As twenty-first-century science continues to strive for greater understanding of the human body via advancements in technology and neuroscience: the author believes that the secret to greater health and wellbeing dwells not in a person’s body but within a persons mind. Sigmund Freud believed that “The mind is like an iceberg, it

floats with one-seventh of its bulk above the water.” But what if the messages that are sent forth from the depths of your unconscious are simply not being picked up by you or the outside world?

If you were to think about yourself as a system of communication, then what is it that causes parts of your neurology to cease contact with other parts of your neurology? Conventional talking therapies tend to deal with conscious memory and therefore cannot bridge the gap in this neurological deletion. A professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Nancy, France called Hyppolyte Bernheim (1837 – 1919) looked at “suggestive therapeutics” in order to transform a client’s ideas into actions. Bernheim reasoned that a person in a light trance or hypnotic state would be able to transform thoughts into actions as there would be no conscious need to question the suggestions given to them. He would further state that by awakening the “sensitive memory-image” via “ideo-motor” responses a subject can transform “thought into movement, unknown to the will”. (1886/1957 pp137-138)

Although Bernheims’ groundbreaking work would pave the way for the field of hypnosis and hypnotherapy, the author seeks to direct the readers’ attention to the baby that, he believes, may have been thrown out with the bath water.

 What is the Sensitive Memory-Image?

The “sensitive memory-image” (S.M.I), which Bernheim puts forward must be, the author concludes, an imagined image that the subject creates during trance and is then associated to, thus driving or creating the ideo-motor response.

The S.M.I. has been and continues to be the main area of the authors’ research. Although the work is founded upon the non-verbal communication of clients’ during coaching, therapy and training over hundreds of hours, still there is no empirical data to further validate two decades of hands on practice.

The author was born with an advantage over many others’ as his inner ears have no ‘stapes’ or ‘incus’ affording the author an extraordinary ability when reading non-verbal communication. After being introduced to the works of Milton H. Erickson (1901 – 1980) and Virginia Satir (1916 – 1988) by Wilfred Proudfoot (1921 – 2013) the author practiced vigilantly the lessons that were laid out by these iconic therapists. Both Erickson and Satir would indulge in a state of looking at their clients’ with “soft eyes” Satir, V. (1988). This means to watch via peripheral vision, this way one can notice many of the subtle movements accorded to non-verbal communication. Erickson would utilise this technique to track any “behaviour changes” in his clients’ Zeig, J.K (1985). Erickson(2002).

The Body Mind Work Connection

During a ‘phobia cure’ session the author noticed that the clients’ gaze was avoiding a certain area directly in front of them. Further enquiry would uncover that the client was attempting to avoid visual contact with the phobic stimuli in front of them, ergo their “Sensitive Memory-Images”. This was the point that would transform the authors approach to non-verbal communication and inspire the author to teach and train others in Body Mind Work. By becoming aware of the Sensitive Memory-Images or the screen in front of you or your client, you have a direct link to the mind itself and how to guide it.

If you would like to discover more about the your mind/body connection and how you can utilize this knowledge to overcome many barriers be them physical or emotional, then contact us or email or Facebook 


Bernheim, H (1890). Suggestive therapeutives: A treatise on the nature and uses of hypnotism.. New York: Putnum. p137-139.

Erickson, M.H & Gilligan, S.G (2002). The Legacy of Milton H. Erickson: Selected Papers of Stephen Gilligan. Phoenix: Zeig,Tucker & Theisen, INC. p250.

Satir, V., & Banmen, J. (1984). Virginia Satir verbatim. Delta, British Columbia: Delta Associates.

Satir, V. (1988). The new peoplemaking. Mountain View, CA: Science and Behavior Books Inc.

Satir, V., Banmen, J., Gerber, J., & Gomori, M. (1991). `The Satir model. Pal Alto, California: Science and Behavior Books, Inc.

Satir, V. (1996). The third birth-becoming your own decision maker. Burien, Washington: Avanta.

Zeig, J.K (1985). Teaching Seminar With Milton H. Erickson edited by Jeffrey K. Zeig. New York: Routledge. p5.

Featured image Anthony Hall Art