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Posted on: August 9th, 2012 by Graham Philpot No Comments

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Mind Control Question Answer: Hypnosis and NLP

Posted on: June 26th, 2012 by Carol 12 Comments

Sometimes people seeking help, coaching or inspiration ask ‘Do NLP and hypnosis involve some sort of mind control and if so, who will control my mind in a session?”. When that question is asked I first of all remind myself that treating yourself to an NLP or hypnosis session is a brand new experience for many people. It also may well be the first time that they have even mentioned to anyone that they have an issue that deeply concerns them or behaviours that they feel they cannot control (such as jealousy, fear, phobias, anxiety, addiction, compulsions, stuttering, problems related to eating, obsessive thoughts, panic attacks or blushing). They may be thinking this is one of the most important calls I will make in my life. It makes good sense that feeling safe is very important.

When I answer I like to take the time to explain everything that I can, so that each person can gain a down to earth idea of what they themselves may experience, enjoy and benefit from an NLP and hypnosis session. The clients who had similar concerns have said during the session that they ‘feel very safe’ and ‘much calmer and more in control of themselves now’ and after a session these clients exclaim ‘It was so different from how I imagined’, I feel so good now’, or ‘Wow I never thought I would get better so quickly, how amazing’ and ‘can I do more, I want to keep going!’, ‘this is a miracle’ and ‘I can control my mind’. I also draw from my experience of how knowledge of hypnosis and NLP is actually inextricably interwoven throughout my daily life, whether for communicating with people and animals, motivating myself to do housework, exercising and eating well and such like, starting new businesses, writing books or making videos, enjoying exams and challenges, making art or riding horses, being creative and getting a good regenerating night’s sleep. And I know, through 35 years of experience, that gaining a knowledge of these subjects can help you become:

  • more aware
  • more flexible
  • more creative
  • more resourceful
  • more able to behave how you want
  • happier and more joyful
  • more playful
  • more successful
  • more balanced
  • more relaxed
  • more knowledgeable

The knowledge will also help you to perceive yourself healthily, project the image of yourself as you wish to be perceived by others, and respond to external and internal events as you would most like to. So you could say that NLP and hypnosis sessions will enable people to gain self-control or control of their own mind, emotions, and body.

I was inspired to write about this question of control one day as I was enjoying some time relaxing in a splash of Scottish sunshine. As I zoned out it suddenly occurred to me that some people may miss out because maybe they wonder about this question yet don’t like to phone or email and ask, or they may wonder how going for an NLP and hypnosis session could help. So I thought it would be really helpful to answer and discuss this question here, as my experience continually demonstrates that doing NLP and hypnosis is safe and suitable for all ages and can be fantastic for helping us achieve freedom, peace of mind or to reach our goals and desires whether these are to excel at a sport or art form or to just be well in ourselves. I would like to take longer than I would if I was answering on the phone or email and using this extra time will allow me to share some inspirational concepts and also to answer rather differently by first asking you to consider:

Who or what exactly controls your mind right now?

I asked some of my Facebook friends this question and their answers included:

  1. ‘my unconscious, or maybe my subconscious’
  2. ‘ice cream’
  3. ‘is it the ego?’
  4. ‘I believe I control my mind. But then again, am I separate from my mind? If I *am* my mind, then it’s an interesting conundrum as to whether I can say I run my mind. Because that would equate to “my mind runs my mind”.
  5. ‘mmmm programming from cultural environment around me, you know school, mum and dad, religion, TV and popular culture, and the organization that I work for’
  6. ‘My other than conscious mind and my conscious mind me :)’
  7. ‘genetics or DNA’
  8. ‘Bit of Trans-derivational Search for that one! I would say I do – but it’s all about
  9. focussed attention and unconscious processes!’1
  10. ‘my mum! … no on second thoughts my cat’
  11. ‘men in black!’
  12. ‘Spirit’
  13. ‘do you mean brainwashing or self control?’
  14. ‘my mind controls my mind, or it thinks it is in control’
  15. ‘I can control my TV more than I can control my mind’
  16. ‘As I understand it, different parts of my brain are responding to various stimuli in my
  17. internal or my perceived external environment. That makes for a mix of impulses to action that get weighed versus one another with the strongest ones being what I am likely to do.’
  18. ‘well the billions of interconnected neurons in the brain interact, and the patterns manifest as singular thoughts, for example a person thinks around 70,000 thoughts every day and so these thoughts must surely control the mind.”
  19. ‘maybe gut and heart feelings really control my mind’
  20. ‘I am aware and I control my mind so that I can live the happy life that I want’

Whatever your answer is to the question, imagine for a few moments that you can now easily control your own mind.
What if being in control of your mind was as easy as opening and closing a door, or being in the flow like when you do something you find really easy, or climbing a few stairs, going up each simple step in time, in rhythm, or how about even closer to the meaning of rhythm, being carried on a murmuring silver escalator or closer still the way water finds its way naturally from its source to the sea? Soon you would most likely begin to sniff out new levels, tastes, landings, directions, tempos and viewpoints to add more spice, rhythms and generally just jazz things up, wouldn’t you.

With easy control of your own mind what would be different for you?

Would you be more YOU and more authentic, developing your passions, doing things you totally love doing, seeking out mentors and learning more, travelling and experimenting with new things, more motivated, slimmer, fitter, calmer, wiser and happier and how much fun would that all be? See now how you would look, stand, move, how would you sound and notice what you are doing, where you are and who you are with.

How good do you feel now thinking of this projection?

Give this feeling a number (10 out of 10 for the best feeling) and notice what number you choose. Okay! Now let’s move on, and find out what exactly are the steps to control our own minds and thoughts and how exactly a session with a hypnotist and NLP practitioner can be helpful.

External sources include everything in the environment around you. Aristotle (384 BC) is credited with stating that we have five main senses. So for example the woman in the photo below could hear all of the sounds around her, say of the photographer moving, even a plane far away; could see the lemon colour and interesting textures and everything all around; could feel the texture and weight of the fruit and the studio lights warm on her skin; could smell the juice, the rind, the pith and the environment around; and could also taste the acidic juice.


Do you remember the first time you tasted lemon?

As you watch these babies tasting a lemon for the first time you will notice how each of the individuals had a different experience, environments, parents and siblings way of giving the lemon and their response to the babies response. Many of these babies were supported and encouraged to experiment by smiling loving parents while others were surrounded by giggling older siblings. It follows therefore that how each baby filtered, categorized, stored (the V,A,K,O,G loop of data), responded to the event, remembered what happened from their viewpoint and how others responded (to their behaviour) is entirely personal to them. Because tasting lemon juice is such a powerful first experience the babies were probably most aware of using their senses of smell and taste and they were probably less aware of how they were using their other senses. In the book ‘Frogs into Princes’, Richard Bandler and John Grinder write

“Our claim is that you are using all systems all the time. In a particular context you will be aware of one system more than another. I assume that when you play athletics or make love, you have a lot of kinesthetic sensitivity. When you are reading or watching a movie, you have a lot of visual consciousness. You can shift from one to the other.”

And if indeed we ‘code’ our experiences and create our own thoughts so it would seem that we can gain control of our own minds. In the quote above the point is made that we can shift from using one sensory system to another. We use movement, expressions, non- verbal signals and language to both label and express our view about our experiences.The words that we choose relate to the representational system that we are accessing as we speak.

Internal sources include everything that you have taken in and made sense of through using your senses (memory) and created (imagination). So for example you most likely enjoy lemon and know now as an adult what to expect. This knowledge comes from your memory, so we could say that it is internal stored information. If someone told you that a new pink striped lemon that tasted of strawberries was for sale in the shops you would most probably picture it and imagine its taste, you might notice that your mouth and nose move as you imagine this new fruit or you might notice imagined sounds, internal dialogue or the noise of the shop. We use our imagination to build this type of construction and we use information from our memory as our building blocks.

What thoughts, sensations do you notice and what words come to mind when you think about tasting a fresh zingy lemon?
The illustration above gives you some idea of how language reveals which internal sensory system (V, A, K, O, or G) the person is ‘thinking in’ at that moment. An NLP practitioner will listen very carefully to you and use your chosen representational systems, (along with other information, and their knowledge and skills) to choose which NLP processes will be the most effective and comfortable for you. During a session your own awareness of how you have been doing things will increase and often highly important insights are gained. Once you have become aware of this processing it becomes easier to shape yourself. I first learnt about these concepts when I read the following words in Bandler and Grinder’s book ‘Frogs into Princes’.

‘Let me talk a little about how language works. If I look at you and say “Are you comfortable” you can come up with a response. The presupposition of your being able to respond congruently to my question is that you understand the words that I am speaking. Do you know how you understand the word “comfortable” for example?

Woman: Physically

You understand it physically. You sense some change in your body which is distinctive. That shift in your feeling state is distinctive from ‘terrified”. That’s a different response.

She senses a change in her body as a way of understanding the meaning of the word “comfortable”. Did anyone else notice how they understand it? Some of you will see visual images of yourself in a comfortable position: lying in a hammock, or lying on the grass in the sunshine.And a few of you may even hear the sounds which you associate with comfort: the babbling of a brook, or the wind blowing through some pine trees.

In order for you to understand what I am saying to you, you have to take the words – which are nothing more than arbitrary labels for parts of your personal history – and access the meaning, namely, some set of images, some set of feelings, or some set of sounds, which are the meaning for you of the word “comfortable”. That’s a simple notion of how language works, and we call this process transderivational search. Words are triggers that tend to bring into your consciousness certain parts of your experience and not other parts.’

What do you associate with Lemon?

Over the years since your first encounter with a lemon you will have come across other ‘external events’ which you will have linked with that initial experience. For example a friend remembered a lovely lemon coloured toy that she loved as a child and that her grandmother used lemon to clean her house and as an insecticide. She also remembered reading that researchers at Ohio State University found that when participants in an aromatherapy study smelled lemon oil, their mood improved and yet no physiological reason for this has ever been discovered.

What story do you tell yourself?

The lyrics of Bono’s song ‘Yellow’ are based on a home video of his mother wearing lemon yellow. She died when he was 14 and the more I listen to the song the more I wonder about his experience. Poets, singers and artists often make work about the connections in their thinking and their life experiences. It is these experiences and our responses to (and feelings about) these events that determine how our brains and lives develop.



See through in the sunlight
She wore lemon
But never in the daylight
She’s gonna make you cry
She’s gonna make you whisper and moan
And when you’re dry
She draws her water from the stone

And I feel
Like I’m slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel
Like I’m holding onto nothing

She wore lemon
To colour in the cold grey night
She had heaven
And she held on so tight

A man makes a picture
A moving picture
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close
A man captures colour
A man likes to stare
He turns his money into light to look for her

And I feel
Like I’m drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel
Like I’m swimming out to her

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

See through in the sunlight

A man builds a city
With banks and cathedrals
A man melts the sand so he can
See the world outside
her there
A man makes a car
And builds roads to run them on
A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind

And these are the days
When our work has come assunder
And these are the days
When we look for something other

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

A man makes a picture
A moving picture
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close
her there
A man captures colour
A man likes to stare
He turns his money into light
To look for her
She is the dreamer
She’s imagination
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close

Your brain also connects smells, sounds, feelings, emotions and other sensations which also make the neural connections stronger. The brain is considered “neuroplastic” or changing because in responds to life experiences, and then alters its structure and function. Our brain is constantly learning, altering and adapting. But the more you use and re-trace parts of your “neural network”, the function appears to be “hard wired” or automatic. “Use it or lose it”, “practice makes perfect” and “repetition is the mother of all learning”, are not just an expressions, they are neurological facts.

Knowledge allows you to become aware of the brains power to change and become the observer. Neuroplasticity makes it easier to do some things “automatically” … You can also break synaptic connections by not using the neuro pathway. Neural pruning is the term that is used to describe neurons dying off when not being used.’

Many people say that learning about NLP and hypnosis can enable you to become more flexible, gain control over your thoughts, change your associations with past experiences, exercise the ideas that you want and build strong neural pathways so these thinking patterns come more and more easily, and with these helpful behaviours you can achieve your goals whatever they are, whether they are to deeply relax or become more brilliant. So you can learn NLP and hypnosis to become

  • more aware,
  • more flexible,
  • more creative
  • more resourceful
  • more able to behave how you want to,
  • happier and more joyful
  • more playful
  • more successful
  • more balanced
  • more relaxed
  • more knowledgeable
  • self controlled
So how exactly can learning hypnosis and NLP help us gain self control?
(to be continued ..)
Thank you to all my friends who contributed 🙂

Stop Procrastinating – One Important Step

Posted on: June 7th, 2012 by sparky11 12 Comments


My original idea was to do one blog with a bunch of bullet points, various tricks and tips and mental strategies to help people to overcome procrastination. But then I looked at other articles on the subject and discovered there were lots of similar articles so I decided to do it differently. So this article is essentially ONE tip, however I plan to cover the subject in a little depth. And OK, it may not be a critical step but I believe it is important. More articles on the subject of stopping procrastinating will follow…

Stop Trying

So you want to stop procrastinating. Well, there is one tiny word in English that can really get in the way of you getting on with things.

The word is TRY.

If you are trained in NLP, or in many schools of hypnotherapy, you may well know all about this. If you don’t, or even if you do, consider this…

If I say ‘I tried to finish writing all my emails last night’, or ‘I tried to remember to take the car to the car wash’, or ‘I tried to get to Italy last Christmas’, what am I actually saying?

I am saying I didn’t do any of those things, or at the very least I am implying that I didn’t.

So is this really such a big deal?

Oh yes, it can be a very big deal indeed, but the challenge can sometimes be getting a person to realise how important it is, to stop using this word in this way.

I find, like many things, it’s best done by example…

The Day Of The Three Bulimics

One morning, several years ago, I saw three women to help them to stop doing bulimia, one after another. I managed to help all of them to stop doing it, in fact the first two of the three stopped being bulimic after the first session, it happens sometimes. The third of the three, a law student, took me a few more hours, but for the purposes of this, she was by far the most interesting.

So we started by me asking her to talk me through a typical day, and what she said went something like this…

‘I try to get up in time’

‘Well I try and set the alarm for 6.30 because I like to try to get up in time to have a good breakfast. Then I try and get the 7.30 bus to college, and in the morning I go to lectures and I really try to be good with the food and I try and have something nice for lunch. In the afternoon I try and go to the library to catch up with some of the work, and then in the evening maybe I will try and call a friend and…’

If I could read your mind, dear, what a tale your thoughts would tell…

‘Stop!’ I said, ‘I can’t stand it! I bet you don’t get to the library to work much, in the afternoons, do you?’

And she looked at me with big eyes and asked me, in a hushed voice, if I was psychic…

‘Possibly,’ I replied, ‘but I’m not currently doing that, I am listening to you trying to do things’.

She just looked puzzled, naturally enough, so I started giving her examples like those already mentioned. I tried to finish mowing the lawn before it started raining, I tried to fix the dishwasher, I tried to close the window properly etc. She still looked bewildered.

‘Listen’ I said, ‘close your eyes and say to yourself, ‘I will try to get to the library this afternoon, and see what comes to mind.’ She did this and told me she had a fleeting thought of the library but then couldn’t get the thought of the canteen out of her head. So she asked me what she was supposed to think.

Use the word ‘just’, or the phrase ‘just make sure’, instead of ‘try’

That’s what I told her, so she closed her eyes and said to herself that she was just going to make sure she got to the library that afternoon, and then admitted that she did seem to be able to think of going to the library a bit more easily. I told her that it may take a while for her to retrain herself but from now on, every time she said the word try or even thought it, she was to stop, go back, and repeat what she had said or thought using the word just or the phrase just make sure.

She didn’t look impressed.

After all, she was there for me to help her stop doing bulimia and nearly fifteen minutes have gone by and I haven’t really mentioned that yet. But I guessed how important this may be for her, given that she had used the word so much, so I boldly carried on with the following story.

The ‘For Trying Hard’ certificate

My two eldest children spent part of their primary school education in a really good very small village school. In one school year they were in the same classroom. Like I say, it was a small school. Now, this school liked to reward the children for doing something well, you know, like doing a nice drawing, writing a good story, that kind of thing. However, we had a bit of an issue when the teacher started trying to give my children certificates which were entitled, ‘For Trying Hard’. Apparently, one of my kids told the teacher, a little uncertainly, that his dad (me) had told them they weren’t to try hard. And the teacher (nice guy) had smiled and told them that it was always important to try hard. And my other child had told him that they weren’t ever supposed to try they were just supposed to do it. And apparently my other child then added, ‘or not’…

I wish I had been there

My kids weren’t being cheeky, but they weren’t really equipped to explain this to the teacher. The teacher was fine about it all at the time, just a little puzzled, apparently. Next parents evening I was able to talk to him about it. I explained the reasoning and to his credit he dumped the certificates. I then saw that there was another pile of certificates that were entitled ‘for working hard’, and I asked him to dump those too. I pointed at them and asked him what those words meant. He said they meant ‘for working well’. I smiled and asked him why they didn’t say that then, as ‘hard’ can mean well, or diligently, but ‘hard’ can also mean tough or difficult or intransigent. I am not sure he got rid of them, but from that day forward my children’s always got ‘certificates of merit’ when they did well.

My client still looked puzzled

‘Can we talk about my bulimia now?’ She asked. I told that that we could as long as she promised to start using the word ‘just’ or the phrase, ‘just make sure’. She considered this for a moment and then, without even the slightest trace of irony said…

‘I’ll try to…’

So I stared at her, and I stared at her, and I stared at her, and I raised my eyebrows. A long minute went by, then suddenly she realised what she had said and laughed, a lot (often a very good sign, that).

‘Listen,’ I said,  ‘I know you don’t know how much of a big deal this is yet. Also, you may well find yourself catching yourself saying the word, or thinking it. When you do it would be a mistake to beat yourself up about it with thoughts like ‘Oh shit I just said the word, try, I must try not to do that again, OH SHIT, I just said it again…’. ‘Be patient with yourself,’ I said, ‘it can take a little time to fully integrate this learning, now let’s get this bulimia sorted as well….’

Seven Days Later

Seven days later all three women turned up again in the same order, on the same morning. As I said, the first two had stopped ‘buliming’ and I was delighted with that. When the law student walked in she actually looked even happier than the first two and I felt really pleased with myself as assumed I had sorted 3 out of 3 bulimics in one session each.

‘Stopped throwing up then?’ I asked.

‘No,’ she said, ‘I am still throwing up, though not as much,’ and she leaned forward, eyes shining and added, ‘but my life has completely changed!’

What a difference a word makes…

Or can make. She told me how she no longer struggles to get out of bed, she just gets up when the alarm goes. She just makes sure she gets to the bus stop on time, and last week was the first time she hasn’t been late every day. She is being better with food. She is going to the library every day and has almost caught up with the work. She is catching herself thinking things like ‘I will try and remember to call Barbara later, maybe go out for a nice meal,’ and amending those thoughts to ‘I will just make sure I call Barbara later’. The later in the day she is once again catching herself saying to herself something like ‘Ooh I must try and call Barbara in a minute ooh, YES, I WILL JUST DO IT NOW…’

Stop Procrastinating

Which brings me back to the subject of this article, namely, how to stop procrastinating and just get on with it. This is just one piece of what can be done, but better have one article in a little depth, I believe, than yet another list of bullet points similar to those you may well have seen before on this subject. Obviously, the word ‘try’ is OK in many contexts, such as ‘try this lovely cake’, ‘try this beautiful wine’, but the try of effort is one to be avoided unless you want to increase the chance of failing.

It can be good to fail

Well, it can. Often, at the end of a session with a client I will say something like, ‘now think about what was a problem before, and try to worry about it…’

Hope you find this useful. Just make sure you read it again… There is so much more to say about this subject, so more posts to follow…

Steve Tromans

Tel: +44 (0)7900 240192
Email: steve@selfhelprecordings.com
1 Harley Street London W1G 9QD

Sports Performance Coaching to Swim the English Channel – a Matter of Life or Death

Posted on: June 1st, 2012 by Nick 2 Comments

Over the years I have seen literally thousands of clients as well as teaching other therapists and practitioners all over the world. Many requests for assistance and pretty familiar and every week I receive e-mails for help with phobias, eating problems, anxiety related problems and other such issues. There are also times of the year when certain problems are very common. In the summer when people get married I see lots of people for public speaking issues and phobias of bees and wasps. By September I can count on receive lots of requests for assistance for spider phobias.

In September last year as I scanned the daily e-mails one in particular caught my eye. I read the following…

“Hello Nick! I am training to swim the English Channel this September. Whilst physical training is going well, I am sure I’d benefit from some assistance to deal with fears whilst in the water.”

My first thoughts on reading this were “Why on earth would anyone want to do that?” I agreed to meet Pete the client and began to hear the full story of why he needed help. In short Pete had been training to swim the channel for his son’s charity and during a recent practice swim he had a panic attack. Now every time he thought about this task he felt extremely anxious. He was not a professional swimmer and while he was experiencing this panic attack he kept thinking to himself

“Oh my god, if my arms go now, I’ve had it! People drown this way!”

This as you can imagine is not a good recipe for anyone wanting to swim the channel and he was also mindful that he had only 4 months before the actual event. Worse still he had paid a considerable amount of money ensuring that the event could go ahead and had received a great deal of sponsorship. In short a lot of people were relying on him…
As this task was for charity I agreed only to charge him for the first session and I would then see him free of charge for following sessions providing he kept a video diary during his practice. I learned from him that in order to be allowed to undertake this task you have to have a full health check and be able to swim at least six miles, so you can show you are fit enough. The actual swim is between 25 and 42 miles depending on tides! You are not allowed to wear a wetsuit and once in the water you can’t get out until you reach dry land in France.

Despite all precautions this could actually be a matter of life or death as it is a serious physical task and many factors including the weather are totally out of your control.
A key factor in coaching Pete was to use the tools from my PCW approach to removing anxiety, so he had a suitably calm but alert state when taking on this task. A key factor in helping him was giving him a full recording of each session we did together and ensuring that he listened back to these sessions to build his confidence. This is what he said afterwards about this aspect of the process

“Because I had your CD’s, so whenever I was wandering over the cliff tops and stuff like that for a walk, I was playing your audio and just changing perceptions, and the best thing was I could then get into the water, and you know that the swim this weekend was going to be more pleasant than the one the weekend before. As I was going through… I remember you made me question quite a few things that you assume are facts, because I would assume that the colder the water, the deeper it is, because I had a thing about deep water. And you would ask why. And you were right. As I was swimming and you go through this horribly cold patch, and I think it’s just an underwater river coming off the cliffs, but you immediately think it’s really, really deep water. And your first thought was how do you know its deep and challenge that assumption and that made me feel a bit better. Then you put in another thought which was that as long as it was deep enough to swim in, why was it a concern anyway, because as long as your arms aren’t scraping on the floor, whether it’s 150 metres deep or… the channel is 380 metres deep in some parts… why does it matter because you’re on the surface. It’s almost like you shouldn’t be scared of flying if the aeroplane is on the runway, what’s your problem? Maybe get concerned if you started to go down from a huge height, but the surface of the water is the safest place to be.”

On Sept 24th 5am he left Dover and began heading for France. Seventeen hours 55 minutes later he arrived on French soil. This is a great example of how to remove unhelpful anxiety and to build confidence in a real life context. This is what he said afterwards on the boat as he headed back to the UK

 “Thank you for all your help – I couldn’t have done it without your help – You can now stand up in a room and say that your methods and techniques got this fat wheezing bloke across the channel, and I’d back you up 100%.”

Pete Windridge – France

We made a video documentary for his son, so when he gets older he can see what his dad achieved!

Nick Kemp 

NLP for Parents and Children

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by Leonne 1 Comment

Nightmares are a good thing!

Ok so the titles a little misleading, anyone who’s a parent knows that its not great being woken early hours of the morning because your child is having a nightmare and then whats worse is that they kick you all night because they have to squeeze into bed with you because they’re so scared.

But by using some NLP techniques you can use this problem and many other problems as an opportunity to give your child some really useful resources.

A few years ago when my son was around 5 or 6yrs old he started to have  a few nightmares and on a couple of occasions I suffered a few sleepless nights as a result of being kicked, well I like my sleep :), and hate the thought of my son being upset by this so I thought that I’d better help him to sort it out.

So then the next time, I hadn’t even got to sleep when he woke saying he was scared. I started to explore with him what was actually scary about these dreams, and it was something about zombies, (turns out his older sister had shown him the music video to Michael Jacksons thriller) So I asked him what he would like to dream about and he told me some sort of cartoons which he liked at the time, I got him to start to think about these and began to joke around with him, helping him to relax, but then he told me he couldnt think about this as whenever he closed his eyes these zombies would appear, I told him this was really cool, as if he could get these zombies to appear in his mind then what other things could he see. I knew at the time he loved Ben 10, and for those of you who dont know Ben 10 is this cool kid who fights off scary aliens by becoming an Alien himself. I got him to tell me  when he could see himself in the picture and what were the zombies doing,(this allowed him to disassociate from it and reduce any negative emotions) and then asked him what would happen if you suddenly became Ben !0, at that point things started to change from being a nightmare to becoming a game which of course would be fun, I then asked him who else he thought would be useful to have in this situation, and he started to come up with all sorts of suggestions like batman, superman, and many other super hero’s, so his dreams were like the Avengers movie way before he even got to see it.

Jacob took this a step further and realised that each one of these super hero’s had different resources, to help him defeat the different types of bad guys, in fact he even had to start inventing new bad guys in his dreams because he was enjoying it. I also suggested to him that these super heroes could help him create a forcefield so that he get his rest when he’d finished beating them. This was important to help him sleep peacefully. I think we also created some cool sounds effects in there too!

The great thing about this was that not only was I teaching Jacob how to deal with the nightmare but a much more powerful resource for any child, to consciously take control of his internal world, the things he see’s, feel’s and  hear’s inside his mind. Its not that Jacob never had a nightmare again, he did, but with a little prompting he was soon coming up with all sorts creative solutions about how to deal with his internal world, and I also got some sleep :).

Thats how you can turn a problem into a resource using NLP.

Leonne Daniel specialises in using NLP to help Parents and Children.



How to overcome fear of needles

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by Paul 2 Comments

Many years ago when I was doing my Paramedic training I discovered how people created their fear of needles and I’m going to explain how you too can also overcome your fear of needles. Even back then before I had learnt about how NLP and hypnosis can help you feel calmer about needles and injections I got interested in the differences between the people that were anxious and the people that feel calmer.

I was fascinated by learning as much as possible and one of the things that I noticed was how a surprising large number of people would unnecessarily put themselves through stress and suffering before anything had actually started. Now I am not talking about people who were already in pain, this was with people who were about to have an injection or some other straight forward simple procedure. Now as a child, like most children, I didn’t like injections either and obviously they’re not something that your supposed to like and in fact liking them would be stranger than not liking them. However there is a big difference between being scared of needles and feeling ok about them and many people are able to feel calm about having an injection. And so the curiosity started about how people can feel calmer about needles.

In many cases the pain associated with the thought of having injection isn’t actually caused by the needle as so many people with fear of needles have understandably but mistakenly thought. In reality most of it is caused by the tension, stress and fear that they have induced in themselves. Think about it, many people have experienced the fear of the pain in their mind before even getting to the doctors! And in over 90% of cases their amplified expectations of the fear are far worse than the actual reality of what it would be like having an injection while feeling calmer. Now I know some people may find that hard to imagine at the moment, but probably part of the reason why they are afraid is because every time they thought about needles it was framed around the notion of them being afraid.

The thing that was glaringly obvious was that not only do these two groups of people feel differently during the injection they also have a different experience in regards to the whole lead up to the injection and also afterwards. I starting thinking about how I can help the people who are scared & anxious to feel more relaxed and calmer just like the people who are able to take injections in their stride. I asked myself the question “As the doctors are teaching me the skills I need to be a Paramedic what skills does the patient need to have in order to to help them feel calmer both before and during an injection?”

I started asking people questions and listened very carefully not only to their answers, I also noticed what they didn’t say. In fact the majority of people that feel calmer and relaxed didn’t talk about it scary terms at all, it was as though the thought of being scared didn’t even occur to them! I then started paying very close attention to what they were doing in terms of whether their attention was focused externally on what was going on around them or internally with them lost in their own thoughts. And you know what, not only did it become obvious, the answer is also simple. But then when you stop and think about it that’s usually the case isn’t it because the most effective and best solutions are more often than not also the simplest! So I got the people who were scared by needles to adopt the same approach as the people who feel more relaxed and amazingly with a small amount of effort most of them were also able to put their fear of needles into perspective and feel significantly calmer. Here’s the outline of what I got them to do

Step 1. 

First just notice, when does your fear start? For large majority of people the fear starts before the injection / blood test has begun. Now at first this may sound strange but hear me out. The fact that the fear starts before the injection is a good sign because it actually means that its not the injection that was scaring you. It’s your expectations of what’s going to happen that was scaring you. And because of this you can regain control over how you feel.

Step 2. 

Pay attention to how you are thinking about what you imagine is going to happen. We all have thoughts constantly through out the day but have you ever taken the time to notice how you think about things? Are you picturing what you imagine is going to happen? If it is a picture are you watching yourself there or seeing what you’d see through your own eyes in the experience? Are you thinking through the experience in terms of how you imagine it’s going to feel? Are your thoughts telling yourself that it’s going to be painful or that you are going to respond in a certain way?

Step 3.

If you were looking at an image the first thing to do is to disassociate with it, or in other words step out of the movie. So instead of being in the experience you are watching a movie of yourself in that experience. Put a boarder or a frame around the image so you make it clear to your mind that you are watching a movie or what’s happening. Now inside your minds eye, shrink the movie down in size and push it further away from you so the movie and it’s contents look smaller and more distant. Drain a lot of the detail out of the movie and make the images look more and more faded as you look at it. As the detail drains out of the movie so your just left with a vague outline of what was there notice what has also happened to the feelings that were associated with the movie? Have they reduced and faded with the movie or just stopped?

Step 4.

If your thoughts (internal dialogue) were telling you that your going to be scared did you ever take the time to notice whether they sounded calmer and relaxed, anxious or scared. Almost invariably people who feel afraid have an anxious or scared sounding internal dialogue running inside their minds. Well if it is running inside your head that means you can have control over what you think to yourself and what it sounds like. How different would you feel if  your internal dialogue either had a ridiculous sounding tonality like Mickey Mouse or sounded really slow and very calm? Try it out and find out for yourself.

Step 5.

It’s not enough to just reduce the old feelings of anxiety, your brain has to be given something more useful to focus on. You could of course start by picturing yourself in your minds eye looking calmer and more relaxed about the idea of having an injection. However I want you go out further into the future and picture yourself looking back with hindsight at the fear of needles you had in past. Have you ever wondered what it is going to feel like once you have gotten to this point in time looking back at that old fear you had in the past?

So when you think about the last time you felt scared at the thought of having an injection were you running scary scenarios inside your minds eye or becoming rigid with fear because of how you imagined it was going to be? For many people the fear was because of how you thought you were going to react in that situation. How would things be different if you knew you’re going to feel calmer?

Although these simple things do work for a large number of people of course there are some people where I have to do things differently to help them feel calmer and more relaxed. So the question to ask yourself is not whether you can feel calmer and relaxed about needles but how do you need to think about it to feel calmer and more relaxed.

Paul Wright

The page on needle phobia on the main site is here – Phobia Of Needles

The Purpose of NLP for Healing – Living on Purpose

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by Gina 1 Comment

When NLP was first created by its co- founders, Richard Bandler, John Grinder (and now known) Frank Pucelik, it was intended as a way of helping people overcome obstacles such as grief, emotional pain and dysfunctional behaviours. More recently, NLP has been used for physical issues such as gripes (I.e IBS), joint pain and even pain relief for cancer patients. Indeed, many of the conditions listed on the JustBeWell website have been effectively helped with NLP and Hypnosis as a way of integrating their combined technologies to gain powerful results. Suffice to say, an NLP practitioner will know the difference between the two methodologies. NLP relates to the structure of how behaviours are organised, whereas hypnosis is the process of getting into the right states to make them happen. With that said, hypnosis is the process that enables NLP to function more usefully within the therapeutic context. In order to function at its optimal level, NLP needs to be applied to healing for a specific purpose. Therefore, the process by which this happens will depend on the condition.

If you have a condition that affects the mind, then a mental strategy will best be used to overcome the issues associated with it. Similarly, if you have a condition that is affecting your physical body, then a physical related strategy would best be used to overcome associated irritations. Like wise, if you have a condition that affects the Soul, then a spiritual related strategy would best be used to overcome associated issues. However, it is important to realise that healing one could very well have a positive impact on the other. The trick is knowing which strategy to employ for the best results on a case by case basis.

M came to me looking for help using NLP for weight loss. After initial discussions about what she wanted to achieve and why, it became clear that this was neither a mental or physical issue, but a spiritual one instead. During our conversation, it was revealed that she was in an unhappy marriage that was heading for divorce and she had personal aspirations that were being put on hold. Weight loss interventions are normally associated with lifestyle behaviour changes at the micro level, I.e, eat healthier and exercise more. But, in this instance I recognised that once she had freed herself from the unhappy situation and did something about her dream to go to Brazil, she would lose the weight naturally. Sure enough, this is what happened. She found happiness with a new partner, travelled to Brazil and lost the weight she desired. She confirmed in an email that what I had told her would happen had come true, namely, that she would lose the weight after losing the ‘wait’.

In conclusion, had I used NLP for the purpose of weight loss without first understanding the issues surrounding her circumstances, I may well have missed an opportunity to impact her life on a holistic level. In this instance, the purpose of NLP for healing had been to help another person live their life in the direction of their true purpose by paying attention to what mattered most.

Gina Pickersgill is the International Online NLP Specialist at www.justbewell.com

Blushing problems and how to stop going red

Posted on: May 11th, 2012 by Nick 3 Comments

When I teach workshops around the world I always ask the group about what they think the most common client problem is that I encounter. I get the usual replies including, phobias, anxiety, compulsions and food related issues. Nobody has ever suggested blushing and yet it’s one of the most common problems to see clients for in my Leeds and Manchester clinics. Many clients who experience this problem have already tried other approaches or had the problem for some time. In most cases the attempted solution has been to analyze why they have the problem which in my opinion is the wrong question. The key question is “How are they creating the problem?” I must of in recent years seen over 100 clients for this specific problem and in all cases the process has been almost exactly the same with each client.

It’s important to differentiate between a natural state of blushing from feeling self-conscious and the type of blushing that occurs when a person runs very helpful internal suggestions that create the problem state. Blushing requires the ability to feel unhelpfully self-conscious and this can only be done in a few ways. By far the most common way to trigger this is for a person to make the following kind of unhelpful anticipatory suggestions

“Don’t go red!”
“Don’t think about going red
“People are seeing me going red
“I’m gonna go red!

These unhelpful suggestions are made in a fast and anxious voice which then creates the unhelpful feeling which triggers the overall blushing response. I have developed a number of excellent approaches which essentially defuse the emotionally charged suggestions so the client then has real control over how to think and feel different. The good news is that most people can have this resolved in just a couple of sessions. The secret of resolving this is not to analyze what tends to typically occur but rather to create new possibilities of thinking and feeling different. The age range for blushing clients can be from 16 – 60 in my experience and in all cases the type of people who have this issue are very good at anticipating and planning. They often work in jobs that require them to use such skills, but this anticipatory type thinking is being used in a manner that is not useful. Once the client learns how to disengage from the problematic way of thinking, then the feeling state changes and the previous blushing experiences doesn’t occur.