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This is the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast, session number 143, Michael Watson on Evolutionary hypnosis. Welcome to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Lynette, Your professional resource for hypnosis training and out. Standing Business success. Here’s your host, Jason Lynette. So I’d share with you the quick anecdote that as I’m having these conversations, and if you’ve been following this program ever since at first launched a couple of years ago, you might notice that there was a shift in terminology at one point.
That the original dozen or two sessions were all interviews, and that was the terminology that I used. And very clearly there was a format change that happened at one point. Where simply a bit of reframing, I started to refer to it instead as a conversation that the theme of the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast is you go to a convention, you go to a training, and yes, the information you were there to learn would be outstanding.
Yet often it was these side conversations. You would meet up with people at the restaurant or in the bar, in the lobby of the hotel, in the hallways, and these almost late night conversations sometimes, and that’s where some of the biggest takeaways. Would come from, and that’s the structure of this program, that it’s not that tightly rehearsed seven or eight minute interview on a late night talk show.
It’s instead that long form conversation where things naturally flow. And I comfortably tell you as I’m chatting with people, I’m jotting down some notes and recognizing some loops that we open up and then looking to close them up and find that through line of what a person’s particular style is. But then again, sometimes you have a conversation with someone like Michael Watson, who just so clearly has such an amazing grasp on the work that he’s done, has taught it so eloquently many times over the years.
And I’d comfortably share this one becomes a bit of a monologue because as I was perfectly about to chime in and ask the right question there, he was already tying up that loop, already filling in those gaps. And that’s a theme that you’re gonna hear inside of this conversation. That he at one point talks about the theme of the message.
The mission statement to hypnotists is to stop giving suggestions. Let the client fill in the details. Let the client have their own organic experience, and by working in that way, you create this incredibly congruent change. That I love this framework that he introduces here of perhaps outta the origins of what was once called generative trans, but now into his branding, his approach of evolutionary hypnosis, the process happening in a much more organic way, which as is he themes and inside of evolution is not always a pretty process.
Though the themes of tenacity, the incredible stories and metaphors you’re gonna hear in this conversation are one that I really sincerely know are gonna influence some aspects of my own work. And hopefully, uh, I know it’s gonna have that same great influence inside of your work too. And as you listen to the first 10 minutes of this, I know it’s gonna draw you in because it’s perhaps one of the more colorful and imaginative entry points.
Into hypnosis that I perhaps have ever featured on this program. And, uh, be sure you also check out, uh, Michael’s website, which is phoenix-services.org, Phoenix hyphen services.org, which we’re gonna link to that in the show notes. And we’ll do our best to put a listing of some of Michael’s upcoming outstanding training options, too.
Just this mindset of being in the moment and listening to the client. And yes, as we go into our sessions, We should have some strategies. We should have sub techniques. The handyman, the carpenter needs to know how to use the tools. Yet you’re gonna hear this clear philosophy of transcending those techniques out of this dialogue with Michael, that we learn these strategies, but then we get to that beautiful place.
Where we forget them, where we’re not thinking our way through it, and these organic processes can start to develop out of it as well. It’s where, from my opinion, the greatest skills of the hypnotist come down to confidence, creativity, and flexibility. Confidence. The theme of being able to. Take control of the process.
This theme of tenacity you’re gonna hear in this conversation, creativity, this aspect that again, we’re taking the, the, the canvas, the landscape, the various paints, and as Michael shares the metaphors that they’re bringing into the process. And then that’s what comes all together. And then the flexibility that you should not be going into your process.
With a cookie cutter expectation as to I have to do it in this order and this specific sequence, this, this is one of those philosophies that I share inside of my trainings [email protected]. It’s yes, an all excess pass to more than 70 hours of hypnosis training, which on the surface, Looks like, here’s another technique.
Here’s another induction. Here’s another deepener. Here’s another strategy for change. Yet it’s in the modules, specifically on the framework of the session, the workshopping of the process, or more specifically these elements where here’s a technique, but now watch these six demos of me doing it with different people to be able.
Curve and carve out of the process. Here’s how it’s modified, here’s how it’s shaped for the individual. Here’s how you let it become that truly evolutionary organic experience. You could learn more about that program [email protected]. You’re able to get access to that for as little as $47.
Though this incredible conversation on evolutionary hypnosis. When you get a chance, spend some time with Michael. He’s an incredible guy and. Pay close attention for the few people who will pick up the one random Rocky Horror Picture show reference in this conversation. And with that, let’s jump directly in.
This is session number 143 Michael Watson on evolutionary hypnosis,
Well, I didn’t, I certainly didn’t notice that it was hypnosis at the time, and, uh, I, I think the easiest way to say it is that hypnosis sort of snuck up on me. Without telling the longest story, uh, I have a history that, uh, that leads me from, uh, religion and drugs into hypnotherapy. I’m not sure which was more influential of the two, uh, whether it was, uh, psychedelics or spiritual experience.
But I was, uh, studying for the priesthood, the Episcopal Church, uh, to make a long story short, and, uh, went through the, went through the ropes and spent some time in a Benedictine monastery. And, and, and what I kicked all of that off, uh, at the beginning, I think was an experience that I had as a. Uh, gosh, I must have been seven years old or something.
And, um, and I was in the choir. I was one of those, I was one of those little English choir boys, you know, starch collar, you know, uh, choir kids. Uh, what I remember was, uh, as a little kid in this great, great cathedral with the sitting underneath pipes that were 16 feet long and shaking the walls, um, being, uh, struck in a, in a day.
So the church was a little, uh, uh, what do I wanna say? A little different than it is now. A little less liberal than it is. So in the ceremony there were some places where we weren’t even supposed to look up. We were supposed to bow our heads, avert our eyes, and kind of in this, in this stillness, uh, I remember that we were seeing the sanctus, this great, uh, prayer that, uh, that basically is introduced with the phrase, therefore with angels and arc, Angels and all the company of.
We law and magnify your glorious name evermore, praising the, and saying, Holy, holy, holy. And it’s this great, this great anthem. And I remember as a little kid, I had this idea because I couldn’t look up, I didn’t know what was really going on around me. And like I said, the walls were shaking and uh, and thunders voices, you know, all around me that, uh, somewhere in the vault of this great cathedral, there were in fact angels and arc.
Angels and all the company of heaven. And. Reality, some experience that wasn’t my usual every day. Way of experiencing the world. And I, and I think, uh, this kind of mystical experience of a seven year old is the first recollection that I have of anything, uh, that I would call to be an alt alter state of consciousness.
That was kind of part of what set me on this, uh, on this church path. And, uh, and just graduating from high school in 1970 when, uh, you know, when, uh, when hair was long and, uh, acid was easy to come by. Uh, more and more of. Uh, more and more of those experiences started to give me a sense of the plasticity of human consciousness, uh, in ways that, and it’s funny, plasticity now is one of those words that seems to be going around, but, uh, but I remember was very present to me in like 1970 and 71.
I wasn’t, I wasn’t a guy who would, uh, go out and get loaded or do drugs in order to party that didn’t work for me. Um, what I was really doing, was, I was doing psychedelics and I was sitting by a little stream where I just kind of out in nature, a, a, a quarter, a mile or so from my dormitory. and, uh, and writing journals mostly in poetry.
And, uh, and admittedly having an occasional conversation with Lepro Con or two, uh, like you do. Well, yeah. Like you do, you have to, you have to, you know, you have to be polite if they’re gonna interrupt while you’re, you know, trying to do your stuff. So anyway, I, I just had this, uh, this sense of alternative realities and things that was very present to me.
And, and I. You know, and, and I knew there weren’t lecan in the woods and stuff. I don’t wanna create the impression here that I’m some kind of crazy guy that was solicitating, stuff like that. But, um, but I simply appreciated the fact that somehow or another I could create experiences and, and make them very real for myself.
And one day I kind of woke up to the fact that that’s, uh, what I had been doing with most of. Life and, and oh and even more so that’s what almost everybody that I knew was doing with their lives. They just didn’t think about it that way. And that we really were all making up these experiences, uh, and, and I was fascinated with the, with the process.
So anyway, it, my, my, my church history evolved, uh, to a place where, what happened was I was doing pastoral counseling in, for the Diocese of Chicago in the, uh, diocese and counseling center at the, you know, at the cathedral downtown. in the late seventies is when this was. And, uh, at that time what was really current in popular, uh, popular psychology or counseling psychology especially were, uh, creative visualization processes and guided imagery things.
And that was sort of a new, really trendy deal that was, uh, that was happening, uh, ever since. Um, I’m, I’m facing, oh, Gene. Ever since Gene Houston, uh, had come up with mind games and, uh, things like that were going on, there was a real, um, interest in the human potential movement and exploring these things.
So, so we’re doing guided, guided processes. And I had this client one day who said to me, You know, Michael, he said, This is really hypnosis . And, and I remember being startled. I, I , I had no frame of reference for that. The only thing that I knew about hypnosis was, uh, you know, some, well, what, what happened?
My clients know, you know, some, uh, uh, dogs clocking and. I’m sorry. Chicken sparking, something like that, Uh, you know, in the animal farm of my mind. And, and, uh, I thought that was really, really curious. And I had an undergraduate degree in linguistics, actually in English, but with an emphasis in composition in linguistics.
Uh, and, and I got just fascinated, uh, all at once with this. So fascinated in fact that, uh, I decided I needed to study hypnosis and I needed to do it properly. And, and of course, uh, I was so naive that I didn’t realize that you could go study hypnosis. Uh, uh, so many places. I, I thought there was, you know, probably only two or three people in the entire world that, you know, that taught hypnosis.
And, um, my husband was thinking about leaving Chicago and moving back to Texas, uh, which is where he had come from, and. And, uh, when we were looking at Texas, we, I became aware of this, uh, a woman. Her name was Anita Bird. I don’t know what’s happened to her now, but, uh, Anita Bird and she was teaching a class, uh, certification training in hypnosis.
And I thought, my gosh, I’ve actually found one. And, uh, we can, you know, we can move to Texas and I can study with this great impetu who, uh, is obviously great because look, she teaches classes, which is the criteria that I use today. , you know, So, uh, so I, I, we moved to Texas and, uh, and Anita’s class was, uh, well 30 hours long.
Uh, it was, it was 10 Wednesdays, uh, for three hours each Wednesday. Uh, and, and again, I had no idea, you know, I didn’t know what to expect or what was appropriate or, or, or, you know, if it should be longer or shorter or anything. I, uh, you know, all knew to me. So at the end of her class, I discovered that I was pretty good at inductions, but I already had been pretty good at inductions.
Uh, I had learned them from Timothy Leery, you know, and, and other folks like that. And so, uh, so in any case, uh, while Anita was teaching the class, She was enrolled in a really early NLP practitioner training that, uh, Meetha Singleton and Leslie Cameron Bandler were doing in Houston. And so she started telling us, uh, a little bit about nlp, which intrigued me.
And I, I picked up the books, you know, particularly frogs into princes that, uh, some people remember. It was the, it was the most popular, uh, book about NLP at the time. And as I was reading it, I thought, I really, I really want some more of this, because I was looking for tools so far. I knew something about inductions.
I knew all about getting into altered states. But in terms of the what to do when you got there, um, I just, uh, felt at a loss. So NLP seemed to offer a solution for that. And, and, uh, and as I looked through the book, I saw the, uh, the way to learn about nlp, at least according to the inside of the back cover, was to move to Colorado, where, uh, the Andreas’s were running their practitioner certification training.
Um, they were called NLP Colorado at the time. They’ve gone through so many, uh, uh, incarnations. So, so I went to Colorado. Uh, the training was 27 days long. Uh, much richer and fuller, uh, than anything that I’d had before. And, uh, you know, I loved it. I got some tools. I, uh, continued to work with those tools and I did some logistic support and stuff, uh, for the andreas’s for a couple training.
So the, uh, Andreas has brought in a guest, uh, for the closing weekend of their trainings. Uh, and it was typically a, uh, significant player in the field of NLP from, uh, you know, from some other organization. And in this particular training, they brought in Robert dz, who was one of the original researchers with Bandler Griner.
When NLP was being developed, Robert had been working on, uh, uh, beliefs and their applications to health related issues. He had particularly got involved with this work because his mother was diagnosed with cancer and he was determined to use everything at his disposal to, uh, you know, to help her. and, uh, I was intrigued with Robert’s work.
So, you know, I had, uh, I had up and left Chicago for Houston because, uh, NLP was there, and now I found myself, uh, leaving Denver, which I had gone to because of, uh, I’m sorry I left Houston. Uh, I, I said it wrong, didn’t I? I left Chicago for Houston because hypnosis was there. I left Houston for Denver because NLP was there, and now I was ready to leave Denver for.
California because Robert Ds and, uh, the, the, uh, the ground, the birthing ground of NLP was there and, uh, this incredible area of beliefs and health and how they work together. So, Moved to California, uh, put everything in a long back Plymouth Voyager van, and threw it in storage when I arrived. Uh, and then drove down to Santa Cruz where I lived in the parking lot of uc, Santa Cruz for a month in my van.
Uh, learning about beliefs in health and, uh, was absolutely amazed, uh, with, uh, with what NLP had to offer me in terms of adding to my toolbox, but still really, really fond. Of these kind of altered state experiences that had sort of fueled it in the first place. Uh, and, uh, I didn’t really want nlp, uh, NLP and hypnosis didn’t seem to me to be separate fields.
Mm-hmm. , in fact, something that I’ve, I’ve, I’ve really. Often argued with people is, I think it’s more an accident of California law that it ended up the way that it did because nobody was quite sure who could legally practice hypnosis in California when NLP first presented itself. And, uh, and one of the primary things that came out of NLP at the beginning was this technique called six step reframing.
Mm-hmm. that starts out with this idea, go inside and establish communication with the part of you that’s running and un wanted. Behavior, Uh, it sounds like an induction to me. Go inside. Certainly. Uh, yeah. Clearly there’s something hypnotic going on without necessarily saying, Close your eyes. Let me now hypnotize you.
Yeah. They say, Go inside. I’m like, Oh, we can’t do this out here in the yard. . Uh, so, so, so we went in and, uh, and so, so to me, I never saw the, i, I never saw the distinction and, and fortunately, Through, um, through nlp and particularly when I got involved with NLP in California, uh, I started getting more exposure to Steven Gilligan and, uh, did a number of workshops with him.
And he actually participated in a, in a longer training that, uh, that I did a certification, uh, that I offered a certification and he came and did pieces of it. In fact, uh, the, the best thing that ever happened to me as a trainer, I was teaching a certification course in hypnosis after, you know, and I had been teaching it for a number of years in California, and uh, we decided to see if we could get Robert to come, I’m sorry, not Robert, but Steven Gilligan to come and do a piece of this training.
And the only day that he was available was on day one. and as a naive young trainer who’s, uh, hypnosis training at that time started out with something like, uh, what is hypnosis? Uh, well, it wasn’t starting out with that this time it was starting out with Steven. So Steven blew their mind, absolutely blew their mind with, uh, generative trance and some things that he was developing.
You know, I was gonna be the next day. And whenever people asked Steven a question that he didn’t really want to answer or wasn’t on his syllabus, uh, what I remember is he used to say, I’m certain that that’s something that Michael will be discussing with you in the next, uh, few days. And, uh, . So I developed a curriculum, uh, based on, uh, on Steven sort of steering everything to me that, uh, that he didn’t wanna talk about, but, uh, Uh, it was, it was such a, a, a great experience and, uh, and again, uh, he so, uh, so incredibly touched my work with this notion of, uh, of generative trance.
Uh, and that led me to kind of what it is that I’m doing now. Basically, generative trance in a nutshell, uh, generative anything is the idea of. Using trans or using the process to open up space for something, for something bigger, something larger to emerge from it. Uh, somewhere around the same time, uh, I got, uh, involved with the core transformation.
I’m a licensee of, uh, Connie Ray Andreas’s core transformation process, and there was a similar idea echoed there that, uh, that basically. I remember my first core transformation training starting out with this idea that, uh, uh, as a piece, by the way, here’s my confession. Now. I wanted to stop smoking. I was, uh, you know, I was doing hypnosis and stuff, but I’m still smoking cigarettes.
And, uh, so I thought, well, I’ll take this into this core transformation process. We’ll see what happens here. And I discovered that what smoking was about was about being comfortable in social situations and what being comfortable in social situations, uh, was about. Was, uh, about being able to, uh, interact and share myself more easily with, uh, other people.
And what being able to share with other people was about, was about being a part of a community and what being a part of a community was about, was about being one , you know, in the world, uh, et cetera, et cetera. Deeper and deeper, you know, down, down, as they say. And I thought, now this is really interest.
Um, because this could have just been a, a conversation about cigarettes. Mm. . And in fact, there was a, a kind of a richness to it that, uh, that again just took me back to my, my spiritual underpinnings and, and not so much. And I, I certainly don’t mean religious ones, I just mean, uh, a sense of, of depth or, uh, or, or richness to all of life.
That that really is an important part of the kind of work that I do in hypnosis. So, uh, so in any case, uh, I, I call what I do, evolutionary hypnosis, uh, it is admitted. Uh, not, uh, entirely original. In fact, so much of it is informed by my experiences of Steven. Uh, I don’t call it generative hypnosis or generative trance.
Mostly out of respect for him because there are some things that I have added to it and some differences in my thinking from his. And, uh, I figured it was appropriate, uh, for me to, to separate it out and say, don’t. Don’t let this mislead you about what Steven thinks about anything, uh, just because I, you know, just because I happen to be influenced by him.
But the idea to me is that hypnosis is, as a field, of course, hypnosis is evolving. Uh, and, um, and you might know, uh, if you think about, uh, our, our friend Mesmer. You’ve, you’ve heard of this fellow mm-hmm. , who, who seems to, to me, when I, when I look at the history, actually seems to be more of a reiki practitioner, uh, than, uh, than people give him credit for the, the mesmeric passes and, and, uh, the utilization of, of energy fields and the way that he did it.
But basically there is this notion in hypnosis in what I call the first generation or the first wave of hypnosis. Uh, actually again, this is an idea that comes from Steven, him. . But, uh, but in this first wave, there is this idea that the conscious mind is an idiot. Uh, the conscious mind is trouble. Uh, the conscious mind is got to be gotten rid of in order for us to be able to do anything successfully, uh, with clients.
And so step number one in hypnosis is, uh, get the conscious mind out of the way. Mm-hmm. . You know, we’re gonna knock you out. We’re gonna put you under, you know, whatever it is that we’re gonna do. So then, you know, while that’s taking place, we can, uh, we can talk to your unconscious mind. Who, by the way, in this early model, um, as at least as it appears to me, is also an idiot, because it isn’t capable of thinking for itself.
What it’s capable of is being receptive to the implantation of ideas and suggestions that are offered by somebody. . So the conscious mind is an idiot, and the unconscious mind is an idiot. And this is the beginning of a field that now we are engaged in and , you know, and, uh, and not particularly respectful of our clients.
And, and in a way, sadly, in my thinking, at least not the holistic thing that we represented to be when it’s thought about in that. So, so one day now, and, and again, by the way, this certainly reflects my biases by the way, cuz I would suggest that this, uh, conscious mind and unconscious mind both being, uh, less than optimal is something that continues through the history of hypnosis all the way up to contemporary hypnotherapy.
Um, but there’s some exceptions to this. And one of them shows up in the person of Milton Erick. Who one day, uh, when his wheelchair or his, uh, not his wheelchair, but his rocking chair rather rocked unexpectedly. Uh, it’s a long story I could tell you about that, but it, it doesn’t really matter. He was just thinking about running and playing and, you know, doing the kind of things that a normal kid his age could do while he himself was paralyzed.
And as he was thinking about that, the chair started to. And he thought for a moment, Gosh, I must be getting my ability back. And uh, so he tried to rock the chair deliberately and realized that he couldn’t rock the chair. So he got despondent. He sort of turned his attention inward again, and he said, Well, um, if only I could run and play, and started thinking about that again.
And the chair started to rock again. And, and so I, the way that I like to think about it is that on that day, um, Milton Erickson discovered his unconscious. Um, I would say Milton Erickson discovered hypnosis, but I’d be really careful about that because he didn’t think about it the same way that other people thought about it.
He wasn’t educated by somebody about hypnosis before he started having. Theories about it of his own, uh, which accounts for some of the differences between Ericsonian hypnosis and Elman and, you know, and other schools of thought because, uh, uh, some of them came about quite independently of one another and the language, uh, became independent of one another.
So we have words like, uh, the unconscious and the subconscious that people. Argue about, quite frankly, I don’t care what you call them, as long as uh, you know, as long as you can establish a relationship. No, I put that in the same category as the, uh, should we count up or should we count down if we’re going to deep it, And really we can go around in circles having the conversation similar to, you know, your opinion.
I, I’m of the same thought that when it’s is off in the new student going, Should I do hypnosis for this or should I do nlp? And it’s, well, yes. Pick one, be consistent. Absolutely. Yeah. I wanna come back to a couple of points here briefly, which the side note is that, uh, it’s the interviewer’s dream where the person speaking is already filling in the loops of the questions you’re about to ask.
So thank you for that. That’s incredible. Um, I, I, from the perspective of origin story to where you are now, The, the pastoral background coming into the work that you’re nowadays doing, someone’s in your space and you’re about to help them facilitate a change, what would you say it was from that, from that background that prepared you to, to step into that other role?
Similar, yet now different position. actually, it was, uh, Compassion . I had, I had this, uh, expectation of myself too. I, I had learned something from, by the way, besides the pastoral counseling, I had also worked for welfare departments and stuff. I, I, I had learned a long time ago that, uh, sympathy is, uh, is a little bit problematic because, because, uh, Uh, well, basically, you know, you can spend all of your time feeling bad about the people that you’re working with and, uh, and noticing how your lives are similarly, you know, troublesome, uh, or, or empathy.
The same way you can sort of catch their conditions and, uh, uh, and be disabled so much that you can hardly do good work with people. Um, and the compassion seems to be the order of the day, and somehow I had found. way of being, this, this ground that worked for me. Something that I’d like to talk about a little bit more later, because I think it’s, uh, it’s an important thing is to have a, to have a paradigm to work from that, uh, uh, that really informs it.
And, and we’re not quite in a place for me to, to go there just yet. If you’ll, if you’ll indulge me for a couple minutes. But I, but I, but I think it was that, it was, uh, uh, it was an awareness. that, uh, I really believe that inside each and every one of my clients, there is something brilliant wanting to happen.
Mm-hmm. , which is why I, why I call it evolutionary hypnosis in the first place. Um, not only is hypnosis evolving, uh, the way that I was suggesting, but, but, uh, you know, but that person in front of you is there because they are having an evolutionary experience of their own. Uh, you know, whenever we experience some kind of.
Or, uh, or, or elation for that matter. Either way, we become more and more aware of what our values are. More and aware, are aware of what’s important to us. Uh, and I think the very presence of pain and elation in our life is actually the, uh, the experience, the the felt experience or sensed experience of that evolutionary urge.
Um, that is, uh, that is going on, that impetuous creativity, that’s trying to resolve itself, you know, in our lives moment by moment. So when a client comes to see me, one of the things that I know is the game has already begun. There’s something going on here, and, and my curiosity is how do I get to be a part of?
By the way, I, I appreciate that while I’m talking about this stuff, Jason, that, that I tend to do a lot of work with people with anxiety issues and with stuff like that. I don’t do, I don’t do as much like smoking and weight loss and those kind of things, which I could, which I could easily sort of hang into this model, but I actually tend to get involved with people who would more than likely.
Uh, be going through 20 years of psychotherapy if they weren’t coming to see me instead. Yeah. And I’d love to put it into this perspective cuz I love that uh, that perspective of um, you know, framing it as evolutionary hypnosis, that as that often say it’s like I’m as a dialogue that’s in my mind a paradigm that I’m often using, which clearly this usually doesn’t work its way into the session.
Cuz on paper this could be a very cold statement that I’m less and less concerned about their problem and more. And. Concerned about their solutions. So it’s about transitioning them into that next phase, not just pulling out the peg of this problem and hoping everything else sorts out. It’s about transitioning to that next phase of life where that old issue is no longer congruent.
And that can easily be put into the perspective of, let’s say here’s the person who, let’s use the habit, let’s use the behavior. They’re quitting smoking, they’re losing weight, and now that they’ve made. Physical change in their life. Now they’re able to do these other physical things more easily. How, how would those principles apply for you in the concept of working with the fear, working with the anxiety client?
The, the very fact that the, that the fear is there, It is an indication that, that, like I said, the game is a foot, right? The game is a foot as in the problem has been identified, or the game is a foot in the sense that they’re now doing something. They’re actually in the, in the, in the process of waking up.
In a way, Jason, and, and I, I like the way that you said it a minute ago, cuz I think this is, this is a word that went through my mind when I was listening to you, is I like to think that we’re midwives, you know, that, uh, that, that the labor has begun. , you know, that, that, uh, that e the thing about evolution is that it isn’t always pretty, you know, sometimes, uh, hopefully, you know, it’s pretty as often as it can be, but sometimes it’s quite messy.
And now there is childbirth, . Yeah. And, and, but at the end of it, there is a clear solution. There is a clear end of the process. And once it starts, there’s going to be a moment of, let’s say, finality, well, at least finality with regard to a specific presenting problem. But the, the curious thing is, on the other hand, what we’re, what we’re also doing, uh, in evolutionary hypnosis is we’re moving a client into a different relationship with their own, being into a different sense of what problems are about generally, so that the next time they start to run into difficulties with other issues, I think they’re better equipped to handle them because we didn’t just.
This one thing, you know, and now we need another treatment for the next thing and another treatment for the next thing. That what we really need to do is to, is to get them in touch with what is it that wants to express itself through us, and how can that happen appropriately. Let me, I, let me give you an example because the, the best example that I can think about for this, uh, and I think makes it a little more, uh, so, so I can be sure we’re having the same conversation, a little more obvious.
Is, uh, the example that I always use, and again, this is, uh, this is not original. This is certainly from, uh, certainly from Steven Gilligan. Uh, and, uh, when I go to England, by the way, I find out that they don’t know about this person. The example that I use is Helen Keller. In England, uh, if I tell them that there was this, uh, little girl and she was deaf and dumb and blind, they want to know if she could play pinball and
And it’s like, No, no, no. You don’t understand. This is, I guess, an American folk hero. But the thing is, if you look at Helen’s diaries, what you see at the beginning is her talking about her experience of being so incredibly lost and disconnected and frustrated and, and, and wanting so desperately to be a part of.
And not really being able to make contact in the, in the ways that she wanted to. And she talks about her whole life and how it turned around the day that she met her teacher, Anne Sullivan and I, and I think basically what made Anne different than other teachers that Helen had dealt with before? Is that Anne looked at this little girl and she said basically, uh, not, not out loud, of course, I mean, this isn’t a quote, but I think within herself on some level, she said, I know you’re in there, little girl, and goddammit, I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to get you out of there.
Uh, and was committed to that, that, that, that, who Helen was to be, was waiting to find a way to come forward into the world and was doing it in a really clumsy fashion, not, not quite ready for prime time and, and the job of, of Anne as sponsor. Is to invite her out into the world. What, what psychotherapy so often wants to do with symptoms because it doesn’t recognize that there’s signs of evolution.
What it does, what, what to do with symptoms is it wants to shut them down. Let’s medicate that out. You know, , let’s, if you’ve been depressed or you’ve been anxious or what, let’s, let’s find a way to stop that symptom first. Well, what you’re also highlighting here is. There, In my opinion, there’s a small virus that’s often inside of the hypnosis profession of something doesn’t get in motion.
A change doesn’t quite occur, and there’s often too quickly the tendency to go to themes of, Oh, it’s secondary gain. Oh, it’s just a resistant client. Oh, they, I, I hear this one still to this day of, oh, they just wanted to find something that didn’t work to prove they can’t create this change. But it’s where I’m really hearing from what you’re saying, there’s this.
Tenacity inside of the process of that change is there. That outcome is there and we’re gonna get. . Yeah. Yeah. Well that is absolutely that the change is, is happening and it’s gonna happen with or without us actually. Mm-hmm. , uh, we’d, we’d like to, we’d like to, as that client is emerging, not only allow, allow them to have expression rather than to shut down that expression.
We want them to express it, but we want them to be able to have an expression and to educate it and to sophisticated it so that it can become an expression that’s appropriate and manageable in the real. Are there specific strategies? Are there specific. Things that you’re doing in that process? Cuz we can take this from the pH, the philosophy of it and think of it that way.
Are, are there specific things that you’re doing in the session that are helping to navigate that? Well, gosh, the sessions are as evolutionary as, as anything in terms of the fact that, uh, I’m not big on, on processes. I tend to think processes create themselves. Uh, when, when they’re the right things, Like earlier you, you’re saying something about secondary gain, for instance, And I, and I remember thinking jargon is really interesting when you’re writing a paper or talking to other academics.
but, but, but if you’re thinking that way when you’re with a client, there’s a real, there, there’s a, there’s a different kind of a problem because, because to be academic about a situation also is to be removed from it, uh, in, in a way that that stops you from being as effective as you can. That, uh, that I think so much of the things that we do, um, Ericson, Ericson pointed out, and, and I, I, I, uh, I’ve seen this, you know, to be so true that, that our clients are already in trance.
That the, that the, when they walk in your door with something that they’re describing as being a challenge for them, uh, that’s their in. Going on, and we’ve got this idea that we’ve gotta really do something important, you know, in order to make a difference for this person. When I think to some degree what we’ve gotta do is to teach ourselves to do less.
We’ve gotta teach ourselves to hold the space. In which this natural process can unfold and to support, to support what wants to, what wants to come forward. So, so to ask the part, for example, that it’s one of the things I like at nlp rather than to tell, to tell a client or to have some road idea about what this experience must mean.
I, I, I, I hear therapist who will tell me, They talked to a client the other day and they knew because of something that she said that she must have been sexually abused when she was a child. Uh, and, and, uh, and, and they know that they’re gonna have to do a forgiveness process before this, uh, session is over.
Uh, or, you know, or some kind of fundamental notion that this is what must be done. I, I think what really must be done is we need to be able to enter into that trans. With our client and with the idea that Anne Sullivan had of saying, I’m gonna go in, I’m gonna come in there and get you, don’t . I’m hearing myself say, Don’t make me come in there and get you
But, but I, I really have that, uh, that sense of it, um, entering into that experience and then helping them find out what do they need, what do they need to be able to move? You know, to move out from there. So what I’d love to explore is the user experience, as I’d often call it. Um, the client is now in your space, what’s gonna happen in those first, let’s say, five to 10 minutes, that sets this, sets this relationship, sets this process in motion.
Okay, so typically, so here is something that I do pretty typically, My, my inductions tend to be something that, uh, I, I want my client to understand how much control of their own experience that they have. Um, uh, because I, because I know that they have more control of it than they realize and somehow or another, being empowered with the idea that they can do something about it is, uh, is something I’d really like to have them take home.
So I don’t want the experience of hypnotic conduction, for instance, to seem to them like something that I am doing to them at. So, so I tend to err on the side of doing, doing so much less. Um, there’s a, a demonstration that I often do with, uh, with groups and workshops, and if you’ve seen me at a convention or something, I, you know, I’ve probably done this one.
But, um, but basically I’ll bring somebody up to the front of the room and I will simply ask them, I mean, I’ll, I’ll talk to them a little bit about, you know, what are you interested in working on today and what’s, you know, what’s on your mind and, and, and just start to orient towards the. But then pretty quickly, I’m just gonna have them be comfortable in the chair, and I’m gonna ask them, just notice how comfortable you are on a scale of say, one to 10, where 10 is as comfortable as you can possibly be.
And one is, on the other hand, like, really, you know, 10 and uptight. And they might say that they’re at, uh, for instance, let’s, let’s say that they say that they’re at a. . So I’ll ask them, I say, And would you like to discover how you can turn that seven into an eight or a nine? And I’ll be darn. They always say Yes, , if they don’t know what they’re getting into, but they always say yes.
And so essentially what I say to them is, Well then go ahead, uh, discover how you can turn that seven into an eight or a nine that you might find that the way that you do it has something to do with the way that you manage your breath. Maybe you slow it down a little bit, or maybe it has something to do with the way that you hold your body or the tension in your muscles, or perhaps it has something to do with the rhythm of your thinking or the stillness that develops inside.
You know, a few things like that. I just give them some choices to explore, but I tell ’em, you know, and when you get to a, you know, when you get to an eight or a nine, then you go ahead and nod, you know, as a way of letting me know. And, and, and basically as soon as I’ve got a nice trance going, one of the things that I’m gonna get clear with them is they have done this and they have done this, and they have done this, and they have accomplished this, and they have changed their experience and this way and that way, you know, I’ll talk to them about how their breathing has changed naturally, how their heartbeat has changed, how their blood pressure has changed, and basically getting clear with them that, uh, all of this change work is something that happens quite naturally.
Uh, within them and isn’t so much about me doing anything to them at all, you know, then we can start to focus on, you know, the issue at hand and, and, uh, how is that that needs to change. Uh, but they’ve already got this foundation that says, Oh, I can change the way, uh, I can change the way I look at something.
I can change the way that I think about something. Uh, so I’m giving them just a whole lot of messages of empowerment and capability. Utilizing what’s there and letting that naturally transition. And I love the phrasing of the state that’s already there, that oftentimes I’d see this approach of, you know, trying to negate the emotion if it arises, Oh no, no, we’ll deal with that later, almost as it were.
When when you have it, it’s pure and be able to branch off of that and utilize off of that. Uh, is there a story that comes to mind of perhaps, uh, a client session where they came in and you could see that? Maybe perspective that self, um, you know, that that opinion as what they expected the process would be, that as they learned that control, as they discovered that ability, just that alone started to get some of the change in motion.
Sure. Well, I, I have a couple. I mean, first of all, this is something that actually works really well with clients because, uh, They don’t, they don’t know that , they don’t know that all that anxiety that they’re making about, my gosh, am I gonna get past this next cigarette or whatever is, is, you know, stuff that they’re creating.
And, and I’ll have ’em create a lot of experiences. I might say, Try this on, try this on, you know, Where would you like to go? Uh, a bunch of stuff like that. First, just again, to, to sort of flip through the, uh, how shall I say it? The, the, the, the theater of the. Uh, in terms of how they can create their internal experience.
I, I’ll, I’ll share a story with them that, um, uh, and, and I think, uh, well this is, this is useful here. Maybe. I, I used to have, I used to have this terrible voice inside of my head that, um, 10 minutes or so, or a half hour or so, I guess before my first Monday night programs, which I’ve been doing since 1991, back in the beginning, uh, of this, I wasn’t sure if anybody was gonna show up.
You know, it’s like I, I, I, I had no budget, I didn’t do any advertising. I had this little office and, and, um, so I would, I had a 35 word ad in a free. Community newspaper that was just for, you know, like hippies in San Francisco. And, you know, if they were coming, they were coming. I didn’t even wanna tell ’em they should RSVP because, uh, I was afraid they might at the last minute decide they wanted to come.
And then not because they hadn’t read it, I was so paranoid that I’d never, never see a client or a customer. And about a half hour before the program, there was a voice in my head that would say, you know, Michael, um, are you ready? Or say, Michael, are you ready to do this program? . And, and I’m like, Well, yeah, I think I’m ready to do this program.
And, and then that same voice would start brow beating me with, uh, you know, you should have, uh, listened to those other tapes. You, you remember tapes, by the way? Yes, you should listen to those tapes or read these articles or done this or that. You have a better outline, you have a better program. And, and, and, and Jesus Christ, look at these refreshments.
You know, they, they, they are so lame. Nobody’s gonna want any of this stuff. And, uh, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah. Until finally, I’m, I’m literally. Minutes before it’s time to start saying to myself and, and what makes you think you can even do any programs on personal growth anyway when you’re such a mess yourself, when you try to get a program like this together, , you know, really an empowering sort of way to, to operate.
So one day I had, uh, I had seen Richard Bandler did a seminar on the Art of Flirtation and there was a woman named Anne Tek that he brought in for a model. And Anne, uh, oh my God, she was lethal. She was psychotherapist from Atlanta and she had this, uh, peach tree. Voice, you know, and, and, and, and I remember the way she batted her eyelashes and looked over her shoulder and, you know, all these cute things that she , you know, that she taught us to do.
And so I remember one day I, I heard this voice in my head and I thought, you know, kidnappers have some of the coolest toys. They have those things that you can strap to the telephone so that when you’re talking to the phone, it doesn’t sound like your. And I remember thinking, what if I had a switch?
What if I had a little box like that on my, on the inside of my head that I could just flip on when that voice started so that it would sound like and teach worth? And it was just something I entertained myself with. I thought, Well, wouldn’t that be interesting? What a creative little, you know, how funny would that be?
Uh, not realizing the implications of it. So the next month, it’s time for my first Monday program. And when it’s about time to. I heard this voice in my head that said, Not Michael, are you ready to do this program? , thought, Well, gosh, that didn’t hurt very much, you know, And , she, I said, Yeah, I think I’m ready.
And, and, and the voice said, Cuz you know, you could have listened to those tapes, maybe, or read a couple of extra articles. And I was like, Well, thanks for sharing. You know, I’ll , I’ll, I’ll bear that in mind for next time, because by the way, I don’t wanna throw out the baby with the bath water. You know, it was, it was probably some reasonable advice, but all of the, the, all of the bad feelings were the result of this tone that I was using inside.
So, so basically what really has so influenced, uh, my paradigm is getting people clear about the fact that they are running that internal process and they’re running it in a way that is in fact fanning the flames of their discomfort. when maybe there are some other choices about what they can do. And so in process we get to, we get to try out other ideas, other ways of, of interacting with themselves until they find something that works better.
So inside of that, as you’re working, what is that, What’s that measurement for you? What’s that moment where, where you’re becoming clear that the change is in motion? That, or even better, the change is complete. How is it that you’re validating that with your. It’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a good question. I, I, I know by the congruity of their responses.
Uh, I’m, I’m real, I’m real keen on sensory acuity, and I’m watching very, very carefully. And I, and I, I think that I’ve learned the difference, particularly because I can always test them. , you know, so, so if somebody says, Oh yeah, yeah, I really get this, man, I’m feeling so empowered right now. And I’m like, Are you sure you’re doing that right,
And, and we’ll see how they respond to that because, uh, uh, because if they need to tweak it some more, they can tweak it some more. Um, but, but I’m going for Bulletproof and, and I, and I really want them to have that experience that they’ve got this in such a way that they can know I, and I want them to know absolutely.
Um, that this just isn’t gonna be a problem for them anymore. Before they, before they. . Absolutely. It’s where, you know, not to aim for the place. If they can cope with the issue, they can deal with the issue. But to really bring them to the place where just it doesn’t make sense anymore is a, is a great philosophy there.
Sure. Sure. And, and, and Jason, just to, just to close the rest of that loop, because I’m. I might be suggesting that I’m not using any techniques at all, and that’s not quite true. But the, that’s really nice. My favor are things like the, like the Betty Erickson, you know, Betty Erickson’s self hypnosis technique.
Basically this idea that the best suggestions are the ones I think that really come from within the client, the client having the wisdom, you know, to be able to resolve this thing. You know, I, I was interviewed by Igor, uh, Ledowski not too long ago, and I thought, Gosh, here’s the guy who is the. The champion of conversational hypnosis.
And I remember in the middle of my talk with him, what I said is, what I’m trying to get hyp is to do, is to stop making suggestions, uh, . And I thought, I thought, Oh my gosh. Uh, do I realize what I have just said? And what I really mean is to create a space. where the natural response of the client is to put something there.
Yeah. See if you suggest to, if you suggest to a client in a visualization that there’s some kind of a, of a gilded box and it has their name on it and it’s really ornate and it’s wonderful and there’s something very special there only you don’t know exactly what it’s gonna be. You know, and, and you just leave that mystery there and at some point then you let them open the box and discover it.
I think that’s really kind of, And it’s the benefit, I mean of any style of work that is gonna have just let’s just label as being interactive, that I’d say this very often, that. Whatever clever ideas you have, whatever clever ideas that people may think either you or I would have, whatever’s inside of the client is gonna be so much more powerful.
And it’s where at times, even when training students, and maybe here’s something that’s, let’s say is more classically hypnosis, giving suggestions. Here’s something that’s a little bit more classically in the mind of N LP A and it’s. Beauty of having to give that exact same statement of, Stop being a hypnotist.
Stop giving suggestions as you take that feeling and let it now flow throughout you and it’s now doing this, as opposed to, What are you noticing now? Just let it develop for itself. Let them fill in those details. Sure. You know, as a, uh, I, I play keyboards, uh, not very well anymore. I don’t wanna exaggerate that, but, uh, I used to.
And, um, one of the things that I know is that, uh, in fact, I, it is because of my, my church history, I was more interested in playing pipe organs, you know, And so, you know, you know, in a pipe organ with ranks of, of keys and, and pedals to, to bounce around on, you certainly can’t be. You can’t be doing that with your conscious mind.
You know, there there, there comes some place where, uh, as hypnotists and as neurolinguistic programmers, we can learn all sorts of techniques. And I think that, uh, that even more importantly, uh, what we really ought to be learning is where those techniques come from. What, what’s underlying those techniques?
What are the deeper principles involved? And then finally, when we sit down with our client, we need to forget about that. We we need to, to. To know what we know, but to bring our awareness into this experience of being engaged in hypnotic relationship with this particular person and doing what, uh, what becomes natural for us to do.
We, we ought use our own unconscious minds while we’re in here. You know, and, uh, and take advantage of, of the, of the wisdom that’s available to, uh, to both of us. Well, it’s that knowledge that many of these strategies are not necessarily strategies that someone sat down and invented, someone sat down and created.
They were discovered by unpacking. What naturally was occurring when here’s a person who created a change on their own, They resolved this fear, they built a relationship with somebody and, and it’s where to be in that exact mindset that you just mentioned. Suddenly now we’re maybe combining strategies, and there may be the technical aspect of, oh, a little of this technique, the little of that one, yet to be in that full open acuity state and really observing what’s going on.
Suddenly now the process. Going in a place that you’ve never done before because you’ve never had that person in front of you and something beautifully organic is now happening as a result of veterans. Yes, indeed. People try to find, when they look at Erickson’s work, they try to discover the techniques of Milton Erickson.
Uh, I don’t really think that, uh, that I’ve been very successful at that because I think Erickson had an understanding, but when he was with his clients, He was just with his clients and, uh, and interacting with them. It was a what are the steps in a conversation? There might be some things, some topics that you wanna introduce as the conversation goes along, and they may be somewhere that you wanted to end up, but, uh, but there’s nowhere in the middle of a good conversation where you could ask, I, I could ask you right now, J uh, Jason, what step are we on?
Right, ? Uh, it would, it would be absurd or no, you’re supposed to do this step before you do that step, so therefore it’s not gonna, It’s just to jump to the left exactly. Or a step to the right. . We just became best friends and just alienated half of this audience who is not getting the specific reference, uh, Google and it gets even better.
Uh, I, I’m kind of going back. I’m trying to draw a through line here of really simply put it out there, being there in the moment with the client and that connection to talking to the lepro. Of that ability to access these other conscious states, which at one point may have been facilitated by, let’s say it as a chemical yet to do that in an organic state.
How, how is that state in terms of your own management, your own experience, helping you to navigate that process with that client? . Well, I, uh, I’m going to wanna have an experience of, of, uh, uh, and get clear about what is it, what is this like for my client right now? When they, when they access that problem or that situation that they’re, that they’re dealing with.
Um, and, and particularly when they access it in the frame of the, uh, uh, the empowering ideas that we’re trying to hold out at the same time. Uh, where, where does this sit now and what needs to happen to it? So, clean language, by the way, is something that I really appreciate. Um, as an example of, of this, uh, I wanna know what, what is my client’s metaphor of this?
We spend a lot of time trying to come up with good metaphors to use with our clients. I, I , I, I want, I want a description of it that comes from them and a description of the change that comes from them. Uh, and that’s something that can happen, real conversation. And, and what? And, and you know, and when you have this experience, when you’re, when you’re, when your feet are caught in, in, uh, cement blocks, you know, uh, that are holding you down, uh, what needs to happen in order for that to change?
You know, they’ll give me some metaphor. Uh, I don’t have to even understand the metaphor. What I, what I know is that this is a useful description, uh, for them. Uh, it is the way that their unconscious mind relates to this. And, uh, and we can start talking about how their unconscious mind then would describe the changes.
It occurs, you know, and, and we’re off to the races. We are, we are building a pathway to, uh, to new experiences. Outstanding. Uh, I love to learn more here. How can people learn more about the work that you’re doing? . Well, let’s see. I am presenting this material in Brazil in January, if y’all wanna come down, Uh, and, and as, uh, part of the, uh, virtual hypnosis conference that Richard Non Guard is offering in a few months, um, I’m also, uh, offering a one day pre-conference workshop in this material at, uh, Daytona Beach at the IAC nine DHA conference in May.
And at hypno thoughts live in August, uh, this coming year. And, um, and related to this, uh, I’m doing a core transformation weekend here in Orlando, uh, in February. Uh, it’s, uh, February 9th and, uh, doing the same program in Long Beach in March, uh, as a, uh, post conference at the, uh, Ihf. Uh, convention or conference, if anybody knows about that, that’s, uh, Shelly Stockwell’s, uh, organization and that’s all gonna be exciting.
So there are those. And of course, they can certainly find out more about, uh, any, any programs or anything like that at my website, which is www.phoenixhyphenservices.org. If, if I were wiser and younger, I wouldn’t have a hyphen in there, but, uh, it was years ago and the internet was new.
And we’ll put links to everything over in the show notes [email protected] too. Uh, Michael, it’s been a pleasure having you on here. Thanks, Jason. Lynette here once again, and as always, thank you so much for leaving your positive feedback over on iTunes, sharing this on the various social media streams that are out there, as well as just simp.
Interacting with me as you’re at any of the upcoming hypnosis conventions. Come over, share with me your story of how you listen to this program and, uh, again, be sure to check out Phoenix hyphen services.org. That’s the link to Michael Watson’s website and we’ll put, uh, links to that in the show notes [email protected].
And, uh, we’ll put in there a list of some of his upcoming trainings when you get a chance. He’s a man to definitely learn from. And while you’re there on the interwebs, head over to hypnotic workers.com. Again, it’s my all access pass to my hypnosis training library. Not just the techniques, not just the methods, but also the philosophies and thinking to really build that skill to be in the moment with the client and help them to navigate that incredible change.
Check it out, hypnotic workers. Dot com. As always, I’ll see you on the inside. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.