How many bodies do we have?

I first became a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Techniques (“EFT”) in 2003. I later became a practitioner of a related energy therapy, EmoTrance (“ET”, but now renamed by its originator Silvia Hartmann as EMO). Both of these therapies, and several related ones, are based on the theory that each of us has an energy body, whose ‘circulatory system’ comprises the meridians also used in acupuncture. Energy therapies are designed to clear blockages in the energy body, or the body’s energy system, caused by a wide range of emotional (and physical) conditions.

Because of my scientific background I had some difficulty in accepting the existence of an energy body, but nevertheless I proved many times – with clients and on myself (to the astonishment of a certain medical consultant) – that EFT and ET are very effective indeed. On the whole, I don’t trouble myself too much with how they work, only that they do.

The concept of an energy body has other applications besides therapeutic ones. As I’m also interested in out-of-body experiences (“OBEs”), I recently read Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience by Luis Minero. Mr Minero is the Education Director of the Brazil-based “International Academy of Consciousness” (“IAC”), which runs training courses for controlled OBEs.

The founder of the IAC, Waldo Vieira, developed the new study of ‘Conscientology’. He wanted to avoid occult connotations, such as use of the old term ‘astral projection’ for an OBE, so he invented his own terms. This has had the unfortunate side-effect of making IAC books very difficult to read (although Mr Minero’s book is clearer than some); IAC writers never seem to be able to use a short word when a long one will do.

The first chapter of the book, ‘Fundamental Concepts’, defines the four bodies that make up the whole body (the holosoma):

  • Soma (physical body)

  • Energosoma (energetic body)

  • Psychosoma (emotional body)

  • Mentalsoma (intellectual body).

The energosoma, also be referred to as the holochakra, is the etheric body of classical literature. It has two main functions. Firstly, it links the physical body (soma) with the astral body (psychosoma). Secondly, it vitalises the physical body. A healthy energosoma promotes general well-being, while numerous issues result from blockages and imbalances. It’s these that we can clear with energy therapies.

The psychosoma is the body in which we can travel during an OBE. Unlike the energosoma, it carries the consciousness. It’s very light and has no bodily organs. It can support itself without a soma, so if we meet a deceased person during an OBE it’s their psychosoma that we’re seeing.

The mentalsoma is “the most sophisticated and complex body of the consciousness”. It has no shape. A rare OBE in the mentalsoma enables us to reach the highest level of awareness.

The next chapter, ‘Bioenergy’, is lengthy and complex, and it defines many new terms that I’m not going to attempt to explain here. It’s worth reading in full if you are interested in the subject. In this chapter, Mr Minero refers to the energosoma as comprising all the body’s chakras and their energies. A chakra is a vortex, a processing centre or gateway for sending and receiving energy. Although most writers concentrate on the seven main chakras, there are apparently about 88,000 of them in all. Chakras feature prominently in some energy therapies, but not in EFT, which concentrates on meridians, or ET, in which energy simply flows freely.

The chapter includes exercises which will be useful to energy practitioners. I personally find the most important one, ‘VELO’, fairly easy, but that may be because I’m used to stimulating energy flows in my body. It involves rapid movement of energy flows up and down the body. VELO stands for ‘Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation, and it has a number of benefits including:

  • unblocking and balancing the energosoma

  • identifying and diagnosing energy blocks

  • preventing the onset of energetic blockages or problems

  • making us physically healthier.

In other words, the benefits of VELO are similar to those of EFT and ET.

The next chapter, ‘Out and About’, is a detailed analysis of the OBE and its phenomena, including characteristics of the psychosoma and mentalsoma. Several cases are reported.

We then come to Chapter 4, ‘How-To’, forty pages of techniques for experiencing an OBE. There are over a dozen of them, including ones involving relaxation and concentration, imagination and creativity, physical control and breathing, energy and imagination, and ‘mental saturation’ (similar to a lucid dreaming techinque).

The next chapter, ‘Extraphysical Consciousnesses’, aims to “clarify the mechanisms of how multidimensional contacts are established and maintained”. After discussing ways of communicating outside the body, the author describes the three stages of deactivation (desoma) of the first three bodies – the mechanisms of death. We are then introduced to other consciousnesses that we may meet during an OBE: ‘helpers’, ‘blind guides’ and ‘intruders’.

Chapter 6 is titled ‘Consciental Maturity’. Holomaturity is given as a synonym, and defined as “Condition of integral maturity within the consciousness – biological, psychological, intellectual, holosomatic, intraconsciental and multidimensional”. Maturity of each of the four bodies is discussed in turn, followed by such topics as altruism, cosmoethics and universalism.

The final chapter, ‘Planning a Life’, gives techniques “to get information about our individual life task”, which may have been preplanned before birth. Along the way, karma or (holokarma) is divided into egokarma, groupkarma and polykarma.

The book is exceptionally well produced. It’s a large format paperback, about 23cm x19cm, roughly 400 pages, printed in a clear font, with subheadings, diagrams, tables and text boxes. Each chapter begins with a detailed contents page and ends with a summary of key points and notes. Appendices include a glossary, bibliography and a comprehensive index.

Although the book is difficult to digest, the ideas put forward do mostly seem quite sensible. I can recommend it if you can live with the obscure terminology and are interested in the phenomena and practice of the OBE.

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Leslie Kean’s ‘Surviving Death’

I was introduced to this 2017 book through a WizIQ talk by Ms Kean which was hosted by Dr Nancy Zingrone, organiser of PARAMOOC. I was struck by the strength of the unfamiliar cases she was describing – not just the standard classic ones – and decided it was worth a read. I am not disappointed.

The book is unusual for two reasons. Firstly, it is written by an “independent investigative journalist”, applying “strict journalistic protocols”. Secondly, several of the chapters are contributed by other writers – researchers, witnesses and a medium. The author also describes her own experiences and research.

There are just over 400 pages, including notes and a detailed index, plus two sections of photographs, many in colour.

The book begins with a thirteen-page Introduction, describing Kean’s motivations and how she undertook her research. She discusses the meaning of “survival” and explains the “living-agent psi” (“LAP”) hypothesis, which will be relevant several times later in the book. This is what has previously been called “super-ESP”, and I’ve described it in my blog as the sceptic’s Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card; any evidence for survival can also be explained by assuming unlimited ESP or PK (psychokinesis) on the part of mediums or others experiencing phenomena. For this reason, however strong the evidence, it can never be “proof”.

The rest of the book is divided into four parts.

Part One, Is There “Life” Before Birth? deals with past-life memories in young children. Although the most familiar cases of this involve Asian children, Chapter 1, “Airplane Crash on Fire”, is a detailed account of an American case, that of James Leininger, who kept reliving his death as a WW2 pilot. It’s very convincing, and Chapter 2, The Case of James 3, strengthens it by describing Kean’s investigation of the case in collaboration with researcher Jim Tucker, who himself contributes Chapter 3, Investigating Cases of Children with Past-Life Memories. Tucker worked with the leading researcher in this field, Ian Stevenson, and here he covers some of Stevenson’s and his own cases, both Asian and American.

One of these cases is that of Ryan Hammons, and Chapter 4, “The Old Me”, is a personal account by Cyndi Hammons, Ryan’s mother. Kean ends this Part with Chapter 5, Fifty-five Verified Memories, in which she examines in depth the evidence provided by Ryan’s case. She concludes that the hundreds of recorded cases of this type suggest that consciousness can survive bodily death and may therefore be independent of the human brain, a concept reinforced in the next section of the book.

Part Two has the title To Death and Back Again. It begins with Chapter 6, The Shoe on the Ledge, contributed by Kimberley Clark Sharp, founder and president of the Seattle International Association for Near-Death Studies. She describes, from her own perspective as a medical social worker, the near-death experience (“NDE”) case of Maria, a heart-attack patient at a Seattle hospital. Part of Maria’s description of her NDE involves seeing a single shoe on one of the hospital’s window ledges; Clark duly found the shoe, in such a position that it would have been impossible for Maria or anyone else to see it from the angle as described (mid-air, three storeys above ground level). There is a photograph of the hospital; it’s huge, with many windows.

Chapter 7, Journeys out of Body, discusses Maria’s and other cases of veridical out-of-body experiences “OBEs” and their relationship to NDEs. Chapter 8, “Actual-Death” Experiences, takes this further, discussing cases of a return from clinical death, particularly the well-known one of Pam Reynolds. This discussion leads into Chapter 9, The NDE and Nonlocal Consciousness, written by Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel, who describes his own study of NDEs in cardiac patients. He concludes: “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that our essential consciousnesses existed before our birth and will exist after we die.” This notion is taken further by Kean in Chapter 10, Intermission Memories: Life Between Lives, in which she discusses cases examined by Tucker and his colleagues where children reporting past lives have also described their existence between the death of the previous person and their birth in their current life. I found this particularly interesting as an alternative to the more familiar ‘Life Between Lives’ work of Michael Newton, whom Kean disappointingly does not mention. This Part ends with Chapter 11, End-of-Life Experiences, by British neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick, who has conducted extensive research in this area (and also co-authored a book, with his wife, on NDEs). He discusses the process of dying, with particular reference to deathbed visions of patients – and sometimes those sitting with them. “People often ask me if I believe in life after death. I always say that it is no longer a question of belief. This question must be removed from the field of belief into the field of data.”

Part Three is Communications from Nonlocal Minds. In Chapter 12, My First Personal “Experiment”, and Chapter 13, An Almost Perfect Reading, Kean explains mental mediumship and describes the results of her sittings with three mediums. I didn’t personally find these terribly convincing, but she did, and she had the advantage of being there. Chapter 14, Research into Mental Mediumship, is by Julie Beischel, research director of the Windbridge Institute which specialises in testing mediums. Here she explains the testing procedures. In Chapter 15, How Do They Do It?, Kean interviews two of the mediums who gave her readings. Chapter 16, Finding George, is a detailed investigation of Mark Lewis’s search for the war grave of his grandfather’s younger brother.

Chapter 17, Trance Mediumship and Drop-in communicators, is by Alan Gauld, whose name will be well-known to many reading this review. The chapter was “culled” from his excellent and highly-recommended book Mediumship and Survival1 (1982), which is the definitive study of classic cases. In this chapter you will find Mrs Piper, Mrs Leonard, proxy sitters and drop-in communicators – “communicators who arrive unexpectedly and uninvited, and are ostensibly unknown to medium and sitters.”

These are particularly difficult for the LAP/Super-ESP theories to explain, as discussed by Kean in Chapter 18, Seeking the White Crow (“it only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black”).

Chapter 19 covers After-Death Communications (“ADCs”) – “spontaneous, personal signals perceived as coming from a departed loved one”. Kean talks here about cases which she has experienced herself, those of others known to her, and surveys by Erlendur Haraldsson in Iceland (we’ll meet him again later). The final chapter in this Part, Chapter 20, Interactive Apparitions, is by parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach. He briefly discusses the history of “ghost” research, distinguishing between apparitions (conscious) and hauntings (not conscious, akin to video recordings). The rest of the chapter concerns cases of apparitions which he has personally investigated.

The final Part of the book, The Impossible Made Real, covers physical phenomena, and Kean herself admits that some of the cases included here will break the Boggle Threshold. I was certainly concerned in places, as a moderately well-read amateur magician with a particular interest in pseudo-psychic effects. However, it does seem that the cases included in this Part have been thoroughly investigated and well-documented. (I should mention here that until reading a modern book on mediumship, Is There an Afterlife? (2005) by David Fontana, I had assumed that physical mediumship had completely died out – no pun intended – many years ago. It hasn’t; there may be fewer physical mediums around now but they certainly still exist. Fontana’s book, incidentally, is mentioned several times by Kean.)

Chapter 21 has the title Human-Generated Phenomena and discusses poltergeists and other phenomena apparently generated without the assistance of discarnate spirits. After mentioning the well-known work of K J Batcheldor and the “Philip” experiment, she discusses her own 2015 sittings with the German physical medium Kai Muegge (who was also prominently featured that year in the SPR’s Paranormal Review). Chapter 22, From Object Movements to Materialized Hands, introduces “more exceptional manifestations within physical mediumship” – levitation of objects, moving lights, playing of instruments, voices and materialisations of hands and even full bodies. Kean discusses the historical cases of Willi Schneider, Eusapia Palladino and D.D. Home.

Chapter 23, Possible Evidence of Survival, is by Erlendur Haraldsson, who has conducted detailed research into the Icelandic physical medium Indridi Indridason (1883-1912). Indridason produced a wide range of phenomena, including “direct singing of many voices simultaneously” and full-body materialisations. This leads us to Chapter 24, The Enigma of Full-Form Materializations, which discusses the wax gloves produced from hands materialised by Franek Kluski (1873-1943) and the ectoplasm and materialisations of several other mediums. These are mostly historical cases, but Chapter 25, My Astonishing Second “Personal Experiment”, deals with Kean’s own sittings with contemporary British medium Stewart Alexander, who produces remarkable phenomena. Alexander himself contributes Chapter 26, a Life in Two Worlds, describing how he first became a medium and giving various personal insights.

In the final chapter, Conclusion, Kean summarises the evidence in the book, pointing out that LAP can never be discounted, and ending with the hope that readers may “take some solace in the fact that there us abundant mystery all around us, and that death may very well not be the end.”

The book is well-written, easy to read and is logically structured. Each Part and Chapter naturally leads to the next, and there are frequent references back to earlier chapters, even in those written by guest contributors. It also has the advantages of being wide-ranging and up-to-date, having been published in early 2017.

I don’t think I’ve ever read an entirely objective book on the paranormal – they are all written by sceptics or believers – but this one is probably better than most; the author makes the point in her introduction that her approach was through experience and first-hand examination, while “remaining as analytical and discriminating as I was with everything else.”

Highly recommended.

Freemasons’ Hall – Grand Temple

https://www.360cities.net/embed_iframe/freemasons-hall-grand-temple
Freemasons’ Hall Grand Temple

Parts of your Mind

In my blog on “Advanced Past Life Therapy”, I mentioned that you can meet and talk to “archetypes” or “parts” of your unconscious mind. I’d like to discuss this in a bit more detail, because “parts therapy”, in one form or another, is something which I find very useful in my hypnotherapy practice.

Now, some hypnotherapists and psychologists will tell you that there’s no such thing as the “unconscious mind”. They may well be right; certainly there’s no specific area of the brain where it lives.* But, nevertheless, the mind behaves as though it has an unconscious region, and whether it’s real, a metaphor or a convenient fiction doesn’t matter – parts therapies work.

Whole Master’s degree courses exist on the subject of “consciousness”, so I’m not going to get bogged down here in theories of the conscious and unconscious minds. I’m just going to give you this simple diagram, my take on Freud’s Iceberg Model, incorporating Jung’s concept of the Collective Unconscious:

Iceberg

Your personal unconscious contains “parts” which are unique to you. A simple technique which I often use is “Parts Integration”; we find (for example) the “part” which is responsible for a negative behaviour, then the “part” which wants to change, and then we encourage the two parts to talk to each other and come up with an agreed strategy. This doesn’t have to be done under hypnosis, but I find that a light “trance” – just deep relaxation – helps the process along.

Archetypes belong in the Collective Unconscious; they are common to all mankind. According to Jung, principal ones include the shadow, the wise old man, the child and the mother, but there are many more. Three that I find particularly useful to work with come from hypnotherapist Terence Watts: the Warrior, the Settler and the Nomad. We can bring in all three, consider which is responsible for a behaviour, or which would be most helpful, and ask them to speak to us or to each other.

Which, if any, part of your unconscious mind houses spirit guides, angels and characters from your past lives is anybody’s guess. Again, it really doesn’t matter. As I said in my earlier blog: These “entities” may or may not be “real”; perhaps they exist independently or maybe they are simply “archetypes” or “parts” of your unconscious mind, but this isn’t important from a therapeutic point of view. We can treat them as real and benefit from their guidance.


*Some experts regard the “unconscious” as nothing more than automatic brain processes, but in my opinion those are something else which should not be confused with “the unconscious mind”.

Pendulum Programming 3 – Re-programming your Unconscious Mind

Back in 2011, I filmed two videoblogs on uses for the pendulum. I fully intended to record a third, but I decided that the subject matter would be too difficult to explain that way. So here it is, at last, as a written blog! Please watch the two videos and try those exercises first.

After you receive feedback about an issue from your pendulum, you may want to change some of your unconscious programming. You can do this by combining the power of the pendulum with suggestions and affirmations. It’s best to implant these in steps that you can readily accept; you don’t have to force yourself to make a giant mental leap.

Let’s assume you’re working with affirmations. Start with a phrase that states the reality as it is now. After agreement is signalled with your pendulum by a yes or positive response, take the phrasing of the affirmation to the next deeper level – nearer to your goal. Once you get agreement from your unconscious mind (‘UCM’) on this second statement, you progress to the next closer statement, and so on.

Carry on with this until you end on a phrase that is your goal, being sure you get confirmation at each step along the way. Remember that your progress should be in small steps forward rather than one gigantic leap of acceptance.

Keep repeating each affirmation out loud if possible, or silently in your mind so no one else can hear, while holding the pendulum. Wait for the pendulum to move in your yes movement, as you continue to repeat the affirmation.

Once the affirmation gets a strong positive swing for a while, thank your UCM and really mean it! Keep saying, “Thank you” with emotion until the pendulum comes to a stop or circles around in joy, waiting for another affirmation.

Once the pendulum has indicated that your UCM appreciates your thanks, by circling joyfully or stopping its movement, you can continue to the next step of your affirmation. It’s a good idea to pause before continuing to the next stage once your thanks is acknowledged. Close your eyes if possible and sit still for a moment. Feel your thanks for this affirmation being accepted by your UCM. Be honestly grateful for this acceptance; it means your UCM is now helping you to reach your dreams. After a moment to pause and reflect on this, continue to the next level.

You may choose to take an hour or a day in between each step, or you can continue all in one sitting to progress through all the steps toward your goal affirmation, as long as you do not feel you are uneasy doing so. Trust your feelings about moving forward.

An example may help. Perhaps you’re looking for a solution and feel stuck. You choose to break the large affirmation of “I have new solutions” into easily digested and assimilated pieces.

Start with “I need a solution to …”, then move on to:
“It’s possible that there is some sort of solution.”
“I might discover the solutions I need.”
“Solutions could come to me in unexpected ways.”
“I can have solutions.”
“Solutions are coming to me now.”
“I have new solutions now, whether I know them consciously or not yet.”
“I have new solutions!”

How do you Think?

An article on the BBC website ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34039054 ) highlights new research at Exeter University on what the researchers call “aphantasia” – the inability to see mental pictures in one’s head. Prof. Adam Zeman suggests that this could affect 1/50 of the population.

This doesn’t surprise me at all, as I have this “affliction” in a mild form myself; I can see pictures, but they aren’t at all clear. But the article has reminded me of another observation which I made, years ago, which I often mention to clients who don’t visualise well.

I think in language – “Internal Dialogue” – in perfectly grammatical English sentences. I always assumed that everyone else thought this way too, until I asked a Chinese friend brought up in England what language he thought in. He didn’t understand the question, because he didn’t think in language at all; he thought in pictures and symbols. (In retrospect, this may have been connected with the way that Chinese is written.) I’ve asked this question to others many times since, and received a variety of answers.

One of the first things you learn when you study NLP is the concept of “representational systems”. The main ones are V (visual), A (auditory) and K (kinaesthetic – touch and feeling). NLP textbooks say that we all use a mix of these systems, although presumably anyone with total aphantasia will have no V system. Generally speaking, though, we will always have a “preferred” rep system which is better developed than the others; mine is A, so I have a preference, for example, for music and writing (and proofreading!) over the visual arts – I’m hopeless at drawing and painting. I also find it hard to remember faces.

As well as the preferred rep system, we also have a “lead” rep system that we use to retrieve information from memory. If I ask you to think about your last holiday, for example, what is the first thing that comes to mind? When I first came across this concept, I was surprised to discover that my lead rep system is V; the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my last holiday is definitely a picture – although of course it’s not a clear one.

When I took my first NLP Practitioner training, I struggled with some of the exercises, as the trainers’ preferred rep system was clearly V. I still have a problem with a few highly visual NLP techniques, such as Time Line, Swish and the “Fast Phobia Cure”, so I tend to avoid using them with my clients; as a general rule, I prefer to use techniques (in NLP and other therapies) which I have tested on myself.

If you’d like to know more about representational systems, have a look at this article on my website, which was an early attempt of mine at a piece of writing using language appropriate to each of the three main systems. (NLP textbooks also say that we tend mainly to use the language of our preferred rep system.)
http://magicofthemind.co.uk/2015/05/28/nlp-the-concert/

Now a Graduate Member of the BPS

Almost exactly 42 years after graduating in Psychology, I have joined the British Psychological Society as a Graduate Member – MBPsS. I’m looking forward to updating and widening my knowledge of the subject, which seems to have developed in positive directions since my degree course.

In case you haven’t seen my video channel

In case you haven’t seen my video channel – magic, hypnotherapy and a few other things https://www.youtube.com/user/mindmagic42/videos

What is “Advanced Past Life Therapy”?

If you’ve been paying attention to my website at www.magicofthemind.co.uk , or to my Facebook page, you may have noticed that I recently added the Advanced Diploma in Past Life Therapy to my qualifications – almost exactly ten years after my first past life regression certificate. What’s Advanced about it, and how has it benefited my practice?

Firstly, the basic techniques I’ve been using for ten years, although usually successful, do have a few limitations, so I’m making some minor changes to them which should give your unconscious mind a little more flexibility. I’m also increasing my standard past life sessions from “about one hour” to “up to 90 minutes”, as an hour was always tight. Generally this should allow for exploration of more than one past life, but of course that’s always going to be up to each client’s experience – and every experience is different.

Secondly, I shall be offering some new related forms of experience; here a few of the main ones:

Soul Retrieval

Broadly speaking, a soul retrieval exercise is indicated whenever a client suggests that something has been “lost” or is “missing” from their life, or perhaps the client will refer to a “broken heart”. It is also indicated where a client has suffered a severe trauma, such as a violent death, in a past life which may well have led to soul fragmentation – something left behind. In soul retrieval we find the missing element and restore it.

 

Life Between Lives (Spiritual Regression)

What happens after you die and before you enter the next life? This seems to vary enormously between individuals – I’ve heard many different stories from my clients – but if you want to explore this I can help you.

Future Life Progression

This is not as exciting as it may sound. I’m not a fortune-teller and I can’t tell you what will happen in your future. Whatever you may experience in FLP is only one of many possibilities based on your present life; any changes in your behaviour made in the present will affect that future. The mere fact that the future has been predicted by the progression will also change it. Any negative future that comes up is simply a warning that changes should be made now.

Time may be thought of as “the fourth dimension”, so that by taking ourselves out of the familiar three-dimensional universe we can perceive the whole of our past, present and future mapped out – but this does not imply that the future is fixed. A better analogy for explanation is that of the “multiverse”: there is an infinite number of possible futures, and any that we visit now are just probabilities based on our present circumstances. Any changes we make to our behaviour will affect which futures we enter.

Meetings

You can meet and talk to your spirit guide, angels or characters from your past lives if you wish. These “entities” may or may not be “real”; perhaps they exist independently or maybe they are simply “archetypes” or “parts” of your unconscious mind, but this isn’t important from a therapeutic point of view. We can treat them as real and benefit from their guidance.

Cord Cutting

When two individuals interact and exchange energy, a bond forms between them which can be seen (psychically, symbolically or metaphorically) as a cord connecting the two of them together. If the attachment is having a negative impact on the your life, being unable to let go of a past relationship for example, it is essential that you should sever and destroy the cord in order to move on.

Future Choice Meditation

This technique may be useful in cases where you have to make one of two distinct choices about your future, such as a career or perhaps a partner. FCM is intended primarily for spiritually-inclined clients who believe in karma and life plans and wish to know which is the right path for them. It is designed for use after past lives have been explored and any blocks have been dealt with.

Finally, I should make it clear that one related form of therapy that I am not specifically offering, at least at the moment, is Spirit Release. This is a complex technique which should in general only be attempted by someone with detailed specialist training. If an entity clearly manifests during a session, I have enough knowledge of the subject to be able to negotiate with it, but I would only regard this as a “first aid” treatment and would advise the client to see a fully-trained spirit release therapist as soon as possible.

This article could have stretched to several pages. If you need any further explanation of anything I’ve mentioned, please ask.

“But they’ll look very silly along the way”

This is the final comment in the Radio Times’s description of a new ITV “game show”, starting on Saturday 14 March, called You’re Back in the Room. The synopsis is “A comedy game show based on hypnosis: five members of the public take on straightforward tasks, made harder by the hurdles that hypnotist Keith Barry plants in their minds.”

I rarely watch anything on ITV, and I never watch game shows, but this one – based on the descriptions and trailers I’ve seen – reaches new depths. Although I don’t perform as a hypnotist, only as a magician, I’m not opposed to stage hypnosis in general as long as it’s reasonably tasteful. This new TV show looks and sounds about as tasteless as it’s possible to get.

It’s emphasised in the FAQs on my website, but I want it to be made very clear again, that no responsible hypnotherapist, myself included, would make any suggestions to clients that would make them act in a foolish way. Hypnotherapy is just that: therapy employing hypnosis. Hypnotherapists use their skills (not “powers”!) for therapeutic purposes only, not for entertainment – their own or anyone else’s. We help clients to remove “hurdles” – we don’t plant them.