The basis for therapeutic trance work

Triad – 1) centred, 2) intentional, 3) resource aware

In Generative Trance – the key is in developing a therapeutic mood. This mood contains three basic elements: 1) a centred, calm and grounded state; 2) focus on a clear goal; 3) awareness of our main resources.

We always start by grounding. Grounding can be achieved in many ways. One easy method is to sit comfortably with eyes closed, breathing through the nose. With each breath imagine exhaling feelings of stress or unnecessary efforts and inhaling, calm, gentle kindness.

Once we have achieved a state of grounded and centred calmness, we then invite an intention or goal. As the goal is revealed to us, we should strive for clarity and simplicity.

A more advanced approach is to form a problem into a question and gently hold this question as the intention or goal

Finally, once we are grounded and we have a clear sense of our goal or question, we now deepen our awareness of our resources – strengths, helpers, positive influences, guides, mentors, role models, coaches, and friends. Essentially, we surround ourselves with an appreciation for all the people, beings, energies and material resources that can help us as we move forward on our path.

With practice this triad can create opportunities for real growth and progress.

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Pleasing versus Enabling

In Generative Trance, we are primarily interested in helping others develop self-empowerment. This involves teaching self awareness skills and methods to hold inner discussions on creative solutions within trance states.

In contrast, traditional Hypnosis is more uni-directional. The old-school hypnotist directs the client in what to think and do. While this at first seems to be a convenient solution, the challenge is that the client becomes reliant on the hypnotist and worse yet, may even embark on paths that are not aligned with their real needs. A traditional hypnotist is easily caught up in the need to empress the client. Entertaining at best, this can only result in wasted time and money.

The real work is done during gentle, conversations where the client’s wisdom is incorporated into the solution. Generative Trance, as Dr. Stephen Gilligan calls it, utilizes the very behaviours that seem to be defined within the problem. Ironically, the presenting problem is often revealed as a key feature that enables healing, progress and deeper self-realization.

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What you focus on – you become

It seems so easy – focus on happy and be happy! Well, when I first practiced this, many interesting things came up. Firstly, it takes effort to focus on Happy. Secondly, I noticed that if I’m not thinking about Happy, I must be thinking about something else. And noticing the “something else” also takes effort. So being mindful of where my mind is does not come naturally to me. I seem to be drawn to a wide assortment of distractions – Constantly reacting to crises, eye candy, cravings and impulses.

But this can stop. Through gentle, regular effort, we can train ourselves to be proactive and intentional in our focus. The results are impressive – permanent, desired changes to our brain occur. We will experience increased gamma brain waves which are responsible for heightened levels of awareness and perception, higher levels of intelligence, focus and energy, better memory and more consistently positive thoughts and moods. All in all, less stress and more joy!

Various methods can help to increase gamma brain waves. Hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and meditation are safe and common. Regardless of what method you choose, the key is to start now and practice regularly.

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Quit Smoking Now! Tappering-Off versus Cold Turkey

You can quit smoking. Most people seem to tapper off prior to finally quiting this habit. But some manage to quit “Cold Turkey”. Either way, if you are planning to quit, help is available. Check out this web site: . is full of useful resources to help you on your way to a smoke free life. If you need additional help, hypnosis may be a good option for you. Regardless, it’s time to make some serious changes.

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Conscious Enquiry – leveraging trance

So many people have experienced a relaxing, pleasant trance and on its own, a worthwhile exercise any time. But the real deal occurs when trance is combined with a question. I call this combo “Conscious Enquiry”. Take any question and gently hold it while simultaneously in a therapeutic trance. In a way, this is like priming that vast unlimited organ of creativity. By repeating this simple task, we shift from a reactive life to a proactive life.

Overtime, skill in forming the question and discipline in maintaining focus will produce laser like precision and decisiveness.

So what is the one thing that, if known, would enable you to take that bold leap forward?

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The Question is the Answer – the power of intentional enquiry

That’s a good question! Key: Presuppose the answer you desire.

  1. Questions cause us to become more focused.
  2. Our mind is designed to ask questions.
  3. We relate to the answers.
  4. If we cannot remember an answer, we will invent one
  5. Questions are generative. They spawn creativity.
  6. Questions can change our story.
  7. Questions can facilitate healing.


Persuasive questions:

  1. When would now be a good time to change?
  2. What are the benefits of starting to practice?
  3. How is laziness not a good model for efficiency?
  4. What positive changes have you noticed since we last met?


Morning Power Questions: Prime the day with purpose

  1. What am I happy about in my life right now? What about that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?
  2. What am I excited about in my life right now? What about that makes me excited? How does that make me feel?
  3. What have I achieved in my life right now? What about that makes me proud? How does that make me feel?
  4. What am I grateful for in my life right now? What about that makes me grateful? How does that make me feel?
  5. What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
  6. What am I committed to in my life right now? What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?
  7. Who do I love? Who loves me? What about them makes me loving? How does that make me feel?


Evening questions: Gain closure and resolution.

  1. How did I contribute today?
  2. In what ways have I been a giver today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. How has today added to the quality of my life?
  5. What am I grateful for in my life today? What do I appreciate?


Questions to encourage healing:

What can I learn from this event/problem, the learning of which will allow me to let go of this negative energy/emotion easily and effortlessly?

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The power of questions

I think of the mind as a big problem solving organ. Its main function is to answer questions throughout the day. In fact, it is asking questions all the time. Simple questions such as: What should I wear? What lane should I drive in? How fast should I go? Where should I park? What should I do? When is the appointment? As well, it is answering more challenging questions – often about relationships, career, major changes and opportunities, even the purpose or meaning of life.

The thing is that, we are asking and answering questions all the time and the quality of our lives are very much related to the quality of the questions we ask.

If I ask: What do I appreciate in my life? I immediately begin a process at both the conscious and unconscious level. I will search for an answer and if one is not available, I will invent an answer. Nevertheless, an answer that I created is identified and I relate to the answer because I created it. If the question is about a feeling, I will necessarily feel that emotion. “Answer: I appreciate my family, I appreciate my health, this country, my friends, my care etc” AND as I answer the question, I begin to feel appreciation.

In the above example, the things we appreciate are less important than the FEELING of appreciation.

So if I want to feel happy, joyous, excited, enthusiastic, courageous, strong, playful, confident or any other positive feeling, all I have to do is ask a question that will presuppose the desired answer.

Conversely, if I ask myself: Why do I suck at a task? I will answer this question too and in so doing, I will begin to support a belief that I suck. If I repeat this kind of NEGATIVE question over and over again, even unconsciously, I may begin to convince myself that I indeed suck.

“If you think you can – you can. If you think you cannot, you’re right” – Henry Ford

It seems that the mind does not filter the questions it will answer. It seems to answer ANYTHING I ask of it – positive or negative.

So the KEY is to prepare well-formed questions first. Then repeat asking only the desired questions.

“What is the question that I can ask which by the very nature of the presuppositions in the question itself will cause me to make the greatest amount of change by having to accept the presuppositions inherent in the questions?” – Tad James

So what else can I learn? that’s a good question.

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Focus: the importance of wilfully staying on task.

I was in the middle of my daily workout routine and couldn’t help notice how some people really struggle to maintain their focus during their workout. It seems that new members and people who are just getting into a fitness program seem to struggle more than the “Regulars” – the focused ones who are familiar with the gym, their program and their goals.
This “newness” can be stressful. We’re not sure about a bunch of things when we first join a gym and this can be overwhelming:

  • the gym layout;
  • the fitness centre culture;
  • the etiquette for sharing equipment and space;
  • the exercise techniques;
  • our fashionable exercise attire;
  • privacy; safety;
  • the security that our belongings are stored well in a locker room; etc.

In this “newness” we are susceptible to all kinds of distractions: The TV, a phone call, a text message, a magazine article, a chat with other athletes. Anything that will excuse us from forging onwards towards a better expression of health and wellbeing.

We all know that to meet our fitness goals we will need to overcome these distractions and focus on our work. Yet this pattern is so common – a typical resistance to change. It is the reason we often do not do the things we know we should.
So I asked myself: What can I learn from this observation?

Here’s a tip that has helped many others:
As quickly as possible become acquainted with the physical space you are in. Take a moment to focus on one spot in the gym. Gradually relax your eyes. Next, adopt a peripheral view of the whole room. See everything and yet nothing in particular. Allow yourself to feel relaxed and tell yourself you are here to do a job.
As always, develop a healthy sense of self. From this, know that you are whole and safe in this new space, the gym. Invite a feeling of confidence and courage.
Create a focused sense of your goal: health, vitality, strength, flexibility, endurance, speed, agility.

“You become what you think about” – Earl Nightingale

Begin your workout.

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Can hypnosis help in sports?

The sporting world is full of opportunities to use hypnosis. Most high level athletes use some form of visualization as they prepare for their event. As well, athletes who are in the “Zone” are performing at a high level – way beyond their normal conscious standards. Being in the zone is the ideal place to be and this state of mind/body can be conditioned to the point where it occurs, seemingly naturally and at will. Of course few fans will really know all the hard work and practice that went on prior to the sporting event. What seems easy and natural took years or sometimes decades of training both mind and body. Fortunately, this form of conditioning is available to us all. Whether we are an elite athlete or simply raking leaves in our back yard, we can practice mental exercises that will help us achieve our goals.

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Launching our new blog site!!

Today is the day after Halloween 2010 and we are launching our new blogging site. Looking forward to posting lots of material related to Hypnotherapy and Human Development Work.

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