Piece by inner-peace

This blog post is not just an attempt to be deep, appear insightful or in some way stand up for what is “right”. It is really to acknowledge and recognise the amount of suffering and ill will that is being felt in my adopted hometown of Barcelona (and indeed around the world) . I have wanted to comment from a personal perspective but really have needed a week to collect mybarcelona_referendum_hypnosis_anxiety_emotions thoughts. This is not a political statement. This is a human statement.

This weekend I found myself seeing the horrifying images of police officers attacking their fellow defenceless unarmed citizens. Whatever your position on the referendum, I know that to be able to do this one has to be coerced into doing so or truly believe in what you are doing.

Coincidentally and quite fortunately I also found myself in a retreat being facilitated by three friends of mine who are very skilled at pointing to what lies behind the human experience. Phillipe Bartu, Juan José Quesada and Jacquie Forde teach an understanding that has recently made a great shift in my personal life and as I too begin to share it also, my friends and clients.

Through exercises, deep enquiry and learning how to be present we examined our own thoughts, beliefs and experience in a way that most people never get the chance to do. While the madness of the referendum violence (October 1st,2017) was going on, we found ourselves in a wonderful peaceful space and it is that space I want to point to.

One of the exercises we did was deep listening exercise where we listened to another person talk about a random topic that was important to them. This was do in a particular way: we did not listen to answer, comment or in anyway give advice. We listened to be present and mindful with our own moment-to-moment experience of ourselves.

One thing became absolutely clear was that I’m not the great listener I think I am. I’ve gotten infinitely better over the last few years of working with clients, but I still found my attention going to my opinions, imagination, conjecture and wandering… this is from a person that thinks that somewhere, somehow that he’s a pretty conscious guy.

It also became clear that the basic intention to listen without judgement created a space where we both felt free to speak freely and a sense of freedom to explore our own thinking that normally is not present in everyday conversation. And then something dawned on me, something so simple that I miss it time and time again. This person in front of me is having their own personal experience of me, through their thinking and their perspective…just as I am having my own experience of them. And if that is true then everybody in the room is in the same boat: having a personal experience of their lives moment by moment through their thinking about whatever is in front of them. This was taught on one of my very first Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner training as “everyone has their map of the world”. I thought that was a deep thought and a really good idea to keep in mind when communicating with others, but when you experience it for yourself, time and time again it becomes a knowing a Truth, that you cannot “un-see”.

So what does this have to do with the situation here in Barcelona? Well it is more about the human situation/condition than anything else.

There is one thing that I know deep down inside but sometimes it is important to refresh it every now and again. As living beings We ALL want to be happy. We all want to be free from suffering, either physically or emotionally.

It is all too easy to lose this understanding when we get caught up in negative emotions like fear, resentment, or ill will. It is so easy to be swayed and manipulated by forces seemingly outside of us to barcelona_referendum_spain_anxiety_hypnosis_emotionsact on these emotions when we don’t realise the source: our own thinking. Whether these be political forces or economic, it really doesn’t matter… when we believe that our wellbeing, our piece of mind, stability comes from outside of us in the form of perfect circumstances we will act on the outside to change that. We do this without ever having the presence of mind to stop, and observe whether these actions will really help our circumstances or make them worse.

One thing I now for sure is that it is a miserable person that turns to violence to change their outer world. Sad. But they wont realise it until they do and that has nothing to do with you. So whether it is the political situation of the many objectively terrible circumstances many find themselves living all over this planet, I ask you to remain SOBER. This is an acronym for a useful technique from Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Stop. Observe. Breathe. Expand your awareness. React mindfully.

This is so simple and really worth doing in times of emotional difficulty. Try it, practice and notice the difference it makes in your life.

By | 2017-10-16T11:01:41+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Life coaching|0 Comments

Behaving “badly” for a good reason: is this true?

The other day I saw a Facebook post by a well known Hypnotherapy trainer that stated, “remember: No matter how bad or damaging someone’s behavior might be, the intention behind it is always positive”.hypnotherapy in barcelona_ryan jenkins_trauma_positive_nlp_hypnosis This is one of the main presuppositions from the field of NLP and  Ericksonian Hypnosis and is used as foundation for the therapeutic protocols and  within these related disciplines .

Not surprisingly many fellow colleagues commented and a discussion began as to the veracity of this statement, as although used as a staple in the profession, many have an issue with this.

Comments such as “I didn’t realize rapists and paedos were just trying to be positive … silly me”

I get this entirely.  As a therapist seeing people who have suffered deep trauma and abuse at the hands of another, it’s extremely hard to rationally believe that somewhere behind these behaviors the person is shooting for a positive outcome.

This deserves a deeper understanding in my opinion and comes down fundamentally to the issue of ethics and free will.  The issue is that the offender had a choice to do the right thing and instead chose out free will to commit a horrendous crime.

Coincidentally the same day I was listening to a podcasts “The Joe Rogan Experience” where the interviewer was discussing this exact matter with famed Neuroscientist Sam Harris. Harris mentioned the case of mass murderer Charles Whitman who in 1966 murdered his mother and wife in their homes, then went to the University of Texas at Austin where he shot and killed three people inside the university’s tower. He then went to the tower’s 28th-floor observation deck, where he fired at random for some 95 minutes, killing fourteen people and wounding thirty-one before being shot and killed by police

Later, a suicide note was found by Whitman who stated that he had uncontrollable rage and was compelled to do these acts even though he loved his wife and mother and suggested that an autopsy should be done on him afterwards  as he knew something was not right with him. When the autopsy was performed, a “pecan-sized” brain tumor was discovered in the area of the amygdala, an area associated with emotional control. Harris suggested that knowing what we know about the Brain and it´s effect on behavior, Whitman (had he survived would not be considered as wholly responsible for his actions  as his very ability to control the were impaired, therefore he could not will himself not to do them).

Harris also stated that, knowing what we know about the phenomenon of Neuroplasticity , our own Neurological environment, the very topography of our brain is similarly responsible for our behavior out of our conscious control.

brain_neuroplasticity_hypnosis_nlp_barcelona_hypnotherapyinbarcelona_therapy_ryankenkinsSo from simply a scientific, rational mindset a murderer or pedophile may have anomalies in their Neurology causing them to do things to seek relief in some way. Is this a behavior seeking a positive outcome? Indeed, recent studies using MRI scans have shown that Pedophiles  who act on their impulses are different from those that do not . Are there other anomalies that science has yet to find out?

While it is totally understandable to respond to such behaviour with disgust and horror, it is also a common impulse to then retributory punishment. I remember while living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, groups of British “Lads” scouring the city looking to beat up infamous paedophile Gary Glitter , who was rumoured to be in the country at the time. This behaviour is normal, human emotional, non-rational AND has a positive intention (to remove a child abuser from circulation).

The ethical waters I am treading in now is likely to fire up some people, but as Sam Harris suggested, perhaps these people are not in full control of their behavior.  This is why Chemical castration is often practiced on offenders; in the thinking that they will never be able to be reformed or have the will to never reoffend.

In another personal case, when my other (a Medical Anthropologist) worked with a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea, there was the case of a man who killed his family (his wife and several children) except for one whom he named “Andacori” (death adder). As custom in the Hagahai tribe, when this man died, his remains  were put on display for the elements to “do their thing” and afterwards his bones were put into a tree, the traditional cemetery. My Mother and a another doctor were able to examine his skull  (in depth) and they found many lesions that were indicative that his had suffered from Yaws and that it had eaten into his brain. Yaws is a chronic infection that affects mainly the skin, bone and cartilage. The disease occurs mainly in poor communities in warm, humid, tropical areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Was this man responsible for his actions? Was he responsible for the bacteria that had invaded his system and most probably caused him to do those behaviors? What could have he been thinging, believing, feeling o lead him t do that?hypnosis_barcelona_dilema_positive thinking_hypnotherapyinbarcelona

As Clinical Hypnotherapists, we are well aware of the power that thoughts, beliefs and perceptions have on behaviors. What if his behaviors sought to address these in some way? Could they have had a positive intention?

The truth is seldom black and white and our responses as therapists have to be nuanced and take in the whole picture as much as possible.

Does every behavior have a positive intention? I’m not totally sure about that , but it seems to me that to act AS IF this true yields the best results in therapy because it opens to possibility that it just might be.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 May 15th, 2017|General, Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, NLP, Unwanted behaviour|0 Comments

Johnny Depp…poor mind, poor me.

Johnny Depp_Selfesteem_Hypnotherapy_rich_spendmoney_waste_weatlh_Ryan_simbai_jenkinsLast week we learned that Hollywood megastar Johnny Depp has problems. The kind of problems some might even wish to have. Rich people problems.

We found out that the actor that plays the charismatic, swashbuckling ¨Jack Sparrow¨ in the wildly successful Disney movie Franchise ¨Pirates of the Caribbean¨ spends 2 million a month on his lavish lifestyle and that his financial advisers (whom he is suing for mismanagement of funds) claim: “He has refused to live within his means, despite… repeated warnings about his financial condition.” Rumor has it that Johnny Depp spends $30,000 a month on wine alone.

Now for us people that are not multimillionaires, we might say to ourselves ¨well he’s Rich and he can always make it back¨. The truth is he may be financially successful to a point, but he is not Rich or wealthy and certainly not financially free.

Now bear with me here because this is a really important Idea to get across. Depp is successful because he has a talent that people will pay for. Handsomely. But he is not Rich because he has the mindset of a poor man.

A multimillionaire once told me something that stuck in my mind: “Rich people don´t spend money to feel rich, poor people do. Rich people make money and feel rich”.

His psychology is not dissimilar from most poor and middleclass people that get a “fix” from vapid consumption. The next gadget, the new pair of trainers right up to the Ferrari and “Bling”. It’s wired right into our biology. Hunters used to go out and expend energy then they would be forced to consume the animal as quickly as possible. I’m almost certain that the reward system of the brain would then fire off the pleasure centers and the behavior would then be repeated as much as possible. This is a wonderful short-term strategy to store up energy for long winters without food, and probably served our ancestors welllat some stage in our evolution

But then along comes the farmer who then can keep many animals, expending the least energy and now is able to have food all winter long. He learns to wait. He uses everything. He differs the pleasure to later and reaps the most rewards, eating his full but only when the work is done and thus gets to grow his wealth. His children can grow and prosper like this.

Depp is not rich because he is the hunter. Trading time for money and spending it crazy fast. He is a consumer. Now the executives that sign his checks…they are the farmers, and as long as they don’t spend their money at the expense of their future, they are truly financially free.

There is a reason for this. Depp has psychological issues around wealth. He obviously feels like the underdog who has scammed the system, the “pirate” who goes for the raid and then spends his booty at the first port o´call.


His issues are classic self-esteem issues and ironically his self worth doesn’t come from who he is, it comes from his thinking around money. Or rather that he was able to get money “for nothing and chicks for free” as the Dire Straight song goes.

The problem is that he feels he doesn’t deserve it. Look at any interview…when paid a compliment he squirms and deflects it. Just like he doesn’t really believe it. How do you think he will act when paid large sums of money?

In A Vanity Fair article he even states that he was overpaid for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean. 300 million dollars, which is no small sum of money, but seeing as he basically carried the whole franchise…you be the judge whether he deserves it or not.

Little surprise then that he wants to get rid of it a quickly possible.

This is non-conscious and comes from what I call the “inner blue print“…a subconscious plan for life. The part our selves that judges others and ourselves as either worthy or unworthy of any experience in life.

This is powerful. Out of a world of possibilities it can be the factor that can make or break our future and to know what work we need to do to change that part of ourselves is where the real magic happens.

In my previous blog¨inner blue print¨I spoke about  how hypnotherapy works to change the blueprint at the level those beliefs are created and some of the practical things you can do today to stop leaking money unconsciously.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 February 11th, 2017|Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, Self-esteem, Unwanted behaviour|0 Comments

Hypnotherapy: how it works from the client´s perspective.

Sometimes as a therapist it is difficult to explain what the work is like from a client’s perspective. I recently received an email which does this wonderfully and am grateful that she agreed to to let me publish it on my site:hypnotherapyinbarcelona_testimonial_blog_hypnosis

I decided to try hypnotherapy to help with my generalised anxiety, as well as fear of flying which was making it impossible to see my family. I felt like I had lost control of myself and it had started to impede on my day to day life.
So I emailed Ryan, and within a few days he emailed me back to set up a phone interview to talk about why I wanted to try hypnotherapy, and to set up a consulta
tion. When he told me I was probably only going to need four 1hr sessions over four weeks I didn’t actually believe him, it seemed too short a time to deal with what was going on in my head; considering I had been battling with it for so long in the first place.
During the first consultation Ryan went through some basic exercises with me, just to show me the difference between my conscious and my subconscious working and then I was hypnotised for the first time. I thought I was going to find it difficult to relax with a stranger, but Ryan is very personable and those fears dissipated very quickly. My experience with hypnosis was amazing. I felt like a clamp had been released from my brain, my anxiety completely dissipated and I had not ever felt that relaxed in my mind and body. After going through the process of hypnotherapy for the first time I was in no doubt that by the end of the month I would be on a plane.
Ryan is a great hypnotherapist, he has real passion and enthusiasm for his profession and that is reflected in the way he conducts his sessions.  Throughout the process, he was always explaining the science behind my fear, why my brain and body were reacting in certain ways and how to break those habits. Hypnotherapy has done a lot more for me than I anticipated, it hasn’t just gotten rid of my fear of flying, it’s made me so much more self confidentrelaxed and happy as a person, I feel complete. The other great thing about hypnotherapy is that it’s not something you have to keep topping up, you do your guided session to practice going into that conscious state and after that you are given the tools to practice at home, for essentially the rest of your life if you carry on practising.
 I cannot recommend hypnotherapy enough to anyone, even if you are just a little bit stressed and need to clear your head. If you are reading this thinking it is too good to be true: do not underestimate the power of your brain, I used that power to convince myself if I so much as stepped onto a plane, or left the house at the wrong time I was going to die, so imagine what you could do if you were guided to put it to better use?
By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 October 19th, 2016|General, Subconscious mind|0 Comments

Changing your Inner blueprint, changing your life

hypnosis_barcelona_quitsmoking_nlp_coaching_hypnotherapy_therapyI am often asked to define what I do as a change worker. I generally answer something like ¨I help people make positive and lasting changes in their behaviour using advanced hypnotherapy¨.

Even though it is becoming much more mainstream these days with so many more people working wih hypnotherapists, NLP practitioners and coaches of various sorts to help them change unwanted behaviour patterns, to some people the concept of rapid and instant change in their behaviour is extremely alien (especially if they have been in traditional talk therapy). The idea that someone can guide them through processes that can rapidly change even longstanding habit patterns is sometimes met with credulity.

How does this work? Well I generally get two types of clients:

  • People with ¨acute¨ problems: that is problems that are taking up the majority of their mental and physical resources at the moment. These are commonly things like getting over a relationship breakup, non-chronic physical pain issues, exam stress or being able to focus on tasks at work. Pretty straightforward stuff actually.
  • The other type of client is one with certain patterns of behaviour that stem from, what I call ¨blueprint¨ issues. These are negative ways of acting in the world have been learned and programmed at the deepest level of their minds. Non-conscious strategies for dealing with life that are hurting them and those around them, but they are not actively aware of except when they surface.

For example people that are afraid of commitment in relationships often have problems committing to other things in their life. They enthusiastically start new projects or goals and soon ¨lose steam¨, opting instead to move on to the next new thing. They have big highs in life and search for new experiences, but then find it difficult to stay rooted in any situation for long enough to have a significant positive effect on their lives. Long-term job opportunities become annoyances and these people often self-sabotage with passive aggressive type behaviour, destroying professional relationships, but seemingly creating an opportunity to start the whole process again.

Some have deeply ingrained beliefs about money and wealth that stop them from being able to hold on to and grow their personal finances. Ideas such as ¨money is the root of evil¨ or perhaps that ¨money is dirty¨ form the basis of their unconscious beliefs systems and identity around wealth. A lack of genuine self-esteem (a blueprint issue around self value) might lead to believe that to feel wealthy, they have to spend money.

This is an unconscious ¨projection¨ that they have of wealthy people coming from their inner blueprint of what a wealthy person looks like. Their ego desires to appear as the happy, successful person because it gets a little boost, which feels good in the moment, but even though they might be making good money in their careers, these people find themselves spending even more than they earn on frivolous items at expense of their long-term security. This is certainly not the kind of behaviour that truly wealthy people have, by the way. Negative emotional states created by a lack of true self-esteem result in a closet full of clothes that they never wear and credit card bills that they cannot begin to pay.

Many of the deepest blueprints (such as for relationships and survival) are learned in the formative years of our lives and it’s safe to say that we all have them. We learn patterns unconsciously from our parents, peers and society in general and you can be sure that on some level it’s a good thing that we pick up on how certain things work. The unconscious mind wants to generalise experiences so we can enjoy our lives consciously and we go on ¨autopilot¨ so we don’t have to think about every single thing.

How do you identify if you have a ¨blueprint¨ issue?

Do you find yourself acting in ways that you might describe as ¨out of character¨? When you find yourself in stressful situations, do you behave in ways the others might describe as very inappropriate? Do you distract or numb yourself with alcohol, food, work or social media? Do you exhibit passive aggressive behavior in work or relationships’?

There are many ways these can show up and the problem is that they are not conscious. We do them totally unconsciously! Also when the problem behavior seems to go away and we go on autopilot again, it´s highly likely that the behaviour pattern will show up again in a new (and sometimes more destructive) way. When these come back, they often come back with force because you are not meeting these needs at the level at which they are created.

These are very difficult to change without going deep into the structures that hold them up. This is why traditional talk therapies take so long; it’s like trying to work on the engine of your car without even opening the hood!

Fortunately with hypnosis one can work directly with the level of mind that these patterns are created. The part of the mind that is beyond the conscious sense of ¨me ¨ that is experiencing your life and even beyond the cognitions just below the surface of your awareness (the many thoughts that create your experience of life). Working with a skilled hypnotherapist, you can get to those structures that come before everything else, and change your deeply held beliefs and identity around specific issues. The positive changes in behaviour naturally occur when you change your inner blueprint and these ¨feed forward¨ into your life, generalizing and becoming your new normal way of being in the world.

When you realise that you can affect profound change at this level, achieving long lasting change becomes not only an inevitable reality but also an enjoyable journey of discovery and growth.

Why “evidence based”?

hypnotherapy_Barcelona_hypnosis_quitsmoking_weightloss_evidence_basedI often get asked why I call myself an evidence-based practitioner. In the field of psychotherapy, there are so many techniques and schools of thought, and although hypnotherapy can be considered “the mother of all psychotherapies”, what is my focus? There are so many different types of hypnotherapy practitioners out there. On what basis do I choose the treatments and methodology?

I believe that, generally speaking, the therapeutic techniques that I choose should conform to some basic guidelines/rules. First and foremost of these would be that the technique should fit into my conception of a ¨client centered¨ practice. In choosing the technique, I focus on certain questions: does the technique have any evidence supporting its efficacy? If there are no studies directly supporting the technique, does it at least have a theoretical base that may explain why it works?

It is my belief that it is very important to be able to explain the nature of the condition to the client and that they understand the mechanisms by which the issues are created and maintained, thus also the ways that we be will using this particular technique to help them. In being able to cognize and understand the theoretical aspect, the client can see for themselves if the therapy is indeed a help to them. They work with me and by themselves, knowing that we have made a treatment plan based on the most plausible reasons for their issue.

Also in having a client-centered approach, I think that it is paramount that the basic ideals and philosophy underlying the technique and they way it is employed, be aligned with my own personal values at the moment. My personal experience of the power of belief is such that I am fully aware that if I, as the therapist, do not believe in the basis of the technique or its ethics, it will not be as effective for the client and will undermine my own self-efficacy. To quote Marcus Aurelius: “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”

This goes equally then, for the client. If the way of working is in alignment with their personal beliefs and values, then the entire process will be much more clear because there will be much less resistance to new ideas or processes. In addition, if they see my strong belief in the technique or protocol that then creates an expectancy of belief that can have a positive “snowball effect” on the rest of our interactions and the positive therapeutic outcome as a whole. I do my best to be as congruent as possible and the results reflect this.I have found that this way of working is in line with my own beliefs and values. Clarity, honesty and congruence help build the therapeutic relationship and this is very important to me.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 March 16th, 2016|General|0 Comments

Does hypnosis work?

hypnosis_ryan_jenkins_rsj_barcelona_doeshypnosisworkOne of the most common questions I get as a hypnotist is ¨does hypnosis work¨ ? The short answer is: yes. So when people ask me this, the person is asking if it’s ¨real¨ (as in does it actually exist). Also if it does, will it work for them?

Before I unpack this question further though, it’s important to note that in 1955, the British Medical Association (BMA) approved the use of hypnosis for psychoneuroses and hypno-anesthesia in pain management in childbirth and surgery.

The American Medical Association approved a report on the medical uses of hypnosis in 1958 and in 1960, the American Psychological Association gave its endorsement as a branch of psychology.

To really get to the heart of this question we have to examine and define hypnosis.

This is something people have been trying to do for hundreds (if not thousands) of years and it is important to keep in mind that there seems to be as many definitions of hypnosis as hypnotists.

One of the modern hypnotists, noted author and teacher Dave Elman, described hypnosis as:

¨the use of suggestion, whether direct or indirect, to induce a heightened state of suggestibility in which there is bypass of the critical faculty of the mind, and selective attention to the suggestions given¨

The famed hypnotherapist and Psychiatrist Milton Erickson called it the ¨shrinking of the focus of attention¨.

Another common definition: ¨Hypnosis is a state of awareness dominated by the subconscious mind¨ Michael Preston-M.D

Noted psychotherapist Stephen Gilligan writes:¨Hypnosis is conceptualized as an experientially absorbing interactional sequence that produces an altered state of consciousness wherein self-expressions begin to happen automatically, without conscious mediation¨ 

So here we have some differing perspectives laid out by noted professionals engaged in the use of hypnosis (and I´ve left out many more) and one of the main discussions often had, is the idea as to whether hypnosis is an altered state of awareness or a process.

The difference is important because if we think hypnosis to be a state, it’s almost as if it becomes a thing, a noun: something absolutely tangible. This often comes with the idea that we can ¨go into¨ hypnosis and that like a lake, we go deeper and deeper into it. This perspective is supported by the experience of the hypnotee, who often can feel themselves sinking down in a deeper lever of hypnotic focus, experiencing states of altered perception and so on.

The other side of the argument, often put forward by those of a more cognitive oriented bent, is that it’s a process, a set of attitudes and specific type of focus that allows one to access deeper and more profound resources of the mind.

After studying and working with many models of hypnosis and examining the most plausible evidence, I have reached the personal view is that hypnosis is not a special or altered state, rather it is a completely natural condition of the mind where you experience a very specific type of focus, often accompanied by deep relaxation of the nervous system

It is a mind-set that allows you to access very powerful resources of the psyche, including all mind-states. So in essence, it is process AND state.When used by someone trained in hypnotherapy, it can be considered as the ¨mother¨ of all psychotherapies!

In my opinion, hypnosis, in combination with Cognitive-Behavioural and Coaching Techniques, is quite simply the most powerful change ¨technology¨ that exists. Even though there are many different views on hypnosis, I believe that there are some that are more in line with reality than others.

While many of the effects and changes people report seem to be magical (such as having profound experiences that resolve deep issues rapidly) the magic is not because of a hypnotist’s power or skill, it is because of the individual’s ability to enter into the process. It is a two-way, collaborative process where the hypnotist shows you how to use your mind in ways that are most aligned with the reality you prefer. The truly magical moment comes when you realize that you are always able to connect with a vast reservoir of abilities, insights and wisdom.

Hypnosis does work. Will it work for everything always? Do you know anything that works 100% of the time? Like with most things, the best way to find out if it will work for you is to try it for yourself.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 January 15th, 2016|Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, Personal development|0 Comments

Seeing the forest for the trees: finding natural.

While I was growing up in Papua New Guinea, (the country where I was born and lived until I was 13 years old) my mother Dr. Carol Jenkins found herself living an anthropologist’s dream: working with an indigenous tribe that had just been discovered in the rainforest and were still living in the ¨stone age¨.

To me as a child, life with the Hagahai people was normal and at the same time absolutely magical. Miles and miles away from any civilization, they had existed for generations isolated from any outside influence, from a time before humans were plugged into modernity in any way.

My family and I had so many amazing experiences with the Hagahai, and I consider that period to be absolutely formative in the way I see and interact with people and Life in general. That part of my life also greatly influences my work as a therapist and consultant/coach.

One thing that you get immediately living with indigenous people (I am sure this is just as true in the Amazon) is that it is mortally dangerous to be inauthentic. Being ¨unreal¨ in any way puts your life at risk. Nature doesn’t care who you know. The jungle doesn’t care how much you have in your bank account or how many friends you have on facebook. The question is can you trust yourself and the people around you enough to put the next foot forward safely?

This level of intense experience in the moment can be unbelievably challenging and at the same time incredibly rewarding because it shows you your true weaknesses. It brings that ¨shadow¨ stuff right into your awareness and unlike psychotherapy, you can’t retreat into your normal life, fire your therapist and just stop coming to sessions. You either figure that stuff out right then and there, or you don’t make it home. Simple as that.

Your life suddenly becomes much more than just an idea in your head and things get real very quickly. You just can’t lie to yourself and others, because you realise doing so means death.

The benefit of this is immediate: you are out of your head and into the feeling of your body. Your senses are open, your mind is clear and quite often what seemed so important just a second ago is just another thought. You are experiencing what it is to be truly alive in the moment. Your ¨crap¨ falls away and you have an intimate connection with your environment and the people around you. The most amazing thing is that you feel an appreciation for life that you recognize clearly as Love. This is what we are all looking for, really.

Some years ago, living in a large, modern European city, stressed and overworked, I found myself disconnected from that experience I knew to be so powerful and real. I sought to find a way back to that place and I threw myself into the world of spirituality and personal development, doing everything I could to make that feeling come back.

I discovered that through doing certain practices (certain types of meditation and self-hypnosis), I could experience that ¨real me¨ and life did not seem to be so much of a burden anymore. I could focus on the things that were important to me; I could enjoy the simple things with great passion and my life improved greatly.

I began to see the benefit of sharing these with others, because I knew that they worked immensely in helping others find that within themselves. This is something I still feel immensely called to do.

But more than sharing ways of ¨getting there¨(so many techniques exist), I feel called to point out the simple fact that the possibility of experiencing something different exists. You CAN experience your life beyond the negative (and indeed positive) thinking in your head. You CAN feel totally connected to all of your life because you are more than just the content of your experience. You are more than all the stories and thoughts about whatever it is you are experiencing in the moment. Your ability to realise that is totally possible. You can STOP and realise this even right this moment.

These days, people do all kinds of things to find that experience. Living in the modern world, it seems like this is getting harder and harder to do. So many psychotherapies focus on dealing with the past and issues in our lives seem so hard to see for what they are, unconscious patterns manifesting as thought in the present. The same present where all our possibility exists: our ability to work, experience, to feel and love deeply

My only goal, when using hypnosis or any other technique, is that you begin to realise that the only reason you may not experience this natural, ¨real¨ state of being is because YOU are an amazing hypnotist. You are so good, most of the time you don’t realise you are keeping yourself from it. Sometime it takes a guide to realise this.

You are powerful beyond measure, no doubt. So powerful, you can create and experience lack, depression and anger (as well as beauty, connection and love) with a simple thought. Sometimes we can create so much noise in our heads that we don’t realise that we are walking off a cliff or missing the most incredible moment of our lives: the one we are living right NOW.

Here is a rare National Geographic Documentary about my mother´s work with the Hagahai people(it´s a little ¨choppy¨in the beginning because it was copied from VHS, but that clears up a couple of minutes into the vid):

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 December 29th, 2015|Life coaching, Personal development|0 Comments

The world within: diving deep into the inner-mind

mindfulness_hypnosis_hypnotherapy_barcelona_ryan_simbai_jenkinsAlbert Einstein once said ¨the only source of knowledge is experience¨.

This world is full of a vast array of things we can do, be or have and when it comes down to it, all we have is experience itself.

An entire life can be built around the idea that to encounter or undergo a particular event or occurrence will fundamentally bring a lasting happiness. This is unconscious in the true sense of the word and because we are innocently doing our best to feel better, it’s totally natural to move away from pain and towards pleasure.

It could be the pleasure of a new relationship, a new car, and a holiday in a beautiful place…or it could be the search for ¨meaning¨ in life: the raising of a family or the building of a successful business built on our genuine values.

Or it could be the search for ultimate spiritual experience. The BAM (Big Aha Moment) where insight trickles down and turns into pure light, bliss and happily ever after.

There is a question that is often asked in the world of coaching: ¨what do you want?¨.

The answers people give such as ¨a new relationship¨, ¨a sailing boat¨ or even ¨enlightenment¨ are almost always, without doubt about one thing: feeling states.

If you dig deeper into the intention behind the desire, it is almost always a feeling in the body.

When you think about whatever it is you desire in your life, ask yourself this question ¨what will/does that give me? ¨. Keep asking that question until you get to the root desire: the feeling you want to have.

Often people find out that what they want in that new relationship is the inner feeling of connection or excitement that they believe they cannot experience in the moment. That sailing boat will bring a feeling of freedom, and experience of ¨spiritual enlightenment¨ will bring them a feeling of ¨oneness ¨ or ¨bliss¨. I have found that fundamentally these are all feelings in the body.

We all look for experience in the world, expecting to find it in objects. People, things, substances… It is true that these sometimes bring a certain measure of relief as we satisfy whatever desire started us on our search. But more often than not, after the honeymoon phase is over and the holiday buzz comes to an end, we begin craving for those states again (and often in addictive ways).

One reason that I became so interested in hypnosis, was the idea that anything that we experience in our subconscious mind or ¨unconscious¨ our body immediately begins to reproduce as if it were totally real. Often in hypnosis, people can begin to feel those profound states of freedom, excitement and union in ways that they can literally only imagine.

Through having ¨inner-mind¨ journeys, you learn in a direct way that wherever you go, you take your mind with you. Through knowing your inner-world of thoughts (the very building blocks of experience) in this personal way, your mind become something truly profound for you…something that stays with you and something that changes your view of what is possible. Actively engaging in this way begins a relationship with your deeper sense of self to the point where you can go beyond simply surface level of experience.

When you have the relief or pleasure (or any other state) that one can from exploring this, you begin to realize something: often our learning in life is thrust upon us; people have deep, life changing shifts in perspective from the trials presented by our circumstances. We learn from hard times and can be tested, time and time again.

And then there is the learning that we choose, first hand…the deeper learning that comes from relaxing and diving deep into our inner experience.

If having new, profound and possibly game changing experiences is something that calls to you, the Experiential Hypnosis sessions that I conduct are the perfect way to begin that journey.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 November 5th, 2015|General|0 Comments

Mind control and hypnosis

One thing that stops many people from benefitting from the incredible power of hypnosis is the idea of it being used as “mind control“.

Cue scary music. Let’s talk about myth of mind control.

Often people have some false impressions about hypnosis being some form of mind control. The hysteria created by the George Du Maurier´s evil hypnotist character “Svengali” in the 1894 novel Trilby can still be felt today by the practicing hypnotherapist.

In this novel (a bestseller of it’s time), the hypnotic relationship between Svengali and the heroine Trilby O´Ferrall created the modern public perception of hypnosis. This work inspired The Phantom of the Opera and countless books and movies have propagated this idea

Why? It’s sexy and it sells.

The way many stage performers and mentalists use this dangerous allure as a type of persona and marketing tactic has brought the archetypal “evil mind controlling hypnotist” into the collective consciousness and created a whole host of popular misconceptions about what it can be used for.

People ask me “do you have the power to make me do something that I wouldn’t normally do?” I really don’t like answering questions with questions, but this one…

Do you allow other people in your life to have the power to get you to do something you wouldn’t normally do? Parents? Politicians? What about religious figures? The issue here is not hypnosis: it’s trust.

The therapeutic relationship is one of trust. I trust the client to give me the best information about their particular condition so I can help them, and they can trust that I will use all of my skills and experience to help them.

I make sure that they understand that hypnosis is a natural, safe, scientifically proven way to use the mind’s own abilities to affect positive change in ones life. All the work I do has a strong base in scientific evidence, my own experience and previous and ongoing training.


If people are particularly apprehensive, I might choose to point out that according to de-classified (Project MK-ultra) documents, the CIA and soviet KGB spent many years and a lot of resources trying to use hypnosis to control people. The fact is that they were unable to do it, and the mindless controlled people we see in movies like Frank Sinatra (or Denzel Washington) in The Manchurian Candidate are purely a work of fiction.

I might humorously point out that if it was so easy to control people’s minds, then why am I not ¨king of the world¨ yet? Why don’t I find the richest person I know, hypnotize them and have them give me all of their money? Hmmm?

I would also like to mention that even in stage shows with accomplished professional hypnotists, people will not respond to suggestions that are against their personal morals (the most well-known case is of Paul McKenna and the participant who would not dance in hypnosis because ¨it was against their religion¨).

If the idea of mind control scares you, good! It’s all around you (politics, advertising, etc.).

But if it stops you from trying a powerful process that can only improve your life, then please think again!

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 October 22nd, 2015|Mind control, myths|0 Comments