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23NLPeople Blog

  • Manufacturing demons
  • Jordan Peterson – Depression
  • Metaphors of Movement Levels 4 & 5 Metaphors of Movement Levels 4 & 5 is now available.  This program is only available online and you can purchase a membership here: https://www.businessmetaphors.com
  • Random day Just thought I’d share a strange story.  There’s no moral, no punchline and it isn’t particularly amusing, just a strange thing that I experienced one day. Some readers may already know, but I used to get myself in quite a lot of trouble by refusing to blindly accept things and also by asking far too many ...
  • Sex, Stalking and NLP Training After allowing for time zone changes and jet lag, I had one day spare to see the sights before the NLP training began. As there was a choice of theme parks to attend and a lot of shopping malls to see, I was up early that day. By 7am, I am experiencing my first ‘all ...
  • Cripple Sex Many years ago I worked briefly in a residential unit for severely physically challenged people. Now, I say “briefly” because my employment lasted exactly one day and 90 minutes. The first problem arose one day one from my candid conversations with a small group of 16-19 year olds about how exactly sex is possible when ...
  • The problem with Nigel The phone rang in the therapist’s office. The mother on the other end outlined the problem – Nigel, her son, now aged 44 had been in care for nearly 8 years in a state of catatonic schizophrenia. Various drugs and electroconvulsive therapy had been tried with only moderate and always a temporary success. Neurological assessments ...
  • How to make a promotional video There appears to be a set formula for how one should produce a self-promotion video if you are a coach, NLPer, hypnotherapist or wotnot.  To make it easy for the new alphabet therapist (IEMT, EMDR, NLP, CBT, EFT, NAET, TFT, TAT etc) to fit in, I’ll briefly outline what you need to do to make ...
  • How much to charge? A very common theme in the hypnotherapy and complementary therapy world is that of “charging as much as you can” and “the higher you charge, the more you will be respected.” Something I have encountered a lot is, “if it is important to the client then they will pay anyway.” I’m not so sure about this, and ...
  • Bad business This was originally posted in 2013, but it remains my consistent experience of trying to book hotels and venues: I think I know why there is a recession on.  There’s only one reason – people are completely crap when it comes to business. Or maybe it is just me and I’m having one of those weeks. A company ...
  • Fake Phds On my Brass Bollocks training where I open the doors to the business end of my work and show exactly how and what I did and do now to run a successful business I repeatedly expound a simple principle: “Humility will save you from humiliation.” It shouldn’t be a difficult concept but in the world of personal ...
  • Two Rupees Every now and then a well-placed word or sentence can change everything for a person.  Sometimes this can happen more by chance than by design, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Here’s an example from a trip to India about 14 years ago. I was hopelessly lost.  I’d gotten off the bus unknowingly at ...
  • Modelling This is my reply on a LinkedIn group in response to a question about modelling criminals in order to find better solutions to imprisonment.  I thought it worth sharing here: To add to this, I too often wonder about all this supposed modelling. I don’t wish to dismiss the original question in this thread as I ...
  • You are a winner! You are a winner! There is one common marketing strategy that works really well that serves to make people fat and die young.  Make them a winner for being a glutton. You undoubtedly seen that appalling TV show that has people competing against each other in races to eat the most of a particular thing, like burgers, ...
  • On Guilt As emotions go, guilt is one of the most useless ones.  It serves a minimal positive function and can serve to really ruin a person’s day and render them foolish.  Unlike some emotions, guilt is not time dependent – it doesn’t fade over time.  It lurks. Guilt can also jump time.  Things can happen during ...
  • Me, Myself and I Until recently I lived at the back of the former home of J.M Barrie, author of Peter Pan, by the sea in Rustington, West Sussex. I now live about 150 meters down the road closer to the sea. We have two herring seagulls that live with us, they were here before us and came with the ...
  • Tea or Coffee? The “tea or coffee” bind is a very useful predictor for how well a session may go.  Whilst I use an offer of a hot beverage, any bind of alternative choices will do. Here is how it works.  When the client arrives I quickly show them in, point out where the toilet is (many have travelled ...
  • Problem clients I’ve been thinking about problem clients recently, as it is something I get asked about quite often by fellow therapists, especially those just starting out.  “How do you deal with problem clients?” is a common question so I thought I’d write it up as a blog entry so I have something to refer people to ...
  • Catastrophisation I first came across the term “catastrophisation” many years ago in a conversation with a clinical psychologist at Southampton General Hospital. I understood that it is a concept often explored in CBT client work. Basically, it is making mountains out of molehills. Not an entirely uncommon thing to happen, but it is something that can prove ...
  • Dial 419 NLP Nigerian I’ve just spent a few minutes Googling on the words, “NLP career.”  It is interesting how many training companies are offering their services from the sales angle of `NLP as a new career.”  Nothing new of course, but the question I have is, just how many of these companies are themselves actually making any money? ...
  • The Map is Not The Territory? I must be getting old, either that or I am just getting tired. I’ve seen it happen to relatives and their peers who take up political causes, rage at the television news debates, get angry at the behaviour of the youth and lament for the nostalgia of times gone by. So I think I am ...
  • Law of Attraction There seems to have been a new work ethic lurching about in recent years.  It looks something like this:  “If it seems difficult, or if it seems like hard work, then you are doing it wrong.”   The Law of Attraction people really seized the day with this one – formulate your desire, set your intention ...
  • Teaching the Armless to Juggle One of the tips I offer therapists and clinicians on my Brass Bollocks workshop is that in order to get more clients, some of them may need to reduce and lower their claims for success.  The main issue is that many so clients simply won’t and don’t believe the claims that are made, even if ...
  • Cold Callers Today’s idiot phone call.  I get one or two a week. Ring, ring… Me: “Good afternoon, Andy Austin, how can I help?” Caller: “Hello, is that Mister Austin?” Me: “Yes it is.  How can I help?” Caller: “You run a plumbing business, is that right?” Me:  “No, I don’t.” Caller: “Oh, you are a roofer, yes?” Me: “No.  Do you want a plumber, ...
  • NLP, Metaphors, Neurology and Depression
  • Over the Edge This was originally posted in September 2011. It wasn’t a good year, but had some interesting life lessons occurring throughout. A business trip in Turkey had a rather surprising turn of events last week.  I started off in Ankara to deliver a Metaphors of Business workshop to a business group there, before flying to Antalya to ...
  • Treatment for Chronic Pain Patient with chronic pain often report that the lack of understanding from professionals about their situation can be a major problem when receiving treatment. In this video I wanted to cover some of the main considerations that IEMT practitioners and clinicians need to have when working with chronic pain. For more on IEMT, please visit: ...
  • Filming the Miraculous The personal development field is awash with grand claims and new hope.  I regularly see advert offering workshops where the attendees will learn to make a six figure annual income from coaching, and therapists claiming life changing work for a mere £10,000.  Everyone of course was trained by the best and has travelled far and ...
  • Believe or Die I am continually amazed at how much healers, therapists, and personal development gurus attribute to beliefs. It is as if they have found that the act of belief literally shapes the universe, and if your universe isn’t shaped right, then you need to change your beliefs and everything will be fine. I keep reading how good ...
  • Mind, Myth and Magic Weekend The next Mind, Myth and Magic workshop is in Yorkshire on 1st – 2nd July. Join us! For details and booking please go to:  http://changeworking.co.uk/courses/mind-myth-magic-workshop-with-andy-austin/
  • Saddle Up The Unicorn Grab that coaching book and a copy of The Secret, sit cross legged for a moment and give a little ommm. Pack your bags and saddle up your unicorn, we are going back to Jericho. It’s a whole new trip and you are all invited. Sitting in front of a bookshelf whilst you talk about “my ...
  • Workshop Survival Kit I sold these back in 2010, if there is enough demand I’ll restock them (please use the comments section to declare an interest or request a custom made badge).  Previously, the first badge on the list sold out completely the first day they went on sale. The Training Workshop Survival Kit! Badges for seminar/training/workshop attendees: “Fuck off, I Don’t ...
  • Just a small prick One residential care environment that I worked in specialised in a particular method of annoying the insane.  It used the “are you sure?” method.  For those unfamiliar with this method, it goes something like this. Staff:  “Hi John, how are you feeling today?  Have you been feeling anxious?” Patient: “I’m fine thanks.” Staff:  “Are you sure?” (spoken with ...
  • Why don’t doctors learn NLP/EFT/Hypnosis etc? I want to tell you a short story. It’s largely true, the bits that are not true arise merely as a result of my faults in my memory, ability to recall and some deliberate obfuscation to eliminate identification of the subject of the story. The story comes from my time working in neurosurgery. A young woman ...
  • More Tapping Ranting It’s been some years since I put together the website www.tappingforcash.com.  It was a fun site, mostly, and a wry look at a therapeutic process that I consider to largely consist of total nonsense. However, the complaints continue to arrive in a slow but steady trickle.  I care not, probably because I am exactly that which ...
  • Phantom Limb Pain Treatment | Mirror Box | Training Videos The entire workshop of Phantom Limb Pain – Effective Assessment and Treatment is now available as streaming video. No cost other than your email and your soul. http://www.23nlpeople.com/NLP/downloads.php.html Video 1. 00.01 Introduction and background 04.00 Amputations in hospital, patient experience of visual representation and feedback05.50 Patient experience of kinaesthetic representation and feedback06.50 The mirror box, rationale for ...
  • Tapping for Trump I’ll just leave this here:
  • The Tapping Challenge I’ll call this project, “The Tapping Challenge” and I will gladly assist where possible any tapper who wishes to take on any of the challenges outlined below. Tapping Challenge #1. A team of tappers meet and camp outside a regional psychiatric outpatients clinic for one month.  Every person entering the clinic is shown where to tap for ...
  • The Dark Side of Tapping Picture the scene.  It’s a fictional scene but one that I have witnessed played out in a multitude of ways in different locations and with different players.  The scene is set in a residential psychiatric unit, the day is Wednesday.  Billy, a chronic schizophrenic patient, enters the office and is a little anxious and distressed. ...
  • Bastard Tappers Please note, this video is not a spoof. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has taken the time to email me, ‘phone me and message me on Facebook regarding my recent blog entries on “tapping.” There are a number of themes to the messages, but the primary theme seems to be as follows: ...
  • Yet another hypnotherapist I cannot pretend anymore.  I am often embarrassed to call myself a hypnotherapist.  When socialising, for example at parties, business network meetings and so forth, I dread that question, “So, what you do?”  It was great when I worked in brain surgery and accident and emergency because the conversations used to go something like this: “What ...
  • A tonic for the troops? Ever wondered what happen when someone doses a bunch of army guys with LSD?
  • Split Brain Patients From Wikipedia: “The corpus callosum is a structure of the mammalian brain in the longitudinal fissure that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres. It facilitates communication between the two hemispheres. It is the largest white matter structure in the brain, consisting of 200-250 million contralateral axonal projections. It is a wide, flat bundle of ...
  • Oliver Sacks – Charles Bonnet Syndrome “Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks brings our attention to Charles Bonnett syndrome — when visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations. He describes the experiences of his patients in heartwarming detail and walks us through the biology of this under-reported phenomenon.“ http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/oliver_sacks_what_hallucination_reveals_about_our_minds.html From Wikipedia: “Sufferers, who are mentally healthy people with often significant visual loss, have vivid, complex ...
  • “Inside Out lifts lid on North East’s hypnotherapists” I’m on the BBC in a regional program for the North East and Cumbria region. From the BBC press release on the show: “The show’s investigation shows that while there are several hypnotherapy organisations none of them is regulated by law and there are no standard qualifications. This worries hypnotherapist Andy Austin who blows the whistle on his ...
  • Delusional? This video clip is interesting as it is a natural demonstration of what appears to be delusional behaviour.  The man speaking starts off relatively normal in his speech and affect, but begins to derail as he talks.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia This is an extract from a training video for psychiatrists and medics.  It details involuntary abnormal movements.  It is worth noting that these movements are all drug induced, primarily by neuroleptic medication (i.e. anti-psychotic medication such as chlorpromazine, stelezine and so forth) and often do not resolve upon cessation of the medication. These kinds of movements ...
  • Schizophrenia Interview As I have posted previously, I have mixed feelings about videos such as these.  At one level I worry about the morality/ethics of displaying someone in such a way who is unlikely to understand the implications.  However, that said, I think that such videos are hugely valuable in helping people understand the nature of psychiatric ...
  • NLP and Unemployment Once again I might upset a few people here, but since I do it so well….  I’m going to make a claim.  It is a claim that is based purely on my observation and is true in some, but not all, cases. Here’s the claim:  NLP training can be a very fast way to unemployment. Here is ...
  • Lobotomy, Psychosurgery and Walter Freeman This website is  packed with information on lobotomy, including case histories and personal experiences. http://www.psychosurgery.org/about-lobotomy/ Here’s a video about Walter Freeman and lobotomy, the stuff of nightmares:
  • IEMT in New York 2009 – I was in Manhattan, New York City.  A big bustling city and scene for pretty much every Hollywood monster and apocalyptic movie ever made…. and the host city for the IEMT workshop. The workshop was videoed by a UK video production company for future release on DVD.  These recordings are now available via ...
  • Validation I must thank Steve Andreas for drawing my attention to this brilliant short movie. Watch it, show your friends.
  • Gabrielle Roth – 5 Rhythms The much copied and imitated Gabrielle Roth. Sadly Gabrielle Roth died from lung cancer aged 71 in 2012.
  • Broca’s Aphasia – Tono Here is an interesting example of Broca’s aphasia. The unfortunate man in this video is unaware that he is only saying the sound “tono” – all of his non-verbal communication is congruent with the message he is trying to say, and the submodalities of his verbal communication are also present as far as the content ...
  • Brain surgery – patient awake The squeamish may prefer to look away, go make a cup of tea or email someone on Facebook instead of watching this video. I worked in neurosurgery on the wards for some time in a fairly junior capacity, it was possible the most stressful job I have ever had and isn’t something I would ever do ...
  • The Shit Sandwich This week I have received two emails that reflect the Shit Sandwich – I got given some unsolicited and rather confusing “feedback.”  I thought the shit sandwich had long gone, but then that might just be that I left the world of normal work some years ago. I no longer have to deal with management reviews, 360 ...
  • Powerful This is a quick post.  It is regarding the seemingly never ending overuse of the word, “powerful” that coaches and therapists use to describe their techniques. The technique is always “powerful” and quite often is also “secret”, giving us, “the secret powerful technique.” It isn’t of course.  Steam locomotives are “powerful”; Jet engines are “powerful”; a ...
  • Submodalities in Language This was something I posted on NLPWeekly a while ago.  Someone asked about matching/mismatching modalities and submodalities as a possible exercise atpracticeise group: You may want to consider the submodalities that are expressed in language as well, this is commonly missed, even by many master practitioners I see… Some people fail to focus in on a concept ...
  • A New Psalm for NLP Practitioners I need to have another little rant here.  There is a pernicious cliché afoot that is beginning to really irritate me, and just when I thought I’d seen the last of it, it keeps re-appearing fully accompanied by an ever-present level of crass ignorance and stupidity. Yes, it is NLPer bashing time once again. “The best thing ...
  • Tea or Coffee? The “tea or coffee” bind is a very useful predictor for how well a session may go.  Whilst I use an offer of a hot beverage, any bind of alternative choices will do. Here is how it works.  When the client arrives I quickly show them in, point out where the toilet is (many have traveled ...
  • Problem Clients I’ve been thinking about problem clients recently, as it is something I get asked about quite often by fellow therapists, especially those just starting out.  “How do you deal with problem clients?” is a common question so I thought I’d write it up as a blog entry so I have something to refer people to ...
  • In Defence of The Right Man Following various feedback regarding my “Right Man Syndrome – Depressive Thinking Patterns” article, I thought I’d write the patterns from the Right Man’s perspective.  For this, we need to invoke the concept of “The Maybe Man.” In contrast to Right Man, the “Maybe Man” is usually gregarious with good social skills and is, more often than ...
  • Catastrophisation I first came across the term “catastrophisation” many years ago in a conversation with a clinical psychologist at Southampton General Hospital. I understood that it is a concept often explored in CBT client work. Basically, it is making mountains out of molehills. Not an entirely uncommon thing to happen, but it is something that can prove ...
  • 419 Nigerian Scam I’ve just spent a few minutes Googling on the words, “NLP career.”  It is interesting how many training companies are offering their services from the sales angle of `NLP as a new career.”  Nothing new of course, but the question I have is, just how many of these companies are themselves actually making any money? ...
  • Positive Influences I’ve been asked a few times recently what have been the positive influences on my work and philosophy, and what things I recommend.  Here are some of those things, people, workshops and books, etc.  This list is in no particular order and is by no means exhaustive. R.D. Laing.  Basically everything written by R.D. Laing.  I ...
  • Ranting again (Bastard Life Coaches). I must be getting old, either that or I am just getting tired. I’ve seen it happen to relatives and their peers who take up political causes, rage at the television news debates, get angry at the behaviour of the youth and lament for the nostalgia of times gone by. So I think I am ...
  • Let’s take it offline There seems to have been a new work ethic lurching about in recent years.  It looks something like this:  “If it seems difficult, or if it seems like hard work, then you are doing it wrong.”  The Law of Attraction people really seized the day with this one – formulate your desire, set your intention ...
  • Dowsing to death Someone sent me this last week in response to my blog posts, I’ve edited it slightly to correct grammar and spelling: When my best friend told me that she had a mole on her back that was sore, itchy and bleeding, I told her to go to the doctor.  She had been practicing homeopathy for many ...
  • Persona Non Grata Theo trained back in 1988, he has more status than Bill who trained last year, because Theo was there back in the early days and has been in the game a lot longer than Bill. But Bill is more up to date than Theo and isn’t stuck at the level of someone else’s development. Bill is ...
  • Beliefs I am continually amazed at how much healers, therapists, and personal development gurus attribute to beliefs.  It is as if they have found that the act of belief literally shapes the universe, and if your universe isn’t shaped right, then you need to change your beliefs and everything will be fine. I keep reading how good ...
  • Staying Sane in Insane Places I noticed something recently. A while ago I was stuck in the company of a “friend” whom I find particularly aggravating. I find her behaviour controlling and contradictory whilst her endless rhetorical negative remarks seem to demand constant agreement. Family loyalty and civility demand that I entertain her. She’s driving me nuts, I found myself saying out loud ...
  • Liver Failure I found a disturbing story on the BBC news website this morning: A critically ill teenager being treated for liver failure after binge drinking left his hospital bed and went to the pub for a drink, it has been confirmed.   The father of Gareth Anderson, 19, is fighting to overturn NHS rules which mean his son has ...
  • Over rated sense of self importance A pattern I have long since noticed with therapists is a generally over-rated sense of self-importance. Too many therapists seem to proclaim how they are busy changing the world, making the world better and so forth. Some might be actually doing this of course, but most are not. In the world of the hypnotherapy and NLP “communities” ...
  • Problem Drinkers A few years ago at a workshop in Leeds with Frank Farrelly and Nick Kemp, Farrelly was asked what advice he’d give to therapists. “Grow a thicker skin!” came one suggestion. I like this. Frank also talked about “therapist eaters” – clients or patients who consume therapists, exhausting their resources and encouraging professional and emotional burnout. It ...
  • I want you to help me lose weight I turned another client down this week – the fourth prospective client this year that I have declined to give an appointment to. It surprises many people that I will turn down clients, but ethically it is important that therapists don’t try to fix a problem that either, 1. cannot be fixed by NLP or hypnotherapy ...
  • Hot weather affects the brain I am sure that the increase in temperature that accompanies summer creates changes in brain chemistry. In the past week, I have declined more client appointments than in the past year alone. People are often surprised when I decline an appointment with a prospective client – it is as though people expect the right to ...
  • Epilepsy and Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy I have noticed that hypnotherapists tend to worry a lot about epilepsy and a question that gets raised quite often on forums takes the form of, “I have a client coming with problem X, who also has epilepsy, is it safe to work with them?”Not an unreasonable question. Now, I’ve seen rather a lot of epilepsy ...
  • Fetish It seems that some “members” of the “fetish community” (I’m assuming there is such a thing) have taken a bit of an exception to my work in treating sexual fetishes and unwanted sexual attraction. Here’s one comment, ‘Fetish does not need to be “treated”.  It is healthy and wonderful. I am completely against what you are ...
  • A Note on Anxiety I chanced upon this interesting video on youtube recently. This dog appears to be either suffering from a very specific and unusual form of brain damage or suffering from a very specific and fixed perceptual position. It reminds me of the situation faced by so many anxiety sufferers. Anxiety sufferers invariably experience the anxiety happening to them, ...