Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Turning off the Critical Voice Part 2

Since my previous blog post I have been developing this idea still further, road testing ideas, and putting it into real world contexts of both hypnotherapy and street. This morning for example I utilised the methodology to remove a client’s phobia of spiders, and then her fear of confined spaces, all in about 10 minutes including repeated testing. Along the way I may have used a new approach to phobias?

To simplify, I removed the critical voice that believed she had a phobia of spiders. I did so linguistically, rather than the process in my previous blog. Whilst this voice was suspended I had her exposed (ethically) to spiders. She was fine. I then allowed the voice to return and left her with a state of confusion. She knew that she had just been nicely with a spider, reacting neutrally, and yet she also knew she had a phobia of spiders – a quick piece of linguistic guidance to make a choice between her reactions, and she decided to be neutral, and was again successfully exposed to the spiders to embed the new response.

I then repeated the same with the fear of confined spaces, again successfully.

It is important to note that just removing the critical voice IS NOT enough to make the changes stick. To do that the exposure is necessary, so they have the new experience. I don’t want my clients relying on faith that it will work – I want them to have the absolute belief based on real world tangible experience. The removal of the critical voice just allowed this to be possible.

(For reference, the phobia of spiders was not anticipatory, so my first tool of choice would previously have been the FPC. The fear of confined spaces was anticipatory, so I would have used Nick Kemp’s excellent voice tempo process. I just decided to do some real world testing of my current line of thinking.)

I had seen this client at her place of work, and I gave a few HWT card and hand sticks to her colleagues as a warm up for what was to come afterwards. I wanted to continue to play with the idea of just removing the voice responsible for reality and just suggest a new reality directly.

I popped into a sports shop on the way back to my truck to test my ideas in a real world situation. Again, I don’t want to rely on faith that these new thoughts would work – I want belief based on tangible evidence.

I asked a shop worker if he was willing to experience a mind trick that was really cool, got his agreement, got him to place his hand flat on the wall, and asked “what do you think if I told you your hand was stuck to the wall?” I quickly then elicited his critical voice which was responsible for that reality, turned it off, told him his hand was stuck fast and this he could believe, now, and got a perfect hand stick. From here I could have used James Tripp’s hypnotic loop and ramped up the phenomena, but was too excited!

I’m going to continue to play with it in a street setting, to see what works and what doesn’t, continuing to test and explore. I hope the readers who are hypnotists will also do so. And I will also continue to explore in my hypnotherapy setting, as my clients can only benefit from the results.

Now, I’m not a stage hypnotist, yet if I was, I can already see a few really good applications for this methodology. To start with, how about removing the critical voice which blocks entry into hypnosis? And then removing the critical voice responsible for holding back inhibitions, allowing the subjects to be more extroverts? And then removing the critical voice that is responsible for that subject’s link with reality? I’ve already been using this linguistically, and I’m sure it won’t take someone long to work out how to bring it into their stage patter. Imagine having nearly the whole audience as possible good subjects, or even using the whole audience as a subject unified as one? In my mind I’m seeing some massive changes to stage hypnosis as a result of this, shaking off the old tried and tested for something new and fresh. Combine this with AIM and HWT and you may just be bringing something new, and much needed, to the show.

As before, if as readers you are a hypnotist, please go out and play with the ideas presented here. Let me know your thoughts, ideas, questions, developments – pop me an email to You can’t patent an idea like this – taking methodologies that have been around for decades and applying them in a new direction – so let’s get our knowledge out there, and all of us become better hypnotists.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Turning Off The Critical Voice

This post will be of interest to all hypnotists. I believe I am utilising a methodology that I can’t find reference to anyone doing before. This methodology completely removes the major blockage to hypnosis and phenomena produced – the critical voice. I have kept the descriptions and explanations simple and generalised.

With hypnosis, especially with more classical work (and I am not referring to relaxatherapy or scriptosis, both of which I don’t think use hypnosis), attempts are commonly carried out to quieten the critical voice. Eye fixation is the usual, often combined with confusion methods to occupy any critical voice which is left.

In Anthony Jacquin and Kev Sheldrakes’ Automatic Imagination Model (AIM) attempts are made to imagine the critical voice away, and imagine it happening automatically. On the rare times when AIM has failed for me, it has not been possible for my subject to imagine this happening automatically, and the voice remains to spoil the fun, preventing the client from having the required experience.

In James Tripp’s Hypnosis Without Trance (HWT) the hypnotic loop is set, building belief, which when in place becomes its own feedback loop deepening the effect of the phenomena, supported usually by eye fixation and occupying the subject’s mind with continued instructions. Yet again, here, on the rare times when I have failed with this methodology, it is usually because the critical voice pops up.

I also find that when talking to subjects who do not enter more classical methodologies of hypnosis, the blockage is the critical voice. This is often the case with those who are highly analytical, those who think very fast, the ones who are always questioning their reality.

The critical voice, that internal self-talk of the client, always seems to be the saboteur.

We all have self-talk (“we all hear voices in our head, apart from psychiatrists and dead people, and we try and avoid those” to misquote the ever humorous Andy Austin), and all self-talk voices are elements of the multiplicity of personality, whether minor or major (see ‘Multiplicity’ by Rita Carter), often referred to in the metaphor of a ‘part’ in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The critical voice is the self-talk that a client has which keeps his hold on reality, the one which holds them back from automatic imagination – hypnosis.

 So I decided to turn the critical voices completely off.

To do this I already knew a good methodology, courtesy of studying the works of Andrew T Austin, and turn negative voices off almost every hypnotherapy client session. I normally turn off the negative voices, the ones which are the saboteurs, the ones calling for bad food, the ones saying “go on, just have a cigarette” and so forth. I find the methodology incredibly effective.

 Here is the methodology: (Credit here must go to Andrew T Austin – I learn so much from every one of his products and trainings)

1. “Can you hear that voice? Find that negative voice and let me know when you can hear it.” (Elicit the voice, that ‘part’ of the “subject’s personality.)

2. “What would that voice look like if you could see it?” (Changes the submodalities from auditory to visual.)

3. “Where would that voice be if it were in the room?” (Again changes the submodalities and also dissociates, the voice is no longer part of them.)

4. “Get some black duct tape, and in your mind, tape the mouth closed so tightly that you can’t hear it.” (Mentally shutting off the voice.)

5. Tell it “ok, I’ve heard, yet you’re not helping, so now’s the time to just be quiet, and relax.” (This is what I would do for a negative or problem voice, and normally the person relaxes with the voice too, therefore getting a somatic reaction – after all this voice is an element of them – for the purposes of what follows I’ve been putting it so far behind them they can’t even see it)

This methodology has never failed (for me) to turn off a voice, and therefore an element of personality can be shut down. Knowing how and why it works I’m doing it linguistically too, putting it into conversation, which could sit better with street hypnosis or stage hypnosis for example.

In testing I used the AIM with a simple hand stick:

“Imagine your hand becoming stuck, stuck fast to the table. Imagine it become stuck automatically so much that even if you wanted to pull it away it would just stick tighter and tighter the more you tried. Now try and lift your hand…”

Sometimes even this simplified version of AIM gets a secure hand stick, often much to my surprise!

Yet when it comes free and I ask for feedback I usually get “I knew I could lift it if I wanted to.” I then get creative to elicit the voice. Conversations in this respect are usually simple though, and generally go:
Me: “How did you know you could lift it?”
Subject: “I just knew.”
Me: “How?”
Subject: “I just told myself I could lift it…”

And there we have the critical voice. And then I promptly turn off.

Since starting with this methodology I have had zero failings with getting hypnosis (automatic perception changes, automatic ‘unconscious’ following of suggestions) utilising this methodology of turning off the critical voice. This is with traditional ‘induction’ led hypnosis, waking hypnosis, conversational hypnosis, AIM, and HWT. I’m playing and getting inventive with the applications, and I have messaged and had discussions with some of my leading peers to let them develop and expand this concept further in their own direction.

Hypnosis has stayed still too long. Anthony and Kevin with AIM, and James with HWT, are looking at hypnosis with a critical eye, and stripping back everything unnecessary from it. Jorgen Rassmussen is applying hypnosis in a new direction – provocative hypnosis he calls it. Mavericks like the ‘new kid on the block’ Craig Galvin are already pushing boundaries. I’d like to think that my new application of a technique (taught to me by Andy Austin) is my contribution to moving hypnosis forward.

If you are a hypnotist – please go out and give it a go – I anticipate your hit rates will increase dramatically, leaving you much more confident in your work and having more ‘good’ subjects available. Get creative with the concepts I’ve created, see what you can develop. I’d love to hear how you get on, and developments you create. Please let me know at – and remember, if I can find something new there is more out there – what can you find?