Monthly Archives: May 2012

NLP Fast Phobia Cure – Does It Last

When helping my clients let go of their fears there are a couple of questions I am regularly asked.  The first is “does this really work” and the second is “how long will it last?”

Happy Memories…

These questions often trigger memories of my training to be an NLP Practitioner.  One of the most powerful moments of that course was when I realized that my feelings were created by a combination of thoughts; and that I could change the way in which I thought of something which in turn changed the way I felt about it.

Phobia Day

That day was known as Phobia Day.  This was the penultimate day of the course when the students were taught the NLP Fast Phobia Cure and how to help people let go of their fears.  I was ready, I had a phobia and I wanted to get rid of it.

It All Seemed So Easy

I watched the demonstration on the stage by Paul McKenna & Michael Breen; amazed at how easy it all seemed.  So wanting to be able to stop being afraid.  I was scared of spiders.  I used to check rooms as I went in, I even looked in my bed at night to make sure they hadn’t crawled in between the sheets, I checked my shoes before I put them on.  I slept deep under the covers so “they” couldn’t walk on me at night.

I Wasn’t Scared!

On that day I went through the NLP Fast Phobia Cure, helped by Steve Tromans, and learnt how to change my thinking.  After a while, I held the tarantula.  I wasn’t scared, I was curious as to how it would feel and it felt OK.  No it felt better than OK, It felt good, I was no longer scared.  I felt liberated!

How to let go of fear/anxiety

When Dr Richard Bandler was investigating ways in which to help people get rid of their fears/phobias he advertised for people who had already done this.  He spoke to hundreds of people and found out what they did.  They told him they got to a point when they had, had enough; they looked at their fear and realized just how ridiculous it was.  When working with my clients I first of all have them access a positive state, laughter is perfect for this.  When they have that state I’ll anchor it.

Anchoring a positive state.

Anchoring is the term we use when referring to a learned association between an external stimulus and an internal response. We are constantly creating and using anchors. It is an unconscious behaviour, one that we can make use of  create anchors that are more useful to us.

In the late 1900s a Russian scientist called Pavlov conducted some experiments where he would offer food to his dogs and at the same time ring a bell.  After a while the dog associated the bell with food and within a short while he would only have to ring the bell and the dog would salivate.  He had created an association between a bell and feeding time.  There was no logical connection between the two things, but through constant repetition, a neurological connection was created in the mind of the dogs.

Whenever we do something new, we create a new neural pathway so we can re-access that experience again more easily.  Each time we repeat a particular behaviour, we strengthen the associated neural pathway, just as when you walk down a path through a field it eventually becomes a clearer path.

To create a positive humorous anchor.

  1. Remember a joke or something that made you really laugh.  Fully return to it now – remember, see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel how good you felt.
  2. As you go through this memory, remember that time and all the feelings associated with it, imagine making it brighter and more colourful, the feelings getting stronger, and any sounds become louder.
  3. As you feel these good feelings, squeeze the thumb and middle finger of either hand together.
  4. Now squeeze the thumb and finger together and relive that good feeling.
  5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 several times with different positive memories until just squeezing your thumb and finger together brings back those good feelings.

Once I have the anchor set its time for the NLP Fast Phobia Cure.

NLP Fast Phobia Cure

I ask my client to think about what has been scaring them, if they can remember the first time they became scared we use this incident or one of the incidents when they were really scared/anxious and ask them to evaluate the incident.  “On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is that you are very scared and 1 is that you are feeling calm where are you now as you think about that incident?”

Now put that incident to one side for a moment and close your eyes and imagine walking into a cinema/movie theatre in your mind and sit down in the front row.  In a moment you will watch a movie of that incident on the screen but before you do, float up out of your body into the projection room at the back of the theatre.  You are now looking down from the projection room watching yourself in the front row watching the screen.

On the screen the film begins, as you get to the beginning of the incident freeze the film so you have still colour picture.  Staying in the projection room watching you, watching the film; look at yourself on the screen whilst the film now runs all the way to the end.  To the point where you are OK, now freeze this last frame into a still picture and drain any colour out and make the picture black and white.

From your place in the projection room run the black and white film backwards 3 times.  Everything is going backwards at triple speed.  When you get to the beginning, freeze that picture and then jump to the still frame at the end of the film and run the whole thing backwards again.

When you have done this 3 times, stop at the last frame of the film where you are OK and float out of the projection room and into that last frame.  Re-associate fully into the still picture and one it backwards once more whilst firing off your positive anchor.

Now walk out of the screen and sit back down in the cinema and white out the screen.  Turn the screen white, then black, then white, then black.  Repeat this a further 6 times.

Now check how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10 and if necessary repeat.

Future Pace

Once the evaluation is at a comfortable level its time to future pace the next experience and think about a time in the future when you repeat a similar experience only this time you do so calmly and in perfect control.  Run through a few occasions in your mind whereby you are calm, confident and in control.

I’m not sure when I realized that I had stopped checking for spiders.  Over time I have thought less about my eight legged friends, and notice them even less.  One day my daughter came into my bedroom and said “mum theres a great big spider on the wall above your bed”.  “Oh yes so there is” I replied.  It was my husband who pointed out the different response, but of course I thought its only a spider after all.

At that time I never thought that I would be helping people let go of their fears, nor did I consider that I would be working alongside my liberator.

That was over thirteen years ago, so I think I can safely say from my experience yes it does work and yes it does last.

Tina Taylor

Read an article about how Tina worked to help cure fear of spiders on live TV – Fear Spiders Article


Pain Relief Hypnosis – Keeping The Change

OK so this is the third post in a series on hypnosis and NLP for pain relief. This is another piece, and a very important one. The previous two posts can be read…

Here – A Technique to Relieve Pain
and Here – Pain Relief Hypnosis, Further Thoughts
I also talk about it in this Skype interview here – Pain Relief Video

How To Make Sure Someone Stays Better

This is the story of a delightful man called Arthur who came to see me about fifteen years ago. Arthur was in pain, a lot of pain. He had twisted his back a little playing golf some thirty years earlier. It hadn’t really bothered him at first, and he had finished the round of golf and gone home.

That night though, Arthur hadn’t sleep well, and when he awoke in the morning the pain was much worse so he went to the doctor. He was duly given painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs and told to take some time off work and rest. He did that, but the pain got worse. So he went for X-rays, took stronger meds, spent some time in traction. The pain got worse…

Fast forward 30 years…

There he was, aged about sixty now, sitting in my office and he had been in complete and total agony for thirty years. But the first thing I noticed about him, apart from the fact that his face showed the strain of these three decades of agony, was this sparkle in his eyes, and he told jokes, lots of them, and was genuinely funny. And I thought, ‘there is an amazing spirit inside this person’.

I was, I will admit, a little anxious as to whether I could help him. I had seen people for severe migraines who had reported that they no longer had headaches but I had not seen anyone like Arthur. To be fair, I haven’t since. I had told him I did not know how effective I could be but that I would do my utmost to help and he was OK with that. After all, he had spent thirty years in various therapies, it had become a lifestyle…

He Had Tried Every Therapy And Treatment For Pain Relief Available

At least, that’s the way it seemed. This included hypnosis for pain relief. He had undergone procedure after procedure including nine operations on his back and legs, had had nerves severed in his back, the works. And the doctors still had no idea why he was in pain. He definitely was though. When I saw him, he had a box semi built into the side of his body. This box contained a cocktail of painkillers which were fed, by a tube, directly into the base of his spine… The only pain relief he had experienced over the years was when they had introduced morphine into the mix, and the effects of that had worn off after a couple of weeks, so he had come off the morphine. It was either that or being totally out of it, and he didn’t want that.

Calibrate The Feeling…

‘On a scale of one to one hundred’ I said, ‘if one hundred would represent total agony and one represents total comfort, how is the feeling in your back right now’. (I stop calling it pain and start calling it feeling pretty much straight away)

‘One hundred’ he said.

‘OK’, I continued, ‘what numbers does the feeling vary between day to day, do you think?’

He just gave me a look…

‘It doesn’t really vary,’ he said, and he had stopped smiling.

‘So what number would you like, then?’ I asked, and the look he gave me got blanker. In fact, I had to repeat the question three times before he could get his head around it. He was so used in thinking of the pain, or trying not to think about the pain, or worrying about the pain, or being angry about the pain, and so forth, that it was really hard for him to think of his back in any way which wasn’t related to pain. The idea of having a totally comfortable back was alien to him. Eventually, though, he said he supposed ‘one’ would be nice, so we proceeded.

And for the rest of that one hour session I went through the technique outlined in the link at the very top of the page.

The ‘Feeling’ Had Reduced

‘What number would your back be now, Arthur,’ I asked him, whilst he was still pretty spaced out from the work. He thought about it, and he thought about it and eventually he looked up in vague astonishment and said..

‘I think it is about fifty’. And his wife burst into tears. This was the first time in thirty years he had experienced any reduction in the pain, apart from the brief time he was on morphine. Of course I did my best to look like this was exactly what I had been expecting but to be honest I think I was as surprised as he was. It was a lovely, touching moment and I tried not to feel smug. I smiled at him and said to him…

‘We can do this Arthur, I am sure of that now’. I would have been pleased if he had said ‘ninety-five’…

Anyway, Arthur rang me back the next day with bad news…

‘It’s back to one hundred again’, he said, sadly. I remember not being too bothered about this at the time, apart from feeling sorry for him, as I was now sure I could help him.

The Pain Came Back

When he came back for the next appointment he was sorry to report that, unfortunately his back had stayed at ‘one hundred’ for the whole week. However, there was an important difference now. He knew that it was possible to experience a reduction in the pain, and so did I. This time we went straight into a slight variation on the technique described in the other blog (link at top of page), for pretty much the whole hour. I really went for it. And at the end, he opened his eyes wide and for a few moments couldn’t speak. Eventually he said…

‘I can’t feel my back’, and he started grinning. And his wife burst into tears again.

Well he could feel his back, but the number he now gave it was ‘one’, that is, total comfort. It was lovely. I was ever so pleased with him, and ever so pleased with myself.

That is, until he rang me back the next day, close to tears, and informed me that it was ‘one hundred’ again. Now if you experienced in this field you will know why his pain came back….

He Was ‘Used’ To The Pain

For years and years his daily life had been filled with the feelings of pain and the thinking about the pain. I realised what he had been doing in between sessions. He had been asking himself questions like, ‘is this going to last or is the pain going to come back,’. He would have been worrying about it, talking to himself about it, thinking about his back, looking to see how bad his back was feeling. And there is a fair chance others would have been saying things, unwittingly, that would have taken him back into the habit of pain. A simple question from a caring wife such as ‘how bad is your back today’, well meant, would not have been helpful;

So how was I going to get him to stop thinking about the pain?

Seven days later Arthur came back for his next session wearing a look of hope mixed with anxiety. I told him ‘we are going to do something new today,’ something to make the comfort more and more natural through time. We did a quick 20 minute version of the disassociation technique to begin with, and he reported that the ‘feeling’ was now about ‘ten’. He was pleased with that. And then I said this…

‘I know you are going to worry about the pain coming back’, I told him (in an incongruent way), and he relaxed a bit. After all, he had been worrying about the fact that he was worrying the pain would come back. I carried on, ‘I could tell you that if you start talking to yourself about the problem then I want you to learn to use a soft and gentle voice, or a voice with really silly tonality, or a cartoon voice.’ And I got him to practice this a bit. He didn’t realise he could learn to change the way he talked to himself. But mainly, I did the following. Because it’s fundamentally hypnotic, the grammar may look a little unusual in places, this kind of thing is best heard…

‘Whenever you begin to find that you are starting to think about the old ‘feeling’, I began, ‘I want you to look for comfort. Because whatever posture you are in, some parts of you, where the muscles are naturally more relaxed because of your posture, and this is only natural.’

I ignored his vaguely puzzled look and continued. I asked him if his left arm was completely comfortable and he said that it was, as far as he could tell…

‘Listen,’ I said, ‘in your mind, I want you to go to a little patch of skin, the surface of your skin, on your arm, in a place that’s soooo comfortable you aren’t even aware of it, now go to this little patch of skin, and imagine it to be the size of a small coin, and then, really, really, slowly, imagine that from this place, the comfort is beginning to spread, in time, and this will get easier.’

Arthur looked up uncertainly and told me he didn’t think he could do it properly, he couldn’t feel his arm relaxing, I was expecting that…

‘Oh you don’t actually have to feel your arm beginning to relax,’ I said, ‘just pretend to begin with. Now imagine what it would be like if a pretend feeling of comfort begins to spread very slowly into your arm, and along the surface of your skin, and around and inside, all the way, gently pretending to spread the comfort down into your wrist, do this slowly, and also ease the imaginary lovely feeling up into your elbow, and give it a colour if you like, a nice colour, a colour you like, now allowing your imagination to imagine, inside your mind, spreading the comfort slowly over the back or your hand, and into the palm of your hand, slowly up inside your fingers, and ease it into your thumb, into each knuckle, one knuckle at a time, up to the very tips, and also smoothly up into your shoulder, just pretending, and slowly imagining the relaxation easing inside the side of your neck, and now into your face, slowly into your chin, and easing inside your lips and into teeth and all around your tongue…’

Now you, the reader, will begin to get the idea. This is done slowly. very slowly, with very detailed descriptions of the areas and body parts that the imaginary comfort is spreading into. After a few minutes of this, I got him to begin to spread comfort from another place, this time, as his head felt neutral, from deep inside the mind, a little globe of comfort, gently expanding through the brain, and into and over the scalp, and gently into the eyebrows etc etc.

Pain Relief Hypnosis And Future Pacing

That’s the NLP jargon for when you do your very best to ensure that the useful, positive, ecologically sound changes, are lasting changes. I told him that EVERY time he had a thought about the old ‘feeling’ in his back, he was to STOP, pause, be glad he had noticed his thought, and immediately start the process of looking for comfort, being patient with himself, and being gently relentless. I told him it was quite ok to think it wasn’t making any difference, and to do it anyway. Arthur expressed doubt that he could do it well enough so asked him to stop and tell me what number his back was right now. He paused…

‘One’, he smiled.

Next day, when the phone rang, I just knew it was Arthur and when I asked him what the feeling was, he told me he thought it was about ‘eighty’. I was delighted. Obviously I would have been more delighted if he had said it was ‘one’, but on the other hand this was a major difference. In all, I saw Arthur seven or eight times, and gradually over that period the old ‘feeling’ became smaller and smaller until it had pretty much disappeared.

The Use Of Metaphor In Pain Control

So on one level the above can be a useful thing to do if you are suffering from pain. On another level it can be a useful thing to do if you are a therapist or practitioner who sees clients to help them with this kind of issue. But its use can be much wider than that.

I tell versions of this story to many of my clients, not just those seeking hypnotherapy for pain relief, as the entire thing can be viewed a metaphor for helping any client aim for the solution, rather than them trying to move away from the problem, when you think about it. Because many people are going to be out there wondering if their problem is going to come back, and we really don’t want that. What we do want is for them to aim themselves AT solutions, and in fact for this to become automated, and the use of metaphor can be a very powerful tool to help them to do so, in my experience.

And on the level of metaphor, with all the hypnosis herein, and all the presuppositions, and the overall structure of the story itself, the intention is also to help you, the reader…


I have learned so much from many people, and hopefully continue to do so. That ‘spreading softness’ I first heard from Richard Bandler. It goes back much further though, it is a core principle, for example, in Chi Gung.

And of all the teachers I have ever learned from so far, my client Arthur was one of the best…

Steven Tromans

Tel: +44 (0)7900 240192
1 Harley Street London W1G 9QD

To visit the JustBeWell main page on pain control and hypnosis please click here

Be More Confident


So many people come to see me with the complaint that they are not confident. And they are very confident about not being confident (which always gets me giggling). I am always very happy to take bookings from clients who want to be more confident as it is so easy to help them feel sooooo much better so quickly and permanently.

Smashing the Generalization

The first problem is one of generalization. I usually ask early on in a session whether they are good at anything at all. In many cases I have to wait while they trawl through their memories to try to find something they are willing to admit they are good at. But I don’t wait for very long! So after a minute or two I ask them if they know how to make a good cup of tea or make the bed or use a TV remote control efficiently. The reason I ask about these mundane things is to get clients to start thinking a little differently about the ‘problem’. If there is a human who is totally confident of everything they do, then my guess is they are considered arrogant rather than confident.

Most people are confident of some things and not of others. If they say they are good at making tea, I ask them whether, if I didn’t know how to make a cuppa, could they teach me and they always say they could. Then I ask whether they are confident they could teach me and they always nod and smile!

Now that they are beginning to realize they are not just a person with zero confidence we can start to tease out the areas where they wish they could be more confident and the ones where they are already confident. So the problem is already beginning to feel different and more handleable.

Facing Forward

Once we can talk more specifically we can also start to focus on their goals and what they DO want instead of what they don’t. Everyone wants to get away from ‘bad’ feelings and move towards ‘good’ ones. The question is are they focusing on what they are trying to get away from or focusing on what they want more of? Successful changes are pretty much dependent on facing the right direction and the direction of success is facing forward not backward.

There are some people who habitually think about what is behind them and what they don’t want (or want to avoid) and others who are focused on what they do want. In fact, in a video of Dr Bandler (co-creator of NLP and one of my teachers) interviewing people who are successful in different fields, this is borne out. All of the people he interviewed who are successful actors, business men, chefs and other professionals have the facing-toward-the-goals strategy naturally running in their brains. So in order to help clients have more confidence we need to be more specific and facing in the right direction.

Breaking It Down to Build It Up

Next on my agenda is to find out how they are doing their lack of confidence and compare it with how they think about something they are very confident of. So if it is a making a cup of tea I will ask them about the pictures they see when they think about teaching me how to make a great cuppa. I will ask about what they are saying to themselves and what that internal voice sounds like. I could install the way I do confidence, but I find it much quicker and more effective to take their own particular way of feeling good about themselves and use it – just put it where it wasn’t before!

So once they realize how they do confidence and the difference in how they do not-confident we can start swapping pictures around and choosing a different dialogue to have in their head.

I often tell the story of how when I was first learning NLP I noticed that if anyone looked at me when I was walking down the road I would immediately start worrying that there was something wrong with me. I would hallucinate what they were thinking and it was always horrible! I would imagine them saying to themselves that I was ugly or my clothes looked bad or my makeup was smudged. Once I noticed what I was doing I realized how silly I had been. For a start, we can never totally really know what another person is thinking. It is hard enough to know fully what we ourselves are thinking, never mind what someone else is thinking! Even when some one tells you what they think it may not be true. Most people who are doing unconfident will often think people are being untruthful when they are saying nice things to them and believe every criticism without question!

So I decided to try an experiment. On purpose, if a man looked at me I would tell myself that he probably thinks I am gorgeous. And if it was a woman, she probably was wishing she knew where I had bought my shoes (or something along those lines).

The fact is, none of these “hallucinations” are true. However, when I was thinking the worst, if you had been watching, you would have seen me looking worried, checking my buttons in case they were undone. You would have seen me hunch over and my eyes would have been on the floor. If I had been a blusher, I would have, no doubt, also been blushing bright red. I felt insecure and horrible inside myself and it showed.

With this different way of thinking, you would see me walk taller, make eye contact, smile, and feeling good would be written all over my non-verbal language. So it didn’t really matter about what the big truth was, the outcome of this different way of thinking looks and feels entirely different. And of course, the best bit is that I got such different responses. It was a virtuous circle. Deliberately feel better, look better and get better responses which made me feel better and look better etc.

Confident and Competent?

I do not encourage people to feel confident about stuff they are not that good at. I have met too many people who think they are really good at something when actually they could do with learning to do it better. I have paid too many people too many times to do jobs they assured me they were capable of and did confidently but badly! So again, this isn’t about being confident in the wrong places.

And this is sometimes the problem.

There was a survey done with some doctors, surgeons and nurses in a hospital. Each was asked to assess his or her performance at many levels. Firstly at their job. Also as a member of a team. And as someone managing others. And many other areas besides. Then colleagues were asked to give feedback in answer to the same questions, but from a colleagues perspective so they could compare the findings. The astonishing result was that NOT ONE of them got it close. And these are some of the most intelligent humans around. But each of them either thought they were worse than others’ perceptions of them, or better!

“I wish to God the Gift to gi’ us to see ourselves as others see us” as Robbie Burns said.

Schooling and Upbringing

As so regularly happens, being not confident is a learned behaviour. You weren’t born without confidence! But with the best intention in the world, many people were trained at school not to ‘show off’ not to be ‘big headed’ and peer group pressure taught so many of us that we got more love and appreciation by running ourselves down. Just today on the radio I heard that in the Church if you say you think you would make a good Bishop you probably won’t get promoted to Bishop! How crazy is that? What message does that give?

And of course we are guided at a very early age to focus on our mistakes. Those exercise books with the red marks on every error are not necessarily helpful! Someone told me recently that in New Zealand now, they have started using a green pen to tick every line that is fully correct.. And at the bottom of the page the teachers are adding a few pointers on how to do better next time. That sounds like a much more constructive strategy to me. But most of us aren’t lucky enough to have been trained to focus on what we are doing well and learn to do the other bits better. We have been trained to feel bad about what we are doing wrong.

But whatever was learnt in the past can be unlearned. If someone has practiced lacking confidence and is good at it, then it is just about learning to think about themselves differently and practising relentlessly until it becomes the new ‘automatic‘ way of thinking.

So often there is a fear of being inappropriately confident because we all kind of know that we can’t always quite tell how we are coming across and when we are doing really well and when we are not. That isn’t crazy. None of us knows how we are being perceived from the outside and I challenge anyone to claim they have never been surprised at feedback. In both directions. Hasn’t everyone at some point thought they were doing ok and discovered they had irritated someone? Hasn’t everyone at some point thought they hadn’t done something very well and been told that they did a great job?

In fact, I have worked with countless top people in their field who tell me they are not confident. You might be surprised at how many celebrities and CEOs have come for help with this problem. I once heard Michelle Pfeifer saying she doesn’t think she is pretty!

So perhaps it is more useful to stop worrying about whether we are confident or not!

Get Over It

So strange as it may seem I think it is much more useful to reframe this whole concept and think about it differently. What would life be like if you didn’t care about whether you felt confident or not? If you were spending your precious thoughts and feelings and attention on doing the best you can. If you stopped expecting/hoping to be loved by the entire universe and accept that there will be some who love you and some not so much – which may not be so much to do with you but more to do with them anyway. And how about just doing your very best, caring about giving what you have got to give as well as you possibly can and always focusing on improving and optimizing? What about being generous with whatever you can offer and being a good learner? What about feeling great inside, knowing you are doing your best and being humble? In a funny way, it is also arrogant to be unconfident as well as over confident. How about just being all the wonderful things you can be and always working at doing better when you can?

What is Useful….

So the big question is what do you want to feel like? When you walk down the road do you want to feel like walking tall? When you get up to present at work, do you want to convey your passion or your knowledge in a way that inspires others? It is easy once you use your own way of feeling great in these other scenarios.

… and Are You Having Enough Fun?

Think about all that time spent on worrying if you are ok or good enough when you could have been laughing and having fun! What makes you feel happy and relaxed? What inspires you?

When my clients leave my session, what I hope for them is that they will be thinking and feeling hugely different in this regard. They will be happy to be themselves and ready to have more fun, and to be generous with their unique gifts.

And strangely, I keep getting the feedback that they feel much more confident from then on too so they get all the confidence they came for anyway! 🙂

Visit Laura’s biography page, click here – > Laura Spicer

Laura’s email address is has clinics worldwide. In the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Mainland Europe.

To visit the JustBeWell page about more confidence click here – > More Self Confidence

To see a video by Laura about confidence click here – > More Confidence

Feel free to add a comment below…

Binge Eating And Bulimia – What Is The Answer


Its Debbie Williams here from Birmingham UK. I’m one of the first JustBeWell NLP Master practitioners and hypnotherapists and today I’m going to post about binge eating and bulimia.

I did both for nearly 15 years and before that I was the 2nd fattest child in school, so I was pretty messed up weight and food-wise.

Yet it’s one of the areas I now specialise in, after using NLP and hypnosis on myself to fully recover from my bulimia and binge eating. I have been totally free now for about 15 years.

In my Birmingham clinic Ive helped many others to be free of binge eating and bulimia from TV presenters, athletes, teenage boys to 50 year old bulimics.

How do you work with binge eating and bulimia?

Firstly binge eating and bulimia can sometimes be almost the same thing with the only difference being the bulimic throws up after a binge whilst the binge eater gets fatter and fatter until it gets so uncomfortable then they diet!

First 3 letters of diet should be a warning that it’s not a good thing to do as the diet industry has a failure rate over 90%. Why would any sane person diet?

Well, we have been trained, advertised at, promoted at with junk food and extra large portions that we no longer know how to eat in a way that feels in balance with our mind, body and spirit. Its a billion dollar industry which doesn’t always have our health at the top of the list!

Binge eating and bulimia, a solution?

The first thing I do with clients is to help them change their focus onto what they really want. Many do not know and some have burst into tears when I’ve asked them what would they do with the extra time they would have if I could tap a magic wand and make their binging go away for good. It’s the realisation of how lost they have been in their binging they’ve forgotten who they really are.

I suggest we go in training to master skills on how to be lean (they like this) and how to be happy and healthy. When you know about whats really in some of our food it can drop your desire for it instantly.

Lean for life

We can retrain ourselves to eat as a lean, healthy happy person does by copying what they do until it becomes second nature.

With NLP and hypnotherapy we can make it easier to model what naturally lean healthy people do and many, many times 2 or 3 sessions can be the catalyst for brand new behaviours and feelings towards food, leaving the bulimia and binge eating in the past.

For others more support is necessary whilst they not only learn to eat as a lean person does, they also learn ways to process their emotions and other triggers that have led to a binge eating episode as food has been their drug of choice to deal with their feelings.

I give my clients simple tick sheets in which they tick when they feel they are “doing”a new behaviour which is taking them towards becoming lean for life.

The focus is 90% on the solution of learning lean and healthy peoples strategies and “not” on food (although I do get them to have a plan of foods they love to eat and would look forward to, they can check in advance that eating this way this week will actually help them to be lean and it should include a bit of junk type food)

The idea is to get more ticks next week than this week and to “grow into better habits” and to have a record of what they did in case they fall of track they can easily get back on.

I have 7 main areas we work on. One simple one ( which helps all addictions) is using procrastination as a positive. By this I mean saying to the urges to binge “yes, I’ll have this later, not now, later” to help ride over the urges to binge as most people don’t realise any addictive urges only last a few minutes at most.

I also find when clients use my self hypnosis recordings they get quicker results as most of my hypnosis has suggestions of the false appetite going away on holiday for good and to connect with who they really are, learning to be kind,  nurture and like themselves.

I’ve had clients who’ve listened to a couple and got so far, then come to Birmingham to see me, they tend to go out with a few more recordings and focus on the goal of learning to be lean, healthy and happy.

You could study NLP for yourself and gradually work through all the issues tying you to binging. It will take time though as there is no specific trained NLP strategies for bulimia. My colleagues Kathy Welter-Nichols in Canada and Steve Tromans in London also use NLP and hypnosis very effectively to help with  bulimia.

How to be happy

The happy part is covering emotional intelligence also and learning to lighten up and enjoy life. I always suggest keeping a feel good, happiness journal to record their successes and joys in life.

I know not everyone will do this but I find when they do it really pays of in more good feelings. We do deal with the deeper issues as and when they arise rather than searching in the past for every negative experience that has made them feel “less than”.

How to be lean and healthy

The lean and healthy part is devising a plan gradually working towards foods close to nature (which is what our system thrives on) plus a bit of junk/ binge food eaten in a specific way which if they follow the guidelines will allow them to have more ticks on the tick sheet.

Discovering how the food makes them feel over time helps to break the hold that food had on them. It also allows me to quickly find out if a food is a real trigger for them if they don’t stick to the guidelines and so in the next session we can reduce the desire for chocolate,  crisps or bread whatever tips them over the edge.

I worked on GMTV with Paul McKenna a few years ago with helping the nation overcome their addictions to certain foods. I helped the “Tamworth crisp crunchers” overcome their crisp addiction and within 20 minutes it was gone.

I have recorded so many around food, binge eating, bulimia and weight loss, stop overeating and lean for life all available from the web shop. Including  ‘Ditch the dairy” which can eliminate cravings for ice cream, cheese, cakes,  pizza and chocolate ( I have a specific one for just chocolate).

Even Miles who edited them for me found he ate less as he just didn’t fancy those foods somehow much to his partners surprise.

I normally run my Lean for life courses over 4 weeks but I’m looking to do some one day events in the future. If you want to come to Birmingham for this event please or would like to chat about how I may be able to help you then please feel free to contact me – Debbie’s Contact Page

For further information about my recordings look here – Debbie Williams Recordings

And do also feel free to make comments or ask questions here on this blog

Stopping Stammering

When people with speech dysfluency such as stammering book to see me, they often ask (as with many other types of clients) what I am going to do. Like with any other client, I always say that I don’t know. One of the things about being an NLP consultant is that I am always aware there is an individual who is having the problem, rather than a problem with a person attached! So how can I know in advance, what is going to help, before I meet and talk to the person properly?

However, as much as I hate generalizing what is going to be the way to treat someone with a stammering/stuttering problem there are certain things I will be watching and listening for first.

How Not Why

In the initial part of the session, I am going to need to find out how they have been doing their stammer. As any practitioner will no doubt concur, this is when my clients try to tell me why and not how. I keep going back to the how questions. How are you thinking just before you stammer? Have you already imagined stammering hours or days before a particularly challenging event? What are you saying to yourself? What are the pictures in your head? Where does it feel like the words are getting caught? In your throat? Chest? Mouth? This last is really important as it lets me know where they are tensing when they would be better served by relaxing and flowing. I will be asking about whether they even get stuck when they talk to their cat or out loud to themselves when they are alone. I have rarely met a stammerer who says they can’t even speak to themselves out loud without stammering. And I have never met a stammerer who stammers when they sing!

This tells you something important. They are not broken!! As with so many of the problems that find their way to my clinic, they are just doing something differently when confronted with certain situations. Some say it is worse when they meet people for the first time. Some tell me it is worst when they feel they are being judged. And there are individual unique stories too. But once you accept that sometimes it is possible to speak fluently then you know it is just a question of finding out how they do it when it is working well for them and transfer the principles into the challenging situations. Also, if they speak fluently when alone, I will be paying attention to how they are doing their focus of attention as this is sometimes part of what is causing the problem.

Being Fully Present with Your Client

Importantly, while we are talking about the things I mention above I will be watching and listening very carefully to notice how well they are breathing and where it looks and sounds like they are inappropriately tense. I will be watching how they focus on me when they are talking to me and noticing what changes when they get stuck.

As speech is dependent on breath and flow, it is especially important for people with this problem to learn to take plenty of breath in and release it in an open easy way. So in many cases, my first job is to fill them with confidence, get rid of any fear (humour is the best tool I find) and begin the job of training them to breathe the way most fluent speakers do – or even better.

I have modeled some of the best speakers and so I teach my clients who come to see me with dysfluency issues how to breathe more like a fluent expert talker. In the session, I can only teach them and get them to practice a bit, but this is physical as well as psychological and they really are going to have to go away and practice practice practice so that the new way of using their muscles becomes automatic.

Back into the Flow

A lot of stammerers blame the stammer for their shyness or unwillingness to speak. But it is a vicious circle. If speech is held back it has a horrible effect. Even in a fluent speaker, being reticent or unwilling or afraid to let it flow is unhelpful. And the sound of consistently hesitant speech sounds awful to me. In fact, I feel in general that held back speech is stingy and I get quite cross (well I pretend to get cross!) and tell my clients to get more generous with sharing their thoughts and feelings!! Fear is a horrible master in general and often part of the problem for a stammerer.

Listening to Your Own Voice

Because of the fact that nobody stammers when singing I often ask clients to sing. Sometimes they really don’t want to, but I use humour and do it myself to get them to relax and do this. It doesn’t have to sound tuneful. I usually just get them to count up to ten to any tune. In many cases, it doesn’t sound like singing at all. But because they think they are singing, it becomes really fluent which often surprises them hugely. I record them doing this and singing the words that they previously couldn’t get out of their mouths. Then when they listen back they can hear it just sounds normal and interesting and not like singing at all. Then I get them to track the sensations and breathing they are doing so they can reproduce the feeling and muscle use when they talk.

Sometimes I get them to go from singing to speaking and back to singing. And I record it too so they can hear themselves. In fact, more than one stammerer has become totally fluent by listen to him/herself speaking. There is some evidence that the feedback loop of talking and listening to your own voice is often not functioning the same in a stammerer as in a fluent speaker. I had one young girl who came to see me whose younger sister had been born with a loud voice and who overrode her when she was speaking. Once she was listening to herself and cutting out the background noise from her attention the stammer miraculously disappeared.

Unique Solutions 

I also once worked with a beautiful young girl who was in an arranged marriage and was afraid of her husband’s sexual demands. Her thighs were gripped permanently closed. When she released the tension in her thighs, amazingly the knock on effect was her speech became fluent. I mention this to emphasize how important it is to watch and listen to your client to find out what, in their own unique case, is going on.

Change of Attitude

So many people are afraid to ‘get it wrong’. I think this often starts in school where they trained so many of us to be afraid. I often tell clients how I have a voice inside my own head that celebrates when I discover I have got it wrong! After all, when I am right, I am not just about to learn to do something better! I love the feeling of learning and I relentlessly install that in clients. When you notice you have got something wrong, that is the perfect opportunity to learn to do better and to me, that is one of life’s pleasures. I hope to go on being a good learner til my last breath. So being wrong becomes fun instead of dread. That is an attitude that is often a good one to install.

I also relentlessly install a very important concept that I learned from Dr. Bandler (the co-creator of NLP and my teacher) and which opened up my life hugely. “Instead of comparing yourself with others, compare yourself with you, yesterday. And if you are doing better today than yesterday, you know you are going in the right direction”. What a great and freeing thought! Who wants to be perfect anyway? That would be sooo boring! It also turns the problem from fixed to being a process of improvement and focuses attention on improvements instead of what is not working. This is very important to convey as sometimes it takes a stammerer a few weeks to learn, practice and become unconsciously competent at fluency. So in the session, I teach them all they need to know and then send them off to practice.

The Icing on the Cake

In some cases, that is all that is needed. In others, I need them to come back for a top up, to check they are correctly doing the exercises I set them, or to peel off the last layers of whatever they are still doing in order to stammer.

Many of my clients have already tried speech therapy or other stammering ‘cures’ and they complain that previous courses of treatment have been completely useless, or have made them sound robotic. I want my clients not only to be more fluent, but to talk with an interesting and expressive voice too. So that robotic sound is something that I inure against completely.

Once they are breathing, laughing, flowing and having had some more useful ways of thinking installed they are ready for the last part. They will already be noticing a significant improvement, but if there is more that can be done I am not finished! So even if they are already thrilled with the improvement, I do like to do everything possible to make them as fully fluent as I can.

Sometimes, blood supply isn’t as good in some people’s lips. Sometimes people have less flexible tongues than others. Sometimes people have very stiff inflexible jaw joints.

So after the breathing is newly retrained and the thinking is freed up, there may be some tongue twisters that are advisable for them to practice to get more flexibility in the specific problem area. This is only relevant after the main problems of breath and thought habits have been sorted. Often it isn’t even necessary as they are already fluent and speech is flowing perfectly on their breath. But if it is, I will then give them a few silly tongue twisters to practice to really fine tune and train their mouth and breathing to support fluency.

Gaga, mama, dada, kaka, peepee

Some of the best exercises for greater flexibility are baby sounds. When babies are learning to talk, they make certain sounds. As with so many miraculous things in us amazing humans, these sounds are perfectly designed to exercise the muscles in the right way to enable fluency in any language. Ga ga is the perfect way to exercise the back of the tongue muscles. Mama is the perfect word to repeat to get your lips flexible etc. So we have a lot of fun talking to each other in baby talk and I send them away to practice this every day until they get their lips or tongue or jaw flexibility working well for them and the blood supply to their mouths flowing easier.

All in all, I truly believe that in the majority of cases, what has flummoxed science in the past, stopping stammering and stuttering and learning to speak more fluently, is usually something, that given the right attitude and exercises can be changed for the much much happier. 🙂

Laura Spicer

Visit The JustBeWell pages on stopping stammering here – Stop Stuttering

Watch this short video By Laura on YouTube -click here – Help With Stammering

Help For Bulimia

Bulimia Breakthrough – changing the face of Bulimia one client at a time. 

Hi, I am Kathy Welter-Nichols and I thought this post may well be useful for those interested in how I work to provide effective help for bulimia, so here are some thoughts and insights into how I work with this issue, and some of the thinking behind what I do.

I had a psychologist from the US attend my Bulimia Breakthrough program….. She came to me, because she had had bulimia for 30 years of her life, and was running an ED clinic in New York, while bulimic herself. She really wanted this gone.

She recovered in 3 days, returned to New York and then the secondary symptoms came up, which can be lying and stealing. She was caught shop lifting in a store creating a huge issue, court appearances, and community time. She then came back to see me we did 2 more days, and those secondary symptoms were gone as well. Her marriage disintegrated for a while, but then that too worked out. Utilizing Hypnosis and NLP we changed her story about who she truly is.

We often miss the secondary issues, because they are so deeply associated to the disorder, and have been facilitating the bulimic behaviors for years. Stealing food from the start, moms, school, friends, stores, and so it’s not really seen as stealing, it’s seen as just my bulimia.

Our stories… what is your story? How often do you tell it? How has it become your definition of who you are, how you cope with life? What is your story and how stuck on it are you?

Help for bulimia. What are the treatment options?

Here in the US & Canada there are massive government grants and lobby’s done for “studies” and methods that are profoundly consumptive in cash flow. Columbia University in New York was granted 20 million for studies of bulimia over 10 years, in an effort to provide credible information for the government.

They are averaging $35,000 a month for intake treatment with a 7 year recovery time line, and a 35- 40% recovery results for the client. I just had an email the other day from an Eating Disorders facility in the USA, now all the insurance providers are jumping in and will cover the costs of treatment IF they utilize their programs in alignment with the pharmaceutical companies. So we have models of treatment utilizing interventions with pharmaceuticals, often taking the already distorted chemistry of the client to all new levels of chaos in brain function. And many of the side effects include weight gains. All this and it gets covered by insurance, with very low recovery rates.

This is where it can get silly and if we can avoid pitting ourselves and our methods against theirs then I believe we can make inroads, helping clients and creating credibility for Hypnosis & NLP in the model of care, and recovery for Eating Disorders and specifically interrupting the patterns of Bulimia

Most media coverage has been on the recovery of film stars with bulimia, and they have used hypnosis in their treatment. In my findings the nature of Bulimia is very different from Anorexia, however, these  get lumped together primarily because they are associated in the Eating Disorders genre. Restricting is used in both, but for very different reasons and very different outcomes. I feel the differences are very distinct and I believe we do a disservice to the client when we try to group it under one “umbrella”. The language patterns around eating disorders today seem really harsh when I hear parents and clients repeating what they’ve been told or read.  It can be very frightening for parents as they feel their son or daughter slipping away from them a little very day.

There are additional sub-behaviors and symptoms associated with Bulimia, that are not part of Anorexia.


Novelty Seeking, enjoys the attention from others

Compulsive Lying, OCD tendencies
Stealing, manipulative in relationships

Harm avoidance, rigid structure and thinking
Cheating, self loathing, low self esteem
Manipulation of truth
Blaming, self and others
Shame & Guilt , anger and fear
Not viewed as self harm
Low self directedness
Used for Self pleasure, reward system of the brain
Addictive component-  using food as a drug

These secondary behaviors in bulimia  respond brilliantly with NLP & Hypnosis.

Anorexia has a different template for the client:

Harm avoidance, dissociated, withdrawn from life, focus out of reality, ambivalence, relationships disinterested. Obsessive compulsions, reflective function limited, Rule Bounded, Excessive experiential avoidance.

In Anorexia, it’s a different process with different drivers underneath the behaviors. And we work with them in similar ways, however, we do a disservice, in my view, to say they are the same. The woman with bulimia restricts to drive the chemical reaction through the patterns of planning, waiting and the heightened reward stimulation when they restrict and then binge/purge. The chemical release flooding the neurons in the brain and hitting receptors over the body is the “chemical high” and every client of mine has disclosed this is the big payoff. And it’s the addictive component of bulimia. Many people don’t know about this, and they don’t think it’s very important to the bulimic behavior. It’s everything to the behavior. The payoff is powerful when utilizing the reward system of the brain, in conjunction with the massive release of insulin in the blood stream. Its a high equal to cocaine or even heroin.

With Anorexia there is something completely different driving the starvation. Its brain related as well, and it creates massive distortions about what is real and not real.

Without the Spiritual connection, (a connection to the deeper self), which hypnosis reconnects, beautifully, and the widespread use of medications that disconnect and distort further, often creating even greater dependencies and weight gain. When we are disconnected from our spiritual self, we seek addictive behaviors, as we find that spiritual connection again, we can redirect this old energy and create a cornerstone of strength and self directedness. A new belief in the self and a new trust.

Electric shock treatment –EST: . This was part of one of the presentations as a treatment method at a conference I attended, and was done in the not so distant past but rather in the late 1990’s. And the parents of the patient had to sign for the treatment…”because it would help their daughter”. It was a horrible recount and terrifying to listen to. The patient was permanently remanded to care afterwards. What they thought might help, as a last resort to break what they viewed as manipulative behaviors, finished her permanently. Scared the heck out of me, I can’t wonder that many clients don’t want to have to face the medical systems with this disorder because they just want to throw everything at it. And the client really doesn’t want it gone, even if she says she does…

In many ways this rendition drove me to continue  research and  work with clients because the recovery rates my clients experience sits around 85% for the client, after 3 days in deep trance, using hypnosis, NLP and proper nutrition  . No I can’t guarantee this kind of help for bulimia works for everyone, and I’m very careful with my intake questions because this will disclose for me, the clients potential for recovery. Someone with a low desire to recover is obvious. They are doing it because they have been caught, or they are going to lose someone close to them, or a job if they don’t stop. That’s not a big enough reason to stop.

Correct eating plans – not diets

I found including the food for the client, feeding the brain allows the therapist/practitioner to begin to access more of the deep self. Without it, they brain is already so starved it’s struggling to follow the work. I also ask my clients to “plan” to stop bulimic activity a week before they come to see me and to eat their “norm”. They all have a “good day” eating plan.

They also need to understand that bloated feeling they have will disappear in about 6 months to a year, and to be patient with that. Its water retention in the lower bowel & colon and this does go. I’ve seen my clients after a year or two and they have all shared with me that had been their experience, and just wait it out. It goes!

With Hypnosis & NLP we’re utilizing their own resources to make the changes and shifts, we’re not telling them, …we’re letting their own deep consciousness take the wheel and drive the bus once again. Essentially no one is driving the bus of the bulimic except bulimia. All control has been handed over to the bulimic behaviors, and we’re helping them get it back.

Mindfulness, Meditation & Yoga

An area the psychology model is now bringing to the table is “mindfulness”. They are acknowledging the Ultradian Rhythms of the brain, and how we can work with them, and they are tip toeing closer and closer to this connection …the will, the divine self. Spirit and that doesn’t really fit yet into either the medical or psych models because that was clearly someone else s turf a long time ago.

We’re moving out of the dark ages in all these models, and I believe hypnosis and NLP are the process’s that are doing it. Yoga, Chi Gong, meditation and the incredible connectivity of our world is changing the belief model around what is possible.

Many of my clients are changing up their excessive exercise for Yoga. Yoga contains mindfulness, as well as exercise, and I sincerely recommend the exercise be one that is gentle, and connecting them back to their body instead of Bikram or hot yoga practices which again are forcing the body. Find a Yoga studio that truly understands the path of Yoga. Some of the western practices with Yoga have become…well…westernized.

I also teach every woman I’ve worked with the basis of Meditation and we begin this practice together. They also have a meditation MP3  to use once we are finished our sessions and this can often become the go to place in support of their continued recovery when we are complete.

Using Hypnosis & NLP to provide help for bulimia we  make the deep connection, and let the client’s deep consciousness take it from there.

Hypnosis and its continued benefit

Essentially Hypnosis is “The gift that keeps on giving”….and it does. Days, weeks, months later, this is still working and working better and better too, for the person. The deep trance states for a full three day intensive, are so powerful a shift in consciousness, you don’t ever need to go back. And clients don’t.

Three days of deep trance and their brain has re-set itself. We just have to keep them in that long, and feed them small amounts of protein rich foods, six times a day. Blood sugar levels re- balance, brain state moves out of the panic mode, they stop thinking about food…imagine that!

Neuro Toxicity and Sugar – want to do better in your exams? Or an interview? Stop eating Sugar!

Like the other shoe dropping the sugar connection provided the last link. I know parents say, we try, but they get it everywhere…and I suggest parents need to try harder.

Your kids in a room full of different foods will go to fruits and veggies as their first choice. With clients with bulimia I believe they are very close to being insulin resistant and when they hit their teens and start missing meals, eating more sugars, it creates a insulin spike, and neuro toxicity in the brain. clouding thinking, creating a fuzzy brain, and sheer panic around food.

An Insight as to why this might be: . In the 40’s & 50’s scientists figured out how to split the sugar molecule which actually has 12 carbons…it’s glucose and our brains need it to build neuro pathways. When science figured out how to do this creating a residual substance they called Junk Sugar,, or Fructose.

Fructose is the left over waste or junk sugar, and quickly they realized there was an industry use for this. It was cheap, 100 times sweeter than sugar, and addictive, about as addictive as heroin.  Read your labels you will see fructose is in just about everything. Yes and Dextrose too! And it doesn’t provide the necessary glucose that has been destroyed, but the brain needs the glucose for development, and so it gets very hungry for it. Your best source is still vegetables and fruit for natural glucose.

So feeding these young women sugar sends their already insulin sensitive body’s into the scream zone. And they don’t know how to get out of it themselves. They don’t even know what’s happening to them, they can’t figure it out, and they slowly sink into the abyss.  It’s an addiction. We take them off the sugar, we create new anchors with NLP and collapse the old ones, clean up the diet of all sugars, and they just wake up so fast!

Parents respond with “we got our daughter back”…because previous to this, they were dealing with the addictive monster that bulimia can be. Sugar! Have to have Sugar!

Depression & Bulimia:

We already know that depression responds extremely well to hypnosis, and so is compulsive lying and stealing and many of the other secondary behaviors associated with bulimic behavior. These are all underlying the bulimic patterns. We already know that we can shift addictions like pot and cocaine, smoking and alcohol, binge drinking in a just a few sessions.

Hypnosis, NLP and the differences to talk therapy

When I say to my own colleagues, I have them trance in for three full days of course they know how deeply we’re creating the mind/body/spirit connection, because my colleagues and myself are seeing clients with other problems for one or two sessions to interrupt major conditions and symptoms…Three full days, that’s a lot of deep trance. For the professional in other disciplines they don’t understand this. They think, “three days, that’s insane, we know it takes us 7 years”… so there’s a difference in perception and understanding.

And there’s a difference for people that don’t understand the way deep trance and hypnosis works, never mind the advanced technologies in NLP.  Working with the brain in this way, we’re working with the nature of how the brain learns to do things, directing it in other directions completely. So instead of focusing on the “problems” we’re looking at how the client is seeing things, feeling and processing information. Then we help them learn how to do all that differently giving them tools & results they can use. I guess the greatest gift we bring to our clients is that curiosity about how they are doing the things they do, and getting the results they are getting.

Modeling and NLP

One of the greatest gifts of NLP is the training we get in modeling behavior.  A client came to see me for a completely different problem, public speaking I think, and she shared she had used bulimia for many years, then just stopped one day! Are you kidding me? How did you do that?  Without any help or interruptions from others, she just stopped one day. Just like that. And then I had a second client come in and she had done the same.  I know, it blew me away too. With the training in NLP I was able to model what they did to stop and that my friends, is in my bulimia breakthrough program!

We’re all humans if one brain can figure out how to do something and then stop doing that thing, then others that don’t want to do that anymore, can learn too…and I know how they did it.

Using Hypnosis & NLP to provide help for bulimia we’re using the whole brain, all functionality and everything in that persons system is going through a massive shift in consciousness. Oh sure, we’re talking, but we’re not talking to just the conscious mind, which is about 5% of the total self, oh no, we’re talking to all aspects, right down to a cellular level, the whole body /brain & spirit gets that connection.

It works. It’s like they “wake up” right there before your eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to witness. And it’s them, not us; we’re just holding the gateway for them through Hypnosis. Their brain does the rest for them.

What is normal?

Making us all “Normal”, is coming to the end of the line. What is normal? Why do we all have to be measured to be within parameters of each other, otherwise we’re not “normal” and fall outside some imaginary grid?

This is the adjustment we need to make to allow for ADD & ADHD, autism and perhaps understand these brain changes are what we all need to break out of – really very ancient classifications almost held over from the dark ages.

One on One Sessions

I never see clients in groups. Why would you put people wanting to overcome an addiction into a group and lets all talk about it. The itch feeds the compulsion even as I think about it! They just learn from each other, hear each others depressing stories and it makes them even more depressed about their outcomes.

The Indigo’s and the true Empathic nature

Something started to happen for me in the early years of working with bulimic behaviors. I started to notice these women could sense and pick up my feelings even when I wasn’t clear about it myself. One time I’d had an argument with someone, and then went into day two with my client. She suddenly looked at me and said “I feel so angry”. I felt like she’d seen right into me. The key was, it was my energy she was reading not herself and she had internalized it as her own. Another client shared she believed she was bulimic from age 4 because her father punished her and her older sister, but blamed her for the wrong doing, and he was so angry he spanked her. She went into the bathroom and threw up. She thought that’s when she started with bulimia. She said she threw up a lot when she was little.

I’ve started looking for this ‘sensitivity’ in the women I work with, and they are indeed often living in their own world of miss-understanding, and often influenced by their feelings so much it overwhelms them. It’s there in every woman I’ve met, and when I help her find this part of herself, and appreciate how rare and special that is. About 2% of the population is a true Empathic, and then she appreciates how very special she truly is. I also teach her really powerful skills in protecting her energy and how to discern if it’s someone else she is “reading” or if its really her own emotions.

Boundaries and Protection

Living in the real world, it’s tough today. People are not who they say they are, a very sensitive kid growing up in a regular household, she’s managing and coping with a lot of anxiety, if she is Empathic.  What about young men who are experiencing this kind of thing and they believe it’s them? Haven’t they heard all their lives, “you are just too sensitive” and they fear judgment and sexual discrimination.

Changing the landscape

To me, there is room for all disciplines now and I especially believe as we have more and more sensitive children and young adult’s; parents, teachers, and peers need to revisit this idea of what Normal is.

It’s coming but its taking time, and really the whole model of Psychology is around 100 years old as a discipline and still heavily steeped in rhetorical reference. They have fought for their acknowledgments and permissions just like any discipline needs to. During the conference, there was a huge debate about calling their clients “clients or patients” and one doctor stood up and pounded the lectern and said “we earned the right to call our clients “patients” and we must not give that up now”

It gave me an idea of just how hard they had to fight for recognition and protect themselves from marginalization as well.

Hypnosis will have to do that too. So has NLP had to do that… It’s the way of our society and of course once you are “in” you don’t want to do anything to rock the boat, and once again be “out”. Hypnosis is “in” because it works, it makes for permanent changes, and its very favorable in how much time it takes to achieve a good outcome.

One chap I worked with for Pure O – Obsessive thoughts, we did 8 sessions over 5 months. 8 one hour sessions. He’d been plagued with these patterns of viewing the world for years. Through medications, doctors, therapists – everything he could find he tried it.

8 sessions of NLP & hypnosis and he had control of his thinking. He had control. Not the thoughts, nor the drugs, nor the therapists or doctors. He had it.

In hypnosis we bring forth a  deep respect for the client’s vast psyche that is sitting beside us in the chair, observing and assisting them in the dance to create peace with who they are. It’s the client that is so desperate to be different than they are that I feel we help the most. And we do. Give them peace, presence, acceptance, and forgiveness, whatever it takes so they will grant the same to themselves.

Acceptance, peace with what is, solutions they can implement and continue to use  themselves.


We are all physically, part of that SMART system. The left brain, conscious self process’s linearly, about 15 thoughts per second, however, the right brain, the deep self, process’s information non-linear, and at a rate of about 80 billion bits of information per second. Now who would you rather let run your show?

Most clients that come to see me, still associate me with that model of medicine, and they are nervous and fearful…just like they are when seeing doctors, and I know that’s the left brain process, wants to control what’s happening, process me slowly so I can control it all…. when they finish the session they are just blown away at how effortless it was, and how great they feel.

Even if there are a lot of tears and emotional release, they benefit from the deep trance state that allows the brain to adjust and shift those previously held trauma’s and bring them into alignment with the life the person is now living.

A Case Study in misconstrued beliefs.

One young woman came to see me. She’d been in a relationship with a young man that beat her. She eventually married him. She used bulimia and felt that was why she deserved the beatings. He broke her arm, shattered the left side of her jaw, dislocated her shoulder, and broke her leg over his knee. Finally after the 8th visit to break up the domestic violence, the police said to her, this is the last time we’ll be back here. She said “you mean you won’t help me again?” They said no “after the 8th visit he usually kills you and there’s nothing we can do to stop him”.  She said, soon after that another fight occurred, it was a rainy night and he was drunk and took his motorcycle out and went screaming down the road. The police were at her house later that night and said he’d slammed into the side of a transport tractor and was killed instantly.

She’d survived. Then two years later she came to me to stop bulimia and we cleared up the grief, dealt with the self hatred, and the bitterness, through endless tears, she forgave him, and then herself.

She didn’t need bulimia anymore; it just didn’t make any sense anymore. She went home and lived her life with her grandmother and her mother, and her family. She could now.

Bulimia the protector

We think it’s such a horrible thing bulimia, but within the person using it, it’s a best friend. It’s a go to that is always there. It’s been protecting them from their emotions and feelings and helping them in a  way nothing else ever has, for a very long time. And that relationship is entwined through all their relationships and their lives, and many people don’t even know they have it. I often think of the book, Ann of Green Gables, Ann has her friend in the glass. When the moments are dark, this is a place they trust, it’s consistent, it’s always there, and it works.

Controlling the process:

And the left brain, it controls and likes that model better, “gives me time to think”, but that’s just what we want to avoid, as Dr. Bandler, co founder of NLP,  put it, your brain is faster than you think…and it is. If you let it.

Taking it personally

We know once an illness or condition establishes in the body for longer than 30 days, our “SMART” system begins to make adjustments and allowances for the condition, or symptom. In other words, the stories start here. We may not like it but the thing is hanging around, and now it’s something I have to live with, but maybe not.

My story and I’m sticking to it

It always amazes me how people tell themselves the stories about how this is happening to them, and they can’t stop or change. I wonder do they not notice there are others here on the planet – that are not fearful of spiders, or snakes, or needles or flying? As a matter of fact there are 1000s’ of people on the planet that do not have these reactions and some people actually like these things. So that means that story they tell themselves, has to be very tightly anchored, distorted, information deleted, and generalized to bring it into one big Button to push when they tell it, so it reminds them to stay in their phobia, in their disorder, and make it theirs, makes it personal….”It’s mine”…

We’re still learning about who we really are, and it’s moving out in front of us at a rapid rate…change is happening so fast. And really why wait? We don’t have to anymore, we don’t have to prescribe to the “reality” or someone’s “reality” this is going to take you 7 years to recover.

I mean once you don’t have something anymore, you don’t need the story either, you can tell yourself a new story and just get on with it. The thing we often believe is the brain is working against us, however, if you really listen to your deeper message, it’s really clear, “This is my story and I’m sticking to it” And sometimes we like to share stories too, family stories. They are just stories too, just don’t make them yours, and don’t take ownership of any story that does not serve you…

Next question, how is the story serving you? It is, just find what it’s doing for you and then you will know how to change it.

As women wake up

This is from a client that changed her story and has a new one to tell…she was really angry, really sad, really feeling broken and beaten down by her past, her life, her mother, it was all there in a sea of pain she could not get herself out of. She didn’t know how and talking about it all just made it so much worse. Even though she thanks me, I tell you I know all I did was create the deep opening for her to communicate with herself and figure it out, and let her deep conscious who is by the way, listening to everything, get it done for her.

Ah, Kathy, I just had the best conversation on skype with my mom thanks to you! I love you! Thank you! And what’s even better, is that I just Skyped Catherine and the first thing she said that I looked so peaceful, so different today! I feel so good Kathy! I feel so light and feel I have so much air in me! Can you believe it? I love you! Thank you!  D

And this today:

I always saw this beautiful golden ring glowing around you…. thank you for being my ANGEL! D

I love my work, and love helping women wake up and really love themselves again. After all we can never control what’s going on in the world outside of us, but we all have the ability, skills, tools and self mastery within to move through anything.

The old story goes that we are never given more than we can manage at one time. I believe that. And when you are ready to leave an addiction, a phobia, an anxiety, or depression behind you, this works.

That is what we do in the Bulimia Breakthrough intervention.

I’m in Australia, August 2012, speaking to colleagues and booking clients to help with bulimia. Next year I’m returning teaching colleagues there in 2013, beginning the process of getting all of this material out into the world, so the story of the difficulty in releasing bulimia can become a story none of us needs to tell each other anymore.

After all, bulimia just makes no sense at all.

Kathy Welter-Nichols, part of the Canadian JBW Team, in Vancouver, B.C
To visits the main page on JustBeWell click here – Bulimia Nervosa Help

Help For Sexual Problems

Sexual problems can take many forms. Prior to any formal session it’s of course essential to obtain correct and accurate information, so time is used to best effect. It’s also important to check that in this instance there are no medical (physical or medication for example) reasons for the problem in question. This is one of the many reasons why with all clients I request the completion of a set of client notes, so I have proper information about “the problem” from the client’s perspective and what they want from the session. These kinds of problems are quite common and in most cases clients request help when they are real in a state of desperation and in many cases don’t actually believe that they can change how they think and feel.

I have dealt with a range of “sexual” problems which can include a huge range of different problem behaviours from addictive behavioural patterns, ED, vaginismus, anxiety issues and almost paralysing shyness, and a host of other problems. Many clients are surprised by how easily they can relax in a session and are hugely relieved that their problems are far from unique!

My approach to these issues uses a wide range of tools including Hypnotherapy, NLP and Provocative Therapy (as taught by Frank Farrelly). As mentioned elsewhere on this site, my focus is to seek out “how” they are creating the problem rather than an analysis of “why” they are experiencing the problem. Often the client realises that logically their emotional response makes no sense, but their feeling response tells them that they currently have a problem in this area.

There have been many memorable highly successful results over the years including working with a guy who was literally terrified of women (the more attractive they were, the more terrified he was!) who then discovered an absolute ease in his female interactions, once he began to think, feel and respond differently. Every client is unique, but in this instance this outcome was also achieved in just two one hour client sessions. He now is in a successful and happy relationship and his confidence in every other area of life has also benefited immensely.

Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can be often be resolved by changing a person’s internal self-talk which frequently contributes to creating the state of anxiety that then facilitates the behavioural problem. Many clients experience useful changes in a very brief amount of time.

“I noticed a total change of my mental state and beliefs from the session with Nick. This was a real reality check where I finally realised that the belief system I used to have was complete nonsense!”
Robin (Treated for ED problem)

Nick Kemp

The JustBeWell Sexual Problems index page is here – Sexual Problems

Overcoming Jealousy with NLP: The Missing Peace

There are a number of ways that jealousy can affect our lives.  The most serious of them being how we relate to romantic relationships.  If we could raise an issue for each time we had a misgiving about another person’s behaviour towards our relationship loyalty status, we would never see the end of it. Trusting a person totally to be loyal and faithful is a testimony to your own values and therefore if you are betrayed by another for whatever reason, you will feel disenchanted and disappointed at their lack of commitment.

Jealousy is a learned response

The jealous person has learned how to mistrust another by not feeling confident in their ability to commit fully to the relationship. Therefore their understanding of what the relationship has to offer will be relatively shaky compared to a person who is fully confident their relationship is solid. So what constitutes betrayal and how can we deal with the issues that arise as a result of that happening?

A betrayal is something that happens when two people decide to enter into a contract and unite for a specific purpose.  In the case of romantic relationships it is the union of two hearts that will share a common value of love.  Once a decision to unite has been made, they gather the resources required in order to focus on the commitment they have set out to engage in. Sometimes this represents a long-term commitment and other times it means that the other person is willing to make sacrifices as long as it can be usefully maintained.  Either way, the two are now representing a unit that will function as a couple and all that, that entails. In a word, they have reached an ‘understanding’.

Further to the acquisition of getting an agreement, either spoken as in a marriage ceremony or non-verbally, they forge a pathway that defines their relationship as one of committed equals for all intents and purposes of being in that relationship until something happens that challenges the status  and context of the agreement.

The ‘Ex’ Factor

In many relationships which can often be the result of a previous relationship breakdown, the ex-partners of the couple may still feel a connection through being left for another person. In this case, feelings of jealousy come from knowing they [ex -partnered] are no longer number one in that person’s [ex’s] life.  But if the ex – partner were to maintain contact with their ex-partner, the new partner may become jealous by knowing they [former relationship unit] had a past together and could feel left out and undermined by the history they shared particularly if the previous relationship yielded children. So depending on the dynamics of the relationship, it will either survive or be destroyed by the feelings of jealousy experienced in either of the two situations. So how do we deal with feelings of jealousy when the other person has done the dirty and challenged our status as a solid unit?

It’s Not Complicated

As an On-line NLP treatment specialist, I am in a fantastic position to be able to help those suffering from this debilitating condition in a way that least maximises the chances of getting found out they are seeking help in the first place.  This has many advantages in that it can prevent the condition from getting to the point of being destructive and can help the person suffering from the condition to be more in control of their emotions.  Not only do they not need to travel away from the home, they can also feel comforted that help is at hand with just a touch of a button. It is often in these moments when jealousy strikes that having the ability to tap into your ‘therapist’ at a reasonable moments notice is a godsend, due to the episode being as raw and as freshly experienced as perhaps just an hour ago.  The clearer the person is about how their experience of jealousy is affecting them, the better the outcome in the long-run.

Case Study Scenario and General Structured Intervention Sequence

My client was suffering from intense feelings of jealousy which she believed her partner was giving her cause to experience. Female visitors to the house who were colleagues and/or associates of her husband, were blatantly flirting even to the point of being allowed sit on his knee.  My client wanted to feel in control of her emotions as she was afraid of what she might do if she didn’t get help soon. In order to assess the situation and ensure that the right path of action was taken for the safety and happiness of all concerned the following steps provided a structure of coaching her to a place that was more beneficial.

1. Gather background information to establish the context in which the feelings of jealousy get triggered.

2. Establish what evidence she believed validated her feelings of jealousy by eliciting sensory based information.

3. Confirm and agree the desired direction and on-going commitment to the existing relationship.

4. Ecologically design and install a strategy that aligns with her outcome objectives.

5. Test via hypothetical and (later follow up) real life responses as to how she is progressing with newly developed skills, abilities and awareness.

Obviously this was a very emotional situation whereby she would explode with the desire to lash out at the visiting ladies who were flirting and not being discouraged to stop by her husband. So in order to help her respond more usefully, I used a technique taught to me by Eric Robbie, to enable her to stop the emotional chatter, change her point focus from head to her heart and produce a different response in-line with her commitment intentions.  She was an extremely intelligent person, so I did not need to teach her how to suck eggs.  All she needed was the missing piece that enabled her to function more usefully in a relationship she had fully committed to, without jeopardising her status as a couple. In just two sessions, she now had a way to focus on her thoughts, train her mind to stop the chatter and gain the missing peace of mind that comes from knowing that she had now taken back control of her emotions, her marriage and, more importantly, her life.


Gina Pickersgill is the International Online NLP Specialist at

To read the jealousy page on the main site please click here – Stop Being Jealous

NLP for Parents and Children

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

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