Index of Articles
Past Life Therapy Training Intensive
The Seven Deadly Sins of Hypnosis
Questions and Answers 4
Questions and Answers 3
Questions and Answers 2
A Welcome to the World of Past-Life Regression, Holistic Healing, and Spirituality
Questions and Answers 1
Dear Friends and Graduates,
We are celebrating our tenth year presenting the Past-Life Therapy Training Intensives in Wytheville, Virginia. We thank you for attending the training and we hope it was a positive experience for you. If so, please tell your friends and colleagues about it.
We continue to offer a great training program at a very reasonable tuition. This tuition price is only possible because our graduates help us to spread the word. We donít do any formal advertising; therefore it is possible to offer real educational value while keeping costs to a minimum.
Please share the enclosed brochures with your friends and colleagues as soon as possible. The June 12-17 training is only a few months away. This is our ONLY regular training in 2006.
The Advanced Training (for graduates only) is scheduled for September 25-30, 2006. This is the ONLY advanced training we have scheduled. The basic format will be similar to that of the regular Intensive Trainings.
Please feel free to call 276-655-4523, or e-mail email@example.com for more information. We enjoy hearing from you.
Henry and Joan Bolduc
26, January 2003
Who really controls the hypnosis state? Is hypnosis imposed from without or is it an internal experience? As a hypnotist/hypnotherapist, what do your words reveal about you? Do your words and actions build trust or do they create fear and failure? Words are the tools of our profession and it is vital to use them wisely and correctly. Words can bring laughter or tears. Words can lead to actions of healing or harming, of building or destroying. Words can create rapport or resistance.
Our profession, hypnosis, is one of the most exciting and productive professions on earth. That is the reason we have devoted so much of our lives to it. It is the only profession that helps people to heal all aspects of their lives---spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and even financially. Hypnosis is the leading profession for holistic healing---healing the whole person. Amazingly, after the client masters the art and the science of the work, the healing quality of self-hypnosis is free from the cost of office visits. It is a skill that is learned similar to that of learning to ride a bicycle.
Best of all, there is no down side to hypnosis and self-hypnosis. There are no side-effects as can happen with many medications. There are no dangerous drug interactions. Hypnosis has a long-term, consistent record of great help and betterment for people of all ages and from all nations.
We, as hypnotists, are involved in a unique profession with vast opportunities; however, some of the terms used in the work might be misinterpreted by the public. How do we maximize our therapeutic strengths while minimizing memories of the vaudeville era?
Our professional vocabulary is in the process of renovation. Many words and phrases employed by hypnotists in past decades are outdated because they have been known to have been misleading. Perhaps, some of our newer terms are just as ambiguous.
In any profession, practitioners have to simplify complicated ideas. In order to communicate with the general public, they have to translate their university-learned shorthand jargon into familiar words and phrases. Sometimes, we would like to say, If you cant talk about it in simple language, then, perhaps, you really dont understand it. Is it possible that you are using terminology and concepts which you really are unable to deflne---that you really dont understand completely?
Through observation and research, we have learned much about the childlike qualities of the inner mind. We have learned that, as the trance state deepens, the verbal responses become shorter and shorter. Paradoxically, however, such sentence fragments can be very profound. The simple, innocent child-like mind can cut through the strata of non-essentials. The hypnotist would do well to cooperate with the client (to mirror the client) by working at the same level---by using simple, focused language. The use of basic, simple subject and predicate will be far more effective than complex language could be. Complex language is fine for writing professional papers but simple language is best for trance work.
As simplicity is considered the cornerstone of honesty, we should arrive at straightforward terms which have precise meanings and we should use vocabulary which can be understood by all---vocabulary that is inclusive. By such process, we can eliminate the terms which seem exclusive, poweroriented, or elitist. The neurological system seems to accept the literal meanings of words.
Just as the vocabulary of an individual reveals information about that person, so does the vocabulary of a profession reveal its status. In the activities of life, both at home and abroad, we meet many hypnotists and hypnotherapists. To the public, who might meet only one or two, each professional represents, in a way, the entire field. With that background in mind, we encourage serious discussion on the topic of how we can improve our professional vocabulary, thereby improving our collective performance.
The primary tool of the hypnotist is words. A psychologist travels with a briefcase containing a battery of tests; a medical doctor carries a bag of instruments; other professionals use various types of equipment for their work. In the course of attending to the needs of the client, a hypnotist carries an unseen package of words, phrases, and sentences.
In the light of insight into their sciences, professionals update their tests, instruments, and equipment. The profession of hypnosis also shows advancement over time and should overhaul its linguistic toolbox. Constantly, we are learning new ways to improve our tools---to sharpen and to polish them, to update them.
We live in a dynamic world. There is continuous change everywhere. When we refuse to flow with scientific advancements, we behave as if the world were static. The frustration which we meet tends to make our work less effective. Since the hypnotists tool is words, clients are served better when words are used in the most efficient and effective manner, as indicated by observations and research over the years.
Other professionals may struggle with neologism but, for us, the inventing of new words and phrases can be set aside for awhile. Perhaps our profession could update by simplifying our sentence structure and by eliminating outdated words and phraseology. The following words and phrases are a few of the main culprits.
II. Outdated Words and Phrases
1. Now, I want you to...
Now, I want you to... is a phrase of malignant self-importance. As research in science learns more and more about the mind and the levels of brainwave activity, there comes better understanding of the work of hypnosis. Hypnosis is seen, nowadays, as self-hypnosis. Nobody really hypnotizes anyone---although it usually appears to be that way.
The hypnotists job is that of creating a trustful and relaxed atmosphere to enable the client to enter a level of mind which is comfortable. Entering hypnosis, or relaxation, is something which the client does; nobody can do it for another person. Experienced hypnotists teach clients to enter their own levels of hypnosis; novices, if they have not learned well, think that they, themselves, are doing it all. The phrase, Now, I want you to... implies that the hypnotist is the person in charge of the session.
Ironically, when a client expresses a desire to be told (commanded) what to do, that person tends to be resistant to control in any area of life! The work of an effective hypnotist is that of helping clients to heal their own lives. No matter how many years of experience, how many certificates, how many degrees you have, or how hard you try, you merely set the stage for the client. The client does the work. You cannot do it for your clients but you surely can prepare safe, positive environments in which they can work to make effective, acceptable changes in their lives.
Now, I want you to... is, by far, the most limiting, egocentric, and authoritarian phrase used in our profession. It should be discarded immediately. Effective hypnotists stopped using it many years ago. The phrase almost always elicits a negative response by creating immediate wariness on the part of the client and, thus, is counter-productive.
By using such a phrase, the hypnotist tends to limit the clients capacity for self reliance because it implies that the client must obey, must do something to satisfy the needs and goals of the hypnotist. The mission of our profession is to empower clients---it is not a power trip for hypnotists. The hypnotist is not a miracle worker but a person trained to create an atmosphere conducive to the clients successful resolution of concerns and problems.
Now, I want you to... is a phrase which is outdated because it is arrogant, controlling, degrading, and exploitive. It can be replaced by Please... The effective hypnotists are teachers who respect their clients as learners. They enable and empower clients to take responsibility in learning new and effective ways of living.
2. Referring to clients as subjects
The word subjects must be stricken from our spoken vocabulary and from all printed texts within our profession. The term is used only rarely today in healing professions. It tends to carry many unwanted, negative connotations. The police sometimes use that term in reference to possible criminals. Suspects are labeled as subjects.
In earlier times, the term subjects was used when scientific research was being conducted. The word still applies in laboratory settings. When used in reference to human beings, in either research or therapy, it implies that the person has no personal control and is being manipulated and measured like a lab rat running a maze. It also has a broader meaning of inferior status and subservience, for example, the subject of a monarch.
Decades ago, The American Psychological Association banned the term subjects. It recommended the term participant for people who volunteer for research studies and the term client for a person seeking therapy. In research, other acceptable terms are volunteer and co-researcher. The emphasis is placed upon the concept of volunteering; research on human beings is not conducted without the willing and informed consent of the participants.
People experiencing hypnosis are in an altered state, usually recognized as a higher level of functioning. To an untrained observer, they might appear to be asleep or to be responding involuntarily. In reality, however, they are more aware and more perceptive than when they are in the normal beta state. Realistically, they are at a higher level of consciousness; surely, not at a lower level. People experiencing a hypnosis state certainly are not under anything.
The word under has frightening connotations for many people. No intelligent person wants to be under the control of another person. The concept generates fear. In fact, people experiencing hypnosis retain more functional capacity than they use in the normal conscious state. In common parlance, we say that it is unfortunate to be under the weather, meaning that the person is ill. We use under the influence to indicate that a person is under the control of alcohol or drugs. Surely, our profession neither needs nor wants to be associated with such negative concepts.
A suggested change: The client experienced hypnosis. The positive statement empowers the person involved and has the primary virtue of being true.
Another phrase which needs to be changed is: I put him under. What a bold and, essentially, untrue statement! Only someone who did not receive good instruction or, perhaps, an old-time vaudeville showman would make such a statement. Nobody hypnotizes anyone else. Hypnosis is an inner experience requiring consent. Nobody can do it for anyone else. Effective hypnotists realize that the job description is to create a comfortable environment in which hypnosis, or relaxation, can occur. To believe or to imply otherwise exposes what would appear to be a power complex and a flagrant disregard for the integrity of the client.
A suggested change: The hypnotist facilitated hypnosis. Humbling as it might seem, in truth, it is all that we do.
For many years, we have known that the neurological system tends to ignore such words as: dont, wont, not, etc. ---negative words. It tends to respond to nouns and verbs with their accompanying adjectives and adverbs. In the waking, beta, state of consciousness, adults, normally, can respond to such words or, at least, recognize their presence. Often, though, rules and regulations which begin with negative words are disobeyed. Even the Ten Commandments are regarded as a grand ideal and tend to be broken.
Negative sentences, which often begin with the word dont, can make a complicated form out of a simple sentence. For example, the hypnotist says, Dont imagine the problem as getting worse; imagine it as getting better. With such a command, the clients mind first has to imagine the problem as getting worse before imagining it as getting better. The client might focus too long on the first part and give only limited attention to the second part. Actually, the first part of the command is not needed and serves only the purpose of complication. (Effective hypnotists would eliminate the word problem, too.)
By analogy, a small child first has to hear, Eat the cookies before hearing, Dont eat the cookies. The system ignores the word dont. The little child often doesnt move to the second stage of incorporating dont and is regarded as being disobedient. The direct, simple sentence is effective. Such negative forms of giving commands---or of making statements---should be eliminated from the vocabulary which hypnotists use in trance sessions. The inner mind can produce profound wisdom in a simple child-like manner. Essentially, the unconscious mind of an adult, just as does the mmd of a small child, responds to simple subject and predicate.
Quite often, people tend to give commands in a negative manner because they believe that the are being specific. Dont run into the street sounds like a specific warning to give a child; however, in the working of the childs mind, an image of running into the street is created and is reinforced with each admonition. Be sure to play only in the yard is less dramatic but is far more effective. Remember to breathe deeply is more effective than Dont forget to breath deeply. This subtle and profound change in specific wording will improve how we communicate as people and, especially, as hypnotists.
In addition to avoiding the use of negative statements, it is wise to avoid the use of negative words both in isolation and in sentences. When the hypnotist uses negative words, such as danger, depression, despair, etc., the client, in a trance state, tends to focus on such words and could develop unwanted behavioral characteristics. Have you noticed that many of the negative words begin with the letter d? (de-, di-, dis-) Avoid the d- words when you are doing trance work. They are depressing! There are other negative words such as: problem, sick, ill, trouble, etc. which should be avoided, too. While the conscious mind, often (most often, not) has learned to work through negativity, the child-like simplicity of the unconscious mind responds best to positive words and statements.
The unconscious mind tends to respond to the literal meaning of words. Just as a small child will take statements at face value, so does a client in an altered state of consciousness.
Edgar Cayce stated, Always constructive, never negative suggestions.
5. The client is susceptible to hypnosis.
The word susceptible has outlived its usefulness. Nowadays, people are said to be susceptible to things which they dont want, such as colds and influenza. By contrast, people are receptive to things which they want. Individuals choose hypnosis, willingly, to get help in many areas of life and, therefore, are receptive to it. Susceptible implies the weakness of vulnerability; receptive indicates the strength of acceptance and acquisition. The statement can be rephrased, The person is receptive to hypnosis.
6. The Client Is Resistant and Uncooperative
Resistant and uncooperative are words that ineffective hypnotists use. When a client is not responding, it is because there is fear or a lack of trust and rapport. Sometimes, the lack of trust is rooted in the choice of words used by the hypnotist. Blaming the client for being resistant is similar to blaming the victim for a random drive-by shooting. The term resistance implies that the client is doing something wrong. Could it be that the skilled, professional, highly-trained hypnotist is doing something wrong?
The reality is that we need to examine our choice of words and techniques and to review our whole stance toward the work. Perhaps we create the resistance. Rapport and trust are essential to our work. If, in an atmosphere of caring and understanding, we have created sincere rapport with our clients, there will be cooperation. We need to realize that trust works both ways: we need to trust the clients inner wisdom. In our attempt to trust the client to learn what to do to fmd healing, we need to use empowering vocabulary and we need to eliminate authoritarian phraseology. When we respect the client, there is full cooperation.
7. Fear-based Words, Phrases, and Sentences
All too often, it seems, hypnotists unintentionally create fear in their clients just by the choice of words and phrases which they use. Some of the fear-based words can be felt very acutely by clients and the response can be much different from the desired outcome. When clients become fearful, perhaps as a result of being told, You have nothing to fear, You wont have any difficulty, Dont be scared if... Dont be worried if... You wont be ill, they become reluctant to express their concerns.
The issue of trust is a major consideration for clients. Without trust, the entire session can be lost. A client presented with fear-based words might never consult a hypnotist again. It is a simple matter to rephrase negative statements to make them positive and empowering.
When fear is used to attempt to control the client, the clients apprehension becomes strong. Fear and manipulation are the antitheses of productive hypnosis work. As hypnotists, our words and actions must demonstrate respect for our clients.
Our words can either help or harm our entire professional standards. If you hear other hypnotists use fear-based words, please politely explain to them the necessity for changing the vocabulary which they are using. Our choice of words---as well as our attitudes and our actions---shows our degree of respect for our clients. Fear-based words can lead to the undermining of our profession.
The Old Guard is changing---but slowly. We still have some experienced hypnotists/hypnotherapists who continue to commit those Seven Deadly Sins. We hear them frequently. Many of those people are regarded as highly successful. Imagine how much better they would be if they changed their manner of communication to a more positive approach! There are many, at all age levels. We say that practice makes perfect; however, many people have perfected the negative language to the extent that it is ingrained in their vocabularies. Changing it becomes difficult. Most teachers will agree that unlearning a bad habit is a difficult task and that a reward for good behavior is more effective than is punishment for error. If we would practice the positive, then, that form would become second nature to us.
It is vital for experienced hypnotists to update their linguistic communication to a positive language structure. They are icons in our profession and should be remembered for their distinguished contributions without having a but--- attached. They have a lot of expertise to share with newer professionals.
We have to create a comfortable, positive, trusting atmosphere for the clients self-hypnosis in the processing of the successful resolution of concerns. The work we do is exciting and productive. We are innovators bul we must remember to keep in touch with general common sense. We must learn to use clear, simple language in a strong, meaningful manner. A few concise words, spoken with sincerity and depth, have far more significance than a deluge of meaningless verbiage and patter.
More than anything else, our words reveal who and what we are. Before we can change the world, we must change ourselves---a small part of the world. Before we can build a better world, we must improve our own small part of it. We can start by renovating our professional vocabulary, the way we communicate with our clients.
The future for hypnosis is greater than we can imagine. To be part of our professions growth, we must remain open to new knowledge, we must be eager in the pursuit of truth and clarity, and we must be courageous in discovery. Let us be responsible in our profession.
I would like to have some pointers regarding regressing children. I recall that you once said that it is an easier process than regressing adults. Are there any good books on the subject?
Thank you for a wonderful question. I have taken the liberty of rephrasing it for the purpose of making it more general for our readers. Yes! Young people can be very open to past-life exploration. In most cases, informal procedures are used. In fact, a very formal approach can be counterproductive. Please allow me to share a true story from my own experience.
Jack Bird is my step-son, my wifes youngest son. He is intelligent, is on the honor roll at school, and excels in sports. I have been a past-life regressionist for over thirty years but I have not discussed my work with him because I fear that his biological father might think that I am trying to influence his thinking. On occasion, when he and his mother accompanied me on speaking tours and they would fly in and out the door on their way somewhere else, he had heard me speak briefly. From my perspective at the time, the eight-year-old boy did not know much about my work.
On February 12, 1995, Joannie (my wife) and Jack, accompanied me on a trip to Florida to present a program. As we drove along, Jack asked me about past lives and what I did in the workshops. Since I was a little reluctant to discuss it with him (because of a possible reaction from his father), I tried to be polite in avoiding a direct response to his question. He asked a second time and, again, believing that it was the most tactful thing to do, I avoided answering his question. It was difficult to draw a fine line between avoiding his question and responding to his curiosity. Jack, a bright boy, was unsatisfied with my circuitous responses and asked a third time, making it abundantly clear that he, indeed, was ready for an honest, direct answer to his question. I had learned from experience that, when a person asks a third time, it is a good idea to start paying attention. Perhaps you are aware that, when children really want something, they will persist until they get it!
The car was quiet enough for us to have a normal conversation. I explained to Jack that I help people to recall memories from the distant past. How? Jack asked. In an attempt to placate him, I explained briefly what I do. I didnt have a desired outcome. I just decided to go through the procedure informally and, if he had only a minor response, I was prepared to say, Well, thats about all there is to it, and let it go at that. I really didnt expect him to respond by going into deep memory.
In a normal tone of voice, I instructed him, Tell me about something you remember that happened to you when you were five. (Nowadays, I have deleted Tell me from my hypnosis and past-life regression vocabulary.) I knew that, because of his good memory, it would be an easy exercise for him. He described a very accurate experience. Next, I asked him to talk about a memory from the age of three or two years. Again, he remembered something and I allowed him to talk for awhile. Thats good, I encouraged him now just go back beyond that time. Just imagine now that youre going through your birth. I was very matter-of-fact about it and open to anything that might happen. At first, he was very quiet and I couldnt look back into the back seat because I was driving. From the rear-view mirror, I saw that he was curled up and was crouched in fetal position. He certainly seemed to be getting into the experience. I waited. I have learned to wait for impressions to come when they are ready. Jack was quiet for less than a minute and then he started speaking. His voice was straightforward, just a normal conversation. We have one of those jot-a-pads on the dash, so I motioned to Joannie to start taking notes.
Jack said (basically in this order) that he felt that he went to war and came back alive, he had a job as a plumber, he retired and lived to be in his eighties, he had long, brown hair to his neck, he was six feet tall and had brown eyes, he lived somewhere in Europe, he lived in a log house in the woods---the house seemed small because the bed took up most of the room, he liked to carve---especially birds (which is interesting to anyone who knows his current last name!) and he had dreams about them, he had models of ships in his room, he carved ships and made sails for them out of deer and rabbit skins, his mother died while he was away during the war, and that there was a waterfall near his home in the woods and he enjoyed going to that secluded spot to sit on the rocks to carve near the waterfall.
I asked Jack when, what year, he believed that the recalled life occurred. He said that it was the 1700s. We wondered about his being a plumber. I suppose it was possible; even the Romans had plumbing and plumbers did various things with pipes, drainage, etc. He related the information sincerely, without the fanfare of self-judgment. It seemed honest and clear to us. Joannie and I feel that the memory is quite authentic. We often tell stories at night but, when he tells a story, its something like a Ninja Turtle story--theres no doubt that it is a fantasy. This story was quite different. Jack doesnt lie---he has high standards.
The carvings seemed to have been a big part of the past life that Jack recalled. We asked him if he would like to carve now. He was excited about the idea and, that night, we started him with a knife and a bar of soap. He carved a couple of items and seemed to have the skill of most boys his age. He wanted to keep his carvings.
Curiously, in that regression, he described himself as being big---about six feet tall. He is a child but described himself as being an adult. He described how the bed took up much of his room. I have lived in Europe and I have seen those alcoves in which the bed takes up most of the room. It seemed to have been a genuine memory. The way he talked about his mothers death while he was away at war seemed to have been a very emotional experience.
About two weeks after his past-life memory experience, Jack told us that, in that life, he had made his own knife. He said that it was his favorite knife and the sharpest. When he squeezed it, the blade would come out. He demonstrated the motion to us. In this current life, he has never had such a knife. Jack likes knives and he is such a responsible boy that he has been allowed to have them. We found some nice knives at a flea market and he handles them quite responsibly.
When children relate such memories, I think that it is important to
acknowledge them gracefully. Its important to let them go at their
own pace. Wait for them. Sometimes, when Im working with a client,
I still want to jump in and say something or ask a question but I know
that it is much better to wait. A comment or a question could interfere
with the material which is being processed. So, I just count to ten
and wait. I might have to count to ten again---if I observe from various
cues that internal processing is taking place. I just wait for the natural
flow of information. The processing of memory is like the opening of
a flower---we cant rush it. I didnt ask Jack questions;
I encouraged him by saying, Talk more about it. There was
no interrogation, no grilling, and no pushing to get him to talk.
Two of the best books related to childrens past lives are written
Carol Bowmans website is www.childpastlives.org
If you are retired, why do you still have events scheduled?
I am greatly enjoying my self-styled retirement, and am eager for the few events scheduled. For the next year or two, I shall continue speaking at a couple of national conventions. In May, Joan and I attended the 2002 Convention of the International Association of Counselors and Therapists in Atlanta, Georgia, where I was honored and surprised to receive the Educator of the Year award.
My wife, Joan recently retired from her position as Adult Education Lead Teacher, but continues to serve as the director of the One-on-one Literacy Program. Now, having only one job, she has more free time to travel with me to a couple of events each year. I have encouraged her to retire completely, but she is dedicated to her profession. As the years progress, we shall take more trips together, and visit some of the places we have always wanted to see.
A number of our graduates are now teaching their own adaptation of a Past-Life Training Intensive, and a few have become Board Certified as Past-Life Therapy Trainers. We are very pleased and honored to see our graduates make such fine contributions to society. Our profession is truly growing, thriving, and helping people everywhere.
Any graduate may write to me by snail-mail - (P.O. Box 88, Independence, VA 24348). If you are a graduate and if you are teaching a regression therapy course of fifty hours or more, please tell me, and I will enter your course on the upcoming list of courses I recommend. Hopefully, people will call you for regression sessions and others will want to register for your classes.
The upcoming event that I am most excited about is the First World Congress on Regression and Past-Life Therapy on June 19-22 in The Netherlands. That will be a grand event for everyone. Joan and I will be attending and we encourage everyone who is interested in Past-Life work to attend. You may visit their web site at: www.regressionconqress.com It will be a chance of a lifetime to connect with colleagues from around the globe and to discover what is happening in our field.
We are also looking forward, and working toward a successful Seminar/Reunion in Wytheville on December 6,7,8, 2002. If you are a graduate of the Past-Life Therapy Training Intensive and you did not receive a color flyer for the December event, please write or call and we will send you one. Sadly, a few graduates have moved and we do not have their new addresses.
The December Seminar/Reunion will be an important get-together for us all. You will have the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet other graduates from among the 15 trainings that I presented. I am reserving three conference rooms at the Holiday Inn to give us plenty of room for our famous party. The party will be on Saturday night and the breakfast buffet is on Sunday morning.
The seminar is for graduates only, but the Come as You Were in a Past Life party is opened to your guest. We have heard that some graduates are already working on their costumes. The Queen Mother will also be making another guest appearance.
Three of our graduates are now offering their own Past-Life Therapy Training programs. We highly recommend these teachers:
Public speaking is as ancient as time. For me, the most rewarding experience is being able to speak about my true passion---my true beliefs. Sometimes when I speak to different groups, the topic or theme might be the same but there is a new audience. Many people seek alternatives to the fearbased programming of television. As a speaker, you have opportunities to provide a positive, encouraging, and uplifting experience.
You talk to people every day about your opinions and your beliefs. Speaking (lectures, classes, workshops) to an audience is similar: you are telling a new group of potential friends what you have learned, how you feel about it, and what you believe. Your desire to be of service by sharing your knowledge and understanding will provide you with the initiative to go forward.
In giving your audience something meaningful, innovative, and valuable, your presentation must have a few essential ingredients. Here are the Top Ten keys to becoming a speaker:
1. Schedule events
2. Prepare your materials
Select a topic. An intelligent audience wants to hear somebody who has knowledge and understanding about the topic, who actually believes what she /he is saying, and who permits those inner beliefs to shine throughout the presentation. When you are preparing to speak to an audience, be sure that you select a topic that you really do know and in which you have a strong passion. Finding your niche can be easy if you examine your interests.
Research your materials. No matter how well you know your topic, you will need to check periodicals and the internet to determine whether something new has been developed in your topic area. In every area of life, there are new findings, insights, and understandings. Make sure that your facts are current. Such a perusal of the literature will help you to connect with your own inner voice. Browsing through a library or searching the internet can awaken your interest and can cultivate new ideas. Then, when you speak to a specific group, you share the essence of what is important to you. Just by your own example, you can encourage many people to reach higher levels.
When you have decided upon the general outline of your presentation, determine the length of time for your talk and then write your notes. Since you are a beginner, you might need to write your full script. Sometimes, though, a mature presenter is likely to prepare a fully-written paper to use as a guide. It keeps the speaker from talking too long on one segment.
You might find it easier to write articles before you start speaking to an audience. The publication of an article will bring acknowledgment; people will recognize your name and they will want to hear you speak. Those short articles can be adjusted slightly for your oral presentation. Just think of the number of speakers whose presentations are based upon their books! On the other hand, just think of the number of people whose books comprise a collection of the talks given and the short articles published! The natural sequence is speaking before writing. A child learns to speak before he/she learns to write. Many speakers tend to speak first and write later, if at all.
3. Test your materials
4. Have a presentation strategy
Perhaps you think that what you say is similar to another speakers topic. Remember that the way in which you present your materials---the words you use, your unique understanding of the subject, the passion that you put into it, how you communicate it---is your winning formula.
Present your material in such a manner that you are structuring ways for your listeners to develop their own understandings. Let them become aware that you are presenting something that is truth for you. Help them to realize that the goal of your presentation is to let them know that, by listening to your message, they can develop awareness of answers within themselves.
When somebody asks a question to which you do not have an immediate response, you can ask for a person in the audience to respond or tell that person that you will research the information and forward a response by mail, perhaps e-mail. As an alternative, you could tell that listener where to look for the information.
Make use of humor and laughter. Allow your listeners to laugh with you. Tell them how you learned through making some absurd mistakes. Most likely, we all made them. When people laugh together, the room becomes filled with harmonious vibrations and everyone is at ease. Its a wonderful blessing to any presentation. Humor can be a saving grace; it can balance difficult concepts with other perspectives. A joke can be used to provide a pause in the presentation. Make sure that it illustrates the point being emphasized.
After you have been presenting a good deal of material, the members will need a break in order to lighten up and to assimilate the materials---just as when eating a meal, one needs ample time to digest it. Speaking, too, is an intense job and the speaker can profit from a brief recess. Be specific about the length of time for the break. For a shorter presentation, a pause sometimes is necessary for you to regroup yourself before switching from one segment to another. You could take a deep breath, let everybody stretch, or just tell a joke.
You could pause from your prepared materials to ask for questions from the audience. Should there be no questions, then you could give them a question that is asked frequently by groups and then watch their heads nod. You can make it a question which is crucial to the flow of your presentation. Then proceed to respond to that question. On the other hand, you could get many questions. Then, you have a choice: you could spend most of the remainder of the time with a question-and-answer session or you could say that you will take just one more question and then get back to your prepared materials---whatever would work better at the time.
Mingling with the audience members when they enter the room is a good strategy. It tends to create a special bonding.
Using a persons name is helpful. Most likely, the audience members will be wearing name tags.
Use more than one sensory modality. Most people are visual learners and, when you talk, you are expecting them to be auditory learners. While state-of-the-art gadgets are unnecessary, you might seek ways to cooperate with those visual learners who tend to look while they are listening. They will understand much better what you are saying if they can see it. It is good to have some visual props such as transparencies with highlights, graphs, etc., a dry-erase board, or a flip chart for writing key words. You also could take pictures or objects for display. As well as reinforcing auditory learning, visual aids add variety to your presentation.
Your non-verbal expression is important. The actual word-phrasing and visuals represent only a portion of the overall performance. Many other factors have to be considered. Practice clear enunciation with inflection and expression. Emphasize the words that make your point. A monotone voice might alienate your audience. If you want to change the way your voice sounds, then you can make a tape of your voice, listen to it and decide what you want to change, and then work to change it to what sounds good to you. Making eye contact with individuals is very important to people. (Dont try it with monkeys!) Let your listeners know that you have noticed them. Although you might not be aware of it, you are always expressing yourself through your body posture--- examine it to observe what unconscious message you are giving. Allow animation--- it helps you to express your ideas more boldly and you will make a better connection with your audience. Encourage them to take notes---you are adding the kinesthetic sense modality.
Interact with the audience. People like to participate. The audience has many unique individuals and when you gather the special aspects of each into a whole, you cultivate good group dynamics. Allow each persons individuality to help your presentation to flow into the area that is best for that person.
Your words and your non-verbal expression should display kindness, cooperation, enthusiasm, respect for the topic you are presenting, and esteem for the integrity of the audience.
5. Listen to your clients
6. Observe other speakers
7. What do you say?
In general, people do not want to listen to theory. Probably it is because theories, basically, are arbitrary. People have heard many theories. Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote, It is much easier to design than to perform... and is in the same state with him that teaches upon the land the art of navigation to whom the sea is always smooth and the wind always prosperous. For the most part, intelligent people want to learn how to apply research findings. They want to know how they can utilize the information to make their lives better. They want to leave the session with something that they can use. They want something tangible---they want handouts! Be sure to have at least one sheet of paper to give them. There are some people, though, who just want more facts (especially on hand-outs) to spread to other people. They have taken on the task of the dissemination of information. So, give everybody something---a little theory will be helpful to some people. If you have a need to talk theory, be sure to back it up with good illustrations, preferably from your own case studies.
In general, audiences come to a presentation to experience something. Everyone seems to be pleased to have an opportunity to experience a guided group hypnosis session. Even without a specific agenda or issue, they seem to enjoy the comfort and the relaxation of a ten-minute hypnosis experience. By using various techniques in your presentation, you will find what works best for you.
9. Handling stage fright and overcoming fear
One of the best methods for overcoming fear and for attaining success in public speaking is the use of self-hypnosis. It works! I did it! Success can come through the work you do in your mind. Investments in self-help pay great dividends. It is good to attend classes and courses; it is good to listen to audio tapes and to watch videos of speakers; and it is good to read books about public speaking. Use all of the resources available. Most likely, however, such information and encouragement will fit into place only when you use your own unconscious mind through self-hypnosis, positive programming, and creative visualization. Do it for success. It will help you to enhance your talents and resources and to develop new skills and abilities. (See my book, Your Creative Voice, Chapter 9, for three scripts which you may read into a cassette recorder to make your own self-help tapes. The purpose of the tapes is to train the mind at the highest and the most profound levels.)
10. Show your commitment to your work
Remember that you are making the presentation because you want to be of service to humanity. You want to share your knowledge, understanding, perception, and insight gleaned through study and the observation of experience. You want to share with other people who might learn one more technique, tool, idea, or ideal to apply in their daily lives. With those basic Top Ten Keys you can use speaking opportunities to expand your horizons and you can contribute to building a better world.
Written with the assistance of Marjorie V. Reynolds, Winnipeg.
from Henry Leo Bolduc
Congratulations! You are entering the most important and productive time of your life.
I recall my own excitement when I began my experimental work in the field of hypnosis and past-life exploration. Now, four decades later, I am as excited as ever. We are involved in the most amazing profession on earth --one with vast potential and with a record of benefit to humanity.
In this column, beyond offering practical professional advice, I want to share something more with you--something that you will observe in the coming years, just as I did.
Let me start by saying that, to be an effective hypnotist or regressionist, you must work with people honestly, squarely, and fairly. Consider your clients to be a priority over material gain. Choose service above profit. By so doing, you will be giving honest service and earning money as a result. Most of all, strive to build trust and goodwill between yourself and your clients.
You can build trust by really listening to people. Let them tell their stories. Every person has a story to tell--and something to teach you! By listening, you allow your clients to open up and to share with you their innermost truths. Such truths are their gifts to you. Cherish them! Be willing to learn from your clients. You will gain from their wisdom and you will learn to follow your truth wherever it will lead.
Always be willing to try new things. Be open to honest
experimentation and be guided by your own integrity. Dare to venture into
new territory. Be ready to delve into your discoveries, testing everything
You are working in one of the very few professions that can help people understand every aspect of their lives (past, present, and future): physical health, mental well-being, emotional fulfillment, financial balance, and spiritual harmony. It is the study and utilization of the minds potential. The mind is powerful and its capacity is vast. As you venture into the realms of the mind, wrong turnings are possible and you might feel as if you are floundering. Accept mistakes as opportunities for learning. Many pioneers make mistakes and blunders; we have heard about their corrections. If, out of fear, you attempt nothing, you make the greatest mistake of all--not trying to achieve anything!
In your enthusiasm for your new-found profession, you probably feel as if you want to charge forward to change the world! First, though, you must conquer Self! Be the best that you possibly can be. Be true to yourself. Maintain integrity, a sense of humor, a willingness to be of service, kindness, and a spirit of thankfulness.
You have the potential to do great things. Be glad for the things that you can do but avoid becoming egocentric, vain, smug, or self-serving. Remain humble. Serve your clients to the best of your ability. The pursuit of knowledge with its application is both an exciting and a humbling experience.
Throughout your work, in all of your activities, be sure to take time for rest and for the evaluation of your current life (and previous lives). Smooth your own rough edges and enhance your innate strengths. Schedule time for your own sessions in self-healing and inner work. Healer, heal thyself! By healing and helping yourself, you will develop skills that can nurture all of humanity.
Impress upon your clients the true value of their work. Suggest how they can utilize their natural abilities to build upon unique strengths and innate gifts. Teach them how to stretch, to grow, and to excel.
You are able to exercise informal instruction on an individual basis while at your daily work. You can strive to reach out to your community by offering to teach small groups of people. If you are willing to speak to an audience, of any size, you will benefit greatly. First, you will learn more by teaching than by almost anything else that you do. Secondly, people will be impressed by your work and will become your clients. Thirdly, --and here is added value of speaking to groups--the people who become your clients will work well with you in a professional setting because trust already has been established.
Be willing to write about the results of your work. You will hone your writing skills through the very act of writing. As a beginning, compose articles for local community newspapers or newsletters and, later, write for a much broader readership. Express yourself in clear, simple language with meaning and sincerity. Although we say that actions speak louder than words, the written word reveals much about who you are. Teach and encourage others through your written materials.
In writing and speaking about your profession, you will lift your standing a few notches above average. Soon, you could become a spokesperson and a leader in your field. Your written material and public talks are contributions to humanity. In return, the world will show you a measure of appreciation and respect.
Your teaching could encourage thousands, inspiring them to become involved in the work. Your creative writing could enlighten millions. The number of people reached and helped by such work is increased exponentially.
Everyone likes the rewards of attention and the accolades. Peer acceptance is desired. You must realize, right at the beginning, that your inner knowledge of accomplishment far exceeds the applause of the public. Immediate attention is a great delight for the ego. If you should be in that category of fame, use your prestige to spur you on to further achievement. Some people seem to do just a little work in a short time with a specific focus and receive outstanding acclaim. They get both credit and cash; they become both wealthy and famous. Who knows why? Maybe it is good kanna from other lives finally coming to them or, perhaps, they are well-connected with the media/power brokers. A good agent helps. Perhaps they are in the right place with the right idea at the right time. Most people have to wait.
Often, true success is not heralded by the world; everybody does not get immediate attention. You might have many successes before your work is recognized. In every era, a few individuals become rich and famous by making long-term contributions to society. Maybe it could happen to you. Many people work diligently for years before they are they are recognized. This second category of fame takes a little longer to achieve. You have been developing your inner life---your inner awareness. When you become aware of a breakthrough in your work, and you do not seem to receive much support, you will know that it is recorded on a different level.
Im sure that you can name many great men and women who were not appreciated in their own times. Many years later, the world recognized that they had planted the seeds and did the early cultivation. Growth was slow because conditions were not right for the expansion of the concept. Those people died believing that they had failed to contribute anything of value to the world. Learn from that third category. Contributions of lasting value, if not acknowledged in your lifetime, will be remembered and applied when the time has come---when humanity has matured to the point of acceptance. An idea before its time is a part of our developing civilization. Perhaps you have heard someone say, Someday, people will appreciate my idea. Depending upon the idea, it could take a hundred years or more. You know by now that the concept of time is theoretical; it is developed for measuring experiences. The concept of non-time, while difficult for us to understand, has limited meaning on the grand scale of the universe.
Plant your seed and start the process of cultivation. Allow
the process of germination to take as long as is necessary for strength. When
the grain has ripened---when the time is right---the harvest will be ready
for humanity to assimilate. Sometimes, the great ideas need more time to gather
momentum before being put to practical use. You could get credit and fame
in the annals of history. Nobody can guarantee fame and fortune but, I can
assure you, your knowledge and wisdom will increase when you do your work
Shakespeare wrote, The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones. That statement might seem true if you are thinking only about the present. The good that we do is recorded as part of each souls journey. All that we do is recorded on the skein of time and space. We call it the Akashic Records. Although the media might fail to proclaim an event which could have immense implications for humanity, perhaps you are given the honor of waiting for the maturation of the true value of your idea. On the larger scale, the ephemeral applause is absent but your work has lasting value.
Respect comes when you respect others---when you show the higher spiritual qualities. Honor comes when you honor others---when you show integrity and truth. The way you treat others---clients, peers, the public---is the way they will treat you. Display the way in which you want to be valued. You have gained knowledge and wisdom. You have the right and the responsibility to share your truths with humanity. Be optimistic and take the calculated risk of instilling optimism in others. Your immediate gain is an inner reward; it is the inner knowledge that you are making a contribution in the creating of unity in humanity.
It is good to become an active member of professional groups or organizations. Find and work with any local group available. Should there not be a group in your area, be willling to form one. Active involvement with groups of like-minded professionals, on a regular basis, is conducive to long-term success. No matter how small the group, shared interaction is always of benefit to every member. In this way, you help to encourage each other in enhancing professional skills. As a unified professional group, you will stand strong together in your community. This strength will give you the confidence to sponsor local programs and out-of-town speakers for the benefit of those interested in learning more about your field.
Pursuit of such productive activities assures you that you will keep your mind alert. Your life will be as exciting as your work! In the midst of this rich and absorbing interest in your chosen work, remember to keep a space free for quality personal time: for yourself, your family, and your friends. All work (however fascinating) and no play is never a good practice. By enjoying your own personal interests and cultivating the companionship of loved ones, you will return refreshed and restored to your professional activities. Balance is the key. Quality personal time brings excellence to your professional life.
You are a vital member of a holistic healing profession: a profession with a dedication to serving humanity, a profession with a vision that looks ahead to the future, a profession that seeks to make positive change for a better world. Together, we can open the door to a more enlightened future.
This column was written with the generous help of Marjorie V. Reynolds of Winnipeg, Canada
Adventures Into Time
Post Office Box 88
Independence, VA 24348 USA
Experience the Adventure!
In the NGH catalog I discovered your conference presentation on the subject of Getting New Clients, and Id like to know whether you could send me some material about that---getting AND keeping clients.
Jose and Teresa Santos, Lisbon, Portugal
Thank you for your question. Actually, you asked two questions:
A. There are numerous ways to get clients. Some of those ways are traditional and tested; others are new and innovative.
1. First, there are the usual, recognized methods such as advertisements, referrals, and professional listings.
2. Speaking to groups usually results in your getting some new clients. When a personal contact is made, it tends to be more valuable than ads in newspapers, magazines, and professional periodicals. When people hear you speak and, especially when they make a handshake connection, they tend to trust you because you are right there in person. Granted, there could be some people in any group who are not too impressed with you or your message. Fine. Hopefully, they will find somebody who can help them. Of those people who see and hear you and who are impressed with you, a small percentage will call to make appointments. The rapport, the level of trust, already created will make your work with them easy and productive. I realize that it takes courage but, if you are willing to get out and start speaking to groups about your work, people will want to experience what you have to offer.
3. Teaching classes is another way to get clients. The in-depth work
that goes into teaching classes tends to emphasize the high-level quality
of what is involved in an individual session. Many of your students
will book private sessions for themselves and will encourage their friends
to visit your office. As an added benefit, when you are teaching, you
are continuing to learn.
4. Write some articles and have them published in professional periodicals. This method of trying to get clients allows you to stay at home while you are doing your advertising. The respect you gain by your writing will be impressive enough to bring some clients. While writing tends to be less productive than meeting people personally, it does lend respect to your work and to your profession. Good writing is no easier than speaking or teaching but each serves you in a different way. While speaking and teaching will connect you, personally, with people, writing tends to establish your authority as recognized by your professional peers.
5. A fifth way of getting clients is an indirect extension of the work that you are doing. In your speaking, teaching, and writing, you are sharing the truth of your knowledge, understanding, belief, and experience. People who have a positive, exciting experience through your work are eager to tell their friends about you. Those outgoing people are likely to encourage their friends to have either a private session or to attend your classes---or both. They will become your advocates. The most important thing that your office needs---that you need---is people telling other people about your work and about their successes. Such publicity is a gold mine and it is free. Any therapist who has a loyal following will continue to prosper and to help even more people. Success always leads to success.
PLEASE take the initiative and get out and start speaking, teaching,
and writing. You can become a spokesperson for your field. The more
experiences you have, the more ideas you have for presenting; the more
you present, the more exciting experiences you have. The more you teach,
the more you learn. Your experience broadens as it reaches higher levels.
Its a spiral.
B. How can you continue to serve and to help your clients over time?
1. First, I shall suggest the obvious and then something totally innovative. The obvious answer is to continue to serve your clients as they continue to improve their lives. There are many areas of expansion after the clients complete the work related to their initial reasons for contacting you. After the primary therapy is finished, you can suggest follow-up work in such related areas as Developing Creativity, Attracting Abundance, Past-life Exploration, or any other workshop topic.
2. Most clients might enjoy hearing you speak at various places. You could send a brochure or a schedule notifying them of upcoming events.
3. A few of your clients could become so inspired by their personal successes that they might wish to learn to do what you do. What a great honor! In your years of work, you might be fortunate, indeed, to be role model for the next generation. You have a great opportunity to teach tomorrows teachers. It does happen. It has happened to me. It can happen to you. If you are willing to put your ego aside (as Edgar Cayce often advised)---to work with all your heart and soul---you could become an inspiration for your students, also, to become speakers, teachers, and writers. You started as a student and progressed to becoming a teacher; you can teach others to do the same. The work will continue.
Some people say that they would get out and speak if they were experts in their fields. How exactly does one become an expert or an authority in any field? One becomes an authority by doing the work, studying it, talking about it, writing about it, and by teaching it. You become expert by applying knowledge to various and multivariate situations. If you want your business, your profession, to do well and to be successful, you must invest time and effort into it. Speaking and writing are inexpensive ways to reach people. All it takes is a little courage, some self-motivation, and a true desire to help the human family.
J. Albert Handford, New Hampshire
Thank you for such an intriguing question. Usually, I prefer to respond to questions of a practical application nature; nonetheless, you do ask a good theoretical question, one that possible could be answered (but probably will not) within your lifetime. For now, my answer must be one of speculation.
A number of years ago, I toured Egypt on my own initiative and had plenty of time to explore. Self-directed travel is my favorite way to enjoy our world and I recommend it to everyone (unless you feel timid and prefer the services of an organized tour leader). While in Egypt, I was told that, because of the stringent controls of the Department of Antiquities, there probably would NOT be any excavations near the Sphinx.
The best material that I have studied on the topic is from the extensive and carefully documented readings of Edgar Cayce. On an average of twice a day, for more than forty years, Mr. Cayce entered self-hypnosis, traveled the pathway to the superconscious mind, and relayed information, primarily, to and for individuals. Occasionally, information was given to small groups of people who requested specific material about history, pre-history, world affairs, etc.
One of the themes of Mr. Cayces readings is that there were two vast civilizations in pre-history: Atlantis and Lemuria (or Mu). He gave specific information to individuals about their lifetimes in those civilizations. To groups, he occasionally gave historical, cultural, and political material. The Lemurian civilization was in the area of todays South Pacific and included some of the Orient. The Atlantean civilization was more advance technologically but was a materialistic society. Sadly, their science, or rather their misuse of science, eventually, destroyed them. The destruction came over time and the Atlanteans realized the need to escape to other, more stable regions of the planet. They traveled and established colonies in South and Central America, traveled up the Mississippi, then east to Portugal, the Pyrenees Mountains, Egypt, and beyond.
In a few locations, those Atlanteans carefully buried their most sacred records. Cayce pinpointed one of the locations as being near the Sphinx, in an underground chamber which is part of a tunnel that, originally, connected the Sphinx with the Nile.
What is in the chamber? Historical and religious records. When will it be opened? In the fullness of time, hopefully, when humanity is prepared to utilize the wisdom contained therein. What will be the outcome? The best scenario is that humanity will learn and will develop through the use of the information. The worst scenario is that scientists and military leaders will misuse the technology and will repeat the disasters that destroyed Atlantis. It is hoped, though, that in our world, each succeeding generation is becoming more and more enlightened and that any knowledge of the distant past will be placed into its proper perspective.