The Psychic Screwdriver

In the famous BBC Science fiction TV series Doctor Who, in 1968 there appeared the first scripted reference to “The Sonic Screwdriver”. This is a fascinating multi-functional tool and, along with the TARDIS, has become one of the icons of this long lasting series. In terms of SF writing, conceptually the Sonic Screwdriver was ahead of its time, and became one of the artefacts of the series that could show us that nothing is what it seems, and that with it pretty much anything is possible.

The Psychic Screwdriver

There are times within the varied client-related activities that I’m involved in, where I get the distinct impression that the multi-faceted nature of the various methodologies that I use, lend themselves to be viewed as something similar to the Sonic Screwdriver. I see my mental tool-kit for change more and more as being like the Sonic Screwdriver – with an almost infinite number of settings, capable of revealing what doesn’t seem to be there, unlocking doors to new perceptions and actions, and helping people in freeing themselves up to be able to move their lives forward by broadening their perceptions. You might say this bit of kit could be better summed up as a “Psychic Screwdriver”.
The thing is – although the Screwdriver incorporates a whole variety of processes or methodologies, some hypnotic, some linguistic, some metaphoric, some spatial and physiological, some distractive. – any new ideas and techniques can just be added on to the Screwdriver rather like acquiring Apps for mobiles or tablets.

Another thing is that, with all these methodologies and techniques incorporated into one “device”, it is quite common for me to use a process of mix-and-match and use parts of one with another producing an infinite variety of different little hybrids. For me this is fascinating, and particularly because I never actually set out to do it! The opportunities are presented to me by the client and if the idea pops up then I just go with it and see what happens.

A few weeks back I was working with two clients who I would probably best describe as poles apart – however, the common thread with both of them is the way I can really illustrate the use of the Psychic Screwdriver and its various Apps.

The young cricketer

A lad has struggled since I’ve seen him with his ability to bowl. The problem centres around the accuracy of his resulting outcomes rather than basic technique. However the extra challenge is that he wants to bowl leg spin, which is a difficult action and discipline to master in technical terms. His outcome success rate has been about 1 decent/accurate ball in 15, with problems concerning across the entire spectrum of control. We’d covered most of the physiological issues so we kicked off into areas hitherto not investigated. Almost jokingly I told him he was SO good at bowling into the side netting, or the roof that I wanted him to try to do it on purpose. He couldn’t – which was interesting! When eventually he managed to deliberately bowl badly I congratulated him – “Good! So you can do it when trying! Keep trying just so we all know if it was a fluke or not.” It was a fluke as he returned to trying and failing straight away.

At this stage I demonstrated James Tripp’s “Card Stick” routine, which is part of his Hypnosis Without Trance. Again I showed the young player proof that when he’s trying his hardest to do something, then he actually cannot do it. This did amuse him, but the point was well made in that for him, every ball he would bowl (as with the Card Stick) was driven by intense “trying” and subsequently judged against a level of perfection that was impossible for him to reach.

I asked him whether these circumstances arose with any of his other sports. They did not, and I then looked to make comparisons with his other sporting actions and his bowling in terms of how he experiences them and the various related submodalities. As an outcome I invited him, through visualization, to get in touch with the VAK of how he is in the other sports, and to use this as an anchor before every time he bowls.

We ran a test of 10 balls bowled at a target area and he had a 60% success overall, and with 1 ball in the dead centre of the target area. He now has a positive resource to help him with his practice, and a real handle on how to raise his level of confidence in this area, and to ‘spike’ his negative self talk after judging the outcomes.

I must have used quite a range of ‘Apps’ here – and the particularly effective one was the demo of the Card Stick. In terms of changing aspects of his conscious experience this had the most impact! Plus for me it showed how such a technique can be really useful in a sports coaching context as well.

The Professional Lady

This lady was unhappy about her relationship with food, and especially her habits in the areas of “the rubbish stuff”. As is usually the case, this was spilling over into the rest of her life in terms of frustration, confidence and self esteem.

She described a fairly regular scenario where she would pick and nibble at crisps, biscuits, bread and whatever etc while preparing the family main evening meal; then have no appetite and eat very little of the meal itself; then a couple of hours after the meal would be back into the ‘picking’ routine. She said that she felt that there was part of her that was extremely childish in attitude, and would dominate by not making the best and most appropriate choices – in spite of knowing that the ‘picking’ was bad for her. She couldn’t really resolve this ‘child within’.

We talked around various areas and I explained to her about pronounscapes, and how we often describe our persona from several perspectives. This is manifest through regular conversational use of the “I – Me – Self – You” of our personas – and so I invited her to ‘come with me on a journey of discovery’ about more aspects of her persona through questions around these areas.

It turned out that the “child” was manifest in 2 of her 4 pronouns, and that there were quite different feelings and perceptions held by these 2 in particular. At this point I decided to switch to a Parts Integration – using her present state and the wealth of information gained from the answers to the pronounscapes investigation.

I could have conventionally continued down the first road and, conceivably, guided her to something that might have been useful for her. However her relaxed and calm (Alpha) state just cried out to be maintained and utilised in a different way. It seemed a shame, I thought, to bring her back to a full consciousness especially as she was able to shift into and amongst these 4 persona aspects very easily. The Psychic Screwdriver had been deployed intuitively – however, I had little idea of what was about to transpire!

Within a short space of time I was witness to, what was for her, a huge reward. Parts Integration can bring about profound shifts for people anyway, and given this lady’s very strong intra-personal dialogue, she was able to resolve the conflicting misunderstanding between each of her 2 ‘inner children’ and the other 2 adult persona aspects as well. It was a wonderful golden moment both for her, and for me as witness.


In my book “Don’t Think of a Black Cat” I make an analogy akin to “NLP and the Art of Plumbing.” Here the methodology is a tool-kit where the Practitioner (plumber) uses various techniques to fix clients’ metaphorical appliances, dripping taps, leaky drains etc. As time goes on, however, I’m more convinced that there is such a crossover between all the artifices in the domain of the Mind that when we obtain a Psychic Screwdriver, then all we need is to (a) keep it charged, (b) always lookout for new Apps and most of all (c) – Use It!!