Valerie Austin

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Valerie Austin
Born (1948-08-10) 10 August 1948 (age 70)
Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Valerie Austin (born 10 August 1948 in Blackpool, Lancashire) is an English hypnotherapist, trainer, lecturer, author and journalist. She is married to James Pool, medical hypnosis trainer, author[1] and historian.[2]


Austin was born in Blackpool to two hoteliers. She married at 18 years old and had a son. The marriage ended in divorce, and to support herself and her son, Austin took a job selling advertising space on a commission only basis and surprised herself by quickly becoming the top sales person, breaking all their records during her seven years there.[2]

At that time, a near fatal accident on a motorway left Austin with hysterical amnesia (severe memory loss) which eventually led her into hypnotherapy. The accident left her with a 24-hour memory for over two years. She could remember yesterday but not the day before, and her life was in chaos.[3] Eventually, she “recovered” her memory through hypnosis.[4][5]

Shortly after regaining her memory, she met and married her second husband, John Austin (international editor of The Hollywood Reporter) in Las Vegas. She moved to the US and was active in the film industry selling feature films and wrote her own column in a Hollywood trade magazine interviewing celebrities and film financers.

However during one of her trips back to the UK a number of family deaths, including her mother, accidents and trauma triggered her memory loss. She forgot she was married, did not return to the US or her husband and spent the next four years with a 24 hours memory. She regained her memory for the second time with hypnosis and then started to take a greater interest in the subject.[2]

Following her divorce from Austin, her journalism experience in Hollywood helped launched her second career as a journalist and writer. She freelanced in Fleet Street until she did a course in hypnotherapy, discovered she was good at it, and built a career.[2]

She passed her pilot's licence in 1974, which she held for 13 years with over 250 logged flying hours experience.[6]

Hypnotherapy career

Austin opened her Harley Street practice in 1989. Since then she has worked in Hollywood, Malaysia, Fort Lauderdale, Monaco and London.[2] She was the UK’s first celebrity hypnotherapist[2][7] and has treated over 5,000 people to overcome many different addictions, phobias, obsessions and bad habits.[8] Austin kick started her hypnotherapy career by focussing on the notoriously difficult smoking cessation area to demonstrate the effectiveness and immediacy of her technique.[9] She then went on to develop The Austin Technique further and specialised in weight loss, phobias, relationships, stress management and corporate performance improvement.[2]

Austin established a successful practice in London’s Harley Street where she worked as a consultant to psychiatrists, plastic surgeons and The Priory Hospital, Roehampton. She has taken her techniques worldwide from the UK, Europe, US and Kuala Lumpur, where her Stop Smoking method was endorsed by the Malaysian government. During her time in Kuala Lumpur, she taught her hypnosis techniques at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia and was the only non professor lecturer at the Saba University.[2]

Stop Smoking in One Hour

Austin was the first hypnotherapist to coin the term Stop Smoking in One Hour with the programme she developed from her Harley Street clinic, London practice in 1989.[8][9] She combined a number of tried and tested hypnotherapy techniques to develop the programme, which she claims a 95% success rate for and trains hypnotherapists in.[10][11] The success rate was established during her first year of practice during which she saw over 500 smokers.[6] She later found support for her findings in the form of a 1968 study by Von Dendenroth which found a 94% success rate of no less than 1,000 smokers staying quit 18 months later using techniques with similarities to Austin's one hour programme.[6] She published her Stop Smoking in One Hour book was first published in Malaysia by Bernta Publishing Sdn in 1997.[12] It was later published in the UK by Blake Publishing in October 2000.[13][14]

Austin Technique

Austin developed her own technique, The Austin Technique, to treat conditions including phobias,[5] weight loss,[15] relationship issues[16] and stress,[17] from principles and techniques originating with the founding fathers of hypnosis such as Puységur, James Braid and Bernheim. Other influences include Dave Elman, James Watkins[disambiguation needed] and Ormond McGill.[6] One of the key elements to Austin’s technique is regression hypnoanalysis[5] for the treatment of a wide range of conditions including eating disorders, weight loss, phobias, stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.[6]

Medical Hypnosis

Austin and her husband, James Pool practise and teach medical hypnosis.[6] Austin and Pool, trained with surgeon Dr Jack Stanley Gibson, who used hypnosis in over 3,000 operations. Austin also practices Nth Phase, a very deep trance akin to hibernation, where the body needs two breaths a minute to sustain it and begins to emit healing energy.[18]


Austin has used her previous experience as a successful sales person with hypnosis to establish herself as a motivational psychologist to promote productivity in sales forces and reduce stress.[2][17][19] She teaches stress management workshops and sales productivity to businesses and runs a corporate hypnosis training courses.[20]

Speed Reading

Austin and Sean Adam, world speed reading champion for 8 years running,[21] developed a speed reading technique using hypnosis in 1990 which claims to at least double (and in some cases triple) reading speeds.[20]


Austin has trained hypnotherapists in her techniques since 1990. Her courses have been held in London, Fort Lauderdale, Kuala Lumpur and Monaco. She continues to train therapists in advanced hypnotherapy, medical hypnosis, hypno-coaching and business hypnosis in London and Fort Lauderdale.[6][22]

She was commissioned by Dr Abdul Halim Othman, Dean at the University Kebangsaan, Malaysia to teach her Advanced Hypnotherapy course to a selection or teachers, students and a professor at this leading University of psychology. The Health Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, and leading academics gave her technique - used in a special addictions unit – personal approval and Datuk Lee Kim Sai was televised giving his approval for her ‘Stop Smoking Technique’[23] as he presented her graduates with their diploma for her 7-day advanced hypnotherapy course.[6]

During her time in Kuala Lumpur, she was also brought in to lecture at the then new University Malaysia Sabah². In 1997, she lectured at the Industrial and Organisational Psychology: Challenges in the Third Millennium conference on ‘Hypnotherapy among Employers in Crisis’ and at a conference for over 150 teachers at the Jala Turan Campus also at the University Malaysia Sabah.[6]

In 2004, Valerie trained over 1,000 people in the safe and effective use of self-hypnosis during an intensive season of 2-day workshops.[6] She is also a co-trainer husband James Pool, on the Diploma Course in Medical Hypnosis, the first course of its kind to be validated by the General Hypnotherapy Council and made available to non medical practitioners.[6]

Lecturing and Speaking

Austin also lectures on cruises as a guest speaker on hypnosis and productivity, stopping smoking and advanced hypnotherapy.[24]

Media coverage

Valerie Austin was one of the first celebrity hypnotherapists[2][7] in the UK who appeared in numerous press, TV and radio interviews throughout the 1990s when she first established her career.

With her background in journalism, Austin has written and appeared in numerous press articles, radio and TV shows. She regularly writes for monthly celebrity society magazine, Hot Gossip,[25] in their modern nutrition and healthy living column. She also writes a socialite column for Citywealth, a newsletter for and about the wealthy

Since 1990 Austin has appeared regularly in both the tabloid and broadsheet British national press and lifestyle magazines including The Daily Mail,[5][26] The Mirror,[16] Daily Express,[7] The Evening Standard,[3] The Guardian.,[11][27] The Telegraph,[10] CityAm,[8] New Woman,[28] Cheshire Life[22] and CityWealth Magazine.[2] Her work has also gained international press coverage.[17][19][23][29] She has appeared on TV and radio shows, including LBC’s Paul Ross’s show, on BBC1 with Esther Rantzen, ITV and Sky Digital.[30]

Publishing career

Austin has written five international best selling self hypnosis books and audio products published by Thorsons,[4][31][32] John Blake Publishing[13][28][33] and Bernta Publishing Sdn. Bhd (Part of the News Straights Times Group):[12] Her books have been published internationally in English, Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew and Polish.

Austin has also produced a number of audio recordings including Slim while you Sleep and therapist training DVDs.[6][28]

Valerie is also currently co-producing documentaries with Inger Garcia at in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. "Condo Commandos - One Vote Away from Hell" was in the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in 2011 and the winner of the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival Open Reel Award. The current documentary "The Face of Cancer-treat the whole me not just my big "C"" was premiered in Cannes in 2014 and will be released with the hopes of an Oscar nomination.

See also


  1. Who Financed Hitler, James Pool, Dial Press: 1978
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 City Wealth Magazine, Issue 85, Jan 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 I Lost Track of Time, I Even Forgot My Son Existed, Evening Standard, 7 April 1998
  4. 4.0 4.1 Self Hypnosis, Valerie Austin, Thorsons: 1992
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Reprogramme the Mind, The Daily Mail, 18 May 1998
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jack May Fly the Nest from Monaco, Daily Express 1 August 2007
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Time to Give Up, Jade Sermon, City Am, 10 July 2007
  9. 9.0 9.1 I can Stop you Smoking in One Hour, The Star 14 March 1990
  10. 10.0 10.1 Breaking Up With a Very Old Friend, Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2001
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Last Cigarette? The Guardian, 17 Oct 2000
  12. 12.0 12.1 Stop Smoking in One Hour, Valerie Austin, Bernta Publishing Sdn. Bhd (Part of the News Straights Times Group): 1997
  13. 13.0 13.1 Stop Smoking in One Hour, Valerie Austin, Blake Publishing: 2000
  14. Stop Smoking in One Hour by Valerie Austin, Daily Mail, 16 January 2001
  15. A Dream Come True for Dieters, The Journal, 10 January 1995
  16. 16.0 16.1 Hypnosex: How the Power of Your Mind Can Help You Make Love Like Never Before. Sunday Mirror 3rd November 1996
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Using Hypnosis to Eliminate Bad Habits, New Straights Times
  18. How hypnosis saved my life. Evening Post, 30 July 2001
  19. 19.0 19.1 Increasing Productivity via Hypnosis Techniques, New Straights Times, April 1996
  20. 20.0 20.1
  22. 22.0 22.1 Palm Springs to Eton Park, Cheshire Life September 2000
  23. 23.0 23.1 Hypnosis Way to Stop Smoking, Malay Mail, 2 May 1997
  26. Therapy Addicts, Daily Mail 2 July 2004
  27. Riding the Storm Guardian Lifestyles Magazine
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Look into My Eyes, New Woman Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Slim" defined multiple times with different content
  29. When It’s All in The Mind, Cyprus Weekly, 10–16 November 1995
  32. Free Yourself From Fear, Valerie Austin, Thorsons: 1998

External links