I am so impressed with what happened on Paul McKenna's TV show this evening.
For eight months he had been helping a guy with hysterical blindness - a blindness caused by emotional trauma, so that the brain conditioned itself to refuse sight - the eyes were hypersensitive to light and constantly rolling up and away from a field of vision even against the sufferer's own conscious wishes. The condition had been triggered when the man fell and hit his head at work, years before.
Progress was slow, but it was happening and bit by bit, step by step Paul was conditioning this guy's eyes to accept more and more light with out tightening up into the socket; dipping into memory to help rebuild connections; doing therapy on the guy's self image, removing emotional blocks so that his mind could accept the improvement and anticipate more instead of being overwhelmed by it.
After years seeing only shadows, and then only if he wore dark glasses, within a few months this guy progressed to throw away the glasses and be able to make out shapes and some colours even in normal light. He became able to walk down a street without his glasses or stick.
This excited the interest of a medical specialist, who interviewed him and went back through his entire file.
And then the Consultant threw in one hell of a curve ball. A misdiagnosis.
He was able to tell this man that the condition had been misdiagnosed, that it had never been psychological at all - that it was physiological and the result of real and tangible damage to the brain.
This man hadn't been 'keeping himself blind' all these years. He hadn't been triggering his condition by running away from unresolved issues. Imagine not only going blind, but also suffering the indignity all those years of telling people you wished you could see, and having them not quite believe you, having them think that if that were really true, you would be better by now.
That's one huge revelation in itself. The even bigger one is that Paul McKenna said he would not have tried to work with this if he had known it had a physical cause, that even he had thought this would be beyond the scope of his methods, and yet the treatment was still, slowly, working with independently measurable results.
Somehow they took that tiny level of sight still available and built on it, not rediscovering the old connections in the brain, but building new ones.
I guess thats a good example of what's meant by 'faith can move mountains?'
Paul McKenna works with Richard Bandler (centre figure, above), the father (co-creator) of NLP.
Richard has some concerns about the things being done in the name of his creation - for example the difficulties gradually built in to the training by some establishments have obviously dissappointed him. Still, I guess that will happen with any practice - you copy a copy of a copy and (just like a photocopy) any errors or misconceptions made along the way become compounded.
Click here to look at training courses with Richard Bandler himself or with his protege and long time co-trainer, John LaValle.
It does seem to make sense, if you are going to learn from anyone, to become as near as possible a copy of the original, just like the rather amazing Mr McKenna.