What is P3?
Basically, this is how we train our students to BE with clients. This is about far more than what techniques you use with clients. It is actually about HOW you use those techniques. And it’s more than that – it is about how you are.
What atmosphere and environment are you creating? What expectations are you provoking? What future are you laying the foundations for?
When we teach this, it is usually off-the-cuff and probably takes about 5 minutes, but – between you and me – it is probably the most important thing we teach.
When you are sitting down with a client, you can aim to contribute towards the following kind of environment:
In such an environment, there is a tangible sense that anything could happen!
The first step of P3 is conveying an atmosphere of positive change. I would actually suggest that this is essential for all effective hypnotic encounters.
You can project – through your tone of voice, eye contact, and more – that you are not there primarily to impress your client, or test them. You are not predominantly seeking to make a name for yourself, or to make a fool of them.
You are, before all else, there to make good changes for them. Everything that takes place is for their good. Every single thing that occurs does so in that context.
Hypnosis is most effective when it is powerful. However, we should bear in mind that how you convey “power” is totally dependent on your personality, your style and the impression you want to give.
For example, if you look at some of the old school hypnotists like Gil Boyne, or modern-day folks like Jon Chase, they exude authority. That works for them, it is completely congruent and matches their personality and style of hypnosis.
Yet, it really does not work for me, personally. I am simply not like that… and I don’t want to be like that. And I don’t want to present hypnosis like that either.
Therefore, my preference is to employ phenomenal inductions. That is, every induction – in fact, every single thing – we go through with clients involves an actual experience of some kind. Phenomena is not a secondary stage with such a model. It is inherent in the most effective inductions.
All of these points are, of course, closely related. These are not 3 separate items. Instead, this is all one thing: a positive powerful presence. And that positive power is often seen most clearly in how PRESENT we are with out clients.
One of my slight misgivings with some of the ways that some people practice Street Hypnosis is that they can appear to pay more attention to their audience, than their client (or subject). Now, from a safety perspective, that can of course be precisely the right thing to do. The Street Hypnotist may be checking that they still have an audience, that no one too drunk is approaching them and so on. And, after all, it is a performance.
However, if the performance loses that positive focus we have mentioned, it risks treating the client like a tool, a prop, like a deck of cards, intended to make you look good.
I love the story I once heard of someone witnessing Stephen Brooks give a hypnosis demonstration to a room of students. Now, I heard this a few years ago, so I may not have remembered it all word for word. Yet the story goes that whilst Brooks was working with his client, he turned to them at one point and said something like, “in this moment, I would like you to know that you are the most important person in the world to me…” and then he carried on to demonstrate some technique or other.
Afterwards, the audience were invited to ask various questions about different techniques they had seen, or aspects of Brooks’ work that they had picked-up on. Then, at the end, one guy asked, “I noticed you tell the client that they were the most important person in the world to you. What was the reasoning behind that?” Brooks replied, “It was simply the truth. They were then the most important person in the world.”
I love that! Regardless of whether or not you think it’s helpful to say something like that to a client, I’m sure you can imagine the impact it has on a client to know that they have 100% of your focus and attention. That you are there – there and then – powerfully for their positive good.
All of this is about more than simply having a charismatic character, though that’s no doubt a part of it. It is about being there completely, powerfully, for their good.
When I first did my training it was suggested to me that the ultimate goal was to be able to hypnotise someone simply by being in the same room as them. It’s a worthy goal and something I have aspired to ever since. It is also something that P3 aims to facilitate.
I am convinced – and my clients and students and I have seen this time and time again – that when you approach people with a positive powerful presence the air itself crackles with possibilities.
When you set things up in that way – before, apparently, even beginning the hypnosis – you will find that there is magic in the air. You will see your client’s understanding of reality becoming just a little more pliable and their expectations begin to open wide in front of you.
And then you are ready to begin!