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:

Blog Hypnosis

Alpha Power Patterns

I was listening to an interesting audio program by Steve G. Jones about conversational hypnosis in which he introduced several sets of what he terms alpha power patterns. He draws this collection of powerful words from alpha male language patterns, but emphasizes that they can used by anyone, male or female, to take control of conversations and direct them in useful ways. I have described some of these power patterns below with some additional examples. As with any of these conversational hypnosis patterns, it is interesting to listen to other people’s conversation to see which ones they are using (often without being aware of doing so).

1. Direct Power Patterns

The direct power patterns consist of three words: Yes, Stop, Now
Yes is a very powerful word in response to a question because it is fully committal without giving any excuses or reasons. It is best used on its own rather than in a sentence like “Yes, but …” or “Yes, because …”
Stop is obviously a powerful word and people tend to respond to it at an unconscious level because it is so culturally ingrained. It is a powerful way to change the topic or to take over the control of the conversation. When you say stop, allow only a very short break before moving on with your own utterance.
Now can be used as an addition to a command. For example, parents instinctively say to their children, “Clean your room … Now” and the now acts as a strong emphasis to the command. Now can also be used to change topic in a conversation by signaling a return to the present moment and thus a new starting point.

2. Consequential Power Patterns

These patterns are used to tell someone what to do by suggesting that there is a consequence. The example pattern that Steve gives is because.

Because you are late, class couldn’t start on time… and the other students were disturbed… and you are going to lose points.

Here, the consequences of the person’s actions are given clearly (joining them with ‘and’). The consequences need not necessarily be true.

Because you are leaving the city for the weekend, I will be alone … and I will have nothing to do … and I will eat too much icecream … and I will get fat.

There is no logical reason for all of these consequences to occur, yet the structure of the sentence implies that the consequences are real, especially if the first item in the chain of consequences is true.

3. Expansive Power Patterns

These are words that cause people’s thinking patterns to expand and to understand more possibilities. These patterns include beyond and expand.
I know that you can see beyond the little difficulty that you are having now and to a much brighter future.When you begin to expand the number of people that you meet, you will find that it is easy to go beyond your current level.


The audio program mentioned a few more similar patterns – all useful language to notice and perhaps to use in those times when you want to be a little more persuasive.

Blog Hypnosis Reviews

Review: Richard Bandler's Guide to Transformation: Make Your Life Great

This is one of the most useful NLP books that I have read recently, and it reminds me again that Bandler’s work lies at the very heart of NLP, remaining far more important than some of the other components that have been bolted on to classic NLP over the years. In particular, it focuses on submodalities and the utilization of trance states. The book is divided into four sections.

Part 1: Patterns of Process and Elicitation: How People Create Their Reality and How We Can Know
This introduces some basic NLP techniques such as disocciation, the visual squash, submodalities, and modeling in a very reader-friendly fashion.
Part 2: Patterns of Induction: Hypnosis and the Art of Creating Powerful Learning States
Here we get into the core of the book where Bandler discusses trance induction.
Part 3: Patterns of Utilization: Using the Tools of Trance-formation
This section gives examples of how to utilize trance states effectively to achieve change.
Part 4: Trance-formation in Action
Here we find two full trance inductions which show the mastery of Bandler’s language. This is followed by two transcribed client sessions with editorial annotations showing how Bandler uses the language patterns of NLP and hypnosis to achieve change in clients. The transcriptions show effective use of humour, great listening skills, and a corresponding ability to identify the client’s important submodalities.
The resource files at the back of the book are a useful reminder of the Metamodel, Milton model, submodalities, and other useful areas.
The book also includes a DVD which features Bandler on stage carrying out rapid inductions. While he is clearly a fine entertainer and he entertains the audience greatly, he also carries out phenomenal learning trances and healing trances on the volunteers. He turns traumas into giggles and makes neck pains disappear within a couple of minutes. Bandler’s long experience and mastery with inducing and using different forms of trance is apparent through his instant inductions and powerful embedded commands. The DVD alone would have been worth the price of the book, and it is worth coming back to again and again to see a true master of hypnosis at work.
For someone new to NLP, this book will not give a comprehensive picture of the field of NLP as it is generally known and taught, but what it does offer is a strong introduction to the work of Richard Bandler with a much stronger focus on trance states than most NLP books or training programs.

Blog Hypnosis

Trance Induction Utilizing the First 10 Patterns of the Milton Model

This is a trance induction to illustrate the first ten patterns of the Milton Model. If you already know the MetaModel, you can recognize that these patterns are exactly the same, but are being used in the opposite way. In the MetaModel, the practitioner is aiming to get the client to restore the distortions, deletions, and generalizations and to get back to the original experience. In the Milton Model, the practitioner is aiming to get the client to move away from current experience using ambiguous statements which facilitate trance.
1. Presuppositions
As you sit here listening to my voice and noticing the things in the room around you …  I really don’t know exactly how you will begin to go into a trance … because it’s true that you can go into trance with your eyes open or closed … and you can even go into trance thinking consciously about how you can’t … because it’s … your unconscious that allows you to go into a trance … and some people can go into a light trance, or a medium trance, while some people can go into a very deep trance … and it’s not important whether you go very deep and slow … or whether you go into a trance quickly … because what’s really important is being able to discover your own ability to go into trance …  and to use that ability now … and you know that some people prefer to relax a little … then go down into a trance for a while … and then come back up before going all the way back down … while others prefer to … wait a few minutes and then drop deeply down, all the way down, at once … others prefer to go in and out of trance … up and down through deeper and deeper states… until eventually … at some point … everyone can go down and forget to come back up for a while … because trance is something that everyone can do …
2. Mind Read
you may be wondering just how easy it is for you to relax … now … and it’s good to wonder … and to wander … and you may be curious about how easy it is to relax … or you may be thinking that it will be a few moments more before you can really begin to go into trance … and perhaps you’re not sure whether you can go into a light trance … and that’s just fine … because when you think you can only go into a deep trance slowly … your mind is already starting to make the changes that help you to enter that trance state … right now …
3. Lost Performative
because when you wonder, you may become curious, and curiosity is the beginning of learning, and it’s good to learn new things, isn’t it
4. Cause and Effect
and just by thinking about relaxing, that may cause your unconscious mind to now relax, and to slow down your breathing and to let a wave of beautiful sleepiness pass right through your body
5. Complex Equivalent
… and that means that you long to feel that relaxation spread through your body … and if you let that feeling just spread out now … maybe slowly … or perhaps you will allow it to spread quickly … that means that each breath that you take will help you to relax even more
6. Universal Quantifier
… eventually reaching every part of your body … perhaps the kind of feeling of deep relaxation that always makes you feel good … and that everyone feels sometimes …  and it would be nice to feel that relaxation everywhere, wouldn’t it … because it’s true that everyone likes to relax and feel good
7. Modal Operator
… and you can just enjoy this feeling or you might simply observe it spreading … or you could even just let your conscious mind go as … your unconscious now … may like to continue that process … and you don’t have to go deeper into relaxation any sooner than your breath can slow down even more … and as you exhale, you could simply go deeper each time
8. Nominalization
… and as a deeper peace moves through your body … you can notice any areas that have not yet relaxed completely … and allow your unconscious now … to continue increasing the blood flow to those areas … and to bring you complete peace and relaxation and a deep sense of ease … that permeates every cell of your being
9. Unspecified Verb
and while you continue to slow down … and to … relax … your unconscious mind … can now begin to integrate the learnings that naturally occur in a state of deep relaxation … you can start to understand … and a situation that may have been a problem for you in the past starts to clarify now … to resolve itself naturally … and to simply … be right … make sense
10. Simple Deletion
because when you relax, you can just be … and that is a good state to … isn’t it … and if there was some change that you wanted to make, you can simply … do … now, can’t you … because it’s … right … right now