☀️ SUMMER SALE on Hypnotherapy eCourses – SAVE up to 95%

Are you looking for something new to learn through the summer?

Here, you can save up to 95% on these 16 courses of mine (further details below – all courses $9.99 USD/£9.99 GBP or equivalent Udemy currency conversion and taxes) which I have developed to help people to learn hypnosis and hypnotherapy and develop your skills and abilities as a therapeutic practitioner. You can click the links below to be taken straight to the individual courses on Udemy with discounts applied, or read down the page for course descriptions. You can also bookmark this email if you would like to follow the links and benefit from the discounts at some time in the future:

Have you ever wanted to be able to hypnotise anyone? Would you like to know how to do hypnosis without needing hypnosis scripts? Are you new to hypnosis, perhaps with no experience and wondering where to start? If you answer yes to any of these questions then this introduction to hypnosis course may well be for you. Building on my free Learn Hypnosis in an Hour course How to do Hypnosis teaches you what you need to know to be able to hypnotise anyone without the need for hypnosis scripts, this course is the next step up from my ‘Learn Hypnosis In An Hour course giving more detail and focusing more on developing your ability to do unscripted hypnosis. Access The Course Here Saving 85%

The How to do Rapid Hypnotic Inductions course will teach you twenty hypnotic inductions (twelve rapid hypnotic inductions which can all be used to hypnotise people in under 60 seconds plus an additional eight hypnotic inductions which take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes to induce hypnosis). Learn how the inductions are done and the principles behind them. Learn about attention, confusion, and interrupting patterns. Learn about confidence, and the role that context plays to make the inductions more effective. Access The Course Here Saving 93%

The How to Write Hypnotherapy Scripts course teaches you how to write your own hypnotherapy scripts. The course is structured to give you the information you need to definitely know before you start writing scripts first, then the information about how to write and structure your scripts. Following this you will learn about gathering relevant client information. Then there is a section of hypnotherapy scripts samples to help give you ideas and more examples of hypnotherapy scripts, including a script which was written for a genuine client. Access The Course Here Saving 93%

The Self Hypnosis for Personal Development course is about how self hypnosis can be used to help with personal development and for overcoming problems. This course is also about how self hypnosis can be useful for clients in counselling or therapy. This course covers: What self hypnosis is, Uses of self hypnosis, How to make your own audio tracks, How self hypnosis can be integrated into counselling and therapy, Therapeutic techniques, Structured inductions, How to develop your own inductions, How to re-induce hypnosis and set up self hypnosis triggers. This course is also ideal for those new to doing hypnosis who would like some structured hypnotic inductions they can do with clients. Access The Course Here Saving 93%

The Conversational Hypnotherapy course isn’t the same as many courses on conversational hypnosis. My view is that many courses over-complicate how to do conversational hypnosis. This course helps you get a good grounding to build on by learning what hypnosis is, what trance is, the main theories about what hypnosis is and a brief history about hypnosis, and the different ways trance and hypnosis get induced. The course includes a number of hypnosis demonstrations. Access The Course Here Saving 95%

The Ericksonian Hypnotherapy course teaches you about the history of hypnosis, through to the work of Milton H Erickson and how to do Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. By the end you will know how to do hypnotherapy without the need for structured hypnotic inductions, without the need for hypnotherapy scripts, and without the need to just do ‘suggestion therapy’ hypnotherapy. You will know how to work with clients as unique, individual human being, and tailor what you do to each person as an individual. Access The Course Here Saving 95%

The Self Publishing Made Easy course is great for hypnotherapists and coaches looking to generate additional income by writing books and ebooks. The course teaches you how to find a niche market to write about, and how to judge the popularity of that niche, what research to carry out before writing your book, how to create and layout your manuscripts for print and ebook publishing, how to publish print-on-demand books with Lulu Publishing, how to publish print-on-demand books with Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing platform, the benefits and disadvantages between Lulu Publishing and CreateSpace, how to publish Kindle ebooks with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform, how to market your book, and ways to increase book sales, and more. Access The Course Here Saving 95%

The Solution Focused Therapy course teaches you about the history of solution focused therapy, I then start with the big picture and hone in on the specifics. So you will learn why solution focused therapy is useful, what the benefits are of using a solution focused approach, and the therapeutic direction of using a solution focused approach. I will also share my views about doing solution focused therapy, based on over 20 years of working with a wide range of people using this approach. My opinion differs from many other solution focused practitioners and trainers around some areas due to my knowledge of the work of Milton Erickson and my experiences with hypnosis. I then share various techniques and talk about pre-session change as something to kick-start success and empowerment right from the first session, and the power of scaling, I also talk about best hopes, which is about establishing what the client wants from therapy, and exceptions, which are those times when the clients problem didn’t exist but they would have expected it to exist, or when it did happen, yet they would have expected it not to happen, and when it just doesn’t happen. Exceptions are where solutions and insights to the clients problem, and the pattern of the problem can be found. Access The Course Here Saving 85%

The Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course teaches you what mindfulness meditation is and how it works, how to prepare to experience mindfulness meditation and what the benefits of mindfulness meditation are to your health, wellbeing and success. The course also includes four guided mindfulness meditations: Re-centring Mindfulness Meditation, Body Awareness Mindfulness Meditation, Multi-Sensory Moment Mindfulness Meditation, Master Your Awareness Mindfulness Meditation. Access The Course Here Saving 85%

The Introduction to Effective Parenting of Children and Teens course teaches you parenting styles and skills. If you work with families, children, or within parenting support services, or you have an interest in understanding parenting styles and what works when parenting children and teens, then this course is likely to be helpful to you. This course is based on two decades of experience I have had working with children and teens with challenging behaviour, ADHD, and Autism including helping to set up a therapeutic children’s home and carrying out parenting research with a Youth Offending Service around reducing youth crime and antisocial behaviour by teaching parents the skills and knowledge taught in this course to help them change how they parent, and working with parents and families through one-to-one support and group work. I also have Autism myself, which has helped give me a different perspective and a deeper understanding of those I have worked with. This course teaches what is known about effective parenting. I have taught everything in this course to parents, and to professionals who work with families. This course teaches what is felt to be the best approaches to effective parenting. What is taught here works with children and teens from those who behave well, to those who display violence and aggression, those with ADHD, and those on the autistic spectrum. Access The Course Here Saving 85%

The Smoking Cessation course teaches you what information to have on your referral form, how to decide what to charge and different ideas around payment plans, insurance and data protection (based on UK laws and rules), what you need to consider around whether to set up offering single session treatments, multiple sessions, or group work – either a course of group sessions, or a single day course, what information you need from a client before you decide whether to work with them, how to increase the effectiveness of your coaching by setting tasks for the client before they come for their first session, evidence-based approaches to helping people quit smoking, a selection of additional techniques which can be used to help smoker’s to quit smoking, a brief overview of the four main therapeutic approaches to helping people beat addictions – motivational interviewing, solution focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and hypnosis and the structure of what needs to be covered to best help someone quit. The course is structured chronologically so that you can imagine how the process would unfold, from what you need to consider before you see a client, to having first contact with the client, and what you expect of them prior to the first session, then through evidence-based practice around helping people achieve success with quitting smoking, and on to introducing different therapeutic approaches which are helpful to use when working with smokers, before covering the information you will need to address with clients to give yourself the best chance of helping them achieve lasting success, and finally additional techniques you can use with clients to help them stop smoking. Access The Course Here Saving 95%

The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) course is a comprehensive introduction to the topic of CBT. It teaches CBT therapy skills which can help to treat anxiety and depression and a variety of other problems presented in counselling and psychotherapy like anger, addiction, self-esteem and confidence. This course is ideal for counsellors, NLP practitioners, hypnotherapists and life coaches who want to add CBT to their toolbox of skills and techniques and for those who would like to use these skills for self-help. The course includes an 80 page downloadable PDF workbook of the slides and space for taking notes on the lectures, a downloadable PDF supporting materials document which contains blank copies of all of the various documents covered throughout this course. This CBT course covers how to use cognitive behavioural therapy to treat anxiety, depression, addictions, low confidence and self-esteem, anger and sleep difficulties. Through this CBT course you will learn what CBT is, what the benefits are of doing CBT, the principles of CBT, how to identify problems and find solutions, how to identify the key thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours to work on, how to tackle faulty thinking styles, how to challenge unhelpful beliefs and create helpful beliefs, how clients use metaphor and how to use metaphors therapeutically and relaxation and mindfulness skills. Access The Course Here Saving 95%

How To Tell Stories That Heal teaches you how to tell therapeutic stories. Most people don’t notice how prevalent metaphor use is when we communicate. In therapy clients will be communicating in metaphors to the therapist. These metaphors and other information the client shares can be used to develop healing stories which can be told to the client to help them move forward and overcome their problems. In this course you will learn how to identify metaphors, patterns and content that clients share, how to use this information to create therapeutic stories and metaphors and my process for presenting stories and metaphors to clients that I find most effective. I also include a free copy of my Hypnotherapy Training Tool (RRP £49.99 GBP) which you can download and use to practice creating therapeutic stories for clients with various problems and a video of a live client session taken from a training course where I demonstrate gathering information, finding metaphors and content for my story before presenting my therapeutic story as the sole therapeutic intervention with this client. The demonstration includes the clients reaction which shows the impact this one story had on them when created and delivered using the approach outlined in this course. Access The Course Here Saving 89%

Treating PTSD, Trauma and Phobias With The Rewind Technique. In this course you will learn how to treat phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and the trauma underlying many problems (like depression, anxiety and addictions) often in a single session using the power of the rewind technique. The rewind technique is a fast, effective process for neutralising phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma rapidly. It is a technique which I feel should be in the toolbox of all psychological therapists and coaches. To aid your learning there are additional notes and I have included 12 of my self-hypnosis PTSD and phobia treatment mp3’s that you can use yourself or listen to as examples of using the rewind technique to treat different phobias and PTSD. Access The Course Here Saving 93%

Understanding and Treating Depression is a course for counsellors, hypnotherapists, and other professionals working with clients who may have depression. The course can also be taken by those interested in gaining a greater understanding about depression for personal development or learning. This course contains a 54-page PDF of extensive course notes and a document listing recommended reading and links to articles to supplement the information covered. On this course you will learn: what depression is and the symptoms of depression, what causes and maintains depression and how to treat depression. Access The Course Here Saving 93%

In this Understanding and Working With Autistic Client’s in Therapy course I share the different challenges and traits autistic people have and how these can manifest and impact on the problem the client is presenting with, how they can manifest and impact on the therapy and how you can work with the client and present your therapy to get the best results. You will also have an idea of the kinds of things which clients may say and do that could lead to you as a therapist to feel that the client could be autistic. This isn’t a course teaching you how to do therapy or coaching, the expectation is that you are already trained to do therapy or coaching if you are working as a therapist or coach. This course teaches you about the traits, challenges and strengths of autistic clients and how the client being autistic can impact on their life and on how they respond in therapy to give you ideas about understanding autistic clients better and have ideas and insights for how you can best help them. The course doesn’t teach you how to ‘treat’ autism as autism isn’t something you can cure. Autistic people are born autistic and can’t be ‘cured’ of autism, but I am open about my own personal experiences within the course and share my own examples and examples of experiences of people I have worked with to illustrate what behaviours others might see and what is going on for the autistic person in that moment, and what things can help the autistic person, like what skills they might need to be taught to reduce the impact of certain challenges the client may have on the presenting problem. Access The Course Here Saving 89%

All the best

Dan

I try to be very active in all of my training courses to help students with any questions they may have to get the most out of the training, and I try to respond within 24 hours to questions.

New Autism Course For Therapists, Coaches & Those Interested In Understanding What It Is Like To Be Autistic

It is World Autism Awareness Week 2019 from Monday 1st April. As a pre-WAAW2019 I wanted to tell you some exciting news. This is so new it isn’t even on my site on the courses page yet. I wanted you to be among the first to know about a new course I have created ‘Understanding and Working With Autistic Client’s in Therapy‘ which you can access here for just $9.99 USD (or equivalent price based on exchange rate and taxes for your country).

As well as having over 20 years of experience working with autistic individuals of all ages and working within a variety of contexts from care homes for adults, care homes for children and teens, to working with families, couples and individuals in private practice, I am also autistic, so this isn’t just a course by an autism professional about working with autistic clients. It is course from someone who can share their own lived experience of being autistic as well as professional experience with autistic clients.

Between 1 in 68 and 1 in 100 people are autistic depending on what data you look at. Many autistic adults are undiagnosed and may not even realise they could be autistic. Any counsellor, psychological therapist or coach in full-time practice is likely to encounter diagnosed and undiagnosed autistic clients. It could be that the client doesn’t realise that they are autistic. Most counselling, therapy and coaching training doesn’t cover autism, so the therapist also may not realise that the client could be autistic, yet knowledge of this could lead to better outcomes for that client and greater awareness of what support and guidance would be helpful.

This course may also be of interest to those who don’t do psychological therapy or coaching but who want to know more about how autism presents and what the world is like for autistic people and how autism can impact on problems people have and better understanding behaviours that you observe. This course focuses more on working with autistic adults rather than on working with autistic children but includes examples involving behaviours of autistic children and teens and includes a PDF of my autobiography which gives a frank description and insight at all ages of being autistic and shares my professional views as well as personal insights.

You can join the course here for just $9.99 USD (or equivalent exchange rate and taxes for your country) or follow the link to learn more and sample the first 30 or so minutes of video lectures.

Included with this course are:

  • 11 PDF supporting documents totalling over 18,000 words of additional content
  • A PDF of my autobiography ‘Look Into My Eyes’ about being autistic which is over 68,500 words
  • A PDF Sussex Hypnotherapy Centre certificate of completion which you can print out for Continued Professional Development on completion of the course

In this Understanding and Working With Autistic Client’s in Therapy course I share the different challenges and traits autistic people have and how these can manifest and impact on the problem the client is presenting with, how they can manifest and impact on the therapy and how you can work with the client and present your therapy to get the best results. You will also have an idea of the kinds of things which clients may say and do that could lead to you as a therapist to feel that the client could be autistic.

This isn’t a course teaching you how to do therapy or coaching, the expectation is that you are already trained to do therapy or coaching if you are working as a therapist or coach. This course teaches you about the traits, challenges and strengths of autistic clients and how the client being autistic can impact on their life and on how they respond in therapy to give you ideas about understanding autistic clients better and have ideas and insights for how you can best help them.

The course doesn’t teach you how to ‘treat’ autism as autism isn’t something you can cure. Autistic people are born autistic and can’t be ‘cured’ of the autism, but I am open about my own personal experiences within the course and share my own examples and examples of experiences of people I have worked with to illustrate what behaviours others might see and what is going on for the autistic person in that moment, and what things can help the autistic person, like what skills they might need to be taught to reduce the impact of certain challenges the client may have on the presenting problem.

Throughout this course you can ask any questions you may have and I will answer them as best I can. I am happy to be open and answer questions from my personal perspective as an autistic individual, or from a psychological therapist perspective.

You can follow this link to check out the first 30 minutes or so of video lectures for free and find out more about the course.

What you’ll learn

  • Learn about what autism is and the thoughts around what causes autism
  • Understand autistic traits, challenges and strengths and how these can relate to a client’s presenting problem and in therapy
  • Learn ways you can interact with autistic clients and what you can do to help and support the client therapeutically

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • To get the most out of this course you will ideally already be working as a psychological therapist or with people in a support, coaching or therapeutic capacity where knowledge of autistic clients would be helpful
  • If you want to print off the resources you will require a printer

Who this course is for:

  • Counsellors and psychological therapists, hypnotherapists and coaches who work may encounter diagnosed and undiagnosed autistic clients
  • This course isn’t for those who are looking for training in how to treat autism itself, there are ideas around helping autistic people with challenges they face by being autistic, but autism itself isn’t curable

Primary School Years: Developing Influence Skills – Extract from ‘Look Into My Eyes’

Although during my primary years, I had poor emotional connection. I didn’t really notice it. From my perspective, I was living in my own world. My dad had written about my poor emotional connection, and mum has mentioned my difficulties with emotional connection, but to me, I was more interested in doing things on my own. Human nature is a wonderful thing, although I didn’t approach others to try to befriend them. Others would sometimes approach me; I liked familiarity and certainty, and I disliked engaging with people. I think I was lucky in some of my early ‘a-ha’ moments!

One such moment was realising that if I had a friend or two, I felt more comfortable speaking with them than with people I didn’t know. I was able to learn how they would respond, and if they walked away and stopped spending time with me, it wasn’t important – but while they were there, I could use them to make my life more comfortable. Writing this down here with my ‘adult head’ on, I feel like it sounds bad. It was, and still is, one of my ways of coping with the world.

If I wanted something, all I had to do was find a way of getting the person I was friends with to be the one to sort it out. So, if I wanted to have something to drink I would try to think about how I could encourage my friend to go to a teacher and ask for me. I would do things like encouraging them – saying that it would be good if we could both have a drink – or I would appear to be helpful and if we were doing something together, like making something, I would offer to do a task I thought they would least like to do. I’d say, “I’ll do this if you want”, and while they are pleased with me doing something they didn’t want to do, I would say something like, “This is quite difficult, would you be able to grab me a drink?” I would try to make it look like I didn’t want to stop then, because I was so focused on getting it done – I’d get the message across that what would really help me to get things done was having a drink…

As an adult, I now know that I was playing into a theory from social psychology about how people like to reciprocate – if you do something for someone, they are more likely to do something in return. Between about eight and ten years old, I learnt a number of these techniques to influence situations and to make them more comfortable for me. Then, in later life, when I discovered hypnosis, I realised that many of these techniques are in fact hypnosis techniques. Another technique I used to use was one for influencing groups of people. When I was in the playground and would want to play manhunt, for example, and everyone else was thinking about playing football, I would suggest the idea of manhunt loudly enough for the children either side of me to hear the idea, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. After a moment or two, if those children quite liked the idea, they would suggest it, and gradually the idea would spread through the group, until the children who actually made the decisions picked up on the idea. Then, one of them would suggest it, and everyone would agree with the person who suggested the idea. No-one would realise that I had suggested the idea first, and I didn’t care whether I got credit for the idea or not – as long as we were doing as I wanted.

I saw this happen to other children, where they would suggest ideas, seemingly get ignored, then eventually someone else would suggest the same idea and everyone would agree with that person; the child who originally suggested the idea would get stroppy about how they had come up with the idea first. It confused me as to why they got stroppy when they were doing exactly what they wanted to be doing. Did it really matter who took the credit for the idea?

This idea didn’t always work – not all my ideas were things that everyone wanted to do – but if I was expected to play with other children, I would rather do something I see as having educational value than just, say, playing football. I liked manhunt because I got to practice evading capture, I developed skills for sneaking around and having patience. I could see that these skills could have value. I couldn’t see how chasing a ball and hitting it into a net had value. You also don’t have to work with others when playing manhunt. You may share a team, but you still work on your own, whereas with football you are expected to work together.

I have never been particularly competitive, but I do like to do the best I can – and I stick to rules. I don’t have a very good emotional connection with others and struggle to understand their perspectives on many emotional issues. Mum and dad have both described how I seemed to have poor emotional connection. I have learnt over the years how I am supposed to respond in some situations. I still make mistakes, but I do much better than I did when I was young.

Look Into My Eyes: Asperger’s, Hypnosis, & Me by Dan Jones, is available in Paperback and for Amazon Kindle: http://apn.to/prod/1542551196

Primary School Years: Friendships – Extract from ‘Look Into My Eyes’

Many of my earliest memories are from my primary years. I don’t really remember much before that, and what I think I remember, I can’t be confident about – are they my memories, or just memories based on photographs I have seen? In this chapter, I will share my experience of my primary school years from about five years old up to ten or so. During this time, I began to recognise that I was different and started to learn about how to cope with the world around me.

Mum always described me as having a lot of common sense. I would describe myself as having common sense that sometimes isn’t common, and other times doesn’t make sense… From a very young age, mum trusted me to look after my younger siblings. She had tried babysitters, but often I was still the person with the most common sense in the room. I had good observation skills for safety, and because I couldn’t care less about most things that others seemed to really care about, I was often very calm. If there was an incident that needed to be handled I was likely to be the one who could work out what to do, and then calmly do it. This trait has helped immensely throughout my life.

Mum was a riding instructor, so growing up, she had to work when everyone else was off. My stepdad was a landscape gardener, so he worked long hours whenever the weather was suitable. Because mum taught people to ride horses, I spent most of my time around horses as a child. From the age of about eight, when mum was teaching, I would often be looking after my brothers. We would be at the riding centre, so mum wasn’t far away if we needed her – she couldn’t afford to have anyone else look after us, but she trusted me and felt I was responsible enough to look after my brothers. I knew that if there was a problem, I could either find mum, or seek out any of the other adults who ran the stables.

I remember some of my first experiences attending my first primary school. It was a small school with a cold outdoor swimming pool. I have certain memories that stand out about the pool. I remember flies floating in the pool. I remember the smell of the water. It smelt like water – I mean, it didn’t have an odd smell – but I remember the fresh watery smell from the pool. I also remember the feeling of being in the water, and remember times when my nan would come along and help out during swimming lessons. I didn’t like the swimming cap I had to wear. It used to hurt my head when I put it on and took it off. The cap would stick to my hair and felt like it pulled hair out of my head whenever I took it off. I did enjoy swimming though. My favourite thing about swimming was being underwater. I loved putting my head underwater, and as I got more confident, I would hold myself fully underwater at the steps. I loved how the sound changed underwater – it was quiet and peaceful, not as chaotic and overwhelming as the world above the water. I remember believing I could almost breathe underwater. I was aware that I couldn’t, but I felt that I was able to stay underwater longer by relaxing and imagining I was breathing, so I would make all the actions of breathing without actually breathing in. I would almost cycle air round, as if I was somehow breathing within myself.

I didn’t really have many friends in primary school. I was polite, so if someone engaged with me, I would be polite and do my best to try to engage with them back, but I didn’t really have much interest in interacting with other people. I would much rather have spent a break time at the hedges around the outside of the school grounds searching for snails and looking at other creatures. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I would take an ice cream tub around with me which I would fill with leaves, twigs, snails, caterpillars or grasshoppers. I wasn’t necessarily very good at socialising, and didn’t particularly care about others. That isn’t to say I wanted bad things to happen to others – I have always wanted everyone to be alright – but I was far more caring of animals. One day, when I was out with mum while she was teaching horse riding, I found an injured grasshopper. I took it home and tried to nurse it back to health by creating an environment for it and giving it some food.

Unfortunately, it didn’t survive. I didn’t get upset about it not surviving. I wanted it to live and get better, but my attitude was: once it had died, it had died. I did all I could think of to try to save it, and to my knowledge I couldn’t have done more. I remember burying it in the garden, because I thought that was what was supposed to happen to dead things, then I got on with my life. I didn’t get upset about not being able to save it, because I had done everything I felt I was able to do.

At one time, mum tried to arrange a birthday party for me at home. She invited many children I knew, and on the day of my party, no-one turned up. I think this was a telling sign of my relationships with others. I was polite to people but never really invested in my relationships with the other children in school. I was pretty much the same at home. I would prefer to spend time alone doing my own thing, but was generally polite. I don’t recall too much play with my brothers. When we did play, it was usually something active like hide and seek or manhunt, or it was making dens or climbing trees. It wasn’t really things where I was having to play with my brothers, but more things where I played alongside my brothers, or could feel like I was doing my own thing or engaging in a project – making something for some purpose.

I was far better at getting on with adults. I would ask questions all the time about things I was interested in, wanting to know more. At school, I would take my time getting ready to leave lessons so that the other children would leave and I could then ask the teacher any questions I had. If the lesson didn’t interest me, then I would get out as quickly as I could to try to avoid being stuck in the middle of a crowd of children all leaving at once. If I had to choose between spending time with children or adults I would usually choose to stand around the adults, and would normally latch on to one adult whom I would sit next to and talk to. That adult was normally chosen because they’d first approached me and started talking to me, but they would then be stuck with me until they walked away. If they walked off and left me, I wouldn’t seek anyone else out; I would rather sit on my own and keep myself to myself. Sometimes, another adult would come and talk to me and I would then talk to them about topics I enjoyed until they walked off too.

Look Into My Eyes: Asperger’s, Hypnosis, & Me by Dan Jones, is available in Paperback and for Amazon Kindle: http://apn.to/prod/1542551196

Primary School Years: Meditation, Animals & Developing Interests – Extract from ‘Look Into My Eyes’

At about eight years of age, I found a book that had a profound influence on me – The Magic of Thinking Big. This was a book I found lying around the house one day, and as a small child who loved magic, seeing a book with ‘Big’ and ‘Magic’ both written in the title was enough to make me want to know what it was about. The book taught me that you can achieve almost anything; you just have to plan and put in effort.

I learnt an incredible amount between the age of eight and ten – it has helped me immensely. The next significant learning wasn’t until I was 13, when I discovered hypnosis. As well as discovering The Magic of Thinking Big, I also lived in an environment that allowed me to spend a lot of time in the woods – or at least outside, with nature. I used to spend much of my time sitting in trees. I found life at home often stressful and noisy, and I wanted to escape, so I would go into the woods. I would find a tree, climb up high, and sit on a branch with my eyes closed, just listening.

In the tree I would focus my attention on the sounds of birds. I would try to locate where they were by focusing on individual sounds. I would focus on the sounds of the rustling leaves and try to notice each individual one, trying to break the sound down and see how it was formed. As an eight-year-old, I had never heard of meditation, but I had discovered meditation for myself. Sitting in a tree doing this helped me to feel calm; it helped to shut out the ’noise’. I think I was lucky having the opportunity to grow up in the countryside rather than in a town during this period of my life. Warningcamp became a place I would call home as a child – and still think of as home now.

Having a mum who was a riding instructor also gave me the opportunity to be around horses for all of my childhood. Mum has always told me I seemed to have a natural talent for horse-riding. I think I just feel a closer connection to animals than I do to people. Animals don’t expect me to try to communicate with them verbally – they don’t communicate with multiple messages, like people do. Most animals communicate very simply. People can say one thing and mean something else, and then when you don’t understand that they meant something else, they get annoyed or they tell you that you are stupid for not realising or understanding. On the other hand, an animal will just communicate one message at a time.

I used to have no problem getting on to any horse and riding it – horses seemed to trust me, as I did them. That doesn’t mean I thought they would never hurt me, but what I trusted was that they would be clear with their messages, and that I would understand them. Most wild animals, and many other animals, don’t demand my attention. I like being in nature, just observing, rather than needing to play with the animals. I love observing and learning, and it was this mindset which helped me to discover meditation sitting in the trees. All I was trying to do was to observe and learn. In the same way that someone parking a car may turn the music down to help them park, I closed my eyes to help me hear and focus.

During these early years, I started to become aware of patterns. I don’t know whether I had always liked patterns, but I was becoming more self-aware and so becoming more aware of what I liked and didn’t like. I seemed to have an ability to guess well with competitions like ‘how many coins are in the jar’. At a country fair, when I was about eight, I guessed the number of coins in a jar and got it correct. During the summer holidays when I was nine or ten, myself – along with many other children from the two primary schools in Arundel – painted a mural of different animals. On the last day, we were told to guess how many animals were on the mural, and the person who guessed closest would win a prize to be presented by the Mayor of Arundel. I guessed closest – just one number out.

Many of my lifelong interests started between the ages of five and ten. I have always been confused by people changing tastes and interests as they grow up. My view is that if you like something, why would you one day not like it? Between five and ten, I developed an interest in the music of Elvis Presley; I discovered books that taught me things, rather than just being stories; and I started meditating, although I didn’t know it was meditation at the time. I also became aware of some of my habits which would sometimes get me in trouble.

If I heard tunes or sounds, I would make the same sound myself, usually whistling it. I would copy words or phrases that people said which, for some reason, resonated in my mind when I heard them. What’s more, I would often copy them in a replication of the person’s voice. I didn’t realise that mimicking people could offend them – it would just happen automatically. I didn’t even realise I was mimicking them. And when I became aware I was saying or doing something, like whistling or saying a phrase in a specific way, I didn’t normally know where it came from or why I was saying it – it would just happen.

I would find myself mimicking accents and speech patterns that seemed to resonate with me. The best way to avoid offending people was to avoid people, to try and keep my mouth shut, and to keep what went through my head in my head. This was never easy, as most of what I would do would just happen. Often others would point out to me what I was doing, and I found it very difficult to stop something when I didn’t notice myself doing it.

Look Into My Eyes: Asperger’s, Hypnosis, & Me by Dan Jones, is available in Paperback and for Amazon Kindle: http://apn.to/prod/1542551196

My Autism Journey

I received an adult diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a few years ago. I suspected I had autism for many years, but I didn’t want to be labelled, so never sought diagnosis until my life hit a point where I felt it was the only way I would get the help and support I needed.

Growing up I had always been different to others around me including my three brothers. My mum described me as a little scientist. As a child I was generally quiet, I tried to keep away from people, I would often do things alone rather than with others. My dad was concerned about me saying that he thought something was wrong with me, but found it difficult to put into words and be taken seriously about his concerns. He was concerned about many things including that I didn’t seem to know how to play, and I didn’t seem to be able to use reciprocal communication unless told to do so. Back in the 1980’s his concerns were dismissed. Mum said from birth I never liked being hugged, and would never hug back if I was cuddled, I didn’t have any issues walking away from mum to go into nursery school, even on my first day. She described how I walked straight in without looking back or acknowledging her, whereas my three brothers all got upset and distressed at leaving their mother on their first day of school.

Mum had tried to organise a birthday party for me when I was about 5 years old, but no-one attended. This apparently didn’t particularly bother me, but bothered mum.

I rarely felt a need to speak out, I kept myself to myself, so through school I was largely ignored. As long as everything was predictable and as I wanted, things went fine in school, but if anyone tried to do anything like giving me the bumps or jumping on me I would do whatever I had to do to make myself feel comfortable again. I didn’t care what extent of violence I would have to use, or who I would have to be violent to. If I was unable to escape the situation without violence I would do whatever I had to do to feel comfortable again. I was very stubborn, because I hate change I would refuse to do things when change occurred. This continued into my working life. When I started work I would walk out of the job if they made changes to my work situation. I wouldn’t think about the consequences of this, all I would be thinking is that I am not happy with the situation, so I need to leave the situation to feel comfortable again. I would be blunt with managers telling them when they are making stupid decisions, and telling them to shut up when they are not listening.

In my early twenties I started working in mental health, and then moved into working in children’s homes before moving into family support work where I was supporting those with autism and their parents and carers. Colleagues would often comment on how I was like the autistic people we supported, and as time went by I considered that I might be on the autistic spectrum. I never considered seeking a diagnosis because I didn’t like the idea of having a label, until workplace discrimination which I had faced in many jobs I had done, reached a point where I felt helpless and trapped, and I became depressed to the point where I wrote a date in my phone that I would kill myself because that seemed like the logical solution for resolving my situation. It was at this point I decided to seek diagnosis, feeling that it could lead to me getting the support I need to help improve my work situation. The diagnosis has been more beneficial for me than I could ever have imagined, it has helped others around me understand me better, it has helped me be more open about myself with others, and it has allowed me to help others through talks and writing my book Look Into My Eyes.

Look Into My Eyes: http://apn.to/prod/1542551196 (Link directs people to their local Amazon website. The book is also available from other retailers as an ebook (Kindle, iBookstore, Kobo, Nook, GooglePlay, etc) and paperback (retail paperback edition ISBN: 978-1326917340)

Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) and Autism

It is horrific to think that there are people out there who think using Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is a good idea. I shared something about this on Twitter (https://twitter.com/AuthorDanJones/status/959198577611419650)

I struggle to comprehend how someone would conclude that this is a good thing and how they would decide to inflict this upon their child. Any parent using this to try to ‘cure’ their child will be committing child abuse which needs to be reported to the Police and Social Services as they are putting their child at immediate risk of harm. The parent needs help to be educated about autism and about what they can do to help their child with their child’s specific needs.

There is NO evidence that this works to help autistic children, there is NO cure for autism, autistic people are born autistic, you don’t cure how someone was born.

I think social media allows the idea of various false cures to spread and if a ‘cure’ sounds like an easier solution to the real answer then some people jump on it, and the way some people think is that the more ‘the establishment’ are trying to say don’t do it, the more they distrust that and believe they are lying and they want to use the cure. I think there is a very worrying anti-science trend where people seem to have left logic at the door and decided that opinions and personal beliefs count more than objective questioning, rigorous research and peer review. This doesn’t just go for autism, but also for health and nutrition with all of the claims of detoxing and intolerances, etc, with therapy with claims of homeopathy and various other alternative health treatments, and in science with claims as ridiculous as the Earth being flat and human caused climate change not being real.

Dan Jones is author of autism books including ‘Look Into My Eyes‘ and ‘Asperger’s Syndrome: Tips & Strategies‘ and has over 20 years professional experience as well as being autistic.

What Causes Autism?

The causes of autism aren’t fully known. There is variety in those with autism, from high-functioning, to low-functioning. As it is something people are born with it is clearly genetic, but how it expresses differently is currently unknown. It could be that genes associated with autism are expressed differently in the presence of other genes, or it could be they are expressed differently in the presence of certain levels of certain hormones during birth, and some of the differences in how it is expressed could be environmental, like how the child is raised. It is likely to be a mixture of all of these elements. One question is why does autism continue to persist? This may be because it has benefits for society when someone is on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. Someone with high-functioning autism is likely to be very good at focusing on one task and obsessing about that one task and that one subject, so they manage to achieve things others don’t have the time, focus or patience to achieve, like maybe becoming obsessed with how arrows travel through the air, and wanting to know why an arrow travels as it does, and what would make it travel further and more accurately. Someone with high-functioning autism may focus on this thought for years until they develop an arrow which is more efficient and better than other tribes arrows, which helps the tribe survive and gives the autistic person an advantage to the tribe. It could be that the downside is some people are born with low-functioning autism which means they require more care, but may not contribute to the tribe. This is a similar argument to one I remember learning about schizophrenia when I worked in mental health homes. That schizophrenia is genetic, and at it’s worst (and without medication etc) it isn’t particularly helpful, but for some people before it develops into schizophrenia they have incredible creativity and connections of thought which others generally don’t have. With schizophrenia it is something which some people have a pre-disposition for it, and often a life event or situation triggers the schizophrenia, this could be puberty or a traumatic or stressful experience etc., it is something the person has the genes for, but to turn on the epigenetic expression for the person to have schizophrenia usually takes a trigger.

There are questions about why more people have autism nowadays. The currently thought reason for this is that there aren’t more people with autism, just less stigma, so more people are comfortable seeking diagnosis, and better ability to diagnose autism. There are also more females being diagnosed with autism than their used to be. It used to be thought that autism was more of a male issue, and it may have a slightly more male bias – although with time it may turn out this is incorrect, but now it is recognised that females and males can have autism, it is just expressed differently in females to males. For example I think females may find emotional sensory overload more of an issue than males, but this isn’t so easily picked up because people seem to think those with autism don’t have feelings and don’t get emotional, so in the past if a female was getting emotionally overwhelmed psychologists and psychiatrists are likely to assume the problem is something else, not autism.

Child/Teen to Parent Violence

In the Daily Mail newspaper was a news article about Child to Parent Violence to many this may sound shocking, but it is actually a very common problem Since about 2007 I have focused heavily on supporting parents and families with challenging teens and sometimes younger children that are violent to their parents. In many cases the families are single parent families where the mother has experienced prior domestic abuse, and now they have a child behaving in a similar way. In 2015 I attended a pan-European two day conference in Brighton looking at the latest research on this topic and the research in tackling this issue, the conference also looked at how widespread it is and how under reported it is.

This is an issue that needs addressing more than it is being addressed currently. There are changes to the law which will make anyone over 10 years old able to be prosecuted for domestic abuse. This may well lead to many children entering the criminal justice system for their violence and control of their parent. What I would like to see is more out there to help these families, to hopefully prevent these children being criminalized by helping them stopped doing the behaviour they are doing and helping parents manage the behaviour and turn things around at home.

There are a few good and effective parenting/family programmes out there which can help, but these don’t run wide enough and don’t get enough funding or staffing to run often enough. The best ones are a Non Violent Resistance Parenting course running that addresses Child to Parent Violence, and Break 4 Change which started in Brighton and the original course and variations of it now run around the country. These courses have now also started to roll out through Europe. Break 4 Change is the course I run. The version I run is based on the Brighton version but has been tweaked based on learning from all the times we have ran it since 2012. It has parents and the main focus child on the course together, they are in separate rooms, there is a room for the children and one for the parents, and they have a video dialogue and both groups address the home issues. Hopefully there will be more support available for families in thus situation in the future to help the children, who are still children in need of help and support regardless of what they are doing, and support for parents. What are your thoughts on this, and on children being able to be prosecuted for domestic abuse?

Tackling Youth Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour

Research About Tackling Youth Offending & Anti-Social Behaviour Through Parenting Support – Measuring outcomes and gathering an evidence-base for a particular approach or way of working is an important part of any intervention. By measuring success you can also notice where improvements are required. For example from the outcomes gathered based on this work one observation was that when looking at the longitudinal findings there is a gradual rise in youth offending rates. To address this, parenting support groups have been set up which run monthly all year round so that if any parents feel that things are slipping back to how they were, or if they feel that they are beginning to struggle again there is somewhere for them to go to get support before things get too bad again.

The data presented here is based on me using a human givens approach to parenting support being offered to 321 families over a four year period. The human givens approach uses elements of solution focused working, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and hypnosis, and places this within a context of looking at the innate human needs of family members, how they use their natural inbuilt skills – like their ability to view problems objectively, and their ability to relax, and systemically looking at what areas the smallest change can be made which will help make the biggest shift in the situation.

Data was gathered at the time of each referral about whether the young person the referral was relating to had entered the youth justice system or not. This was compared with data a year after the parent(s) were either offered support but declined it, or a year from the date support ended if they accepted support. To get an idea of outcomes over a longer time period 91 families that were offered support had data gathered at the time of receiving referrals as to whether the young person had entered the youth justice system or not, and this was compared with data gathered over three years later. This was the basis of the hard data. All families offered support were included in the data.

The soft data that was gathered consisted of feedback from parents about what changes they had noticed at the end of working together, feedback from the young people about what changes they had noticed, scaling questions at the start of the intervention and the end of the intervention, for the parents, scaling areas like; best hopes, confidence and relationship with the young person, and scaling questions with the young people on areas like doing as their parent tells them to do, listening, being listened to, and quality of the relationship. All the scaling was 0-10, with 0 being worst and 10 being best. The average number of sessions parents received was 6. The range was from parents receiving a single session, to parents receiving twelve sessions. It was rare for parents to receive twelve sessions and in many cases parents received less than six.

Soft Data

At the first session parents were asked how confident they were at managing their teenager. The average response was 5. The same question was asked at each session; the average response from parents in the final session was that things had improved to 8. Parents were asked where their relationship with their teen was at the start. The average response was 6 at the start which by the end of the support had risen to an 8. Best hopes were the most important subjective piece of data because the best hopes are identifying how much improvement has been made relating directly to the problem situation that was present at the beginning, and comparing how things were at the end. The average response to asking parents to scale best hopes in the first session was that things were at about 4. At the final session the average scaling of best hopes had increased to an 8. The average number parents said they would be happy with achieving was 7 so most parents achieved what they wanted to achieve from receiving support by the final session. With best hopes parents were contacted six months later to see where they were at that point. The average number parents reported at the six month follow up was that things were still at a 7.

Parents also had the opportunity to feedback what improvements they had noticed compared to before receiving support, here is a selection of comments from parents:

• It gave me a helpful insight into changing things in different ways

• I feel confident to follow through with discipline

• We are getting on better than before and can handle things a lot better

• Spending more time together

• Talking more often

• Better communication

• More positive

• More confidence

The young people also had the opportunity to feedback what changes they had noticed following their parent(s) receiving support, and here is a selection of comments from the young people:

• My parents listen to me more than they did and help me sort out my problems better

• My Mum is more calmer than last year, but it might be because we agreed on that

• No shouting and rows like before. Mum seems happier and I am staying at school

• We are together more and we go out more often

• My sister does not threaten me with her fists

• We’ve changed bedrooms. I think it’s because me and John argue when we share a bedroom so I think it’s a change and we hardly argue anymore

• When I get angry they tell me to go upstairs to calm down now

• A lot has changed. The house is more peaceful and everyone is relaxed. We have a laugh

• They are a lot calmer than they used to be when they tell me off

• Mum listens to me…My mum knows more about me

The difficulty with soft data, apart from it being subjective is that it doesn’t capture information about the families where parents chose not to engage, it only gathers information relating to parents that engaged with the support. This means that there is no way of knowing whether the support made any difference to the families other than what they have reported. The parents that chose not to engage may also have moved on just as much, or outcomes may be worse but there is no way of knowing.

Hard Data

This is where hard data is useful because it allows for the capture of information relating to the outcomes of those that engaged with support as well as those that chose not to engage with support.

321 families were offered the opportunity to receive parenting support. Out of those 321 families 57% chose to accept the support and 43% decided they didn’t want the support. When looking at the levels of young people that were in the criminal justice system before being offered support and a year after being offered support and declining it, or the completion of receiving support, when parents engaged 20% of the young people had previously offended and a year after the parents engaged in support this reduced to 10%. When parent chose not to engage 42% of the young people had previously offended and a year after the support was offered this had reduced to 31%. The interesting finding was when this was compared with the 91 families that were monitored over a 3 year period. Over this longer time period offending rates began to creep up as would be expected but there was a huge difference in the rate this occurred between those that had parents’ that engaged and those where parents’ didn’t engage. With parental engagement the offending rate rose from 10% to 17%, still below the 20% starting rate. With the parents that chose not to engage the offending rate rose from 31% to 52%, well above the 42% starting rate.

The parenting referrals fell into two categories, prevention referrals, these are referrals of young people that have perhaps been involved with the anti-social behaviour team, they will be parents of young people that are at risk of entering the criminal justice system but haven’t yet, and referrals of parents of young offenders, these are referrals of parents of young people that are in the criminal justice system. The young people that are in the criminal justice system are all working with a youth justice worker at the time of the parenting support referral being received. They are frequently on orders lasting three to twelve months.

With many services being cut and focusing on targeted work with high end cases and reducing the focus on prevention and early intervention these findings can show the importance of prevention to reduce youth criminal offending and the impact this has over a three year period. 225 referrals were preventative. Of these 64% engaged in the support offered and data was gathered a year after the support ended 96% of the young people hadn’t offended at this point, 64 of the referrals were monitored over a three year period and 89% of the young people still hadn’t offended three years later. 36% of the parents chose not to take up the offer of support, a year following the offer of support 87% of the young people hadn’t offended and three years later this number had reduced to 67%. This is encouraging because it shows that many young people at risk of becoming young offenders are unlikely to do so. It also shows that when parents receive this support they increase the chances of their teen keeping out of trouble. Whereas if they don’t have any support there is more chance of their teen entering the criminal justice system within a year and significantly more chance of their young person doing so within the next three years.

The hardest to engage parents are parents of young offenders. Many of the referral for parenting of young offenders is for parents of older teens. Many of these teens are 15-17, whereas the preventative work is often parents of 10-14 year olds. Many of these parents choose not to engage, a frequent comment from parents is that their child is nearly 16 and so they only have to last a few more months, after that if they don’t sort themselves out they can move out of home. Some parents comment that their teen is already 16 or older and so if they do one more thing they will be out. The engagement rate of these parents is significantly lower than for preventative support. Out of 96 parents that were offered support, only 39% engaged. Data gathered a year after support ended showed that 68% of the young people hadn’t offended over that year. 27 parents of young offenders were monitored over a three year period and this rate had only dropped slightly to 60% that hadn’t offended three years later. These were all young people that before parenting support was offered had committed criminal offences and were all being seen by a Youth Justice Worker. 61% of the parents offered support chose not to engage. A year following the parents choosing not to take up the offer of support 44% of the young people hadn’t offended, which dropped sharply to only 18% of the young people not committing offenses over a three year period. The interesting finding here is that all the young people had a Youth Justice Worker during the first year, so for those parents that engaged there was support for the parent and support for the young person. The big difference appears when the Youth Justice Worker involvement ends. For the young people whose parents were supported, long term outcomes were more optimistic, there was a more stable result. Whereas when parents didn’t engage with support, once the Youth Justice Worker wasn’t involved, so the young person wasn’t being supported, the likelihood of reoffending dramatically increased so that three years later 82% of the young people had reoffended, compared to just 40% of the young people reoffending when parents had been supported and had developed ways of thinking and managing situations that allowed them to support their teen with keeping out of trouble.

So, by offering support to parents early on there is a higher level of engagement in that support. The outcomes are greater and there is significantly less likelihood of the young person entering the criminal justice system. When parents engage in support even when their teen is in the criminal justice system, they can develop skills and ways of thinking that can help them to support their teen to reduce the chances of them reoffending. In these cases the parenting support compliments the work being done by the Youth Justice Workers and when the parents have been supported they are more able to keep progress going after the Youth Justice Workers involvement ends. This way of working helps to empower parents and give them hope because they aren’t being told techniques to learn that may or may not work, and may not be appropriate as their teen grows up, they are being encouraged to think about things in a slightly different way, they are being encouraged to view situations differently, be mindful of their own emotional needs and the emotional needs of their teens, and to focus more on solutions and how situations become resolved, rather than on searching for ‘why’ and blaming or feeling that they must be bad parents. This allows the parents to develop skills for life rather than just techniques for situations.