Blog Hypnosis Reviews

Review: Hypnosis for Beginners

There are a large number of books/DVDs etc. available to learn hypnosis, and there are many different schools. Out of the many resources that I have used to gain a deeper understanding of hypnosis, one of the most straightforward and clearest books that I have found is Hypnosis for Beginners by Dylan Morgan. Apart from being very well written, it has the added bonus of being available as a free download from the author’s website:
The website is a huge treasure trove of material about hypnosis and the author comes across as a man of great integrity who wishes to share his knowledge freely with as many people as possible to achieve the greatest benefit. Having read this book and browsed several of the others on the website, I wish that I had the chance to meet Dylan Morgan, but it is sad to see that he passed away in March 2011. His website is still preserved in its entirety and I recommend it highly.
I found this book so useful that I am planning to use it as the core text for a hypnosis workshop that I am starting up with an NLP friend in Nagoya over the next few months. Like the book, the workshop is intended to consist of simple exercises and an exploratory approach to hypnosis. Even though many of the participants will not be beginners, all come from different backgrounds and revisiting the basics in an open-minded and exploratory style will certainly be of benefit to all.
I’ve shown the contents of the book below. It is quite short (147 pages) and so cannot cover many of the elements of other introductory books. For example, Morgan starts out by explicitly stating that the book is not a history of hypnosis and it is not a collection of scripts.
1. Simple Connections.
2. Switching Systems Off.
3. The Visual Imagination.
4. Directing and Controlling the Imagination.
5. Exploring Inductions.
6. Posthypnotic suggestions.
7. Focussing Attention.
8. Resistance and Rapport.
9. Self-hypnosis.
10. Bringing it all Together.
From Chapter 1, Morgan has the reader explore their own mind and gives exercises for exploring the concepts of hypnosis with a friend or a partner. He takes a systems view of hypnosis. In his descriptions, hypnosis is a natural phenomenon that involves connections between systems within the human body. For example, words in the verbal system can stimulate or visual system, or alternatively cause it to relax and become less active. Similarily, other sensory and body systems can be used to affect systems to make them become more or less active.
It is a pleasant change from many other beginner books which simply present inductions and scripts, often wrapped up in a certain amount of mysticism. Morgan’s book takes a very practical, exploratory approach, and I look forward to using it in our workshops over the coming months.

Blog Hypnosis Reviews

Review: Skinny Bitch

While this isn’t an NLP book, it is a fine example of a book that uses very persuasive language to achieve its main point: think carefully about what you put into your body. In the acknowledgements, the authors thank Anthony Robins and Wayne Dyer, both proponents of NLP, and it is clear that they have used the language of NLP effectively to get their message across.
The book is aimed at women and takes a very light tone, as if a woman were talking to her girlfriends at a cafe or wine bar. It is sprinkled with lots of effective cursing. The authors are also very aware of the power of visual images in persuasion and use some very graphic ones indeed to tell the reader about the horrors of slaughterhouses. Similarly, they use powerful language to reframe meat as rotting carcasses.
I enjoyed the book very much and while I’m not planning to become a vegan (I’m already vegetarian for most of the week) or radically change my eating habits, they have certainly made me think about what I’m putting into my body and how the food industry and overseeing governmental bodies are set up to ensure the financial success of farmers, not the safety of consumers.

Blog Hypnosis Reviews

Review: Full Facts Book of Cold Reading

I don’t generally watch much television. We don’t actually have a television in the house, but of course, pretty much anything is available online these days for viewing, and recently I began to watch episode after episode of a fun murder investigation drama called The Mentalist. Each episode begins with a murder and the main character, Patrick Jane, uses his powers of sensory acuity, hypnosis and cold reading to solve the crime. Jane used to work as a psychic, but now claims that there are is no such thing as a psychic.
I had never heard the term cold reading until I came across a few books on Amazon related to it. Wikipedia defines it as follows:

Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, illusionists, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do.

One of the books, How to be a Mentalist, was the one that first caught my attention, but when I looked through the comments, there were some very negative reviews, along with some comments suggesting that the positive reviews were the result of a discount being offered by the author to people who agreed to write positive reviews. The negative reviews did have the positive result of recommending some alternative books, and Full Facts Book of Cold Reading does indeed warrant these recommendations. The author is Ian Rowland. His website is a good indication of his highly amusing, self-deprecating, and extremely honest writing. It says “Ian Rowland – Internationally known as Ian who from where?” There are so many ridiculous and self-important claims made on websites, especially ones trying to sell self-help products, that Rowland’s style is refreshing.
Rowland often poses as a psychic for television shows and uses his cold reading skills to make predictions about the lives and future lives of the volunteers. Afterwards, it is always revealed that he has no psychic power whatsoever. Rowland does not claim directly that there is no such thing as psychic power, but he certainly implies it extremely strongly with his in-depth explanations of how cold reading can be used to create the effect. This debunking of psychics, astrologers, tarot readers, and other spiritualists had me laughing out loud at many points during the book. The author can be very funny.
For me, the most interesting and useful part of the book is the analysis of the elements of a ‘psychic’ reading. I have given some examples below (summarized from the book) that will give you a taste of his ideas.

1. The Rainbow Ruse

The Rainbow Ruse is a statement which credits the client with both a personality trait and its opposite.

“You can be a very considerate person, very quick to provide for others, but there are times, if you are honest, when you recognise a selfish streak in yourself.”

2. Fine Flattery

Fine Flattery statements are designed to flatter the client in a subtle way likely to win agreement. Usually, the formula involves the client being compared to “people in general” or “most of those around you”, and being declared a slight but significant improvement over them.

“…I have your late sister with me now. She tells me she wants you to know that she always admired you, even if she didn’t always express it well. She tells me that you are… wait, it’s coming through… yes, I see, she says you are in many ways more shrewd, or perceptive, than people might think. She says she always thought of you as quite a wise person, not necessarily to do with book-learning and examinations. She’s telling me she means wise in the ways of the world, and in ways that can’t be said of everyone. She’s laughing a little now, because she says this is wisdom that you have sometimes had to learn the hard way! She says you are intelligent enough to see that wisdom comes in many forms.”

3. Sugar Lumps

Sugar Lump statements offer the client a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing in the junk on offer.

“Your heart is good, and you relate to people in a very warm and loving way. The tarot often relates more to feelings and intuition than to cold facts, and your own very strong intuitive sense could be one reason why the tarot seems to work especially well for you. The impressions I get are much stronger with you than with many of my clients.”

4. The Jacques Statement

This element consists of a character statement based on the different phases of life which we all pass through. Jacques Statements are derived from common rites of passage, widely-recognised life patterns, and typical problems which we all encounter on the road to mature adulthood.

“If you are honest about it, you often get to wondering what happened to all those dreams you had when you were younger; all those wonderful ambitions you held dear, and plans which once mattered to you. I suspect that deep down, there is a part of you that sometimes wants to just scrap everything, get out of the rut, and start over again – this time doing things your way.”

5. Barnum Statements

These are artfully generalised character statements which a majority of people, if asked, will consider to be a reasonably accurate description of themselves.

“You have a strong need for people to like and respect you.”
“You tend to feel you have a lot of unused capacity, and that people don’t always give you full credit for your abilities.”
“Some of your hopes and goals tend to be pretty unrealistic.”

6. The Fuzzy Fact

A Fuzzy Fact is an apparently factual statement which is formulated so that (a) it is quite likely to be accepted (b) it leaves plenty of scope to be developed into something more specific.
“I can see a connection with Europe, possibly Britain, or it could be the warmer, Mediterranean part?”
There are lots more in this fascinating book including:

  • The Stat Fact
  • The Trivia Fact
  • The Cultural Trend
  • The Childhood Memory
  • The Seasonal Touch
  • The extended veiled question
  • The jargon blitz
  • The vanishing negative

If you have an interest in cold reading, communication, or just want to have a fun and informative read, Full Facts Book of Cold Reading is a good choice. Have fun. You can purchase it from the author’s website at:

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NLP Trainings by Transformations

One of the finest NLP trainers that I know, Richard Bolstad, will be carrying out a series of trainings in Japan between July and September. I have trained with Richard on many occasions and can highly recommend his training methods, his demonstrations, and his personal congruence. I have learned a lot from Richard and if you can get to Kyoto or Tokyo this year, take the opportunity to learn NLP from one of the best trainers out there! Details are at the link below: