Resolving to change. Better?

Its appears that all the work I’ve been doing these last many months in order to create an effective background awareness is beginning to bear fruit. The balance is shifting.

New clients are finding out about me and more importantly, getting in touch. Training is beginning to shift towards Learning: Who you are affects how you Learn. It seems obvious when you think about it but until you think about it isn’t. People are beginning to think. I’m even coaching and therapising (made up word) via Skype as I have long hoped to do. It really is coming together.

There have been some really tricky issues to help client find their solution to. It’s challenging and very rewarding.

And sometimes amusing. The capacity of the human brain to find sideways metaphors to communicate with itself is astounding. Imagine sitting in the therapist chair as a client opens their eyes and smiling hugely, declares:

‘You will NEVER guess where I’ve just been! I’ve just been in a wheel-barrow, being pushed across a high-wire strung perilously above Niagara Falls by a world-famous hire-wire dare-devil!’ [With kind permission of the client]

Why? To learn trust, apparently.

And who was the world-famous hire-wire chappie? Jesus! Well why not? After all, He’s probably got a great sense of balance and a head for heights. And not a bad teacher, by all accounts.

And the truly astounding part? The client came up with the imagery entirely unprompted. That’s the fascination with non proscriptive hypnotic language. It frees the client to work with their own imagination. It’s incredibly powerful. All it takes is a carefully crafted and somewhat skilfully applied nudge in the right direction. Nudge theory? Maybe.

You’ll no doubt be aware that a slice of the work to create fertile ground to enable clients to think of me when they need help is my monthly mental-health well-being column in one of our city magazines, ‘Only Peterborough’.

January’s article focussed, a little traditionally perhaps, on that phenomenon of New Year Resolutions and why some work and others don’t, sometimes because the timing is wrong or the resolution is just too big. Sometimes they fail because of a lack of support through the inevitable self-sabotage that goes hand in hand with best intentions.

Here’s what I had to say:

Changing for the Better               

It’s that time of year again. Christmas and New Year have been and gone, the fun and festivities are over and the world is full of opportunity. It’s the traditional time to start afresh with life-changing resolutions, which some go on to achieve with envy-inducing ease.

But for many of us, New Year’s Resolutions fade away into best intentions and we carry on just as we were before. So why are some New Year Resolutions successful whilst others fail?

Perhaps it’s the type of resolution you choose. Adding good habits can succeed more often than stopping bad ones. Maybe this is why the most popular 2013 Resolution was reading more books but stopping smoking was only 26th.

Another trick is sharing the effort. To change a habit, your free-will has to wrestle your Unconscious mind. Given that your Unconscious controls your habitual decisions, this is a tough fight! Exercising with a friend or taking that lunchtime walk with a colleague can make all the difference, sharing the mental effort as well as the Resolution.

Be precise. If you want to ‘lose weight’, how much do you need to lose? By deciding to ‘lose 10 lbs in 4 weeks’ you can measure your success. If you only manage 7 lbs, that’s success too. Think of it like passing with 70%. All progress is positive.

The key point is this: Your Unconscious uses habits to keep you safe or bring you comfort and it really doesn’t want to change. So if you don’t keep your New Year Resolution, it’s just that your Unconscious stills needs to be convinced that you’re right. If this you, then the support of someone trained to help is invaluable.

And once you look, you might be surprised at the help you can find.

See you soon?


Only Peterborough magazine: website

Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy: website

Learning Coaching: What’s it all about?

Hypnotherapy MP3 Downloads: Pain Relief; Migraine Relief; Healing; Relaxation; Mindfulness

If you want to talk to me or ask any questions about what I do, please feel free to email me at:

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Next Steps?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

New year. New beginnings, (and other clichés)

It’s just a function of timing, nothing else. That said, I’m getting so wrapped up in the minutiae of everything I’ve learned that I keep finding myself cross checking my statements in case there’s more to it because the plain and obvious just feels wrong when you’re so used to peering beneath the surface.

If you’ve been keeping up, not with the Jones’s, good neighbours to have though they are by the way, although to be fair I’m using this as a metaphor for the knowledge my co-hypno-questies have been accumulating rather than the physical possessions of the aforementioned ex-Welsh family with whom as luck would have it, we are pretty much on a par, then you might find yourself recognising that old AD/K rep system mix up we discussed so fully way back in September. Check it out, it might help.

So, traditional digression duly digressed, let’s return to the topic I’ve not really started yet.

I graduate this weekend becoming a fully trained, licensed  insured and practising Cognitive Hypnotherapist.

The not-another-New-Year’s-Resolution aspect of all this is that I intend to earn at least half my income this year via hypnotherapy clinics for fertility difficulties and chronic pain management. Now the AD modal operator, (misnomer but sounds good), of my thinking has picked up that a certain number amongst you know that this is not a particularly smart objective. (Specific, Measurable, etc. feel free to complete the ART of your choice). I could for instance, achieve this imprecise goal simply by matching the remainder of my income to whatever I do end up earning from these clinics and still tick the box of successful goal achievement. However, as the hitherto secondary rep system is Kinaesthetic, even though it operates at exactly the same level as my chattering AD, I really don’t care. I know what I mean and that’s enough, which in itself is an indication of just how much I’ve learned about the mind and more importantly, my own mind.

It’s just possible that as time runs its course this year I may flip, (yes I can see you smiling at the back), dominant rep systems and try out at K/AD instead of AD/K. As far as I can tell there’s little difference except in volume of tissues required and smiles generated and if you sniggered at this point, you’re obviously way too immature, it’s your own time you’re wasting. According to my 2012 guide and mentor, young Mr Silvester, he of Quest and Love Birds fame, (this is a prediction for 2013 by the way), most AD prominence is based on early experience and the decision that it’s better to talk to yourself than risk whatever the younger you might have perceived as risky at the time. Now that I know how to know better than that, I may just do that very thing, to quote John Omally from back in his Brentford days.

But there is another co-incidental timing to add to this. The bulk of my alter ego consulting in the last eighteen months has been in assisting the advising populace to achieve that regulatory goal of arriving in 2013 with QCF level 4 Diploma in hand, hence enabling them continue their aforementioned professional professionings. Despite the best efforts of ancient Mayans, 2013 duly arrived and those that achieved duly achieved and drastically reduced the immediate consulting opportunities presenting themselves in my general direction.

This is one of the twin drivers of my ending up at Quest in the first place. Not being especially prescient but fully able to read writings when they’re daubed colourfully enough on walls, I could see this one coming a mile off. I needed to find further strings for my bow and possibly even other metaphoric earnings weaponry altogether.

The other of the twins who was driving at the time was, (not naked or even a sister, which was possibly the oddest of the internet search terms which have lead readers to find this blog), I wanted to regain that lost aspect of my earlier roles and rediscover the means to help people develop in some way. I have to say that I’ve lost the urge to drive for targets any more which probably explains my less than precise objectivising earlier, so I was looking to find a way to eventually travel the therapy path I’ve been looking at over the years where the lawns look less well manicured but decidedly more replete in chlorophyll.

There will be those who see all this as serendipity, (one of those words which I never really  got on with as, just like paradigm, I find it all too shifty for comfort), but I still maintain that when things just seem to come together it can always be traced back to time, effort and persistence. There’s no such thing as luck. There’s hard work and making sure that you’re always in the right place with your thumb out when opportunity comes driving by. Oh, and if it doesn’t stop, jump on board anyway and risk the bumps and bruises. As they like to say, that which doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, (thanks to Mr West, lyric reference duly referenced), although there are times to judge just how much you want to risk your future on a random leap into the unknown and as random is something I don’t do, I usually measure my risks.

So I measured this risk. I looked before I leaped. And I leaped. This was indeed the time for action although as a further lyric reference that one really is showing its age, even though it may indeed be time to be free.

So in the end, 2013 is going to be the year when, after many long hours spent in holiday bars wondering whether there was a better way to earn a living, that I do that very thing once more and earn my living in a better way.

As I said, it’s not a resolution. It’s not an intention. There’ really is a future me out there. One that’s had that HPD for some time. One that’s helped countless clients to relieve their pains and potentially many more to find themselves pregnant, as long as that’s OK with Gill of course.

But there is something that I have to do first. I have to travel to London for one final weekend. The boxes that needed ticking have been ticked. The learnings that had to be learnt were absorbed and more to the point put into practice. All that’s left are backs to be patted, hugs to be hugged, Diplomas to be awarded and photos to be taken. And Pizza. You have to celebrate in style and we Cognitive Hypnotherapists, (newly qualified ones, at that), surely know how to eat a celebratory Pizza.

There will no doubt be tears to be shed. Not mine though, that AD/K metamorphosis is planned in for later this year. Honest.

So as my journey draws to a close, I’ll need to find a new focus for this blog, although I may just let it run along under it’s own steam and see where it takes us all. It’s time for the new journey to begin. If you’d like to join in, then stay tuned. I’ll be back, as I’ve said before.

And if you’d like to discuss your own journey, why not get in touch? As from Monday, I’m open for business.

The End.

just waiting for the Pizza © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

just waiting for the Pizza
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013