Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lighting the Fuse

Last week on The Unwinding Path, a post or two dealt with the making lists of marketing ideas. This has to be the most stressful part of my business (probably yours as well), but it is never ending. That is marketing, not making lists.

One thing that has helped on the marketing front has been social networking. You meet all sorts of people and can gain an audience quickly. The only thing is, I suspect, you might want to be fairly swanky in advertising to these people - not over do it, but do not remain silent either.

Then there came Buzzfuse, which I have tried out to help get the word out about my free guided meditation I did earlier this month. Buzzfuse is a site to help one market their products, writing, audios, or anything cyber-real really. There is a free component, which I have signed up for and you can see the results on my free, guided meditation page. The goal of this marketing site is to expand the reach for your product, provide an interactive audience experience (a rating system), help you understand your market better, and maybe provide an opportunity to make money. On the free side, I signed up, put the widget on my page that I want promoted, and am at a stand still at the moment. It wants my Gmail friends' email address to market my product to them. Before it goes any farther, it wants ten addresses. I really wish it would use my Stumble friends or those on Blogcatalog, rather than my contacts on Gmail.

Rather than just doing this, if you would like to be included in my Buzzfuse friend list, let me know and I will gladly add you. In fact, Entrecard people, if you provide your email in a comment on this posting or message me through Entrecard with your email, not only will I added you to my friends on Buzzfuse, I will give you 25 entrecard points for doing so. It would be good to move forward here.

Admissable Hypnosis

I am feeling righteous this morning, and the caffeine in the tea seems to be inciting it. Why?

It appears that in South Carolina, a judge is going to allow the prosecutors to present evidence in the form of tape from a hypnosis session. The case is the murder of Stephanie Dover, who was shot on I-20. Her fiancé was driving her and their two children home, when another vehicle (a black truck) shot at them, killing Stephanie.

After a year, John Joseph Moore is standing trial for the murder. He claims that someone in Stephanie's car made an obscene gesture at him (guess he was there then).

Hypnosis comes into this to see if Derrick, Stephanie's fiancé can remember the license tag of the truck through regression hypnosis. And though the judge says in his 17 years he has not seen hypnosis in his courtroom, he will allow it. Apparently there was the usual argument against it from the defense attorneys that it should not be admissible. Blah, blah, blah.

Perhaps the judge is allowing it because they already have the defendant? Would not the fact that Moore said the murder occurred due to that idea that someone in Stephanie's car made a gesture at him?

I guess he has not been proven guilty yet. But aside from the hypnosis interest, what is the deal with the road rage idea? So what if he had a flash of road rage? Does that make it okay? Does that mean that it is an acceptable excuse to kill another person? Have we sunk so low in our humanity that this should even be a factor?

I know there are lawyers rolling there eyes at this post, but you know, if you are going to debate hypnosis, I can blog about court cases.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Spinning Disk

You have to love the classic, now cliche, spinning disk as a hypnotic tool. You know the one - the disk is divided into four parts, two black and two white that merge together when spun. Simply mesmerizing.

Well, in the interest in studying the famous masters of this art form and our talk about Charcot's hypnotic sessions, I was hoping to find an induction that he used. I have not given up on it, but it is taking some time. But what I did come across was a reference to a tool he or his assistants may have utilized for hypnotizing his patients. Indeed it was a spinning disk. However, it is described as being a four-inch long cylinder that is about one and half inches in diameter. Within this is a little spinning disk, black and white segmented as mentioned above. Without spinning the disk, it is placed three inches away from a midpoint between the eye brows (eye fatigue inducing). After a few moments there is a button on the cylinder that starts the revolution of the disk. The patient is told to concentrate on it. The theory is that as the patient does this it causes a state of suggestibility.

It is good to know that somethings don't change.

Hypnotism by L. W. deLaurence

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Java Obsession

Well. Happy Tuesday. I have been busy researching a few thing of interest for this blog, but alas not much has come together at this point. It will have to wait then for the greater good.

Instead, you get me, pure Ellie and her tales from the sessions. Oh dear, do I see another segment forming? Hmmm.

Recently, I had a client who wanted help with giving up over indulgences, an interesting and enlightened idea. She had a caffeine habit that she wanted to quell. Hers was a problem of the old coffee pot at work thing, where there is always a pot full and ready for consumption. She would start the morning with a cup and thoughts of having just one, but the morning would pass into afternoon and she would end up consuming the whole pot. Yet, when she was not at the office, she said she would not even really think about making coffee for herself and did just fine. I find that to be highly interesting. Caffeine addiction or even a warped addiction that is space and time based? Is that possible?

I gave her a few choices in the direction we could go with the session - traditional hypnosis and suggestion work or a client-based procedure. And internally I bet she would go for traditional, but she did not. She asked for the more involved, client-based type. Using ideometric hand signals (for those new to such things, this means having the client respond to yes, no, and don't know questions using finger gesture responses), she indicated that her issues with over-indulgence was an imprint from her mother. Diving into this, the coffee over indulgence came from her mother's coping system of dealing with a large family and staying awake, as well as tossing the java back during the stressful times. Hmmmm. Sounds really familiar (well, not the large family part).

From there we began to search for solutions to help my client control the over indulgence, which ultimately became the suggestions and a plan. We worked on differentiating my client's world from her mother's and used a suggestion about enjoying a cup a day to its fullest extent and being satisfied with it. After the session, she put together a list of subtle changes she would make, like making really good coffee at home and bringing it to work in a travel mug to keeping a running count of cups of coffee she consumes.

The good thing is that she choose the direction of the session (as do all of my clients) and I would have sworn she was more of a traditional hypnosis gal, but when we were done she thought the experience was better than she had imagined it would be. Nice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Digital Project, Maybe

Just thought I would remind you again that the next upcoming project on The Unwinding Path is going to be The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

My copy just arrived moments ago, so I am pretty ready to get going on it, but I am holding off until next Monday. That way if you want to join me in the process, you can.

Something I have been thinking about though is the idea of doing the exercises digitally rather than using a sketch pad. I would really like to get a bit better with my digital drawing tablet and pen (you may know I have an inclination towards animation) and this seems like it would be a great way to do both. My thoughts would be to do this in Photoshop. Photoshop Brushes are really diverse in textures and styles, and there are some really awesome free brushes available that can add even more creativity to the palettes. Perhaps this may be overstepping the exercises, but I like the idea of drawing on various background patterns. It makes it more interesting in my mind.

Tomorrow I will be posting more information on The Unwinding Path.

End Notes on the Paper Project and Things that are Upcoming

Well, I am back on track and ready for the week ahead. How about you?

To catch us up, we have just completed a project at The Unwinding Path. You know it is never to late to participate in these projects, even if you do not participate on the blog. This past one, taken from Sven's Creative Workbook, turned out to be completely worthwhile.

Here is an excerpt from the final review:

So, I created To Do Lists on the notepaper of my daily organizer (typed up real pretty and little more vague here to maintain my sanity and ideas - I will keep you posted on my progress and you may eventually see the note paper). These list ranged from an upcoming project, to personal crisis management, to educational interests, programming on this blog, and marketing.

What did I gain from it all? I gained pathways with specific direction in how to proceed. My paper usage ended up being more toward brainstorming, but it showed me the possibilities. It stopped the frantic “what do I have to do today” and added some calm.

Now here is my question to you, do you create To Do List and actually use them or follow through?

And moving on a bit, what does this week bring with the transparent hypnotist? Well, you might just find a little somethin', somethin' on:
  • animal hypnosis
  • continuing forms of hypnosis discussion
  • resources from the fathers of hypnosis
  • Friday's 10 Questions with Paul Knight
  • whatever is going on in my hypnotic world

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Question of Hysteria

Since we have been going down the Charcot road, perhaps that is a good break in our travels to stop for this week's contemplation. Let's see, Charcot believed early on that only those suffering from a heredity disorder that caused hysteria could be hypnotized. He mainly studied woman, so that means hysterical females could only be hypnotized. In some circles this translates to weak-minded females. Now mind you, this view only lasted for a few years during the Victorian period. The theories around hypnosis and who could be hypnotized along with how has changed drastically.

But, here we have it, perhaps also the beginning of the development of many potential myths about hypnosis. So, let's get a little personal and take a few steps back.

Here is the question:

What are the best mental conditions for successfully hypnotizing someone or being hypnotized yourself?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Historic, Some Hysteric Esoterica

Maybe you saw this coming, maybe you did not, but I am not completely done with The Napoleon of the Neuroses, Jean-Martin Charcot, who by the way, was given this nickname for his public hypnosis sessions. Apparently a man of decent charisma and demeanor, the nickname stuck.

And so, we enter this Saturday's esoteric bout with
Some Historic, Some Hysteric. How fitting for a Napoleonic character to have a play written about the going-ons in one's practice. This particular play, taken from some of Charcot's transcripts of his famous "Tuesday Lectures," Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpetriere, The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Victorian Maidservant (Douglass Series on Women's Lives & the Meaning of Gender), and quotes by Freud, portrays the hysterics that Charcot induced hypnotically and observed at the Salpêtrière Hospital, the largest hospital in the world at that time. In this production he is called "The Caesar of the Salpêtrière." His lectures were open to the public. I really think Charcot may have been the beginning of stage hypnosis.

Though this play has closed, hopefully someone will revive it again.

New Stage Theatre Company

Friday, January 25, 2008

Contemplating Atlanta

I have thrown my hands up to providence and am in hopeful resignation. Cats, practice, marketing, I am taking a mental break and reconsidering the idea of going to Hypnoticon 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is looking as peaceful as my most quietly fulfilling days at the office.

My Mum for some odd reason has an Atlanta phobia (though I am not sure she has ever been there), so the first time I visited that city (two years ago), how surprised I was by its total civility. Maybe there is traffic congestion, which is made up for by the hospitality one may receive when one opts to avoid the traffic and patronage some fine establishment for refreshment. Now granted my experience is based on an afternoon on Peachtree Street and the High Museum of Art. And it is always at such places that I find an inner peace in the quietness of contemplation. I still believe museums, especially ones with well-done sculpture halls are the greatest places to meditate. So, I have put aside my mum's fears and look most forward to the potential of a great hypnosis conference in Atlanta. There could be enlightenment there.

There is also a great tour package that includes the High Museum of Art and other notable places in Atlanta by Trusted Tours & Attractions. This same company also offers several other sightseeing tours that may be of interest as well. They are currently running a contest for a free GPS called "Win Handheld GPS - Newsletter." To enter, all you need to do is sign up for their free newsletter by clicking here.

If you are thinking about going the conference (February 1 -3) or read this blog and live in Atlanta, please let me know.

Catted Out on the 10 Questions

You are probably here today in expectation of the "10 Question" segment I normally run on this day. Call it mixed karma or other things happening in the universe, this segment will return next Friday. It has been one of those weeks (months) were things are connecting in a way that has nothing to do with my preferences.

And for those keeping up with my obsessively, time draining cat story from yesterday, she made it through the night (a terribly cold one), but no kittens as yet. I bought her one of those NASA space heater things - it is silver and reflects body heat back. You put a blanket over it and it helps to keep the animal warm. When I fed her this morning and put my hand in the little house I made for it, it still seems fairly cool in there.

I was reading Wangbu's Hulga blog this morning and found a phrase that I thought was quite sufficient in describing how I feel (though I am still on the over emotional and worried side) about this cat. The phrase is Hopeful Resignation. It is described in terms of a dying lung cancer patient, and though my problem is far from this, the phrase embodies it all. Normally I always try for acceptance, but I think this is probably a very close relative to it, maybe the part one gets to right before acceptance.

Anyway, I will leave you with those thoughts - but with an addition - I think I may delve a little into a form of hypnosis a bit later, time providing. A nice discussion on animal hypnosis might be fun, don't you think?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today's Pregnancy Problem

I have a problem this morning and it has nothing to do with hypnosis, other than taking me totally away from it for a few moments. It is a problem that is breaking my heart and driving me mad. But, I shall blog about it because it is what is going on in the transparent hypnotist's life at the moment.

in a I had a visitor arrive two nights ago and she has not left, at least I think it is a she, a pregnant she. Sure, you are thinking, why Ellie, this is perfect, with her condition, there are many ways you could her and what better way to spread the good word about hypnosis. The problem is I doubt she would understand except for things happening at the Alpha level. This visitor is a cat. She is an extremely beautiful cat, well-mannered as such, and very friendly. She has taken up residence on a scrap of newspaper (now a towel that I donated to her cause last night) on the back porch. She is huddled against the wall. Since has refused to leave that spot, even with the threat of my male Tom around, I think there is more to the picture. That is why I think she is pregnant.

I spoke with the local veterinarian to see if anyone had reported her missing. No go. But as I talked with him, he told me to feel her belly if she would let me and see if I felt any hard lumps (babies). And yes, there are a couple of rather large lumps. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

I have not feed her. I cannot keep her. My house is way too small for another animal (and I am not sure the allergies could sustain it). I also have an aging, slightly sick indoor cat that prefers the idea of being an only cat.

Oh woe. What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If You Could Just Rent A Video

An innocent sniff. The words, "This is so cool." And a habit is about to be developed, There are numbers that are always bandied about for how many times it take for something to become a full-fledged habit. Last one I recall was 21. If any of you out there have the actual numbers and citations, please let me know. And then there are the addictive substances - cigarettes, maybe even inhalants, various drugs, and before you know there is an addiction.

My heart breaks for the various parents I see who to come me for their own issues and somewhere during the appointment unload the woes of raising children. At best, I am just a listener; at worse I have no first hand idea about what it is like to raise a child. But because I sit on one side of the desk, it seems as though I am thought to have the answers. In the end, I have only resources to offer.

But, I suspect raising children and dealing with the various issues that are likely to come up is much like hypnosis. The answers come from within. You are your children's first and best teachers. The answers come from within and from experience. How do I get my answers? I look it up or I use Smartflicks (rental how tos). But in the case of parenting, there is Much like Netflicks and SmartFlicks, you create list their queue, pay a monthly fee, and the videos (or DVDs) begin arriving. You have your children watch them and return them at your leisure. And though these are technically for you to show your child, you yourself will probably learn a lot of what you could do yourself. It could bring on discussions, or even bonding (there is that word again). You it might give you an idea what you are dealing with and the knowledge that you are not alone. These are not long drawn out deals either. Some are 15 minutes, though there are a few that are much longer.

Though I do not have children of my own, I am seriously thinking this resource may be a good one for anyone who works with children as well. There have been many times in the past when I wish I had even an inkling of advice or advocacy that might have soothed a soul out there in this realm.

Getting Out of the Vacuum

For those who are keeping up or are mildly interested in the projects being pursued on The Unwinding Path, for day two on Sven's Creative Workbook's first exercise, I used my sheet of paper to plan for upcoming projects on that blog. Because it is so easy to get immersed or drowned in what we do, for the first long project there, I am going to undertake the exercises in The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. You may think it is not very hypnotic to do so, but I think it is a fine project to allow creativity to flourish and rejuvenate. To stay locked up only in hypnosis is to create a vacuum.

I am posting this as a head's up if anyone wants to participate as well, even if you do it quietly in the privacy of your own life. The benefits of doing things like this together are large - it creates a support system (okay, how about just bonding a bit). And if you paid attention to the first project we did last week, which was Hypnotic Journaling, the author joined us through out the process. I am not sure it gets better than that, unless of course you have a private workshop with the creator of the project. Also this week, Sven checked in on his project.

So, here is the loose plan for The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - we will start at the beginning on February 4. We might want to order your copy soon. Stay tuned.

The Quiet Mind

This morning I awake to find that my mind is fairly quiet (or maybe just a bit like thick sludge) and I do not seem to have much to say. I have been doing a lot of reading lately such as The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, which everyday there is a passage that seems to have something that pertains to me and how I feel, and perhaps today, this is why I am quiet.

You may be wondering what a hypnotist is doing reading a such a book, but it is not a terribly curious thing. I have been around hypnotist who brag about their library and that they are reading this hypnosis book or that, but I have come to appreciate that there is more out than just books about hypnosis. We need a deeper perspective and knowledge base if we are truly going to help others. Meditation and evolution are a large part of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, as is finding a way to ease our own human suffering through consciousness. Sounds like what some of us do in our practices.

So, for those of you hypnotist who have rolled your eyes at this, for shame! For those who are shaking your head positively, good for you!

And since I have not asked this in a while, what books are you reading (hypnosis or otherwise)?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

These American Sports

Some might say that football (American style) is perhaps the most American sport out here in the States. However, when I was little, like many of those who had come before me, I equated the United States with the western image. Sure I know about Southern Magnolias, Northern factories, and even gambling in Atlantic City on the east coast. But I still had an image of the quintessential male being a cowboy. Cliche, isn't it?

Well, one of the first clients I worked with was a cowboy. Seriously, I mean it. He knew how to ride a horse before he could walk, his family owned miles of cattle land and though he was actually a financial analyst (I always ignore that fact when I can get away with it), he had a hankerin' for bull riding. I figured he meant the mechanic bulls you see in bars (or at least you used to...I image liability is high). However, this was not what he meant. He meant literally riding bulls competitively. Good grief (okay, but I was impressed).

So, why would a big ol' bull rider come to see little ol' Ellie Blunt with her reclining hypnosis chair? Well, I'll tell you. He wanted to work on concentration, balance and holding on (for dear life, I expect). Now I have no way of knowing if he was actually any good, but when I went out to see him practicing once, it seemed like forever that he was on the back of that angry animal.

And now there are tickets to the Pro Bull Riders World Finals (PBR Finals) in Las Vegas, Nevada. There is a part of me that wants to go. In spite of being here for what seems like eons, I still equate American sports competitions to things like the rodeo and bull riding. You know, they have the running of the bulls in Spain, and here it should be bull riding (why else were there mechanical bulls every where for a while). And okay, I tend to cheer for the bull, but every team has its fans, so why should a bull be any different? The sport itself still seems a true test of ability. As for being a spectator, it seems like something one should go to a least once in their life, so yes, I guess I want to go for the experience.

Plus, on a professional side, I cannot help but grin a little when I see notices about bull riding. The sessions I did around its theme were true feel good moments for me, some of the early hypnotic experiences that helped fuel my love for the craft. Does that make sense?

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Napoleon of the Neuroses

Maybe there is a manic quality. Maybe there is anger. Maybe there is an uncommunicative quality. Maybe there is intense passion. Maybe there is intense fear. And maybe there is nothing but a swoon.

Half dressed and on display, Blanche Marie Wittman does just that in Andrè Brouillet's portrayal of a Jean-Martin Charcot hypnosis session. Charcot is on the left. If you are in hypnosis, art or neurology circles, you may have seen this painting. Perhaps you wondered about it, perhaps not. But recently, these people came back to life for me, or at least at my imagination. Who are they? To begin with, let's take the beautiful swooning woman. Just an average Victorian? Not so. She was Blanche Marine Wittman, known as the "Queen of the Hysterics" (5) at the Salpêtrière Hospital. The man to her left? Why that is Jean Jean-Martin Charcot, the subject of this posting. We also briefly met him during our Freudian Esoteric Saturday.

*Note the photo series below - this is the reality of Blanche.

Interesting things to know about Charcot:

  • He was a professor at the University of Paris for 33 years. (2)
  • In 1862 he became involved with the Salpêtrière Hospital, where he established a neurological clinic. He also became director of it. (2)
  • He discovered and described many neurological maladies. (3)
  • He was opposed to animal testing (a hurray from the animal lovers). (3)
  • He utilized hypnosis (yes,this is where it comes in) to study hysteria.

His premise: Hysteria is caused by hereditary that creates a weak neurological system. Traumatic events could cause the hysteria to manifest, and the hysteria would be "progressive and irreversible." (2)

His hypnotic theory: Hypnosis could induce hysteria. The only people who could be hypnotized were those for a propensity towards hereditary hysteria. He did not use it to cure hysteria or alleviate it; he used only to study hysteria. (2)

So what is so special about Charcot hypnosis? You guess it - hysteria. Through hypnotic means, he studied hysteria in women - inducing it to create universal rules for hysteria attacks. He used hypnosis to support his theories, devised from his profession of being a neurologist.

For those who have not kept up with hypnosis, his findings have been laid to rest and are no longer necessarily believed by practitioners or the psychological community.

But what he also did, was bring back some validity towards hypnosis after poor Mesmer caused it to go out of favor (that is a whole another story for a different rainy day, but suffice to say, Mesmer brought hypnosis into the lime light in the 1800s and it did not go so well).

However, somewhere along the line, the results Charcot was getting may have had more to do with phenomenon related to hypnosis shows of today. In fact, in his demonstrations, he used the Salpêtrière's amphitheatre and was know for his dramatics. His results were thought to be more like those of hypnosis show, where the desire of the person being hypnotized is to please and give the results that are suggested. (4) Along with putting his subjects in a theatrical light in the amphitheater, he also photographed his clients in the midst's of their hysteria. (6) See photo to the left.

At some point, Charcot started to doubt his findings and even told his protege, Sigmund Freud that he felt that there is always an underlying reason for hysteria. (1) Later Freud, Alfred Binet, and Pierre Janet, his students, went on in the study of hypnosis, advancing it and disproving that only those who are hysterically minded can be hypnotized. (2)

  1. Sigmund Freud - Life and Work - Jean-Martin Charcot
  2. People and Discoveries - Jean-Martin Charcot
  3. Jean-Martin Charcot Biography (1825-1893)
  4. Human Intelligence: Jean-Martin Charcot
  5. Jean Martin Charcot and Blanche Wittmann
  6. Image & Narrative:Gender, Ideology and Display
  7. Wikipedia

A New Project

Just let to you know, I am starting a new project tomorrow on the The Unwinding Path. Though it is not so much about hypnosis, I suppose you could make it as such. It is a project from Svensworld's Creative Workbook, which is done by a fellow blogger, and it is free. All you need will be six pieces of paper and seven days (just a tad bit of time out of each day). You are invited to do this with me - I'll even make you a contributor to The Unwinding Path.

End Notes on the Hypnotic Journaling Project

Did you follow the progress of our hypnotic journaling process at The Unwinding Road last week? After doing Sophie Nicholl's five days of exercises, I finally reviewed the book and its process on Saturday.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

Though for some, just the idea of hypnosis can be intimidating, this book is a grand way to learn about the value of using self-hypnosis processes to gain insight into one’s self. For those who do not currently use self-hypnosis or meditation, Sophie provides narrative instructions for beginning the process. It is possible for one to come through this experience wondering if indeed they did experience a hypnotic state. That is the brilliance of it all, any self-hypnosis really, that it is not a complicated process or hard to achieve. It is merely a turning within and letting the reality of the subconscious mind present itself.

Even though I am an avid user of self-hypnosis, this was a delightfully refreshing way to experience inner communication in a creative context. Sometimes I become a little too cocky in my own self-awareness and think I have it all figured out. But, this is so rarely the case, as I experience during the week I tried out Sophie’s concepts. Much came to light that had little to do with anything conscious. It has been humbling in that notion.

We will be starting a new project momentarily, so stay tuned.

Also, our condolences go to Lily Allen, our celebrity poster-child for hypnosis. She had decided to give up smoking recently when she found out she was pregnant. Sadly, she had a miscarriage. (Source: The Press Association)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Linking Question

It is actually 18 degrees here this morning. Insane. And as the temperature goes down, I am trying to keep the coldness that lingers within at bay. Today, my Sunday question is more about preferences and acknowledgment than hypnosis, and I really would like to hear any other points of view out there.

As you may be aware, I occasionally give shout-outs to cyber locations that I enjoy. I do this especially with Ellie's Favorite Five, but I also reference other sources and give credit where credit is due. I quote things occasionally (citing sources) and respect copyright laws. However, rarely do I notify the sources beforehand. Personally, when someone links to me or gives me credit on their site, I am usually quite thrilled and flattered (unless of course there is an ugly connotation to it). Any link to this site helps all the ranking stuff. So, I tend to believe, especially when I include someone in Ellie's Favorite Five, that I might just be making some one's day just a little more pleasant.

With that said, recently I came across a situation where once I notified the person I had linked to their work (linked, not quote, not published their work, just linked), there was a little trepidation on their part because they no longer owned the rights to the work. When I tried to inform the owners, there was no email, just an email form, which would not let me add the link to tell them about it. I have yet to hear back from them. But the whole thing gave me pause.

So, here is the question:

Do you personally feel that you should be notified before your site is favorably linked to another? Why or why not?

*50 entrecredits for the first answer I like. Be sure to post your email or entrecard id.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Esoteric Freud

In the somewhat recent past, Freud has been a topic of conversation. And though Freud is not so esoteric in terms of hypnosis, books the reference him and hypnosis in the same volume seem perfect.

In a recent Sunday Book Review in the New York Times,George Prochnik reviewed George Makari's Revolution In Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis. According to Prochnik (I have to rely on him as I have yet to read this, but it is now on the list), there is discussion about Freud's background in hypnosis. Apparently one of Freud's mentors, Jean-Martin Charcot who apparently believed that the affects of hypnosis "depended upon the abnormal nervous condition of the hypnotized." Apparently, though, Charcot was diagnosed by Hippolyte Bernheim as having moments of hysteria, too. Bernheim's theory of hypnosis was that hypnosis worked with "exaggerated human credulity" or the idea of suggestibility rather than genetic hysteria. It was with this idea that Freud became the man we all know and love - the psycho analytic theorist. He utilized Bernheims ideas about hypnosis, but changed it a bit with the idea that the mind is more susceptible to suggestions made within rather than form outside sources.

There is a lot more to Procnik's review, so do check it out, but it is always interesting to see anything about those who helped make hypnosis the tool it is now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rather than being hypnotized...

Now that we are beginning the descent down from January with New Year's Resolutions and new starts turning into habits, we will soon land in February just in time to take a seat on the up-and-down romance roller coaster. I am sure with all the commercialism of Valentine's Day creeping into the stores, creeping into our consciousness, no one means it to be a cruel reminder of what one may not have. That's right, amid the boxes of chocolate (please oh,please do not gain weight, I love you just the way you are), the stuffed animals (we really should eliminate clutter), and sentimental cards (how nice, someone else's words to express how you feel about me), there is an air of something ugly that looms beneath certain surfaces. I would like to say that I am immune to Valentine's Day - truth is I am not, I enjoy the novelty. But in this profession I have chosen, the misery begins to come out of the wood work near Valentine's Day. You may have read my posts about a friend who wanted me to hypnotize her to not want a relationship. Well, those postings seem to have started to generate a rash of people wanting the same thing. And I tell them the same thing I did my friend - no go. We can work on the feelings behind the wants, but I would not feel right in even approaching such a suggestion.

And it makes me sad, the pain that comes forth at this time. They say Christmas is bad for loneliness. I would say Valentine's Day is bad for making one feel the same or even more inadequate, if you are subject to such feelings.

So, I suggest retaking Valentine's Day. Rather than having expectations that someone else is going to do something romantic for you (and they still may), make it happen for yourself. Either plan it as a total giving event, an act of kindness for others, or how about this, an act of kindness for yourself. Romance yourself on that day. Take yourself out to lunch or dinner. Or even check out different valentines gift ideas in cyber space. Sometimes spending a few dollars on orchids to embrace your inner wildness is not a bad thing to do. Or send someone you know who is not going to be celebrating this holiday of love some carnations, which stand for devotion.

How you deal with the impending holiday is completely in your control. It is all in the mind. Make it what you want it to be.

10 Questions with Terence Watts

Location: Essex, England

Cyber Locations:

1. Are you a full time hypnotist, part-time or hobbyist?

Full time therapist, teacher, course developer and writer - 80 hour week.

2. Do you specialize in any type of hypnosis?


3. Is there any type of hypnosis you do not do? Why?

None that I can think of.

4. Do you use self-hypnosis regularly in your life?If so, how?

Yes, every day. Self-hypnosis and 'focus' on goals.

5. Describe your hypnosis office or work setting.

Mahogany desk, bookcase, Italian soft chairs, some 'artifacts' - large
crystals, Buddha figurines (Tibetan and Indian), bronze figurines (The
Embrace; George and the Dragon). Uplighter and wall lights.

6. Describe a typical day in your life.


7. Where did you get your training in hypnosis and are you certified?

From many teachers, starting 18 years ago. Fellow of many organizations.
Find out more at

8. Most fabulous hypnosis technique you use?

Associated with Warriors, Settlers & Nomads (type it on Google!)

9. Worse moment ever in a hypnosis setting that ended up being a
valuable learning experience.

None that I can think of.

10. Any words of advice to potential clients or other hypnotist.

Don't give up before you find what it is you seek.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ellie's Favority Five -Permissive Hypnosis Scripts

It has turned out that this little feature is harder than I thought originally. There really are not that many sites out there who give away their scripts and then finding ones I like creates a challenge.

So, we continue on our discussion of forms of hypnosis. We have been talking about permissive hypnosis.

Here are some fine examples of permissive hypnosis scripts:

R.A.Neves - Permission To Trance: Multi-Purpose Permissive Script - this is a wonderfully permissive induction.

David Mason - Hypnosis Script: Sitting an Exam or Test - David actually analyzes his script on this page, dividing it into sections and for each, gives information, so it is a wonderful learning tool.

Terrance Watts - Permissive Quit Smoking Script - This is not the first time Terrance has been one of my favorites. To use this script, you would need to do an induction and deepener first.

American Pacific University - Creative Abilities - a short script that is used after an induction and deepener, this one relies on letting the client fill in the blanks. It does not specifically point the client in a given direction, but allows the client to create their own ideas.

Dan Elliott - Skin Problems This is an interesting script that walks the line a bit between permissive and authoritative, but it falls closer to the former. Again you would need an induction and a deepener to add to this.

Another Quicky

I know, I know, I promised Ellie's favorite five next. But please forgive me. It got suddenly busy here and I am still narrowing the five down.

However, this morning, you may notice some changes here at the transparent hypnotist. Along with my practice, I am fairly consistent when it comes to branding. After designing the blog for The Unwinding Path, I decided to make this blog more in tune with that, rather than using the generic blogspot template. So, I hope you like it. And I will have you know, that I almost put a subtle, earthy pink in the background of the site, but thought it might be too feminine for the ideals of the site.

Also, a month or so ago, I entered yet another competition with a silly video. The link at the time for voting was not active. I have been in formed that it is now. The post is here. The voting is here if you are so inclined.

I will leave you with an interesting thing I learned yesterday. When I was having my shoulder worked on by the massage therapist, she mentioned my pain was probably related to stress. But she gave some great advice. When we get stressed (not the little stress, but the bigger more all-of-a-sudden type) our body releases adrenaline and cortisol. We need an outlet for it and a way to counteract that is to exercise soon after the stress occurs. Simple, eh?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Compassion Challenges

The morning is going a little too quickly today, so this is just a brief check in. I plan to be back a bit later with Ellie's Favorite Five Permissive Hypnotic Scripts (I hope). Today consist of clients and a massage that will hopefully resolve my shoulder issue.

Have you been watching the progress at The Unwinding Path? Perhaps you are quietly participating, too?

And there is something else that I thought I would mention quickly because it has really come to light in my life. There have already been several challenges that have faced me in the early days of 2008. And I have come to realize how tenuous the tightrope is on the road to evolution and enlightenment. I suppose the universe must test it self out to see where we are in the process.Sometimes, I am not very evolved at all, and it is like getting a kick to the stomach area. Some of the challenges are dealing with companies with no compassion, soulless entities with robot-like customer service people. It is so easy to get wrapped up in that muck when it deluges life. But I guess that is the challenge, remaining compassionate within myself and with my clients. I find I become persnickety, critical, and two faced. Now mostly people do not see this, but I feel it none the less. So, I have adopted a stance that is similar to the when you feel awful and down, that is the best time to throw a party. Mine is when compassion within others is at a minimum (or non-existent), that is the time to be even more compassionate to yourself and others.

So, anyone have any other ideas for keeping the light of compassion on during time of darkness? Or perhaps one of you has a good story that speaks of your own limitless compassion when you yourself could use some? (Hmmm. 50 entrecredits and/or my appreciation for an answer I like).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What? I Can't Remember

Now I just sat down and knew what I was going to write. It was there on the edge of my mind waiting to spew forth, but now it is It really is gone.

Not really, just a tacky way to segway into the topic of the morning, though this is a tad bit of old news. It is true. Really, I am not kidding. Hypnosis can cause you to forget certain things. Hmmm. Don't we already know this? Perhaps not. Perhaps we do not know the half of it.

In a recent study conducted by Dr Yadin Dudai and peers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, when amnesia is induced with a posthypnotic suggestion, an internal monitoring system is what causes the memory not to be retrieved.

How the study was done:
A group of volunteers (in Isreal) were shown a movie documentary about the day in the life of a young woman. A week later they were hypnotized to forget the movie. Actually the words used in the Daily Mail were " Once in a hypnotic state, subjects were ordered to forget the movie." Now kids, what form of hypnosis is that? (The first person to respond in the comment section and get it right will get 50 entrecard credits).

Apparently, the original group had been divided into two sections - one group was hypnotizable and the other was not. Hmmmm, again. Was this really a division of people who were hypnotizable by a certain form of hypnosis? Might they all be hypnotizable (assuming they wanted to be, yahda, yahda, yahda) with a more permissive form of hypnosis? Any thoughts?

To carry on though - the half deemed hypnotizable were more apt to forget the movie. Each was given a quiz of yes or no answers. The results were no better than chance with the suggestion to forget the movie. Then a trigger
- Now you can remember everything (2), which was given during the hypnotic session, was was activated and the same participants retook the quiz. The results at this point were 80% correct answers.

cortex. This is the area mainly We are not through yet, though. While participants were taking the quiz, they were also being monitered by MRIs. While in the state of suppressed memories, the occipital and temporal lobes remained quiet. At the same time, there was major activity in parts of the prefrontalthougth to be involved with memory retrieval. This may show an interaction between the two, which the prefrontal areas control

Another question I have is the whole idea of the movie itself. Since I have not seen it, it is described as the average, mundane day in the life story, perhaps easily forgettable. I am not sure even without the hypnosis, how well I might remember it in a week.

The Daily Mail
ScienceNOW Daily News

Monday, January 14, 2008

Open Your Yawp

I am guilty and you know it. Do not deny it. I am. Not only do I occasionally create little video blurbs (the pretty eye cartoons), but I watch other homemade videos. And I inflict them upon you, usually in the form of Esoteric Saturday material, featuring songs about hypnosis or celebrities who are known users.

And I am not alone in my guilt. At least once a week someone in my consciousness says, "I was watching youtube" or "I watched this video online." There is a whole new world out there and it involves homemade videos. Maybe we have just grown weary of watching someone else's idea of good programming or maybe it makes us feel connected, but user-generated video has become a serious source of entertainment and perhaps enlightenment. This maybe our chance, hypnotists and hypnotism devotes, to educate the public in a witty, home-grown sort of way about the good word of hypnosis.

There is a new show coming out called YawpBoxTV that will air in Dallas, TX. It will be a magazine style show that features popular home-grown videos. It is based on the web site YawpBox and the videos submitted there. Do you see the opportunity here - to create content that will go beyond the realm of cyberspace and also hit the viewing public? Content by the people for the people. It really is amazing if you think about it. No Hollywood/Bollywood money, no Pixar effects, just you and me or who knows who out there creating video for the television consumer.

Way back in the early days of home-grown video on the Internet, I remember watching anything that had to do with hypnosis. Some were good, some were really awful (but good in a sense that one could narrow down hypnotists that one might like to use or not), and some were inspiring. Though I do not do show hypnosis, I remember one in particular that did the old "stiff as a board" phenomena. You know the one - where the person being hypnotized is given a suggestion to become stiff as board (or a steel pipe in this case) and then their feet are supported by a chair as are their head but with nothing to support the rest of the body, and yet the body remains rigid? Amazing stuff.

So now is our chance, we can do our own videos promoting the positive aspects of hypnosis, not just the amazing phenomena as mentioned above. We remain in control of the content, no worries about misinformation (unless we ourselves blow it).

Lex and Terry, the host of this show are challenging us to make and submit a video in the Lex and Terry Challenge. There are several categories, many fairly silly, but really, humor is a great way to get a message across. Ideas we could do include YawpBox ads, "Show Us Your Yawp, Whatever That Means To You," or even "Yawp Tats - Best Tattoo Gets on TV! Show Us..." The latter could work for those of us doing anesthesia for tattoos. Just a thought.

Unwinding Paths to Pnosis

So there you are! Do you have your coffee or tea? It is a tea morning for me, nothing out of the ordinary, I am afraid.

But, today is out of the ordinary. Today I began Sophie Nicholl's Hypnotic Journaling Process on the new blog, The Unwinding Path. It is never to late to join in, you know? So do p, check it out.

Also, has featured me as a distinguished hypnotist, or rather it really features this blog very nicely. A huge thank you to Ralph Benko for giving me this honor.

As for the Sunday Question and what do I do for release from the chaos of life? Well, now really, you probably already know the answer - I do self-hypnosis. Actually, I do a form of self-hypnosis and meditation to come to a place of emptiness (in the Buddhist sense). It usually begins with a count down and letting go more and more on each number.

How 'bout you?

So all in all, a great start to the day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Question of Release

Another fine Sunday is upon us. In honor of starting Hypnotic Journaling tomorrow at The Unwinding Path, today's contemplative question is about release or freeing something. In the terms of Hypnotic Journaling it is the idea of releasing part of yourself onto paper.

So here is the question:

What do you do to release or free yourself from the chaos of life?

Maybe you do self-hypnosis? Maybe you write hypnotic scripts? Maybe you play paint ball? Feel free to respond if so moved.

Also, remember to join Sophie Nicholls and me at The Unwinding Path for Hypnotic Journaling tomorrow (and of course I'll also be here).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Little More Esoteric Lily

Lily Allen has made it back into our hypnotic consciousness. A while ago, she was featured here for using weight loss hypnosis successfully. She is doing it again and effectively becoming the poster child of celebrity hypnosis stories. Go Lily!

The young British songwriter/performer sowed a few wild oats, but is settling down into pregnancy nicely. So, hypnosis for child birth here? Not quite (but I hope so). No, she is getting all healthy on us and quitting the old ciggy habit, no more cancer sticks for her or her unborn child.

Lily is using hypnotist Susan Hepburn for this, the hypnotist who helped her lose weight. Maybe Ms. Hepburn will grace us by answering the 10 questions one week.

Thaindian News

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lessons Learned

I have thought long and hard about posting this, and almost let it go by the way side. But then a little resource made itself know to me and I decided I could put it all together under one post and it would be so appropriate. So here goes...

Since beginning this blog, I have occasionally written about health insurance resources. When I sat down at the keyboard to type those particular post, I always had certain clients in mind who had trouble with their health insurance. Never did I think it would be me. Sigh.

So here I am, a week since I first discovered I am without health insurance, or for the very scary part of it - three months since I have been covered. Okay, how cynical I used to be. This would never happen to me. But it has. And why, you ask? Simply because I was six days over the grace period. Yes, indeed, it is my fault, even though I have never missed a payment and because a certain blue based health insurance company with a cross to bear was obtuse in letting me know my account had elapsed. All envelopes from them look the same. No change of envelope color; no bold print that said "cancellation." Since I pay online, I admit I got way too comfortable in not taking the minute required to notice that they were not the same old same bills. And, after my broker tried to rationalize with the company, I was denied. Guess the person in charge must be having a filthy hard week (or is just another cog in the monster machine of that certain monopoly).

I post this as a lesson learned and for any one else who is too comfortable in their bill paying habits, unless you are infallible, for gosh sakes, PAY ATTENTION! Though a learning experience for me, it has been not much fun.

Is there more, you ask?

Yes. Because I think little for the compassion of the company mentioned above, I have decided mix it up with a product review. That's right, you mean old company, I am moving on without you! I had been planning to buy a new pair of glasses (blind as a bat, don't you know), but it has began looking bleak as the bills for December's medical test are rolling in. And by gosh, there I found it - a Great Discovery:, glasses starting at $8 a pair ($4.95 for shipping and a little more for certain coatings). Something positive this week. Some people like shoes - I like cool frames (and they are cool). I think the most expensive pair is for progressive lens and glasses at $37. I also checked them out at eOpinions and they received a rating of three and a half stars. So, I am going to down my sorrows with something a bit more than tea and order a pair or two of new glasses.

Take that Blue Cross.

10 Questions with Tom Nicoli

Location: Woburn, MA

Cyber Locations:

1. Are you a full time hypnotist, part-time or hobbyist?

Full time

2. Do you specialize in any type of hypnosis?

I work in many areas of personal development / behavior modification as well as mind body connection for physical health and healing.

3. Is there any type of hypnosis you do not do? Why?

There is nothing I shy away from that I consider a hypnotic process, i.e. past life regression, age regression, etc.

4. Do you use self-hypnosis regularly in your life? If so, how?

Yes. I use self-hypnosis daily to maintain a positive outlook, healthy habits and to open the door to a higher level of awareness on a spiritual level.

5. Describe your hypnosis office or work setting.

We are located in a professional building located in a business park. It is business conservative, with a reception area and two offices. The second office is large enough for small groups for training and workshops.

6. Describe a typical day in your life.

Is there such a thing? My days are very calm even if busy, no pressure. I have become successful with offered trainings, seminars, product and the internet so I have scaled down to only 3 days per week in the office to see clients, Tues., Wed. and Thurs. I previously did around 2,000 sessions per year.

If I have to set an alarm it's to be at the office in time for my first
session which is 10 AM at the earliest. Life at home is very comfortable as there is no pressure from my wife of 17 years, Cheryl, nor 16 year old son Jesse. I am very blessed in this area and I know it. I pretty much do what I need to do, when I need to do it and am very grateful for that, be it travel, work in hypnotism or with my music as I still play professionally. Basically, I once dreamed of the life I now live and am always in gratitude.

7. Where did you get your training in hypnosis and are you certified?

I trained with Al Litchfield at 7 States Hypnotherapy in Massachusetts. I am NGH Board Certified, an NGH Certified Instructor and member of the NGH Advisory Board.

8. Most fabulous hypnosis technique you use?

Not sure there is really just one. I enjoy the many benefits of rapid
inductions and also Ultra Height work by Jerry Kein.

9. Worse moment ever in a hypnosis setting that ended up being a valuable learning experience.

When I totally blew it doing a rapid induction with a client and literally scared her out of the chair... hands come together while eyes are closed, pulling them down and commanding "sleep". I immediately reframed and said, "That's okay Deb... that just means that one isn't best for you." Whew...

10. Any words of advice to potential clients or other hypnotist.

Clients: Be confident to ask all the questions you need in order to be with the hypnotist best suited for you, one who is certified. Also, instinct works... go with your gut feeling.

Hypnotists: Be well trained, continue to increase your skills and training and avoid using credentials that don't help us as a profession... non accredited "Dr." titles, "Master Hypnotist" etc. Also, once certified, start working. The best teacher will be experience. Be confident to apply what you learn and know there will be trial and error... that's life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To Change or Not to Change

There is a moment that stops each of us and it either leaves us feeling kicked-in-the-gut guilty, patient-suffering glad, or appallingly apathetic. This moment is always a crossroad and is never kindly easy. It is a moment of change - not your change but someone else's. And perhaps you think the answer is simple or perhaps you know the answer without hearing the question. But do you really? You maybe thinking, "Well Ellie, it is my business to help people change." Maybe you have a conscious attitude that dictates that you help anyone in need. But here is the real question and what it all boils down too - what is your personal criteria for helping other people change? This brings on a whole subset of questions:

Do you help change only those who ask you for help?
Do you try to change those you feel need to change?
If you answered yes to the above, do you try to change those you feel need to change even if they do not want to change?

Well, do you?

After dealing with a loved one who has spent much time recently trying to change others on their opinions about various things (the price of tea, the way the moon revolves around the earth, and by the way is the earth really round?), I realized he was hell-bent on changing us all, like a preacher who is losing his congregation. It really bothered him that we were willing to hear him out (to a certain point before it became a time suck), but not concede to his point of view. And after much irritation, I realized the reality of the situation. He indeed was not being mean, he was just had not come to the consciousness that change is individual and is as fickle and frustrating as that congregation member who says the most righteous amens at Sunday Service but afterwords decides to have a quickly with the neighbors wife.

And this came up again the other day in talking to another health care practitioner, who is feeling the financial slap in the face for helping too many people who do not value her and her abilities. I mean this in that they expect a whole lot of free with no personal commitment. She is exhausted and guilt ridden for wanting to say "no." She has given her gift away and been stepped upon. She sees the strife and anguish in many and reaches out to them. Now she is depressed and is getting to the point where she is in need of help herself.

All this made me think about the line of change. Hypnotist are in a world where their main role is to guide people over the line of change, but only those who want to change themselves. It is one of the covenants of hypnosis (and many alternative health modalities) - a person only makes the changes he or she wants to make. Many times to help us determine if we will be able to help a client, we ask them to rate their concern for their problem (change), with one being "not really a concern" to 10 being"I am totally concerned," if the number falls below a six, many of us chose not to waste our time or the client's time with hypnosis. We may listen and make sure that is the case (their answer) and decide from there.

So ultimately there are two important factors about the nature of changing others. The first is being available to others who need our help. The second is being able to accept that which we cannot change. This means accepting that others are who they are and it is up to them to change. Maybe they could be better if they changed the way we would have them change, but we need to just accept them as they are until they are ready and come to desire it on their won. If they choose or allows us to assist them in this, it is a beautiful thing. When we force it on them, it is dirty and ugly. And if we feel a surge of power in forcing them then maybe we really need to look within our own self and make some changes there.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Turn and Face the Changes

There was a time when writers would say, " the pen is mightier than the sword." What would it be for bloggers? The keyboard is mightier than the AK47?

The other day a report from the Better Business Bureau of Dallas and Northeast Texas reported that Changes International Inc. is on their scam list for weight loss products. This has been itching at me since I saw it. At first, emotion set in and I rolled my eyes thinking, "Oh no, here we go ago again. Another knock against hypnosis."

Changes International is a company who promises results after one session, but does offer a guarantee, in that its participants can come back at any time and attend the session again for free. Also, if by the first break in the seminar, the client decides it is not for them, they can get their money back (past the break, it is a no go). After looking at their web site, the company looks okay. Refunds and guarantees. Most hypnotist do not do either of these. However, it is not so vogue to promise results with one session anymore because sometimes it takes a few session to address and work on everything involved with the change.

So, with that said, I looked them up on the Better Business Bureau web site. They had 18 complaints (in eight different states) in 36months. Ten have been resolved.

What were the complaints?

  • Alleged failure to honor contract - work done with out authorization or invalid contract. It has been resolved. (1 complaint)
  • Bad customer service. No response. (1 complaint)
  • Failure to honor terms of guarantee. (3 complaints that Changes International had addressed, but clients did not notify BBB of their acceptance of it. 3 complaints with no response.)
  • Failure to honor refunds. (3 complaints resolved. 4 complaints were address by Changes International, but clients did not notify BBB of their acceptance of it. 1 complaint has no response.)
  • One non-defined complaint was resolved and one complaint has no response.

I imagine the Changes International Inc.'s biggest problem, according to the Daily News, was the claim that they are "the only organization of our kind endorsed by the Better Business Bureau." Apparently, the Better Business Bureau does not agree with this statement. Yikes (for Changes International)!

Well, (sigh) at least most of the complaints were about business practices and not so much the hypnosis. But, in the larger picture, I guess when working in the field of hypnosis, it pays to be reliable, do honest business practices and live up to your guarantee and refunds. Its all part of the hypnosis experience.

The Daily Times
The Better business Bureau

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Sound of Advertising

Listen to the sound of my voice.

This is a common phrase in the hypnosis world. The sound of a voice can be extremely important (though I do know hypnotists who feel differently). If a client likes the sound of your voice, I believe, they are more likely to buy an audio. Or if someone listens to a sample of an audio and finds the voice appealing, well, then, they may probably, again, buy an audio.

But what about hearing a voice or sounds when you open a web site or a blog? Is this a good thing? Does it entice you to do a particular action, or do you ignore it? Does it affect you on a subconscious level? Do you become oblivious to it or is it annoying? Do you even have the sound turned on your computer on so you can even hear such things? Would it cause you to stop visiting a particular site?

These are the questions running through my mind about the new Pay Per Play Ads that are now available as a way to create extra income from a blog (or web site). The premise is that the ad takes up no space on the site (like google ads), but plays a five second commercial when the site is opened. Most will be targeted to the theme of the site, hence, if I did it here, the ads would be about hypnosis and such.

So, this is an option for those of us running blogs and those of us who enjoy reading them. Are you for it or against it? Please let me know your thoughts. Since you are my audience, this is important.

A Man Named Freud; A Man Named Erickson

Once upon a time there was a man name Sigmund Freud who became a legend in the psychiatric field. This particular man decided to use hypnosis in his practice. Through the use of authoritative hypnosis techniques, he had his clients access the unconscious to help with various mental afflictions. However, he had a few issues with this. He believed that the unconscious mind was a collection of the unseemly aspects of the human mind. It is also rumored that he did not like this process and wandered away from it because many of the clients felt like they had fixed themselves, rather than with heralding Freud with the success. (1)

Though if Freud were reading this, I suspect he might balk at it and reprimand me in that famous German accent we all love to imitate. It may be further noted that he was opposed to Bernheim's hypnotic suggestions (direct, authoritative suggestion for symptom removal), but he himself was known to be intense and leading in an authoritative manner. (2) This would either cause the client to never return or "remember" traumas that caused their hysteria (often sexual abuse). We could talk about false memories here, which has been a problem in the history of regression hypnosis, and more about Freud's hypnotic processes but that would cause us to digress, so we shall save it for another post.

So then, where is leading, Ms. Blunt, you might ask? This segways from authoritative techniques to the need for more permissive ones, where the client is not forced to create memories and feels more secure in the therapist's hands or rather - words.

Enter Milton Erickson, the more modern hero for the present hypnotist. Feeling a bit of an opposite, he believed it was just fine for the client to feel they had fixed themselves. One might say, he had his ego a little more together than Freud (ouch, I feel the harsh slap across the dimensions of time and space). Sorry. Erickson also found success in using the client's own belief system and terminology to induce a trance. The idea of being kinder and more supportive of the client was felt in his hypnotic work. And one of his biggest concepts brought out the use of the metaphors as a handy tool. But again I digress. We will come to that later.

Let's go back a few sentences to "Feeling a bit of an opposite, he believed it was just fine for the client to feel they had fixed themselves." Erickson was the one who believed that unconscious mind was full of solutions and possibilities and that a person could find their own inner answers to their ailments. By being polite and allowing clients to feeling in control during hypnosis, they would relax more easily and be more open. (1)

So hence, we have permissive hypnosis.


  2. Freud and hypnosis: The hypno-suggestive roots of the Oedipus complex
  3. Getting Past that Old-Style Hypnosis

Monday, January 7, 2008

Birth Announcement of the New Blog

The Transparent Hypnotist
is pleased to announce
the birth of her second blog,
The Unwinding Path.
Born at sometime this afternoon
on the seventh of January 2008,
it is a healthy blog
with its own RSS feed and domain.

For those who are curious about why I choose to add a new blog into the mix, well, it was time to learn a little bit more about blogging (on one's own domain) and it seems like it should stand on its own. Basically, the Unwinding Path is all about exploring various self-improvement programs and plans. We will go through the processes and experiences online. I hope you will join me!

We will also continue to post here when we start a new project, as well as checking in periodically with the results.

So what is the first process? We mentioned it a little while ago and you read about her on Friday - Hypnotic Journaling with Sophie Nichols.

And So Another Monday

Alas, the weekend is over and here I am, a tad frustrated. Between my own health insurance boggle and starting the new blog, which I manage to keep crashing, here I am with a cup of tea that has grown cold.

So, I suppose I will answer my own Sunday question about - When working on self-change or helping others with their desired changes, do you find you do better with a permissive or authoritarian style?

The answer would be that I do better on both accounts with permissiveness. I am not one to tell someone how it is unless forced to do so. I see it as forcing a moment to its crisis. But as Michael has said, there are times for being authoritarian as a hypnotist. I used to flounder around, but now if it is what it takes in the process, it is what it takes.

Now to catch-up:

If you were keeping up with the Blog Battle Royale III, congratulations to Courtney for once again (third time in a row) winning the contest. It was well deserved. But huge thank you to those who supported my entry as well. FOr the short time i had to put it together, I though I did okay.

And you may remember me posting about a friend who was trying to decide between being hypnotized to lose the urge to date or just jumping into the frog pond of being an available single. She ended up with the latter. But occasionally I mention where she is in the process. We talked about dating agencies and such. She is rather neutral in that experience, but her intuitions have told her that she needs to be careful out there. There is aDate Screening Website out there for just this purpose. Sorry guys, is one for women that targets abusive and cheating men through a rating scale. I also feel there should be one that does the same with women. But, for my male readers, you might want to just make sure you are not on the list. That would be awful. However, I do think such resources are necessary. Abuse should not be tolerated. I see a lot of aftermath from abusive relationships and it is always heart breaking.

So, that's that. I am still working on the new blog that I had hoped to unveil Friday, but it was more complicated than I thought. Stay tuned for that, as well as more on permissive hypnosis.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Question of Permissiveness

Good morning! Since we have begun talking about permissive hypnosis, you can probably guess that is where today's question is headed. Or perhaps I should say today's contemplation is headed in a direction of how we prefer to intake or direct suggestions. Michael and the Subconscious Mind commented their thoughts on the subject a few days ago. Have you?

So here is the question:

When working on self-change or helping others with their desired changes, do you find you do better with a permissive or authoritarian style?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More Esoteric Hypnosis Theatre

Often in movies and theatre, hypnosis is considered "spell binding" or at the very least, mysterious. For those of us who practice it or enjoy it, it is something completely different. That is not to say the mystique and romance are gone, more it is just the difference between a crush and a true relationship. With a crush, traits are often idealized, where as in a long-term relationships reality sets in and the relationship deepens or dies.

Perhaps that is why playwright and clinical psychologist Bob Clyman's new play called Tranced may be most interesting for us. Currently running in Laguna Beach at the Laguna Playhouse, one can hope that it embraces the reality of hypnosis and is more truthful in its interpretation. Sadly, I am no where near by to see the show, so if any of you do, please report back on your impressions.

Clyman did offer a very poignant quote in the OC register that impressed me:

"A lot of the time, people assume that I get these great story ideas from my patients...But a lot of the most interesting things that your patients tell you aren't really the point of why they're there. Anecdotes and colorful stories are often a distraction. As a therapist you can be seduced and entertained by them, but that's often not the story they need to tell, not the problem you need to look at."

The basic plot is about a graduate student who suffers from panic attacks. The good doctor helps her using hypnotherapy to uncover repressed memories. These memories ultimately are based on past torture created by political powers.

Though hypnosis is the mechanism for the story, the play is considered more of a political drama.

The O.C. Register
The Laguna Playhouse

Friday, January 4, 2008

10 Questions with Sophie Nicholls

Location: Yorkshire, England

Cyber locations:

1. Are you a full time hypnotist, part-time or hobbyist?

I work full-time running my practice, Sophie Nicholls Personal Development. This includes working with people one-to-one and running group workshops, using hypnotherapy together with lots of other techniques including creative writing for personal development.

2. Do you specialize in any type of hypnosis?

I help people to overcome all kinds of problems and challenges but I'm particularly experienced in helping people with stress and anxiety, eating problems and body-image issues.

3. Is there any type of hypnosis you do not do? Why?

I don't believe in guiding people into hypnosis in order to make lots of direct suggestions to them: "You will not do this.. you will not do that...' I don't think that's particularly useful. Everyone is different and I prefer to work with people on the underlying causes of a problem and to help them to discover their own solutions, abilities and approaches. For me, it's all about helping people to go on a journey, to have a real adventure.

4. Do you use self-hypnosis regularly in your life?If so, how?

I believe that self-hypnosis has transformed me as a person. It continues to transform me. I use self-hypnosis constantly. I think self-hypnosis is not just about being in a quiet place on your own with your eyes closed - although this is wonderful - but it can also be about doing something that absorbs you creatively, such as my writing. Hence, the Hypnotic Journaling techniques. I use self-hypnosis on the train or just before I fall asleep or in a traffic jam or before I give a presentation. I think it's something that you can integrate into your entire approach to life.

5. Describe your hypnosis office or work setting.

I am lucky enough to be able to work from home because I've been able to create a lovely room in my house. My clients tell me that it is very peaceful and welcoming. I also travel to lots of other places to run workshops.

6. Describe a typical day in your life.

Most weeks, I see private clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; I teach two creative writing workshops on Thursdays; and I try to keep Fridays for catching up with paperwork, my own creative writing - which I find enormously helpful and nurturing - and working on my personal development articles, books and CDs.

My absolute favorite thing to do at the weekend is to go for a long walk - preferably by the sea - and then perhaps curl up with a glass of delicious chilled white white in front of our woodburning stove. I'm a big romantic.

7. Where did you get your training in hypnosis and are you certified?

That's quite funny because in the UK being 'certified' means that you have been deemed clinically insane (whatever that actually indicates). So, yes, I am a certified clinical hypnotherapist - ha! I am registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register.

I trained initially with a wonderful therapist called Steve Burgess here in the UK and I have since gone on to do more training with many other people in the personal development field. A huge influence on my work and thinking is Stephen Gilligan, a psychotherapist and apprentice of the great Milton Erickson, who uses trance-work in very creative ways. I did my doctoral research in creative writing and personal development at the University of Sussex. I'm still learning...

8. Most fabulous hypnosis technique you use?

You know, I think all hypnosis is fabulous when it puts the client in charge of their own destiny and future. It's so exciting to see someone discovering that they can grow the resources they need to achieve what they want to achieve. I get such a buzz out of seeing that happen and the amazing transformations that people bring about for themselves.

9. Worse moment ever in a hypnosis setting that ended up being a valuable learning experience.

I don't think I've had any 'worst moments'. It may sound corny but I love the challenges involved in my work. I am always learning new things, which is what I thrive on.

10. Any words of advice to potential clients or other hypnotist.

I don't feel that I can offer any better advice than that of Joseph Campbell's 'follow your bliss.' But sometimes, we first need to find out what that 'bliss' is, what we really want from life and what makes us happy. I think we all spend too much time living in our heads and we need, quite literally, to get out of our heads and into our bodies, to reconnect with what we feel rather than what we think we ought to feel or do or be.

Self-hypnosis is a great way to reconnect with how you are really feeling in your body. Spending time outside in nature is another way. I think it's all about discovering what works for you - and then remembering to practice it.