your unconscious mind brain with words based on the unconscious and what it does

When you hear professionals, such as hypnotherapists and Neurolingistic Programming (NLP) experts talk about your unconscious mind, you can be forgiven for glazing over a little. What exactly is the unconscious mind? What’s the difference between that and the subconscious? What does it do and why does it do it?

Therapists and the like may naturally put great emphasis on the importance of understanding why we do things and understanding our unconscious. For many though, the bigger question could be ‘what is the point of an unconscious mind in the first place? If it creates so many problems for us, through creating phobias, anxiety, OCD and so forth, wouldn’t we be better off without it?’

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discover your passion - heart with a jigsaw piece missing

Passion is a big word that suggests something overpowering, uncontrollable and visceral. When we say we want to discover our passion, the word asks us to connect to our deepest selves. Many people are able to say what their passion is. Their deepest interests, their hobbies, their careers and the people that are around them.

A significant number of people that come to see me, have far less clarity about what their passion and want me to help them discover their passion for themselves.

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wet floor sign as a metaphor for anxiety response

Have you ever tripped over a wet floor sign? I know I have. I guess I need to pay more attention to where I am going. I do think I have tripped over more wet floor signs than I have ever slipped on wet floors.

Really, there ought to be a sign – to warn you about the sign. A ‘caution wet floor sign’ sign!

Now there’s an idea for a new product.

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Dealing with guilt, regret or shame using NLP or Timeline Therapy can be very helpful in enabling you to move on in life.

All of us, at one time or another, have had moments where we have made choices that we have later had cause to regret. Guilt for doing something, or failing to do something seems inevitable and can cause us great unhappiness and pain.

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anger issues - a picture of the incredible hulkAnger issues are among the most common themes that come up when working with neurolinguistic programming (NLP) clients.  Often when I meet someone for the first time, clients will be concerned that they are having angry outbursts or feel pent-up feelings of anger. They can’t understand why this is happening. Small things, which you would not normally find more than slightly  irritating, take on an inappropriate level of emotion.  The tendency to lose your temper can lead to difficulties in your relationships, social life, and also at work. Clients have found themselves Read more »

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various amounts of moneyWhat sort of income do you have currently? How comfortable are you right now with how much you earn? Which of these statements fits you best?

  1. I’ve got plenty of money to get everything I need, there’s no desperate need to improve my wealth;
  2. I’m generally comfortable, so long as there are no unexpected crises, and even then we could probably weather the storm through savings and temporary cutbacks;
  3. I am constantly on a treadmill, there always seems to be more going out than coming in. I need to make more money.
  4. I just can’t make ends meet and I’m spiralling into debt.

These are broad descriptions, and I bet you can recognise yourself in one of them. Working with clients I find that individually they can be on any one of these descriptors.  For some of them, money, and the lack of it, is one of their main issues. For others it is the thing that is lowest down their priorities. Money doesn’t make happiness, that’s for certain.

The interesting thing is that the actual ‘amount’ of money that clients have or earn doesn’t necessarily relate to where they are on this scale.Read more »

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questions-1151886-640x480 stock exchange freeWhen you first enter my office in Haywards Heath I always ask you two important questions.

Whether you are seeing me for a free appointment, or an intensive one-day breakthrough session, or even if you have begun a series of regular sessions, the first is:

‘Why are you here?’.

It’s not a surprising question in itself, and probably likely to glean more useful information to me as a therapist and coach than ‘What’s your shoe size?’

Usually, though not always, my client will tell me Read more »

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Green traffic lightI was talking to a friend the other day – let’s call him Jim.  He’s always asking me about what I do and seems really interested in the coaching and hypnotherapy. He’s even begun to pick up a few books on neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

Jim’s a mechanic by trade – something he fell into by chance after leaving school and has been doing ever since – for twenty-three years, in fact. He’s also a great guitarist and an amazing cook.  Not that he would agree with that appraisal because one of Jim’s issues is his confidence and self-belief. That’s also why he is still a mechanic I suspect.  Because he ‘believes’ that is the only thing he can do and he’s ‘confident’ doing it.

But on the other hand, like so many of us, he knows that there can be so much more.

Just not yet.
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It’s become a bit of a habit to pop out on a Saturday morning for a cup of coffee, and sometimes that also means I have a moment to write my blog.
This morning is a particularly inspiring one because the sun is shining brilliantly. It’s cool but definitely going to warm up in time for Kelly’s wedding. My friend Kelly is getting married to the love of her life, Dan, today. It sounds like a wonderful affair, set in Brighton, with a bus for the guests and a whole lot of fun to be had.
On Thursday, I sent her my best wishes and promised her that we would have sun for the day, and I was right. I didn’t doubt it for a minute. I have always had direct control over the weather – (yes folks, it’s my fault).
The thing is, so does everybody.
According to quantum theory – the advanced branch of physics which absolutely nobody understands fully, including me – every thing that is possible actually does happen, in one of many parallel universes. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, and in fact it was a common premise in science fiction before the scientists pinched it. (Scientists get all their best ideas from science fiction). However the thing about quantum theory is that an awful lot of it is now better described as quantum fact.
There are multiple universes and all possibilities really do exist. Therefore, in this particular version of the universe, the sun is shining, if not especially for Kelly’s wedding, at least under the influence of my thoughts for Kelly’s wedding.
I believe that the choice of which universe is ‘real’ at any given time is the one that we attract. What we think of, whether in a positive or in a negative way, is what we get. If I had thought that there would be rain, we would probably have had rain (if I thought it strongly enough). If I had thought of it not raining, we would still probably have had rain in this universe – how can you create ‘not’ something? So I chose to positively think of sun for Kelly, and as an added bonus, a lot of people in this version of the universe will get to have a barbecue this afternoon.
It all sounds a bit barmy and unlikely, doesn’t it? But it is a view of life which is becoming increasingly popular and there are many books about it, such as the very successful but slightly dumbed down ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne and the more in depth but challenging ‘The Law of Attraction’ by Esther and Jerry Hicks. My take on it is that it is a construct. It is not necessary for it to be true for it to work for you. If you believe that what you experience you attract then it becomes much easier not to blame others for your problems. And if you don’t blame others then that gives you far greater control of how you experience the world. It means that you take responsibility for what you do and how you feel about it. That can be hard sometimes, but gradually you become better at choosing a new way to respond. This can give you tremendous power over your life.
This may sound a bit heathen or atheistic, but it doesn’t need to be. For those who believe or have faith in God, this is the power of prayer. In the same way that I chose to attract sunlight, others will have prayed for it. By their prayer they are 100% responsible for the sunshine. They can say God did it, but if he did it because of their prayer, then it was their prayer that brought the sunshine.
And getting back to the multiple universe concept, the fact that I am writing this blog in this universe means that in another universe there has been no sun, I did not attract it and I may even have stayed in bed this morning. So when we are enjoying our day in the sun we can remember humbly that other form of us struggling to get the charcoal lit.
It also means that there is a version of me out there, in a parallel plane who has actually managed to get a decent cup of coffee in Cafe Nerd.
I did warn you it was a ramble.

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One of the things I love about working as a life coach and therapist is the wonderful variety of people I meet. A key presupposition in my work is that ‘everybody is doing the best they can with the resources they have available’.

From this perspective it becomes so much easier to relate and sympathise with clients whatever their problem.

Take a case I dealt with a few years ago. Naturally I have given the client a fictitious name to protect his identity:

Case Study: Stephen Nicklaus – Father

When Stephen came to me, he was in a rut.

My first thought was that he might have a dietary problem. He was grossly overweight for his height, with cellulite that was frankly like a bowlful of jelly and although he would not admit it, I suspected, by his red nose that he had a bit of a drink problem.

He seemed to have a poor self-image and had become accustomed to wearing the same red overalls day-in day-out, black wellingtons, and I seriously doubt he ever trimmed his beard.

It is not my place to make judgements, but to listen to my clients and ask questions until I have a clear picture of their ‘map’ or model of the world. So I asked Stephen to park his sleigh outside, tether his reindeer, and tell me about his problem

Well, it turns out that Mr Nicklaus is very comfortable about his size, drinks only during the festive season, and is rather proud of his dress sense.

Stephen’s real problem is that he appears to suffer from a rare psychological condition – he is a manio-kleptic.

Closely related to a more well-known affliction, kleptomania, meaning to compulsively walk into places and steal things, manio kleptic means one who walks backwards into places and leaves things. And Mr Nicklaus had it bad.

As I questioned him a frightening story developed of a long life of nocturnal raids on poor unsuspecting families, sneaking into their homes and depositing piles of technology, toys and footwear in their living rooms and bedrooms. These poor people must have felt violated, tarnished, dirty.

I had to help him.

We established a pattern to his behaviour – it seemed to occur on only one day each year, so there was ample opportunity to reframe his actions in the context of when he didn’t have the problem.

We also had a first event of sorts, though it was a bit puzzling, a past-life experience involving some gold, frankincense and myrrh. But I always use what the client gives me – Timeline Therapy(TM) sounded like a good place to start – though I would need to deal with anger, sadness, fear and guilt first and there seemed to be all sorts of hangups about being able to see in the dark, sealed chimney flues and on one occasion the overindulgence of some mince pies and misplacing of a carrot.

I was all set to start the therapy, but then it all went belly up as they say.

Ecology, dammit!

“Is it alright with your unconscious mind to make these changes now?” I asked him, as I ask every client.

He looked at me, and his cheeks flamed an even deeper rosy red.

“Erm, no. Now I come to think of it mate. I do’t think it is. Something tells me it just wouldn’t be right for me. I think on some level I sort of need to do it. It makes the rest of me year seem worthwhile. Without my maniokleptia I would just be some bloke who keeps reindeer and dresses funny. It’s a part of me. I could just as soon shave off me beard.”

I looked at him and saw that he was right. We shook hands and he left.

Looking back. I think it went quite well – don’t you?

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