A new way to manage Insomnia?

New research suggests insomnia might be all in the mind. That’s good news for both therapists and sufferers. The simple act of taking a pill may ease the anxiety that makes it harder for some insomnia sufferers to fall asleep because the main cause of insomnia is expectation and perception. Patrick Finan, a researcher in…MORE

How brain structure and heartbeat affect your judgement

The structure of our brain controls our behaviour, but we think with our hearts more than our heads. Most of the time, we think with our heads, but occasionally, especially in moments of distraction, we unconsciously switch to thinking with our hearts. We do this far more than we know, or care to admit. Our…MORE

Mindfulness needs to take account of gender

New research suggests that mindfulness should be adapted to the different ways men and women process emotions.  Mindfulness is the new buzzword in world of talking therapy. Its popularity has soared in the last few years and therapists and clients alike enthuse about its effectiveness. There have been several studies that show mindfulness helps to…MORE

Acid Attack!

Welcome to the Sixties. LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide to give it its proper chemical name, is an hallucinogenic drug. It used to be very popular in the psychedelic Sixties – think Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, a popular ballad illustrating the delights of ‘tripping.’ But LSD, or ‘acid’ to give it its more…MORE

Streetwise

Adults who struggle as kids often turn out smarter than those who had stable, privileged upbringings and a private education. It’s a fact of life – some kids come from dysfunctional families or broken homes. Some of them played truant from school, they got into bad ways, they shoplifted and they committed crime to get…MORE

The window to the soul

Forget body language – the real key to communication is in the eyes. Your eyes give away information about mental states such as attention, boredom, attraction and intention. But your pupils give away more. Pupil dilation varies according to the amount of light entering the eye – the less light, the more the pupil dilates…MORE

Falling for the machine

Voice assistants are becoming increasingly popular and will be mainstream within five years. Humans are already getting emotionally attached to them. In the six months since it’s release, Amazon has sold a staggering 11 million Echoes in the UK. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all major players in a competitive and fast evolving game….MORE

Birds of a feather…

They say that like attracts like. That’s why cliques form at school, at university, at work, and at parties. Psychologists from the University of Georgia have found this unwritten rule also applies to people with personality disorders, and that includes psychopaths and narcissists. Dysfunctional people are more likely to make friends with, or even get…MORE

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…

There are reasons some people simply can’t keep to time.   An old girlfriend of mine had this irritating habit of just doing ‘one more thing’ before going anywhere, which is why she was destined never to get anywhere and why she became my ex-girlfriend… or my late girlfriend as I used to call her…MORE

Copy Cats

Think for yourself? No you don’t – you just copy other people. Researchers from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris have confirmed that people unconsciously imitate their friends and associate’s careful or impatient or lazy behaviour. This makes sense – we are humans and our evolution is governed by our…MORE

Mmmm… music!

Music can enhance – or ruin – the dining experience… But choosing the right music can also enhance sales! Researchers from HUI Research, a research-based consulting firm in Stockholm, have conducted the largest ever study of the influence of background music in restaurants. Led by Professor Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, the researchers found that the right ambient…MORE

Faith v. Reason – the battle rages on in our brains

The role of religion in an increasingly secular world continues to be a hotly debated topic. There are other articles on my website discussing the effects of religion and spirituality on human behaviour and on the human condition, but a new scientific study suggests that children raised in religious societies perform less well in maths…MORE

Psychopath plc

Psychopaths will rise to the top in almost any walk of life, but their prevalence is highest in the business world. Here’s why… and how they manage it. A study conducted by researchers at Bond University in Australia in conjunction with the University of San Diego, and published in September 2016, revealed roughly 4.8% of…MORE

Digital heroin

Current research suggests that teenagers are so glued to their smartphones and tablets they no longer have time for drugs or alcohol. Without realising it, we are all becoming addicted to technology. With the younger generation – and by the younger generation I mean anyone who can’t imagine what life was like without computers, mobile phones…MORE

Football hooligans and suicide bombers

There are good evolutionary reasons why people behave in very different ways when they share their experiences with their peer group. Crowds of football supporters are as one large organism, each fan part of the greater entity with but one aim in mind – to will their team to victory. But fans experience of promotion or…MORE

Slot machine hypnosis

Welcome to the Slot Machine Zone… It’s like the Twilight Zone where space-time is suspended and it’s impossible to escape. Gamblers can fall into a hypnotic state without realising it. The problem is especially acute with problem gamblers who may be susceptible to suggestion. The tricks that Casino operators use to encourage people to gamble…MORE

Them bones, them bones, them lazy bones…

Why our brains make us follow the path of least resistance. The urge to find the easiest way of doing things with the least amount of effort is one of the reasons human beings have been so inventive. Take the wheel for instance – how much backbreaking work has that simple invention made easier? The…MORE

Creative people are better connected

The way our brains are wired could provide the key to understanding the way we think. A talent for innovation, creativity, imagination, originality, and ingenuity is the result of how the two sides of your brain are able to talk to each other. If you can think outside the box, then you’re very likely to…MORE

Do leopards change their spots?

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have just completed the longest-ever study of human personality. Guess what… you’re a completely different person in your seventies than you were in your teens. It’s always been thought that your personality is fixed by the time you reach your late teens. But scientists at the University of Edinburgh…MORE

Phone separation anxiety – worse than PTSD?

The digital generation are developing separation anxiety for their phones.   It is entirely normal – and understandable – that children get stressed and start to panic if they’re separated from their parents, and that parents experience the same kind of emotional shock if they lose sight of their children in the park or shopping…MORE

Improving children’s language and maths skills

New research is helping children improve their mathematical and language skills. The techniques could have implications for adults undergoing therapy. Children are better at remembering new words and phrases after a quick nap. Researchers from the University of Arizona’s Department of Psychology, led by Michelle Sandoval, studied language skills in three-year-olds, and found that those…MORE

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

The Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle has become a celebrity cliché. What is it with that attracts people so strongly to put them on a path to self-destruction? And what does it mean for the rest of us? If I made a list of all the stars who had fallen ‘victim’ to the…MORE

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt. All phobias are just tricks of the imagination. While it’s good to have a healthy respect for dangerous animals or threatening situations, you have a right not to be frightened. If you suffer from a phobia, you will no doubt recognise the…MORE

Beware the Internet troll

Most people think that Internet trolls are angry sociopaths firing off abusive rants to strangers. Mostly, however, they are not – they are ordinary people, just like you and me. But under the right circumstances, almost anyone can become one. Around 40% of Internet users say they have been victims of trolling, while 20% of…MORE

No more Mr nice guy

Does being nice to people really make us happier? Not always. Most companies train their staff to smile and be polite to customers, even when customers are rude, ungrateful, surly, demanding and awkward. But a two-year research programme carried out by the University of Frankfurt am Main proved beyond doubt that when people suppress their…MORE

Boys and girls come out to play…

Children as young as 18 months prefer gender specific toys. Why is this? Older children know what they want for Christmas, but choosing the right present for the very young can be tricky. Do you stick with the traditional choices – an action man for a boy and a doll for a girl – or do…MORE

Bully beef

Lots of children get bullied at school. Most recover after a short time, some take longer and some go into show business. But if you’re a parent, there’s no need to feel helpless. There are lots of things you can do about it… Keep a lookout for the signals. Sudden and unexpected changes in behaviour…MORE

Standing on your own two feet

Feeling Down, feeling depressed? Standing or sitting up straight can beat depression because posture has a direct impact on mood.             I’ve been saying it for years. Standing or sitting up straight really can improve you mood. Try this experiment: First, stand with your shoulder s hunched down, pull a…MORE

Persuasion

The subtle art of persuasion is something that has been honed to perfection over the last hundred thousand years. Persuasion is part of the way human beings learn to cooperate. It’s also a quality that comes naturally to those who enthusiastically pursue success and leadership, and it’s easy to master if you follow these simple…MORE

It takes intelligence to find sick jokes funny

People with a dark sense of humour are more intelligent, more emotionally stable, and less aggressive. It takes higher cognitive and emotional skills to understand sick jokes. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a cleverly constructed, deliberately offensive and controversial joke – the more outrageous, the better. But it has to be intelligent. In other…MORE

Your Facebook page is a reflection of your personality

Are you creative, confident and conscientious? Or are you narcissistic, neurotic, or suffer from low self-esteem? Most people think that psychology is the study of the mind – it isn’t. Psychology is the study of behaviour. Observing, measuring and predicting behaviour gives us a window on the mind. We can ‘people watch’ over a cup…MORE

The best way to remember is to teach what you learn!

I really know my subject – I really do… I know it inside out, but when I have to explain it, it’s so fucken difficult! But then I learned it ididn’t have to be… When I was at college, some of the more sneering students would quote and age-old adage, that ‘those who can’t, teach.’…MORE

Dieting? Alcohol will make you hungrier…

We all know that alcohol contains sugar – something we need to avoid if you’re on a diet. But drinking alcohol, already high in calories, also makes you hungry, hence the success of the late-night kebab and offal shop… A pint of beer contains about 200 calories, a glass of red wine, 160 calories, and…MORE

Drinking to forget makes bad memories worse

Alcohol alters the brain’s chemistry – that makes memories difficult to overwrite. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University, led by neurology professor Dr Norman Haughey, have found evidence that alcohol not only prevents you from forgetting bad memories but can make those memories stronger. Alcohol strengthens the synapses (connections) between neurons connected to the brain’s fear…MORE

Saving memory

Our memories are malleable at the best of times, but they become even more unreliable as we age. That’s when we go into the next room for something and then forget what we went in there for. On the other hand, we still retain detailed memories of important things that happened years ago. Why? Every…MORE

Revenge is sweet after all

Revenge really does make us feel better. Social rejection incites us to seek to repair our mood by any means possible, and that includes causing harm to others. This is why…  A recent study carried out by researchers at the University of Kentucky, led by psychologists David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall, has confirmed that…MORE

Lots of social media accounts? No wonder you’re depressed

The number of social media accounts you have says a lot about your mental health. Young adults who use more than seven different social media platforms are more than three times more likely to report symptoms of depression than those who are happy with just one or two. For a start, the more accounts you…MORE

Want to lose weight? Stay away from the gym!

Working out at the gym is more likely to make you put on weight! Sudden excessive fitness regimes, like crash diets make our metabolism go into survival mode. If you exercise for a few months and then relapse into a sedentary lifestyle you will actually put on more weight than if you hadn’t bothered in the…MORE

ffs… put the mobile away!

The mere presence of a mobile phone is a distraction to your brain – and the brains of others! If you want to get things done, put it away! The very presence of a mobile phone is a distraction – not only to your brain, but also to the person you’re supposed to be talking…MORE

Taking hourly breaks will improve your life

Whatever you’re doing, taking a break for just 5 MINUTES every hour will refresh your mind, improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and even quash cravings for food. Spending hours a day sitting behind a desk is known to have consequences for your health, but scientists now say that just a five-minute walk could…MORE

I’m not a morning person…

New research shows that whether you’re a morning or an evening person really does depend on the hour of your birth. It might also help to determine a wide range of other crucial characteristics such as your intelligence, creativity or the likelihood of you becoming an artist or a criminal. It may even determine if…MORE

Your Achy Breaky Heart

By using your head instead of your heart you can control how much you love someone – simply by focussing positive or negative thoughts about them. Behavioural and cognitive strategies can reignite a failing relationship and ease a broken heart. According to researchers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Erasmus University, Rotterdam, there are…MORE

How our brains trick us into conflict

How is it possible that when presented with the same information, we come to hold such widely different views of reality?  The views we form about the world undergo a series of modifications before they morph into unassailable and resolute beliefs. But these changes are influenced by more than just the ability to comprehend and…MORE

The truth about multitasking (it’s bad for you)

Being able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time might sound like a great timesaving idea, but it’s not! Multitasking confuses the brain and leads to more stress and mistakes. Multitasking is an illusion. The brain’s natural limitations mean it can only process a limited amount of information at one time. This is because…MORE

The addictive drug of religion

Religious experience exerts the same effect on the brain as sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll! Religious and spiritual experiences excite the brain’s pleasure and reward circuits in exactly the same way as more down to earth pleasures, such as food, tobacco, alcohol or listening to music, but this is especially true when the individual…MORE

Take a nap and improve your life!

Taking short daily naps can improve your life in so many ways! Humans are one of the few animals on this planet that only sleep at night. Most animals follow a polyphasic sleep cycle – they alternate between wakefulness and sleep several times during the 24 hour day. Unfortunately for us, the way our normal days…MORE

Managing your addictions

Eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, sex, social media, drugs or chocolate – addictive behaviour is something that can tempt the most saintly among us. Addictive behaviour comes in all forms and affects most people. Everyone on the planet has their own secret pleasure – it’s just that some people find it impossible to control! Addictive behaviour…MORE

Is racism the result of our own evolution?

In the late 1940’s, a shocking experiment carried out by two African-American psychologists changed the way we think about racial prejudice… Kenneth Bancroft Clark, a psychologist and teacher at the City College of New York, and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark, were both activists in the Civil Rights Movement. Together, they founded the Northside Center…MORE

Learning by rote

Traditional methods of learning have been modernised, meddled, tampered, fiddled and generally interfered with by successive governments. And after all that, it turns out the old ways are the best after all. When I was at school, before I wrote my age in double digits and before the blackboard was the chalkboard, 10 years before…MORE

Yes, your bum does look big in this!

GPs should stop worrying about offending patients who are clearly overweight and send them to Weight Watchers! I often tell clients straight out they need to lose weight, and what must be done to make it happen and researchers at Oxford University have confirmed that GPs can make a difference by spending just 30 seconds…MORE

Suffering from Insomnia? Probably not…

I get a lot of clients who tell me they suffer from insomnia. They can get to sleep but wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for what seems like an age before they finally nod off again. They want me to hypnotise them to sleep right through. This I cannot…MORE

An ethical placebo

There is an unresolved ethical issue concerning the use of placebos, inert pills routinely prescribed to patients because their effectiveness is long proved and understood, especially in cases where illness is psychosomatic. But is it really acceptable to lie to you patient? In a recent study of sufferers of chronic back pain, carried out by…MORE

Lack of sleep can change your personality

Just one sleepless night can make you emotionally detached, irrational, and willing to take unnecessary risks… In 1959, Peter Tripp (pictured) a popular DJ on a New York radio station, pledged to stay awake for 201 hours – that’s eight days and nine hours – for charity, while continuing to host his radio show. It…MORE

The negative side of positive thinking

I am a pessimist. Being a pessimist has made me happier because I am never disappointed. If I experience feelings of optimism I push them to the back of my mind because when things turn out better than I expected, I feel even happier. My life is happy because I am not encumbered by false…MORE

Your technology addiction is harming your kids!

It’s not just kids who are addicted to technology – parents are just as guilty. Parent’s use of mobile technology around young children can cause tension, conflict and negative interaction in parent/child relationships. Parents are thought to use smartphones and tablets for at least three hours everyday. More than that, parents are finding themselves inhabiting two…MORE

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

The little white lies we tell our children to spare their feelings have to handled with care – children’s perceptions of truth and lies change as they grow. We all lie to our children. Father Christmas, the tooth fairy, a man who can walk on water… these are, generally speaking, harmless stories that can help…MORE

Beware the Dark Triad

The ‘dark triad’ is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, all of which forewarn malevolent intent… Psychopathy is characterised by antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness and remorselessness, Machiavellianism, by deception, the manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical regard for morality and overriding self-interest. Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism,…MORE

Don’t worry, be happy!

Kids! Stop worrying about stuff and start enjoying your life! The incidence of mental illness among teenagers has soared in the last decade. Of course it could be that we have simply become more vigilant. Or could it even be the rise in the number of new conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, Narcissism and Teenage…MORE

Get a life! – The downside of celebrity worship

One in ten people are obsessed with a celebrity, so much that their obsession affects their daily lives. Celebrity Worship is now recognised as a psychological disorder. An estimated 1% of people have it so bad they can be classed as borderline mentally ill. It’s natural for people to admire others who are successful, who…MORE

Twelve books you must read

  These books will change the way you see and think about the world…   LIFE ASCENDING – The Ten Great Inventions Of Evolution Nick Lane   The Biology of Belief Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D.   The Emperor‘s New Drugs – Exploding the Antidepressant Myth Irving Kirsch   THE MYTH OF REPRESSED MEMORY: False Memories and…MORE

Nicotine is no more addictive than a placebo

Smokers! It’s not the nicotine that gives you the ‘rush’ but the dopamine the brain produces when nicotine enters the body that’s the real culprit! It’s the dopamine rush that’s the real cause of your addiction! Ingesting cigarette smoke directly into the lungs is a very efficient way of directing nicotine straight into the bloodstream….MORE

Video Nasty II

More than 2 hours a week playing video games will damage your children’s social skills. Children want to play video games – they can easily become immersed in them and anyway, that’s what all their friends are doing. Gaming is also a great time killer – video games keep children occupied and stop them getting…MORE

Addicted to Facebook?

A new study carried out by Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook researchers has revealed that personal posts and comments make people happier. We should be deeply suspicious about this – and for obvious reasons, not least because their results overturn the findings of a host of other studies. There is already a mountain of research…MORE

How music can help battle dementia

Dementia sufferers, deprived of so many precious memories, are still able to remember the songs they love. Music can evoke emotions even in the most advanced Alzheimer’s patients. With emotions come associated memories. Music can make life worth living again. When I joined the Max Jaffa Orchestra in 1977, one of the first things I…MORE

Clowning around isn’t that funny

There’s something strangely unnerving about clowns… The reason lies buried deep in our brains. WARNING: contains some strong language. The medical term for the fear of clowns is Coulrophobia, and it ranks in the top ten most common phobias. A surprising number of people find clowns creepy – some even suffer from a pathological fear…MORE

Weed – at least it’s not heroin

The dope people are smoking today is a lot stronger than it was in the eighties. What’s more, people are growing their own supplies rather than relying on dealers, making marijuana a very cheap recreational drug… but there may be a higher price to pay. Cannabis – also known as marijuana, pot, grass, ganga, dope,…MORE

Out of hours email? Non!

There’s a time and a place for everything: a time for work and a time for play – and there’s a time for putting one’s family first. The French have passed a law that forbids employees checking their work emails at weekends. This is a sensible move. Companies who expect their employees to check their…MORE

Video Nice – UPDATE

Playing certain kinds of video games could actually boost a child’s intelligence and improve their exam results, but excessive Facebook use could have precisely the opposite effect! According to the latest research, carried out by Dr Shawn Green (assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Dr Aaron Seitz (University of California, Riverside) kids who played video…MORE

Mindfulness – UPDATE II

We were introduced to Mindfulness just a few short years ago. Like all fads it has inevitably come under the scrutiny of the academic community… and they’re not convinced… There has been a huge increase in the number of people practicing mindfulness in Britain. It’s the new happy meditation, aimed at those with time on…MORE

Smarter than your Parents!

Our ancestors were pretty stupid compared to our own children, who are definitely getting smarter. We already know that this learning curve has risen significantly in the last 200 years, and really shot up since the early 1950’s. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) first came into use in 1947 and is still widely…MORE

Six tricks to get your own way…

Remember the tale of the Sun and the Wind? They had a bet to see which one of them could make a man take his coat off. The wind blew and blew but all that happened was the man fastened his coat tighter. Then it was the sun’s turn… The art of persuasion is based…MORE

Video Nice

Video Nice is the sequel to the article Video Nasty http://www.newtonhypnosis.com/video-nasty/ If violent video games and TV shows can influence aggression, what would happen if we could harness this effect to calm people down? Prisons have traditionally used programmes like woodworking classes and art therapy to keep inmates occupied and away from trouble – no easy task…MORE

Sexual Abuse and Repressed Memory

Some therapists are at last waking up to the fact that repressed memories are false memories. Lives have been ruined, reputations destroyed, people have been falsely accused and imprisoned, families and communities torn apart. It’s all been a terrible mistake. It takes considerable digging on the part of the therapist to unearth repressed memories of…MORE

How hypnosis affects the brain

The debate as to whether hypnosis is a special stand-alone state or simply the result of suggestion, is now resolved. Scientists at Stanford University, the home to the notorious prison experiment, have at last provided clarity. But for stage hypnosis, the news may not be so good… Scientists at America’s prestigious Stanford University, led by…MORE

Some Observations on Addiction

So grandma goes into hospital for a hip replacement. After the operation she’s given diamorphine, which is medically pure heroin. Over the next two weeks the doctors prescribe smaller amounts until it’s time for grandma to go home. So here’s the question… why doesn’t grandma come out of hospital a heroin addict? The answer may…MORE

Coping with Anxiety

There are ways to beat anxiety – one session of hypnotherapy is usually enough – but there are some simple quick fixes you can accomplish yourself. Women are nearly twice as likely to experience anxiety than men, but although anxiety and stress are two different conditions – stress is experienced as a response to a…MORE

The Mystic Connection

Why are some people able to ‘connect’ with the mystical? Is mysticism a special gift, or is it just the way our brains are wired? Meditation is widely recognized as a valuable therapeutic exercise – the focus and relaxation of meditation is undoubtedly of benefit to those who practice it and for many, a way…MORE

Emotional Contagion is Catchy!

Emotional Contagion is infectious – emotional states are transmitted from person to person at astonishing speeds. As a performance hypnotist I know that one volunteer giggling uncontrollably can, and in a matter of seconds, infect the entire group, rendering the induction sterile. Infectious giggling I thought I had left behind at school, although I can…MORE

The unhealthy pleasure of anorexia

It seems anorexia is not about the fear of getting fat – it’s about the pleasure of losing weight… Anorexia nervosa is a devastating eating disorder where sufferers starve themselves, unnaturally thin and sometimes with fatal results. The condition typically affects teenage girls and young women, although boys and young men are not entirely immune….MORE

My job is making me brain dead

Lack of job satisfaction can have a long-term effect on the brain. Be warned – it can affect memory and concentration later in life and lead to a decline in brain function. Your brain is like a muscle – it needs exercise! I’m lucky – I’ve never had a boring job, although the long drives…MORE

Frozen

Ever been frozen with fear? Things happening so fast you don’t know which way to run? Felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights? It might be part of your evolutionary survival strategy.   The fight or flight response is something which everyone has experienced sometime in their lives, but fight or flight isn’t always…MORE

Colour Coded

A few years ago, an American Football team painted the visiting team’s changing room pink, a colour thought to have an adverse effect on the visiting team’s performance – somehow they were less energetic, less on the ball… Complaints were made to the sport’s governing body who investigated the claims but were unable to come…MORE

The End of Free Speech

I used to know everything. That was when I was 16. Now I’m all grown up, I realize that I know fuck all about anything really, except my own rather narrow specialist subject and some other stuff I’ve learned over the years. One of the things I’ve learned is that disagreement can become vicious, especially…MORE

How I treat my clients

Your client is not your friend. You’re not going to be inviting your client for a drink after work or to your home for dinner. Every therapist knows that the imaginary barrier between the client and the professional has to remain firmly in place. But working with clients can often be a battleground. Here are…MORE

Always late? You could be mentally ill…

Being late is the height of bad manners… but is it really your fault? Yes. Probably.   When I was in my teens, punctuality was held up as a virtue; my private grammar school education taught me that lateness was the most inexcusable of all the sins. Attending the Royal Northern College of Music, punctuality was…MORE

How to improve your intelligence in one easy move

Contrary to conventional wisdom, IQ is not fixed. Intelligence can be boosted right throughout adulthood simply by mixing with more intelligent people, or taking on more intellectually stimulating jobs, hobbies and interests. The traditional nature versus nurture argument, that intelligence is mainly the result of one’s genetic make-up, with environmental factors – education, social interaction…MORE

No Sex Please, We’re British

Sex, sex, sex… will they ever stop going on about it?! Society is obsessed with sex. Sex is overrated, over-exposed, over talked-about and overdone. Personally I’d rather have a pizza… and so would a lot of people. The theory that we should want more exciting, more adventurous sex is a very recent one, and wrong.  …MORE

You’re back in the 1970’s

Hypnosis is back on TV. You’re Back in the Room has rehabilitated the reputation of stage hypnosis.   I once met Phillip Schofield in Christchurch, New Zealand of all places and I’m pretty sure it was in 1981 or perhaps 1982. I was touring with Hot Gossip as first-half support act for Arlene Philips’ soft-porn-thinly-disguised-as-choreography…MORE

How to make a happy, well-adjusted child

What joy there is in childs play! Play is more than just fun and games – play establishes relationships and teaches children about boundaries. It’s only relatively recently that the real importance of play in children’s lives has been recognised – children’s moral, social and intelligent development is directly linked to how they play.  Want…MORE

Can we really read body language accurately?

Mentalists and ‘mind readers’ claim to be able to guess what people are thinking by reading their body language as easily as they’re able to read a headline in a newspaper. The truth is – they can’t, and this is why… ‘Trick of the mind’ exponents like Derren Brown* are seemingly able to read and…MORE

Addiction – The Choice!

Contrary to popular belief, addiction is NOT a brain disease – addiction is a learned behaviour, and a behaviour of choice! Informed by considerable experience dealing with drug addicts, I can assure you that addiction is a personality disorder just the same as selfishness or narcissism. From the mid to late 1980’s, I took on…MORE

Technology is making our kids stupid

Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that reading books on digital platforms can hinder an individual’s ability to think abstractedly. If you’re reading from a tablet or other digital device, you might be missing out on the bigger picture. Furthermore, reading news stories, features and books from digital screens makes people more inclined to focus on…MORE

Moderate exercise can clear your head

Just 30 minutes exercise can create new neurons in regions of the brain responsible for learning, emotion and memory and even moderate aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobe which leads to clearer thinking. It is well known that runners often report bursts of mental clarity, enhanced moods and moments of becoming lost…MORE

Busy people have sharper minds and better memories

Packing more into the day increases the opportunity to learn new things which stimulate and challenge the brain… and for those worried about age-related memory loss, this ground-breaking study was done on men and women aged 50-plus. 330 healthy men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were questioned by researcher Dr Sarah…MORE

Close Encounters of the Temporal Kind

Whether you are a believer or non-believer, having a sudden and unexpected religious experience can be life changing. But encountering God for the first time may be due to causes more earthly than supernatural. Scans taken during religious experience reveal how neurons in the temporal lobes light up in the brains of those who claim…MORE

Bad Memories

Memory is malleable. Our brains can sometimes take traumatic memories out of context so that occasionally we believe life’s bad experiences were worse than they really were. But our minds can be trained to let go of unwanted and negative thoughts by putting them in a new context. Hypnotherapists increasingly use imagery and suggestion to…MORE

Smarter than the average bear!

Lifetime studies have shown that IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is fixed at an early age, so… whichever way you look at it, and however smart you think you are, you’ll always be stuck with what you’ve got. The good news is that IQ is far from being the only thing that determines success in life!  …MORE

Want to boost your memory? Try this simple method

This is by far the best way to remember stuff… Some people use mnemonics or songs to remember things, but there is another more effective trick. Simply drawing a picture of what you want to remember will help you recall twice as much information, compared with just writing the words. Drawing creates a more cohesive…MORE

Can meditation help you live longer?

Meditation doesn’t just free the mind, it could also keep it young. A recent study claims that regular meditation can knock seven and a half years off the middle-aged brain. Researchers at Jena University Hospital in Germany claim that the combination of intense concentration and relaxation may trigger the growth of new brain cells. This…MORE

Not Committing Suicide

Depression can strike anyone, regardless of background, status, health or wealth. The black dog of depression has no regard for how you think your life is supposed to be. Left to its own devices, unchecked depression can be a killer. I have often warned hypnotherapists against treating, or trying to treat clients who claim they…MORE

Listening to live music reduces stress

Listening to live music and watching it performed can lead to reduced levels of stress. So going to concerts could be good for your mental health and wellbeing.  ‘Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast’ – from the play The Mourning Bride, by William Congreve.   A live music performance for just an hour…MORE

Little Words Trump Big Words

As the competition for the White House approaches its inevitable conclusion, there is a detail that has escaped our attention, a detail that needs explanation, a detail that is vital for our understanding of the human condition. Trump may be loud and offensive, he may even be a bigot, but he’s no fool. Remember six…MORE

Why on earth did I do that?

A thrill-seeking personality and a variable heart rate affects judgement during stage hypnosis. The paradox of stage hypnosis is that the hypnosis is genuine – but what other factors are coming into play? The miracle of hypnosis! People running around the stage, behaving in ways they would never have thought possible! And afterwards, the inevitable…MORE

Music and the Mind

Not a lot of people know this – before I became a hypnotist I attended the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester – that was from 1975 to 1979 and I graduated with a diploma and a B.A.(hons) degree. A lot of the time I was supposed to be in college, I was…MORE

How I Healed Myself by Healing Others

Or, How I learned to stop thinking about myself and started to think about other people for a change… It’s a fairly straightforward story really, and one I must have told a hundred times. The first question I always get asked (apart from ‘can you turn my mate into a chicken?’ which always ranks number…MORE

Rock, Paper, Scissors

It’s one of those games that can become addictive. Like gambling, it’s almost impossible to stop unless you’re ahead. For most people, rock, paper, scissors was the first competitive game they ever played. Rock, paper, scissors is a uniquely simple game – with its high frequency of play, results come fast. A lot of players…MORE

Why didn’t it work on me?

It is rare that hypnotherapists take the time to talk to, or question clients about their subjective experience of hypnosis. It is even more unusual for stage hypnotists to take the trouble to question their volunteers about their experience. I don’t see why not. Time is money… the therapist needs to get on to the…MORE

Why hypnotising kids is wrong!

Increasing numbers of parents are sending their children to hypnotherapists, mainly to cure stress and anxiety over school tests and examinations. That’s all fine and good if your child is 15 or 16 years old and the hypnotherapy is restricted to teaching the child simple techniques for relaxation, focus of attention and the ability to…MORE

Why smart people don’t socialise

I haven’t been out for days… Apart from Saturday evening when some friends came round for dinner (armed with pizza) I haven’t seen another living soul for nearly a week, although the neighbourhood fox whizzed by the house the other evening looking for scraps. If it weren’t for the BBC, the world could have ended…MORE

My Sat-Nav is rotting my brain!

The new age of digital information technology may herald another evolutionary step in human development, and this will not necessarily be to our advantage. When I was a boy, if I wanted to find out anything, I had to go to the library. That exercise in itself required a certain degree of planning. I had…MORE

Only the lonely… Loneliness and how to deal with it

Feeling lonely? It could be you were born that way, but take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone, and there is a way out.  Scientists have discovered that the brains of lonely people are wired differently – people who are lonely shun interaction because they are more prone to be vigilant and alert…MORE

God’s bothering me again!

Most psychologists believe and even some theologians at least consider the possibility that religious belief has been part of the human survival strategy for millennia. Religion, and along with it belief in a deity or deities, has served to codify laws and exhort populations to order and obedience. God sits at the apex of any…MORE

My New Year’s Resolution – and How I’m Going to Stick to It.

This year, I beat my own record! I kept my New Year’s resolution for 10 weeks before I caved in and ate a whole large bar of Galaxy chocolate. Already I regret it. My previous record was about three weeks. The secret of my partial success was not to tell anyone what my NYR was….MORE

Never Admit To Anything – Especially if you’re tired

English law is very different than American law. In the United States a confession is enough for a conviction; in the United Kingdom, any confession must be corroborated by hard evidence. That’s why, in the United States, the land of the free, a staggering 25% of wrongful convictions are said to have been made because of…MORE

Meditation – More Powerful Than Morphine?

I use the techniques of relaxation, suggestion, focus of attention and controlled imagery, all constituent parts of hypnosis (and self hypnosis) to help clients manage pain. As do many other hypnotherapists around the world So guess what? A recent study, undertaken by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina have just discovered…MORE

Perfecting Errors

We’re human. That’s why we don’t always learn from our mistakes. We make the same mistakes time and time again, no matter how mindful we are and how determined we are not to. We all do it. In the end all we succeed in doing is to perfect our errors. Psychologists already understand the processes…MORE

How TV Influences Our Emotions

Good news for anyone who feels guilty about binge-watching box sets! Watching TV dramas can boost your emotional intelligence. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma have discovered that watching well made and well-written high quality fictional shows like Mad Men or Boston Legal can improve our ability to read other’s emotions. In these days of…MORE

Reading the Audience

It’s one of the golden rules of entertainment. A true artist can read an audience within seconds of walking onto a stage, and some can second guess the mood as they listen to the chatter before the curtain goes up. That’s when one of the other golden rules of entertainment comes into play – giving…MORE

Manifestly Ridiculous

There’s a new fad in town! All the ‘wellness’ experts are ecstatic, thrilled to bits at all the miraculous things they’ll be able to help people to achieve, and all the money they’re going to make from it! Yes folks, roll up, roll up! The new buzzword is… Manifestation!! And it’s set to take over…MORE

The Gift of Autism

Autism is by no means a blessing, but with it can come amazing talent the rest of us will never have. FACT: Everyone – every human being on the planet – registers somewhere on the autistic spectrum. The principal signs of ASD might not always be obvious. For example, attention to detail is a sign…MORE

High Anxiety

I have a lot of clients who complain of anxiety. The techniques to deal with this are well known, but what clients don’t understand it that sometimes, worrying might actually be good for them! True, anxiety is something to be avoided because of the impact it can have on mental and physical health. But anxiety…MORE

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blogger

It’s possible that we are addicted to Social Media because our brains have evolved to make us that way! Hard to believe? We are creatures that crave company [at least most of us] and have a deep-seated need to engage and converse with others. So it’s why to see that social media has proved so…MORE

Fear of Failure – and How to Overcome It

PART I “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill   People are more afraid of failure than anything else. Given the tools to confront it can turn your fear of failure into a determination to achieve success. It’s easy once you know how. If you can understand the…MORE

The Well of Profundity Runs Dry

The whacky world of therapy is full of really useful stuff – stuff that can turn people’s lives around. But nestling among the roses are the unmistakeable weeds of quackery and charlatanism. Among the chief offenders is the well known and much feted Deepak Chopra, a bullshit artist of note who once famously claimed to…MORE

Yawn, and the world yawns with you!

Yawn, cough, sneeze, itch – all these things are contagious. The imitation game is part of the human condition. The information in our genetic code is designed to copy itself, as is every cell in our bodies. New-born babies copy their mother’s smile, children copy their parents, teenagers mimic their role-models, NLP aficionados model their…MORE

Thinking On Your Feet

The very best stand-up comedians have a gift more powerful than a ready wit – they have the ability to think on their feet and adapt and respond in a fraction of a second. Their ability to react to an audience quickly is something that cannot be taught or learned – it is inborn. On…MORE

Ambivert Alert!

We’ve all been told that we are either introvert or an extrovert, quiet bookworm or party animal. But if you can be both, you may be an Ambivert.  A friend of mine is very introverted; he doesn’t like to make a fuss, hates the spotlight, prefers a quiet evening in to any activity that involves…MORE

WTF?

Good news! Swearing could indicate higher intelligence.  People who frequently swear are, contrary to popular belief, more likely to have a larger vocabulary than their more polite peers. According to a recent study published in the Language Sciences Journal, a foul mouth does not mean the owner is lazy, uneducated, or can’t control themselves. This is…MORE

Always look on the Bright Side

Always look on the Bright Side of Life… da dum… da dum… da dum de dum de dum… The colours, vocabulary and music of our culture are the unconscious expressions of the range of our emotions, including the difference between good and evil. I have always said that music is man’s finest achievement – it…MORE

Hypnosis… and why you don’t need a degree in psychology!

Protectionism and Vested Interest doesn’t rule the roost when it comes to self-improvement! A friend has started to put on weight. Already she’s up three dress sizes. She’s having a hard time with her boyfriend, her whole life seems as if it’s falling apart. What should she do? She wants to talk about her problems…MORE

Hypnotherapy – without the hypnosis

Hypnotherapy is losing its mystique, but only because it is now better understood. This new perception has negated the need for qualifications in many countries and has increased its popularity as a mainstream instrument of rapid change. For the last two hundred years, ever since Dr. Franz Mesmer first passed magnetized iron rods over his…MORE

Inside Stage Hypnosis

The original version of this article was first published in 2007 in the book All in the Mind – Hypnosis, Suggestion and the New Mesmerists. Is Stage Hypnosis safe? Of course it is… most of the time. It may surprise you to learn that behind the sensational tabloid stories about volunteers sent from the theatre…MORE

Why Religion is Mainly Pointless

Just a quickie… A recent study has found ‘no significant difference’ in the number or quality of moral and immoral deeds done by religious and non-religious people. What that means is that both religious and non-religious people do an equal amount of good things as well as an equal amount of naughty things. “To our knowledge,…MORE

Addiction

Over the last thirty-five years, I have amassed some considerable experience dealing with drug addicts and more recently, problem gamblers. Both can be classed as suffering from mental illness [in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association recognised pathological gambling as a mental illness, similar to pyromania, kleptomania etc.] Both are equally destructive to the addict and…MORE

What You See Is Not Always What You Get

Since I finished writing All in the Mind (some of which is based on the academic research of others, though all have been justly credited) I keep stumbling on more examples of how suggestion influences our daily lives without us having the slightest idea that it’s happening. In the late 1970’s the famous Master Hypnotist…MORE

Controlling Anxiety Is Easy Once You Know How…

Feeling anxious? That’s because your brain is producing chemicals associated with fear. These can shake your ability to cope with things that you previously took in your stride. Anxiety is a function of the human survival strategy – it is purely instinctive and it’s one of the things that stopped our ancestors getting eaten by…MORE

Stopping Smoking Is Easier Than You Think

We’ve all made that resolution to stop smoking – and then started again a couple of weeks later. Every time I do a show or a talk, I’m inundated with requests from people who want to give up the vile weed. Well… it’s a lot easier than you think! If you’re on a long haul…MORE

A Quick Psychology Lesson

Psychology was originally meant to be ‘the study of the mind’ but this is not how psychology is generally defined today. The mind is too difficult to define, quantify or even understand…  These days, we define psychology as the study of behaviour, both normal and abnormal. Psychology is really the study of the behaviour of…MORE

THE LONG-TERM APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS THAT WORKS!

  SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS! No one wants to start living off lettuce leaves and lentils, but it’s EASY to lose just 1lb a week! In six months, you would lose 25lbs that’s nearly 2 stone, or 12 kilos! Losing the weight gradually, without any major change in your lifestyle, means the weight is going to…MORE

Psychopaths and coke-heads and what they have in common…

Psychopaths are different from the rest of us. I’ve known two in my life – one was a bald hypnotist who despite his whiter than white image was a secret alcoholic cocaine and ecstasy addict and the other was someone with whom I was once in a brief relationship. So I know all about psychopaths…MORE

Video Nasty

Addiction to violent video games has been blamed for some of the most violent crimes and ‘moral immaturity’ that is the scourge of modern society. Anders Breivik, responsible for the cold-blooded murder of 77 of his fellow Norwegians, is just one of many examples of people who turned to violence supposedly as a result, at…MORE

How to Woo Friends and Influence People

How to Woo Friends and Influence People (note the play on words here so I don’t get sued for copyright infringement!) How to Win Friends and Influence People is probably the best-selling self-help book ever written. It was certainly the first! Penned by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1936, it sold more than15 million…MORE

Confidence Trick

Successful people exude confidence! It’s not their success that gives them that confidence – the confidence was already there. They’re confident because they believe in themselves, they believe in what they’re doing and they always knew without a shadow of a doubt that they were right. Successful people have the confidence to take calculated risks….MORE

Mass Hysteria in Religion – Two Case Studies

Mass Hysteria in Religion: Two Case Studies For those readers who are unfamiliar with the Toronto Blessing, it is a religious craze that swept the world about fifteen years ago. During the ‘blessing’ people would inexplicably be reduced to hysterical rambling, ‘speaking in tongues,’ behaving like wild animals, and often collapse in a heap on…MORE

Mindfulness – UPDATE

Mindfulness – an update – August 2015. Mindfulness (as discussed in a previous article – Changing Your Mindfulness) is simply a matter of making yourself aware of a problem and taking a few quiet moments to consider your actions. It has proved to be an effective way of dealing with the problems and it seems…MORE

Spot the Narcissist!

Social media sites such as Facebook have made it much easier for us to keep up with the latest news of our friends – wherever they may be – and all the latest gossip. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have revolutionised not only the way we communicate but also the way we see each other and…MORE

What is wrong with Hypnosis?

For the last two hundred and fifty years hypnosis has suffered from an image problem, stubbornly clinging like a wet t-shirt, even though in the more enlightened age of the 21st century, hypnosis is accepted as mainstream – hypnotherapy is even thought of as the ‘grand dame’ of all the talking therapies. So why is…MORE

Depressed…? You need to get out more!

In keeping with my lifelong passion for finding the easiest and most efficient (time saving) way of doing things, I try to find short cuts when dealing with clients. Getting straight to the point has always proved useful, as has my pathological unwillingness to pussyfoot around issues. A good therapist can quickly identify the point…MORE

False Memory Syndrome – UPDATE

False Memory Syndrome – Update How many times have we found ourselves recanting a story of a past event we remember well when somebody suddenly butts in and corrects you? Don’t you just hate it when that happens? So who’s right and who’s wrong? As far as you are concerned, it’s your memory of the…MORE

Why our brains are hard-wired for belief

Why Our Brains are Hard-Wired for Belief.   After three million years of trial and error, of accidental and random mutation, the human brain has evolved to learn to fill in the gaps. If you do crosswords, or ‘join the dots’ puzzles, or jigsaws, you’ll already know what I mean. For instance, is this a…MORE

A bridge too far…

‘The Human Bridge’ (pictured) is now an illegal act in almost every country that has legislation on stage hypnotism, and with good reason, yet some hypnotists still insist on including it. Just to give you the background info, there are very few countries that ban all forms hypnosis, even hypnotherapy, outright. These countries (sic) include Israel and…MORE

The Electric Wizard – The Amazing Story of Dr. Walford Bodie

All that follows is True… Dr. Walford Bodie, The Electric Wizard of the North, was the most famous stage hypnotist who ever lived. No hypnotist has ever come close to achieving his fame or fortune. A household name in his day, he was for a short time the world’s highest paid entertainer. Eccentric, eclectic, electric……MORE

Changing Your Mindfulness…

Changing Your Mind…fullness… Mindfulness… It’s the new buzzword. But is it just the latest fad in the industrial scale self-help industry, or are we being hoodwinked into buying into something that’s been around for a very long time? It’s being touted as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR for short. Another tool in an already…MORE

Stage Hypnosis – the need for tighter regulation.

Stage Hypnosis – the need for tighter regulation. Address to the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis: 14 March 2014 As a stage hypnotist with thirty-five years in the business, it may seem a little hypocritical to speak disparagingly of stage hypnotism. Nonetheless, despite the corporate denial of stage hypnotists, there are very real…MORE

To buy or not to buy…

Read this Article NOW! and we’ll include an extra, added, complimentary, bonus, FREE gift… a unique, fabulous, environmentally friendly, hand-made, designer, luxury, prestige, classic, de luxe, high-quality, premium, select, zero emissions, gourmet pen, with combination lighter, magnifying glass, torch and FM radio, beautifully presented in a genuine, scientifically proven, imitation leather style case with real…MORE

Sociopaths – Ten Tell Tale Signs

Four in every 100 people are Sociopaths – that’s 272 million people worldwide! There’s one living, working or socialising with you! If you recognise any of the patterns below, you have probably been a victim… Sociopaths and narcissists live to dominate others and are obsessed with winning – and at any cost, as long as…MORE

ADHD – An Invented Disease?

Spank your naughty child and social workers will take them away from you – you could even go to prison. But don’t worry – the government will pay you to give them the kind of mind altering drugs that if sold on the streets would constitute a serious criminal offence. Ritalin is chemical castration for…MORE

The New Mesmerists – NLP and Other Nonsense

In the last twenty years or so, alternative forms of therapy have seen a massive increase in popularity. I am not talking about alternatives such as herbal remedies or homeopathy, they have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years although they too have seen a rise in popularity; I am talking about the…MORE

All in the Mind – Index

INDEX Abbe Jose Custodio de Faria 124 Aberdeen University 249 Acupuncture 136 Adrenalin 56 AIDS 423, 446 Alexander Technique 440 alien abduction 37, 348, 349 Alpha Rhythm 40 Altruism 73 American Psychiatric Association 352 Amnesia Associated with Hypnosis 175 An Empire of Their Own, How the Jews Invented Hollywood 132 Andrew Newton Hypnotic Experience, The…MORE

Why Eccentricity is not Odd

Eccentricity is something that should be encouraged. Odd, unconventional, unusual, even peculiar behaviour should be supported and promoted, otherwise we will put ourselves in very great danger of becoming a world of mindless drones, which let’s face it, according to David Icke, is what governments want, and he might just be right. Eccentricity is regarded…MORE

New Blair, Old Stalin

The fact that governments have always used suggestion to exercise power is nothing new. At the start of the 21st Century however, that form of suggestion is getting less subtle, not more. Here we look at how two very different dictators manage it.    I left the United Kingdom and moved to South Africa the…MORE

In Ridicule of Deepak Chopra

Millions have read his books worldwide, hanging on to his every word and lavishing uncritical and unthinking praise on his every word. Is this man the genius he wants us all to believe he is? Or is just another cheap trickster playing tricks on the gullible and the spiritually naive? April 4th 2010 3.40pm. An…MORE

Blessed Are The Meek…

“…blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth…” Matthew 5:5. In these more enlightened and paralytically correct times, you have to be careful of applying labels to people. Calling an individual an antisocial loner can get you into hot water – you even have to be careful referring to someone as ‘socially awkward’ in…MORE

Trusting the Judges

It is a proud feature of our system of English law that guilt or innocence is ultimately decided by a jury of twelve citizens – not by judges or lawyers, but by twelve ordinary people who use their experience of life and their own common sense to reach a verdict, after due deliberation and discussion….MORE

In Praise of Stanley Milgram

To some psychologists, Milgram’s experiments were unethical, but giving painful electric shocks to people in the name of science sounds fun – and it is. To me, he was a genius. He proved what I already knew to be true from my schooldays, and I would sincerely enjoy the opportunity of repeating the experiments. [Actually…MORE

In Praise of Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers said that the patient dictates the direction and pace of the session, and I would imagine that this great man, a true giant among psychologists, came to this conclusion after long experience. Letting the patient take charge of his or her own sessions is empowering in itself, and it saves the therapist having…MORE

In Praise of Irving Kirsch

It is not often I am impressed by psychologists, after all, most of the time psychology just proves what deep down, we already knew to be the case in the first place. Carl Rogers is one of my heroes: he was a genius who reduced the process of therapy to its most simple and effective…MORE

The Secret of ‘The Secret’

The Secret of ‘The Secret’ is Stupidity after all. Hypnotists are very fond of reminding us that hypnotisability has nothing whatsoever to do with gullibility, and this is, in the main true. But hypnotisability has everything to do with suggestibility and whichever way you cut it, the simple truth is that some of us are…MORE

It’s All About the Image

When I was a lad, I remember the days when all comedians wore evening dress. Actually, most of them wore velvet jackets and frilly shirts with unfeasibly large purple velvet bow ties.  Strange but true! Then came the age of the alternative stand-up. Jeans and t-shirts became the rage. Comedians decided that they were no…MORE

A Mine Of Disinformation

Since writing All in the Mind (some of which is based on the academic research of others, although all have been justly credited) I keep stumbling, unsurprisingly, on more examples of how suggestion influences our daily lives without us having the slightest idea it’s happening. In the late 1970’s, Hypnotist Robert Halpern used to begin…MORE

Free Will, And Why You’re not in Control…

FREE WILL: the control you exercise over your own life, depending on the relationship between yourself and the rest of Society’s ideas of rules and responsibility… Do we, as individuals, really truly think and act freely? Rene Descartes reasoned that you have free will only if under identical circumstances you could have acted differently. This…MORE

Getting Your Own Way

You can be as rude as you like as long as you are polite about it!  I had thought of giving this article a rather more optimistic title such as ‘The Art of Persuasion’ but in the end, I opted for a more candid manifesto, and decided for the sake of honesty it should bear…MORE

Subliminal Messaging

September 12 1957, Fort Lee, New Jersey: a market researcher by the name of James M. Vicary decides to carry out a unique and ground-breaking experiment in which an unsuspecting cinema audience is bombarded with subliminal messages: “Eat popcorn, drink Coca Cola” appears on the screen for three milliseconds. The result was that sales of…MORE

The Psychology of Gender

The Psychology of Gender: and why most of your Clients are Women. Overall, women are equally as intelligent and clever as men, but one would be a fool if one did not accept that women’s and men’s talents lay in different areas. Men are simply better at spatial reasoning tasks than women. This opinion is…MORE

Good News for the Placebo

The placebo effect is as old as the healing professions themselves. The idea that you will get better because you believe you will get better is a very powerful one, and one that doubtless the pharmaceutical companies would like to have suppressed if they had the chance. But there is powerful new research that seems…MORE

Neuro Linguistic Poppycock – Part 2

The Origins of NLP         NLP originated in California during the early 1970’s and is certainly a product or at the very least a hangover from the flower power era when all wished to be one with nature and at peace with a nuclear-free tree-hugging world. The name most often associated with the creation of NLP…MORE

Neuro Linguistic Poppycock – Part 1

The Truth about NLP I am not here to bury Caesar but to praise him. So before attempting to bury or praise a whole list of alternative therapies, I should first of all make it clear that I am pretty well going to stick to the psychology based therapies. First, if only for the sake…MORE

The Pointless Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment, Philip Zimbardo’s epic investigation into the darker side of the human condition, now back in favour after Abu Ghraib, proved nothing we didn’t know already, and at a terrible price. The Stanford Prison Experiment, created by the now Legendary Philip Zimbardo was supposedly designed to answer some age old questions about…MORE

Hypnosis in Religion Part 2

In Matthew 17:14-20 there are other examples of mental illnesses being cured but strangely no examples of severed limbs growing back. Even the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead is held in suspicion by many Biblical scholars and churchmen. And it’s also safe to assume that Jesus’ failures were not so highly publicised. Neither…MORE

Hypnosis in Religion – Part 1

“Let us pray” said the minister and the whole congregation, observing the traditional social convention, bowed their heads as one, performing the same simple action in unison, and thus relinquished their individualities and for a few brief moments became part of the larger organism of the group. The simple act of bowing heads and closing…MORE

Group Behaviour – Part II – The Christians

We respect other’s right to believe, so why do others deny our right not to believe? This article tries to explain the psychology behind the problem. In every large group there exist sub-groups, cliques and factions. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that some sub-groups may be more extreme than others – you…MORE

Group Behaviour – Part I – The Yobs

So far we have concentrated mainly on the suggestibility of the individual, although in the last chapter, Hypnosis in Religion, we did look at the behaviour of groups in situations where the emotional response of the group was manipulated by the organisers, and how normally sane individuals could be submerged in the group. Now I…MORE

Addiction – The Lifestyle Choice

No doubt my observations on this most sensitive subject will meet with disbelief from those who have convinced themselves that addiction is an illness, and therefore should be treated as such, with copious helpings of understanding, bleeding-heart liberalism, and guilt laden mercy-mission. This is a position with which I most vehemently disagree, and I have…MORE

Is this You?

Believe it or not, the great psychologists Freud and Jung believed that personality was dictated by which star sign you were born under, and of course they were wrong. Mind you, there are probably some tree-hugging mystic types out there who still think that is the case. Most psychologists now believe that the seemingly complex…MORE

The Psychopaths

fgggg

There is a psychopath living next door to you, stalking you on the golf course, at the club, in your workplace, behind the pulpit, and even in your bed. These people do not wield knives or raise their voices – their chosen method of murder is the long game, complete with meticulous planning: their goal…MORE

Precious Memory

Our memories are not as reliable as we would believe. New research has uncovered disturbing evidence that offers a damning indictment of a theory so flawed, it should never have been taken seriously in the first place. At long last, scientists have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that ‘Repressed Memory Syndrome’ is not only unsafe…MORE

Radical Therapy

All the talking therapies have one thing in common – an awful lot of talk. Freud is credited with the invention of Psychotherapy, but Carl Rogers perfected the idea. Hypnotherapy has always been regarded as the almost perfect short cut to a cure, but it seems that there are even quicker, more effective ways to…MORE

Little White Lies and Little Green Men

Have you lived before? The evidence pointing to previous existences and past lives is truly underwhelming and yet there are those who make a comfortable living from persuading others to believe that they have lived before. Time to take a closer look… During the 1960’s, 70’s and early 80’s, all sorts of research was carried…MORE

Beginning Hypnotherapy

To be a successful therapist, you need to take this on board. There are four golden rules when it comes to dealing with clients and they’re easy enough to remember. Rule 1. You must always care about your client. If you are into the therapy business solely for the money, it is likely you will fail….MORE

Dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is without doubt, the disease of the new century. But we still have to deal with it and help clients pick up the pieces. When we talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) we are not talking about the stresses and strains of modern life, which includes things like stress…MORE

I Can’t Make You Thin

In the 19th Century, the Russian anarchist Bakunin wrote, “Don’t waste time on doubting yourself, because that is the biggest waste of time ever invented by man.”  For thousands of years, a lot has been written about the origins of the mind. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, is even more written about changing minds.  There…MORE

The Secret of Good Therapy – Part 2

Now I’m not trying to punt my own profession here, but the great advantage of hypnotherapy, which relies on getting the client to relax and find a comfortable ‘space’ to discuss things which would otherwise be difficult, is that it provides a comfort zone that allows the client to do just this. Therefore, it is…MORE

The Secret of Good Therapy

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare – As You Like It. Which just about sums up the entire underlying principle of all of the talking therapies. It’s just as Carl Rogers said – the client must decide there’s something wrong in the first…MORE

Defining the Trance

For the last two centuries, scientists have struggled to define hypnosis. Now, it seems that at long last, they may have succeeded. Why is it that some people can be hypnotised while others seem able to resist? Why do hypnotised subjects appear to be asleep when in fact they are wide awake? And why do…MORE

Hypnosis: An Overview

What is Hypnosis? Hypnosis is very difficult to define. Some hypnotists even disagree amongst themselves about a true definition, but I think the simplest definition would be ‘Hypnosis is an artificially induced state of relaxation where the susceptibility of the mind to suggestion is increased.’ When we talk about hypnosis, we are really talking about…MORE

In the New Age

Hypnosis has come a long way in the last two hundred years. Today’s therapists are more likely to be casually dressed and relaxed in manner; the swinging pocket watch has been banned and the words ‘you are feeling very sleepy’ are a very definite no-no! Mention hypnosis to the average person and they are likely to picture…MORE

Hypnosis or Hocus Pocus?

Andrew Newton, an internationally renowned hypnotist with 30 years experience has 6,000 live performances and television shows under his belt, and has hypnotised over 60,000 people. Here, he spills the beans and tells us what it is he really does for a living! Sometime in 1989, I had agreed, against my better judgement in truth,…MORE

A Closer Look at Hypnosis

And now, for that most important and capricious of all human emotions – Motivation. Two psychologists, Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwartz, finding themselves at a loose end one day at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor decided to see if they could motivate a group of 20 students to take more regular exercise. The…MORE

Hypnosis

“Anyone can become a competent hypnotist after just a weekend’s training with Andrew Newton… provided of course they understand that there is no such thing as hypnosis..!” The above quote was from South African Magazine ODYSSEY after I had been interviewed for a feature article on me and run by them in early 2008. Although…MORE