Expand your life potential with Paul McKenna’s new book

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Often, I work with people who have been labelled “incurable” and yet I am able to treat them successfully, not because I possess some magic power, but because new psychological technology means we now have a better understanding of the structure of human thinking and behaviour.

There are definitely some benefits to talking therapies – it can be helpful to get something off your chest and to post-rationalise something traumatic from the past – but generally, I don’t find trying to “talk things through” to be as effective in solving life’s psychological and behavioural problems as my techniques.

Too often I’ve met people who’ve been in therapy for decades and can explain their problems in detail – without it making any difference to their dysfunctional behaviour.

This is because many traditional talking therapies are based on the idea that understanding your issue provides a cure – talking through upsetting experiences means you will eventually reach a realisation about why you do dysfunctional things.

But this obsession with digging into a person’s past can mean reliving traumatic memories over and over again, which can actually leave the patient feeling worse.

My objective is to re-code the way we interpret things, so we’re no longer bothered by them, but can keep all the learning without the dysfunctional effect.

The field of psychology has become obsessed with labelling people’s problems, so that a drug can be prescribed. It’s not just that this model is good for business, this obsession with looking at how people are broken and labelling them is part of the culture that emerged from the work of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.

Like many therapists these days, I have no regard for the work of Freud and consider many of his ‘theories’ to have been counterproductive. Some years ago, I met a Freudian analyst who asked me why I hated myself. I replied that I wasn’t aware I did and indeed how did she know? She replied, “Because we all hate ourselves.”

The point of Freudian analysis, she said, was not to ‘cure’ people, but to help them understand why they are phobic. I explained why I thought that was unhelpful by a simple metaphor – if I take my car to the garage and ask them to fix it and they say they can’t, but they can tell me why my car is broken, it’s not going to be much use.

I am an effective hypnotist because my life is about constantly giving positive suggestions to people, but in different ways. Sometimes these take a very simple form: “You will stop smoking,” or: “You will become totally confident,” or: “You will be a happier person for the rest of your life.”

Other times, I use a gentle avalanche of continual indirect suggestions embedded in what appears to be conversation and stories that have layers of meaning for someone’s unconscious mind.

For me, behavioural modelling is where the most exciting developments are taking place. This is a process of codifying someone’s dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaviour so we can change them – or, equally, codifying the patterns of thinking and behaviour of somebody who is a model of excellence, so they can be taught to anyone.

In other words, if somebody has a dysfunctional set of strategies, by understanding their structure, it becomes easy to replace them with functional ones.

Analytical therapies often concentrate on understanding why you do something – but not necessarily providing you with the tools solution to change it.

For example, people who drink too much might picture a glass with ice cubes clinking and imagine the sound of alcohol pouring into the glass, then the first sip, the taste, the feeling and the sequence of sounds and pictures in their minds.

However, re-coding that will change behaviours. Recognising the steps that lead to a certain behaviour and interrupting that pattern and putting another pattern in place will give you the tools to modify whatever behaviour you would like to change.

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See me live on my positivity uk tour

Paul McKenna is taking Positivity on the road with a series of exclusive live shows across the UK and Ireland. Express readers can use the code below for a 20 per cent discount on tickets for the 90-minute events this month.

Shows take place in London (March 12); Manchester (March 14); Birmingham (March 16); Edinburgh (March 19); Dublin (March 20); Belfast (March 22); and Bath (March 26).

During the events, you can learn how to: Take control of your thoughts and feelings; Control your fears; Have a calm, healthy, confident mind; Develop focus and mental strength; Adapt to problems and challenges so that you can overcome virtually anything; Create your compelling future; Become powerfully motivated; Discover your drive, passion and power to go for what you truly want; and Thrive in the new world.

“In these challenging times, these skillsets have never been more necessary,” says Paul. “Turn off the fear, turn up your confidence, turn on your positivity!”

Visit mindbodyspirit.co.uk/mckenna for more information and bookings. Enter the code Express20 on the transaction page where it says “Enter promo code” to claim your exclusive 20 percent discount.

Positivity: Confidence, Resilience, Motivation by Paul McKenna (Welbeck, £14,99). For free UK P&P on orders over £20, call Express Bookshop on 020 3176 3832 or visit www.expressbookshop.com

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