Dr. Dave Dobson PhD. . . .

. . . considered himself a de-hypnotist and he believed that his skills were to help people overcome their crossed files and to become a more congruent and therefore happier, healthier people.

Dr. Dave Dobson was the soul mate of my teacher and friend the Legendary NLP Master Trainer,

Barbara Stepp . It is with the utmost respect that I attempt to talk about Dr. Dobson and his contributions to the field of Psychotherapy and hypnotherapist. Regretfully the author never had the honor to meet Dave Dobson.

Though Milton Erickson ’s hypnosis skills were quantified and duplicated by the NLP co-founders, Dr. Dobson concepts were also studied by Bandler and Grinder , the NLP Co-founders and one of their early seminars it took place in Dobson’s living room, this was before they were using the name Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Dr. Richard Bandler has said that the hypnotic voice in his head was Dave Dobson’s.

One of the legendary Dobson’s specialties was working with people in pain and especially patients hospital burn units. He describes the skills and techniques he uses in the unique and famous book Pain Alleviation.

Dave invented the concept of the "metafive". While everyone uses generic metaphors to communicate what Dobson did when working with a person that was in excruciating pain was to gather unique personal information about the person’s hobbies, vacation spots, pastimes etc., from their family. Then when Dobson began to hypnotize this patient he personalized the induction and process creating a unique, custom metafive that was based upon that person’s individual likes and experiences.

It is many years since Dr. Dobson first created the metafive that science now shows that when a person remembers or visualize a rich experience and especially when they associate to the experience the brain takes that experience to be real. So when Dobson took the burn patient on a “trip” their brain believed the experience to be real and the pain was not part of that other real experience that was created by Dobson.

In Pain Alleviation he describes a woman that became schizophrenic after a car accident. He explained that when the stress of the experience became too much for the woman to deal with she just went to a happier place and time in her past. He believe that mental illness might be like this.

So,when treating the individual, if someone liked to sunbathe, he would describe the beach, the warmth of the sand and the sun, etc. In fact Dave personally loved the beach and one of his most well known processes was called Dave Dobson’s Beach Trip,TM.

Dave research led him to the concept of No Fault PsychologyTM which uses the polarity of Freud and neither the therapist nor patient, blame the patient or anyone else for the pattern which they have picked up or established. Once the client can realize that neither he nor anyone else is to blame, at that point the client can begin to generatively fix and evolve out of their old patters toward new and more valuable, beneficial patterns.

When Dr. Dobson taught his methodology he called his seminars Fun ShopsTM, which his soul mate the Legendary Barbara Stepp still teaches. The content of the Fun ShopsTM included:

Other Than Conscious Hello,

Subjective Reversal,


Mind Stretch,

Pebble kicking,


Gold mining,

Meta Fives,

Pattern Interrupts,



3 legged stool,

Tuxedo Trances,

Pain Alleviation

and more . . .

Dr. Dobson believed that by utilizing these tools, it was possible to be free of unintentional self-hypnosis and accidental hypnosis and often described imaginary filing cabinets that we have these patterns stored in. Or as Dave would say, ”everything is about patterns and cross filing, and the most important thing in life is awareness.”

Dave Dobson spent 45 years of his life dedicated to his work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, CHt. and psychotherapist on the West Coast and especially in the Los Angeles area.

In 1977 Dobson moved to an Island that is part of the State of Washington where he spent the rest of his life teaching seminars both at his home on the island as well as traveling the country sharing his wealth of knowledge.

Dave passed on February 22, 2008 after a few years of illness but is survived by the love of his life and soul mate, Chicago’s Legendary Great Lady of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis, Barbara Stepp. Barb, her son Michael and her grandson Mick in addition to teaching reiki, NLP and Design Human Engineering (DHE) seminars also carry on Dobson’s work by teaching Dave Dobson Fun ShopsTM internationally.

Anyone serious about improving their people helping skills, you should contact Barb Stepp at Chicago’s Excellence Quest Training Institute. I’ve had the honor an privilege of learning from Barb at NLP Seminars International events where she is a Senior Trainer as well as participating in Design Hunan Engineering (DHE) in Chicago in August of 2009.

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