In some sense, life is a TRANCE WAR.

There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?

Creasy (MAN ON FIRE)

We tell each other stories to make sense of our world.

When two people are relating, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for each NOT to influence the other.

As changeworkers/practitioners/therapists/counsellors, it serves us to become more aware of how we are influenced and conditioned by the conscious and unconscious efforts of others.

And we want to influence others for the better. We want to scramble the bad stuff and amplify the good stuff.

The more we have INTENT to influence and the more we can control someone’s information and environment, the more we can influence them. This is why we’re products of childhood.

And if we’re going to influence, the more skilled we can become, the better.

We can learn a lot about influencing from studying Derren Brown. He is a MASTER at influence and using the power of suggestion. He’s a combination magician, mentalist, showman, mesmerist, trickster, entertainer. He’s had hugely popular stage shows and TV shows in the UK:

  • HOW TO BE A POKER PRO
    Can a 75 year-old who has never before played poker, practise for one week and then win money against professional poker players? YES!

  • THE GUILT TRIP
    “Can an innocent person be persuaded to confess to a murder that he hasn’t committed?” YES!

  • THE HEIST
    “Under the guise of a motivational seminar, in which I teach my skills to a group of middle management business men and women, can I get any of them to steal 100,000 Pounds in what they believe is a genuine armed robbery?” YES!

  • THE ASSASSIN
    “Is it possible to program somebody to kill and without them realising it?” YES!

  • HERO AT 30,000 FEET
    “This man is terrified of flying and I aim to make him brave enough to volunteer to land a plane that he believes is about to fall out of the sky” HE LANDS THE PLANE!


Derren Brown’s youtube channel

Official clips channel for Illusionist Derren Brown, bringing you the best bits from all of his programmes. Suggestion, psychology, misdirection & showmanship.


  • Derren Brown collects cash for losing tickets at a dog track (6 mins)
  • Derren Brown steals with hypnotic permission (2 mins)
  • Derren Brown Pick The Envelope (4 mins)
  • Derren Brown - Trains Of Thought (4 mins)
  • Derren Brown pays for things with blank paper (4 mins)
  • Derren Brown pays with paper extra scene (1 min)
  • Derren Brown forces Stephen Fry’s card choice (3 mins)
  • Derren Brown Predicts Steve Merchant’s free choices (6 mins)
  • Derren Brown Knows When Car Salesmen Are Lying (3 mins)

Derren Brown - How to be a Poker Pro 1 of 3 (10 mins)

“Our applicant tonight is Anne, a 75 year old lady…”

“A week from now we’re going to enter you in a poker game with some world-class poker players with the idea that you’re going to win quite a lot of money from them… I know you don’t play poker. You see if you did play poker you’d have a way of playing which would get in the way, I’m going to teach you my way of playing…”

“It’s important she doesn’t become too stuck on learning the rules at this stage as they’ll get in the way of the psychological techniques I want her to pick up on… I’m going to teach Anne some skills at telling what card a person is holding… The ability to read physical cues accurately will be invaluable when she’s faced with professional players… I show her how to create a certain state of mind, one in which she has the confidence to totally believe that she’s capable of winning…”

“What have you done to my brain?”

START to 4m
7m to END

Derren Brown - How to be a Poker Pro 2 of 3 (10 mins)
START to 2m35s
6m50s to END

Derren Brown - How to be a Poker Pro 3 of 3 (4 mins)


Derren Brown Discusses The Guilt Trip (5 mins)

“The idea for somebody confessing to this murder they didn’t commit - I’d had experience of people going to see their therapists and having just sort of false memories brought out that could be hugely, hugely damaging. I had a stalker for a while. She’d been and seen a therapist and was convinced that an awful thing had happened with me and her past… And for a long time I was on the receiving end of someone’s false memory that for them was completely genuine… It was a completely real thing for this person… Another side of it was just guilt that we live with… The idea of false memories and the power of guilt were two things that were of great interest to me… And there’s always just a joy of setting up an enormous elaborate situation to play a huge trick basically on one person… Oh, memories are hugely malleable. We’ve all had the experience of you tell a lie or an exagerrated version of something enough times and you start to doubt what was real, you start to doubt what the actual event was because you’ve told it in a twisted form so many times, or memories that you’re not sure are real, memories of whether they’re things your parents have told you about things that happened when you were young… As a magician, that’s a hugely powerful tool… Working as a magician, playing with people’s memories, and creating these false memories and these scenes has always been a big part of what I do”

Derren Brown - The Guilt Trip 1 of 4 (15 mins)

“Tonight’s experiment is about how easily we can be manipulated. Can an innocent person be persuaded to confess to a murder that he hasn’t committed?”

Derren Brown - The Guilt Trip 2 of 4 (15 mins)

Derren Brown - The Guilt Trip 3 of 4 (15 mins)

“You didn’t kill Doctor Black… You didn’t kill Doctor Black because he isn’t dead… He isn’t dead because there was no murder… There was no murder because the whole thing was staged, it was acted… Everybody in that house was an actor… These aren’t real police… This isn’t even a real police station, Look it’s not even a real building”

ACTION STARTS AT 10m

Derren Brown - The Guilt Trip 4 of 4 (2 mins)


Derren Brown - The Heist 1 of 5 (10 mins)

“Under the guise of a motivational seminar, in which I teach my skills to a group of middle management business men and women, can I get any of them to steal 100,000 Pounds in what they believe is a genuine armed robbery?”

Derren Brown - The Heist 2 of 5 (10 mins)

Derren Brown - The Heist 3 of 5 (10 mins)

Derren Brown - The Heist 4 of 5 (10 mins)
ACTION STARTS AT 5m50s

Derren Brown - The Heist 5 of 5 (8 mins)


Derren Brown Discusses The Assassin (7 mins)

“Historically with hypnosis there have been two schools of thought - there’s been a group of people that say it is some special state of mind, a state that’s different from normal waking state in which something is qualitatively happening to the brain, and then there’s another school of thought that’s always said ‘Well, it’s just about behaviour, it’s just kind of people, they’re sort of playing along, it’s just kind of about social pressure’ and those two areas have kind of converged recently into I think a much more realistic area which is something that’s sort of between the two and my approach to hypnosis had always been fairly sceptical even though I do it all the time in that I never thought you could make anybody do anything under hypnosis that they wouldn’t be able to do in normal life… I’ve sort of emerged from the show a little more open-minded to hypnosis being able to achieve things that you couldn’t, just through having some incentive to play along… People differ massively in terms of how well they respond to it… For somebody you want to be highly suggestible to carry out something like an assassination then he was ideal… I was going to be a hypnotherapist at one point”

Derren Brown - The Assassin 1 of 4 (15 mins)

“Is it possible to program somebody to kill and without them realising it?”

Derren Brown - The Assassin 2 of 4 (15 mins)

Derren Brown - The Assassin 3 of 4 (15 mins)
SETUP AT 7m32s
ASSASSINATION AT 12m45s

Derren Brown - The Assassin 4 of 4 (3 mins)


Derren Brown - Hero At 30,000 Feet (55 mins)

“Tonight’s show follows one man, one ordinary man who may or may not make the decision to embrace the present and live life to the full… This man however is so terrified of flying that he hasn’t been on a plane for 10 years and in the show I aim to make him brave enough to volunteer to land a plane that he believes is about to fall out of the sky… We live on this beautiful planet for a tiny dot of time… Our lives are a miracle. I strongly believe that engaging with life is about understanding that it’s the choices we make right now that are important, not the habits of our past. Tonight I’m going to show this man how extraordinary he can be, but to do so, I’ll have to push him to the extreme”
ACTION STARTS AT 44m15s
PLANE LANDS AT 50m35s