Category Archives: Hypnosis

CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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Booking on the Hypno-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy®, (HCBT) course, was to help me understand and put into practice what CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is.

To understand the therapy, I firstly needed to understand the words used to describe CBT.

    Cognitive         refers to the way a person thinks about themselves, others and the world around them.

    Behavioural     how and what a person does, affects the way they develop their thoughts and feelings.

    Therapy            helps the person to change their world, preferably for the better.

CBT is known as a “talking” therapy, and deals with the here and now, unlike some other therapies which look for the cause of the problems and difficulties, by going back into the past, and even further back into past life. CBT looks for ways to improve the state of mind, now.

CBT is said to help people with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and eating disorders, and was developed out of Joseph Wolpe’s behaviour therapy in the 1950’s, combining Cognitive Therapy (CT) of Aaron Beck and Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) of Albert Ellis, and other psychotherapies treatments of that time.

By taking a situation or event, we will process this in our brains, and this will lead to us having thoughts about it, which could create emotions, give us physical feelings which will lead to some actions that we will take.

Perhaps a loved one has not telephoned as expected. This situation can be taken in many ways, and it is how the thoughts are processed that feelings and thus emotions and outcomes are generated.

Example 1

No telephone call.

    Thoughts                Does not love me, they are out with another person.

    Emotions                Envy, jealousy, sad, upset.

    Physical Feelings    Crying, panic, feeling sick

    Action                     Argue, retaliate.

Example 2

No telephone call.

    Thoughts                He/she is in an important meeting.

    Emotions                Proud, supportive.

    Physical Feelings    Relaxed, feeling comfortable

    Action                     Prepare a nice meal.

If we take the situation the wrong way, there could be a feedback system or looping, which will generate even more bad feelings, thus creating a vicious circle, leading perhaps to anxiety, stress, depression if not stopped.

CBT aims to break this cycle, by introducing, or in NLP terms reframing, alternative solutions that can be accepted by the client, by changing the way the situation is thought about (cognitive) and what is done about it (behavioural).

Typically a client will take the therapy for from six weeks or even six months, compared to perhaps one or two sessions with a competent NLP Practitioner.

An advantage of taking longer over the therapy (that is weeks) is that the client is monitored, but this also means the treatment is slow.

Hypno-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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I recently attended a course run by Donald Robertson of the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, on Hypno-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy®.

It was I subject that I had little knowledge, having not worked to much degree in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), (more to follow), it was a chance for me to educate myself, and learn from Donald Robertson, a person I have great respect, with his expert knowledge of hypnosis.

Donald did not fail me with his knowledge. He has research the field of hypnosis and it’s therapeutic powers for many years, and he can back-up his teaching with references to the greats of the hypnotic world, and even those before the name hypnosis was coined by James Braid around 1850. Names such as Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, Hippolyte Bernheim and  Ambroise Auguste Liébault of the Nacy School, Éva I. Bányai, Iving Kirsh, Dr Arnold Lazarus, Joseph Wolpe and Émile Coué, all slipped from his tongue.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), (more to follow), is said to be a “talking” treatment that helps many people with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, and was developed out of Joseph Wolpe’s behaviour therapy in the 1950’s, combining Cognitive Therapy (CT) of Aaron Beck and Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) of Albert Ellis, and other psychotherapies treatments of that time.

As a treatment, CBT is being adopted into mainline medical interventions as it is reported to give good lasting results.

What Donald Robertson has achieved is to combine CBT with hypnotherapy creating the propriety model Hypno-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (HCBT)®, as he says the same way as hypno-analysis combines elements of psychoanalysis and hypnosis. But, HCBT is not just hypnotherapy plus CBT, it combines the proven, evidence based principles and methods into one model, as published by Iving Kirsh and others in 1996, which stated that between 70% – 90% increase in effectiveness could be achieved by integrating hypnosis with CBT.

The HCBT (Hypno-CBT)® model can be seen to be based on an ABC model. 

The ABC model can be seen as AAffect, BBehaviour, and C Cognition, where affect equals feelings, behaviour equals actions, movement, physical behaviours, and cognition equals how we talk to ourselves or inner dialog.

It is in the set-up or the initial interview between client and practitioner, that the ABC’s or in NLP terms modalities of both the “problem” and the “required solution” are sought.

Through the help of hypnosis and the use of relaxation, the ABC’s of the “problem” can be reduced and measured on a self-efficacy scale, – “on a scale 0-10 how do you feel about the situation now?”  using the positive ABC’s of the “required solution”.

Throughout the course, the similarities between CBT, HCBT (Hypno-CBT) and NLP were striking, although, NLP is often dismissed as a non accepted treatment, a quick fix, but when broken down into the basic elements, the structure were very similar, just different words and delivery methods.

A very worthwhile course to attend. Donald is a master. Contact him on (+44) 01403 248266.

Private Clients

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Apart from my training courses given in different countries, I do see individuals on a 1-2-1 basis. It is work I love to undertake, as I meet new people, see new places and help people make the changes they want, quickly.

fearFor many years I have been sent clients, who have had many ranges of problems they wanted to deal with. The people who sent me clients or had given my name, range from people who have heard of my work, previous clients, doctors, or just from surfing the web or reading the many articles written about me.

Problems can be varied, from stopping smoking, weight loss, compulsive disorders like hand washing or continually returning to check if some action like turning off the gas has been done, fears and phobias like fear of heights, flying, train journeys, the dark, spiders, driving on motorways, leaving the home. See a list of phobias and their descriptions, click here.

Other problems can be lack of confidence, self esteem, social interaction, presentation skills, sleeping, blushing. Many social associated problems have been given to me.


Last night I was asked by a doctor, to see a young lady who had been promoted by her employers to be to give presentations to their clients and potential customers.

Although she had the knowledge and she wanted the job, she went to pieces with fear as she started the presentation. She had resorted to drinking alcohol before she went into the meeting, but knowing this was not the answer, asked the doctor for pills. This is where I come in, the doctor knew I could help her.

It is very unusual for clients to visit me in my home, and I have no office, I prefer to visit people in their own environment, their home of office, and so it was last night. I was able to get some fresh air nd travel into central London to visit this young lady in her own flat.

I only see people once. Some of my unique selling points, (USP), include seeing people in their own homes and only seeing them once. As a trained hypnotherapist and licensed trainer (click) with the NGH for hypnotherapy, I can do the usual week after week treatment, but I do not have time, so I work quickly, and remove the problem in one session. It may take two minutes or two hours, but that leaves me free to see other people and travel, giving my courses.

I soon spotted the problem and removed it, and then set about giving her the tools and anchors which she can use from now on to give her the calm she seeks, the confidence to make those presentations. The session ended with a trance, a hypnotic story, which reinforced the work we did together. Buy The Castle MP3 (click).

Perhaps we will see each other again, I hope so, but certainly not a proffessional basis, because I know she will be making many presentations, and loving every one of them.

                                                                        the presenter the presenter

Oh I love my work.

The NLP Handshake Interrupt

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In NLP (click to see courses) we look at the Handshake Interrupt or Pattern Interrupt.

Actions or processes we do on a regular or in fact irregular basis, will follow a pattern, a sequence, which will be automatically followed, without us on a consciously being aware of what is happening.

Take shaking someones hand. As a person walks up to another, they will often offer up their hand to shake the other persons hand, and that person will automatically raise their hand to grasp and shake the hand. It is automatic.

If one of the people fails to return the handshake grasp, the one receiving the hand will fell very uneasy, they will not know what to do. If at this time, that person is offered an easy achievable task or action, that is not against their beliefs, culture of religion, they will most likely follow that suggestion.

In the video, we can see participants in trance after being offered by Phillip Holt to shake their hands. This offer was withdrawn just before the grasping of the hands, and the participants hand raised into the air and suggestions made that it will hang there as they go into a deep trance.


People needed for a TV program

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Today I have been approached by a TV company, who would like to invite people interested in hypnosis and stage hypnosis to a recording and the posibility of participating.


Location, London, UK. Mid November 2007.

If you would like more details, please email me at .

I will be leaving for Turkey to give some NLP, Coaching, Memory and Mind Map courses, so I may not reply by return.

More on noticing Feedback – continued

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There was I, a BSAC and PADI Master Diver, a qualified Rescue Diver, a scuba diver of renowned (see pictures, click), on the surface, not feeling too good.

The diving instructor swam to me and asked what was the problem, and I said that my balance was not right, it felt as if the world was turning upside down. He took may mask of and said that there was a small amount of blood coming from my nose, and that I would abandon the dive.

Fair enough, but then he started to pull me back to the shore, me a Master Diver being rescued. The humiliation.

Once on land I told the diving instructor to continue Asu’s certification dive. Apart from being a little light headed, and my ears blocked, I could net hear much, plus a silly billy (somebody regarded as silly or foolish), I was fine.

Through out the remaining course, some four days, my ears were blocked, I could not hear well. Must be water in there. It did not worry me, but as the days passed I knew I would have two fights to catch, especially to the UK. To have blocked ears on an aircraft is very painful. Sure enough, they remained blocked, and I suffered on my way back to the UK from Turkey.

The blocked ears had gone on too long, so I took myself to the doctors, just to make sure I had not damaged my eardrums. I should not have made that dive, not clearing my ears was a signal not to.

The doctor found nothing wrong with my ears, but asked the background as to why I had problems, and started asking more questions. She took my blood pressure, it was high, asked me what other pains I had, I said a slight pain in the neck (no comments please), some sweating when exercising.

That was enough, she sent me to the hospital for heart and chest tests. They conducted tests on the heart, but said they found nothing, but the Nurse Practitioner was not happy, she wanted more tests.

I was sent to another hospital, this time for a Thallium test. This is a nuclear scanning test or myocardial perfusion imaging test. It shows how well blood flows to the heart muscle. I was now radio active.

Ha Ha. They found a problem.

I was sent to another hospital, this time to have a look directly into the heart. Although a little worried about the procedure,  prepared myself with knowledge of what they would do.

A catheter or tube is inserted into an artery in the groin, and is feed up into the heart itself. Apart from the small cut which is like a scratch, as the groin has a local anesthetic, there is no feeling at all as the catheter reaches the heart.

I am fully awake, laying there watching the TV screens showing x ray pictures of my heart, as the doctors worked away, passing a drug into the heart so they could observe the flow in and out of the heart chambers and blood vessels.

For me, I was totally relaxed. I used my NLP skills, my hypnosis skills to totally relax myself. One of the nurses would keep asking me was I OK, I am sure it was because I was so relaxed.

The procedure was over and done with very quickly, and I was back on the ward, resting and recovering. The procedure required drugs which made the blood very thin, so the wound where the catheter was inserted took a time to seal and heal, and I had to lay there for some hours.

Then the news came. I had a blockage, a narrowing in an artery with the heart, and it had to be seen to, corrected.

Two weeks later I was back for a coronary angioplasty. This involves a catheter inserted in the groin again and sent to the heart. On the end of the catheter is a small wire mesh tube called a stent. Once placed in the narrowed artery, the stent is widened or blown-up, and the catheter removed, leaving the stent in place, allowing free flow of the blood.

Again, I used all my NLP and hypnosis skills to totally relax, feeling absolutely nothing, only the wound in my groin. To think not many years previously I would have required open heart surgery, with all the complications involved with anesthetics and entering the body.

Now? I was only in hospital a few hours, back home to rest, (and feel sorry for myself).

From now on I will have to look after myself, loose weight, lower my colesteral, take less salt, eat less fat, eat more fruit, and exercise, things I have not been good at. 

Also I have to take tablets every day for the rest of my long life, Asprin – 75 mg, Clopidogrel – 75mg, Atenolol -25 mg, Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg, and Simvastatin – 20mg to lower the colesteral. These lower the thickness of the blood, so if I cut myself, I bleed for a long time, or if I bruise, I have a big dark purple patch, which takes days to go.

It is a small price to pay for living.

I am ever grateful for that doctor who listen to what I said, to my feedback and sent me for tests, to the Nurse Practitioner who looked at the initial results of tests, and did not take them at face value, and used the feedback I gave and her experience to do more investigation, to get more feedback which proved crucial
 in my diagnosis. I will be eternally grateful for all the people who have stood by me since and helped me.    


Feedback, Notice the small changes

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We all experiences aches and pains, and I am no different.

I had the normal childhood illnesses, chickenpox, measles, even glandular fever that kept me of work at 18 years old for many weeks, and I found it a great way to loose weight, even if I had no control over the loss.

I had asthma attacks as a child of about 7 years old, not many as my memory recalls, but enough for my school and probably the medical opinion of the day, stopped me partaking in sports. At the age of 16 years old I started having migraines, which would literally knock me out for two days, with disrupted vision, disorientation and excruciating pain.

I learned to overcome all the above illnesses, taking-up sports, defying what was to be proved wrong advice, working to rid the migraines or control them, only having the odd one or two from say the age of 21.

It was whilst I was working in Saudi Arabia, where I looked after myself well, cooking great food, mostly steaks, beef and chicken that I started getting chest pains, especially at night. I knew it was indigestion, as if I had some milk or a Renie (indigestion tablet), the pain would go, plus I tended to get acid reflux, what appeared to be stomach acid entering the throat.

I went and got all the tests and my heart was fine, my chest was fine. There was nothing wrong with me.

On a frequent business trip back to the UK, I stayed in a hotel next to Heathrow airport, ready to take the early morning flight back to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. I had a friend staying with me, and we enjoyed a final fantastic steak meal together. That night I awoke to the familiar chest pains.

It was at that time I had the eureka enlightenment, I realised what was causing my pains.


Yes, if I eat too much beef, I get the pains. My body does not like beef.

On returning to Saudi Arabia, I undertook my own experimentation, eating a wonderful large steak, only to experience the pains.

I started to monitor my body, looking for signals, discomforts, mood changes, and noticed my body did not like or could not tolerate peppers or capsicums, not the chili or paprika type, but the big ones. Even with the food being cooked in the peppers would make my body produce acid.

Then I wondered why I felt so light headed, so strange, my mind not functioning well at the weekends, (Thursday and Friday in Saudi Arabia), and realised I was drinking gallons or litres of instant coffee, much, much more than whilst I was at work. Again experimentation on my part, proved to me that coffee was not good for me.

I had already stopped smoking, realising the damage I was doing to myself, so I eliminated beef, peppers and coffee from my diet, even though I loved them.

If I am presented with the food, say at a dinner party, I do not make a fuss, I will consume them, and I will when in Turkey occasionally have a Turkish coffee after a meal.

I have learned to notice certain signs, look for feedback from my actions.

When working with people, I am constantly looking, listening for, noticing my feelings for feedback.

Do they understand me?

Are they going in the direction I want the to go?

Are they going in the direction they want to go?

Are they interested?

How are they processing the information internally in their own mind?

Are they visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, or gustatory (click to see Eye Accessing Cues) processing people? What is happening to them as they go on their Transderivational Search for understanding and information.

Not only do I notice the feedback I getting from others I am in communication with, but I also monitor the feedback I am giving them.

Is it appropriate feedback?

Am I letting them know I understand?

Am I showing them that I am listening to them?

By learning to recognise what feedback is happening or being given, we can make appropriate adjustments to the way we communicate with ourselves and the world.

But, we have to constantly check, if it is the appropriate feedback. More on that to follow. 

The Intention Experiment

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There is so much information available to you out there, it is just waiting for you to look, listen, try, do and experience with an open mind.

You like me will want this information, to grow, understand and to pass on to others. That is why I love my job.

I love books. I read books.

There are so many books out there, and more coming every day. Every man and his dog has written a book is seems.

Some are good, some are bad, and most are just expressing the authors opinion, often a biased one sided opinion.

It is good to learn PhotoReading, to absorb words at 20,000 – 30,000 WPM (words per minute), to get through so much information, only going for the most important information relevant to our needs.

Some years ago I came across the film, What the Bleep Do We Know, and after watching the film a few times, it all made sense to me, This is what I teach and understand in NLP.

Eager to absorb more I joined IONS, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, (click for web site), and have been introduced to many ideas and sources of information.

I was sent a book by Lynne McTaggart titled The Intention Experiment from IONS, and immediately knew this book contained information I needed. After PhotoReading I knew I wanted to read this book word for word.

The book tells how you can use your thoughts to change your life and the world, not by this is how to do it and just do it, but by quoting research, actual people who did the research, why they did it and giving the outcomes, the results in plain easy to understand English, not in a language only science buffs will understand.

Lynne McTaggart explains technical terminology there and then, again in a non assuming way, making the reading easy and enjoyable. All her research is quoted in the bibliography, and it is extensive, with all the exciting developments in the science of intention.

The book even took me back to my childhood where I was asking many questions about what happens to thoughts. Can we transmit these thoughts, what happens to them, do they influence other people? It made me rethink what it is to be me, a human being. It proved that we are connected to everyone, everything, and that we had better pay attention to our thoughts, actions and intentions.

A good read, to open your mind to other ideas and the latest research.

More information can be obtained by visiting their web site (click here).