Tag Archives: CBH

Possible Selves

I stumbled upon this article by the New York Times a couple weeks ago, and have been thinking about it. I do want to apologise for not updating my blog as regularly as I used to, I will probably write a personal piece to share why and what has been happening in my private life. 

So a brief summary of the short article:


Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 10.26.44 AM.png

Summary of content:

  • The “possible selves” describes how people envision their futures: what they may become, or want to become, or even fear becoming.
  • These possible selves, both positive (A violin student who wants to become a musician) and negative (A person whose feared possible self is an alcoholic may become a teetotaler.), are closely related to motivation.
  • Conjuring positive possible selves can improve well-being and alleviate symptoms of depression by holding out the potential for a better future.
  • So how do we construct that positive self and do what we envision?
    • Take action: Making the transition “requires you to say now, today, this week, these are the steps I can actually take” to attain that goal.
    • Find an expert companion: A supportive person who knows your strengths and weaknesses — and opens your eyes to potential selves you hadn’t considered.
    • Share your goal: Doing so makes you more likely to achieve it
    • Reach out to your weak ties: Whether you’re job hunting or seeking breakthrough advice, people in your larger network are more likely to help surface fresh ideas than those closest to you are.

So you might know that I’m trained in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and have been practising since 2013. One of the first exercises that students learn in the diploma course is a script writing exercise, asking your client or volunteer to envision how things will be like after they have achieved their goal. So say you have a goal to become a hypnotherapist (or working out every day, a dancer, a confident and eloquent public speaker, a calm mother etc), you will then ask about a specific situation once you have achieved that, where are you, what are you doing, what are you thinking, how are you feeling, what are your body sensations like, what are your facial expression and body gestures, what are the social and financial and other impacts etc. 

Doing so often motivates people to work towards their goal. It most likely increases the feel good hormones (like dopamine etc) when you see your goal achieved, and then these hormones keep you going. Of course, during the process if there’s any obstacles or any skills needed, we can use imagination or hypnosis to facilitate that too.

Becoming a Hypnotherapist? (Online Course!)

Many of you might be aware that I was trained by the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy back in 2012 and have a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy. There used to be some readers messaging me to ask about taking the same course. And now! It’s launched! The online diploma training is now available!

Click the following link for more information about this Online Hypnotherapy Course.

And you have two options to take this training:

    1. Tutor supported (15 hours)
    2. Self-led

Why do I recommend this and not any other course? Not because I took this or I knew the director/principal/trainer of the College (he doesn’t even know that I’m writing this!), but because this is the only place that provides the most scientific and evidence-based hypnotherapy training, no bullsh*t! The course content is all based on experimental and clinical research, and still, you can become a hypnotherapist after completing the course.

Let me know if you have any questions about it. Or, go to the College’s website to find out more.


前阵子发现询问关于催眠治疗的人有增加的趋势,而我这两年也开始在马来西亚结合催眠和 CBT (认知行为治疗)还有 ACT (接受与承诺疗法),来使治疗效果更显著一些。我在2012年在英国催眠与催眠治疗学院完成的“认知行为催眠治疗”文凭证书,是一个完全基于科学与研究的催眠学派。从2015年开始,我也跟随来自英国的学院院长,开始在中国北京讲授这门课。

催眠治疗并不是什么神秘魔幻的力量,它用的依然是我们头脑的力量(e.g. ideomotor & ideosensory responses),需要的是患者的积极态度和配合才能生效,所以并不是“躺在那边一两次,问题就全解决了”的。




P.S. 有时间的时候,再和大家仔细分享催眠与临床心理学的结合应用。目前我在巴生的私人医院和吉隆坡的精神专科诊所也有在接个案。(2019年尾开始也会在柔佛开始咨询工作)

Book “The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy”

By Donald Robertson
By Donald Robertson

I took the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy in mid 2012 (more about my background of hypnotherapy here). The author of this book, Don Robertson was the course facilitator and trainer. I learnt my first “proper” meditation (dehypnosis!) with him, including my favourite “leaves on the stream“. So until today I can still always relate his Scottish accent with meditation, relaxation and hypnosis, because of how much I learnt from this knowledgeable man from Scotland at that time.

I believe this is the most well-informed and extensive textbook in this subject, a non-state hypnosis approach that is based on scientific research and clinical trials. It is nothing like any other books on hypnosis that you will find out there. It starts from the basics (history), theories, and practice of it.

So yes, it is highly recommendable to anyone from a scientific backgrounds (even if you are an engineer or programmer), who are interested in hypnotherapy and CBT, to have a go. I’m more than happy to answer any question you may have, just get in touch! Though, the most suitable readers of this book (i.e. those who will gain enormous benefit) are existing CBT practitioners who would like to include hypnotherapy into their practices and make them even more effective.




其实很多人和我一样,一开始接触催眠,都觉得它神奇与充满魔力,也觉得催眠一定就是一种“特殊状态”。我想我比大多数人有幸吧… 去学了比较基于科学研究的催眠疗法,明白了催眠的本质。(还真的应该谢谢朋友佩雯,是她找到了英国催眠学院,和我一起报读 --虽然最后她并没有完成…)。

所以今天,我要从一个科学的角度、一个循证、基于实验与临床研究的角度,说说“催眠状态”。而这可能会让你相当失望,因为从脑部扫描来看,找不到被催眠者有什么特殊的脑部状态或所谓的“恍惚状态” (trance),它和平时一样,只是会因为暗示(suggestion)的不同,而出现不同的脑电波,比如放松的暗示产生特定的脑电波,但催眠并不是放松!在激烈运动的情况下,人们也还是可以被催眠的。或者你看看舞台催眠表演,当一个高暗示感受性的人接受暗示想象自己是一个5岁的小孩的时候,他表现出来的,也不是放松--而这并不代表他不在催眠“状态”中。

上课实际操作的时候,很多学员会很担心和他们的来访者在催眠过程中沟通,担心这会影响他们的“催眠状态”。但其实,催眠过程中,被催眠者是可以说话,可以描述他们想象的画面,可以回答问题,可以…. 而不影响他们的。

而催眠之父James Braid 把催眠定义成“单一预期主导主意或画面的集中注意力” (“focused attention upon an expectant dominant idea or image”)。没有提起任何特殊状态。确实,催眠本来就是暗示的一门科学与艺术,而不是诱发任何“恍惚状态”或特殊的意识状态。后来许多研究学家发现,任何可以在催眠中进行的事,都可以在催眠外进行(也就是平时的情况下,或只告诉他们这是关于想象的练习、或一些需要完成的任务),虽然在一些情况中没有催眠的效果可能稍微低一些。

所以从社会心理学家的角度,催眠的行为最基本的目标,在于表现得像一个被催眠者,而这是不断地被执行者定义同时不断地被来访者理解的(White, 1941)。


好,那如果催眠不是什么特殊状态(尤其提倡催眠是特殊状态的人,记得问他们证据在哪里),那我们怎么知道一个人是否被催眠了呢?答案就在于暗示感受性(suggestibility),即,这个人对暗示产生多大的反应。这其实是相当明显的答案,在催眠里如果你没有对暗示产生反应,那管你什么特殊状态,也没有意义。而每个人天生的暗示感受性虽然不同,但这却是可以被训练提升的(催眠技巧训练其中最为进行大量研究的是 Spanos 的 Carleton skills training programme, CSTP)。

所以到头来,催眠的过程,就决定于被试者的态度(积极,消极,被动?)和动机意愿、还有他们对于催眠的理解(被催眠者应该扮演什么角色?)。它并不是什么特殊状态,但很多时候,把普通的一个过程贴上“催眠”的标签,却可以带来更显著的效果(有此好处,why not?)。

N.B. 本文参考 Donald Robertson 的 The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy 一书。作者乃是英国催眠与催眠治疗学院(The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy)的创始人,也是我的导师。

Where to find Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy in Malaysia?

I’ve come across this question three days in a row, of people asking for hynotherapist in Klang Valley or Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia.

All the while I never really mentioned to people that I’ve a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (accredited by the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy), especially ever since I came back from the UK. I thought the Malaysians would hold so many misconceptions about hypnosis that if I were to tell people about this qualification of mine, people were going to be worried what I was going to do to them! (Make them give me all their savings?!)

But these people that I spoke to kind of change what I thought, although some of their beliefs of what hypnosis can do are still not quite true or slightly exaggerated (based on my training background of evidence-based cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy & clinical psychology).

Here I’d like to introduce a few basic introductory (text) books to self-hypnosis, mainly cognitive behavioural based and empirically supported, you can learn more about them and perhaps try to practise them at home, do let me know if you have come up with any problems or obstacles. Not that I’ll definitely be able to answer all your questions BUT I do know a number of therapists in the UK who use hypnosis to help people in their own private clinics.


Alladin, A. (2008). Cognitive Hypnotherapy: An Integrated Approach to the Treatment of Emotional Disorders.

Heap, M. & Aravind, K. (2002). Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis (4th ed.)

Lynn, S. J. & Kirsch, I. (2005). Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-based Approach (Dissociation, Trauma, Memory, and Hypnosis Book Series)

Robertson, D. (2012). The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual of Evidence based Clinical Hypnosis. (my review here)

Straus, R. A. (1982). Strategic Self-Hypnosis.

(The Alladin’s and Lynn & Kirsch’s text books are easy to understand, especially when you have some backgrounds in psychology or practicing self-help; The Robertson’s book is the most extensive resources on CBH you can ever find!)


A wide range of resources about what hypnotherapy can do, a private clinic in South Manchester: Manchester Hypnotherapy & Counselling

N.B. If you do come across any hypnotherapist in Malaysia please do share it here!