I Went to a Hypnotist and Literally Changed My Life

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

This is not a joke.

I realize that the above headline looks like super dumb clickbait but be patient with me- this really happened and it changed the direction of my life when I really, in hindsight, needed it. But that was not what I set out to do when I found myself spending a series of afternoons with a hypnotherapist.

NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming aka ‘fast therapy’

First a little history of a movement that was created to explore radical forms of psychotherapy known as NLP. NLP was created by two men named Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the nineteen seventies. They developed theories about how we process information on a subconscious level through what they call representational systems or modalities. These modalities were categorized as primarily visual (we think in pictures), audio (we think in sounds including text), kinesthetic (thinking in terms of physical sensation), and olfactory (smells,which are strongly associated with memory). According to NLP, about 50% of us are primarily visual (everyone uses all of these but typically there is a strong bias towards one), 25% are auditory, and the rest are some combination.

Give us your worst cases; from catatonic to irritated

From the beginning they were rejected by the traditional therapy world, mainly because they questioned the fact that therapy seemed to go on forever without discernible results for many people. Given that therapists were paid by the hour or visit, there was a built-in self-interest in not completing a therapy. Bandler and Grinder believed their techniques could lead to fast therapy, where things like phobias could be cured in just a few sessions as opposed to months of talk therapy. So, they set out to prove it.

This is where it got kind of surrealistic

The man was middle-aged and worked out of his home. He was single and his mother lived with him. However he had doctorate in social work and was very professional, in spite of having a somewhat odd demeanor.

Constructing a three-dimensional future

Once we got past the past, we began a process of guided visualizations. The idea was to construct a detailed future in which I was working at the things I wanted to achieve and living a lifestyle I wanted to live. I wanted to be a professional writer, writing books for national publishers. I had a fantasy of owning a recording studio that came out of years as a musician, performing and recording. As part of that fantasy (it was a fantasy because at the time building and equipping a studio was very expensive), I wanted to be producing other artists.

Fast forward ten years…

Time went by and I basically forgot about this experiment except as an interesting experience. But things started happening. I got my first book deals (six to that point). I bought a house with an office that basically looked like that fantasy I’d created. And I opened a recording studio with two partners and produced multiple CD projects. At some point I realized (about ten years later), that virtually everything I had visualized had happened. I still find it quite amazing what the mind is capable of if you set it in motion and let it work out details.

Written by

Novelist, Tech Marketing Writer, Growth Consultant. I have been a professional writer for over 20 years- 8 non-fiction books and 1 novel, many articles, etc.

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