Really this should read “a very brief report indeed” as a title as I cannot possibly do justice to the full event or offer up an exhaustive account of the multi layers that contributed to such a great convention. I write this exclusively from my point of view, others have massively varying and equally enjoyable tales to tell and this report does not cover all the conversations, fun, drinks and discussion that went on here, there and everywhere throughout the past 5 days. Though I have included a number of pictures here, you can take a look at my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages for more snapshots taken.
Things began for me last Wednesday night when I arrived at the Renaissance hotel, checked into my room, had a couple of drinks and dinner with organiser Nick Ebdon. Nick showed me around the venue and I got a tour of the presentation rooms and seminar rooms (including a sneak peak at the quirky main lecture theatre). The next morning, we got up and had breakfast, laughed a great deal and before I knew it, I was in class running my pre-convention seminar “The Science of Self-Hypnosis for Hypnotherapists.” I tend to go into a lot of detail about the subject in the morning, teach the research-informed protocols and the background to it’s development before we spend the latter part of the seminar testing all that we do in practical ways.
As well as teaching my delegates how to create hypnotic phenomena for themselves, we built up to quite sophisticated processes including glove anaesthesia and using mirrors to create self-misidentification (using self-hypnosis and a mirror to create a delusion of someone else). It was wonderfully well received by my students who attended from all over the world (including people traveling in from Brazil and Australia, which I just love).
I had a couple of drinks with delegates afterwards, and got to see some friends and fellow presenters who were arriving but opted to have an early night as I had my busiest day of the convention the very next day.
With my lecture and presentation, I opened up proceedings at the convention on the Friday morning talking about the science of placebo, it’s relationship with hypnosis, the mechanisms that make it effective and did a fun demonstration drawing on an event I used to run at Glastonbury music festival over 20 years ago. Here I am as people were arriving that morning.
I had some great feedback and spent a lot of time throughout the weekend discussing it with attendees who seemed to have a great appetite for this subject and the research behind our subject matter in general. I also mentioned my hypnosis geek manifesto at the end of my presentation, I have a self-induced sense of obligation to do so wherever possible and this year’s sci-fi themed hypnosis geek badges adorned many of the attendees lapels which was lovely for me to see and share.
I was really pleased with how it went overall and having signed a number of books in the interval, dealt out a large number of hypnosis geek badges, I headed out to watch and sit in on as many presentations as I possibly could.
I cannot understand people who attend a convention with so much richness and diversity who do not attend as many presentations as possible. I speak often about professional development and about not attending conventions and conferences just to confirm what you already know, and seek to learn more, be stimulated, be healthily challenged and so on. Some of you will know that I have offered some debate and occasional opposition to the topic of hypnotic regression, so I headed to watch Hansreudi Wipf talk on this subject, and I also enjoyed his presentation about the Hypnosis-science project that he is undertaking at a Swiss University. I found it very stimulating and I have invited Hansreudi onto my podcast to come and share and speak about the project.
Then after lunch and plenty of hypnosis geek discussion and debate I went to watch a presentation given by the phenomenon that is Alberto Dell’Isolo where he discussed effective use of social media for hypnosis professionals, and I got a lot of value from that, and it reminded me of some adjustments that I can be making to the way I use social media.
I then headed straight over to watch Helen Bremner speaking about the use of hypnosis to help with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), throughly enjoyed the presentation, reaffirmed lots about the effectiveness and evidence base for the use of hypnotherapy for IBS and we got to see some brilliant slides about different types of poo; Gary Turner told me he was type number 4 that day, I thanked him for letting me know (even his poo is awesome!).
It was at that moment that Melissa Tiers said to me that sitting with Nick Ebdon and I was like sitting with Beavis and Butthead….
Next up, I went to watch my good friend James Brown talk about “the magic of suggestion” – though James informed us he had tweaked things due to his own ongoing development since he originally submitted his presentation proposal. I always enjoy what James does and have a lot of bias – I think what made this year’s presentation by James so popular was his ability to ruffle feathers in an agreeable way. I suppose some might think he is ideally positioned to challenge the status quo with him not being a therapist and being more of a performer. I enjoyed this, it was bold and I had a satisfactory smile on my face throughout – him and I speak the same language in many ways – perhaps due to our years of friendship and time spent together, or just perhaps because at heart he is an incredibly likeable person.
Finally, I went in to see Gary Turner. He was offering his presentation live via facebook as well as from the convention and it was a performance to behold. You need to hold on tight when Gary presents as he goes fast and crams a LOT into what he offers. He is dedicated to offering as much usefulness and value as he can. He is a major giver. People love him for that.
As I told him when I said goodbye to him at the end of the convention, I thought this was the best delivery I have seen from him and I’ve seen him present a great deal in the past and this was on topic throughout, and offered up major coherence considering the amount of information on offer, it was a joy to watch – made easier with all the jokes that only Gary could get away with in his inimitable style.
I had dinner with friends that night and caught up with lots of the attendees and speakers before getting underway with the Friday night live panel. I was joined for the event by a panel comprising Jorgen Rasmussen, Alberto Dell’Isolo, Kate Beaven-Marks, Fredric Mau and Freddy Jacquin.
We discussed a variety of topics submitted by members of the UK hypnosis convention facebook group as well as a couple of questions answered on the night. It was a real success and the feedback has been incredibly positive. The answers were diverse and thought-provoking and I loved every minute of it. Alberto tried rounding everyone up for a group selfie at the end, and the main picture at the top of this blog post tells a tale of how that went (I love Jorgen being laid out on the table).
The next day, I attended Melissa Tier’s presentation about embodied cognition. I like to see her because she has such a contrasting presentation style to my own and I find it useful to seek out such contrast. As a side note, later on in the Saturday night event, when speaking to Melissa following her keynote speech, she was incredibly observant and recognised a major change in my body language that I had been masking, she gave me some real-life evidence of how good she is on this subject.
After that, I headed over to watch fellow UK presenter Kaz Riley talking on the subject of unlocking libido. This was very balanced, packed with information and drew upon a lot of experience and expertise and I learned a lot. I also have to admit to more childish giggles at some aspects of the subject matter and realised that I was potentially being one of the guys that Kaz referred to in her presentation. Kaz had a great manner and absolutely the right manner and tone for a presentation of this nature and for the work that she does. She demonstrated a beautiful balance of straight speaking (she is a proper Yorkshire lass) and gentle, reassuring empathy that would give anyone a lot of confidence with regards to working with her.
The slide she showed with a turn of the century picture of a man with his hand up a lady’s dress referring to the “disease of the mid quarters from neck to knee” – absolutely cracked me up.
From there, I went to see Martin S Taylor present. I have known Martin for a number of years and had dinner with him the night before, he epitomises much of the healthy skepticism and critical thinking that I tend to think is lacking from much of the front line hypnotherapy field. He even goes hard at me by analysing the evidence I present, and is not entirely convinced with much of it. He also brazenly made reference to areas of other people’s presentations where he had sat in on and recommended questions should be asked.
He talked about the years of working as a stage hypnotist, spoke of his stance of what hypnosis is and how he conceptualises hypnosis and the mechanisms that make his shows effective and entertaining. He showed some wonderful archive footage from shows he had performed and I LOVED the demonstrations he did with the troop test, the random number generator and the headset pumping in the delayed voice as ways of showing what hypnosis can do.
Then I sat in on Freddy Jacquin’s presentation. Donning his Belgium football shirt as part of a lost world cup bet with Rob de Groof, Freddy had his sleeves already rolled up and got to work. Freddy is a phenomenal presenter in that he shows up and demonstrates what he does. He did impressive demonstration upon impressive demonstration of his skills and approaches to “rapid psychological change phenomena.”
What’s more, he then rounded it all off with a standout few moments for me, where he led a group hypnosis session for the packed theatre room which I enjoyed immensely. I had some drinks with him afterwards and as usual he had me laughing uncontrollable belly laughs with his contagious sense of humour. Thank you Freddy.
I stayed in that theatre room for Anthony Jacquin’s presentation and this was the first presentation I went to for indulgence sake. That is, I have seen this presentation before and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to watch it and be involved in it again. It was just as good as last time out (you can read a full account I gave a couple of years ago here).
I am a big fan of Anthony’s, he challenges a lot of my thoughts, introduces me to new ground that excites me and manages to easily straddle the diversity in our field with a degree of casualty unlike anyone else. I really appreciate that.
I had drinks with the crazy gang and caught up with some great friends….
Then got showered and changed for the gala dinner. This was the busiest gala dinner in the history of the event. Nick had brought in a band to play, the food was great, the company and vibe was positive and fun-filled and at the end we had the speeches.
This year’s keynote speaker Melissa Tiers, in the style that she is known for, paced around, gesticulated, laughed in that way that always disarms me (and only swore the once!) and endeared herself to everyone present. She spoke on a couple of themes and I enjoyed speaking to her afterwards about a couple of the points she had raised and I love the energy and enthusiasm of our discussions.
The revelry then ensued and if you follow anyone online who was there you will have seen loads of pictures.
Having missed Halloween with my children in the week prior, I had planned to head home for the Sunday and fireworks celebrations with my wife and children. In the last couple of months I have taught overseas a lot and ben away from home a great deal so it was just wonderful to be back at home, at the seaside, having roast dinner, rolling around with my children and our dog and being to relax in that way that you only can when in your own home.
So I missed the Sunday presentations, but had a great many friends telling me how that day went. In particular I want to mention two of my close friends, graduates of my college and incredible ambassadors for the hypnotherapy field; Lucy Hyde and Karen Puttick who delivered exceptional presentations and fully represented so much of the ethos at the heart of this college.
So much else happens in between all this stuff. I got to see the group of my friends from Denmark who I have worked with a great deal in the past year, I got to do the same with my friends from Iceland who were there again, and I got to hang out with guys on my seminar who had travelled from Australia and who I will be working with in the future over there. I got to organise collaborations with friends in Romania as well as friends in Brazil. I enjoyed belly laughs and high brow discussions with a range of characters and individuals so incredibly diverse that it brings a smile to my face thinking of them all right now. You know who you are – my heartfelt thanks for making this such a great experience for me.
I’ve not mentioned Nick Ebdon, the organiser and good friend of mine, simply because I plan on dedicating more words to him in coming days and weeks as he is stepping down from his role as organiser of the event. The field is in his debt, and he leaves one heck of an incredible legacy behind him. If you are involved in this field, I cannot recommend attending this event highly enough.
Has this piqued your interest in this field? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies? Explore the pages of this website.
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
2. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.