Changing Fixed Ideas – How fixed ideas control behaviour

By Gil Boyne

Editor’s Note: The following article is excerpted with kind permission from Gil’s forthcoming book, “Hypnotherapy, Principles and Practice” which will be published by Westwood Publishing Co.

Behaviour is the expression of energy in a variety of forms. Behaviour acquires its character from the underlying ideas that have become fixed in the subconscious mind. Since most of our behaviour patterns are appropriate to the circumstance and situation, the therapist’s concern is primarily with fixed ideas that generate frustrating, restrictive, and counterproductive behaviours. These behaviours are repeated and reinforced compulsively until the underlying fixed ideas are modified or replaced.

The combination of hypnosis and the techniques, methodology and philosophy of Transforming Therapy™ is the most rapid process known at this time for changing these fixed ideas. Transforming Therapy™ focuses on the intensification of the feelings which are linked to fixed ideas which are established through initial sensitizing events (usually in childhood) and maintained by continuing secondary reinforcing events throughout a lifetime. The goal is always to change the emotional and intellectual perceptions to develop heightened awareness and new understanding rather than simply acquiring intellectual insight.
Continue reading

The Game of Snakes and Ladders Metaphor

By Robin Hook

As hypnotherapists we have an understanding of the way the imagination can be used in hypnosis to change a particular mind-set. We can also appreciate that, when in hypnosis, the use of a metaphor, short story or meaningful tale can lead to a profound shift in the client’s attitude and in their appreciation they can have whatever changes they desire.

I have suggested that the following metaphor is called an adjustable metaphor because the components within it can by used by the client, or therapist, to represent different things. It may be that the therapist will need to suggest to the client what the components represent if there has been an agreed goal to the therapy in the initial discussion eg. increased confidence, reduction of feeling stress, appreciation of others etc. It may be that the client will recognise the components and what they can represent without suggestion from the therapist. Snakes have a poor reputation for representing anything good so it is likely their use will represent a negative feeling, painful emotion or unpleasant event.
Continue reading

“Lingua Creationis” and The Creative Nature of Language

By Patrick Jemmer

This is the first in a series of articles exploring the relationships between magic, religion and science, the thrust of which is to illustrate how these relationships shed light on modern-day approaches to psychotherapy. Central to these discussions is the pivotal role played by language in shaping humankind’s psychic development; this is explored extensively in the different contexts mentioned, in order to show how this relates to current ideas, particularly in Neuro-linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. We begin with an in-depth exposition of the link between language and mankind’s ideas about its own ‘creation,’ and of the whole issue of ‘creativity’ – one of the defining characteristics of our species. Further articles develop this thread and investigate the creative use of language, and the nature of magic, religion, science, communication, therapy and change, from a psycho-linguistic viewpoint. The aim of these articles is to contextualize therapy of all kinds in terms of its use of language, and provide new memes which might act as tools for use with clients in practical therapeutic interventions. Parts of these articles themselves act as hypnotic scripts designed to engender Trans-detrivational Serach on the part of the reader to enable them to find their own meanings in the loom of language.
Continue reading

Einstein and my Nan

By Trevor Silvester

The other night I heard a quote on ER that I instantly loved. It originated from Einstein – the man was a machine for great quotes – and goes like this:

“Reality is the most persistent illusion.”

That’s been rattling round in my head ever since. Then, on Springwatch (I don’t watch that much TV really, honest) the host, Bill Oddie, said how many people who say they’ve seen a ghost when walking down a twilight country lane have actually seen a Barn Owl. By coincidence we saw a Barn Owl near our house a few days later, and his words came back to me. We did sight it in broad daylight, but still it seemed amazing that a Barn Owl could be construed as being anything else; particularly something as unlikely as a ghost.
Continue reading

Make Affirmations work for you

By Trevor French

Affirmations can be perceived as a waste of time by some, and the “be all” by others. They can be a useful tool to support work you have done in trance and great to structure suggestions for self hypnosis sessions.

If you do not think of them as affirmations but more as compounding suggestions to assist the work you have done in trance, then you can be aware of the support they can give your clients in between sessions.
You have a client in trance and you give the suggestion “you feel more confident in every situation” you say it over and over ten times to compound your suggestion. This is an affirmation, compounding suggestions is in effect you doing the affirmation for the client. When you compound the suggestions after the deepener and before you do your metaphor or script then subsequent suggestions work to further compound the affirmation. This is a sturdy platform to proceed with direct suggestion work as the after the script/metaphor work you return to compounding the main points of the script again in form of an affirmation.

Continue reading

December 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to the December Newsletter

Keep in touch with the latest news from the National Council for Hypnotherapy and developments in our wider profession with our monthly newsletter. If you have anything you would like us to feature just email us at The Journal Editor

New look New horizons New successes: The NCH powers ahead

Our annual general meeting and extravangza on November 19th was an inspirational event. It left everyone who attended confident that the NCH is building on its success as the best professional organisation out there. Our chairman Paul White extended his thanks to Paul Howard for organising the event and to everyone who attended either in person or by proxy at the AGM. He also stressed the NCH’s commitment to implement the changes outlined during the day as quickly as possible.

At the AGM all the motions were carried and Fiona Robinson from Wrexham won the coveted iPad prize.

NCH rebranding

We are in the fortunate position of doing so well in recruiting members and increasing the uptake of our HPD that we have embarked on a leap forward for our branding and our website. Our executive director Sophie Fletcher kicked off the day by revealing our organisation’s new look and detailing the research and feedback which has led us here.

The new logo (top) was unveiled together with the new look to the website (right, click on it to enlarge).The overwhelming response to it has been positive, with members saying that it well reflected our professional values. Members have also welcomed the announcement of plans to develop our website in the next few months. The new home page will be much simpler so it is easier for members to find their way around. It will have the ‘find a therapist’ function upgraded and made easier to use. This should ensure that NCH members move up the Google rankings more quickly (or so our technical whizzes Rob Woodgate and Paul Howard promise us).

If you missed it….

For any of you who missed the extravaganza there were some great speakers.

Here is a quick taster of what you missed; (a DVD of the presentations will be out soon so keep an eye for details on our website and Facebook page).

Rob Woodgate spoke showcasing a new initiative – Hypnotension – a hypnotherapy programme to help people with high blood pressure. He described what high blood pressure is and how modern life, which forces us to override our natural activity/resting rhythms is making the problem worse. He described how we can use our skills to help people to use their own natural responses to control the problem. The programme will be fully reviewed in the next journal.

Well-known nutritional expert Patrick Holford inspired us all by his clear and lively presentation on how our food intake affects our mood and mental health. He explained how our modern diet can cause metabolic syndrome and depression. He recommended a low GI and balanced diet as well as targeted mineral and vitamin supplements as a better way of improving mood and even controlling mental illness. Interspersed in his presentation were inspirational video clips from patients who had recovered from severe illness under his care.

In the afternoon Dr Brian Roet charmed us by his relaxed chatty talk on how we can help our clients if we understand how to relate to our clients’ individual thought processes and their compartmentalised thinking patterns.

He described the therapist as being a guide saying: ‘Therapy has been likened to climbing a difficult mountain with the help of an experienced guide. The climber fears the worst. The guide knows it is safe and is aware of the climber’s limitations…his skill is in helping the climber realise he can do it.’

Dr William McGeown of Hull University presented his team’s latest research showing how brain activity is affected by hypnosis. His research shows differences between highly suggestible people and low suggestible people and changes in the brain when people are asked to carry out certain tasks following hypnotic induction. He has also been able to correlate certain brain patterns with people’s reports of changes in perception while undergoing hypnosis. This research has real implications for the old state -v- non state debate within our profession. Dr McGeown’s research is ongoing and we will be reporting on his progress regularly.

Our chairman Paul White spoke at the AGM section of the day. All resolutions presented to the AGM were passed. He presented our accounts and was pleased to announce that we are in a healthy position financially. The meeting also saw the election of three new directors; Andy Cox (who will be looking after research), Cathy Simmons (who will be looking after supervision) and Sue Roberts (who will be looking after ethics) . You will be able to read detailed profiles of each of them and hear about their plans for their areas in the next journal.

Welcome to our new fellows

The AGM also saw us elect two new fellows to the NCH. Our chairman Paul White, and long time (now retiring executive member) Rob Woodgate were both elected by the members. This was a reflection of the amount of work they have put into developing the organisation and which they will continue to do.

…And to our new specialist advisers

In other developments we have some new specialist advisers to take the lead in developing our theory and practice in the following areas.

  • Gary Baker (sports)
  • Russell Davis (fertility)
  • Helen Zarod (pain management)
  • Vernon Sykes (stress and pain management)
  • Gill Wood (phobias)
  • Eleanor Copp, (pregnancy and birth)
  • Steve Miller (weight management)
  • Chloe Cook (eating disorders)

Each will be taking some space in the newsletter and in the journal over the coming months to tell you how they can help support your practice. First up will be Vernon Sykes in the next journal

He told us this story which we think you will like:


At the last session for an old age pensioner he commented:

“tha was right about hypnotherapy being holistic – tha’s not only cured the pain in ma knees tha’s cured mi piles an all! And I didn’t even mention ’em”

Hypnotherapy in the news

Russell Grant stops thinking about his bad hip while dancing – using hypnosis

Hypnosis helps swimmer swim the Clyde in October

Be aware

Here are some awareness days, weeks and months that are coming up soon. We thought you may like to know about these so you can use them in your marketing. Do let us know if you have any take up or if you get to talk to the media.

National Anger Awareness Week
1-7 December:
Learn to manage anger

Global Belly Laugh Day
24 January:
‘Having a good chuckle causes the tissue lining our blood vessels to expand and
increase blood flow. This makes us feel more positive, boosts our immune systems, increases pain tolerance and generally just makes us feel happier and more energetic!

Food Allergy and Intolerance Week
24-27 January:
This year as part of Food Allergy and Food Intolerance Week, Allergy aims to help and inform everyone affected by a food allergy. While some can be more easily managed and usually result in more minor symptoms, others can be fatal

National Storytelling Week!
28 January – 4 February:
An ancient skill which can reveal so much

Latest CPD listings

Here are some of the courses coming up. For more details go to our website:CPD Courses

  • 21st January: Anxiety Management Programme
    Sutton in Ashfield
  • 27th January: Self-Hypnosis Seminar
  • 4th February: Weight Management Programme
    Sutton in Ashfield:
  • 25th February: Pain Management Programme
    Sutton in Ashfield
  • 13th March 2012: The Nature and Treatment of Tinnitus
  • 14th/15th March 2012: The Nature and Treatment of Depression, Incorporating the Use of Hypnotherapy

The National Council For Hypnotherapy:
For general enquiries email NCH Admin
for newsletter or Journal Journal Editor


We are working hard to update our email details. If you have recently changed your email address can you please send new details to NCH Admin


National Council for Hypnotherapy