A Dream Life for the Asking

Part 1 - A journey into the power of hypnosis, from 'The Authorities' with Dr Tom Barber

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"There is an enchanting transformation between sleeping and waking.

It is a fleeting moment as you emerge out of deep, relaxed slumber, before the demands of the day come tumbling in on your world. It is also a magical moment of pure potentiality that contains seeds of inspiration or solutions to that insolvable problem that has hounded you for days. Just as you’re about to reach out for that breakthrough thought that teeters on the edge of your consciousness, the alarm clock rings, your smartphone dings a text message alert, your baby cries or your dog is baying for food. And you lose, as if gone, that thread of inspiration.

Have you experienced those moments when you say “But I just had it in my hand, it was right there!” only to realize that creativity has tenuously slipped through your fingers?
What if you are able to access this state of pure potentiality as often as you want, when you want it? You may require some expert assistance in the beginning, to reprogram your beliefs that it is indeed possible. However, once you’ve exercised the “mental muscle” and familiarised your mind and body enough to this process, what do you think about being able to tap into this infinite source of creativity, inspiration, solutions and possibility at will? What if you can access this untapped power for health, for greater happiness and contentment, for peak performance and success, as if it were “second nature”? Because ... you can.
Hypnosis is the technology I use to usher people into deep trance states where they can connect to their inner power. Coined by James Braid, a 19th century Scottish surgeon, the term hypnosis comes from “Hypnos”, the Greek God of Sleep. You don’t fall asleep during hypnosis however; instead you enter a state of deep, calm relaxation during which you can work directly with your subconscious, that part of your mind that takes care of everything behind the scenes.
Back to that moment in the morning when you’re woken up by the barking of your dogs. From that point on, your conscious mind takes over; it goes through the checklist of what you’ve to do during the day, the meetings you’ve to attend, the chat you’re going to have with your boss or the travel plans you’ve to make for your next vacation. It seems as if the conscious mind is pulling the shots, but actually the subconscious mind is continually doing all the hard work.
It is the subconscious that keeps the heart beating, that tells your lungs to keep pumping oxygen around your body, which speeds up the movement of your legs as a car is threatening to run you down when you are crossing the street. When you cut yourself, you don’t think logically to yourself, “Okay, time for the blood to clot now and the white cells to come fight off infection!” All these seemingly simple, yet intricate reactions are silently and efficiently orchestrated by the powerful subconscious. Think of it as your life’s Control Panel.
The pure power of the subconscious is revealed in fleeting moments all the time, even when you’re asleep. We’re just not always aware it’s happening. When you’ve a stroke of inspiration or the genius of an idea, that moment of “divine Aha!” leaps out, as if a Jack-in-the-box, released into your conscious mind. The latter is often met, however, with the vast amounts of data, external stimuli, emotions and physical experiences that are part of your interaction with the world from moment to moment. The trick is to keep the genius intact, and to expand its reality in your conscious world. You can learn that too. The subconscious is the seat of imagination, impulse, creativity and emotion and is also the storehouse of your memories, which means it’s one mighty big reservoir. Tapping into it at will and harnessing its power can be truly awesome.


What does all this have to do with hypnosis? How can it reveal to us such inner power? Hypnosis takes you to that relaxed state, where your brain frequency literally slows down and where your subconscious mind can come to the front of the stage as the headline act and revel in the spotlight. In a hypnotic trance state, you remain alert but you’re incredibly focused, just as if you were fully engaged in a really good book or a compelling movie, in which you switch off external stimuli and are fully engaged in the world of the book or film, as if you were right there, in the story.

Hypnosis gives you the key to open the door to the subconscious, access its amazing wealth of information, creativity and resources and to anchor a positive mindset and feelings to be accessed at any point in the future. In this manner, you gain distinct control of your emotions and can manage your mindset for positive behaviour and essentially create the outcomes you’ve only ever dreamed of.

Let’s take an example. Let’s say you almost drowned when you were a little kid and you’ve then veered away from water. Now an adult, every time you approach the sea, you have a plunging feeling in your stomach. You feel left out on beach holidays because you’re afraid of being too close to water, you don’t even dip a toe in the swimming pool. However, you’ve fallen in love with a marine biologist and you feel that there’s something missing if you can’t share the love of being in the water with your new partner. Are you going to always stay on the sidelines or are you going to engage with life so you can have endless fun and build great memories with the love of your life? Which would you choose?
You’ve been dominated by fear surrounding the bad experience but with hypnosis, I can take away the sting of the anxiety and terror and any undesirable thoughts that creep up unwillingly at the sight of the ocean. I then help you replace those unhappy memories with a new, more desirable set of emotions and sensory experiences. I explore with you any feelings of fun, delight and sharing that you’ve encountered previously in doing something else like playing football or cooking with friends, and link those feelings with being in water. By taking these steps, we are together reprogramming your mind-body connection so that it reacts positively to swimming and everything associated with it, such as soaking up the warm sun, feeling the breeze, tasting the salt in the water, thriving in the adventure, and ultimately, enjoying more intimate love!
To ensure you can re-access this desirable state, I use a technique called Clenched Fist Auto Anchoring to make sure that these positive emotions are powerfully stored in your body’s memory. By “anchoring” this sensory experience and all its powerfully positive benefits that are meaningful to you, it ensures that you can retrieve or spark off the happy feelings and sensations around water any time you want, in any situation, at will.
Together, through hypnosis, we move you from a previously inhibiting fear to a pleasurable and fearless sense of freedom and adventure. Your whole world has just changed immeasurably. This is just one example. Hypnosis is effective in all situations, from helping you pass your driving exam, to overcoming your anxiety around public speaking, to surmounting weight problems, habits and low-esteem, to finding your life’s purpose and creating great success beyond your wildest dreams."

Continued in part 2, coming soon!

Extract from The Authorities, by Dr Tom Barber, Dr Sandra Westland, and Dr Joe Vitale.


Dr Tom Barber

Dr Tom Barber has 25 years of experience as an Existential and Integrative Psychotherapist, helping people through a vast array of difficulties. As well as being a bestselling author, his research interests include the study of emotion, and addiction. Tom teaches workshops and lectures throughout the world, and has gained international acclaim for his contributions to psychology, and psychotherapy.