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It’s a lovely story, really. It involves a friend, a friend of mine who’s quite psychic and phoning me on it. Horrible winter’s day. It was blustery, it was gay, it was hailing. It was absolutely awful. And she said, You need to come down to my shop, which was about 45 minutes from where I live at tonight.
And I said, I’m not, I’m not driving that. 45 minutes down to you, have you seen the weather? And she said, No, you, no, you must. Anyway, I trust her as a friend. She’s, she, she’s, she’s never let me down in the past. So in the car I got, I drove down there cursing her all the way. I will really admit. Um, and I got there and I sat there.
She said, You’ll have to sit on the floor with me. There’s a lot of people here tonight for this presenter. And so I thought, Great. I’ve braved this crazy weather, and now I’m sitting on the floor. And so it was a, it was a hip, it was a hypnosis, uh, present. And I thought, what on earth has she dragged me down here?
So prior to that, I was a counselor, and before that I had worked in the live theater industry. Oh really? And with a bit of corporate work in and around that too. Oh, we may have the branch out on that. I was an equity stage manager for for years here in the States. Oh, fantastic. . So, so here I am sitting on the floor thinking, what on earth has she dragged me to this floor?
This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. There’s some crack pot up there, , you know, doing this mad thing, you know, this is for me. I mean, I grew up, I grew up with an entertainer, very well known one in Australia. Sparano used to come to Darwin and entertain us wildly, and I loved, I loved stage hypnosis.
Absolutely. I didn’t really know much about clinical or, or, you know, therapeutic hyp. So, um, and then all of a sudden at some point in the presentation, things changed for me and I was, I found myself leaning forward and I thought, if I can tell when she goes into hypnosis, I think I’m onto something here,
And 1, 2, 3, boom. I saw the exact moment she dropped. And you know, long story short, at the end of the night there, I was out at the front counter signing up for his course. Just like that. Yeah. I had no intentions of doing that. It was not something I had even ever dreamed of doing. Um, and, and it changed my life.
It really did. And having been a counselor for so many years before, um, and encountering so many people that counseling does not work for, you know, so, As in they don’t wanna talk so much . Um, I just thought hypnotherapy was the best thing since slice bread. Really? It, it, I just took to, and that was 20 years ago now.
I love that aspect that that clarification that for those people, that that model of work did not work so well, for which, you know, clearly does state it does work for many of the people most of the time. But here’s this application where I, I, I love the catch phrase in the office sometimes that I’m not gonna try to reason with the conscious.
Yes, . Yes, absolutely. And look, there are people who do not want to sit around and talk or talk and talk and unpeel the onion. Mm-hmm. and go over things. And why should they? If that’s not what they want to do, then we, you know, it’s great to have another method to, to bring them to a place where they can be happy about that.
So then from there, what was that next step was then about integrating the hypnosis into the counseling, or what was that next? Uh, okay. So I did that first course was, uh, it was only nine days. It was very short. So what I learned, excuse me, what I learned about that was I needed to learn more. Mm-hmm. . So I, and then, and then of course I had all my Guinea pigs and I was doing, you know, I was doing practice sessions, which was quite hilarious.
I really felt so out of my depth. I felt like, you know, and, and I should say at this point that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Yeah. So, I had to really, really learn to adapt, you know, improvise and overcome. Uh, and that was a great learning curve. That was really good. So yeah, so I practiced and practiced and practiced, and then I thought, Wow, I like this so much better than counseling.
So the. Over the years I developed a a as we all do our own unique models of counseling and hypnotherapy and merged it all together. And don’t ask me exactly what I do because I don’t think I could tell you , , although is there, is there a story of working with a client that kind of stands out in terms of helping to really illustrate how it is that you now work with?
Oh gosh, Jason, now you’re putting me on the spot. There’s probably, probably several of those stories. Several look, one springs to mind that’s not really relevant to the question, but I feel like I need to share it. Anyway, I worked with this, um, African woman who was child in the days of edr. and she’d had lots and lots of counseling.
So she was four years old when her parents, her her nine, her herself, and her eight siblings, and the parents went on the run being chased by soldiers and she spontaneously regressed. Now that I did not, I would not put anyone back into a situation like that. It’s not something I would ethically, but she did it spontaneously, so clearly it needed to clear.
So, We had been talking and talking and counseling and counseling, and she had that part of herself blocked off very, very nicely and for protection, I mean, clearly for survival reasons. And honestly, in the middle of a bog standard hypnotherapy session off, she went to that time running through the bush with her siblings and her parents, who was who I might add was shot down in front of all of the.
And then they had to survive out there in the wilds, uh, for some time eating grass and whatever they could get their hands on. Really. Anyway, this, this, this spontaneous regression was, blew my mind. Blew my mind, all of the things we’d been trying to get to through counseling. They were right there. Uh, and, and look, it’s fair to say too, that was fairly early days.
I think I’ve probably only been doing it four or five years. I panicked , . I have to be honest about that. You know, I panicked. So, you know, I first of all did the thing, are you okay to continue? You know, shall we, shall we, you know, stop this and, No, no, no, no, no. She wanted to keep going and I sat there and absolutely riveted, quivering wreck.
While she processed this whole thing, you know, uh, it was quite, it was profound. And do you know what? She never looked back after that. She came out of it and she went, Whoa, who knew that was there? So again, with some more counseling and then some more clearing with hypnotherapy. And, you know, we worked together for another few weeks after that and that woman went on to write many books.
About her survival. Mm-hmm. . So that’s probably one of my most profound. Yeah. And I love that aspect of that spontaneous moment. I briefly, I have to share my first, one of my first professional sessions had a similar thing and she suddenly is now speaking in German. Which was, which was not necessarily as magical as it sounds because she was still fluent in German.
I mean, she survived a crash landing, flying from Germany to New York City, and that’s part of where I guess, the fear of flying came from and the first rush of adrenaline and anxiety. Was met with the, what the heck do you do with this? And the second rush, as after I went, as I pick up that hand and plop it back down, you could speak as if you knew English.
Then that second rush of anxiety was, what if that didn’t work? Uh, . But it’s that, it’s that willingness to be in the moment. And I, I. I think you might agree on this, that the experience of the theater background that, you know Yes. Show must go on. Um, you know, having to creatively find a way to send the stage hand out on the stage dressed in all blacks to pick up the book because you’re doing three sisters and, and Olga didn’t pick up the books, she dropped
That you have to find that way of just like, we’ve gotta figure this thing out as we go. We can’t just stop. That is absolutely correct, isn’t it? I mean, it’s all about improv, improv, improv, improv. Okay, this is not going the way I thought it would. So okay, where do we go? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s fluid and it’s flexible and uh, sometimes you just never know where you’re going to end up.
Mm-hmm. . So then from there, what was that next step of, you know, so now you’re out there working with clients, integrating that process and together, uh, where do you then take that? Okay, so then I was floundering around, of course, like, like many, many newly, newly qualified hypnotherapist and I found my way to a little, little, uh, hypnotherapy association in Perth in Western Australia.
and I very tentatively started merging with that community and, and that was fantastic. You know, uh, I met with like minded souls as you do, and, you know, I started to, to, to really blossom then, and a very bossy woman named Sandy took hold of me and said, We need you on the committee now. So that then began my committee involvement with hypnotherapy and associations and that that would be, oh my gosh.
17 years ago. Um, so I was a part of that committee for a good few years. And then, and the aha, the Australian Hypnotherapist Association wasn’t even in WA at that point. It was more an East coast, uh, uh, organization, you know, and something to be aspired to. Because back in those days too, we were like, Oh, we’ll never be qualified enough to join.
You know, it was, it was quite incredible now that when I think back on it, anyway, six of us, uh, kind of banded together and, and formed the first WA branch of the aha. And we had to jump through hoops. We had to have a psychological test. We had to do an exam. It was an open book exam, but we had to do an exam nonetheless.
We had to do all of these things we’d never done. and then the AHA and WA was formed. But because I was a part of the other association, I couldn’t be, uh, officially any part of the Aha and wa, so I was just a member. Mm-hmm. . So that, um, but that, that was the beginning of my association with the Aha and also really the beginning of strengthening up my whole hypnotherapy work life career.
And I remember around that time too, I. I started thinking, right, I can, I can make a living at this. I can make this my life’s passion. And I remember my brother-in-law in particular, you know, so upset, go around say to everybody, uh, she needs to get a real job. What, what, what, what is she thinking? What on earth is she thinking?
You know, she needs to get a real job. And you know, I’d like many of us in this industry, people thought I was mentor. Really, Really, really? You. Not, not right to pursue this, but I remember one of the happiest moments of my life was about five years later when I overheard my brother-in-law. He never ever told me directly to my face, but I overheard him telling somebody else, uh, well, look at her.
We all thought she was nuts. But look at her . She’s done it.
So, yeah, so I, you know, I was, I worked part-time for many years, like so many of us do, and then took the big plunge and jumped in head first. And, you know, uh, bit by bit, by bit by bit. But my passion is to see hypnotherapy progress in Australia. It’s still looked at in, in ways that, you know, I would prefer it not be, you know, a little bit out there.
Mm-hmm. a little bit last resort. The mainstream kind of shun it, although that is changing. It is changing, but not as quickly as I would like to. Right. Yeah. We find ourselves at a, at a great renaissance of it where, you know, and it’s interesting as I’ve, as I’ve spoken in events in different countries where, you know, here in the states we have perhaps the benefit that there’s a lot of.
Well stage hypnotist working with high schools and a lot of these kids are interacting with it still. And because of that, as they’re now into the, their adulthood, they’re aware of it. Uh, or even just different things in media that as much as there may be, let’s call it out, negative depictions and.
Various movies or television shows, my phone still rings and people go, Hey, I saw that movie Get Out. I know it’s not exactly that, but can you help me with this? And they’re logical enough they can make that association, you know, speaking over in the UK last year where there’s not that school aspect of it yet, still it’s definitely growing.
If you had to kind of characterize it in Australia, how would you describe. Uh, look, definitely, definitely the interest is growing. Mm-hmm. , there’s no two ways about it. What I have really particularly noticed in the last couple of years is, is, is as an association, we have had so many more doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and even more importantly, underneath Theists coming.
With the association. So every time I have a chat with an anesthetist, it makes my day . Cause they really, really beginning to embrace it. So yes, look, we are getting there and I think in the last couple of years we’ve, we’ve taken a great big jump forward. Uh, , The, the, as you said yourself, the, the, the movies and the television shows, it doesn’t matter how it land.
Outlandish they are, It sparks off that interest in a person. Who will then make that contact. Um, and, you know, I think we all experience that, so that’s really good. It’s a very interesting development. I mean, I, I think the frustration in Australia for us is that, so the veterans, for example, you know, the medical, medical assistance is still so mainstream.
It’s like, yes, you can have hypnotherapy, but only with a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, you can. Have hypnotherapy, you know, it’s No, no, it’s not mainstream enough. You know, we have to keep it mainstream, so that’s a battle we. Mm-hmm. , although it’s interesting that, you know, part of the, well, part of the Dave Alman legacy, uh, where he was the non-medical person in the front of the room training a collection of doctors.
This class that I just had, and I say this without a, without any traces of an us versus them inside of it, it’s instead, here’s this. Useful tool that in that application, here’s one way to use it. And even here’s a, I mean I had three doctors in that last class, Four counselors. And the joke being, Yeah, according to some in the industry, I’m not qualified to teach you.
Um, exactly. So let’s begin class , which to look at, which, I mean, I’m very clearly at times though. Referring out to even previous students or even just folks I know in the area that here’s someone, she is a doctor of psychology who happens to do hypnosis and I’ll call it out first to go, You’re using terminology I’m not familiar with and I think you’re gonna be more comfortable working with this specific person.
Here’s their information. So it’s, And in times, even where she’s referring to me, because as she puts it, I don’t have the interest in talking to people to quit smoking. I really want them to quit, but that’s not my specialty. I’m gonna send those people to you. So to look at it as that symbiotic relationship.
Absolutely, Absolutely. And more and more of that is happening, which is really good to see. Absolutely brilliant to see. I have a couple of doctors. I live in a very small town in it’s smack in the middle of Australia. Alice Springs in the desert. and I have a few doctors there who, who are exactly the same thing.
I want my patients to give up smoking. So Malins the only one in town, off they go. Um, it’s a, it’s a great relationship and, and it’s a, it is a great relationship to foster. You know, I meet with, uh, with the, the local bunch of psychologists fairly regularly. I know most of them. Um, so, you know, we have to work together.
We have to, and, and begin more understanding and more cooperation more. More of everything really. So then the state of the aha, the Australian Hypnotherapist Association, what’s kind of the history, cuz I know that is around here, actually around the world, One of the oldest hypnosis organizations that’s out there.
It certainly is, and in keeping with what we’ve just been discussing when they formed in 1949. Um, it was by a group of therapists who’d already been in practice individually for years. Now, back in those days, it was orbit illegal to do so unless you were a psychologist, a doctor, or a dentist. So they were truly, truly ground breakers, pioneers of the industry.
And we do have our hall of fame, you know, uh, specifically for those people. So basically, um, They, they got together in 1949. They formed at the, The Association in 19 58, 19 58, or 19 56, 19 58. And then they opened it to doctors, dentists, social workers, psychologists, um, anyone who was a member of what was then called the guide guidance branch of the education depart.
So that also included marriage guidance counselors and, you know, the, the psychs in private practice. So they started teaching those people so in exactly, you know, what you’ve just described in your own recent class. Um, that’s what they started doing. Bringing, bringing, and, and of course that was working towards bringing hypnotherapy out of the quack, uh, you know, perception and into.
The mainstream, so to speak. So that’s how it started. And they, they, they lectured and they, they taught and they, you know, people who wanted to be members, if they were, their training wasn’t quite up to scratch. They, they, they, you know, gave them more training. Uh, it was quite incredible at this bunch of people.
And that started in Melbourne, in Victoria, The, the, the growth of it. At what point in that journey did that, uh, convention first start to appear? The, the as in the conference, you mean? Yes. Ah, look, quite a long, long time. I think the first conference, now you’re stretching my memory here. , I think. And Exact Dates, Please.
And yeah, no, I think it might have been in the nineties actually. Yeah. And I think it might have been the late nineties. Do you know what? I really can’t even answer that question. I know that there was one, uh, the first huge one was in 2009. , but there were smaller ones. Now you’ve gotta also remember too, back in those days, those very early days, people didn’t travel around Australia.
Mm-hmm. nearly as much as they do now. Airfares were prohibitive, absolutely prohibitive. So things, you know, things tended to be very local. Um, so yeah, I would say probably 2009 was the first, what we could term a world conference. . Yeah. Yes. And then we had one in 2004. We do them every five years. And the reason we do them every five years is because the HHA is mostly a volunteer organization.
Yes. And, uh, you know, very few of us have the time or the space to do this every year. It’s a hu as you know, it’s a huge task. Absolutely. So then the, the shape of the speakers or what, what kind of backgrounds do they often come? , The speakers at the conference? Yes. Oh gosh. How long is a piece of string?
Jason . How long is a piece? Basically, we choose a theme. For that conference. And then, you know, of course we put out the call for abstracts and then anything that, uh, you know, strikes our fancy basically and go, Wow, okay, this is a little bit of a different take on that. This is good. This is good. So there’s, there’s not really any criteria, No hard and fast criteria.
Uh, there’s a subcommittee of the conference committee that get together and say, This would be interesting. I haven’t seen this done before. This is a new concept. So, yeah, it’s, it’s pretty hit and miss really. There’s no great scientific, uh, you know, process behind the choosing . Do they tend to be people?
Let’s, let’s use the old terminology, which may have been negative at one point out of the lay hypnotist, the medical hypnotist. What tends to be that background? all in everything. I love it. Yeah, All in everything. So, uh, this one coming up, for instance, we’ve got some, some old stalwarts of the, uh, of the industry.
You know, Rob Mcneley for instance, you know, he, he did training with Ericson himself, so, um, it’s, you know, he’s been around for forever and a day. Uh, so yeah, we’ve got a nice combination of, you know, there’s a, there’s a couple of psychologists presenting. There’s people who’ve been around for donkeys years.
There’s newer people, there’s people with a different take, you know, so a fertility specialist, you know, a medical fertility specialist is presenting about resilience in, uh, with, uh, with fertility issues. So, yeah, Yeah. Again, no hard and fast rules. It’s just. Whatever appeals. Yeah. And that theme this year, the 2019 World Conference of Resilience Spender break.
Uh, yes. What’s kind of the thought behind that? Well, that’s the big buzzword around the world. Yeah. With so much know is how do we how and, and not just, not just in business. I know you are coming from a business perspective. Uh, You know, the world is so uncertain that there , Don’t start me on that . No, no, no.
Everything’s clearly going well right now,
So, but it has become a real theme, you know, with a generational theme where resilience is, is maybe something that the entire world needs to work on. You know, how do we flow? So I think, you know, I’m trying to be very careful here. I’m sure you can pick that up. You know, um, the younger generations are not resilient.
Not resilient, you know, in so many different ways. And then you’ve got the older generations that are going, You should be this and you should, Well, maybe that’s not right either, you know? So it’s, you know, resilience has a whole different, different, uh, look to it. What is resilience? Well, I mean, yeah, there’s something beautiful about, there’s multiple sides to that, that, I mean, first of all, on a business perspective to look at, you know, markets are going to change where people decide to spend their time, their energy, and even their money is going to change.
And it’s that willingness to kind of meet people where they are and where their needs are. That, um, I kind of first started seeing clients professionally, kind of at the height. Here in the US the mortgage crisis when all of the money was on fire in this country. Uh mm-hmm . And it became this kind of cool moment of suddenly realizing like, here I am in my first year of being a hypnotist, and almost the majority of clients I were seeing were test anxiety.
People who were adults who were having to pass an exam. So they could be licensed now to do the job they had already been doing for going on 30 years. Yeah. And that’s something that, that, that specific need is now, it’s almost 10 years later and it’s kind of moved on to something else. So, you know, and very clearly people weren’t spending money on other issues.
But that was one specific category that by dumb luck, my office was next door to the testing site, uh, . So that helped. But then too, looking at, you know, I, I hear this dialogue so. , which I may go off in my own soapbox here, that at various events, or even workshops, even online about how do you see clients and not take on their problems, how do you take on and not take on that negative energy?
And for me, it’s that mindset that if that’s a concern, you’re connecting with the wrong part of that client. I, if we are meant to be that results oriented approach, let’s connect with them as the result. Bring them along for the ride. And with that mindset, I, I can leave the office after a full day of sessions with the same energy I walked in with.
Yes. Because now no matter the challenging issue, everything becomes good to. . That is such a valid point too. You know, I mean, my, my favorite phrase with that is, compassionate detachment. Nice. Yeah. You know, you have to have compassionate depa detachment, you know, Yes, you care, but yes, you have to walk out of that office without lying, awake all night thinking about their problems.
Uh, you won’t last five minutes if you’re gonna go down that road. And, um, and it’s not in your best interest. It’s not in your family’s interest. It’s not in anyone’s best. To do that. So that’s a very, very strong side of resilience and I see so many people burn out so quickly because they don’t know how to develop that compassionate detachment.
That’s a great way of phrasing that. Mm mm Yeah. It’s a very, very valid thing. And, you know, the, the way everything’s changing, you know, you made a really good point with that. You know, I remember a few years ago when all of the, um, the, uh, you know, uh, what do you call ’em? Like lifeline, you know, the, the, the phone, Um, when you’re in crisis, you ring a phone number.
Yes, of course. They had to spend in Australia and I’m sure the rest of the world, they had to spend millions. All of those organizations had to spend millions and millions of dollars. To cross over from actual phone voice to voice to messaging systems because the younger generations were coming through and going, I don’t wanna speak to somebody.
I want to be able to type it out on my phone. , Yeah. To recognize, again, just different trending type things. And at the same time, , let’s call it the resilience in the other direction. Uh, here, here’s the person who calls me up to quit smoking a few years ago, and I go through my standard routine of what’s the best email address I can send a confirmation to, and he goes, I don’t do email.
It’s like, okay, perfect. What’s your mailing address? And the wonders of online automation. I set his, uh, schedule reminders to come to me. I printed the mountain, I shove them in a envelope and st put a stamp on it. So the, the mindset of flexibility. See people where they are and give them the tools that they need rather than going, This is not how it’s supposed to be going anymore.
This is not how we used to do it. The way that we would utilize in a hypnosis session, there’s noises outside. We’re gonna make use of that and bring that into the process rather than try to pretend it’s not. I mean, back to the theater career, the, the actor would drop something on the stage by accident and they’d play the game of, If I don’t look at it, the audience won’t notice it.
Yeah. And now the audience for the next 20 minutes is, Is that book supposed to be there? ? Yeah, . Absolutely. No, I hear you. That’s, uh, it’s so, so true. Um, I, once, I once had an unplanned, uh, jack hammering outside. My, uh, clinic room and you know, the council is supposed to warn you about things like that, but I, you know, Well, I don’t know.
The letter didn’t arrive. I didn’t see it. I don’t know what happened. But, um, mid session, here’s this jack hammering starting up, and so of course, as you say, right, okay, let’s just adapt and improvise here. Let’s go in and say, and that Jack. that jackhammer is exactly what your subconscious mind is doing right now.
And the more you become aware of that jack hammer, the deeper and deeper you go and the more profound the results. And it goes so well. You wanna record the sound effect of the jack hammer and start playing it in every session. Right? ? It’s so true. So, So I know, uh, this is coming out almost exactly one month before the Australian Hypnotherapist Association 2019 World Conference.
Uh, for those that are not yet signed up for that, uh, share with us a little bit more about what they can look forward to at that event. Okay, well, welcome drinks on Friday, a good networking opportunity. Um, then two full days of presenters. I think we have 23 presenters all up over two day period in Brisbane.
Uh, 13th to the 15th of September, 2019. Beautiful, sunny, sunny. Um, we have a gala dinner on Saturday night at a lovely restaurant that gives you a beautiful view of Brisbane. Um, but, but ultimately it’s just a wonderful networking event. So you can learn a lot, you can meet a lot of national and international, uh, pres, uh, hypno.
I, I love these weekends. I come home absolutely exhausted after them, but, uh, I think everybody gets so much out of. Outstanding, and we’ll put links to that over in the show notes [email protected] and mailing. It’s been awesome having you on here. Any final thoughts to share with listeners out there?
Well keep moving hypnotherapy forward. Basically, let’s continue doing what we love and bringing it into the forefront.