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Michael : Firstly John, thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this podcast,
John : Thanks.
Michael : To kick it off would you introduce yourself so that our listeners know a little bit about who you are and what you do?
John : Well my name is John, my last name is La Valle, and I think most people might know who I am apart from those who might not, I do NLP trainings, and I do lot of them with Richard Bandler, I also take care of the administrative things for the Society of NLP for Richard. I do a lot of training, I co-wrote a book with Richard of Persuasion Engineering, sales and business, things like that I think that most people would probably know who I am though.
Michael : What is hypnosis?
John : Hypnosis to me, really, really is nothing more than exquisite, really exquisite communication.
Michael : And what drew you to the subject, and what's your background in it?
John : I have to tell you years and years and years ago, oh gosh, I must have been twelve, or even thirteen something like that I was fascinated by the idea of hypnosis, and I remember seeing those little ads at the backs of comic books and things like that, and the guy with the darts coming out of his eyes and the hypnotron wheel, and I remember seeing those and thinking whoa, this stuff looks really cool!, and so I learned hypnosis and all of these things. Of course I was only young at the time so didn't really get into it, but it really peeked my interest, that far back.
And then a friend of mine, I forget how old I was, I might have been maybe in my twenties, early twenties maybe I was twenty years old or so, and I'm happily talking to a friend of mine, and happened to mention that I was interested in some hypnosis, and learning hypnosis and what it was about, and he told me that he was actually doing hypnosis, which I really didn't have any idea that he was. And he sent me one of these self-hypnosis cassette tapes.
John : So I immediately plugged it in. And I was fascinated. I went into an altered state and was able to program myself based on the instructions on the tape where it said at the end of this tape if you want to stay in this nice relaxed state or whatever it was or if you want to relax for another ten minutes past that, or to tell yourself that whatever, and it happened, and I was really really amazed that I could give myself a set of instructions in a deep altered state and it would work.
Michael : And how's it helped you personally?
John : I've been able to relax better with it, I've been able to reprogram myself better with it, I've been able to do all kinds of things, I guess. I've learned a lot of things over the last twenty years or so.
One of them being that just about anything is possible in trance, and so if there's something that people want to try out, is that they ought to try it in an altered state and the altered state by the way, is really a chemical state change that we produce in our brain, now I do think it's about exquisite communication, I believe hypnosis is going on all the time. That's how people change beliefs, they could be watching TV and watching the news, getting hit with so many things of the same topic, and also they'll be hit with something that they then realise is true.
So I really believe that it's going on, I believe that it's going on all of the time. So for me it's been a way for me to go in and reprogram some things that I've needed to reprogram for myself, even to learn some things, and more than anything else to learn to relax when I want to.
Michael : Building on that, what would you say it's main use is generally?
John : Well, you know Michael, when I look at it, there are a couple of things I said earlier that I really believe that hypnosis is exquisite communication which is really going on all the time, I think that the main use that most people think that it's for is for therapeutic or coaching types of activities, things where they want to change personal behaviour. But the fact is, I believe that it's really going on and being used in the mainstream by media, by politicians and things like that, whether they know it or not so the only other question is if they don't know it, than they ought to, and if they do know it there's more than that many uses for it.
So I hear lots of people making distinctions where they want to know the difference between the conscious and the unconscious mind, which of course don't really exist in an abstract sense, but to me they do exist in terms of how much activity is going on. So conscious is what we're aware of and unconscious it what we're not aware of.
But everything is really going on, so my thought is, if they're consciously aware of what's going on then they know, and if they're not, it doesn't mean that these process's are no longer occurring.
Michael : Ah, taking that a bit further, do you think that there are any specific business applications or do you think that's been covered by what you've said before?
John : I think it's been pretty well covered. In business it's really quite an entertaining idea when you think about it, most business will not entertain the idea of doing any hypnosis within their business and I understand that.
I remember when my son was back in school the kids were forbidden to have or even ask another child to close their eyes and think of something. Because they were afraid that the children would be able to hypnotise the other children. Then, that didn't mean that they weren't, it meant that the teachers weren't aware that they were actually doing all these things.
So I think in business, we actually call it closed eye process's how can you not if hypnosis is everything, I looked up a definition once, for hypnosis, and it said something about altered states and I looked up altered state, and altered state really only means the state other than the one that you were just in previously so we really do go from state to state, emotional state, brain chemistry states, things like that, but this is happening in business every day.
So whether or not we're allowed to tell people to close their eyes, or get them to do a guided imagery, or closed eye process, or lets do hypnosis! is basically, to me, irrelevant, because we'll just do open eye hypnosis if that's what people want to do.
The fact is they still have to follow the law -I tell people the following thing I go here's something that you have to understand about anything you do about hypnosis, or about what you consider to be hypnosis, or exquisite communication you must listen and then hear or first hear and then listen to, every word that the speaker says. And that's just so you can understand what they're saying.
And that's before you can disagree. But by the time you've already gotten it into your brain, it's already too late. It's already in there, you've already gotten the suggestion, you're going to carry it through.
That's why when I hear the silly things, like when they're in court and they say to the jury please just disregard that last statement, there's no way that they can disregard it.
Michael : (laughter)
John : What they might do with that information is it could end up being something else, but they've already got it into their brain. To me it's not about whether somebody closes their eyes, or whether somebody swings a watch in front of their eyes, before they close their eyes or anything like that it's just a matter of how well is the communication passed through? So I think that there's a lot of opportunity in business.
Michael : Ok, taking from that, do you think that there are any dangers, or are there any caution that you'd give somebody who was thinking about seeing a hypnotist, or considering going on hypnosis training?
John : I tend to think not. I've heard different arguments from different people about whether or not somebody could be harmed with hypnosis or whether or not we could control another persons mind, and I really believe that we're really in control of our own behaviour.
If somebody could truly be programmed, and it requires something a little bit more than hypnosis when I look back at the Jim Jones thing where he had all these people drinking this poisoned cool-aid and stuff that was beyond hypnotism, that was something other than hypnosis, it certainly required a set of skill that he had in order to influence them and convince them, that would also require protein deprivation, sleep deprivation, and a whole bunch of other things over an extended period of time before they would be willing to follow this guy.
And I'm not that sure that he was all that good at hypnosis anyway, in terms of being able to getting people to do these kinds of things.
I think it's true that if some body's going to see somebody who does hypnosis they should be sure that the person is pretty well qualified, but not because they might get hurt, it's only because they should be sure of what they're getting.
Michael : What do you think that some of the characteristics are lets start with of a good hypnotic subject?
John : There's really only a couple of things. One is willingness, two is the belief that they can do it. I mean, I believe that they can do it, it's just a matter of whether they believe that they can do it or not. And it's what their idea of hypnosis is. And I think that most people that would be entertaining the idea of doing hypnosis or some hypnosis have some belief that it will work.
There's always a portion of the population that will say well I don't really believe it hypnosis but I want to try it out. Well if they want to try it out, than they must believe that part of it is going to work. Or some thing's going to work or they wouldn't be willing to try it why would they waste their money?
So I think that the characteristics of a good subject would be, number one, willingness two is the belief that they can do it and that things will happen. And possibly the third thing is not just the willingness but the ability to just go for it, and relax really.
Michael : What about the characteristics of a good hypnotist or good hypnotic trainer?
John : I think that the criteria I would look for personally, is number one that person doing the hypnosis, that the hypnotist or the trainer is that they're not following a script. It's paramount. It's really important that they're following along and calibrating the other individual, in terms of knowing what to say, and what to do next.
Not that they have a script written out, they can't possibly know where to take the other person, or what's going to work next unless they're really, really observing that person. So the people that are good, they don't follow scripts they might have some pap phrases to help them follow some things but when it really comes down to doing some hypnotic phrases, they're not reading from a pre-written script with fancy language patterns.
And the next thing would be that they have some really good experience, not just gone to a three day hypnosis seminar. And it's not just hypnosis that they want to learn, it's really about language patterns, and using language really well. That's what makes a good hypnotist.
And I tell people, that some of the guys that are really good, who are out there, whether or not I agree with some of their personal beliefs, religious beliefs or anything like that, happen to be people that are really, really good at convincing large groups of people into doing things. Zig Zigler, real well known I guess is out there, I'm not sure about the UK, I'm guessing he is, he's a master at this here's a guy who could motivate tens of tens of thousands of people at one time, and he was really good using his own language, there are a lot of people who are like that. I think those are the criteria for me if I were going to look for somebody.
Michael : Now before I ask you if there's anything that you'd like to plug, and to give your contact details, is there anything important about hypnosis that you'd like to finish with?
John : I think people ought to realise that there's a lot of things that they can do when they do go into altered states, and more relaxed states. Now the fact is, just because they do something in those altered states doesn't guarantee that they going to keep the behaviour when they come out of that altered state, although it certainly increases the possibilities.
Which means, if they're going to generate the behaviour they're going to have to get back into that altered state or regenerate another state in order to carry through that behaviours.
Most people will do the behaviours after they've done the hypnosis but they've got to take notice of the fact, for example we could take someone to do something in an altered state and they may or may not do the same thing out of that state because of the vast difference in the chemicals, in the neuro-chemical change.
Richard recommended once, I asked him the question what if someone for example, because it's just a brain chemical state change, comes in and they happen to be on some kind of medication, or some kind or mind-altering something or other, whatever? Or even if they just had a glass of wine for lunch before hand, or something, and he said well, what I would do, when I do the hypnotic piece with them, I record it, and then I would give that to them. Because when they come out of that dream state change and they go into another reality basically, another state then if they come off the medication, or if the glass of wine that they've had has finally worn off, they should go off and listen to that again. Because then they're going to be in a different neurochemical state. And that's going to make a difference to whether it stays in their brain and is usable, or whether or not it isn't.
So again, all this goes back to the neuro-chemistry, and to what state they're in, they're brain-state.
So I would suggest that people learn to relax, there's a lot of things that people can do if they would just study a little hypnosis, study self hypnosis learn how to do it, it's really easy enough if they're going to go to a hypnotist, make sure the person really is good. Ask for a few recommendations, most people will not get recommendations because a lot of people that go out to see hypnotists won't know what's out there.
Yes, I've been hypnotised and I've seen some of the most incredible things that can occur in hypnosis, whether or not somebody does it for themselves, whether or not somebody helps them to do it. I suggest people just go for it, try it.
Michael : Ok. As we bring this to a close is there any activity that you're doing or product that you've just done that you'd like to mention and let people know about?
John : Well, we're active all the time. We've got products, I'll just mention the two websites really, our main website is www.purenlp.com and that's where a lot of things are happening, we have schedules up there and everything else, and any of the new products we have, any products that we carry are up at www.nlpstore.comand I think it's fair to mention that you carry many of them on your site as well.
Michael : Absolutely. www.nlp-cds.co.uk
John : So let me throw that in for you. So if people go to those sites, they'll figure out where to go from there. And there's always www.richardbandler.com for people that are interested that's really about it for now.
Michael : Ok, and your own contact details?
John : People can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org that's really the best way to do it. Our other contact information and mailing address, but I recommend that people don't really mail me I'm not here that often. But that's NLP Seminars group international and that's at PO box 424, and that's in Hoppatcong, New Jersey, 07843 in the US.
Michael : Ok, thank you very much for that John.