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!

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.

The fear of the unknown

Recently a friend of mine was bemoaning the fact that there is not much in the way of social groups where he lived. Not one to take “can’t” for an answer I used some Clean Language questioning to explore that “can’t”. It turned out that there was in fact at least one group but because he had no idea what they did, had done nothing about it.

Now of course it’s easy for me, as an outside observer, to help my friend discover the problem and allow him to come up with a solution (phone them up and ask!), but I know we all have things in our lives that we want to do but don’t purely because we don’t know what’s involved.

“Hypnosis in Gravesend”

I’d always wanted to learn hypnosis but had never done anything about it because I’d no idea what was involved. One day I just happened to be in the right frame of mind and I casually Googled hypnosis training in Gravesend and guess what: There was a course running not far away and at a price and time I could afford. It didn’t take much thinking to sign up after that.

Fear holds us back from so many things, but so seldom do we realize that the “fear” is not in the doing or becoming whatever it is: it is the fear of the unknown process of getting there!

Think of something that you really want to do but haven’t. Get a new job? Go on a trans-European holiday? Learn a new language?

Now ask yourself what is it that is holding you back from that and what you would like to have happen.

Could it be that you don’t know what is available, how to organize it, where to go that is the problem? In other words; could be the mystery, the lack of knowledge, which is what you’re afraid of? It’s not the holiday or the job or the language that is scary is it, so it must be the organising of the holiday, the “finding” of the job and the fact that you don’t even know if there is somewhere nearby that even teaches languages.

Diminish the power of the unknown with knowledge

This year, why not choose one of those things that you always promise yourself you’d do and rather than promise yourself that you’ll do it, simply find out what is involved. Choose a starting point and go from there. I bet you’ll find it’s not as difficult as you imagine.

Gravesend garage with a charitable heart

I had an unexpected yet excellent experience this week: The alternator in my car packed up leaving me without car transport ahead of my sister’s wedding this weekend (the wedding is in Hampshire and I live in Gravesend, Kent over 100 miles away!), not to mention needing to get out to my hypnosis clients – Obviously, that was not the excellent experience – read on… So after swearing profusely at the blasted machine , I was straight onto Google maps looking for a local garage to recover and fix it.

Phoning the nearest garage resulted in me having to deal with a grumpy and reluctant mechanic who clearly didn’t really want my business or know anything about customer service. honestly, it amazes me that they can get away with the sort of surly and unpleasant demeanour and still be in business!

So widening the search slightly, I selected a company called Auto22 who had their company logo and web site address on their Google maps presence (always a good sign in my book). Despite being after closing, they took my call and were very helpful and understanding about the situation I found myself in and arranged for someone to come out first thing to collect the offending vehicle.

All fixed, they came and collected me and en-route to their garage I got chatting to the service advisor (Mark) who explained that they are actually a social enterprise, able to invest all their profits in supporting young people in gaining work experience opportunities, work placements, apprenticeships and eventually getting their first job.

Catch22: a charity for young people

The parent charity is: Catch22 and their website says:

Catch22 is a national charity that works with young people who find themselves in difficult situations. Whatever the reason for their situation, we help them out. We work with their families and their communities wherever and whenever young people need us most; in schools, on the streets, in the home, at community centres, shopping centres, in police stations, and in custody

Auto22: a social enterprise

It turns out that Auto22 is one of the mechanisms that the charity use to enable young people to gain education (they have a classroom in the next door Catch22 building where they are taught maths, English and more practical things) and provide hands on mechanics training with the aim of placing their graduates into apprenticeships and actual work placements.

I could not have been happier to be handing over money for the work on my car and the whole experience was easy and honest and I feel good that I’ve been able to contribute to a charity that directly benefits the local Gravesend community. Plus I’ve got a working car to get to my sister’s wedding AND a reliable garage to get the car serviced and MOT’d later in the year so I am more than happy to recommend their services here, plus its such an unusual and yet fantastic idea that its worth reading about anyway.

Doing something to support Catch22 and Auto22

I’m jumping out of a plane on the 28th of August, so please read my post about it and then contribute a little something to help. Thanks:

Recommended: happy, smart, efficient and good for the community

Auto22 offers: servicing and repair on all makes of cars and light vans, MOTs, and tyre and exhaust replacements.   All work is carried out by professionally qualified and experienced technicians using the latest diagnostic equipment, and they offer a free customer drop off and pick up service within a three mile radius.


Call them: 01474 362 413