Transforming the edges into mainstream
Bruce Anderson – the path to Master Hypnotist
Bruce started out as a technical person – one of those bright kids who could easily master technical details. He recalls making a failed attempt at hypnosis at age 12 with a friend. The reward system that motivated him in his youth was excellent at rewarding intellectual achievements and absent at rewarding emotional growth. There were some qualities though that already showed that would eventually lead him to hypnosis:
- an ability to focus intense attention – to the extent of shutting out all other awareness
- a passion for excellence. In some ways, this is the big picture version of focused attention
One of the many things that Milton H. Erickson teaches is that we can learn a lot about someone from the details of the stories they remember loving as young children. Bruce’s two favourites were both about trains: the first was Tootle – a little engine who didn’t like to practice pulling trains with the other little engines but instead would jump the tracks and go off into a meadow to watch the clouds and enjoy the mysteries of nature. The second was Watty Piper’s The Little Engine Who Could – a story about a little engine who saved the day by not giving up. I.e. Follow the beat of your own drummer and never give up. Or, in our modern jargon, know your Desires and manifest your Destiny.
Fast forward a few decades. First marriage failed; not satisfied with his ability to handle the emotional side of his life, he turned to a psychiatrist. The referring doctor told him to avoid Freudian psychiatrists as he would “tie them in knots”! He ended up in a group therapy situation with a psychiatrist who was studying Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) at the time. That group leader recognized a talent for NLP style thinking and directed Bruce to the training.
That created a long spell of passion and study. Bruce received his Master Practitioner certificate from Richard Bandler. Study of Ericksonian Hypnosis was an integral part of the NLP curriculum in those days. The initial consequences of the NLP work were at a personal level. Bruce made a successful transition from back room programmer to manager and continued on to a successful career in technology, management and consulting. For most people the story would end “then he left the work force for a happy and comfortable retirement”. But not for a man with Bruce’s passion and drive.
He finally left regular salaried employment and reviewed his accomplishments. While financially successful, he was not satisfied with the mark he had left on the world. The most satisfying memories he had from his career were not the moments of delivering large successful projects to various vice presidents – they were the moments when staff he had trained sought him out to thank him for his help in getting their careers on track. He decided to return to the NLP world, repeated a training course and realized that all of the original NLP senior trainers were also accomplished hypnotists.
A new path! He studied Mark Cunningham’s New Curriculum on DVD, took NGH certification, went through Mike Mandel’s Architecture of Hypnosis track, worked with Igor Ledochowski and began the Toronto Hypnosis Explorers Meetup group. He taught hypnosis to beginners and took in clients – after 400 or so hours of pro bono work, he was ready to start charging professional fees. Biggest surprize? How powerful the need to protect clients while in trance.
He now has a calling:
Make the world a better place
by helping the people in it
become better people.
The “radical” approaches
The home page makes it clear that while TurnOn Toronto makes use of conventional methods, we also make use of approaches that many consider radical.
One of the most dangerous limiting mental behaviours that people have is that they hear (or see or read) something and immediately assume that they know exactly what it means. Most people hear the term “hypnosis” and immediately think “mind control”. Hollywood and stage hypnotists work hard to keep this illusion alive but it is far from reality.
OTHER aspects of our work that many consider radical are:
- Solving problems at an unconscious level and avoiding as much pain and discomfort as possible
- The hypnotist is in trance during trance work, right along with the client. It’s unconscious interacting with unconscious at as deep a level as possible.
- We don’t work on surface issues like smoking, simple anxiety and weight loss. We strongly believe that real life issues need to be addressed where they originate.
- When helping someone make dramatic changes to their life, some transference is inevitable. We manage this as a resource rather than trying to hide from it.
- Whatever the client believes is real – is real! If something produces results, it’s irrelevant whether we understand why or have a theory about it. We’re driven by whatever produces the changes clients need.
My Recent Work
Current exciting news:
- Filming has begun on the Documentary describing Bruce’s work and discoveries. The working title for the Documentary is “Orgasm 2.0”. A wild guesstimate is that it may be ready for distribution late Spring or Summer 2017
- Work is underway collecting all of the pieces that will be needed to transform TurnOn Toronto’s Fall In Love workshop into a digital product that can be made available to all.
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