I have other stories about my self-hypnosis experiments: the wisdom tooth extractions and the recordings aimed at improving my net game in tennis. But I thought I would digress and tell you other people’s stories. One of the funniest is about a student I saw who was very distressed about some aspect of his sexuality/sexual performance. However, he wouldn’t tell me what the problem was. I helped him construct a hypnosis script (mostly reframing) that asked the unconscious mind to invent safe alternatives to his problem and enact them in the near future. He popped his head around the door a couple of weeks later to thank me for solving his problem!

I was at U.T.,S. as student and staff counsellor for 26 years till 1995 and wrote my book in the early 1980’s. Roughly six years ago (c.2011) I received a call from a Graeme Taylor who had worked in U.T.,S. Student Records for many years. He said that in fairness he ought to tell me that in about 1986 the whole department set out to debunk my book by making relevant recordings and playing them back. He said every single person benefited in some way, nothing negative whatsoever. He said his bad back had improved and the person with the worst debilitating condition had overcome his dental phobia, which was making him ill. I remember at the time that David Apps was suffering from decades of untreated teeth.

That was very kind of Graeme because you often don’t get reliable feedback. So many issues seem resolved but you can’t be sure. Just looking at the physical treatments: new cancer drug discovered, big rally. New cancer drug not working, people die rather speedily. Hope, belief and the placebo effect (all due for enormous respect) can delay the inevitable. And we all know about weight loss, alcoholism, smoking and the relapses.

It is possible for the unconscious mind to achieve amazing things, and we need to acknowledge that the conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg, not very powerful or influential.