Michael : Good afternoon Brian. Firstly can I thank you for taking part in this podcast, I’ve heard a lot about what you’re doing. If we could just kick it of with you saying a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Brian : Sure. Firstly I’d like to say thank you for having me. I am Brian Mahoney, I run Boston hypnosis in Boston Massachusetts, over in the US, I do therapeutic hypnosis on a really wide area of issues, mainly behavioural, emotional, although there are some physical issues as well.
Michael : As far as you’re concerned, what actually is hypnosis?
Brian : Well, you’ve got the textbook definition ‘a state of highly focused attention – for the purpose of selective thinking’ and there’s others as well. For my purposes, hypnosis is a stage, it’s a stage for people to get some work done so people can get some things solved for themselves.
Michael : And what drew you to hypnosis and what’s your background in it? How did you get to the expertise that you’ve now got?
Brian : Well, it’s kind of interesting. I think with a lot of people in the NLP community my door was Tony Robbins. I did a lot of his stuff through the nineties, as I was in a more traditional business career, and at the tail end of that I began to do some coaching work with some guys that I was managing. And I was just wowed by the quality of results that these guys got for themselves, with this pretty basic stuff that I was teaching them from Tony Robins, Phil Carnagy, Steven Covey, so I decided that I liked coaching.
And when I left the company I was with I began to do some coaching work and I pretty quickly realised that the type of tools that I had didn’t really have the horce power I needed to really help people sort some things out within themselves. And I knew that Tony came out of NLP so I decided ‘well, I should learn this stuff.’ so I went to see John Grinder in London in 2003, and from then it was just a whirlwind of training, with who I think really are the best minds in NLP, and hypnosis. And in 2004 I opened the doors at Boston hypnosis.
Michael : And how would you say it’s helped you personally?
Brian : Well from the career standpoint it’s enormously rewarding, it’s rewarding in the way that every day I get to see people solving major life problems for themselves, or almost every day anyway, and there’s a lot of satisfaction to be found in there. I also really enjoy running my own business, making a good living. I think there’s a lot to be gained from ‘cleaning out the closet’ so to speak, I think there’s a lot of subtle improvements that I’ve made personally that made me into, basically a happier guy.
Michael : And generally, what would you say are the main uses of hypnosis?
Brian : Well, again, I’ll speak from my biased standpoint, because obviously there’s a wide, wide, variety of uses for hypnosis. For my purposes its therapeutic. People come in with their different types of problems, and I will use hypnosis so that they can get the problem solved for themselves.
Michael : What sort of problems?
Brian : Everything form the traditional smoking, nail biting, phobias, weight loss, the different anxiety issues – actually a lot of anxiety issues, as well as some physical issues as well. Things like rashes, vertigo, I had client who was vomiting every day with no medical reason for it.
Voice issues, someone who is particularly hoarse, there’s a pretty wide variety there too, and I would point out that I probably do a lot more of that type of work, I’ve done a mentorship with a guy called Steven Tarkel who works exclusively with people with physical issues, mostly people with cancer, and he doesn’t just make the pain go away or anything like that, he actually makes people cure themselves.
So really I’ve been trained by the best.
Michael : You were saying that your background is business, what business applications of hypnosis do you think there are?
Brian : I think that the same type of work applies to business. It’s interesting, actually, earlier on I met a student of Richard Bandlers, a guy named Stever Robins who was into NLP, who I think you know as well, and he was doing business coaching at the time, and I remember asking him ‘Boy! How is NLP different when you’re working with business people?’ and he said it’s the exact same thing, as when you’re doing one-on-one therapeutic work.
So an example of someone that I have worked with, I have recently worked with is the CFO’s of two major, well-known companies, and one, he was nail-biting, he was kind of taking his overall personal image up a few notches, getting a few things taken care of, he needed that done. And another one, he had an issue with confrontation, which in a job like that, very high pressure, very high profile, it wasn’t working for him, and I did two sessions, maybe three, and he resolved the issue for himself.
Michael : Looking at the other side of this, are there any cautions that you would give anybody that was thinking of seeing a hypnotist or going on a hypnosis course. Are there any risk?
Brian : I think in terms of going to see a hypnotist, I think it’s tricky, especially for a layman, to identify who’s going to be really good and effective, against someone who’s perhaps taken a weekend course, who’s going to give them a progressive relaxation induction and then read them a script. However there’s no danger there, beyond that they’re just not getting their moneys worth, and I’m not aware of any hypnotists out there who have done any harm to a client.
Michael : From your point of view, what are some of the characteristics of a good hypnotic subject?
Brian : The ability to imagine and to connect with what they imagine, emotionally. People who can feel, people who haved active see-feel circuits, make for really good subjects. The super-analytical, dry, can’t-access-emotion types, in the work that I do, are much more challenging to work with.
Michael : Can you explain a little bit more what a see-feel circuit is?
Brian : In the work that I do I really need to be able to help people to access the emotion that is likely to be at the root of the problem. so, if someone is overeating for example, maybe that’s the feeling or emptiness and anxiety that they get, that even though they’re physically full, they feel that they need something to eat. With a phobic, it will be a feeling of fear, so when they’re in the office I want to be able to coach them to get them into that situation so basically we have the problem-state active.
If the Problem state is active, the chances are extremely high that we can get the problem solved. For the folks that can’t find that feeling no matter what it’s more challenging and I’d have to take a different approach,
Michael : What do you think are the characteristics of a good hypnotist or a good hypnotic trainer?
Brian : A good hypnotist, and here I’m going to unveil my professional bias and say somebody that’s skilled in regression work, regression or timeline therapy, I think that’s really important. I think to some degree, they don’t need to be nice and warm and fuzzy or anything, but people who generally care about the clients. People who just see the clients as numbers, who say ‘next! come on, let me take your money. Whatever. Do it, do it, do it. ” that is not the kind of person that I would recommend someone go and see.
Michael : Just say a few words about regression and timeline therapy.
Brian : Sure. I find that in doing this work and in seeing clients every day, and guaranteeing in my work as well, seeing the problems that I see solved, in eight out of ten cases is to regress, and timeline therapy regression, basically the same thing. Timeline, which is Ted James’ work, is a little bit cleaner and neater, but is essentially the same thing, which is to find out – and I hesitate to say cause and effect – but find out why someone is there, like if someone has a phobia of spiders, chances are there’s a memory earlier on in their life which is charged with fear and relates to spiders – if you can find that and get it resolved – all of a sudden that person has normal perception. Basically we find the cause and fix it, and people feel better.
Michael : Now I appreciate that hypnosis is a very large subject, but before I ask you to give your contact details, and come up with anything you may or may not to plug, is there anything else important about hypnosis that you would like to add?
Brian : Just that I think it’s a really, really fantastic way for people to get issues solved, in a way that’s much much faster than most of the therapies that are out there.
Michael : Ok, is there anything that you’re doing that you’d like to plug? And then if we could have your contact details.
Brian : No, nothing really that I’d like to plug. I just see clients, I don’t do cd’s, I don’t write books, I don’t do training, I just do hired client work. My contact information is Boston hypnosis, 48 melgrove street, Boston Mas, 021116 and my website iswww.bostonhypnosis.com.
Michael : Excellent, thank you.
Brian : You’re welcome.
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