Tag Archives: hypnosis

The After-Effect of Paul McKenna – and Relearning Skills

The strange thing about having Paul McKenna hypnotise me to get me writing again was that my creative power was out of control. I had this unregulated emotion to write, which over the last 4 years I have been honing into a skill. I have just finished rewriting The Tube Healer – the story I wrote after he worked on me. I have to say that I am now satisfied with this. It took time to relearn the skill. It is better than it ever was, now.

This I think is really important in the work you do with hypnosis and NLP. What it does is switch on the desire to do what you want to do again. It doesn’t necessarily make you brilliant at it – it doesn’t teach you the skills. But it gives you the emotional drive to be fascinated enough to want to improve – to work with the skills that you have – and to improve them over time.

There is still hard work to be done after being motivated by NLP. It is just that after it, you feel that the work you are doing is not hard. It is enjoyable. That is my experience of the way NLP works.

This, I think is one of the key things that people leaving Prac courses don’t get: that there is still a whole load of application, skill building and work to be done after the course. You may believe that you are a genius at NLP, but you will also need to build up and acquire real experience before you become really competent at it.

What you have learned is a whole series of attitudes and beliefs that will help you on that journey.

The Great NLP Extravaganza!

The Great NLP Extravaganza on February 26 at the Ibis Hotel, London, is the perfect launch pad for those interested in finding out more about the fascinating applied study of human interaction, NLP.

  • NLP is strongly focused on how we use language – for example, how the asking of particular questions lead to very specific types of answer. Meaning that you can set the agenda to an interview or a discussion without expressly saying so.
  • NLP enables you to change the interactions that you are having with others, so that you can be aware of and guide other people’s emotions.
  • It enables you to get control of your own emotional state so that you are able to give the very best that you can in the most trying of circumstances.
  • It also trains you in the art of “reading” people more closely, so that you are able to draw more information from discussions and interviews than their words alone tell you
  • It teaches you how to build strong and positive relationships, and how to get yourself and your staff more positive, and with increased morale.
  • It teaches an attitude to life which enhances business and personal relationships and is the breeding ground of success.

NLP is used by such diverse figures as Oprah Winfrey, Paul McKenna and mentalist Derren Brown to enable them to be more clear and focussed at work and at home, and to allow them to achieve more.

The NLP Extravaganza will be a well-priced day that allow you to find out more about the skills on offer, and to take away practical tools that you can apply for yourself.  It will show you how to apply NLP to business, medicine, negotiation, public speaking, presentation skills and sport.

To find out more about the Great NLP Extravaganza, just click through on this link https://theukcompany.infusionsoft.com/go/nlaew/m068w/

Stevie Kidd – Success. What Is It, And How Do You Get More

Hi all.  Since doing the NLP course with Paul McKenna, I’ve had the honour of meeting some really unusual, gobsmacking and inspiring individuals.  Seeing the way that they operate, understanding how they think, and watching them build success on success is for me deeply gratifying and highly educational.  That’s why I thought I’d let you know about the following event.

Stevie Kidd is a unique individual with an amazing drive for success – and a powerful ability to motivate, inspire and empower the people he meets.  He has built up several multi-million pound business in just a few short years – even during a recession – and he continues to grow his businesses while others have been struggling just to tread water.

How does he do it?  In the seminar announced for 19th March 2011 he will tell you exactly how he thinks and how he interacts with others to build success on success through meaningful business relationships.  He will tell you the things that you need to do in your life and in your mind to make the difference that will bring you more success and make you, like him, a highly effective business powerhouse…

Stevie Kidd's London Event - 19th March 2011

NLP Follow Up – Laughing Out Loud In The Pouring Rain

After the NLP session I did yesterday with a client, today I had the following text from a very much more smiley individual than the one whom I met before the session began. Bear in mind it was tipping down with rain when I received the text, which explains the rather cryptic first line:

I’m wet and fabulous! Spent most of yesterday laughing just because I can.  Saw two friends last night. One kept touching my knee constantly to make me laugh! And there is something delightfully wicked about laughing out loud in the pouring rain.  🙂  Got the pic back briefly, but quickly shrunk it and moved it to the side then thought about something else!

This is what makes doing hypnosis such fun.  I think of the client now, her hand suspended in mid-air as she sat in the cafe, internalising the learnings I had given her.  It was like a textbook session.  I will report back over time to let you know how she does.

Moderate Depression, Wiped Out With NLP (And Hot Chocolate)…

I had a  lovely result today.  On a sparkling day in Southsea, I met a client in a cafe, over a cup of hot chocolate.

She was a young woman with a slightly lost expression, looking pained and a bit confused.  Upstairs in the cafe, in the bright light of the Autumn sun, she sat across a table from me, telling me how she couldn’t get over a break up with a guy who was,  essentially, one great big waste of space.

I have been so busy lately doing other things than hypnosis, and this was a great opportunity to dust off the NLP skills and give her a blast of reprogramming.

Hot cholate: A mind-altering substance...

It was a lovely environment to do it in.  Soft chairs, silence, clear light – oh – and the hot chocolate.

How did we make the change?  First: I ran a series of metaphors about how we use technology to find places so much more easily these days.  The email I sent her had a link to the cafe so she could immediately find out where it was, rather than have me take loads of time talking to her and giving her boring directions. Instead of blindly groping around searching for answers, we find what we are looking for with the help of novel ideas for more quickly… such a change in the speed with which we get to where we really want to be would have seemed impossible just a few years ago…

And then, on to the reprogramming.  A simple disconnection of the current feelings from the memory, then moving swiftly on, finding positive emotions and getting her to journey with them into her future.

I kept looking over my shoulder as I put her into a trance and lifted her hand, doing good old-fashioned arm levitation to get her to reprocess the information I programmed in.  I thought how strange it would seem if a member of the public walked in to the room, seeing her in a relaxed state, eyes closed, giggling as I tapped the anchor on her leg.  She was an amazingly responsive client.

After this, when I asked her about how she felt about the break-up, she looked at me blankly and said: “What break-up?” before struggling to recover the memory.  Then she added: “It’s weird… I feel lighter…” and she smiled a broad, happy smile.

We walked out into the sunlight, with her still wearing that broad, sunny smile.  I will keep my eye on her, but I’m pretty positive we’ve nailed the depression.

Thank you Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna.  You showed me how to knock out another little patch of unhappiness in the world, and plant a garden there, all in about 45 minutes!

Paul McKenna and Me 10: Take-Off

On the very first day of the NLP Practitioner course, Hazel had gone up on stage with Richard Bandler, and had her bad memory removed.  We had spoken about it later.  She could still remember the bad memory, but the strong emotions that had been attached to it were no longer present.  She had been freed from the horrendous emotions that were the result of a highly manipulative and abusive relationship.

Witchcraft at Work

That first day, her eyes had changed colour.  From a dull grey to a light, bright blue.  Her skin tone, the way she held herself – everything about her had changed.  The effect had been so strong that I had even asked her if she had put in blue contact lenses in the break after she had been on stage.  It was a spectacular change.  The fear had gone, and the confidence had come in its place.

Nevertheless, there were other things that she wanted to deal with.  Getting rid of the bad memory was only part of the equation.

In my interview with her in preparation for the constellation hypnosis, Hazel had said that she wanted to become a successful NLP Trainer and teach so many others the things that would empower them and give them a better life.  But there were things that stood in her way.  A non-supportive family and an ex-partner who was still trying to make her life hell. Even though she now knew he was powerless, he still cast a shadow over her life – and she would be required to have some connection with him because she’d had a daughter by him.

She saw her resources as her personality, her determination and the skills she had learned to take control of herself through NLP.  It was a fairly straightforward combination of factors.

As she sat infront of me now, with James sitting off to one side, I began the hypnotic induction on her, all the while my mind racing with ideas.  And as she relaxed and I saw her move deeper down, into trance, I felt myself dropping down, too, joining her in that swirling half-conscious state.

A Cockpit, Surrounded By Machinery

It was then that I began to have an auditory hallucination.

As I began my tale… once there was a little witch… a white witch… who found herself trapped in the dungeon of an evil magician, staring out from the bars of a cage and only able sometimes to see the stars and the skies… something strange began to happen in my head.

The work that Paul had done with me: “Turn it up, double it, turn it up again” had at the time presented itself to me in my mind’s eye as a  bank of lights in some kind of sci-fi machine – as if a 1970s airing of the cult tv series Doctor Who was being run in my head.

There was machinery in there, in my head.

I could hear the low hum of energy running through a grid in my mind, and then I had the fleeting image of a control room, filled with banks of switches.  It was as if I was in a power station somewhere, or bizarrely, in the cockpit of an extraordinarily powerful aircraft.  I could hear the click of hundreds of tiny relay switches being flicked over in my head, and I seemed to get the image of hands flicking more and more switches and someone saying “check” as those hands moved.

The low hum grew stronger, until it finally sounded as if the whole of that strange room, that powerplant and cockpit, had been flooded with power and white light.  A deep, low, earthy hum that seemed to vibrate the core of my being, and which at the same time seemed endlessly and ultimately powerful.  It was as if I had discovered a massive spaceship that had been mothballed for a long time, and now was at last being dusted off to work again.  I eyed the banks of lights and switches with wonder.  Had they always been here, and I just hadn’t noticed?

All the while, on the outside, I continued to talk – a stream of metaphors about a little white witch who one day recovered the book of spells that the evil magician had taken from her – she was handed it through the bars of her prison by a wise old wizard.  And so she went about secretly collecting the things that she needed, using her magic arts to gather them to her.  A pole of hazel wood, and the twigs to make a broom.  A wand that she learned from the book how to wield with a power that made her invincible.  And all the while she would stare up at the stars and at the moon.  One day, she uttered a single spell and broke down the walls of her prison, and found that it was nothing at all, except a pile of words, and that squirming in the pile of words was a sickly, squirming weak old frog who she trapped in a box and cast in the sea, forever.

On her broom, she took to the sky, and flew upwards and upwards towards the light of the full moon, and she became a star, hanging there, the brightest in the sky – and acted always to shine her benign light, this Witch Hazel, to guide those who were lost and take them to safety.  Because she was the brightest light in the sky, whom the lost blessed and loved.

And as I told this tale which was, after all, a simple but beautiful tale, I felt a tear drop from my eye and run down my face.  All around me I could feel and hear the power surging, I could see the night sky from the windows of my ship, and knew that I was about to launch on to my own journey.

Then the room of the hotel came back into being.  I looked at James.  He was sitting looking at me with his mouth wide open, as I guided Hazel back from trance.

“Wow,” he said.  “I don’t know what just happened.  But wow.”

Back in the room,  I felt suddenly deeply excited.  “It’s about using archetypes,” I told him.  “It’s about just plugging into the archetypes and using them exactly how you want to use them.  You are completely free to do it.  And – God! – it’s so easy.  It’s so goddamned easy!”

Hazel, out of her trance was smiling at me with the most radiant smile.

It worked.  The ability to just think on the hoof and tell a story from nothing.  It was mine again!

Barb Stepp – NLP’s Fairy Godmother

Yesterday I was lucky enough to interview Barbara Stepp, the world’s oldest NLP Master Trainer and DHE Master Trainer.  For those who don’t know about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), it’s a system of personal improvement which basically teaches you to think more clearly and effectively by bringing your emotions under control and deliberately using them to inform your decisions.

It presupposes the existence of an “unconscious” in all humans, but not in the old-fashioned Freudian sense of being a mystic land of uncontrolled primal drives which are transformed into neuroses and psychoses as they come to the surface. In NLP, the unconscious is conceived more as an amazingly effective mechanism which regulates inputs to the conscious mind.

The point with NLP is that because the unconscious is by definition outside of our consciousness, we have never really been consciously taught  to get the best out of it. That’s why so many people end up victims of their emotional states without even realising it. Undirected, the mechanism of the unconscious can send up undermining and disempowering emotions, just as much as affirmational and empowering ones. These emotions shape our expectations. NLP enables us to become masters of those emotions and hence of the decisions and actions we make and take in our lives. It teaches you to think on purpose.

There’s more to it than that. For example, those who do NLP, being concerned with emotional states, are interested in finding a

Barbara Stepp, NLP's Fairy Godmother

gateway between the conscious and unconscious mind. Such a state is hypnosis, that half-dreamlike state that enables the land of dreams and the waking mind to meet. Thanks to countless movies and tv shows, it sounds more mysterious than it is. The state of hypnosis is really very much like the state one moves through as one falls asleep, or that is achieved in meditations – or more prosaically, when someone really boring talks to you for too long. The eyes glaze over and you become absorbed in your own thoughts.

Barb’s story is often mentioned by Richard Bandler, the man who invented the term “NLP”. It is worth retelling briefly here. In the 1980s Barb attended a seminar being run by Richard in which he selected her from the audience as part of a demonstration of hypnotic age regression. He took her back to a younger time, and asked her unconscious to reset her body to that younger self. It was part of what Richard called his “Hypnotic Beauty Treatment”.

I have listened to the recording of that session, and it is a highly effective trance which left me feeling really “zingy” afterwards. With Barb it did far more.

What Richard didn’t know is that Barb had been told by her doctor to get her affairs in order. She had terminal cancer and was given 6 months to live.

Within weeks of the seminar, Barb returned to the hospital to have more tests done. The startled doctors now informed her that there was no cancer in her body at all. In those intervening weeks, she had got hold of a tape of the trance Richard had done on her, and had repeatedly used it on herself. At this time she had also undergone spontaneous remission.

It is always difficult in these cases to claim that such an event caused such a response. The scientists among your will by now be starting to hit the ceiling, and so I am making no claims here whatsoever. But what I can say is that Barb is certain that Richard’s intervention was key to her survival.

Barb is now nearly 72 years old, and is a wonderful presence to be with. Having been around for so long, and being so full of light and laughter, she has been given the title: NLP’s Fairy Godmother. The thing that really struck me about her is that she is continually looking to learn new things, and to have fun in life. Doctors have often said that survival rates among cancer patients for those with a positive attitude are much higher than those without it. Barb’s attitude to life is not only positive, it is pro-active in the extreme. She is a scuba diver, a mountaineer and a pilot. She got her pilot’s licence at the age of 65. She has a sparkle in her eye and is just a joy to be with because she is looking for fun in every single moment of her life.

If there is one thing that I took away from the interview to learn from, it was Barb’s attitude to life: “When I stop learning, then I will stop living”.

She assures me, she has no intention of doing either.

Hypnosis: It’s All Bollocks

I heard the sentiment a couple of days ago, from someone who should have known better, and I answered clearly enough: “Yes. You’re right. What you’ve got in your head that you’ve decided is hypnosis… THAT is complete and utter bollocks.  But then, I wouldn’t expect any more of you than that.”

Swirly Bollocks

So my rapport-building skills were not at their best on that day. But really, I have heard this sentiment repeated so often in different ways, from so many different people, who really should know better than to talk about something of which they have no knowledge and no experience.

Common objections to hypnosis come in at least three broad forms. Firstly, there’s the all-encompassing: “There’s no empirical evidence for it” argument, that I had with a pharmacist a little while ago.

No empirical evidence..? Oh, okay. So a woman comes into my office, having had a lifetime of bird phobia, having seen counsellors, undergone CBT, desensitisation and seen various psychiatrists that never touched the problem – and then, coincidentally in the time that she was sitting in my room, while I was coincidentally talking about ending her phobia, she coincidentally stopped having it. No empirical evidence? The assertion isn’t only unintelligible. It’s moronic.

Having established his profession with him, I thought it best to simply reply to him on his own level: “What scientific papers have you read on outcomes using an empirically-based methodology involving hypnosis?” He shrugged and mumbled something, and so I followed up: “Because, if you haven’t done the research, then don’t start the discussion. Otherwise it’s prejudice.”

Then there is the: “We all know it’s stage trickery” argument. Which would be a half useful argument if I was a stage hypnotist getting people to French-kiss mops. In that case, you use whatever you can to establish compliance. But I’m not a stage hypnotist. Telling me that someone who has come in to see me because they were terrified of birds for 60 years and who walked away 2 hours later able to feed the ducks on the local pond is the subject of a trick is simply incoherent.

“Oh, right. Okay. Someone just paid me a fee to get me to trick them into thinking they were no longer afraid of birds.” Who is being tricked, here?  The client feeding the birds? Onlookers? The birds? I mean, what are you saying? Think a moment, will you?

The “trick” argument is bloody rude, too. Here’s a question I asked of someone who tried it on me:

“You do realise that you are calling me one of two things when you say it’s all bollocks, don’t you? Either I’m deluded about the changes that go on before my very eyes – or I’m a conman. Just so we can get things clear between us, which is it that you think I am? – A madman or a liar?”

Then there is the “lack of theory” argument. This one utterly makes me howl.  “There’s no theoretical model for the effectiveness of hypnosis. Therefore it can’t work.”

This assertion is also close to being unintelligible, and yet I’ve heard it time and again from so-called “scientists”. They are no such thing. They are sheep in white lab coats. Just because someone doesn’t understand something, it doesn’t make it untrue. Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1878. Lorentz published his first paper on the theory of the electron in 1892.  If we followed the argument that because we don’t understand it, it doesn’t exist, Edison would have had to drum his fingers for 14 years before filing his patent. It’s a nonsense.

As for me, I’m just waiting for the lightbulb moment to happen in hypnosis. Until then, I’m expecting to hear a lot more “bollocks”. But while a lot of bollocks is spoken around me, I’m also expecting to help a lot more people out of a hole, too

And in the end, that’s what really counts.

Stevie Kidd: An Exemplary Man

In the last few years I’ve had the privilege of meeting some extraordinarily gifted and brilliant individuals. From millionaires, to artists and singers, through to individuals who are just kind and wholesome, the mix has been inspiring, bewildering, challenging and uplifting.  Some of these people I have come to admire, learn from and marvel at.  Such a man is Stevie Kidd.

Stevie Kidd, an examplary man.

Picture him now.  A towering figure with a bald head, keen eyes and a mind that moves as fast as light and has been formed from hard experience, pure determination and powerful emotions.  He has in his eyes a hint of genius and maybe a look that some who don’t “get” him might call madness, but which I know is pure inspiration.  When Stevie is in the room, you know about it.  And when Stevie is in the room, he knows you know.

I cannot go into the details of everything that he does, nor the incredible and confident way that he generates a new idea and then puts his heart and soul into pursuing it.  Suffice to say that in 6 short years he has turned a £500 loan from his mother and a burning idea into a multi-million pound business, with divisions in training, distribution, care and personal development.  By the time I have written this piece, I am sure he will have added yet more elements to his business, and will have made further friends at high levels.  Stevie is the original unstoppable force who is making changes in people all around him.  One of his businesses gets the long-term unemployed back to work.  For him and his dedicated staff, this isn’t about figures, numbers or statistics.  In every case, and in every business interaction he has, it is the people that he cares about, and the people that he will push and challenge to make their lives better.

So let me give you three snapshots of the man.

Snapshot 1:

Midnight on a street in Earl’s Court, standing outside a Thai restaurant.  I have just noticed Stevie respond to some gossip around the table by standing up and walking out for a cigarette.  I read it straight away in his eyes: he wasn’t going to get drawn into showing anyone any disrespect.  So, instead, he walked out the door, his phone in his hand, and started to think about his next business venture. This is Stevie all over: he never stops or rests to bask in the glory of a moment, or to fritter a moment unproductively.

I join him on the sodium-light-flooded pavement, and we stand and talk a moment while he lights a cigarette.  He is thinking about the new things he has to do, about the new projects he is going to get involved in.  He tells me about the things that motivate him – about his role models – about his drive to want to help others.

And then, as we talk, two lads come down the road, one with a bicycle, the other on foot.  The smaller of the two is a skinny black kid of 14 or so, with thick NHS glasses on, all scratched up.  He squints through them at Stevie, and tries to get a cigarette off him, and then to get money from him to buy some cola.  He doesn’t appear to hold his attention on anything for any amount of time, staring around  him, and not listening when Stevie talks – but still hovers and flits around, somehow pulled in by Stevie’s manner.  The other kid is a taller, heavier white guy with freckles – about 15 years old, with  a quiet inward-looking presence, and looking a little lost, too.

Stevie holds firm about giving the pair of them money.  And then he starts on something that I begin to realise he does all the time.  He launches in at the two of them, engaging them in conversation, finding out what makes them tick, what floats their boats.  He drops ideas into their heads when one of them tells him he likes cars.  There are training courses for mechanics that young people can get on to, there are great things that he could do with his life.  But he does it in a roundabout way – holding their interest at the same time as putting ideas into their minds.  They talk together, these three, in a low-key way for 15 minutes, and then he lets them go.

He didn’t have to do it, but when they leave he turns to me and says: “I got the white kid thinking. Out here, now, that’s all you can do.  Plant a seed.  The other one, well, he had a lot of problems, I could see that. I hope something has got through.”

Snapshot 2:

Standing in the training room of the KDS Group, Glasgow, where Stevie Kidd has helped hundreds of long-term unemployed get back to work by putting them through his training programme, he is showing a group of us his offices.  We are standing around him as he goes through the photos on the wall of the different academies his company has trained.

He points out individuals one by one in the groups, relating their unique stories to us:  “This one, he had a really shitty childhood, and he didn’t know what to do with himself.  This one, she just had no self confidence.  This one, he was a kid without a sense of direction, and I shook him up big time.  All of these people are in work, thanks to us.”

He pauses a moment as his finger hovers over another photograph.  “This one, she…” he trails off and his story break offs.  I can hear his voice breaking, and I see him bend his  head, inhaling through his nose and then his mouth, to calm himself.  The emotion in him is so strong, and he takes a full minute to master his emotions, running techniques of self-composure on himself to stop being overwhelmed by his feelings.

After a while he says: “She had so much go wrong.”  He won’t reveal any more than that, merely telling us: “It was a terrible story.  But she is in work now.  She is working.  She’s okay. And she’s happy, at last.”

And as he says this, a renewed note of hope enters his voice and he wipes a tear from his eyes with the back of his hand.

Snapshot 3:

Interviewing Stevie Kidd in a London hotel for an article I am writing, and hearing him talk about his day. The passion with which he starts to talk about the lives he has touched that day, beginning at 5 a.m. by sitting with the staff in the hotel he is staying at and helping them to sort out the newspapers for the guests.  Heading out and inspiring his driver to do more with his life – even stopping at a bookshop to buy him the books he needs to take his career further.  In between meetings with politicians and businessmen, stopping at a newsagent and just getting the shopkeeper to smile.  In the evening, heading out for dinner and getting the staff in the Chinese restaurant to have fun and laugh.

And then, he leans closer to me as he grows more intense and his face and voice become more passionate now, he tells me of seeking out the homeless in parks in London, helping them to find a place to stay, before getting back to the hotel at 3 a.m.

It almost seems too much to believe, until I log in to his facebook account and see photos of each of the stories he has told me about.  I think about the sheer energy and passion in this man, and marvel at it…

Above are three snapshots, all tied together by a single theme.  Some people might call it philanthropy, some might call it care and respect.  But the theme is more neatly summed up in another way: People.

Whenever Stevie Kidd engages with a person, he expects them to engage back with a thousand per cent of their being.  He is a man driven by passion, and by extraordinarily strong emotions which flow through a body that has to be strong enough and powerful enough to contain them.

Some have described him as a “force of nature”.  I don’t think that.  I think he is an extraordinary individual, who cares about others from the bottom of his heart – and understands that business, like the rest of life – is made up of relationships.

And I believe that if you choose to learn that lesson, which lives at the heart of it all, it will make you not just rich – but also wealthy in the true sense of the word.

Paul McKenna and Me 9: Constellation

The day went a darn sight better after that encounter with Roy. But I still felt as if I wasn’t quite in my body. Later in the day, I was sitting in the audience when Paul was discussing a particular NLP technique, and he came over to me and asked how I felt.

“I feel like my head is fucked,” I commented in front of the 400 or so people on the course, into his microphone.

He looked at me with a steady gaze, and then instead of interviewing me began to basically future pace me: that is to set out how it was going to be for me over the next few days. How I was going to learn this and do this, how I was going to feel better. He only pointed the microphone in my direction in order for me to agree with him… which was a good idea because I didn’t have anything coherent to say.

We pushed on, through the day. I was in this little whirl, inside myself – doing the NLP exercises, calmer now than I was before, but still confused, and still with that strange sense of not really knowing where I was or who I was. It was extraordinary.

Then, later on in the day, something unusual happened.

Michael Neill was on stage in the morning, teaching us about a type of hypnotic metaphoric approach called “constellation hypnosis”.

The constellation.
Constellation hypnosis: how to create a new picture of the future by joining the configuration of situations, events and desires in the client's life in a different way...

Essentially, in constellation hypnosis, the hypnotist finds out what the client’s current situation is, and then what result the client wants.  Then he asks what  things are getting in the way of the client getting those things and are preventing them from achieving their wishes, and finally asks what resources the client might have to help them get to what they want. This is the constellation of the client’s life – the inter-relationship between the different elements of their personal story.  It is the hypnotist’s job to take this information and distill these various elements down and convert them into a fairytale.  The purpose of the fairytale is to help the client realise that by drawing the relationships between the different elements in the story in a different way to the one currently experienced, that the client will begin to see a different picture – one of overcoming and empowerment, rather than helplessness. Thus the power of the story.

It was the strangest thing. As we were told what we were to do, I began to feel a sudden sense of panic rising inside me. Here I was, on this course, on which I had hoped to rediscover my writing ability, my sense of play in creativity – and now my bluff was being called.

I interviewed the woman I was working with, and then completely lost my nerve. We were working in threes, and when we sent Hazel out of the room to discuss what we were going to do next, I said the guy that I was going to work the ideas of the story out with: “James, I’m sorry, you do it. I just don’t think I can do this.”

James looked at me in surprise, and then began to sketch out some ideas. But even as he did so, I began to feel a sort of spin of excitement in my body. A completely new feeling, as something light began to move in my head. Hazel walked back into the room, and sat down. And then James moved to do the hypnotic induction.

I couldn’t help myself.

“James,” I said. “Let me do this…”