In traditional NLP and Hypnosis based approaches to change, the idea is often to unconsciously 'install' new behaviours and responses, eradicate old behaviours and responses or both.
In my experience, this approach is generally flawed (and, as such, tends to be 'hit and miss') because it ignores the inherent complexity and ecology of the system being worked with.
My preference, in the work that I do, is to work at the level of shifts in governing consciousness - 'upgrading consciousness, if you like - because shifts at this level create resilient, adaptable and generative transformations that can handle whatever life throws at them.
But what exactly do I mean by upgrading consciousness? Indeed, what is consciousness?
Well, that is what this video is all about...
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This video is looking at the concept of 'waking up' from old unconscious beliefs and rules... only to find yourself caught up in them at another level! AND this is related to lucid dreaming! The video will unpack the connection.
The most basic foundation of shaping up the life you want is KNOWING what you want! Stands to reason, right? After all, if you don't know what you want it is very difficult to take (or allow to emerge) clear and congruent action toward it. But what if you just don't know what you want? Well, this isn't so rare. Many people get so habituated into simply reacting to circumstances and feelings that they forget that they largely get to choose what their life and interactions are going to be about.
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This morning, I received an interesting enquiry regarding coaching. I decided to share some of the conversation here because I know that many people who read this blog have an interest in 'high performance', 'state management', 'hypnosis' and 'unconscious programming'.
I am looking for coaching work which can help with establishing powerful triggers during my work. I manage money and trade financial markets and have used several modalities to assist with the emotional aspects of this work and all of them have helped.
I am interested in being able to create more unconscious triggers that make more of my skills and talents available while I am working.
Do you think this is something you would be able to help me with?
Let me see if I can help a little right here...
First off, I would suggest that your outcome as presented here sets for itself a trap. You are specifying a particular means (unconscious triggers) to an end (make more of my skills and talents while working). So we already have a 'closed box' inside of which to work, and it is very rare that effective work happens inside of such a box.
So, let me offer you a shift in perspective here... whilst I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'unconscious triggers', I seriously doubt that they (or lack thereof) are what are stopping you from manifesting your skills and talents at their best.
From the way your question is framed, it sounds like you are asking from a behaviourism based 'machine model' of how humans work, so let me say this right here:
You are not a machine - you are a human being!
Now, whilst it is certainly true that the 'machine model' (trigger-response) CAN serve up to a point, it is worth recognising its limitations as it is NOT a particularly far reaching or complete representation of how we work. As such it is pretty limited as a model for performance psychology.
To be yourself at your best you will need to understand that human performance is not machine performance. As such you will access your skills and talents at your best when you remove the blocks in thinking and understanding that are keeping you from it, and, in turn, refine the underpinning understandings that best support the expression of those skills and talents.
If you take any world class player of any game, whilst they may create sequences and rituals that support them in the execution of their skills, their real performance power comes from their connection with the game, and this connection comes from how they see it and make sense of it. If, for example, they experience un-useful emotions, these are arising from ideas they are holding (and/or thoughts they are running) that are not serving them... NOT from a deficiency in appropriate triggers!
So, my question here to you is:
What do you want?
I mean, what do you really want? What is the outcome beyond your outcome? When you make more of your skills and talents, what does that get for you?
I ask these things because I am happy to work with you in bringing more fulfilment, prosperity and enriching human experience into your life, but if it is just about turning you into a high performance machine and be-damned the rest then I am not going to be the right guy for you.
There is a line that is pushed in some philosophies and self-help movements that there is no such thing as truth. everything we know is a lie, so we may as well make up whatever set of understandings - whatever 'lies' - best suits us.
Of course, if this is true, then this perspective itself is a lie! :-) but is it a useful one?
Personally speaking, I believe in truth... but I also believe 'true truth' is ineffable and lays beyond perception. So all we are left with is our perceptions, perspectives and understandings. Or as Arthur Eddington so elegantly put it:
“Reality is not only stranger than you think, it's stranger than you CAN think."
In the coaching and training that I do, I often encourage people to stop seeking truth and to instead start shaping understandings that serve. Not because there isn't 'truth', just that we can't know it and therefor modest understanding is all we have.
So what is the relationship between 'understanding' and 'truth'? I believe that the best in understanding points us to something of the ineffable truth. And that the most profound understandings are those that get us closest to the truth that lies beyond understanding.
So, I wouldn't get hung up on the truth... you can't know it. But explore life, take multiple perspective and create and shape understandings that serve you and others deeply and profoundly, and you will be individual getting very close to it!
In life, our ability to influence is a major (the major?) element in being able to create prosperity, fulfilment connection and a whole host of wonderful things.
Sometimes, through our desire to influence we drop into the mode of 'trying to convince', and within this mode find ourselves resorting to making 'promises' in an attempt to get what we want.
"I promise you, if you do x then y will happen"
…or something similar.
Now we may think are being strong and bold in going for what we want and promising to deliver, but really we are undermining ourselves and the quality of the connection we have with the person we are beseeching with our promises.
Promising like this is weak. And it is weak for 3 reasons:
1. Neediness - It is driven by, and therefor communicates, neediness.
2. Trust - As an activity it only makes sense within the context of a lack of trust - and so its operation re-affirms (or even creates) the very lack of trust it attempts to overcome.
3. Disconnection from 'what is' - It creates a future orientation; disconnecting people from the present and 'what is', and connecting them to a hypothetical future that the promise or promiser has no validity to guarantee.
Lets look at each of these in turn.
Neediness is simply not attractive or impactful. People just don't like it. For some reason they're just not into people who are always looking to others to get stuff from them. And even if they go along with it, they are always resenting it on some level and have bad feelings about it (this may not even be within consciousness even, but it's there).
The opposite of neediness is completeness, centredness and 'abundance' (which is an attitude founded in an understanding), and coming from this place you just have so much more to offer… and therein lies the key! Having something to offer is ALWAY more powerful, impactful and attractive than wanting to get something. And when you offer, wonderful things tend to flow back to you in return (just so long as you are open to receive).
But promising… why would you promise something unless you were trying to persuade someone of something? And why would you try to persuade them if there wasn't some need of your own you were trying to get met?
When you are the one with the cool stuff to offer, why would you need to promise anything? Just show the person the cool stuff! Let them experience it. Be present with them and what you have to offer and if they like what you have to offer they will be thrilled. They will want more.
This principle applies to all relationships and exchanges. Show up as a person with something to offer - even if that something is just your centredness, presence and leadership in that moment. People love that and respond powerfully to that alone. And 'promising' things just undermines it.
Overt promising is essentially what you do when you attempt to convince someone in the face of a lack of trust. What you are saying is "I know you have your doubts, but… I promise…"
So by promising, you are reenforcing the frame of 'lack of trust'… or even creating it! Because that is what will happen if you default to promise making when there is no lack of trust in the first place - you will establish the frame and then get caught up in it. And I don't need to say why 'lack of trust' is not a frame that will serve you!
DISCONNECTING FROM 'WHAT IS'
I mentioned above the qualities of centredness, presence and leadership. Powerful experiences happen in the present moment only, and what makes them powerful is being present with them. If you wish to have an impact on someone, you need to keep them in the present moment, because that is the only moment that any kind of impact can happen.
By promising, you are taking the person out of the present moment and connecting them to a future moment. You are disconnecting them from 'what is' and instead connecting them to a hypothetical future that hasn't happened yet. And worse than that a hypothetical future that you and your promise have no validity to guarantee.
Keeping people in the present is strong. Connecting them to what is. If you do talk about hypotheticals, be honest about what they are contingent upon (instead of just blindly promising them) and bring them alive in the moment! Use present continuous tense in your language, and make sure what you are saying/doing/being is serving them right now in this present moment! Again, right now is all there is!
As an example of this, a client recently asked me a question regarding my 'thoughts on necessary duration' regarding a coaching program. He wanted to know how long it would take to deliver his stated objectives, and he wanted me to state that. Now, within this request there are a whole bunch of invitations to step into frames that will neither serve me, the client or the coaching process, so to engage with them would be counterproductive.
So instead I chose to keep things in the moment and serve the client by connecting him to 'what is' (rather than what might be) INCLUDING his own power and creativity to transform himself:
"You can bring these things into your life right now... this is less about an 'instillation' and more about clearing out what is in the way of you being as you want to be. You are already a creator and already a powerful guy (and I'm not fluffing you here - we have spoken and I have read what you have written in your emails)... we're just bringing that out more and refining it."
There are no promises made in this statement - only statements of the truth as I see it. I bring the entire thing back into the present reconnect the client to his 'ownership' through emphasising what he is that is powerful.
Everything in this statement is about the present and the continuing developing present. This is the only place I can serve the client. This is the only place the client can transform. Right now.
So instead of persuading and promising I am orientating to serving the client - serving him by orientating him into the moment and connecting him with empowering frames. We are working right now, not promising to work in the future.
Now, this is an example from the world of coaching, but the principle is the same for relationship building across any context (personal or professional) - forget promising things for the future and focus on connecting people to things (ideas, perceptions, feelings, experiences) that have impact for them right now!
(just to close the loop on that example, his response was: "Thanks James. Sounds good. Lets get moving :-)")
PROMISES VS. AGREEMENTS
Just to be clear… I'm NOT saying "don't make any commitments or agreements" here!
Having clear agreements on what you commit to do is STRONG. But this is very different from 'promising'. The entire energy/vibe is different.
When you set an agreement you say "this is what I will do". It is a statement of'what is' and as such there is no introduction of counterproductive 'trust issues' - because it sits squarely within a 'matter of facts' frame rather than a 'matter of trust' frame.
Now some may well say:
"Well that is just semantics… if you say you are going to do it then you ARE promising to do it".
Well it IS semantics. And semantics count - they shape the meaning which shapes the attitude which shapes the inferences and connotations which dictate the flavour of the entire exchange. Never think that how you make sense of something doesn't count! IT COUNTS FOR EVERYTHING! People think they are describing reality when in fact they are shaping it!
So, make clear agreements that serve by all means, but if you want to be an influential and impactful human being, stay away from those pernicious little promises.
The results you get in life emerge from the systems that produce them, and those systems work perfectly to get exactly those results. So... If you don't like the results your getting, you'd better be willing to change the system!
But, interestingly this is exactly where so many people fall down they attempt to keep the old system largely in place whilst trying to get different results from within it. And that just doesn't work.
Or become so good at doing stuff for others that you've forgotten what you want for yourself?
Or that you carry on banging your head against the same wall, in the hope that you can force your way through, simply because you don't know what else to do instead?
And my reply to the questioner ran as follows:
Firstly - did you get the opportunity watch the video "What is missing from your life and what are you doing to keep it out?" If not, watch it! Because all of three of your questions relate to this - notice how they all represent stories of hardship that you are telling yourself. You probably think these things you are saying are 'true' but really they are just 'sense creations' that undermine you (I'm sure that is a point you would be ready to argue with me). They are great examples of something you are doing that will keep what you say you want from your life.
If you want to turn your life and experience of life around, it is time to change the conversation you are having inside your head. Time to change the stories you are telling yourself about your life (your current ones undermine clarity, creativity and motivation).
Each of the questions you ask is directing your attention in a specific way. It is directing you into stuck thinking. In this sense each one serves as a piece of debilitating 'self hypnosis'.
I am going to answer each question AS IF it was not a crappy self-defeating question, but please DO NOT take this as any kind of endorsement of the questions... Just me playing the game. :-)
"What happens if you've forgotten how to dream?"
Re-learn. And if your answer to that is 'but I don't know how?' Re-watch the "what is missing from your life and what are you doing to keep it out?" video... Pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to the story about my friend who wanted to write songs but couldn't play any instruments he could write on. 'How to' is never even close to as important as 'want to'. When the 'want to' is in place, the 'how to' takes care of itself.
But even after saying that 'how do I learn to dream?' Asked with the tonality and energy of genuine curiosity would be a FAR superior question to ask yourself here... See how it directs attention differently? As the old saying goes 'you get more of what you focus on'.
"Or become so good at doing stuff for others that you've forgotten what you want for yourself?"
What you want to do is NOT an immutable static thing that exists for you to forget or remember, it something you create moment by moment. Back to creation. Back to YOU choosing to take responsibility for that creation.
What would you like to have happen instead here?
"Or that you carry on banging your head against the same wall, in the hope that you can force your way through, simply because you don't know what else to do instead?"
Stop it! Whatever you are doing, at least have the VERY BEST relationship you can with it WHILST you engage with turning your self and life around - otherwise you drive yourself into low states that do not serve you as a creator or master of your own destiny. DO NOT DO THIS. Instead learn to use your thinking to move you into clearer, more resourceful states of mind for creating and shaping a fulfilling life. This means changing the conversation you are having with yourself about what you are doing... Which probably means changing the kind of conversations you are having with yourself in general.
Have better quality conversations with yourself. Tell better quality stories about yourself and your life!
You think you are describing your reality here, but actually you are creating it. You feel your thinking, not your circumstances.
As a general rule, if you are not getting what you want from life, both inside and out, the place to begin is with changing the conversation you are having inside your head and with the world around you, and changing how you pay attention and what you pay attention to in life. To change your life you change your mind.
To paraphrase Osho…
The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
This is a follow on from the previous video I posted (Living with Purpose and The Natural Order). It shapes the idea a little further, and gives a little 'question tool' to help in orientating yourself to 'doing without doing'.
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OK, so I hung back on putting this out, just in case it was too 'out there'!
It's about how when we connect to our purpose and clear stuff out the way, our purpose can just express itself through creative action... without having to project plan or create 'to do' lists or get into 'analysis paralysis'.
And please do make use of the comments section below for your questions and contributions!
Purpose. Many people believe that for our lives to be fulfilling and meaningful we must 'find our purpose'.
Now, without question, living life 'on purpose' is a wonderful and fulfilling thing, but the idea that our purpose is something that pre-exists for us to find somewhere can very often be toxic and undermining.
This morning I received an email from a subscriber to this blog concerning just this. The dialogue below comprises some parts of that email along with some perspectives I think are worth sharing on the topic.
"My problem is that I've been out of work for almost fifteen months now. I know I want to get a job and I know I can make a big contribution but I haven't really been able to work out what I want to do despite putting hours and hours into the process. I know I want a job but don't know what I want to do and don't know how how to get there."
If you can't work out what you want to do, it simply means you don't want to do any of the things you have considered. The question is 'why?' Or, more specifically, 'what is it that is stopping you wanting to do any of those things?' In truth there are lots of things you could do well right now, so what are the stories that you are telling yourself that are getting in the way.
Are they stories about self worth?
Are they stories that have you believe this is a big decision?
Are they stories about having to 'get it right' otherwise inevitable disaster ensues?
What are the stories?
Oftentimes in life, choosing and moving and taking action are more important and empowering than making the 'right' or 'best' (or 'perfect') choice. Action and movement beats inaction and inertia, whatever the quality, because you can only steer something once it's moving. Take action and course correct as you go.
David Deida has said "life is really just the correction of one mistake into the next" that can sound grim to some, so I'm going to change it up.
"Life is just the steering from one exploration or adventure into another."
Before training as an NLP trainer I took a job as an assistant project manager in local government. There was nothing inspiring about it. Nothing that suggested that it was aligned with my purpose (which was ill formed at best at the time). But I did it anyway and I did it with a vow to make the very best of it FOR ME and to learn whatever I could from it. It was there I met the person who hooked me up with the people with whom I originally studied NLP.
That is one example of many I could give you as to how 'less than desirable' jobs and compromises have lead to life shaping opportunity.
"It might be an excuse but I think part of the problem (or at least my internal reasoning) for not finding a job so far is that I have a sense of being here for a purpose but I don't know what that is."
The only purpose you are here for is the purpose you actively create. If you haven't created and shaped your purpose yet, you don't have one!
Living life 'on purpose' is about stepping into your power to define your own mission... NOT waiting passively for some 'calling' (that is the opposite - reactive living, not purposeful living).
So how are you keeping yourself from stepping into your creativity and having some fun creating your purpose?
Most people do it by having a crappy self image filled with definitions about what they are not capable of and what is not possible or what is not right for them. The crappy self image is based upon who they grew up thinking they are.
So, forget the past - create what you want afresh NOW!
"I'm not religious so this is probably about working out what shaped hole would suit a 'me like' peg, but I do have the sense that if I knew why I was here, finding a way of doing that would be so much easier."
Carve out your own hole, or re-shape yourself, or both. Get active. Get creative. Nobody is coming to bring you the ideal circumstances or the perfect fit or a mission or a life purpose. YOU are the only one with the power - switch it on, get creating and get creative.
"As it is I'm just doing a scatter gun approach for anything that I'm vaguely qualified for, wasting my time and my life and getting nowhere."
Then it is time to stop wasting time SEARCHING and get focused on CREATING. start by clearing some time and a space in your brain for creating the first draft of the blueprint of the lifestyle you want. Clear away the bullshit stories about what is possible or practical... Just for NOW get into the land of fantasy and DREAM. This is the ONLY way to start getting in touch with passion and purpose. Of course, the 'realist' and the 'critic' will try and jump in and ruin your quality dreaming time, but kick them out (their time to contribute will come).
And you don't need to do this in isolation. You can be taking action now by taking any work that gets you engaging with the world, and approach it with the mind to make the most of it from a developmental perspective WHILST at the same time engaging in the iterative process of creating and shaping your purpose.
Nothing exists before it is created, and that includes 'purpose', so the only way OUR purpose can come to exist is when WE create it. Don't wait, create.
Having been involved with NLP, Hypnosis and Personal Development in various forms for a number of years now, it has been fascinating for me to meet so many people who have made made phenomenal changes in their lives... as well as those who seem to be 'struggling' and claim that they haven't.
This talk was given for Interesting Talks London early in 2013 on a topic that I am still exploring and developing (and no doubt will be for many years to come). Stay focussed on this blog and this Youtube channel to discover new perspectives and the latest developments.
And if you have any questions you would like to ask (or feedback you would like to give) please do make use of the comment section below!
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P.P.S. If you are interested in making profound changes in your life, you may be interested in the forthcoming Reality ShaperTransformative Coaching and Mentoring Programme.
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This video was originally created for Hypnosis Without Trance. It is about how we, as organisms, actively shape our reality... how we literally live our lives through a self-hypnotically created veil.
If the subject of 'hypnosis' is a bit far out for you... well it is far out! And it is something that is woven into the fabric of our everyday experience (or maybe, more accurately, it is part of the the loom that creates the fabric of everyday experience) Anyhows, if it helps, just take it as a metaphor :-D
And please do comment and ask any questions you may have!
A cage fighting Facebook friend posted this on his wall this morning:
"As an adult change in real terms is almost impossible (no matter what one type of therapy or another tells you) , we are all pretty much stuck with who we are. Not great when your a psychopath, but we all have our own cross to bear."
I disagreed strongly of course (because I know it to be untrue), but it got me thinking...
One thing that is patently clear to me as both a self-changer and professional change consultant is that some things are clearly easier to change than others. One way of looking at this is to think of it in terms of character versus simple behaviours and responses, so for example a phobia is often a simple and specific response, whereas generalised anxiety is, well... generalised! And can seem to be part of a persons overall character and is therefor somehow more 'embedded'.
The trouble, however, with this explanation is that it explains away more than it explains! Because what is character anyway, beyond the overall collection of our patterns of behaviour (or habits of being) and response?
And this is the key! We are collections of interdependent patterns and so each individual pattern never really functions independently of our other patterns. The form pattern webs if you like, and some patterns are more bonded into the web than others.
So how does this help us understand change?
On a most basic level, a pattern (and I'm including the semantic structures that underpin it) is essentially easy to change so long as the person is sufficiently motivated to change it AND it is independent enough from other patterns (not too deeply integrated into the pattern web). The trouble is, however, that many of the patterns that people ARE motivated to change are held in place by patterns that they are NOT motivated to change (or are motivated to retain). And to make things trickier still, they are most often unable (or sometimes just unwilling) to see the connections between what they are motivated to change and what they are not (or are motivated not to).
One of the biggest barriers to change is attempting to separate off the pattern-to-be-changed from the rest of the system. The way this most obviously manifests itself is in in the pattern of...
"I want to change things about my life, but I don't want to change anything about who I am, how I do life or how I make sense of the world"
A desire for change without a desire to change (at least, in any significant way).
For this reason, I believe one of the greatest catalysts for change is the willingness to change. When a person becomes willing to change at the level of how they do life and their way of being in the world, then small changes that were once hard suddenly become easy.
So… I am finally beginning the process of properly focusing this website (about time), and my housekeeping has begun by removing the comments sections from some of the pages (having decided to keep such conversations to the blog area).
In beginning this process, I have came across this question about 'social anxiety'. Paul asked:
"What is your success with social anxiety – I’ve been studying Hypnosis, NLP, and every other modality I can find on the internet for the last 10 years. I am also personally trained in hypnosis under Igor Ledochowski as well as Jeff Stephens, but I am still burdened with social anxiety. What can you offer me? Also – would you recommend your Changework Applications product in order to personally learn the change work to do on myself? I hypnotize myself through recordings on a regular basis. Thanks"
So Paul asked a genuine question, which I felt warranted a genuine reply (and this is about a lot more than just 'social anxiety':
I have to say that, for personal reasons, 'social anxiety' is an area of particular interest for me.
What can I offer you? That question is a bit too open and broad to easily answer. The answer could be “nothing” or it could be “a path to being socially comfortable and erudite”, depending on where you are with your willingness to challenge your own assumptions and engage with a process of learning.
One thing I can tell you right off the bat is that you will probably not fix it with one or two quick hypnosis sessions – social anxiety is most often a problem of worldview rather than a simple stimulus-response pattern. To shift it takes many shifts in perspective AND attitude, as well as some skills based work around patterns of interaction.
If you are serious about changing this, PM me and I will arrange for you a discounted coaching/Changework session to give you some of the fundamentals. I am not saying that 1 session will fix the problem, but we can get for you some useful understanding of how your pattern works, along with some highly functional tools and a pathway for getting out of it.
You can PM me on James @ hypnosiswithouttrance.com or Skype me at captaintripp
As I have pointed out before, there are many changework practitioners of different varieties out there promising the magical quick fix. What they often promise is instant transformation right now, but mostly that isn't really how significant change happens (although there can be exceptions).
Yes we can have breakthrough moments, but it is how those breakthrough moments combine and feed forward into our futures to connect to yet more breakthrough moments that matters.
As human beings we are good at learning and change, and - unlike the majority of other known lifeforms - we have the ability to be self-authoring; to lead the process of our own personal evolution!
We have the faculties in place to do this - it is what we are good at!
Change comes from utilising and applying those faculties rather than trying to shortcut them with fancy techniques. And most significant change is the result of engaging in a developmental process - it is the people who get this and apply themselves to it are the ones who get rapid results.
So what of Hypnosis and NLP?
Well there is plenty of good stuff there in the toolkit - the trick is applying it strategically to encourage, develop, support and guide our natural learning and change 'mechanisms', rather than blindly applying 'techniques' and/or giving simplistic suggestions it the hope of bypassing our natural processes.
If you are interested in making some changes in your life and developing yourself - your thinking, your behaviour, your responses - get in touch and we can discuss what it is that you would like to change.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS A PERSONAL RANT!
It is no secret that I am endlessly saddened by tales of hypnotists and hypnotherapists mismanaging the expectations of their clients and promising solutions that in all likelyhood they cannot deliver. Over my time as a hypnotist and change practitioner, I have heard enough tales of empty promises and disappointment to compile an anthology!
The sad truth is that many practitioners of hypnosis/hypnotherapy peddle hypnosis as a near miracle cure, and often don't even follow up with clients to find out if their work was any good. This is a real shame, as in the right hands hypnosis can be a wonderful and powerful toolkit for assisting with personal change.
As a DISCLAIMER, I have to admit that I know little about the other hypnotherapist in the tale that follows, so maybe I am making some unfair inferences (all names and identifying details of concerned parties are protected). However, here is the tale from my end:
Recently I was contacted by someone who was having a problem with noisy neighbours and was asking if I could help with hypnosis. As he said to me...
"This noise... causes me considerable stress as there is little I can do about it the , neighbours being uncooperative . I am pretty sure that hypnosis can help in this kind of hypersensitivity to a particuliar form of noise."
Now, with this kind of problem, there are essentially two ways of utilising hypnosis:
1. The Hypnotist/Hypnotherapist performs a 'hypnotic induction' then give a set of suggestions around clearing up the problem.
2. The practitioner explores/uncovers the unconscious patterns that are the basis for the problem and strategically modifies them (and ideally sets up the conditions for the new pattern to evolve and self correct - this stage is almost always neglected, I believe, by most practitioners).
My own approach is somewhere along the lines of the second, even though the first approach offers many 'advantages' - it is simple and often dramatic in it's initial impact, doesn't require much work and doesn't require the practitioner to understand much about people, their patterns and how learning and change works.
The downside is, however, that the 'remedy' rarely lasts!
And that, of course, is a pretty major downside! Now I want to be clear here - a single session of basic 'classic hypnosis' can, given the right conditions, be the catalyst for a life change - but note:
"given the right conditions" and "a catalyst for change".
So if I use it thus, I will only do so when I am certain the conditions are right, and I will strategically emphasise the 'catalyst' frame over the 'passive magic cure' frame that most hypnothearpists seem to operate from.
My reply to this prospective client was as follows:
Hypnosis may well be able to help with that kind of thing in the way that you would like. That said, I am probably not the hypnotist you are looking for as this sort of thing is outside the scope of what I do hypnosis-wise - my specialism is working with people to change habits, behaviours and emotional responses, and I'm pretty strict about sticking to that."
So I turned down the work! Why?
My sense in this case was that the client wanted hypnosis to fix the problem, but the truth is, in this kind of case hypnosis alone can rarely do that. I know this, so I don't take this kind of case (I will only take money from a client if I am as close to certainty as I can get that I can deliver to them what they want).
Now I'm always willing to accept that I could be wrong, so suggested that if he wanted to do the work, he do so with another hypnotist (and I kept my opinions to myself so as not to foul that other hypnotists chances... half of me regrets this), which is exactly what he did (independent, in fact, of any suggestion of mine). And what was the result?
"I did two sessions with (the hypnotherapist) with an interval of four days between each sessions. After the first session I was already astonished by the change in perception of the noise coming from my neighbours in the apartment above us. It was a radical difference to such an extant that I didn't see the point any more of moving out.
The second session was at my request as I wished to consolidate the suggestions of the first session."
All good so far!
"But four days later I started to react to the noise again and became very anxious and depressed. It's worse when you have the impression that the change is not effective. I'm now not sure what to do."
And there it is! So what happened?
The last paragraph alone tells me that expectations were clearly mismanaged here, especially: "It's worse when you have the impression that the change is not effective".
Now, so far as I'm concerned, this is a real botch on the part of this hypnotherapist, because the truth is, the change was effective! The only problem was that the practitioner mismanaged expectations and failed to:
1. Set up the right conditions for change
2. Provide the appropriate support for the evolution of the change
As such it just died away (how do I know that? "It's worse when you have the impression that the change is not effective" says it all!). And worse than that, in doing so made things worse!
Sadly this is a very, very common thing... but, in fairness, the fault does not really lie with the practitioners! The reality is that they themselves have usually had their expectations mismanaged as to what hypnosis is (most think that it is some kind of special state - it isn't), how it works and what it is capable of and have not really been given a proper understanding of how to set up the conditions for lasting change.
Anyhow... rant over.
Making positive changes to your habits, behaviours and emotional responses is always achievable, and hypnosis can help you to do that when applied with skill and understanding, but beware those out there who would offer you a magic wand or have you passively engage in a miracle cure.
If you know what you want, and you are open minded about getting it, there is always a way forward!
All the very best
It has been levelled at me (via private message) that with this 'rant' I am merely engaging in self-aggrandisement at the expense of other practitioners. This is absolutely not at all my intent! This is actually an issue I care deeply about.
I've seen clients deeply upset because they have felt the failure to change meant they can't change, or are a failure at changing (including my own back in the days were I still 'promised the world' as I had been taught to do).
I also have seen one of the most intuitive and effective practitioners I have ever met quit because she couldn't be sure she could always deliver the clients demands, and thought that it must be her failing.
She too was taught she had a magic wand so of course she took the failing upon herself.
And none of this is necessary! There really is no need to mismanage expectations, and I really would like it to stop.
If this comes across as self-aggrandisement then I apologise. It is a sincere caring about something I believe is a real problem.