Trained Baboons And Hypnosis

When I learned hypnosis, I learned it in an NLP center in Ericksonian style. It wasn’t until much later that I was exposed to non-Ericksonian hypnosis. I can’t say that I liked it very much. Especially the rapid inductions. Grabbing someone’s head, shaking it, and yelling “Sleep!” would scare the bejeebers out of anyone. And then I heard the story of a hypnotist who tried this in his office with an elderly client and hurt her neck. Whoops. There’s a fabulous movie Marjoe about a young boy who is born as a preacher. From the ages of 4-14 he saves people all across the United States. As a teen, he gets disgusted and walks away from the business. In his twenties, he returns to the road with some video cameras to record his preaching and performance in church. The cameras are rolling as Marjoe gets people to faint – sometimes a whole line of people at one time – just be pointing at them. And that’s when you need to understand the concept of the trained baboon and hypnosis. The training baboon is conditioned how to behave by watching others. You know what they say, “Money See. Monkey Do.” So it doesn’t really matter if the goal of the money is to get people to faint at a religious revival meeting or go into a deep trance. I suggest to you that if you go up to a total stranger on the street, grab their head, shake it and yell “sleep!” you’re going to find yourself punched in the head. Get my point? PS. The movie Marjoe won an...

The Ghost of Dave Dobson

The last time I saw Dave Dobson was in the nursing home in Friday Harbor located on his beloved San Juan Island. Dave had retired to the San Juan Islands but I pulled him out of retirement to begin doing Fun Shops again. He was one of the most amazing and incongruent teachers I ever met. Amazing because of the keen insights he had on human nature and helping people evolve. And incongruent because of his fear that someone was going to rip him off and steal his life’s work. At times Dave would roar “Rip me off dammit. Just use my stuff.” And at other times, he would accuse people of stealing his teachings. And after a lifetime of teaching, he made sure no one else would be able to do his work. He left behind no writings other than a book I had transcribed for him as a birthday present. His Fun Shops recordings aren’t very useful to people who can’t see the non-verbals Dave was using. And the video recordings Dave hoarded will probably never see the light of day and even if they did – Dave forbade anyone from ever explaining his work. That’s why 20 years from now, no one will have heard of Dave Dobson – one of the greatest hypnotists who ever lived. On the other hand, there is a legacy of teachings of Milton Erickson. Maybe some of the people teaching Ericksonian hypnosis got it wrong. Maybe they are mis-teaching what Milton tried to give over. But Milton spent a life time making sure his techniques and content got out there....

Certify Me – I’m Incompetent

I just returned from Israel and met dozens of people who claim to have trained in NLP. My friend and teacher Menachem Kasdan was recently called in to certify a group of people as NLP Practitioners. What he found was shocking. These people were completely unable to understand basic terms such as calibration. They didn’t know what the meta-model was. They never heard of the Milton model. And yet, they professed to be knowledgeable in NLP. Which of course leads someone to ask a question, what makes a person competent? Dave Dobson never certified anyone in Other Than Conscious Communication. Why? Because he didn’t believe certification based on the classroom counted. It was what you did with it out in the real world that was important. The latest trend is teaching NLP online. You never meet the trainer. They never get to observe you. You never work in small groups with people. Never get feedback. Of course, it goes without saying your skill level is going to be very weak. In order to learn NLP effectively, you need to get feedback from someone with a high level of...

Obnoxious NLP

Is the goal of personal change work to be nice or to be effective? Some of the most effective NLP interventions haven’t been very nice? When Tony Robbins asked a woman crying her eyes out, “Who peed on your face?” It wasn’t particularly nice. But it was effective. It interrupted the patten and enabled the woman to deal with her problem. When Richard Bandler finds out a certain tonality disturbs a person and deliberately uses it again and again to move a client, he isn’t being particularly nice. But he is being effective. So how can you know when you’ve gone too far? The key is rapport. When you are working one on one, in person or on the phone, you can maintain your rapport. But when you are working via copy, how can you check rapport? For example, one fabulously successful site created negative rapport with the readers. It was called “RIch Jerk.” People actually looked forward to his insults. I wrote an email for him to mail and it was filled with insults. But his audience loved it. What made people stay with that copy despite it’s insults? Your thoughts...

Bad NLP Is More Common Than You Think

If this video doesn’t have meaning to you, it’s likely you’ve never witnessed someone really bad at NLP try to help someone. Hope you enjoy it. Please leave your comments below. [Video created by Kristen...