisable, but those people are usually psychotic or brain-dead, they have an inability to process language - it's not very common. Most people - if you can understand language - if you're breathing and can understand language, then you're hypnotisable. 

A good hypnotic subject I guess, is someone who cares if you're a good hypnotherapist, or hypnotist, because it's a cooperative thing. Hypnosis, I think is a cooperative area, it's not just about how good of a hypnotist I am or how good of a subject you are, it's about how good are we together? Does that make sense? 

Michael : Yes. But looking at things the other way then, from the other half of the partnership - what makes a good hypnotist?

Doug : Interestingly, primarily, I would say, is the ability and the willingness to pay attention to the subject, to the client, to really see who they are. Milton Erickson used to say that people are only as individual as their programmes, which is a great way of saying it, and then it's also important to know that seeing that's true - how do I interface with this particular individual that would be different to how I interface with somebody else, so it's that flexibility, and the flexibility in that ability to change, your approach, and certainly to realise what that is. To listen, to appreciate the needs and individual characteristics of the people that you're with. 

Michael : Taking it a stage further, are their any particular different characteristics of somebody that teaches hypnosis well?

Doug : Well, let me put it this way, I've learned something from everybody. There is nobody that I could say was a waste of time. Even with people that were one trick ponies, where they had one way of doing hypnosis, a'deeper, deeper, deeper'kind of thing I learned something from there, and I still do to this day, I can pretty much point to who I learned what from in any different situation. 

And as much as I consider myself a student of Ericksonian hypnosis there are still things that I've learned from those one-trick pony seminars that I use even when I'm at my most Ericksonian, so I'd say that the best teachers, the people that I've, in a sense, gone back to more and more, are the people that are still curious, the people that are still exploring for themselves. 

I have met people out there who think- who believe they're got it, they've learned it all and they're sharing their wisdom with the multitude, but frankly those people have good things to teach, but maybe just once, but the people that are still really exploring and asking'what is this'?'and'what is that'?'people like that, I keep coming back to explore with them, if you will. So people like Brad Keeny, like Steven Gilligan, that sort of person, I will go back to again and again. 

Michael : Before I ask you if there's anything you'd like to plug before you give your contact details. 

 : Hypnosis is just an incredible thing, and what it boils down to is being human, and whatever area of life there are humans, hypnosis can be applied. Whether you're a farmer, whether you're a fireman, whether you're a businessman, there are applications of hypnosis that can improve anything that you're doing. even if you're on a tractor all day long, going back to a farmer, you're in a trance during that period of time - you'd might as well use it - you might as well utilise that opportunity to make life more enjoyable. 

It's always possible. Hypnosis is a real phenomenon, it's how our brain works, we operate through patterning and automatics, and the question is not'can you go into trance?'the question is'what kind of trance are you in and how productive is it for you?' 

Michael : Before you give your contact details is there any activity or product that you've brought to market that you'd like to mention. 

Doug : There's a bunch of things that I have available as CD's, as products, but there's one thing that I'm very proud of that doesn't seem to get a lot of attention which is a website. I have two websites, one is n www.eicksonian.com and one is www.ericksonian.info so it's Ericksonian, as in Ericksonian hypnosis - I'm very proud of it, I have interviews on there, it's free access for people to go on there and get interviews, I have one with David Gordon, Dan Milman, and Steven Gilligan has an article that he's just submitted to it. There are a variety of wonderful people on there, and there are also scripts and transcripts, and a wealth of information that's there. so I'd like to encourage people, I'd love for people to tell there friends about it, I'd love for people to be aware of it. 

Michael : And can you give us your contact details? 

Doug : As I've mentioned before www.ericksonian.com, that's my commercial website where you can get information on seminars, and I'm teaching throughout the world, and also cd's and dvd's that I have available on there on there, so probably the easiest thing is for people to remember that or to email me at doug@ericksonian.com you could just do that

Michael : Excellent, thank you very much indeed

Doug : Thanks it's been my pleasure, thank you.

You can see Michael's selection of product from hisNLP Storewebsite.


Garner Thomson on Hypnosis (2)

Garner Thomson

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Michael : I'm really delighted to be able to talk to you again, we're going to be talking about discussion on how somebody goes on the road to becoming a good hypnotist - and it's something in which I'm really interested in your views.

For our listeners benefits can I remind them that you're a full time hypnotist and NLP master practitioner an trainer, you are the developer of medical NLP where you’re involved with doctors, medical students and similar health professionals, you've written'Magic in Practice; the art and science of language in health and healing'and also that you've edited with Richard Bandler his latest guide to Trance-Formation.

Just to complete the picture, is there anything else that you'd like to say about yourself?

Garner : No I think that more or less covers things. 

Michael :Ok thank you for that. 

A couple of very basic questions to start - in your opinion, what is a great hypnotist, and what are some of the reasons that someone might want to become a great hypnotist? 

Garner : I would say that anybody that really wants to help people to get to where they really want to get with the least possible problems, and in the greatest possible speed - because I see hypnosis as not a magic wand or a band aid, but it is an accelerant and a means to installing information very quickly - and it amplifies their experience. 

Freud apparently said at one point that it was hypnosis that was royal road to the unconscious, not - I forget what the other thing was - Dreams. He originally said that - and then he fell out of love with hypnosis. 

But people that love a challenge, and above all people that love language. Someone who really loves language. I'm so tired of reading people's inductions that are so bog standard and really lack any flare or colour - that's what makes for a good hypnotist.

Michael : Now, you're answer went much wider than a traditional hypnotist, because you said anybody who wants to help people, or help people change - because you deal with doctors in the health service, is there anything specifically that you would add as to why doctors may want to get involved with this? 

Garner : Absolutely. One of the things about hypnosis - it's such a wonderful phenomenon because nobody really knows what it is but every single person has an opinion of what it is. I think it's a naturally occurring state, most of us agree on that. My own definition is that it's a state of attention focus - narrowed focus - and heightened suggestibility. 

Now among the things that can trigger this, apart from being relaxed and so forth, are things like fear and anxiety, uncertainty - and anybody who is in a state of distress and comes to you as some form of health professional for help, is likely to be in that state already. So they're going to be wide open to accidental states already, wide open to remarks such as'60% of people die from this condition'rather than'40% of people beat it.' 

So I think it's very very important that people that are dealing with health problems are aware that the problem that they are dealing with is probably already there when they come to them. 

Michael : To give a top level picture - in your view what are some of the differences between an average hypnotist and one that is really good, or even great? 

Garner : A lot of people who set themselves up as hypnotists and hypnotherapy’s will actually be doing hypnosis to someone. Because of the ego position, and unfortunately it does tend to attract egos - people will want the status and the stature of what to do and how to fix their lives - where as a really great hypnotist, in my belief, enters into and builds upon a therapeutic relationship with the patient or client - and in fact they can be much more effective if they do that. 

Michael : What do you actually mean by a therapeutic relationship in this context?

Garner : Well unless you get adherense - we cant use the word compliance anymore, apparently that's politically incorrect - So if we get concordance, and adherance from people - we need to have their cooperation. They need to be on board. 

Now a lot of people that come for help spend a lot of time arguing to stay stuck the way they are, and that's simply because they've rehearsed that for a very long time. So we need to be able to enter into a relationship where the other person agrees to enter a relationship with you - Just because they've come for help doesn’t mean that they're ready to change, until you've got them around to that point of view. 

And a therapeutic relationship is one where we acknowledge that the patient or client is at the very least as important as the practitioner. 

Michael : Excellent. Now before we go into detail as to how you start off as a hypnotist - Do you have any views or cautions that are worth expressing up front either when being hypnotised, or in becoming a hypnotist? I wouldn't necessarily want to use the word'danger'- Oh ok, let's use it - are there any dangers or cautions to give anybody thinking of becoming a hypnotist or becoming very involved in it? 

Garner : Well I think the first thing that people need to understand - I don't think there are the traditional dangers that you used to read about in the tabloid press - but I do think - there's something that we call Trance Logic, which means that when something happens in an altered state, they're going to have to try to make that seem logical within the context of their experience. 

So for example, if you are regressing someone to a state, which some people think is a great opportunity for some trauma, and the person comes through at the moment that they are revivifying that trauma, they are going, in all likelihood, incorporate you into that scenario. So if they had been beaten up by somebody, I think there is a likelihood that you would become attached to them as someone in that scenario. 

So we need to know what happens inside a persons reality. That to me is a danger. 

But subjective dangers - No. Because in many ways it's quite - I wouldn’t say difficult - but it's one of the challenges to take on board, what you're talking about in hypnosis. So if you come up with anything that runs counter to their beliefs or principles, they're going to tend to dismiss it. 

Unless of course you have a way of accepting something as logical, but I think that's all the stuff of fiction to be honest. 

So basically trust the person that you're working with. If you're being hypnotised make sure that the hypnotist is a good person, that they come with good recommendations - that they're well experienced. 

And if you're hypnotizing people just be incredibly respectful and cautious to their world. 

Michael : So lets go back to the main purpose of the conversation - if somebody wants to become a hypnotist, where do you suggest they start? Some of the first steps - and what kind of vision and direction could be useful for them? 

Garner : Well I think that the very first step that they should take is to experience, to go into what we call trance, or to go into an altered state. I think that's really important that people have a really good foundation. Maybe it's a good idea for them to go to a very good and qualified hypnotist and have a number of sessions in which they experience what that is like. It would also be good if they were to experience those hypnotic phenomena that we talk about - thinks like amnesia and anaesthetic and arm catalepsy - and positive and negative hallucinations and so forth.

Because that subjective experience is something that we need to be able to identify what the person in front of us is going through. 

The second thing is to get a good sound training. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, because there are many people that fork out for situations where they kind of set themselves up. There is no one governing body in this country - So you need to go preferably, by word of mouth. 

And in order to develop you need to be committed. You need to really be committed to developing your skills. For example, tonality. A lot of people that are involved in hypnosis have absolutely horrendous tonality, they sound like a buzz saw, which is hardly going to make you feel relaxed. 

Learning to use you voice - and knowing when to use colour and movement in your voice and when to drop your voice - getting rhythm into your voice, that's a great one - and here's a great tip if anybody wants to develop it : 

My suggestion is that if people are learning hypnosis, and are developing a script for example - now I don't think people should work by scripts - but develop a script so that you can use it for this exercise, and then pick half a dozen or more different kinds of music through classical to drum and bass to whatever you want to do - head banging stuff - and then deliver the trance to that particular music. It will develop huge flexibility in your voice, to change peoples states with the rate or the pace and the way in which you speak. 

Michael : I like that. Moving on a bit - as far as a hypnotic intervention goes with a client - do you have a general top level structure of some things you'll start with, some things you'll end with and some things you'll do towards the middle? 

Garner : Well I think in general - this is what I meant about developing or skills, or maybe I havent said it yet - but one of the things that we should develop as hypnotists is sensuary accuety. We need to be able to watch the person to see where they are, and to be able to amplify that state and lead them further to the state that we want them to go. 

But if you wanted a kind of format to do that - because some people want a formal induction, other people don’t, and in fact there's some research out there that says that those people that expect to be hypnotised will have better results than those that you do it to indirectly. 

If you wanted a format - One of my formats that I use if necessary - first of all I always begin with the'just before'phrase, which is a way of reducing performance anxiety with people. I say it to them -'Just before we begin, I just want to do a few things here.' 

And what they do then is they relax - because we're not doing it all here, we're not doing all the change work - this is before, so they'll tend to relax. I usually tidy up with them the concept of time which infringes timeline work - but you'll often find that people with a long standing problem will have their representation of the past in front of them rather than behind them. So we need to tidy that up often. 

Outcome and direction is hugely important. It sounds surprising but often people that have been stuck for a long time don't know how to feel better, they don’t know what it will be like. So we need to develop what their direction is, how they are going to be. 

Then we can get to the business of removing the obstacles by whatever means that we want to use, and there are numerous approaches to that. Then we also - and this is hugely important - we need to get them to rehearse, mentally rehearse their new behaviour, whatever that is. 

Something else - Please, please, please - any hypnotist that wants to make change in a person needs to bridge it out into the outside world - Because learning is state specific and normally people will make wonderful changes just sitting there in their chair in front of you, but they haven’t been told that they can take it outside - so it stays with you, in that context. This is the nature of how we learn things. 

I don’t know if you've had a kid studying for an exam with music playing - a lot of kids seem to do that these days - they go into an exam - 

Michael : And they need the music. 

Garner : They need the music. So bridge it out - you can say'And you can start to make these changes now, and take them out into the outside world'. You can walk them through what it would be like to do that. 

So that would be kind of a format. 

The other thing is in Trance-Formation, the book I edited with Richard - there are four trances. I took four of his trances and I deconstructed them. But it's a brilliant example of how a master steeds change, apparently in conversation, on the fly - because in the right hand column I'm breaking it down into what he's actually doing beneath the spoken words. 

So that's also a kind of format. But finally I'd say - Do what feels comfortable with yourself. As long as you're hitting all of the marks, not telling the person what to do - because that's not going to fly, it really isn't - If you say to someone'Eat less', if they want to lose weight for example - Like they've never heard that before! 

Richard always says that it doesn't have to be true - the thing that you tell a person - it just has to be credible to the unconscious mind. 

Michael : I've thought of this question, and I'm not actually sure what I meant by it - So I'll leave it open to your interpretation. What's the best way a hypnotist can get genuine feedback as to how their doing? 

And second part of the question, which may be related - How can they stay inspired and motivated to keep on improving their skills? 

Garner : What you talk about them getting feedback are you talking about within the actual consultation process, or in their general career? 

Michael : I would let you answer it in any way that means anything to you. 

Garner : The first part, regarding feedback in a consultation - That's about developing sensory acuity. You need to know what signs of developing trance are, you need to be familiar with what people look like when they're actually processing stuff inside, when change is taking place - and you respond to that. 

Feedback as to how that person is developing in their career, I would suggest that they ask -Not in a way that implies that you need reassurance, but it's quite good to phone people up three months on, to see what they're doing. People enjoy that, they like that and it gives them a lot of reassurance. Or if there's anything that they have any doubts about, you can handle that in time. 

And to be inspired and motivated. My feeling is that hypnosis is a little bit like the priesthood, that people shouldn’t go into it if they can possibly keep out of it. 

The inspiration should be that you're working in this incredibly powerful technology, that you want to read as much as you possibly can, you want to write down other peoples trances - not because you want to be them, but because you want to learn more that happens. 

I spent years and years, months and months trying to hypnotize my cats. I'd say stuff to them as they looked at me unblinkingly. Dogs you can hypnotize, cats will hypnotize you back. 

Just keep doing it and that will generate it's own momentum. Plus there's no buzz greater than someone that actually gets a terrific change in their lives. But I think to be a good hypnotist, which is the theme of this talk, we should really back down on the old ego. Because there's a lot of people that get into it because they like the idea of changing peoples lives, being the hypnotist rather then doing hypnosis. 

If somebody comes to you and says'This happened, this happened, this happened.', give them credit for it. You want them to own the change. You want people to damp down on their own egos. Otherwise what happens is we get arrogance, we get that didactic authoritarian form of hypnosis, which really doesnt work very well. 

Michael : That leads nicely onto the next question. How did you get to where you are in hypnosis and where do you hope to go to? 

Garner : Well. A lot of what I've done in the past has been related to communications. I was a professional writer for a long time. and I've always been interested in what makes people tick - what makes them change, specifically, as opposed to what makes them stay stuck. So I spent a lot of time pursuing different things and hypnosis was one of them. 

What hooked me was watching a demonstration once of this old guy, whose name escapes me at the moment - I've managed to replicate this, which impresses most of my students to no end - What he did was take a sterile needle, go into trance, or get someone else to put into trance - put it through their hand. 

That's impressive enough, but some people can just grit their teeth and put a needle through the back of their hand - but then - and this is where he caught my attention - he said'You've got three choices now - When I pull out the needle (actually there are four choices) - You can either have a drop of blood of the left hand side, a drop of blood on the right hand side, a drop of blood on either side, or you can have no blood at all.' 

And the guy made the choice, and indeed exactly that happened. And I thought'Whoa, this is something that I want to know more about!' 

If people can actually effect something so - apparently - allegedly - out of our control as that. And I really did go on a number of trainings and courses, as much as I possibly could. And then through the kindness of medical friends of mine - because most of my referrals are from doctors - and the kindness of some strangers - I got referrals sent to me. 

So if people want to develop their own career, my feeling also is that they should specialise. A lot of people do NLP courses, and then they hang out their shingles and cure everything including death - They'll have a list of twenty things that they do. That doesn’t actually create trust, and it doesn’t actually create anything that people buy into. 

But if you're a specialist is this or that you'll fin that people will come to you and ask'Oh by the way do you also do such and such'and you can go'Yes.' 

But the specialisation is what gets your name out there and gets the word of mouth going. And to me word of mouth is worth a million in advertisements. I've done all that over many years, I've done advertising and promotion and so forth, and actually I've got one client out of thousands of pounds of advertising. But all the rest has been through word of mouth. 

So get yourself around - try not to do this promotion stuff. People often do things, like sending pamphlets out to their local GP's surgery - and every time there's a hypnosis course in town, every GP and every publisher gets about a thousand flyers from people that have suddenly qualified - and they know it. 

The one thing that I believe will count more than anything is if the person focuses on getting a lot of experience in a field, a particular field that makes them experts in it. 

Michael : Is there anything that you'd like to add to that specific topic that you've started on - If someone wanted to start off as a hypnotist, as a business. 

Garner : I think they should set themselves up to work professionally. I would suggest avoiding pitching their fees too low thinking'Oh I'll get more people in if I'm cheap'because people don't actually buy this service on the basis of price - and if you're selling it for fifty pence they're not going to trust it very much. 

Free things - I'm not the kind of person that gives the first session free. I go straight in because I want people to change as of the first session. You want people to behave professionally. They need to be incredibly positive, in the sense that they must support the patient or clients. 

Charge reasonable fees - Let me think if there's anything else. I think that's about it to be honest. 

Ah here's something. A psychologist works on a Fifty minute hour thing - I've got these psychologist friends and I'd go around, and I'd open the door and there would be some weeping client walking out into the street, and I'd ask'What do you do, do you hurt these people?'and they'd say'No they had to leave just as they'd accessed some deep traumatic mterial.' 

And I'd say'And you just let them lose in the street? No wonder there are people dressed up as clowns at the top of a super market with an AK47 shooting people. 

You cant turn someone out, so you need to give yourself a little bit of flexibility so that they start to roll with something, so they finish it. So time your sessions, so that it might be an hour or whatever, but if it spills over you should be prepared to do that. 

Michael : That's excellent. So really to bring this conversation to a close - you've given lots of great stuff - if you had to sumarize what you thought was important about becoming a hypnotist in a couple of phrases - What would they be? 

Garner : Be veracious in your learning - Just gobble up anything that you possibly can on the subject, and other subjects to because you'll be surprised how much you can cross-pollenize from other fields. 

And here's another one - Become the kind that will do what you ask your clients to do before you ask them to do it. You should have that experience before you ask them to do that. 

And the third thing - and this is remarkably lacking - is get as much experience on the subject as you can. Just because somebody has done the course doesn’t mean that they can hang up their shingle that they're going to be the best hypnotist or hypnotherapist in the world. Experience is basically what counts. 

Michael : Now you've been good enough to share your experience over the past minutes - is there anything that you're doing now that you'd like to bring to our audiences attention, or anything that you'd like to plug? 

Garner : Well, plugging's always good. We've mentioned Magic in Practice, which is designed for health professionals in all fields. That's available through Amazon. Trainings are available in all specialties - We're doing another one in Nottingham in November, and people can find out about that on one of two websites - and that's Home | Magic In Practice or Index 

I think that's about it - Thank you very much Michael. 

Michael : Thank you very much indeed for your time - I found it really really great.


Anita Kozlowski on Education

Anita Kozlowski

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Michael: I'm very pleased again to have Anita with us who's going to talk about how she has managed to change somebody from academic under performer to successful academic performer.

Anita, can you introduce yourself to people again?

Anita: Hello Michael, my name isAnita Kezlowski. I live in Canada. I run a company called Live With Power NLP Seminars - We specialize in offering licensed practitioner training, in house trainings, personal things and customized seminars - We just finished one for therapists in a maximum security prison - Sales seminars, and we are getting into flirtation seminars, because we are finding that this is a very current topic in this world - particularly amongst the second wave of youth - people that have been through three divorces and are now ready for the fourth, successful, attempt.

Michael: Well I shall look forward to talking to you about that some other time - but that sounds interesting, and a genuine place where you can help people.

Anyway, we're going to talk about this academic under performance. If I can start you of by saying - Can you tell us the client's original situation? What was their situation? What was their problem? The presented problem of the client?

Anita: I see numerous clients in regards to academic under performance. I came to realise that no two cases are exactly the same, and each case is - As I would say - different.

In this particular case I will talk about a young girl who was fifteen years old, who was obviously very bright, who was either failing exams consistently or being on the verge of failing, which led to significant stress and frustration - and a progressive resistance to attending school.
So that's my client.

Michael: What would have happened had that continued? If you didn't do anything, if she didn't do anything, what would have happened?

Anita: She would have dropped out of school because she was at a point where she lost confidence with herself and for her attendance at school became so painful that it became not worthwhile. She had a whole bunch of psycho-somatic problems such as headaches, migraines, different things which kept her from school. Classic anxiety syndromes and it was only a matter of time before she would not be attending school - Which was the concern, particularly, for her family.

Her obvious level of intelligence was not congruent with her level of performance despite good attempts that she produced.

Michael: And at that state you found out what your clients current situation is - What are your own objectives/ What did you want to do? What outcome were you aiming for?

Anita: Obviously my objective would be that her academic performance would improve to the degree that she would be able to continue at school - The immediate objective would be to find out exactly what is the structure of the problem - How does she construct this inability to perform academically in situations where it matters?

Each client as I've mentioned before, is different - There can be numerous reasons leading to a particular outcome. This was my first objective, because after establishing the structure of the problem, the intervention is quite simple.

Michael: So what did you actually do? Tell me some of the things you did in sequence, if sequence is important.

Anita: Sure. When I first saw this girl I saw that she was already quite resistant to any change. She had seem numerous therapists - She had also been diagnosed with all kinds of fashionable labels like ADD and god knows what ever medical aides are coming on the market. And she had displayed a significant degree of anxiety because she was already expecting to be talked down to like before - so even before I could engage in a discussion of the problem or establish rapport with her - with I did by talk about things that are completely irrelevant to the issue.

I asked her about different things she did every single day. We discussed some of her friends and this got her to talk to me in the first place. Which she did.

Then, looking at her, and having met her mother who was a highly achieved professional, I got the feeling that there had been a significant amount of pressure on this child to perform academically, which explained the degree of stress that she experienced. That was my hypothesis.

So I said'I remember a time when I was attending school, and I remember not being so good in maths and then coming home and being really afraid of what my father would say, because my father was very ambitious.'

And I could see her eyes light up and I could see that we connected - and I knew that we were on the same frame.
Then I switched the subject, and left that loop open, and asked'By the way, what do you do for fun?'

And she told me'Oh I do horse jumping.'and she proceeded to tell me how she was a successful horse jumper and how she had been entering many competitions and actually winning them. Which was a good piece of information to utilise down the road.

So in that position we were in a state of rapport where I could examine that problem and look at it.

So from then on, I said to her'Tell me about this problem that you had in the past, that problem that you had in exams - because I know in academic situations there can be numerous reasons for under performance, that could be simple things such as environmental concerns -such as noises and pollution or the desks - or a particular teacher that teaches in a way which isn't congruent to the way that people process information.

There could be things like a lack of preparation which could be easy to fix. Or there could be an actual bodily response to the the exam, at which point the student wouldn't actually be able to see the exam, but be so busy trying to solve the problem that the exam itself would become irrelevant at which point the different types of intervention would be required.

And she told me that she goes to an exam and she sees the moment that she's getting in the room that huge amount of anxiety and stress - and the moment she sits at the desk she doesn't even see the paper because everything is just floating in front of her.

So I said to her'Ok, let's say that you didn't answer the questions - What would happen?'because I would need to know what under performance really meant to her - what are the consequences.
And she would say'I believe that my parents would progressively get mad, and I will not get to that school.'And there was a whole list of horrible things that could happen if she doesn't answer those questions properly - Which obviously would be very stressful.

So I said'Ok. We've got three things to deal with here. We've got to alleviate the actual stress. We've got to train her to pay attention to the people in front of her about the issue of stress rather than talking about herself about how she can not do it. And three - you need to eliminate the stress so that any sequence of events in an exam situation becomes non stressful for her.

At which point I said'Let's talk about the exams.'And I switched the subject to how I used to go to school and I used to have a relative who was a teacher - a woman that used to come home - and how she would take a piece of paper and pen and was writing down questions that she would ask the students the next day.

So I re- framed, to make a long story short, the exam into a piece of paper in which the test was written by a retired person who really had to do it for her job. So the exam became only a piece of a paper with things written on it.
And then I talked to her again about all the things that she liked, such as horse jumping. And I said,'What do they require of you? What do you need to be a good horse jumper?'

And she said'There are X number of gates I have to jump over - I have to memorize it - I have to have a strategy of how to do it quickly.'And so on and so forth.

And I said'Yes it's actually quite a lot of planning on your part, and strategy. I think that's a great success - I don't think that I could do that. That's pretty cool. So you're really good at planning and strategizing.'

'Before you actually jump, what is it that you do in order to convince yourself that you are able to do it?'

She said'Well, simple. I empty my mind, I go into that state of peace and I say to myself'I am ready''

I said'Say it - Say it exactly how you have said it.'

And she said'I am ready.'

So she had given me a strategy for success.

And I said'So actually when you get ready and empty your mind in that fashion, you already know that you are going to get on with it?'

She said'Yes. I have already finished.'

I said'Cool. You already know how to succeed. Do you realise that if you have this ability you can use it any time that you want in situation in your life. It doesn't matter if it's horse jumping, answering questions on a piece of paper that somebody has scribbled down the night before on their kitchen table and translated into a computer - If it's going for a first date or any of those things.'

The other things in her life were strategies that could be useful.

And I said'Let's construct a little device, because you already know because we discussed these strategies earlier that we have cameras in our place, but we also have other cool devices - any time you need to access this state of piece where you need to say'I am ready'with that convincing voice, which you already know you gives you permission to succeeded - You will just press this button inside of you, which only you know about, and you will get there right there and then.'

So we installed this kind of internal machine, which we practiced, and I could see a few times that she was getting into this state very quickly and simulate that scenario.

And I said'now let's imagine you're walking into the room where this piece of paper, which was written on a kitchen table the night before, will be presented - really it will be printed from a computer - and I want you to access that state.'

And she did.

I said'How do you feel?'

'I feel great'

'Ok now, sit down. and look at this piece of paper with all of these scribbles - Just for a moment let it sit there."
And she did.

"How does it feel?"

She said"I feel it's just a piece of paper with some scribbles on it."

I said"Exactly. Now lets forget about that for now."

We of course did some installations there.

I said'Now do you like adventure?"

And she told me about camping and she said'Yes.'

'Do you know about orienteering?'

She said that she had done it a few times. She had been given a map and given some information and had to get from point A to point B.

"Isn't it exciting?"

She says"Yeah. I like the actual searching for the shortest way to get there and so on."

I said"Exactly, you are given a certain amount of information. When you look at so-called exams, which are nothing more then pieces of paper with stuff written on them - It's like a puzzle. A lot of the information is already given. That is, if you pay attention to it, all you have to do is to fill in the blanks - and usually there will be one blank or two blanks, it really doesn't matter - being given all this information makes it easy to figure out."

"So how about you consider it an adventure - a puzzle - Just the same way as when you are orienteering, or planning a camping trip with your friends - You know how to get from point A to point B when you go on a hiking trail."

She says"Yeah."

So I say"The thing is what you pay attention to is what matters. If you were talking to yourself saying that you couldn't do it, obviously you didn't have the time or space to even look at the puzzles that are in front of you. You might as well be watching television. It makes no difference whether you are talking to yourself, or watching TV or reading a newspaper - How about paying attention and searching for certain clues?'

She said'Yeah, that is actually interesting.'

So I then had a book of puzzles with me which I had used when I was at the pool with my kids.
I said"OK, I will give you a puzzle and I would like you to solve it, no matter how long it takes."

I said that it was very easy, which it was, and she solved it. I asked her how she did.

She said"Well I read the question, and I read for all of the pieces of information and then I filled in the blank."

I said'Exactly. So that's exactly what you do When you're presented with a piece of paper with scribbles on it from the night before - by, probably a very tired teacher. Next time that you go through this situation you will utilize your wonderful muscle - you will get into that state and then you will just look at this as an adventure, as a trip - in a labyrinth of information where you will find your way.'

She said'Great'

Then we talked about pleasurable things. And then I asked her a few spontaneous questions, for example from puzzle books - which she answered with great excitement.

And I said'This is the exact attitude you will use every time you enter into a stressful situation - And you will do extremely well from now on.'

So she went home, and her mother phoned me a few days later and said'It's amazing, she got ninety eight per cent on her last maths exam!'

I said"That's pretty cool."

Compared to what she was getting just a month earlier it was a great improvement.

That's the short synopsis of what took place.

Michael: Excellent. And again, looking to the future - What difference to you think that it's going to make to this child, this youth's life?

Anita: It's going to make a huge difference, because first of all she was retrained to look at things in a different fashion. She got rid of her fear and instead established a state of curiosity, which is in my opinion a necessary state to have to be at school. In the absence of curiosity I believe people are not likely to succeed.

At the same time she realized that she's in charge of her own task and she is in control of her own performance. Of course later one we also reframed her dependency on her responses to external environments so that she was not dependant psychologically on the feedback that she received from her parents - because after all it was her adventure, just like a horseback riding competition.

Michael: And to summarize again - what are the learning points you've taken out? Is there anything that you would like to add or any learning points that you think are particularly of interest in this case?

Anita: As I said, every problem is different and has a different structure. So when we address different problems we address it on multiple levels - But keeping an underlying belief which leads to a particular outcome. And at the same time when you work with different clients with different problems you utilise all the methods simultaneously, right from the moment of gathering information.

What I've found is that people will often underestimate the importance of gathering information and gathering the structure of the problem. Not only is it essential for us as practitioners to elicit change, because in order to do it we need to understand the structure exactly of how they constructed the problem - but at the same time it also gives us an opportunity to start working with the client while gathering information through various reframing patterns.

We can facilitate massive changes whilst reframing information.

And at the same time I also found that we can designate a client's strategy, a client's decision strategies - motivation strategies and meta programs - all those things that we can utilise later on through the process of interventions when we have designated the structure of the problem.

So - No two clients are the same. And no two problems are exactly the same - each one is a new place that we need to approach with an open mind and ask the write questions, which are often more far reaching that the immediately problem that we see in them - Because often the problem that people present is not the problem there is.
So when I look at problems (So called.) I don't focus only on the immediate problem which they believe it is - Rather the genetic structure in which the problem occurs, so that we can apply a little change at the level of the problem but also so we can see it within the global structure within which it happens.

Michael: That's really really good. And really just to finish off, can you remind people of your contact details if anyone would like to contact you?

Anita: My phone number is 7809226177 and our website istotalnlp@gmail.comorwww.livewithpower.com. And we have an upcoming licensed practitioner training September third 2010. You are more than welcome to attend.

Michael: Excellent. Thank you very much indeed.

Anita: My pleasure. 


John LaValle on Motivation

(You can listen on the MP3 file below but please allow up to 2 minutes to download http://www.nlp-expert.co.uk/Motivati...motivation.mp3 )

Michael: Many thanks for taking part in this podcast on motivation. To anyone that doesn't know you yet, can you introduce yourself?

John: Sure. My name is John - last name La Valle, of course. And I work closely with Richard Bandler, co-wrote a book called Persuasion Engineering with him. And I guess I have been involved in the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming for coming-close-to Twenty Five years now, mostly in business applications.

I also run the Society of NLP, that's the certifying body.

Michael: We're going to be talking about motivation, so if I could ask you straight out - What does motivation mean to you?

John: That's a big question I guess. Let's see. There are a lot of things that people want to do, and when we talk about motivation, what comes to my mind is"How much do they want to do what they think they want to do."

If I think about it from a language point, if somebody wants to do a particular activity, how much, or to what degree is their want or their willingness to do that activity?

So its a thing where some people want to do certain things, but how bad do they really want to do those things? That's the way I look at it.

Michael: And the next question is a bit of a two-part question. The first part is"What are the"inner"things that impact on motivation?"

John: There are a lot of things, and they all work in conjunction with each other. Motivation is an interesting thing - there are certain things, like, are you able to do certain things? Are you mentally capable?

I always look at the capability factor - are people able to do what they want to do? And if not they need to go off to learn that. And the second part of that is that they really have to believe that they can do that - but there are a couple of other sub-routines if they will. Its not just that they believe that they can do it, but lets say that they don't believe that they can do it to the extent that they want to do it, and they want to rearrange their beliefs, or enhance their beliefs - and build the belief that its possible for them to do it.

Firstly they have to have a belief that they can change their beliefs, so they have to have a belief in themselves that they can change what they believe about themselves, or their own capabilities. So they have to have that first of all.

And the second thing is, that there are these - linguistic structures, really - that people would call them their"Values"or"Their life criteria", basically the things that are important to them, lets say. So where those things are on a list, lets say, would determine how they do a particular activity.

I'll give you an example. Lets say that someone wants to be able to run their own business. I would be interested in what is important to them about that, or find out where those things are on their list of priorities, because that's really what motivation comes down to - a list of priorities - so the hierarchy of importance.

I have a friend of mine who's probably around Fifty years old now, somewhere around there. And he's always wanted to become an astronaut. And lo and behold, the guy has had an absolutely phenomenal career, or should I say careers, collecting very expensive autographs, to marketing things, marketing campaigns.

And lo and behold, at whatever age he's at now - he's probably about Fifty-ish - he has just passed the first leg of a test to become an astronaut.

So, it's not like he didn't want to become an astronaut before - he did - but the hierarchy of what was important to him must have been, I'm not sure - If I was to say it was number five or number six on his long number of things that he always wanted to do - he's finally getting around to doing that after doing what he always wanted to do.

Michael: Moving on from that, you've talked about what's important in our inner world - what sort of things in our outer world do you think effect peoples motivation?

John: I'm not sure how much that things that are on the outside can effect us. Because to me that is the environment and we can change how the environment will effect you. Obviously if you want to do X activity and it requires one million dollars to invest in, or half a millions pounds - I guess to some degree, you'd have to have access to that kind of money - but that's not the only way to achieve that activity, even if you had to make that investment, there are other ways of getting access to that type of money.

So I don't know. I am sure that there are things that people perceive in the outside world that could stop them. To me the mind is the last bastion of freedom that we can have. So we could do lots and lots of things if we put our minds to it.

Michael: So, as an NLP'er, what are your views to the main approaches to motivation?

John: There are lots of techniques and procedures that I see that people will use, and continue to use, and some of them are pretty good, but I think there are strategy elicitation and things - there's one key piece that I like to use with people.

The first thing to realise, is number one, that if they really, really, really want to do something, then the motivation really ought to be there to begin with. So we're talking around, in this case, about things that people don't really want to do. Sometimes there's a compulsions, they're compelled to do it by someone else, or their boss - I guess that's an external piece, but they want to be motivated to do something that they're not really wanting to do on their own, lets say - or not 100% on their own.

But in that case there are things that people can do. Nobody likes to write out checks or pay their bills, but they somehow know that they have to be motivated to do that once or twice a month or whatever that number is.

So as a strategy, there's a piece - where if you were starting to do a new activity, a new project for example - you'd be excited, you'd be motivated - all of the resources you needed would just plug in.

But depending on the project as you move along, you may lose that motivation, or it may diminish - and that happens for a group of different reasons - mostly because something more exciting comes up, or you've lost interest for whatever the other reasons could be.

But the point would be that its the sort of activity that you have to do, that you have to finish - so the strategy where there's this motivation piece where you start off, its useful to be able to take that resource, anchor it, amplify it, intensify it, do all those sorts of things.

And you can actually predict in the future - because for the most part the people that run these that run these strategies over and over and over again, so they can predict down the road at what point their motivation will diminish.

And you could build that into the strategy by noticing where that motivation begins to diminish, go back a few steps before that, and loop that motivational feeling that pushes you through that particular point in the strategy where it would have begun to diminish, but in fact doesn't, it keeps you excited about it.

I guess there are other factors involved in it too. I don't know what demotivates people, and I like to ask what it is that motivates people to do certain things.

Michael: Lets move on to the next question that relates to that. If somebody comes to you because they're not feeling motivated about something - what are the sorts of question that you ask them at the beginning?

John: I'd like to ask them a few things.

First of all I would ask - I do like to find out - this thing that they're motivated towards, or want to be motivated to do, is it there's? Is it all there's? Is it 100% for them? Is it there want and desire or is it someone else's?

Because if its truly not there's, its going to be more work, lets say, for them.

If I was working with someone that wanted to quit smoking for example, I always ask them"Is this something that you want to do, or are you doing it for someone else?"

Or typically they might respond"Well, its something that I want to do, because- so-and-so, my spouse wants me to do it, or my friends want me to do it."

And while there's nothing inherently wrong with that, now what i have to do is really make sure that this is for them, and not for someone else. So that's one of the questions that I would ask.

Another one that I would ask - in NLP there's the sentence"We're not allowed to ask the question Why?"Which is really totally bogus - we're allowed to ask the question, its a matter of when we ask it and for what purpose we ask it.

But the question"Why?"What it does, is it elicits motivation. So I will ask someone, even though they say that they want to do something, a modal operator thing - I'll even ask them"Why do you want to do this?"

I might even ask the question"Why are you motivated to do this?"And even ask for the motivation behind the motivation at times. Because I really want to know, and I think that they ought to know what it is too.

Because too often people think"If I snap my fingers then I'm going to change!"and they forget that there are things that they actually have to do in order to change, they think"Wave a magic wand above my head, and there I am, I'm done"

So I ask those types of questions. I ask them what it is to them. I word it in terms of time and effort, because the effort part we often forget about that piece. If people aren't willing to put in the effort to do things, then you have to question their motivation, they're real motivation.

Michael:So you ask some questions at the beginning, what sort of things do you do next? You talked about strategies before - is that what you do most times, or are there other things that you may do?

John: Oh there's lots of other things. One of the things that I do when I am listing information from them - and I like to get them to do a lot of the speaking so I can get a lot of the language patterns naturally formed - not because I'm eliciting information form them. I'll just say"Talk to me about this", and then I'll sit back and start taking some notes.

I'm listening to a few things. I'm listening to the level of their pro-activity, or reactivity to what they want to be able to do. I also listen to anything else in their language that gives me clues to the sub-modalities that are going on inside their brain.

That's a key factor actually. One of the key factors - and this is tends to be whether they believe that they can do something or not. The emphasis tends to be around whether they can see themselves doing the activity or not. And what they associate with what they see in the image, you see in their language structure - they'll say"Well, i just don't see myself doing that.","I just don't see myself being able to finish that."

And that's a very simple sub-modality distinction.

Michael: Can we just take that example, somebody saying"I just cant see myself doing that?"And I appreciate that we're taking a very small chunk, but what would you do with them to help them with that?

John: If I was doing that with a step by step technique, I would literally have them dissociate from the image - because chances are they're associated to the image like they're there - but they don't see themselves in the image or in the movie that they're making.

So I would actually have them dissociate so they could see themselves in the image, behaving in a way, or generating the behaviours needed for the activity. And then of course if its a movie I would have them watch themselves doing it, hear themselves doing it, listen to what they're saying.

And then I have associates I have them dissociate, I have dissociates I have them associate. And the final step that I would use actually is that I would use them dissociated from it in the future - so lets say the activity is something that they're going to accomplish six months from now, so they would be able to see themselves doing this activity over the next six months and they'll find that that they complete that activity.

Again, by associating it to them they would then know what to hear, what they would see and what they would feel on the way to doing the activity. And then hopefully if that all plugs in when it comes time to generate that activity, or completing that activity - all of those things would plug in at once, and they would have what I would call a full-blown experience of the activity.

Michael: OK, so you've talked about sub-modalities - you've talked about checking whether they are productive, we've talked about their sequence or strategy - is there anything else that you'd look for or consider in that middle bit?

John : I guess I would consider how it is they organise their time-lines. More specifically how they organise their own priorities, whether they can sequence those, and whether they can multi-task or not. I always look at that.

Michael: Could you just talk a little bit about that? Its an interesting topic.

John: Well a lot of times, the motivation thing for me - especially in business situations. I run into this with businesses all of the time, when they say"Our boys aren't motivated."

Well, I truly believe that the employee is really responsible for motivating themselves and the boss is really not accountable for their employees motivation. But I fully subscribe to the fact that the boss sets up the environment and can put roadblocks in the way to stop the employee becoming motivated, I understand that.

But really, in most business cases its a matter of the list of priorities in today's economy - well, its been going on for a long time actually - some body's boss keeps piling things up on top, some body's plate gets full, as they say - and now its a matter of Twenty-Four hours a day, seven days a week - and when the plate gets that full, something is going to fall off of the plate.

So the employee gets to choose, essentially, what it is that they want to do or not. And when you look at a list of things, there are some things that they are more motivated to do, and some things that they are less motivated to do, of course.

So those things are the list of things that they have to do in their priorities, and the next thing that comes up is"Whose list of priorities are we looking at?"Is it the bosses list of priorities, or is it the employees list of priorities?

And the employees list of priorities is going to be way different from the bosses list of priorities - that's the first part:"Whats really on the list and how does it sequence down?"

And the timeline piece, to me that's really an activation tool. We all have our time-lines, and we all utilise them, but these little things and priorities keep replacing other things in the timeline.

So the boss walks in the door, for example, with a business application, and says"Look I need this right away."All of a sudden things in the whole timeline start shifting around, and their futures start shifting around. Now how well the employee has a handle on what the things are on his priorities - what his priorities are in the future, in their timeline - even if its only in the next week or two - in the next week - If they don't have a good hold of how to control that, things will fall off the timeline, and they will stay off the timeline - they might not be put back on the timeline by the employee alone - it might take the boss to come back in by saying"What about this project?"

Michael: So we've talked about some ideas on how to start the session, some ideas that would come up in the middle - how would you normally close the session and what sort of things might you consider towards an end of a session?

John: Towards the end of any session - when it comes to the motivation thing, I like to stay in touch with the person. I'll do a follow up a couple of weeks later, even a month or two later, and just find out how they're doing, and find out whether or not anything else got in the way that they hadn't planned on, or we hadn't planned on.

But at the end of the session I always make sure - that we do in NLP anyway - a complete future pace - and that does not just include just putting things into the future, but of past events, past experiences and knowing what its going to be like afterwards.

I think that's there's a lot of things that people don't really do when they're doing future-based. Its one thing to say"Well, I can see myself doing it in the future, but whats it going to be like after Ive done it?"

Whats it going to feel like? What are the benefits? Any consequences that there are? And yada yada yada, after the thing - and I think a lot of people don't plug that piece in.

Remember, we're dealing with the brain here. Its an exercise in neuro-chemistry, in brain chemistry. Its not just a matter of the sights and the sounds and the chemistry, its the chemicals that go along with the brain-state.

So people that are future pacing, when they do that, if they go into something after its already been finished, they can take a look and see how its going to look. I think its a more pervasive change for people, and them doing what they say they want to do, is more likely to happen.

Michael: Looking now at what you've just said, or maybe bring in anything that you want to - what tips would you give anybody listening who wanted to improve their motivation on something?

John: The simple things are - if they say there's something that they want to be motivated to do but its not really for them alone, and somebody else wants them to do something. The first thing for them to think about is thinking about, and literally listen to their own language.

And listen to the modal operators, or for the layperson what I would call the motivator words - I want to, I'd like to, I need to, I have to, I wish I could, - things like that - I can, I must.

And then number two - notice the sub-modalities. The modalities for visual, for auditory, for kinesthetic, notice how big the images are, the vibe of the sound

Where are the images? Are they in black and white? Are they movies, are they slides?

All of the sub-modalities that I would really need to take a look at, as they're saying what they're saying to themselves. I think that's an important piece, because ultimately, the sub-modalities are how we encode information, and the easiest way to recode the information if we're paying attention to the process.

Michael: Taking a big picture approach - is there anything that you'd like to emphasise or anything that you'd like to add. Any big picture thoughts of motivation.

John: If you really want to do something, then you probably will. If you really don't, you probably wont - to the degree where you decide, if you're going to change something or not, you have control over your brain, and you can decide another strategy - to run a decision strategy, to decide whether you want to do something or not.

But the truth is, if you want to do it, you will.

The only other thing that I could add in here is, people will categorize what they want to do, they categorize them as their hopes and their dreams. And that's an internal activity - they're in there thinking about what they want to do."Things I need to do""Things I dream of doing".

And I heard something a while back, that was quite profound actually, and I don't really remember who said it either - and it went along the lines of this:

"In order to be able to reach your dreams, you have to be able to first wake up."

And I thought that was really profound - its a way of saying"Get to the outside of your head and go do things."Wanting something isn't enough, you have to do things about it."

Michael: Now is there anything special that you're doing at the moment that you would like to plug or tell our listeners about?

John: Well actually there are a lot of things. Richards new book is absolutely excellent, I highly recommend it. You can get it online at Amazon. I'm sure there are other places you could get it at the time - the latest one is"Get the Life you Want"its really an excellent book.

The only other thing is - anything we have you can get from out websites,nlp, John La Valle& Richard Bandler's schedule hereorRichard Bandler NLP Hypnosis Design Human Engineering, Neurohypnotic Repatterning seminars . . .

Michael: And the last thing of course, is to thank you for spending twenty-five minutes with us. I really appreciate it.

John: Thank you Michael, its always my pleasure, really.


Garner Thomson on Hypnosis

(Please allow up to two minutes for the MP3 to download when you want to listen to the discussion)


Michael: Good morning Garner. Firstly I'd like to really welcome you back, this time for a discussion on hypnosis. Could you kick off by reminding our audience about yourself and a little bit about what you do.

Garner: Sure, and thank you for inviting me. I'm an NLP meta-master practitioner and trainer and clinical hypno-therapist. I have a full time practice in London and I am founder of the Society of Medical NLP, which we founded to develop and teach the principles -specifically to the health professionals - I developed a curriculum in which I teach doctors, medical students, and health professionals from all over the world.

And also the book Magic in Practice, which is subtitled Introducing Medical NLP The Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health.

Michael: Excellent. And I also understand that you helped Richard edit his new book A Guide to Trance-formations, Ive just finished it, and I have to say that I really really like it - but I was wondering if you could add a few words of your experience in doing that?

Garner: Yes certainly. I was up in Ireland - Richard asked me to go down there to - he offered to write an introduction to my book Magic In Practice. And I actually expected to be there a couple of days. I thought that it was good, weighty book, and that there was quite a lot to it, but Richard sat down and had read it cover to cover in literally a couple of hours so we had quite a lot of time left. So I said to him"While I'm here, is there anything that you would like me to do?"Thinking that I could potter around in the garden or something.

And he said"I want you to re-do Trance-formations."Trance-formations was a book that he wrote on hypnosis, and is probably about twenty-five years old now, and he wanted to rewrite it for some time. So I went"OK."And that's how it happened.

So, literally the next six months or so involved many, many, many hours of talks with him - being able to ask him any question that I wanted to ask him, which was brilliant. And actually, the Holy Grail of NLP which is the audio book archives, because Richard has kept records of absolutely everything that he has ever done. So that alone was an extraordinary experience.

And the book officially comes out in the states in November and in the UK some time early next year.

Michael: So almost leading on from that, what is your own view on what is trance and what is hypnosis? And are in fact, they the same thing?

Garner: Well, actually its a very good question. In Magic in Practice I called hypnosis something that nobody understands, but about which everybody has an opinion. And there are two things - we have no idea of what it is and why it should work. it just is, and it does.

Milton Erickson defined trance as"The reduction of the multiplicity of the foci of attention.", basically meaning that you've narrowed the persons attention down. But that told us more or less, what happened, not actually it actually is. I think personally I don't care too much for the Hypnosis word, for the H word, and that's largely because of connotations that it carries. So I tend to use the terms altered state, and trance inter-changeably with hypnosis.

Personally I define it as the functionally altered state that we talked of as a heightened unconscious focus. We know that involves reduced pre-frontal cortical activity, and that's the logical side of the brain. So it very well might be a heightened sense of suggestibility.

What I would like to emphasise is that trance may be a response to acute arousal. Emotional arousal. We suspect that that may have something to do with our evolutionary development. So in medical NLP we regard all patients in distress as in an altered state, and therefore more susceptible to suggestion. So its of premium importance that all health professionals are aware of its effect.

There's a profound difference in saying to someone"This form of cancer is fatal for 60% of people."and"40% of people successfully overcome this form of cancer."The first way of saying it is a death sentence, and the second suggests different odds. I'd buy a lottery ticket on those odds.

Michael: Moving on from that, what kind of thing can altered states, or trance, or whatever wording you choose to use, be used for?

Garner: Well, I regard trance largely as a tool to speed up interventions that might otherwise take up too much time. I think that there's a lot of over-emphasis amongst some people, of hypnosis and hypnotherapy as a means in itself. They don't have an underpinning of therapeutic applications or interventions that they can use.

But the advantage of trance is that these things can be done very quickly when they do have those elements introduced. So it can be used adjunctively to treat probably almost any behavioural problem, effectively. And since the more we practice a new behavioural response the better we get at it, trance gives us the means to set up many many repetitions of mental rehearsal or future-pacing as we call it in NLP, within a relatively short period of clock time.

Michael: OK. So, can I just clarify that its particularly useful for people, or for us, if we want to take on new behaviors?

Garner: Yes it does, because rehearsal of new behaviours is crucial and the time distortion ability of hypnosis is particularly useful. I don't think that you can just rush in on a trance and get them doing something different than what they've been doing for a very long time. You often come across it in hypnotherapy, just to put people in a state of trance, and unless its credible to their unconscious mind, they're not going to change their behaviour, without developing new neural pathways.

Richard said something quite interesting to me when we were in Ireland and writing the book. He said that Virginia Satir had said to him when he was a lot younger that people, if they had choices, would always make the most appropriate one - the best one available to them. And I always thought that that sounded la little bit optimistic.

But he explained to me that what she meant was that to make the neurological choice, they needed the actual experience of a new behaviour. So for example a person who was afraid of flying, no matter what you did with him, you wouldn't really be able to do anything without his neurology altered, developing new pathways - to at least perceive themselves flying comfortably and safely in a plane.

So that is where hypnosis is very useful. It allows us to install patterns without actually having to drag people out onto the street and onto a plane.

Michael: We're obviously going to be talking about some of the positive sides of hypnosis - but just to make people aware, do you believe that there are any cautions or concerns about hypnosis, or putting people into an altered state?

Garner: I do believe that the cautions are really as much about the one person as one chooses. You see, the reason that hypnosis has such a bad rap is that there is a lot of incompetent hypnotherapists around and people encounter them. But the stories that I hear, are not about hypnosis as such, but about practitioners who have become really frustrated and not being able to bring about a change in the patient, and install guilt in the patient.

So in hypnosis itself I would say not really, because you will find that if people are given an injunction, which runs counter to what they believe, to what their moral-ethical value is, they will tend to reject it. It is quite a skill getting people to accept these injunctions, but at the same time you need to have a sense of trust of the ethics and the efficiency of the person doing the hypnosis.

Michael: That leads very nicely onto the next question. In a hypnotic session, how would you describe the relationship between a hypnotist and a client - and if I could add to that from what you've just said - in a good hypnotic session, how would you describe the relationship?

Garner: Sure. Well essentially the hypnotist should function as a feedback mechanism for the subject. In other words the subject leads the state. So that means that the hypnotist should be able to distinguish signs of developing trance however subtle they might be, and feed them back to the subject, amplifying the effect.

Now in order to do this, you as an effective hypnotist or practitioner, need to be able to go into profound states yourself while maintaining the ability to communicate with the outside world. This is quite a skill, but its very useful, because as you go into an altered state, your subject will follow.

This is non-verbal feedback, but of course you can give verbal feedback as well, and that's very much what Erikson was doing when he used the phrase, one we all use now which is"That's right.", he was reaffirming their state.

Michael: And what would you say are some of the key elements that make up a good hypnotic session?

Garner: Well I would absolutely say as Ive said before that trust is absolutely important. People need to have trust in the practitioners knowledge and ethics. And not just because we don't want any kind of junky injunctions being given to people, but simply unconscious minds make judgements, and unconscious minds are seldom fooled, so its completely a waste of time if that trust isn't there.

Ive never met anyone who cant go into a state of hypnosis, contrary to the stories you hear. Richard always says that if people don't go into hypnosis its one of two things. Its either that they have concerns that have not yet been addressed, or you're not taking enough time with them. So trust is important.

The second thing that I would say is keep it interesting. There's an entirely unfounded belief that trance has to be slow and monotonous, and this is the official belief, and its incredibly patronising to the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is very creative, playful, and has a brilliant sense of humour - and these qualities make therapeutic suggestions much more credible, and therefore more acceptable to the unconscious mind.

So, make therapy fun, is my closing statement.

Michael: You've talked about trust and fun, please continue

Garner: Well finally I would like to say that the practitioner should have the confidence and the ability to utilize absolutely anything that happens in the session . I have a mantra that I impart onto my students when they're training with me, and that's"normalize, normalize, normalize", in other words, anything that happens should be framed as useful, and its up to the practitioner to decide why something good is happening - otherwise you get a lot of performance anxiety, you get people judging themselves. They perform much better if whatever they do, or say, or whatever is framed and perceived as something useful. Which it always will be.

Michael: Now, can you take me through some of the sequences that you might go through in a hypnotic session?

Garner: I believe that set up is very important - most of the listeners probably don't remember this, but back in the day we used to have computer disks that you used to have to set up before you could use them. And I think that this is very important, I think that peoples conscious minds need to be pre-formatted in order to accept the kind of injunctions and information that you want to give them in a certain way.

Peoples conscious minds, pre-frontal cortex, the logical-rational side, is going to get in the way if it isn't satisfied. I often spend a lot of time explaining things to people, re-framing their condition as I go. I mean, for example, I truly, truly believe that the symptom is never the problem, but its always the communication from the whole body-mind about some imbalance that needs to be readdressed. So therefore the subject needs to realise that we're not at war with these bad feelings or behaviours, but that we have to learn how to reassert them more creatively into our lives.

I also use loads of semantic primes - these words that suggest the outcome that even if we're not using them in a direct way, these are found to be very potent in influencing people.

Michael: Can you give an example?

Garner: Sometimes we call these‘homophonic’ ambiguities in linguistics - something like the word"heal", you could be talking about dogs coming to heel or something like that, but of course the word heal has a secondary meaning. So to become aware of langauge and the other meaning of words. In Magic in Practice there's a whole section on words that harm and words that heal which is actually about how to use semantic primes. And essentially its as many words as you can think of that sound like, or represent the conditions that you would like to bring about in people.

So"peace". You can say to someone,"Comfort, trance, doesn't happen immediately. It happens piece by piece."There's a bit of ambiguity there."And if each piece happens, the rest follows."

So you hear the difference, there's piece, and"the rest that follows", where"rest"is another one of those words with ambiguity.

Richard has a word that he uses all of the time."Your unconscious. Now."Now that's also a prime, it primes people to be unconsciously thinking"your unconscious."and"You are unconscious."

So this is what I call semantic primes. And I must say, these days I very seldom do a formal induction, the ones that we're all trained in at the beginning, you know, I would get them to imagine that they're walking down a staircase step by step. To me, it suddenly occurred to me that if you can get people to believe that they're already in an altered state, they can hallucinate that they're walking down a staircase.

So I do is - I do a formal induction if the client really wants me to - some people really like the whole shebang, and they really respond better for it. I had some guys that had been sent to me by Paul McKenna, and they were three lads from Essex, three brothers who wanted to give up smoking. And they were big old boys and they watched Paul on television and they had seen all of that stuff.

So when they came to see me, I knew they were coming one after the other to come and stop smoking. So the first one sat down and I said"So, whats your name?"and he went, already, into trance. So I said"Oi! We haven't started yet!"and pulled him back up. And every time that I spoke he went back up into trance - so I thought we'll do this and move onto the next one. It was kind of like McDonald's trace.

And they all did the same thing, because their expectation was so high of what hypnosis really was. But for my, by definition, getting someone to go inside and think about stuff, his consciousness was altering anyway.

So Ive learned very much from deep and naturally occurring trance states.

But what I tend to do - I'm very partial to what I call an outside-in approach, which is where you conversationally bring a person attention in from the outside world into the interior world, and one of the easiest ways of doing that is by noticing or commenting on, inarguably true, two or three true facts - what Erickson calls Truisms - followed by a hypnotic injunction.

For example you could say to someone"You've come here."Which is one clearly, because they've come."Because you've been struggling with a particular problem,"That's two."And have decided to do something about it."That's three.

And then you say -"and you can let your attention go inside, and start to relax.".

So they're three real facts and one hypnotic injunction, and by repeating this pattern you can achieve profound trance states.

Although I should say that the depth of trance in not automatically a requirement for therapeutic change. This is a fallacy. I don't want my clients to be always so dissociated that they cant respond - so when people are in a sufficiently relaxed and receptive state, then I can become increasingly direct with them over what they can do, what they can do instead of what they've been doing unsuccessfully so far.

And they need to know what to do. And again that's another fallacy that Erickson was very non-directive. Its only true of his inductions. As people went into trance he became more and more and more directive, he told people what he wanted them to do.

And Ive trained with many different hypnotists, but I think with Richard, the things Ive acquired from him are particularly useful. The first is persistence. He taught me to never, never, never give up. And the second is to layer my work. Why give an injunction on way when you can give it five different ways and increase your chances?

And then that became when we were working on his book, that there was a thing called hypnosis which is what other people did - and then there was hypno-ranting which is what we did.

Michael: I like that, hypno-ranting. OK. Anything more of the sequence of a good session?

Garner: Well when you've got the injunction, that direct injunction in place, I think the most important thing is to let people know that they should start now, that's often the case. That's very important.

The second thing that is very important is the therapist or the hypnotist has to transfer, to bridge or to map the new behaviour out of the room and into the outside world
- otherwise we get something called state specific learning. You'll see all sorts of brilliant changes when the person is sitting there, but they'll stay in the room unless its bridged out.

That's what I meant when I said we should have lots of rehearsal and we can do lots of rehearsal and future-pacing. And that allows the people to carry the new behaviour, the responses out into the outer world.

And then largely when you bring people back - sometimes people don't want to come back because its so comfortable. If you're new to the game, don't panic. They're just enjoying themselves, there's no such thing as somebody staying in trance forever.You just need to be a little flexible, and if necessary, prod them and then they will come around.

Its largely to reassure them, especially with newcomers, is what experience they believe they are having. Because they might say"Ive heard every word I think you said"IE,"I don't think I was in trance."

Or the other one is"I didn't hear anything that you said"

And the thing is to realise that people are simply asking for reassurance. I usually say to people, I use Richards thing"We do have a state where people don't hear anything or see anything or feel anything, and that's called death, and we try and avoid that one as much as possible."

And of course people are listening even when they're away, and they need to know that its OK. that what they've done is OK, because as a hypnotist its your job to measure and to calibrate their response so that their response is unique.

And then you send them off, hopefully happy, with a double bind, I like double binds. I say to people"now the important thing is that I don't want you to get better too quickly. So in the next couple of days, you might find that things are up and down, but after that-"

And then you give them the injunction. and this gives them lots and lots and lots of reassurance and a lot of hand-holding so to speak, because its a new experience for them. And they are looking for magic, so often you have to normalise the experience, so they're not just suddenly going to be different people when they come out. That's the other thing that TV hypnosis creates, the illusion that we're going to go close our eyes, open our eyes and life is going to be completely different.

So you need reassure people that they are going to get used to the new behaviours and practice those new behaviours. You get that by them and they're home and dry.

Michael: Excellent. Moving on from that, you've talked about what you would do, if you were going to chose a hypnotist to work with yourself, how would you know who to chose?

Garner: Good question. It's difficult, I agree. There are really, as I said earlier on, some really incompetent hypnotherapists out there, and that creates problems for everyone. Id certainly begin, myself, with asking what sort of problems that he deals with normally. And then I'd be very much cautious if the answer was"everything". You often get this.

Now this is often a sign of somebody that has had very little experience. They've got their new license and their new training and they hang out their shingle saying"we do everything."

But as your experience grows you tend to specialise, you tend to find areas that you prefer or that you're better at or that you enjoy more. So even if you're confident of the wide range of issues that you're dealing with, you want to be careful of if they're selling snake oil. It normally means that they don't have loads of experience.

I would be very well disposed to someone that is willing to spend some time on the phone with me, with any concerns or questions that I might have, but Id be particularly cautious of someone that tells me that I need to pay for ten sessions in advance, just off the basis of the telephone conversation.

People often ask me how long its going to take, and I say that I really cant answer that, but what I can guarantee is that we'll work to the minimal number of sessions that we can possibly do, and they're very client-directed. I'll take the feedback from them.

So I want that kind of confidence. It honestly doesn't make any sense to ask where they trained or are they registered because there's no official registration or training body in this country, much are out there that would like to be perceived as such.

Michael: Can I ask you a side question on that? Do you think that its actually possible to have an effective body that did that sort of thing?

Garner: It's very difficult, because what tends to happen then is that they become self-funding. You get situations where you have bodies then that say"You cant register with us unless you've done our training or follow our methods."This happened in mainstream psychology and psychiatry a lot.

I was invited by a well-known - I wont mention the name - but a well known medical and dental hypnosis trainer many years ago to give a talk - and they said"you have to come in the back door."And I asked what that meant, and they said"Well, we're not allowed to really talk to people, or be talked to by people who have not trained with us."

And I said"Well, how do you ever learn anything new?"

And that hadn't occurred to them. The important thing is that it can limit creativity and limit flexibility. So I'm not a great lover of registering bodies. The only reason that I believe - for example the Society for Medical NLP - is to give people a kind of fellowship or a guild that they can belong to.

But what I would like to say about selecting a practitioner, is that word of mouth is the best way of doing it. Go to people you know and find people that have been to someone and find out what their response is. Ive made a policy never to advertise, and happily for me I'm never short of clients - because if people do like what they've done they will pass it on.

So word of mouth can be the most trustworthy way of choosing a therapist.

Michael: OK. There again, building on what you've said up until now, what do you see as the future for hypnosis? Or altered states or whatever you chose to use?

Garner: Well Michael, I see hypnosis and all of that stuff as a technology, and a large part of our evolution at this point depends on how we successfully harness the technology that we have. We unfortunately, currently function in an evidence-based world, certainly in the medical field or the health professions - which is really about how to measure things to fulfil accountants, to to paperwork, than it is to fulfil patients and clients.

So I think there will be a while where its still regarded with suspicion by many people in the mainstream. But on the other hand, those of us who are in the business, we much continue to persevere, encourage and demonstrate to the people who are prepared to listen - and also to encourage our patients and clients to talk to their health professionals when they're satisfied with the results that we've achieved together.

That's really how Ive become accepted as a trainer of health professionals - I'm not a doctor - and that wouldn't have meant anything other than that Id been through medical school. It wouldn't make me a better teacher of NLP or hypnosis if I were a doctor.

But what happened was that an increasing number of doctors that had referred patients to me had become curious of what the patients had experienced and why they seemed to be better after they had been through a process different from the ones that they understood.

So the future is create an integration with medicine - to reintegrate it. Because it once was very much part of medicine, part of health. But I think that the future is also to push the boundaries - I think that people who are really interested in it - Richard said that he always pushed what Erickson said was possible, he would push to the Nth degree. Not because he wanted to disprove it, but because he wants to find out if there are limits - and twenty, thirty, forty years later he still hasn't found them.

: OK, what would you like to emphasise? Think about the things that we've talked about, do you think that there is anything about hypnosis that you've left out? Or do you think that there is something in particular that you would like to emphasise because you think that it is a potentially, particularly useful, or worth knowing for the people that are listening to this?

Garner: I think that I could probably go on talking about hypnosis forever, its one of my favourite subjects. But what I would like to emphasise is something that Ive already said, and that is that we learn to regard everyone in distress as in an altered state, and therefore
in a potentially suggestible state and adjust our behaviour accordingly.

And in medicine they have this saying"First do no harm."And I thin kits possible to do harm by using language injudiciously when a person is in a highly suggestive state. I would say that that's probably the most important thing that I have to emphasise.

Michael: And if you can - either if there's anything that you would like to bring to our listeners attention, anything that you would like to plug, and or remind us of your contact details.

Garner: I'd like once again to suggest, obviously, that listeners have a read of Magic in Practice because there's quite a lot there about naturally occurring trance states and why its important for health practitioners to be able to identify them.

Do read Richards new book which is entitled entitled"Dr Richard Bandler's Guide to Trace-Formation"

And that's a very practical book, but its also very interesting because this design for people who have never been exposed to hypnosis or NLP before, so he wanted some of the old patterns and some new patterns as well. So get a copy of that.

And please visit our website - there's much on there about our training courses, including NLP training and hypnosis. The main site for Medical NLP is

And we have a site running in tandem with Magic in Practice which is
http://www.magicinpractice.comand by joining that people can then participate in discussions, ask questions, and send me any emails that they'd like to send.

Michael: Is your email on those sites?

Garner : Yes, the email is on the site, but they can always get me through my personal email which is

Michael: Garner, thank you very much indeed for spending your time with us this morning.

Garner: Michael, thank you very much for inviting me. I really appreciate it, and enjoyed it. Thanks a lot.   

You can read about Michael'sNLP Storefrom his website. 


Stephen Gilligan on Hypnosis

(To listen to the interview please click on the MP3 file below. Please allow up tp 2 minuts for download) http://www.nlp-expert.co.uk/hypnosis/stephen.mp3

Michael: Could you just start by giving our listeners a brief introduction as to who you are and what you do?

Stephen: Well, I'm a psychologist. I live in San Diego, California. And professionally speaking, for the last thirty two-thirty three years, I've been doing a variety of therapeutic work, coaching work related to hypnotic work.

I started out in the late seventies as a student of UC Santa Cruz and I was a student of Bandler and Grinder, I actually met them when they first got together - I was a student of Grinders. And about a year into that they went out and met Milton Erickson and I was just thoroughly taken by what they had brought back, and the next time they went I went with them and met Erickson in 1974 and became a student of his for the next six years until he died in 1980.

So a lot of my work has that as a core - Ericksonian hypnotic trance, and a number of other things have become integrated into that over the years, including a lot of stuff from Aikido and Buddhism, and some from other aspects of psychology.

Michael: From your point of view, what is hypnosis, what does the term mean to you?

Stephen :Well I think it's important to distinguish between hypnosis and trance, most people don't, and it leads to a lot of misunderstanding. So in order to define hypnosis I would first have to define trance.

One of the most important aspects of Erickson's legacy was emphasising trance, not as artificial, but as naturalistic, and that is it doesn't come from hypnotic suggestion, it comes from consciousness itself - that it's a natural part of peoples learning states and of their consciousness. I think we could say in the most succinct way that trance is the way that occurs any time that identity is disrupted.

And of course identity might be disrupted in a number of ways, you might get traumatised, you might be at the end of an identity cycle or a learning cycle in your life.

I was just working with somebody for example, that was going through retirement - that you might call the end of a identity cycle for that person. Your identity might get disrupted because of things that happen in the world, you might get married, divorced, you might have a child, your child leaves home, a parent dies, you get ill, you get a new job, you change your residence. Those would be what we call events at the identity level, and it creates a break in the identity box, if you will, that you've been walking around in.

So because you need to create new identity patterns at those pivotal points, nature has supplied consciousness with this learning state that we call trance - so trance is natural. And like it or not you're going to go into a trance at least periodically in your path.

Now the thing about trance I would say, is that it's incomplete. It needs a human context. And so the social ritual is able to absorb it, to give it a container, connect it with some traditions or some patterns that allow something that is that coming up in trance, be made artistically into something that has human value.

So another way of saying that is what your unconscious gives you in trance is not complete, it's only half human. so you need someway to be able to absorb it in order to be able to shift it into something that has full human value.

And that's why I say hypnosis is one of those ritual processes if you will. If a way that you can safely create a container, and receive the unconscious and at full throttle be able to open to the more primitive, primordial consciousness. and that has some set of tools that you can gracefully, I hope, effectively guide it, into a thing that has a full human form and full human expression.

So trance is the experience, hypnosis is the social ritual to guide the experience.

Michael: And what drew you to the subject?

Stephen: Well I think I've had a life-long interest in altered states of consciousness. Maybe it comes in part from the Irish-Catholic blend. But also I think that I was just always intrigued - now that I look back to my childhood I was always drawn to these deeper dimensions and these non-rational states, if you will.

And then I grew up in San Francisco and came over in the late sixties, where there was a lot of trance in the air so to speak, so when I was nineteen I was already interested in altered states and meditation, and consciousness at a deeper level - and then I met Erickson and he just blew me out of the water, because he was a guy that was modelling and embodying trance and all of it's states far beyond what I had imagined as possible. and that's always a great thing to meet a model that's able to embody that for you.

Michael: And how would you say that it's helped you personally?

Stephen: Well trance is one tradition, I have other traditions like meditation, like yoga, like Aikido, and I think of these as the essential forms that help a person to become a human being - because we're all works in progress - and consciousness is not really, as I said, a human form. So there's not a day that goes by that I don't use it, for example as a way to stabilise consciousness, as a way to align consciousness, as a way to calm consciousness.

And then to have those capacities, and be able to settle in, settle down and be able to let go of the instinctual fight or flight that is often governing primitive consciousness.

There's this piece of Ericksonian work, that is personally so helpful which is, how do you transform problems, or how do you create solutions - and I really utilise a lot of Erickson's idea on that, about how to be able to accept and utilise whatever's there - and to be able to connect with it in a way for it to unfold into a solution - So that's a good skill to have!

Michael: Now you may have already answered it when you were talking about your own personal experience, but what do you see as trance and hypnosis's main uses?

Stephen: I think that it has a number of main uses, so I was just alluding to some of them. I think that we all need some tool to be able to calm and centre ourselves throughout the day - there's a lot of stuff that goes through that gets us agitated, that gets us away from our base. So one use is to be able to centre.

Another use is to be able to understand things, and I don't mean that intellectually, I mean that you'll be able to perceive life on a very good level. And to be able to sit with it in your bones, if you will, and be confident with whatever's going on in any given moment.

And thirdly I think that it gives a set of tools for being able to create experience. I would say that hypnosis is a beautiful model for how consciousness is created, not the only one but a very helpful one.

Michael: Can you just build on that, I'm not quite sure what you mean by creating experience.

Stephen: Well, you might say that one of the things that trance does is it amplifies everything - so all these subtle sub-modalities of consciousness, it amplifies them. So it helps you to be aware of not only how you're creating a certain pattern, but how you could change the way you're creating that pattern - for example - some of the core dimensions in creating a experience of consciousness are you have a relationship to your past, you've got this whole set of experiential learning that are within you.

Most of the time we feel almost like victims of our past. What you're doing in trance is settling down, amplifying and going into that level of sub-modality, and in trance its called age regression, so you get this intimate, deep awareness of how it is you're using your past experiences to create your present, and then you have this opportunity to generate that in a different way.

Other dimension for creating an experience of the world would be time, and time distortion would be that hypnotic phenomenon where you can really get to enter into the really subtle patterns of how time is used to create a world of experience and then you can be able to change that. One's sense of the future, is very influential in how you create your experience, self fulfilling prophecy - that would be another dimension that gets amplified and you're able to focus on it in trance so that you're able to really tune to how to move your creation of the"future"to create your identity.

Those are a few examples.

Michael: Are there any cautions that you would give to anybody that was thinking of going to see a hypnotist or going on a hypnosis training session.

Stephen: There's a big controversy about this question and I'm a licensed psychologist, and there are some in my field who say'hypnosis is so dangerous that only licensed people should be able to use it"and I think what they're failing to see is that we could use trance for many, many different things in our lives, we could use trance to help others for many, many different things.

So the usual principle is to only use it in the ways that you are properly trained so if somebody clearly has - maybe they're working through some severe trauma, you don't want somebody that's not been trained to deal with trauma to work with that person hypnotically.

I see this because there's a lot of coaches who are interested in trance and I think that there are a lot of good places that people who can use trance would be able to help a person.

But they will operate as so far as their training as a coach - what to do, how to deal with it. Here's the thing, a lot of people have created this idea that the unconscious is a very dangerous thing, and it's not an oversimplification to say that the quality of the unconscious is related to your function to relate to it each moment - so if you can approach it in a friendly, respectable way, not trying to dominate it, but not being afraid of it, then you will find out what the natural limits are, because you're really interested in helping a person discover their own way.

Its not a process of the hypnotist controlling or suggesting something in some way, it's really a process of - in a sense, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. So you're saying'lets create this safe contact where you will be able to tap into a lot of resources and potentials that you don't sense are there when you're in your normal working state. And I can support you in that as long as I'm trained to do that - what I'm trained for, I think we can use effectively.'

Michael: What are some of the characteristics of a good hypnotic subject?

Stephen: Willingness to learn, I think that's what it's all about. Let me just say a little bit more about that - there's presupposition that within each moment there are these possibilities for each person to open up to a space beyond their previous experience. That's called learning.

So it is innate within consciousness, it is there in each moment and this notion of willingness to learn is crucial and as a practitioner what you need to do is how to create contexts where people feel safe and connected with themselves so they're open to learning, and that's a sort of technical skill that one has to learn about how to connect with people so that you can support them in opening up to their possibilities. And some ways are better than others.

Michael: Again, you may have already answered the next question: What do you think makes a good hypnotist or hypnosis trainer?

Stephen: I would say that the bottom level, the ground level, of all good hypnotic work is connection. So before you're thinking about technique, before you're thinking about outcome, you're looking to first connect with the self. Unfortunately, like in a lot of therapy there's an inherent tradition to focus more on the client than on your consciousness as a practitioner.

So I think you have to ground your centre, and be able to align yourself with all the subtle patterning within yourself that's your base. And then you need do the same thing and make a connection with your client. And that is what creates the journey of the unconscious. It is this connection within yourself and between you and the client, that forms the basis, that then will guide you to sensing what techniques will be effective.

It doesn't mean that you don't have to train rigorously in your technique, but a core part of Ericksonian work is that technique comes from within and connection.

Then the creative unconscious is relation of connection, so you're ability to be able to establish and maintain that is the most important part of what you do as a practitioner.

Michael: Now before I ask for your contact details, is there anything else you'd like to mention about what we've talked about, and what you're doing at the moment? Are there any more points about hypnosis or trance that you'd like to mention?

Stephen: I think that it's practice, and trance should never be thought of as broken up in the singular. There are many, many types of trances, some positive, some negative, some low quality, some very high quality. So really the work that I do is really focused on what we call the generative trance - what is means in essence is to create a trance that constitutes a higher state of consciousness, and I don't mean that in a lofty way or a dissociated way, but in a way that you are able to create a state of consciousness that goes beneath the performance mind, it goes beneath all the soap opera of the mind, it also extends beyond it.

So whatever you're working with, you're not attached to it, you're not identifying to it, you're really sitting and opening to a consciousness that is beyond that, if you will.

And I hope that doesn't sound too California-ish because I mean it in a very practical way. But like anything, if you're going to be a really good musician, if you're going to be a really good business man, it's going to take a lot of practice - so basically you're as neat as your practice is.

And also you get this sense that everyday I'm really interested in opening a little further and be able to enjoy this little mystery called life, but it's a big practice.

And sometimes people say to me'Jeez, it sounds like your asking a lot!"well, watching TV every day is a lot, that's a practice. Being depressed every day is asking a lot, that's a practice. So we're trying to get clear - choose your practices carefully because they're the core basis for the quality of your life.

I'm saying here is a really nice tradition that you can practice that will give you increases in what I call the Four H club, and the four H's are an increase in Happiness, increases in Health, increases in your capacity to Heal yourself and others, and increases in you capacity to be Helpful, that is your work in the world. So I think it's a great tradition for doing that.

Michael: Now changing the subject, is there anything that you would like to bring to our listeners attention that you're doing in the near or medium term future or any products you've got, or anything that you'd like to mention to bring people up to date with what you're doing out there.

Stephen: Well, the main place that people can get information is from the website which iswww.stevengilligan.com, that's right. And I do a lot of training, I'm on the road for 180 days of the year, I also work at home for about another thirty. I do trance camp, which you went to, in the San Diego area every July. I also do a lot of other work, I'm in Europe three times a year, so I really think the best thing to get the information on the training, the books and the products, is to check out the website.

Michael:Excellent. Well thank you very much for your time.

Stephen: My pleasure Michael, happy holidays

You can download some of Stepen's most important work from ourNLP Store.


NLP Techniques

Remember in our view NLP is more about attitude and modelling than techniques, however  NLP techniques enable you to communicate what you've learned through modelling.

We've added what we consider to be the top 40 NLP techniques to our website which you can view from here:NLP Techniques

Examples are:

Belief Change

Belief Change: This is Richard Bandler's s classic approach to Belief Change, in this case to become an excellent learner.

Changing Feelings by Dissociation

Changing Feelingsby Dissociation is a technique to reduce or eliminate unpleasant feelings by dissociation and submodality change.

Embedded Commands

Embedded Commandsare commands which have been softened by embedding them in a particular sentence. This means that they are less likely to be noticed and it is more likely that the client will follow the command.

Fast Phobia Cure

TheFast Phobia Curecan be used for any real big fear, if the fear can be tested there an then - i.e. purely imagining the situation brings observable manifestations of the fear - so much the better.

SeeNLP Techniquesfor 50 ot the top techniques


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