I started an inner discovery of myself through Counselling in 1998. I found a lovely French lady in her 50’s when I was living in Cheltenham and I just about managed in energy and finances to journey down to Bristol for a session a week to begin with. I can recall after the first appointment I didn’t want to go for anymore as I didn’t see it as the thing to help me to recover from really poor health back then. I called her to say I wasn’t going to go for the follow up session but somehow managed to come off the phone 20 minutes later having arranged another “just to say goodbye” in her words. I continued to see her for nearly 2 years from that point and she did help me come to terms with a few issues but generally I kept everything in, smiled my way through sessions and played the “denial card” yet continuing to moan about how my parents were treating me and how they had treated me throughout my life. I occasionally dipped into some of the traumatic things that had occurred before I hastily stuffed those feelings well and truly back down again. I cried maybe one tear. I didn’t do emotions, and particularly not there!

I finished my sessions with Pierette in the Summer of 2000 and I do remember feeling I’d moved on a little bit in my understanding of myself, but I wouldn’t have ended it had she not moved away from the area. I will always be very grateful to her, and even though it hadn’t changed a whole amount – I do see it as a part of my development into how I practice now as well as a very early stage of my inner healing even though it was all just conscious. I then sought another Counsellor locally as I had moved back to near the area where I was brought up, but the rapport was never the same and I consciously decided to go it alone and on some level I managed to. A couple of years later I was not only studying it in order to be able to become a Counsellor in the evenings whilst managing to work part-time with another job, I had also entered it again as a client as it was free to students who received it from other students who were in their final year of graduation.

It wasn’t quite as good as before, but I found it a support as within six months of my re-entering Counselling and its Classical Therapeutic structure my Sister and her boyfriend were in a terrible car accident (none of which was their fault), a car had careered over the white “stop and give way” markings and directly into Ashley’s door at over 40mph. He suffered such terrible head trauma as a result and died some four days later in intensive care. I gave up my studies at the end of that year and just decided it wasn’t powerful enough and did I really want a life where I was listening to other people’s problems all of the time, whilst possibly downloading all of those negative emotions? I continued with my personal Counselling however and just took a break from studying it to find out what I really wanted to do with my life as my health was still quite a major concern even though I had made some small breakthroughs I knew I could still get wiped out by life so very easily and I felt like I was a mere stick in the wind, broken from a strong branch and ready to be snapped at any point if put under too much pressure. Within another year I found myself in hospital for a whole month with an acute reaction to a virus which had paralysed me down the left hand side of my body and although the Counselling had helped somewhat ultimately if felt like a sticking plaster masking over the wounds of my life.

I can recall texting the Counsellor I had been seeing after leaving hospital and asking whether we could return to having some sessions again and her reply was truthful, honest but blunt. “I think our sessions have come to an end really, because you’re just suffering from fear and I’m not sure how else to help you other than what we have done”. I felt rejected, abandoned and it was another nail into my coffin of “this is hopeless and my life is getting worse and worse”. Two months later, after suffering from such Chronic Depression for years as a result of having such a Chronic Disease no one knew how to help me with for even more years, I made my most conscious effort of all to finally end my life. I survived very, very luckily from an overdose of sleeping pills and three quarters of a bottle of spirits on a Monday night and by Wednesday morning I was back at work for an hour before my Grandfather’s funeral. I was comatose for about 20 hours and I discuss in an interview with the author Annie Cap what I went back to experience in Hypnosis in regression during that time which slowly came to my consciousness over the subsequent years that followed.

It was another eighteen months later when I discovered a therapist and coach down in London who specialised in helping his patients to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it was there with him that I learned that the past I had so eagerly and angrily battled on about in Counselling actually was directly related to my getting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I nearly went into meltdown as a result, not knowing how on earth to process that past. I remember walking around saying “I’ll have a brain hemorrhage if I go into all of that”. There was just way too much and I just didn’t know how to cope. The suicidal feelings came back, but paradoxically also with it, a ray of hope also which I hadn’t experienced before. This was blended with a new found voice in my head which I now attribute to my Higher Self that had actually saved me from taking my life that night, it had simply said “you haven’t done everything yet”. It was enough for me to stick my fingers down my throat and then drink lots of water. Fortunately I awoke the following day albeit at 5pm in the afternoon.

The healing that came from my work with him was slow, very slow, but with the aids of EFT, NLP, Clinical Hypnotherapy and Enneagram Mentoring and Coaching it became hopeful, even though incredibly challenging during those first few stages of the journey back to health. It wasn’t plain sailing by any stretch to begin with as there were such massive traumas, limiting belief conditioning and neglect to deal with and I couldn’t see the forest for the trees for the first year. Yet it began to feel that slowly the forest was being cut down and the bigger trees (from more impactive traumas and conditioning) had fallen and crushed some others as a result and I was aware of some inner space that I hadn’t felt since a very, very young child. I now know I was beginning to make peace with it all at an unconscious level more so than conventional therapy had ever, ever done. Although Counselling had been useful from the perspective of getting me to that place of understanding it consciously and “psychologically digesting” it, it had in no way begun to help me to “emotionally digest” it and there is a HUGE difference in that. I’d base that being the main difference between what I do and what Counselling and Psychotherapy offer in my opinion, both personally and professionally.

On the road to wellness and peace I immersed myself in the field of it all. I couldn’t read very well, as I’d had brain fog for years and am mildly Dyslexic (always missing out words in sentences without realising, so writing and reading was a real challenge). I could absorb only so much from literature but I found old cassette tapes on NLP and the unconscious mind, and then borrowed and bought CD’s, DVD’s, mp3’s and got books from libraries, friends, fellow students and literally everywhere I could. I did absolutely everything on the cheap as I had so little money and such a small income from part-time work but sooner rather than later I began to read and hear about other amazing transformational journeys just as much as the Therapist and Coach I was seeing who was also an author. Alex Howard had written “Why Me? My Journey From M.E To Health and Happiness” and it was on the strength of reading about his journey and doing a similar Unleash the Power Within Tony Robbins seminar which involved a barefoot firewalk, that I decided to commit to going down to see him for sessions at least to gain more of an understanding from someone who claimed to be well again.

I also remember reading a double spread article in The Daily Mail (Click Here) of an Irishman named Dermot O’Connor who’d healed himself of an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis after immersing himself in Hypnosis, NLP and a similar version to EFT (TFT) as well as Qi Qong and acupuncture. On the front cover was a quote by Paul McKenna which said “An essential guide to improving your health”. After being diagnosed and going through the trauma of that and deciding not only did he want to live, that he also wanted to find a way of overcoming it too so he listened daily to some Paul McKenna Confidence tapes and noticed after a few months that his symptoms were less and thus decided to write to him to thank him. It was only after getting a reply did he then also begin to link up the effect that stress has to play in not only getting better from health but also why someone’s health becomes so bad in the first place i.e the body doesn’t make mistakes. It responds to unconscious thinking which come from core beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us.

I’ve never heard of anyone ever recovering from such an illness through Counselling and Psychotherapy – but I have found an abundance of people who’ve recovered from Chronic Disease of all kinds and read how their “alternative” treatments involved the tools of which I now use with clients on a daily basis. This way of working at a deeply unconscious level in all kinds of slightly different ways releases the negative past feelings and so you can gain peace and harmony back into your life and thus recover from poor health too. I spent some time with the amazing Fiona Shakeela Burns in 2008 who has recovered twice from a terminal diagnosis of Cancer who worked on her emotions and massively alkalised her body.

I have also met numerous Hypnotherapists who’ve made similar Cancer recovery journeys but prefer to stay out of the public eye, who have told me of their traumatic diagnosis which they first had to work on and gain peace on before embarking on their healing journey after that. The 500 books or so I eagerly read on my own journey involved people such as Niro Markoff Asistent who wrote “Why I Survive Aids” (who still remains symptom free and continues to work helping others Click Here) as well as “Self Healing : My Life And Vision” by Meir Schneider who was born blind and taught himself how to see. Two other books that come to mind are “Healing Back Pain” by John Sarno, who understands that the majority of symptoms with backs are what he calls TMS or Tension Myositis Syndrome (which is unconscious unease in certain muscles in someone’s back) which when the emotion is unconsciously released and thus healed, it makes someone’s back ache go away. I’d also like to mention “Thank God I…” which was created by John Castagnini who put together a book written by his clients after successfully treating them with NLP and Coaching on their journey through some of the worst things you could imagine after they had come to the realisation they were truly thankful they had attracted that “negative” experience into their life and come through it and out the other side after some considerable inner healing.

NLP is also seen in abundance in Advertising and Marketing where some well known and respected NLP Coaches are paid vast sums to help in the promotion of various products and services and are personally invited to offer their expertise. It is also seen in Management Coaching on a one-to-one as well as in Trainings and Leadership Conferences and Seminars and is often attributed to being the catalyst for personal change within CEOs, Directors and the like where they also significantly create a positive change in the mood, effectiveness and efficiency with individuals within an organisation. I have met NLP Coaches who charge the price of a small family car for such a small amount of highly impactive and life changing work.

Although I’m qualified in Clinical Hypnotherapy, EFT and Coaching I’ll perhaps leave The Co-Creator of NLP, Dr Richard Bandler to sum up NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) in relation to all that I do being more impactive than traditional Psychological methods. For the amusing and informative full interview click on the link below…

An edited transcript from the BBC2 Radio Show where the Presenter Jeremy Vine interviewed him recently on NLP…

JV – I thought what people do when they go into these therapies (in Classical Psychology) is they talk about the stuff and by talking about it they get better.
RB – Really? I find they get worse. Classic Psychology is based on the notion that if you understand where you went wrong and what’s wrong with you then somehow magically you’re going to change.
JV : Some scientists say that Neuro-Linguistic Programming is not supported by scientific evidence at all.
RB: Are those social scientists or REAL scientists?
JV : Well they’re scientists without an adjective before the word scientist!
RB: Well it makes a BIG difference! To me real science is that you could take 20 people who are terrified of elevators and and then 20 minutes later they can ride up and down without fear, to me that’s a measurement. It’s not whether or not statistically it can be repeated by someone doesn’t know how to do it…
JV : Is there something where you think you’re not quite happy in your life and you’re still practicing or are you there, you’ve reached the state everyone’s searching for?
RB: Well, I’m not foolish enough to think I’m trying to achieve a “State Of Consciousness”, I enjoy most of everything that I do, I have a very good life, I get to meet all kinds of geniuses and find out how they think about things I’ve met some great people…
JV : It doesn’t make you happy all of that, it’s made you happy but it doesn’t make everyone else happy.
RB: Well I’m not in this world to make everyone else happy, that’s not my JOB.
JV : Well maybe you’re just a happy person?
RB: I don’t think i started out that way, I had to have something interesting do. I think that when humans have a mission in their life, where they’re doing something that they enjoy doing – they are happier. I believe human beings also are a lot happier when they have a purpose and they need to find what the purpose is and what they enjoy doing. To me NLP is not a therapy where you go in and repair a person that’s not what this is about, NLP is about optimising the life of a person by giving them a variety of states of consciousness, and a variety of ways to think so that they have choices.