The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Directory websites for therapists

Over the period of December 2009 and January 2010 I have noticed a considerable proliferation of therapy related “directory websites” – all of whom email me as a healer inviting me to sign up to their directory listing, mostly on a national level but quite often on an international (or as they describe it - global) level.

These invites are usually on the (initial) basis of a free listing, and the ‘sales’ pitch is usually on the range of benefits from joining or, more to the point, the downsides of not joining. The end result for me has been an evaluation of MY criteria in (a) even considering the invite and (b) actually going ahead with registration.

Which brings me to the Hypnotherapy Directory, which I signed up to at the end of last year (2009). Why did this directory stand out for me and what encouraged me to join them in particular? In the end it came down to a simple A-B-C!

A – Approach was individual and not sales-oriented. It felt that I mattered to them and not the other way around. I was invited to view their site – and was struck here by another “A”- appearance. The appearance and layout (for me at least) was effectively “congruent”, which is a word perhaps not bandied about by site designers.

B - Beneficial – the site came across as likely to be beneficial for all users, both therapists and potential clients.
For the latter the contents include information and advice about how hypnotherapy might be effective for a whole range of conditions and issues, an FAQ section that addresses areas where newcomers to hypnotherapy can be guided through and towards, and of course a ‘find a therapist’ section that is post-code oriented in a useful way.
There is an opportunity for registered members to publish articles – as well as an oft-updated ‘News’ section carrying information and media articles on aspects of hypnotherapy, case studies etc. There is also an ‘Events’ section that is beneficial for both potential clients as well as therapists.

C - Credibility – I feel it is really important that all members are ‘vetted’ in terms of certification and insurance. This way there is little likelihood of George The Cat ( re-emerging as a credible hypnotherapist. This procedure alone helps all potential clients considerably, as well as protecting those of us in practice who take therapy seriously.

All in all I can recommend the Hypnotherapy Directory a most useful site and I’m confident that, with time, the enquiries and referrals received will expand effectively as they continue to provide a real benefit to both members and their potential clients.

You can reach them here:-

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scaling the Heights? Better than living in A flat

Simple concept from the World of Distraction....

The Piano Stairs - exercise without tiers?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Using Time to Make Better Decisions....

Is there a link between The 4 Cartesian Questions and this approach by Philip Zimbardo.....

Using R.A.S in Sport (particularly cricket)

What is the awareness of how much "beyond technique" work can be done to enhance the quality of sensual data input by sportspersons to enable them to fine-tune their skills execution?

Here is a 3-part article I wrote on using the R.A.S for increasing quality information gathering (essentially attention-driven concentration). The field of activity is cricket...but the point covers pretty much all sport.


by Peter Wright, ECB Level 2 Coach, GHR, CNHC, DHyp,
Master Practitioner in NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnotherapy

This collection of 3 short reports examines how to achieve enhanced performance and greater accuracy by improving VISUAL data processing utilizing these particular mental processes:

R.A.S (Reticular Activating System)
Laser-like focus and concentration using Dead Aim principles

As you read the reports, you will notice how these particular mental processes are inextricably linked through each skill examination in turn, as we study :

1. Throwing and hitting targets
2. Bowling to hit fine-detailed areas of the pitch
3. Helping batters to consistently hit gaps


I took a group of 8 of our Academy Cricketers aged 11-13 and explained to them the power of visualization in relation to fielding.

The key point I wanted to make to them was that by visualizing the stumps at each end of the wicket they could build a mental map to assist with the accuracy of their throwing in. I explained that in the course of the pick up and throw, the eyes had little time to search for the "target" with a good degree of accuracy – given the requirement to watch the ball into the hands first. This would necessitate the need for the brain to “best guess” the target area, and best here would be relative to the amount of hard visual data gathered. By visualizing the target(s) first, making them bigger, brighter, bolder, closer, then this would enhance their capabilities. PLUS – if they were to bring principles of Dead Aiming into the process then these capabilities would be enhanced by geometric proportions.

The Dead Aiming principles I am referring to are (1) observing an area of the target in fine detail, (2) concentrating on a single spot in that area, (3) maintaining total observation and concentration on that spot in the course of performing the physical process or action, (4) significantly reducing the levels of sensual data input from all bar the visual.

They visualized three target wickets, the middle of which was a single stump. They each had three goes and, starting with their backs to the targets, were required to pick up a bounce off the wall and turn and throw across the sports hall at the targets - aiming at whichever one they wanted. First time round there was one hit from 24 throws.
They were then told to continue with their visualizations and there was to be a second round of throws at the targets. This time they would be required to throw with their eyes closed. Result - There were 9 hits out of 24 throws - 5 of which were on the single stump target.

The interesting point was: with the eyes closed, the target would only be seen in visual memory and the physical processes of the throw adjusted to that directional information. Plus, the 'clean' (undistracted) nature of this hot-wired data will also have contributed in some way to the resulting accuracy of the throws.

It goes without saying, however, that good throwing technique is THE most important thing here - but it’s a good example of what the mental processes can bring to a physical activity.

If you have the chance I suggest you do this little experiment for yourself. It’s a good practice for your visualization skills anyway, plus I'm sure you'll arrive at the same conclusions we did.
I had to conclude the experiment after just 2 rounds of throws due to time constraints on the session - but the message was loud and clear to us all who were there. After that 15 minute exercise everyone was in no doubt as to the power of visualization!


The human brain is an amazing set of control processors - and those who cultivate mind-body links whether through conscious or unconscious processes or a balance of the two, can achieve extraordinary states and outcomes.

Bowling is such a complex physical process that I like to deal with one element at a time, otherwise there is requirement overload. But what about the players' expectations within the coaching paradigm? Be sure to factor these into your strategic plan and the progress will be of geometric proportions.

Bowlers of all ages love to hit the stumps – it reinforces self-efficacy and has a real feel-good factor. SO the expectational judgement is usually to hit the stumps...AND if you can add in a length target as an alternative to the strike then they can measure progress in two dimensions. Then they can quickly grasp those "line and length" encouragements and exhortations from coaches and team mates alike.

But whether it is hearing the requirements spoken, or grasping the argument and feeling comfortable with their actions, the widest and open of the senses in this area is the visual. So use it. And I don't mean just use it - but USE IT.
We all know and use phrases like laser-like focus, pinpoint accuracy, but if you translate them into a physical field for accuracy practice then you will be surprised by the results.

I placed a small blue hoop (about 15in diameter) on a length in the nets and a visible "Stumpi" stump target on off stump. I stood with the bowlers and we assessed the visual field. The area of net flooring within the hoop appeared as a thin green smear from some 20yds distant. I got them to draw an imaginary line from the middle of the stump target down to the visual green "smear". They were to then focus on this point as they ran in - taking no conscious regard of any part their action. The sensual dissociation took no more than 2-3 balls and then the positive outcomes really started to kick in.
Their levels of consistency of length and line was extraordinary - and of course the feel good factor and sense of achievement for them all was immense. These weren't seasoned or elite bowlers - just your average learning Joes!
We changed the bowling line for left-handed bats and then also changed length parameters - by moving the hoop nearer or further away from the stumps or to the other side.
The effect was immediate and in keeping with previous results. The bowlers were able to adjust for LH bats/change of lengths merely by processing the new sensory input data from the eyes.

Using dead aim, especially practicing with visual markers as guides, is hugely succesful. (We started originally with throwing at specific point targets.) The bonus is that, by focussing closely upon a very small single point, when the outcome is not 100% succesful on point hitting it is certainly 75-80% accurate. And that level of accuracy is still good enough to qualify as a "good ball"!!
So how do you translate it into real situations where they won’t have the hoop to put down as a marker for the horizontal field? This is where careful pitch scrutiny is vital so zones (akin to our green smear) can be recognized from a distance. Do it from both ends - and allow for the line to left handers as well as right. The big plus to remember is that they will always have the stumps as markers for the vertical field, so they draw the imaginary line back from off stump (or just outside) just as far as the length they want to bowl.

Most bowlers will have Visual as their primary (lead) or certainly secondary re-presentational system. This is why dead aim targeting is so important.
Just using words like “find a spot and aim for it” will not work anything like as well. You need to give them all the visual handles or it will take much longer for them. And as we all know too well, distractions destroy concentration!

This is such a portable skill that it can be applied to ANY set of circumstances, venues, etc etc. It relies purely on the volume and undistracted quality of their own visual data input.

Do you know any bowlers who do this? Try it yourself and see.

Dissociating from the other senses (audible, kinaesthetic and particularly internal dialogue) is very important and has a direct bearing on the consistency of your outcomes.

Why you may ask?

Switching off other sensual data input from the RAS* actually means your brain will process more detail from the visual data. Its a bit like digital versus analogue. With more data input the mind-body link performs better, and with better exclusion of distractions there is less interference and better results.

* - (RAS is Reticular Activating System - the brain's perceptive filter)

How liberating is this for a bowler – regardless of age? In coaching terms he is usually bombarded with instructions, as the process of bowling is hugely complex. Remembering them all is tough. Now – unless I am specifically correcting something errant or quirky about their action, all I ask them to do is ONE thing – visually focus and concentrate.

A further element of portability with this process is linking it to your bowlers’ visualizations. This gives them a wonderful way to practice and rehearse dissociating from other sensual input, and keeps reinforcing those mind-body links that are so vital to this process. It also gives them a further fall-back position for times when the quality of visual data input is compromised by extraneous noise and errant thoughts!


One of the biggest frustrations for any batter is executing the perfect shot and hitting it straight to a fielder. But what if he could have a process whereby he could hit gaps with something approaching a 30% success rate? He faces 100 balls with 30% gap success – minimum score 30, but factor in 2s, 3s, boundaries and his strike rate is going to be between 60-70%. He’d say “Yes Please!”
But hitting gaps 3 out of every 10 times can be a basic guarantee IF he uses the mental processes in his armoury:-
The R.A.S – Dead Aim (Laser-like focus) – Visualization

In this article I want to explore the R.A.S with you…..
So what is the Reticular Activating System?

Ever made a sound recording in a classroom or at a party? There is just so much background noise picked up that you would wonder how on earth people can hold conversations with all that extraneous din. You live in a town, with lit streets at night and then go for a holiday in the country or where the streets aren't lit. How dark is it at night? Unnerving almost - and likewise for the country dweller trying to sleep in a city-based hotel. Too bright, noisy streets.....The examples go on.....

So what cuts out all that extraneous stuff, all the data you don't want, nor will ever need? Its the RAS, your perceptive filter.
The RAS consists of a bundle of densely packed nerve cells located in the central core of the brainstem. Roughly the size of a little finger, the RAS runs from the top of the spinal cord into the middle of the brain. This area of tightly packed nerve fibres and cells contain nearly 70% of your brain's estimated 200 billion nerve cells or a total of 140 billion cells.
To get back to the noisy party all the cacophony you may hear your name spoken by someone at the other side of the room. Your RAS has picked it up as relevant data and placed it in the "in-tray" of your consciousness. Very smart!!

So we can harness this filter by programming our requirements:-
On your next road journey as a passenger, just look out for red cars and count how many you see in 5 minutes. Then try and remember the other cars, or any significant vehicles. Difficult! You actually saw them all - but only took notice of the red ones.

So what external sporting contexts can this help with?
Visual: Targets and spaces, moving and stationary
Auditory: Sounds and silences
Kinaesthetic: Touch, sensation, rhythm, stillness, motion etc etc.

...and what about the internal contexts?
The eternal optimist - the morbid pessimist - the perfectionist judge. All viewing the world through their own particular tinted glasses - their own particular internally programmed RAS.
Put a pickpocket in a room full of saints and all he will see is their pockets. Do all Gentlemen prefer blondes?

So you can programme and use your RAS in many many ways.

How many times in cricket is a fielder moved and immediately the batsman hits it straight to him. Is it the psychic skipper or bowler? No - its the batsman's unprogrammed RAS. He looked at the new position the fielder took up and that image was retained in his attentive foreground. If you programme your RAS to identify the gaps between the fielders, it will do so. You then have a much better chance of hitting the gaps and not the fielders! This is simplicity itself – but do we do it? And if so how regularly?
The added bonus comes with repetitive (before every ball/every other ball) scanning of the scoring gaps. Your RAS processes gaps and your short-term memory retains a "gap map". You will now already be finding yourself hitting gaps more consistently instead of relying on guesswork or luck!
However – this is only the first sketch of your GAP MAP because there are more processes you can bolt-on to make it better – to add on more detail so your brain has higher quality data and can guide your physical processes to perform in a more optimal way.

1. Consistency of MAPPING. Do your study of the gaps in a methodical sweep rather than randomly going from one to another. Plot all the points sequentially so your brain doesn’t have to sort it out for you. Scramble your input data and you are then asking, expecting your brain to unscramble it … and that takes time; time you would rather put to a better use! Remember that well known IT phrase about data quality – GIGO…..Garbage In Garbage Out!
2. Dead Aim the CENTRES of the GAPS. If you just look in the general area of the gaps then that’s what the brain will process for you….a general area. If you input the Dead Centre of every gap then that’s what it will process. Be very specific with your search for detail here. Dead centre focus should be laser-like – not torch-beam like! You will then find that with a percentage of error to the left or right of dead centre you’ll still be successful – whereas with the same percentage of error acting upon a vague, general area then you’ll still often hit fielders. QUALITY IN – QUALITY OUT!
3. Repetition of MAPPING. The more you draw the MAP the bolder, better etched, it will be in your Visual Memory. Fielders aren’t static like street lamps or gateposts – they move or get moved around – they walk in. Take note of these factors! Best and most repetitive option is to scan the field EVERY ball. You can build it into your routines and habits. You can anchor it or stack it to another anchor so you can achieve any desired state (calmness, focus switch-on, composure, breathing cycle…you name it)
4. Visualization. After mapping – can you close your eyes and see the GAP MAP and/or repeat the scan and mark the gaps in your visual memory? This is eventually achievable…and the eventual point is different for everyone. So what does this do for the process? It reinforces visual memory – rewrites the GAP MAP. Pre-match visualizations for hitting gaps are really good for linking shot-execution to perfect outcome. They make the whole process have a real-life start to finish context.

Practice scenarios:

I worked with an U11 lad who was a hitter not a stroker, plus his hitting quality was well oriented to cross-bat rather than straight-bat shots. His quality as a batsman – average.
I showed him the gaps (targets) and asked that he not just study them but find a dead-centre spot which he could identify and concentrate on for about 5 seconds

I started by setting him 2 wide targets – an extra cover target and a mid-wicket target. Through gradual build up he improved both but especially the off-side where by putting less power into the shot he found he had more consistency hitting the target. He also noticed he was hitting with a straighter bat without even trying!
I gradually narrowed the target down to around 2 yards, and when he watched the ball all the way onto the bat, he found his mental mapping processes were guiding him towards hitting the gaps.
I then added another gap at cover point and at square leg, and gave him scores for each of the (now) 4 gaps. This stage of the process gave him a chance to measure his success and progress in 6 ball sequences. He quickly got up to 30% scoring success and then we progressed to making the targets smaller. Here the success % would be very hard to achieve as the scoring criteria were very stringent. However by the end he consistently hit 30% of these smaller targets.

At every stage of these exercises he reinforced his data input. He did consistent and regular mapping – he studied each target dead-centre with laser-like focus. Occasionally I would ask him to close his eyes and see if he could visualize all the centres of all the targets.

Added extras!

The pity was I hadn’t videoed the exercise… he would have seen himself playing a level of straight-bat shot making that he would never have dreamed possible. Some of the off drives were almost text-book quality – and from a lad who (seemingly) was not readily able to play such a shot!
Dissociating from technique often frees the body up to perform that technique with unconscious competence. It has worked consistently with bowlers I have coached through using Visual-Sensual Concentration and it clearly works with Batters as well.
Added Extra #1 – Technique dissociation

By the final exercises he had been close concentrating for around 20 minutes and this was tiring for him. However with this practice routine he was learning, at an UNCONSCIOUS level, how to concentrate. How beneficial will this be to him in EVERYTHING he does – not just other areas of cricket, or other sports, but in the classroom and in many other areas of his life? I often ask people how they think they might learn about concentration – or whether anyone has shown them how to learn about concentration. The answers usually contain words like FOCUS and ATTENTION….but not usually any mention of DIRECTION!
Added Extra #2 – Unconsciously learning to concentrate

The conscious thought processes can sometimes over-ride the guidance of the mind-body links – IF YOU LET THEM. Given say 3 offside GAPS within his MAP a player may consciously try to propel the ball towards one of his choice. Curiously he will still be likely to hit a GAP, but probably not the one he had chosen! If the GAP MAP is good enough, the brain will intuitively go for the optimal gap for that particular ball……if you can trust it to do so. Dissociation again is key to success here.
Added Extra #3 – Intuitive choice of GAP

I have worked on building this Gap Hitting technique with groups as well as individuals - and outcomes have been equally successful. Working with groups takes obviously longer as the overall measurement of success comes at the level of the lowest common denominator. Everyone’s level of dissociation, level of visualization, level of concentration will be different. But you will find they all progress, they all display all the elements described in “Added Extras”, and they find the processes and outcomes fascinating.


Since working purely in the area of the Visual Field and allowing players to commit their technique/action to an autonomic function I have noticed huge positive shifts in both process and outcome quality.

Along with that I have noticed improvements in concentration and temperament, plus a genuine increase in enjoyment levels. I have also worked with a number of young coaches on this and they have used it for themselves as well as their players. They too have found similar results.

The better the technique/action a player has then the more successful they will be. However if they can add in enhancements in the Visual data processing that their brain has the capacity to provide for them, then that success increases. The mind-body links need to be explored at every opportunity, as this is all part and parcel of their conscious-unconscious dialogue. They can use it - or they can choose to ignore it. But to make the best judgment of it they really need to know about it first! And in all these cases – seeing IS believing.

I am firmly of the opinion it is vital to their growth and improvement as players. It is, after all, their skill beyond technique.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Perception v Reality

This is a topic I always get around to when unpacking for players how they might understand the need for quality sensual data in order for their brain to "best process" elements of technique.

One of the openers is "How many ways are there of getting out of this room/hall?"
Here the response is usually to count the visible exits - and so when I point out some examples of how to go through the door space (sideways, crawling, hopping etc) there is a groan that leads to an "Aha!" moment.

There is another set of examples to stimulate "Aha!" moments and that is optical illusions.

Here is a great set I found when reading a blog from a video analyst's website:

In this amazing visual illusion by Edward H. Adelson, square A and square B are the exact same color!

If you click on the link below for an explanation and other examples you are finding more interesting stimulations!