My ancestor Sigmund Freud, who must take responsibility for putting the whole world into therapy, almost chose a very different path, into hypnotism.

I use it when I’m trying to visualise good things for myself and my family, and when I’m trying to picture places far away (this is called remote viewing: I’ll talk about it in a future column).When I published my novel Ella three years ago I was determined to turn it into a film. I flew to LA and schmoozed every producer on Sunset Boulevard – I must have bent 500 spoons as I excited people about the story of a teenage girl who develops the power to heal through TV.But I flew home dejected. To film Ella was a wonderful dream – why did I keep waking up? My wife looked at me seriously and said: “You must step from hoping to believing!” Hanna was right – she always is! My eagerness was probably setting off warning bells in producers’ minds. The answer was to forget the dream and focus on a reality.For weeks I repeated to myself: “Ella will be filmed. The book will become a movie.” This technique is called affirmation. By stating something positive over and over again, you instill confidence and banish doubt. Try it if you are studying for exams this month: “I will revise hard. I will answer the questions well. I will pass.” Don’t sound desperate as you say it – sound sure. Sound confident. And repeat it 1,000 times … every day.Affirmations are a gentle form of hypnosis. They work slowly and make you feel great. And they work. The proof? I’ve just signed a contract with Bernard Rose, the highly regarded director of cinema smashes like Candyman and Anna Karenina, to produce Ella. Hollywood here I come!


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