The Loops that Run Your Life!

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!

All the very best


Habit Webs and Willingness to Change

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.

The Reality of Personal Change

The Reality of Personal ChangeSo… 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':

"Hi Paul

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 @ or Skype me at captaintripp

All the very best


P.S. The Changework Applications set will not help you for this!"

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.

All the very best


Another Sad Tale of Botched Hypnotherapy

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:

"Hi X

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.

All the very best


P.S. Here's an old video from the Hypnosis Without Trance Blog that relates:

P.P.S. If you like this, please ‘LIKE’ it!  ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓