NLP Award Finalist – Alison Knowles

NLP Award Finalist

Wow what an accolade! Ali has been nominated for an international award for NLP training in Education.

She has been been selected, from those nominated, by an independent panel.  The finalists have been chosen on the how they have demonstrated the use of NLP in making a marked difference in the specified area.

The review below explains why Ali has been nominated.

“I met Ali a year ago and she has done so much to transform my family’s lives for the better since then. I couldn’t think of anyone better placed to be nominated for (and maybe to win!) an All in the Mind award.

I was recommended Ali for my son who was dealing with anxiety about 11+ exams. Ali dispensed with those problems in our first free Skype session and went on to help my son with the social problems he was having at school. In a few months he went from dreading school to actively looking forward to going in, and ended the school year winning the school talent contest and with a headmistress’s award for a great attitude towards school.

Amazed by my son’s transformation I apprehensively introduced Ali to my 8 year old daughter, who has been struggling with trichotillomania for around 3 years. She had had a string of therapists – all of whom had been ineffectual – but I was beginning to feel that if anyone could help, Ali could. My daughter was a difficult proposition, she is smart and manipulative and wised up to all the tricks in every therapists’ book. Ali recognised this immediately and also saw that my daughter’s biggest problem was that she was addicted to the attention she got from therapists and therefore had no motivation to stop pulling her hair out. Fast forward 6 months and Edie has gone nearly 40 days without pulling – a personal record.

Ali has a gift – she is not only incredibly astute about the root cause of different children’s problems but she uses her knowledge to reach different personalities in different ways, uniquely mixing her personal blend of “Ollie and his Superpowers”, hypnotherapy and NLP. Her methods seem so simple but the best ideas – the ones that can actually revolutionise the way we do things – almost always are.

Ali has helped me so much personally as well – not only through helping my children to become so much happier and fulfil their potential – but also by recognising that I needed help myself with the anxiety, negativity and perfectionism that was clouding my judgement about my children and myself. I really can speak from first hand experience about the way Ali appears to ‘see through’ a person and unlock the root cause of their ‘baggage’ – the kind so many of us have and that stops us from getting the most out of our lives.

I don’t know where myself or my family would be today without Ali. She has helped us immeasurably and I truly think she’s some sort of therapist genius (between my children and I we have seen at least 7 other therapists and one time or another so I have points of comparison!)

I hope Ali/Ollie and his Superpowers wins this award because I know that her dream is to help as many children as possible at as little cost as possible, and this award would bring that dream a step closer to becoming a reality.”  Polly

To find out more about training with Alison please go to

Why do we have emotions?

Which emotions would I choose?

If I could choose which emotions I had, I would get rid of sad, scared and anxious! Well who wouldn’t???

Why do we have emotions?

Any of our emotions left to their own devises are not great. They are meant to work as a team, balancing one another out.  Ying and Yang. If you didn’t have grief, you would not really appreciate love.  If you only had brave you would do something daft and hurt yourself!

We need all our emotions to keep us on an even keel. But sometimes one of them hijacks us and takes control.  Like sad or anxious and then you can only hear what sad or anxious want to hear and you can only see what they want to see and you can only feel what they want to feel.  But they don’t hijack us without a reason, they are trying to tell us something and it’s usually about protection.

But we get lost in them when what we should do is pull them out of ourselves and sit them in our hands and ask them what’s wrong. Sound daft? Try it!

We are made up of a team of emotions, each has its job, but you are the captain.  When one of them is getting a little loud there is usually a reason.  Take a breath, accept it’s where you’re at, not who you are and ask your anxious self what’s wrong?

It might surprise you xx

All behaviour serves a purpose – Client Review

All Behaviour Serves a Purpose

It is always so rewarding to hear from a client (parent of a client) on how they have changed their worlds within such a short period of time *.

Often what we do to protect ourselves from one thing doesn’t allow us to be the best version of ourselves.  Therefore we need to get to the root of why we are behaving the way we do so that we can change our behaviour *.

Ali is far and away the best therapist I’ve come across, And The Ollie Model she has created is just fantastic! When my 11 year old son started seeing her his typical school day was a very miserable experience. He felt anxious, lonely, victimised and misunderstood. However in the space of just a few months Ali has managed to rebuild his self-esteem and confidence and improved his social skills so much that he now feels truly happy with his life, his friends and his achievements. I knew that he wasn’t fulfilling his potential before, but since seeing Ali he has blossomed and grown more quickly than I thought possible. This has been a life-changing transformation for my son and our whole family. I couldn’t recommend Ali highly enough – she is one of the most astute and emotionally intelligent people I have ever come across but she wears this gift lightly, using her understanding of human behaviour and her sense of humour to help get children onside with her methods.

Thank you!



 * Disclaimer: results may vary from person to person

Stress and Anxiety management

Turn it Off Turn it On – study day

Anxiety and Stress are increasing in our every day lives whether it be at work or at home.  But there are ways to put what ever is causing the anxiety or stress back into perspective so that you can be more effective at work and be happier at home *.

Ali runs study days that gives you techniques that will help you manage your stress and anxiety.  You will learn how to spot a potential situation that may lead to stress and anxiety and you will learn how to adapt your language to help manage a situation either at work or at home.

Ali recently worked with a group of midwives.

The East and North Hertfordshire RCM Branch organised a study day mid February as part of the Caring for you Campaign.  It was a very successful day and commenced with Katie Chilton (our Head of Midwifery) talking about the Campaign; what she had already put in place and her future plans.  The main aim of the study day was to positively support our RCM member’s wellbeing at work.  The day was presented by Ali Knowles who is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner.  The day included an introduction to NLP stress and anxiety relief techniques and strategies to deal with bullying in the workplace.

Working as a midwife can at times be difficult, making us feel vulnerable and inducing a sense of disillusion when our emotional wellbeing is not being addressed. Ali taught us some great tools to deal with these unacceptable situations. It was both a thought provoking and empowering day and has given all the attendees some skills and techniques to put in place. The day ended with some deep relaxation and hypnotherapy to engender feelings of empowerment.  Ali and her team had amazing energy and overall it was a positive day.

We would like to thank all the midwives who attended in their own time and supported the day and Gloucester ward for providing the funds for sandwiches; everyone who baked cakes which were a great hit and all that gave up their time in organising the event to make this day possible.


Feedback of the study day included “it was one of the best study days I’ve attended”   “it was such a great day”   “I have gained some really good skills which I hope to put in place”. 


If you would like more information on how to arrange a study day please contact Ali on or give her a call 07546068881

  * Disclaimer: results may vary from person to person


Amazing results from the Hypno Hut – customer reviews

Customer Reviews

My job is about helping you be the best you can be.  So when I get feedback of how people have been able to change * their lives it makes me smile, getting that warm feeling inside.

I just wanted to share with you two very different clients feedback.

Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for all your help. 

 The results I’ve achieved have surpassed my expectations and I’ve really enjoyed our sessions. 

 Each time I’ve come away relaxed and almost elated. The mind, when lead by an expert like yourself, is complex and powerful and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with mine. 

 I’m not quite ready to levitate, but I now know that if I want to I can, because I can achieve anything. 

 Thanks again. I will see you again before my op. And I really look forward to that visit. 


Just letting you know I haven’t smoked since our meeting last Tuesday and have no intention of ever smoking again. Can’t put into words how greatful I am.


Remember – All behaviour serves a purpose


  * Disclamer:  results may vary from person to person

Childhood shapes us – all behaviour serves a purpose!

All Behaviour serves a purpose

Anyone else watching the re runs of the classic “Birds of a Feather”?

Tonight’s episode is about Sharon and Tracy getting an invite to a school reunion. The invite comes from a lady that used to bully Sharon at school. This bully put Sharon in a dust bin and sat on the lid for hours. Classic comedy but very good.  Sharon declares that she eats so much due to that trauma, her subconscious is protecting her by making sure she can’t fit in a dust bin again!.  Class!

But the thing is, she could be a client that has come to me for help with comfort eating and weight loss. Only by working with a client and getting to the initial emotional event that caused the issue can we deal with it. This is just comedy but the truth is, just by uncovering an event from your past, that you may not connect to, allows you to look at the event and subsequent behaviour as an adult and realize in Sharon’s case that its highly unlikely anyone is going to try and put her in a bin today.  So she really does not need to eat so match to make sure it does not happen again.

Comedy moment!  Comedy explanation of comfort eating but a very good example of how your subconscious joins the dots and creates behaviours that made sense to you as a child but are completely inappropriate and unnecessary today.  And often the memory is blurred if the event was a negative one.

This sounds very, very simplistic but a client comes to me with a phobia or a habit that is holding them back in some way. Working together to get to the memory of the event that created the presenting issue is amazing to watch.  It’s a real light bulb moment for a client and often just understanding why they do what they do is enough to stop the behaviour permanently *.

All behaviour serves a purpose

Obviously some early year traumas cannot be dealt with so lightly.  But even in those cases, once a client understands why they react or behave in a certain manner it’s like watching a huge cloud lift off them. *

Birds of a Feather – one of my better memories.


  * Disclaimer:  results may vary from person to person

Turn it off Turn if On – stress & anxiety workshop

“It was one of the best study days I’ve ever been on”

Ali was lucky enough to be asked by the midwives of North and East Hertfordshire RCM to run a Turn it off Turn it on workshop which is designed to help you learn how to manage stress and anxiety.

During the day the attendees learn a number of techniques and communications skills that allow them be better able to handle the pressure of every day work life and giving them the ability to leave work at work. Its a very emotional day as people put the things in place that have been holding them back or giving them concern.  The day is ended with a 30 minute relaxation roundup session where everything the attendees have been taught is refocused and given balance.*

From one of the attendees:

I’ve been at work this morning and I bumped into a couple of my colleagues who attended yesterday,  one of the participants stated, ” it was one of the best study days I’ve ever been on”. 

Working as a midwife can at times, be a difficult and heart wrenching job that can make us feel vulnerable and at times we get  disillusioned by a system that doesn’t always support our emotional wellbeing.  It was both a thought provoking and empowering day and it has certainly made me think about changing my own attitude and put in place some skills and techniques that we learnt .  Ali and her team have amazing energy and it was lovely they sat and chatted to us during the lunch break. I really enjoyed how the day ended, with some deep relaxation while  powerful affirmations were delivered, POWER…

  * Disclaimer:  results may vary from person to person


Ali nominated for a Best You Award

Nominee-BadgeThe Best Personal Development Author

Ali has been nominated for The Best Personal Development Author Award with the winner to be announced at the The Best You Gala ceremony on the 4th March 2017.

The award is in recognition of the most talented author that demonstrates an outstanding degree of groundbreaking achievement in Personal Development.  Ali was nominated for Ollie and his Super Powers. Knowles-Wiltshi_Ollie-and-His-S_978-1-78592-049-3_colourjpg-web

For more information about the 2017 awards, the expo or to book  tickets to the Gala event please go to

Ali would like to thank everyone who nominated her.

What part of you makes you behave as you do

What Part of you?

People come to the hut with an identity created by their issues – so I get “I’m, depressed, I’m an alcoholic, I’m over weight, I have no motivation, I have low self-worth etc.

URM………. My attitude is you are none of those things.  They are not who you are but they are what you’re doing at the moment. I also believe all behaviour serves a purpose, so there must be a purpose behind the way you are behaving. Most of the time that behaviour although in its self-debilitating in some way, I believe, its actually trying to protect you in some way.

Think about it.  Drinking to make stuff go away, comfort eating, not daring to try or look forward…

I truly believe that our behaviours are actually trying to help but that that help often causes more issues. A bit like taking anti-depressants to keep you on an even kill.  The intent is good but the outcome is rarely a desired solution state.

Behaviours are, in my mind, created by emotion.  Emotions are the things that make us unique individuals. With children, I call these emotions superheroes to give them substance and so I can dissociate the issue from the child. In adults I call them ‘parts of us’.

By very simply asking the part of you called depressed, or the part that thinks it’s got no confidence or the part that want to eat cake “what its problem is?”  The key being what IT’S problem is not what your problem is.  It never seizes to amaze me or my client what jumps into their minds!

I have low self-worth – well how can that be helping you?

I can’t stop eating cakes – how is that helping you?

I am depressed – how is that helping you?

Often the client can’t answer and just says it’s not!

But if I ask the part of them why it’s being so controlling – it’s amazing what comes out

I have no self-worth – well if I keep myself thinking that I won’t try so cant fail like last time when….

I can’t stop eating cakes – well if I keep eating cakes I feel loved close mum used to give me sweets and cakes when I was sad so………..

I am depressed – well if I stay depressed I won’t expect and won’t be disappointed again like last time when….

Generalisations but you get my drift.

All behaviour serves a purpose and that purpose is trying to protect you.

I don’t waste your time trying to make you laugh or stop eating cakes, quick fixes that solve the effect but don’t deal with cause. I work with you to help you with the issue doing what you do is protecting you from. Parts therapy is powerful because it starts straight away by making what you are struggling with part of you not all of you, freeing you from that identity, so you can look at the issue its trying to block out. *

 * disclaimer: results may vary from person to person

All behaviour serves a purpose

All behaviour serves a purpose

And it’s controlled by your own little body guard!

A young girl was bought to me because she had been expelled from school.  Well schools to be precise, because of unruly behaviour and stealing from home – her foster home.

She would do anything to gain attention that usually resulted in detention.

Various therapists had tried to help her recognise her behaviour was not acceptable but to no avail.

It seems – “stop it” was just not registering with her.

She did not want to talk to me, another therapist, and so I didn’t try to engage her.  I just requested that as she was here and I appreciated she did not want to be, that she should amuse herself for the hour while I got on with some work.

I then turned my back on her and started to talk to my toy doll, Ollie.

“Well Ollie, I don’t believe that you like getting into so much trouble, so I guess your little body guard super power has a good reason for it.  Can I talk to him please?”

I then proceeded to pull out the little bodyguard superpower from Ollie and with it gently cupped in my hand I began talking to it.

“Now little chap, this is interesting because the little girl sat behind me is with a foster family too so you two have a lot in common.” (I caught the little girl out of the corner of my eye- she was watching me)

“Ok little bodyguard.  Now either you hate school and hate your foster family…… but no, that can’t be it, because you’re the bodyguard and you’re about protection, so let me see, how is this behaviour helping you protect Ollie?”

I then suggested some things e.g.

“Do you steal to make people hate you…. now that can’t be it because you then do all you can for their attention….”

“Do you misbehave so people won’t like you…..? Now that can’t be it because you want their attention…”

“Ok little chap, you got me, I think I might finally have been beaten – I admit – I don’t know why you’re doing these things.”

I looked crest fallen and sat very quiet with a very sad look on my face. After a few minutes the little girl said very quietly “maybe it’s not because he wants attention.”

Without turning around I said, “Really – you think – no – I don’t understand that… it has to be about getting attention.”

The little girl said, “Maybe it’s because he doesn’t want to be hungry.”

I still did not turn round but stayed focussed on Ollie, “no I don’t think that’s it – his foster family are lovely and take care of him so that can’t be it.”

The little girl said, “Maybe he is afraid that they might not feed him or his little sister and….”

At that point I turned around, the little girl was in tears….

Basically, she and her sister were in foster care because of an abusive family life, part of which was being locked in their room with no food for – well I don’t know how long.  If she clowned around and made her parents and their friends laugh she got “thrown” food! So she had learnt that if she acted up and did what the kids at school dared her to do they would give her sweets, she stole food from home and was hiding it and money in her room – just in case.

 All behaviour serves a purpose………..

Working with her lovely foster mum we got her a box and filed it with food, that was her emergency box for her and her little sister. Then we started working on getting her through the abuse her and her sister had suffered.

There are no bad kids, all behaviour serves a purpose and in kids it’s usually drills down to their need of security and feeling safe. I am pleased to report she has settled down and better still it looks like her foster family may well become her forever home.

   * Disclaimer:  results may vary from person to person