Hypnotherapy Video #3 – “Does Hypnosis Work?”
Have you ever stumbled in a direction that you never would have thought you would go in?
Back in 2000, when I attended my first hypnosis training, it was actually by mistake.
I know. You would think that would be a hard mistake to make. How could you stumble in to something like that?
Here’s what happened.
At the time, I was working as a developer for NatWest, and I wasn’t totally satisfied. I had spent 6 months of applications and interviews to get a graduate fast track program after finishing university. Tons of interviews and finally getting a job. Yet, I was dissatisfied. I had worked hard and within 18 months I was promoted to the highest tier (below management) a person could attain. But I wasn’t doing what I was really good at. I realised I enjoyed working with people and teams much more than only working with computer. I was fascinated with the mind and relationships, and, even though I had some studied some psychology at university. I knew I had a ton of stuff to learn. And I was willing to look at almost anything that might provide me with the right guidance.
Back at university, I had already started investing in every book I could get my hand on that related to personal growth and change. I’ll go into more detail about these another time. The short version is that most of them were …not that useful or effective: either, they were theoretical, or they were magical (“see it and it will appear”) or they were very limited in approach. They offered no way to make the deeper changes I wanted to make or that I saw other people around me wanting to make.
It is very tough to make progress when you keep tripping yourself up but don’t understand why you are doing it. And, more importantly, what to do about it to change.
Up to 2000, I had spend about 17 years studying how we learn, and looked at lots of forms of “accelerated learning techniques”. Again, most failed to produce the results. But I am something of a scientist, and I want to keep testing and trying. I am pretty obsessive about this. I mean, how you learn, remember, and what you believe you can do and what to achieve seem pretty important to me.
Paul McKenna Hypnosis
So what happened in 2000?
I had signed up to what I thought was going to be a somewhat dry “study skills” training. Boy was I wrong!
I was attending a training that was billed as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I had decided to take my annual leave and spend that money to find ways to change. I was attending the course with a very specific set of aims: to read faster, learn quicker and learn to develop new skills. NLP was recommended in some study skills books and I knew it had something to do with the way you looked with your eyes. I didn’t expect it to be especially effective, but I was willing to turn up and give it a go.
That first morning, I turned up, and in walks Paul McKenna. Paul is a great showman for sure and passionate about hypnosis. He proceeds to tell us that we will be learning with Richard Bandler, who will tell us a bunch of stories most of which he won’t finish, and that we were going to be using hypnosis. I begun thinking, “I am not sure about this.”
The next thing, Paul looks over and says, “Pair up the person to the right of you. You are about to learn hypnosis right now.”
You see, back in 2000, NLP and hypnosis were considered “fringe”, at least in the UK. In fact, no one really had heard of NLP outside a few sales, business or therapy circles. Hypnosis fared even worse: it only ever made it in the news for anything other than a sensational story. And the only TV shows had shown people doing daft things..and clucking like a chicken. So it had a reputation as being either frivolous, related to showmanship or something more sinister.
So I am sitting there and Pete, a guy with a strong Welsh lilt, starts talking to me…he uses something called “anchoring” on my arm. I start to feel more comfortable, remember happier times, times I did well…I start to feel a sense of all of these combining. It feels very very good. Then I get into a more peaceful place. When I emerge I am refreshed, excited and positive about life. As the rest of the course went on, I found it was very easy to help other people get into these states. Later on, when I attended all the trainings and sat all the exams to become a master hypnotherapist, I found it the most natural thing.
Back then, I had NO IDEA what I was letting myself in for. It was a lot of fun and definitely nothing to be nervous about. I can’t say that it made me a master of hypnosis, but it did show me that hypnosis is a great way to get into a different state, relax and feel better that you have in some time. I was totally amazed that I could feel positive, elated and more relaxed in seconds. No alcohol. No cigarettes. No anything. Just using your mind directed in a particular way.
If you think of how we normally achieve the states that we want (relaxation, joy, laughter, fun), we generally assume that these have to be linked to certain “external triggers”. These can be great, like spending time with good friends. Or they can be disastrous if over-used (e.g. food, alcohol).
What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?
The strangest thing was that hypnosis felt totally natural.. Now the impact of this was mixed. On one hand, I was much more certain that change was possible. I was passionate. I was hooked. I learned to become more motivated and develop deeper determination and conviction to get the things I wanted. It boosted my ability to focus on what matters, tap into resourcefulness and give it a go. Myst of all, I felt great. So did the people I started to offer sessions to.
However, the hypnosis was fairly basic and the manual we got had some very complex language patterns that it would take me a decade of hard work to master. BUT I knew that change was possible. I also knew that I had something called a subconscious mind. I had communicated with it, and it felt very very good.
Today I work with clients to make all sorts of changes: from overcoming a fear of flying to managing to change a lifetime of lack of confidence to losing weight. The core is for the individual to be highly motivated and be responsible because I teach them how to do this themselves!
People inevitably ask, “Do you use hypnosis?”
Are you kidding? All the time!
I have a busy life, a 3 year old, the same obstacles, challenges and competing commitments that create problems. Having a way to release tension, and focus your mind on what you want isn’t a luxury any more, essential. I’ve found that I needed to learn how to concentrate and hypnosis is a wonderful way to do this.
The video today is where I talk a little about “Does hypnosis work?” I think that is a really good question because it is a hard subject to come to fresh and get quality information.
Many of my clients want stop smoking hypnotherapy, pain control or to overcome fears or phobias. I especially love working with students and anyone who wants to develop great confidence and feel better about themselves.
Who Can Learn Self-Hypnosis Successfully?
On the video below, I talk about one of the questions I get asked, “Will hypnosis work for me?”
What I should have taken the time to explain is that everyone can learn to use hypnosis. But that won’t happen until they overcome any fears, worries or blocks they feel., For instance, some people have patterns where they were mistreated earlier in life. And they need to feel safe enough. However, other people need to overcome a general fear of hypnosis, what it is and change. Once they feel comfortable, it is SO MUCH EASIER. They just let go and enjoy the process!
If there is one thing that I would do differently when using hypnosis myself, and it took me years to “get this”, I would stop trying so hard to concentrate and listen to every word in trance. Instead of trying to be aware of everything in hypnosis, or listen to every word to “make sure I got it”, I would do what I do now and close my eyes, let go and trust that my inner mind is taking care of things.
Now I just let the words wash over me…and chill out…when I emerge, I am more focused and get on with the tasks at hand.
Can the conscious mind help with hypnotherapy? Sure!
In fact, I’ve found that we need the conscious mind to start to build inroads to make hypnosis more effective.
I tell clients if they feel they have to participate in those first couple of sessions, to say quietly in their minds, “I like that suggestion. I know it is working for me.” That way they become masterful and confident giving themselves suggestions. You have to become the person who programs yourself, which is why I teach clients self-hypnosis.
As you watch this video, thing about your problem or outcome and what’s in the way. Think about what you could do right now to start to move in that direction. What would it do for you. Hypnosis works, but I have found that it is much more powerful when we enlist the support of your conscious mind. Very few people do this. People either over-rely on analytic thought or they think that hypnosis will do everything. No! We need something more. We need your sharp intellectual mind to clearly think through what will happen if you don’t get your problem sorted. The amazing thing about this is once it stirs up FEELINGS and EMOTION, you have opened the gateway to the subconscious.
Then, as you learn hypnosis and as you use it, if you in a hypnosis session, you can quietly say, “I like that suggestion. I know it is working for me.”
It is so important because hypnosis is largely self-hypnosis in the hypnotherapeutic context. What that means is that you are learning how to change your own mind. When you think about it, this is much more beneficial for you. You wouldn’t want to be anything other than that!
Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnosis help you change from within, you experience the world differently. I’ve found that most of us act as though what we feel is fact. Yet, we know at another level that when we experience the same events and same relationships with people again and again that we are playing some part in that.
Is Hypnosis For Everyone?
You still need to play your part, do the work, and take responsibility.
But does it work?
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients to help them change their lives.
They still have problems and challenges. So do I. But they are moving towards their goals, have happier relationships, are healthier, they are more confident, they can get on a plane. I’ve seen hundreds of people change where there seemed little hope. The mind and body are immensely powerful. And when you tap into them together, some amazing things can happen. In fact, if you take responsibility all round, check in with your registered medical practitioner or GP, take care of diet, be smart about the way your approach change – and stay open to opportunities to change, that seems to be the most effective way to change.
When you have seen a LOT of grown men who are otherwise confident, successful and in control who have been unable to get on an airplane in 20 years and it is hurting their marriage because they never go abroad, and suddenly see they can go to Cuba and back and enjoy it, then you know you are on to something special.
So that mistake I made back in 2000, attending a seminar that was largely about hypnosis. But it taught me something powerful: Hypnosis works.
It works because we learn from our mistakes and we can reprogram our mind. This won’t necessarily happen overnight, especially if we have a lot of fear and anxiety in the way. However, mistakes can be good because they give an opportunity to experience something new, to learn and do better. As you watch this video, just remember that…hypnosis works…and it might well work wonders for you: