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

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


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

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

Why try Hypnotherapy

Well let’s start with what is hypnosis?

To be hypnotised is to be in a trance state. To be trapped in a behaviour or thought.  Think about what your struggling with right now, a habit you want to kick, a fear or phobia that controls you – well that’s you in a trance,

My job as a” hypnotherapist” is to break you out of that trance state. Set you free from it.

But in order to do that we have to understand why you created the trance state in the first place. I believe all behaviour serves a purpose. Consider a fear of dogs, when you see a dog you get anxious – that is your body protecting you.  That’s your amazing subconscious remembering an incident that created your phobia and doing its best to stop you being in any danger going forward, so it heightens your awareness of dogs and makes you anxious, creating a phobia.

So all though the phobia can be deliberating it’s actually designed to try and protect you.

So not only does all behaviour serve a purpose, it’s trying to serve a positive one!

To free you from that protective behaviour we have to understand where it came from and if it’s still a need in you to be so alert.

I do that by helping you revisit the initial event.  Cliché as it may sound it’s often something from your child hood because that when we are learning how to stay safe in our world.

More often than not, the first event that created your habit or fear or phobia was created in a much younger less capable, less aware you than you are today.

An example – let’s use the dog phobia…

A lady in her 40’s came to me as she has had a phobia of dogs all her life and wants to marry the love of her life but guess what? Yep he comes with two dogs!

Well, we spent some time going back to her initial event that created her fear. Her memory was of being little and being mauled by a huge dog!

Scary – no wander she has a phobia!

Through NLP language techniques we were able to find the true event in her memory. I say true because every time we bring up a memory we change it without knowing it. You see you and but you cannot think like you did as a child because you know more, you are more worldly wise, you are bigger, stronger.

So every time you remember something you will be adding your current belief systems to that event.

When we cut through that and actually got this lovely lady to travel back down her life line to the event and watch as if watching a movie, what we say was a young girl in the park and an overzealous puppy bounding up to lick her but because she was small it toppled her over and she hurt her arm as she fell. 

As an adult watching this she realised that the dog was not trying to maul her, in fact it did not really hurt her at all – it was just because she was so little.

The lovely lady realised instantly that that could not happen again – a puppy could not knock her over, the dog was only playing….

She is still mindful of big dogs but I am happy to report that she has let go of her phobia of all dogs and wedding bells are ringing again.

All behaviour serves a purpose and usually a protective one, but the key is that that behaviour was created in a time and place and circumstance that doesn’t exist now and cannot exist now.

 * 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


Learn to speak ‘ Ollie ‘

An evening with Alison Knowles, author of the Ollie and his Super Powers series of books.

Ollie and his Super Powers are going on the road with dates being set for an evening introduction to speaking ‘Ollie’.  The first event is being held in St Ives, at the Free Church on the 7th September, 7-9pm.  Tickets are only £5 and are available on the door or you can get them from Caroline on

You will learn why Ollie came about and get an understanding of how to use the Ollie language every day.  Its set to be an interesting evening with lots of laughs and some really useful tips.  You will also get to meet a few of our Coaches that have been trained in how to use the Ollie techniques.  The toys and books will be available to buy at discounted rates.


Making the difference – testimonial from a mum

Testimonial from a mum that really makes me want to do what I do.

When you get feedback that you have helped someone to be the best version of themselves it really brings it home that what you are doing is making a difference.  It might only be little steps initially but the journey has began  Or it might be big leaps and bounds with it being a ride on a jet plane.  It doesn’t matter which journey it is and it doesn’t matter how much time it takes, all that matters is that we have started that engine and we are off…..

Please read on as below as a mum describes her sons journey


I looked for and found Ali because the medical and school system were letting my 8 year old child down.

The Child Mental Health Service wouldn’t see him because he didn’t have specific behavioural problems and the schools inclusion worker was very nice but under the pump and 20mins a week wasn’t really effective.

As parents we had tried everything we could think of. He was being bullied, he struggled with playground politics, he wasn’t coping with the mean words being thrown at him, he spent a lot of the school day crying and/or getting frustrated, which made the bullying worse, he was getting socially isolated, he was starting to refuse to go to school, his teacher was starting to lose patience and I was feeling like it was all spiralling. I felt like this needed to be resolved now and not wait “until he matures” or “until the bullies get bored”.

From the first day we met Ali my son took to her and the way she spoke and communicated with him. She was open with him and he understood what she did and engaged with her. After one session he was on a high. So happy! Like something had been released. Someone had finally told him HOW to cope with all these feelings he was having.

He took his Ollie figure in his pocket to school so when the bad words came he could squeeze the figure and the armour would come up and protect his “heart” and over the next few days he started to work it out. One day saying “there were a few holes in my armour today mum cos some bad words got through but I will make it stronger tomorrow”.

And he has built and built up his resilience. He said to me yesterday that a child had been saying mean things and that he had only needed to squeeze Ollie for 5 seconds and he felt ok and didn’t cry and the boy left him alone. He was elated. He hasn’t said he doesn’t want to go to school for ages and seems more confident and happier and the school have noticed a change too. He said he doesn’t want/need to be in social inclusion anymore cos he has Ali now. He doesn’t come out of school in tears looking like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

I am relieved we have found a person and a technique that is so simple but actually genius and it works. It just works!

I would recommend anyone spend an hour with Ali and Ollie’s superpowers and guarantee they will come out feeling more resilient, supported and special because they now have superpowers too!

Signed :  Nicky

Learn More

If you want to learn more about Ollie and his Super Powers and the work I do specifically with children please go to .  Alternatively give me a call.


  * Disclaimer:  results may vary from person to person

We create our own emotion realities

Our memory is like a picture creating our own emotional realities

If you take a picture of a sunny day and happy people doing relaxing stuff and with the aid of a computer you change the cloud formation from blue to grey, you remove the sun,  add in a few thunder clouds and torrential rain you will completely change your emotional response to that picture.

If you take a favourite film and a scene of someone happily carefree skipping through the woods and change the uplifting music to the theme from Jaws, you will completely change your emotional response to that film.

Just by changing a colour or a sound we can change how you emotionally react to something. And believe me if you watch Snow White with all the happy animals to the Jaws theme music you will really struggle to not have an anxious feeling everytime you watch that movie even if you’ve given it back its original sound track.

Why is this useful to know? Well as a therapist I can’t change a past event but can change how your mind perceives that event by adjusting the memory slightly. I would be changing the grey to brighter colours and the Jaws theme to something energising, up lifting, and fun.

By doing that I can help you change for ever your emotional memory of something.  Making the memory much easier to live with or with a little more of a make-over, change it to memory that does not make you feel the need to push your anxious button.

The only thing that makes what I remember and what you remember is the emotion we attach to it that colours it.

What colour would make your emotional realities more comfortable?


  * Disclaimer:  results may vary from person to person