Nick Kemp & Frank Farrelly – A Brief History
I first met Frank Farrelly in May 2004 when I attended a Provocative Therapy four day workshop in the UK. This workshop was the inspiration for the original article I wrote on the Human Alchemy website which detailed this extraordinary approach. As an established NLP trainer I was amazed at the sophistication and speed of this approach that was very unlike anything I had encountered to date!
I subsequently approached Frank with two main requests – The first was to create a series of Provocative Therapy products (to my horror there were no commercial products available anywhere in the world at this point) and secondly to begin hosting him in the UK, so more people could learn about his work.
In May 2005 Frank flew to stay with me for a 10 day period and to record his second book “Me and God” which prior to this time was only available in German (now out of print) I wrote about this fascinating project and the original article can be found on www.provocativetherapy.info as well as recently being published in the Model Magazine. “Me and God” was subsequently released as a five CD set with Frank narrating the story. This audio set provides an excellent insight into Frank’s upbringing and the influences that later led him to produce this powerful therapeutic approach.
Frank comes to Leeds to be hosted by Nick Kemp Training
Later in 2005 my training company hosted Frank for the first time in the UK and once again I was lucky enough to have him stay with me for a further 10 day period. It was during this period that I also updated Frank’s original Provocative Therapy website. I realised that there was a real need for a more substantive Provocative Therapy online presence and created www.provocativetherapy.info as a central resource for Provocative Therapy articles, products, news and events. This remains the most comprehensive Provocative Therapy resource online to date.
The 2005 Provocative Therapy workshop was well received and Frank was delighted that I had produced the very first Provocative Therapy training manual which was a collection of many of the available existing articles as well as some new material I had written from my own observations of using this approach. The audience consisted of a number of well known NLP trainers and practitioners and to my great amusement many of them struggled (as I once did) to put their “NLP heads” to one side and treat what they saw and heard as a wholly different approach.
The 2005 workshop was recorded in audio format as well as being filmed for what was to become the “Provocative Therapy Live in Leeds” 3 DVD, 2 CD set. The 3 DVDs were produced by Paul Wright with a multi viewing option for those watching. These initial PT interviews include the famously outrageous Nancy session which has been much talked about within the Provocative Therapy community. The additional CDs included a selection of some of the chapters from “Me and God” and the original interview I did with Frank in 2005.
In 2006 I began to conduct regular phone calls with Frank which helped to gain an even better insight into Provocative Therapy. I had already decided that Frank would become an annual guest for Tranceforming NLP in the UK and that we would continue to record and release material from these workshops. In a very short time we became very good friends and Frank was genuinely surprised at my work rate, leading him to famously nickname me as “The Can Do Kid”
To me, he’s the ‘Can-Do Kid’. When he says he can do it, he can. When he says he will do it, he does. Asked when he can do it, he says, “I’ll get right on it and call you tomorrow when I’ve finished it.” Yeah, I thought, when pigs fly. Next day, so help me God, he called, saying “OK, Ive finished it and put it on your website, like you wanted.” “Are you shitting me?” I asked suspiciously. He burst out laughing. “No, no, Frank! It’s really there, go on line and look. I’ll wait.” Which he did. And there it was, just like he said he would do it. I thanked him, we chatted for a bit, and I hung up. I went into our living room and told my wife June what had happened, and said, “The more I talk to this guy, the better I like him and the more I trust him. Now I just have to figure out whom to ask to initiate adoption proceedings.”
Frank Farrelly, Creator of Provocative Therapy
In March 2006 I was approached to become a regular guest on BBC radio and for the next 26 consecutive weeks I cured a host of different phobias live on the programme, using a combination of Provocative Therapy, NLP and Hypnosis. The addition of Provocative Therapy allowed me to work in a far more accelerated manner and many of these sessions can be found at nlpmp3.com as well as the original and updated 2006 interview I did with Frank. I decided to set up an additional blog style site to detail my observations using this approach on the www.provocativechangeworks.com website. With the rise of the You Tube Frank phenomena, we also uploaded a four part “History of Provocative Therapy” to the www.youtube.com site where I ask Frank about the evolution of Provocative Therapy and the resistance he had encountered since 1963 when he first created this therapy. I have also vigorously commented on how some people have attempted to hijack Frank’s work and present it as either “comedic” or “aggressive” which of course is totally against the spirit of Provocative Therapy.
“There are no certifications in Provocative Therapy!” (Frank Farrelly)
During our discussions in early 2006 I talked to Frank about the issue of certifications and how in my opinion the issuing of certificates had become a thorny issue for other change work approaches! Frank was (and always had been) adamant that any certifications should only be for attendance and not for capability. During the 2006 Leeds Provocative Therapy workshop he invited me on stage to discuss this certification issue with hilarious results. During this hour long discussion Frank mentioned that in the past various “Provocative Therapy enthusiasts” worldwide had made various attempts to create Provocative Therapy certifications, which Frank had refused to endorse. This discussion was released on the 6 DVD “A Provocative Approach” DVD set which also included a series of Provocative Therapy interviews covering such issues as social phobia, anger issues, weight loss and business relationships. My own observations have been that Provocative Therapy can be greatly misunderstood and that there are some individuals who purport to use this approach in a manner which is unrecognisable from Frank’s original intention and without the requisite skill and awareness of the client.
The 2006 Provocative Therapy UK workshop hosted by my training company was subsequently released in its entirety as a 9 CD set titled “Life is Wet”, this being a direct quote from Frank during the event where he commented that people are born and die “wet”. Both this CD set and other DVD material are excellent tools for anyone wishing to learn more about the transforming power of this therapy.
Throughout 2006 I began to include a module on Provocative Therapy during my NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner certificated seminars. On the NLP Practitioner trainings I would demonstrate the power of Provocative Therapy in removing phobias, so that students would begin to observe how both Bandler and Grinder had modelled Frank in the early 1980s.
I showed Frank of these sessions and unexpectedly received a wonderful e-mail from him commenting
“You are totally disarming and beyond formalisation. There is an ease and naturalness about you and you make people relax really quickly. You got the power man!”
Frank Farrelly on Nick Kemp (June 16th 2006)
Provocative Therapy and removing phobias by Nick Kemp
I decided to asked Frank if he would provide an introduction for a forthcoming 2 DVD set titled “Provocative Change works for Phobias”. Frank not only agreed to film the introduction, but also provided insightful feedback for these two sessions of me working with Matt the needle phobia and Karen the claustrophobic for a release in 2007. These sessions had originally been filmed for archive material from some of my own workshops in the UK.
In recent times Frank suggested that we record our weekly phone calls and I finally figured out a way to do this and get a reasonable enough recording. One of the many great things about talking to Frank is that he is an extraordinary catalyst for developing all manner of insights and realisations. By listening back to our conversations I have increasingly realised that Frank is a one man embodiment of the therapy he created and a perpetual catalyst for provoking change in all of those around him.
The Provocative Therapy dating back to 1960s
When Frank passed he instructed his son to pass over to me Frank’s archive of Provocative Therapy material. Some of this dates back to 1960s. Frank’s PA Kim Stokes once commented “Frank never throws anything away” and I can testify to that when I received a dozen large creates of material of all sorts containing vast amounts of audio, video and articles, most of which has never been released in the public domain.
This site will continue to be the central place for anyone wanting to learn about Frank’s extraordinary approach. He is greatly missed as a friend and colleague, but his work lives on.