Should I go to the hypnotism conference – Change Phenomena 2012?

Should I go to Change Phenomena 2012?

The incredibly popular and successful hypnotism conference “Change Phenomena” is happening once again this year on the 19th May in London, UK.

I haven’t been before and it occurred to me, having largely stopped hypnotising people these days, that I may not be the only one’s trying to find an excuse to go but having thoughts and doubts about how I can justify the cost. [NOTE: The awesome guys running the conference have actually kept the early bird discount going, so if you’re quick you can save 10% on the full ticket price!]

In the end I decided to write out some of the main questions that I thought people might be thinking about and then talk to Anthony Jacquin about them. Rather conveniently, there are five:

  • Is it aimed at street/stage hypnotists or hypnotherapists?
  • Is it for beginners?
  • Is it for those with experience?
  • Is it just another opportunity for them to sell me their next product or course?
  • Is there anything new for those who’ve been before?
Actually there’s six I suppose: Am I going? being the last.
Come to Change Phenomena 2012 in London UK and hear from and meet hypnotherapists, stage hypnotists and Change Workers


Before I dive into the questions, Anthony and I had a really great chat about Change Phenomena conferences past and present and I hope to be following up this post with another discussing some of the items that Anthony and I covered about the guys speaking and demonstrating this year that isn’t already on the Change Phenomena event details page. A kind of exclusive for me I guess! Exciting!

Is it aimed at street/stage hypnotists or hypnotherapists?

If you’ve seen my YouTube channel, you’ll be in no doubt that I (used to) do a fair amount of street hypnosis and while I’ve never done entertainment hypnosis for money, I have cured the odd phobia, overcome smoking addiction and with one particularly pleased client: overcome alcohol abuse through a combination of hypnotherapy and Integral Eye Movement Therapy.

Is Change Phenomena going to help me with my interest in the street/entertainment side of hypnosis or is it going to be more focussed for those in the therapy profession?

Anthony:  The initial idea for Change Phenomena was that the vast majority of hypnotherapists do not use or exploit hypnotic phenomena. Now because I am a hypnotherapist that does, I know just how powerful an ideomotor movement can be in a therapy session. So the aim of Change Phenomena is that a) to give therapists an insight into the phenomena of hypnosis and how to use them and b) for people who got an interest – via performance or just intrigue or perhaps done some hypnosis training – Eventually, they get tired of sticking people’s hands to the table and they want to answer the question: “Can you help me with this?” with “Yes!”

So we wanted to pitch the conference right down the middle so that both parties can learn from each other. So, the weight of it leans ever so slightly towards therapeutic applications but we always have a performers slot and personally I would expect everyone to benefit from all of talks. I have no doubt that the therapists in the first year [Change Phenomena 2010] that the therapists benefitted from James Brown‘s talk even though he had the performers slot. Equally, I would expect that the performers like Mike Stoner or whoever’s got into it via impromptu hypnosis to benefit from listening to Jørgen Rasmussen because his thinking is just so original and out of the box.

This year, it’s kind of the same thing: Kev’s talk and Marcus’ talk is not about performance, it’s about hypnosis and how it works and what the experience is like, so I expect everyone to be able to benefit. Adam Eason’s talk is about personal application: self-hypnosis. So it could be that people take away some of his self-hypnosis tips and work on themselves, it could be that they can better communicate those ideas and techniques to their clients. 

Here’s Jorgen Rasmussen in the DVD trainer from the 2010 event :

I’ve been hypnotising for years, so is it going to teach me something new?

I wouldn’t call myself a master by any means (I actually believe that “master” is a label that only other people – one’s peers in particular – can bestow upon you) and I know that there is both heaps to learn and even more experience to develop. Coupled with that, the technology (and I don’t mean IT) of hypnosis is constantly developing and evolving (e.g. Head Hacking’s “AI” model or James Tripp’s “Hypnosis Without Trance”), so there is undeniably a great deal for me to learn. That said, I don’t consider myself a beginner so I don’t really want to be spending lots of time and money going over old stuff (though from time to time a review of the basics is most beneficial).

And what about all those professional hypnotherapists out there, keen to learn something new to bring to their clients? Surely Change Phenomena isn’t going to provide them with these new therapy tools, is it?

Anthony: One of the things we ask the speakers to do is to talk about their contemporary ideas and applications. So I’m expecting everyone to demonstrate some of their techniques and do that in such a way that the audience can take away those techniques and use them. We specifically ask people to speak who we think are doing something in their own field that is kind of at the cutting edge in terms of application. There are not many hypnotherapists that work in the way that Barry Thain does. Very very few who use hypnotic phenomena in that fashion. Yes there are sports psychologists and hypnotherapists within sport, there are not many people using it in the way that Gary [Turner] does with post-hypnotic suggestions that are going to be triggered during fights. 

So is it going to teach you something new? Yes. Because, you simply won’t have heard this material before for start.

Is it for experienced hypnotists and hypnotherapists or can anybody benefit?

In contrast to those who have been learning and practicing hypnosis for years, it is equally important to acknowledge and include those who are just starting out on the voyage of discovery that is the human mind. Those studying psychology, or those looking to become hypnotherapists and change workers or even those looking to make a career as a stage or show hypnotist. Or perhaps those, like myself, who have an interest in it and want to find out a bit more.

Is Change Phenomena 2012 going to be too advanced for them?

Anthony: [Change Phenomena] doesn’t presume you have a huge amount of knowledge. People who are less experienced: I think it will give them a good starting point into the realities of being a practitioner of hypnosis. So they’re less likely follow some of the false leads and paths that perhaps don’t have that much utility when you actually come to practicing this stuff. I’m expecting everything to be  easily understood and of practical value.

It’s not about “advanced” hypnosis. I’m not a big believer in “basic” or “advanced” when it comes to hypnosis. I’ve been on this journey myself and performance stuff has helped me in a sense that communicating in clear language that a child could understand is more effective than some of the more complex language and technique we use. So even if someone was a beginner, I would still expect them to benefit from this conference.

On a personal note, having discussed the line up and expectations of the day with Anthony, I would strongly recommend anyone who has some basic learning and hypnotised a couple of people to come. If you’re just starting out on the hypnosis journey and you’re looking for some training and education to get you started then of course you’ll get value and learn stuff, but it might make more sense to you once you’ve had some training and a bit of experience of being a/the hypnotist.

Is it just another opportunity to sell me on the latest course/product/coaching?

This is born of the fact that there are so many “me-to” people out there and hearing horror stories of horribly expensive (relatively speaking) seminars with all sorts of “special” or “celebrity” speakers where they take your money and then proceed to spend the next two days (or two hours or however long the seminar is) trying to sell you onto their even more expensive “mentoring” course or getting you to buy their £5000 “guaranteed success” hypnosis product…

Call me suspicious, burnt or just cheap, I have no interest in, or respect for, people who go about making a living that way, so just how much selling is going to be happening at Change Phenomena?

Anthony: No. Because selling from the stage is banned at Change Phenomena.

The speakers will have a stand, they can sell their products during the breaks or at lunch at discounted prices, but there is no effort [to be] made to sell from the stage.

So there you go. No selling from the stage and if you’ve been toying with the idea of investing some of their products, this event might be the perfect opportunity to meet them in person AND get their stuff at a discount!

I’ve been before so is there going to be anything I’ve not heard before?

Quite a straight forward question: It’s an annual event and this is the third years Change Phenomena has run in London.

I’ve been before (well actually I haven’t because it’s clashed with other stuff, but I would have if I could have), so has the content changed? Is there going to be new and interesting learning worth £100? [BTW, if you’re quick, they’re still running the 10% discount even though it’s past the “early bird” discount period]

Anthony:  Yes. We’ve got five new speakers speaking on  topics that have never been covered before from across the spectrum of practical applications. So it will definitely be worth returning.

Barry is the only “clinical” hypnotist in the country Adam has the best selling self-hypnosis products in the country, Gary is a 13 times world champion who uses this by himself and others and Harry is a very successful performer!

Seems like a whole lot of interesting people and perspectives and I’d be very interested to see what they all have to say and demonstrate!

So, am I going to Change Phenomena 2012?

So after all that: Yes, I’m certainly going.

Despite having given up hypnosis, I’m still interested in how and why it works and I actually think that this event is precisely what I want: It’ll give me new ideas and insights into hypnosis and how our minds work in and around hypnosis and it’ll be interesting to see some of the hypnosis world’s masters talking about and demonstrating their techniques. It’ll also give me a good opportunity to catch up with some old friends and make new connections with some of the leading hypnotists in the UK!

If I’m honest, it seems that a year off hypnosis (has it really been a year!?) is a long time in the industry these days and there have been loads of major advances and idea progression in the industry. Maybe I’ll have to start sticking stuff on my Hypnosis YouTube channel again…

When is Change Phenomena Happening?

Change Phenomena is happening on the 19th May 2012

Where is Change Phenomena Happening?

Lecture Theatre 1,
New Hunts House
King’s College
Guy’s Hospital
St Thomas Street

Please note the lecture theatre has changed to Lecture Theatre 1 rather than Theatre 2.

Doors open at 9am. The welcome begins at 9.30am sharp. The event finishes at 6.45pm. Refreshments and a finger buffet lunch are provided throughout the day.

I am told to expect to head to a nearby pub afterwards with the speakers for a bit of refreshments and fun.

Book you place now and please remember to let them know that you heard about Change Phenomena here at because then I know that you actually find this stuff interesting and useful and I’ll keep doing it. I don’t get paid for this you know!

Trance as a hypnotic phenomena

In utmost excitement I booked on to James Tripp’s Hypnosis Wizardry weekend due to happen in August

To my delight, he’s also included a whole load of free audio, video and PDF resources to go with it, including his “Hypnosis Without Trance” audio book. Now, I’ve been dying to get my hands on this for some time, so, with a couple of longish train journey coming up, I was relishing the thought of plugging in and getting to grips with hypnotic loops, the hypnotic partnership and the whole HWT thing.

I’m writing this on one of the said train journey’s (thanks to WordPress for iOS) and I have paused the book after only a few chapters.

Why? Because a throw away comment has completely changed my thought and frame of hypnosis and I am brimming with excitement at what this new understanding might mean!

James says that with the idea of traditional hypnosis comes the requirement to have a trance state that you must “deepen” and that this idea limits what hypnotic phenomena you can achieve because certain phenomena require a certain “depth”.

I think that any hypnotist who has actually hypnotised anyone will agree with me that some people don’t need as much depth to achieve things like hallucination while others can’t achieve the relatively simple phenomena of arm levitation despite great depth of trance.

The thing that has got me all excited is the idea that maybe the trance itself is a hypnotic phenomena.

Let that sink in for a moment…

When I consider that as a possibility all sorts of doors that I didn’t know were even there open up!

If trance is a phenomenon, then when we achieve other phenomena, we are actually stacking them together? What if some people can’t stack like that?

What if achieving trance is a convincer for the subject that they’re hypnotised? Or how about the other way round: that because they’re not feeling “tranced” that it’s not working…

If we dispense with the idea of trance as being a required milestone on the way to hypnosis, then engaging in what James calls the “Hypnotic Partnership” with the subject (although clearly I’m going to have to find another word to describe them now) becomes so much easier!

I bet that if budding hypnotists started with this as the frame around which to learn hypnosis, they’d find learning, practicing and engaging people in hypnosis sooo much easier!

I really can’t wait for the course and might have to start practicing this stuff before the date!

Right, I’m nearly back at Gravesend and I still haven’t gotten past chapter 2!

Advertising Standards

The revamped Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has now started regulating marketing material on websites as well as print and tv.

“So What.” you might ask.


As a change worker (it’s not entirely clear whether I can call myself a “therapist” under the new regulations), I need to make sure that my web based marketing material is accurate and truthful and does not mislead anybody who may read it. There are several pieces of guidance that may make you raise your eyebrow. Continue reading “Advertising Standards”

How emphasis can Change your meaning

“His enemy was dust”

As I read this on the train from Gravesend to Durham the other day, I had to   re-read this sentence several times. Was it saying that the character was beset by dust and as a result considered it his enemy or was it that his enemy had been destroyed and was now dust and that he didn’t need to worry about them any more?

Putting aside the fact that there could well be some poor punctuation in the sentence, much like the classic description of a Panda “Panda: Eats, shoots and leaves”, it got me thinking about the importance of emphasis on our words and how that emphasis can   completely change the meaning of what we’re communicating.

In hypnosis and NLP, this is called “marking” where we deliberately embed suggestions in what we say and write by using things like pauses, punctuation and putting emphasis on specific words of phrases within an otherwise normal piece of speach or text.

In IEMT (see the glossary), one of the sentences I use regularly to help a client elicit a certain feeling is “When is the first time you can remember that feeling?” What I do is “mark” some of the words with emphasis in order to embed a command and what I actually end up saying looks more like “When is the first time you can remember that feeling?”.

Can you   see the difference? In asking a question, I am actually delivering a suggestion or embedded command that the client’s unconscious mind will pick up and act on (in order to make it truly effective I combine this with other subtle communications but that’s the art and science of psychology and one of the reasons I love it).

Returning to my example at the start of the post: “his enemy was dust.”

Now say the sentence out loud with the emphasis on each word in turn:
– HIS enemy was dust
– His ENEMY was dust
– His enemy WAS dust
– His enemy was DUST

Doesn’t the emphasis on the different words completely change the meaning of the sentence!

How much does the emphasis, be it pronunciation, punctuation, tempo, pitch, spelling, font etc. make on the interpretation of YOUR communication? Next time you’re in a public place and you can overhear people talking, why not listen out for those markers and see how you could have changed the meaning of the communication simply by stressing the same words in a different way or in a different place.

Adopting and Discarding skills based on experience

I was having an interesting conversation with someone I met at a persuasion meetup last night and I was inspired to discuss something that has been rolling round my mind for a week or two, so I thought I’d write just a short post about how and when we adopt or discard some new skill or technique.

Whenever we learn or are taught something new, we often try it out and indeed most any form of training will have you do exercises to practice the new skill. What I find interesting is that, as someone who does a lot of self-learning, I am often testing out things I learn or theories I concoct in real life and I have to be extremely careful when I consider something a success or something a failure.

Most of us, at one time or another, have tried something new and we’ve fallen at the first hurdle, thrown our hands in the air and scoffed at the so-called experts who were clearly wrong as it demonstrably doesn’t work! I watch my daughter do this regularly and it is both challenging to encourage her to have another go and delightful to watch her eventially achieve it (normally after walking off and only coming back when she thinks I’m not watching). 

As adults while we are aware of the concept of perseverance and not judging a book by its cover, I still regularly see both clients and myself making these same mistakes. What is also fascinating is that we also do this in reverse:

We give something a go and when it works first time: pronounce it incredible success and champion whatever it is to any and all who will listen.

So when we fail at something, we have learnt by now that we should give it a few more goes before writing it off, but do we do the same when we succeed?

I wonder how many times we have succeeded the first time we tried something new, pronounced success and then had a series of failures and rather than criticise the new thing, we assume that we are doing something else wrong and embark upon some detailed analysis of everything except the new thing? After all: you clearly demonstrated that it works… didn’t you?

Food for thought and it certainly made my conversation companion go “hmmmm” yesterday.