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:


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 ( ) 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.)

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

What is “Advanced Past Life Therapy”?

If you’ve been paying attention to my website at , 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

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.


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.

How a Ouija Board Really Works

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but spirits don’t move the pointer on a Ouija board – well, not directly, anyway. We’ll get to that shortly.

Ouija boards come in a wide variety of styles, classic and modern. They all have letters, probably numbers, and maybe words and symbols too. Here’s mine, based on the familiar William Fuld design:

Ouija 002

You’ll see that this one was marketed by the games manufacturers Waddingtons. It was sold in high street shops as a toy, in the late Sixties, and got them into a great deal of trouble, mainly from religious groups. It was quickly withdrawn from sale. I’ve blanked out the central window of the pointer (it originally had a nail in the hole in the middle) because the design is otherwise ambiguous; do you look through the window or at the tip of the pointer?

The pointer is referred to in the instructions as a “mysterious message indicator”. Sometimes the term planchette is used, but strictly that refers to an earlier device of a similar shape, with a pencil at the tip and castors at the rear corners.

Spiritualism began with the Fox sisters, whose spirits communicated by raps. This was a slow process, so later Spiritualists used automatic writing, either by directly holding a pencil or with a planchette. Unless a medium is particularly gifted, automatic writing is likely to produce illegible gibberish, so mediums moved on to using an upturned wine glass with paper letters on a smooth table and eventually marketed Ouija boards especially designed for the purpose.

As I said at the beginning, spirits do not directly move the pointer, wine glass or planchette. All the above techniques are automatisms; they work through what is now known as ideomotor responses – automatic, involuntary muscular movements which are controlled by the unconscious mind (“UCM”). Dowsing instruments such as pendulums are also automatisms and work in a similar way.

This is not, however, a full explanation. Automatisms certainly reveal information from the UCM, but this leaves open the question of how that information entered the UCM. There are several possibilities, which I’ll discuss with specific reference to the Ouija board.


This is the conventional explanation – the UCM is communicating symbolically, either by making up a story from its contents, or by regurgitating or modifying one previously read or heard but forgotten – cryptomnesia. Jung’s idea of the Collective Unconscious could be brought in too. This type of explanation certainly accounts for many cases – but not all of them.


A more promising explanation is that information enters the UCM through telepathy – direct mind-to-mind communication without the use of the known senses. This could be from other sitters at the table working the pointer, from onlookers – or it could be from spirits.

Past Life

The board could conceivably be communicating details of the past life of one of the sitters, or one of the onlookers through telepathy. I don’t want to go into past life theories in any depth here, but the main explanations for a genuine past life would have to be either reincarnation or genetic memory.


This is the sceptic’s get-out-of-jail-free card. When faced with communications giving information which can’t be explained away by cryptomnesia or through other “normal” (i.e. non-paranormal) channels, a sceptic who rejects the idea that human consciousness can survive bodily death will resort to the “Super-ESP” hypothesis. He will argue that the information has entered the UCM through Extrasensory Perception – not just telepathy from someone in the room, but from a living person anywhere in the world, or from a book or other object (clairvoyance) – also anywhere in the world. He could also argue that this information could come from the future (precognition), the past (retrocognition) or from some universal memory bank. Many modern psychical researchers feel that this sort of explanation is more far-fetched than the simpler one of belief in spirit communication, and in any case there is no evidence that ESP is this powerful.

Safety First

Whether or not a Ouija board is communicating with spirits – evil or otherwise – or simply with the contents with our unconscious minds, great care should be taken when using one. Our UCMs contain some pretty unpleasant material. Sessions should always begin with a prayer to an appropriate deity or by setting up another form of psychic protection, and any entities summoned need to be properly dismissed at the end – treat them as “real” even if they may not be. Also take any information or advice received with a very large pinch of salt – you don’t know where it’s coming from.


So, how does a Ouija board work? Well, the pointer is certainly moved by ideomotor responses from the sitters – but does it spell out messages from spirits? The answer is clearly “no” in some cases – but in others it may be “perhaps”. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to “prove” that spirit communication exists, because the sceptic can always fall back on the Super-ESP hypothesis (however unlikely) – but there’s strong evidence in some published cases of automatic writing. In the end it’s going to be subjective – is the evidence strong enough to satisfy you?

What is clinical hypnotherapy? http://ww

What is clinical hypnotherapy?


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