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invisible woman

The Invisible Woman problem eating

Why can't you lose weight?

It is strange how so many people remain overweight, but are always the same weight. They stay much heavier than they want to be for years and years with barely any variation. You would think it would be just as simple to lose weight once,  and stay at that  lower weight in the same way. The Invisible Woman gave me an insight into why some people just cannot lose it.

My client had been on every diet ever published, had tried fasting, had tried everything – but none of it worked. She always ended up eating when she didn't have to. Something would make her feel miserable, and she would reach for the comfort food. She said to me, "It's not that you want to be overweight, it's just that you don't care".

I spent some time exploring why she didn't care. She could not give me an exact answer, but it had something to do with how she felt about herself. Basically, she didn't care because she knows that whatever she does she won't be seen, won't be accepted.  So why not just do what you enjoy? Eat.

Her basic problem was "I am rejectable".  She always expects to be rejected. "I feel invisible. Nobody cares". Given that basic feeling then it is understandable why she eats, gets overweight, and doesn't care.

Origin of the Invisible Woman

I had no idea what to do, really. So I put her into trance, and decided to go with whatever developed. Once she was securely in trance, I went for what I thought was the principal problem – the feeling of being unimportant, invisible. I simply got her to focus on that feeling.

My aim was to get her to really open up to the feeling instead of avoiding it. So I asked her, "And feeling that feeling, what comes to mind?" After a while she started to tell me about a memory of coming to this country. She was a child, she did not understand what was happening, she had lost all her friends in the old country. It turned out that her mother hated being in this country.

Her mother was pressured into coming here and resented her husband for making the family relocate. The marriage began to break down, and for a lot of the time her mother just wasn't around. That little girl felt neglected, abandoned, not looked after. And then her mother died at age 12. She became a problem, instead of a little girl.

Visualizing the Invisible Woman

That explained where the Invisible Woman came from. I encouraged her to stay in the feeling. The feeling changed and grew. She said "The feeling is fear. I am like a gas bottle. I am all solid steel, and full of pressure, and about to burst".  Using her metaphor of the gas bottle, I tried to get her to imagine it breaking or collapsing. She could not see that. Then I said, " Has it got a valve?". Then I got her to imagine a tiny leak from the valve. That transformed it. Suddenly the gas bottle was emptying and pressure had gone.

She then gave me a visualization. She said "I am dressed in a fairy costume. In a room full of grownups. I am dancing and showing off. I am delightful and getting noticed". Then she said, "They are all stroking my hair".  I developed this metaphor. I told her she was dancing and spinning. As she spun more and more I suggested that little girl was growing up.

Then I put her in front of two mirrors. One was today's overweight woman, the other one showed her as she wanted to be. I was going to use the standard change procedure of moving from her one to the other. But she surprised me. She said "the fairy has touched the mirrors with her fairy wand. And I am now changed to the new picture". She had come up with her own transformation method!

My final help was to give her a visualization of  her dancing down the street in her fairy costume and into her new future. Lovely.

How do you deal with problem eaters? Leave a comment below.

 

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Increase Hypnosis Success

Hypnotherapy is a strange and mysterious thing to most people. Clients who come to be hypnotized are often uncertain of what to expect. Many are secretly convinced that they can not be hypnotized, are seeking the session out of desperation. They really don't expect it to work. Many of them are therefore ready for it not to work, and will use anything as evidence that they are right.

There is one simple thing that every hypnotherapist can do to increase their success - convince the client that they were hypnotized. Success is a matter of meeting the client's expectations. If the client believes that they were not hypnotized then the hypnotherapy is unlikely to work as well as if they believe that they were. So it is good practice to always find a way to convince the client they were hypnotized.

One simple way to increase hypnosis success

Some people assume that because they can remember everything, they must not have been hypnotized. Others expect to feel somehow strange or bewitched in some way and are disappointed when they don't feel that way. Others expect to wake up feeling totally different and that their life will instantly be transformed when they open their eyes. This naive set of beliefs works to prevent a successful outcome.

Therefore the therapist has to demonstrate to the client, clearly and unambiguously that they were in trance. It has to be proved to every client, every time.

Use eye catalepsy to increase hypnosis success

improve hypnosis successThe easiest way to do this is to test for eye catalepsy after the induction. This lets both you and the client know that the client really is in trance. I have trained myself to always do this. When I started out as a hypnotist I was often afraid to do this test, just in case the client wasn't in trance. I have since learned that if the client opens their eyes then you both have learned something valuable. The other simple convincer is to do a finger lift at some point in the session.

A method that is used less often, but is probably better, is to talk to the client in trance. Ask them what they are experiencing. Again this is very illuminating for both parties and rapidly builds the confidence to use regression and metaphor therapies.

Building in a convincer takes only a minute or two, and is well worth the extra effort.

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cannot visualize

Hypnosis for people who cannot visualize

Can't Let go of what she said

My client today discovered that his female partner was texting someone in Australia boasting that she was having sex with some other man. She explained to my client that she was actually winding up the other guy. He has accepted this explanation but cannot let it go. Every time they have an argument or disagreement he brings it up. She is now telling him to get over it, move on, or find somebody else.

He keeps thinking about the incident and can't let it go. The suggested to me that he has depression. I showed him my  dysthymia check sheet and he agreed that he is all over it. He told me that his sister is bipolar. I decided to teach him  some thinking exercises.

I started on the Tiger exercise. He immediately told me that he cannot visualise aTiger. In fact he cannot visualise anything. I tested with various things. He couldn't even visualise a circle. He said that when he thought about the Tiger what came to mind was his own cat. A fat and lazy cat. But he wasn't seeing the cat. He was experiencing the cat. He had no visual ability at all. I therefore could not use the thinking exercises. I didn't really know what to do.

Hypnosis for people who cannot visualize

I asked him what he gets when he thinks about the texting incident. He told me that he can remember the car, and her leaving her phone on charge, and him thinking there's something odd about the text he'd seen, and then checking again later. He could not visualise any of it. He was quite astonished that I could visualise things easily and clearly. He appeared quite worried by this as if there was some sort of deficit in him. But when he was talking about the incident he said "I can feel it now". I therefore decided to do metaphor replacement therapy on it.

I got him to think himself back to the incident and he quite quickly got the feeling. When he confirmed he had the feeling I asked him how big it was. "Massive". I asked them what colour it was. He said "maybe black?". He was not visualising it. I asked him "is it hot or cold?". He said it's cold. I asked him "what shape is it?". He said it's like the shape of a person, and outlined shoulders and a waist in the torso.

I asked him "can you make it a little bigger". He immediately said "no". I asked him if he could make a little bit smaller?. He immediately said "yes". Very quickly he made it so small it could fit in his hand. I asked him what would happen when it goes away. He said he could be free he could have a chance of getting her back again. He would be able to make good decisions again.
I then asked him what he wanted to happen to that thing. He said he wanted to throw it away. He imagined himself standing on a cliff and throwing this thing down. I then talked him through this thing going into the soil and rusting and turning into earth and being washed away.

I then tested him to go back to the incident and see if there was any feeling left. He could find no feeling. But he still wasn't convinced that it had gone. I talked about the process for a while and explained how it all worked.

Cannot visualize his second issue either

Eventually he said that he's got another issue. He has jealousy about an ex-partner of his wife's who in his opinion stands too close to her and is trying to upset him. He gets angry and jealous whenever he is near his wife. I asked him to go back into the feeling. He got that. I asked him "and what is it like?". He said "is like a sheet, a sheet enveloping me".

He then said that he could pull the sheet off and I got him to do that in detail. He said that he'd thrown the sheet down on the ground. I asked him to pick it up. He had it between his hands. And I then got him to do something to it. I suggested he could tear or shred it or set fire to it. He decided to set fire to it. It ended up as a small pile of ash very quickly. I got him to blow it away and sweep up whatever was left and it was over.

He agreed that the feelings had gone but was still quite skeptical about whether it would stay gone.

What I realized from this client is that I have found a way to deal with people who cannot visualize. I was really surprised at how well metaphor replacement therapy worked for someone who could not visualize at all.

How do you deal with non-visualizers?

 

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Stage Hypnosis Inductions

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

I got an email today:

I recently purchased the "Best Hypnosis Induction Scripts" package instant download version and I really love it. I've bought a lot of hypnosis scripts from your site. I am a young hypnotist (19 years-old) and this has provided the best of assistance to me so I want to say thank you as I am seriously considering becoming a stage hypnotist and I might just book my first gig at a corporate event party at my company soon despite me being so young.

Getting to the point now... although every single induction is very useful within the hypnosis scripts' package, the Instant and Rapid Inductions are personally the best of service to me because I am going to do hypnosis for stage performing/entertainment and demonstration purposes. Instant Inductions are short, quick, and instant and will work well for me in my field of work.

That leads me to my question: is there, by any chance, a way for you to personally provide me some more instant and rapid induction scripts via email? The ones you provided are great! It's just that I would love to have more in my arsenal as a hypnotist. It would mean the world to me if you could personally develop some for me in the same organized step-by-step format you used in the hypnosis scripts package. You know, with the organized tables that explained what to do when?

I know it sounds like a lot to ask but I am a loyal customer after all and I need help more than ever. My boss could set me up with my first stage hypnosis gig at the company party. It'd really be cool if you could hook me up with some more instant and rapid inductions via email since that seems to be the simple route. Anyway, let me know. Thanks!

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

My reply was:
Good to hear from you. And thank you for those kind words about my scripts.

I am not a stage hypnotist myself, but I have been to many, many stage hypnosis shows.

I can understand why you think you need more inductions, but I think you are looking at the wrong part of a stage show. The key skill in a smooth stage show lies in selecting the right participants. Everyone can be hypnotised. Hypnotic induction is actually fairly simple. So it's not the induction that is critical. What is absolutely, totally crucial is including the top 5% of hypnotisable people in your audience.

Suppose you have a group of 50 people. You would not want more than five people upon stage. Therefore all you have to do is to find the top 10% of the audience and that will give you your five people. Stage shows on Youtube always miss out this part of the show. But it is the most important part.

Stage Hypnosis is entertainment, not science

You need to spend five or 10 minutes warming up your audience before anyone gets to the stage. Then you get the whole audience involved by inviting everyone to close their eyes and imagine a weight on one hand and a balloon on the other hand. Take note of the people whose hands rise and fall. The ones whose hands rise and fall a bit are hypnotised. The ones whose hands are way up and down are faking it. But that's okay. You're not there to demonstrate hypnosis.

Your job is to entertain people. The people who are faking it are all exhibitionists who want people to look at them. They will go along with whatever you suggest as long as they can show off. They want to get up on stage and act silly and do everything else you want. You want to get a mixture of the easily hypnotised and the exhibitionists.

If you end up with too many potential participants, then you need to refine the group. Do another test for hypnotisability. The easiest tests are Magnetic Hands and Hands Stuck To Your Thighs. This is a much stronger test of hypnotisability, especially the Hands Stuck to Your Thighs test. The people who naturally can do this are your ideal participants.

While you are doing the testing you're actually entertaining the audience. They are trying it themselves, and they are also seeing the people around them who are responding. You are setting up the expectation for both the participants and the audience for the rest of the show. Make the selection process one of the funniest parts of your show.

Stage Hypnosis Induction safety on stage

Invite the fakers and the highly susceptible up on stage. Then you do a group induction. Do not do an instant or rapid induction. Your chances of getting an abreaction with an instant induction are very high. No one wants to see someone lying unconscious on the stage thrashing around  as if they are in an epileptic fit. That is definitely not good for business. You can expect to get one person in 200 to go into an abreaction. You need to avoid that until you have a lot more experience, and know how to deal with it.

Abreactions is the main reason why there are so few stage hypnotists. Hypnotising people in public is easy. Getting people to do stupid things on stage is easy. Dealing with someone in the grip of a full-on psychological terror is not.

Stage Hypnosis Induction safety for you

After you have done the group induction you will find that some people are actually not in trance and not amongst the exhibitionist group either. Get them off the stage immediately. Also, get rid of the drunks.

Then, turn to the audience at that point, and say something to make sure that anyone in the audience who was also induced snaps out of it. Use a bit of audience participation and get them to poke each other or something like that. Get every to say aloud that they are not in trance.  You do not want anyone coincidentally crashing their car on the way home and saying it's your fault.

Keep your Stage Hypnosis inductions simple

My advice is for you to leave out the Standing Inductions and the Handshake Inductions until you have perfected your basic show. All those polished performers that you see in Las Vegas or on that television show have had 15 or 20 years experience before getting to that point.

Good luck with your next show. You can be a star.

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freud and hypnosis

Freud and Hypnosis

I keep meeting people who are in awe of Sigmund Freud. I am not one of them. At university, I studied Freud and the more I learn of his ideas, the more I dislike them and everything about them. Many people now regard him as little more than a self publicist.

Most people know nothing of the connection between Freud and hypnosis. It comes as a surprise that Freud was originally a hypnotist. He learned the medical use of hypnosis from Charcot, the founder of modern clinical hypnotism.

Charcot was famous for running what was practically a circus of hysteria, using hypnosis to showcase the symptoms. Charcot was internationally famous while he was head of his clinic. But after his death most of his work was debunked and hypnosis was avoided by mainstream medical professionals for decades.

Freud and Hypnosis

Freud used hypnosis until it fell out of favor and then gradually developed his theory of psychology. The theory of primitive sexual drives made Freud one of the leading figures in the 20th Century. He was hugely influential for a whole generation of psychologists and educators.

However, nowadays researchers tend to question his methods and cases. Freud actually worked with very few clients. Most of his fame rests on a handful of cases. It is not that these few cases were the peak of his output, the fact is that these were practically the only cases he had.

He died in 1939 and started analytical therapy just before 1900, so he had about forty years of practice. He typically saw each client every day for an hour. That means that he could not have had more than eight clients a week. But each client was treated for about five years. So he could only have had about eight clients every five years.

Over forty years he would have treated at most sixty four individuals. Many of those were in fact students who had to undergo years of analysis before they could practice as psychoanalysts themselves. Plus he spent much of his life writing, travelling and lecturing. His whole theory is actually based on a very small sample.

A modern hypnotherapist will see more clients in a month than Freud did in his entire lifetime.

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anxiety and weight gain

Anxiety and weight gain

Today I got this email:

I am studying hypnotherapy and was hoping that I could use hypnosis to help with my own weight problem. I have listened to various weight loss CD's but it seems to have little effect. I was wondering if you had a script that I could record and listen to myself for weight loss?

If you are new to therapy the first thing you need to realize is that people seldom recognize the source of their own problems. People don’t have weight problems: they actually have a self esteem or anxiety problem. The reasons for weight gain are well known – eat too much and you put on weight. Simple. Continue eating too much and it stays on. There is no mystery about why people are fat. The mystery is why they don't regulate what they eat.

Anxiety and weight gain

In my experience weight problems are always emotional problems. Anxiety and weight gain are closely connected. People eat because their thoughts make them feel anxious. Eating gives them something to do to distract the thoughts. Then they get overweight and that makes them feel bad, so they get negative about themselves, and the cycle continues. The right approach is to find the source of the anxiety.

What you need to find out is why you eat, and what it is doing for you. Since you are a hypnotherapy student the best thing to do is to hook up with one of the other students.  Together you can explore why you are continuing to eat when you know you shouldn’t. This will benefit both of you.

Then get the other student to choose one of the scripts and personalize that script to suit your particular needs. Ask the other student to put you into trance and follow the script outline. Self recording seldom works.

What do you think?

How do you deal with weight loss? Should aim at the weight or the emotions?

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brief therapy

Brief Therapy hypnosis

I met a client today with travel anxiety problems.  He told me that he had been seeing another therapist for almost a year. This therapist had charged him thousands of dollars without creating any change in how he felt.

I find it astonishing that a client can continue charging someone week after week even though the client is getting no benefit. I find it even more disturbing that there are therapists who are so unprofessional as to encourage that. To my mind, applying the same therapy technique over and over, and producing no a significant change, is verging on fraud.

Hypnotherapy is brief therapy. In my practice, if I cannot make a definite, obvious difference in two session, then I advise the client that they may be better to find a different treatment.

Hypnotherapy is brief therapy

Hypnotherapy should be a brief therapy. The common distinguishing features of brief therapies of all types are:

1. Typically between one and twenty sessions.

2. Uses a rapid assessment to identify a core issue

3. Establishes and agrees  a specific therapeutic goal.

4. Focuses each session on that therapeutic goal

5. Active and direct interventions from the therapist.

Most common number of sessions = one

Research on therapy effectiveness investigated how many psychotherapy sessions clients actually attended (Talmon, 1990). It was found that:

(1) the modal length of therapy for every one of the therapists monitored was a single session;

(2) 30% of all clients chose to come for only one session in a given twelve month period; and

(3) there was essentially no correlation in a follow-up study between what the client stated helped them, and what the therapist thought was helpful in that session:

‘in most of the single-session therapy cases where patients reported particularly successful outcomes, the therapist appeared to have conducted a rather simple, almost dull session. In fact, in many successful single sessions, it is the patient who appears in control and sets the pace for change’ (p111).

This truth needs to be made clear to most hypnotherapists: you will probably only see the client for one session, whether you are successful or not. So you better get better at brief therapy.

 

What do you think of brief therapy? Would you go on seeing a client for years? 

 

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hypnosis blogs

Hypnosis Blogs Website Update

Blog and website Developments

Several good things have happened this week.

Relaunch of personal hypnotherapy website.

I have revamped my old personal hypnotherapy site wellingtonhypnosis.co.nz

The old website was in need of a complete rebuild. It had served me well for more than eight years. But it reflected an old Internet paradigm. It had been built in HTML and CSS using Dreamweaver. However it could not cope with the demands of being viewed on cell phones on tiny screens.

Statistics suggest that more than 60% of all websites are exclusively accessed through mobile devices. The old website also really could not cope with multimedia. The new version will have video and sound files embedded. I moved hosts and so the new website is basically a skeleton at this point but will get up to full strength over the next few days.

My office is now in the Hutt Valley. I have a new custom-built office in SilverStream which will be able to serve people all the way from Upper Hutt to Wellington. As well as a new office, there are extensive gardens, beautiful views, and a meditation retreat.

Blog Features in the top 100 list

The second notable thing is that the besthypnosisscripts.com blog has been chosen to be listed in the top 100 hypnosis blogs. Head on over to https://blog.feedspot.com/hypnosis_blogs/ to see the listing. Many thanks to Anuj Agarwal, the founder of Feedspot.   There are dozens and dozens of really great hypnosis blogs. You might want to check it out.

 

 

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home invasion anxiety

Home invasion anxiety removed

I had a client yesterday who told me she needed help with anxiety. She said she had been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She said she had been on anti-anxiety medication for five years. Five years ago her marriage was on the rocks, she was being made redundant at work, and a parent was seriously ill. In her own words 'she went into meltdown' and had to be put on anxiety medication. This is a fairly normal description of a cluster of life events that triggers anxiety. However, I wondered why she was still anxious five years later.

Home invasion anxiety

I asked her what she thought the cause was. She immediately said "it is all about a home invasion I had when I was a kid. I woke up to find some man sitting on my bed". She was convinced that she had dealt with that. However, her current anxiety focussed on night-time, on being left alone, and on a fear of someone harming her.

I recently read a book by Peter Levine 'In an unspoken voice'.  His belief is that almost all anxiety comes from being in a situation that you feel powerless to escape from. Not dealing with the situation properly at the time leaves you trapped in that feeling for ever. The symptoms of this client fitted that description completely.

I thought this might be an ideal opportunity to try out the therapy recommended by Levine. This treatment basically involves muscle memory. You get the client to remember the incident, if possible to get into the fear. Then you get the client to use their muscles as they would have if they had made their escape. His theory is that the fear is 'frozen' into the victim's muscles, and needs to be released.

Releasing the home invasion anxiety 

He does not mention hypnosis at all but his recommendations lend themselves ideally to application in trance. I therefore put her into trance used a modified form of regression. I took her back to the home invasion, but instead of getting her to relive it, I suggested that she focus on the feeling. Then I told her to tense and release the muscles in her shoulders, and then her chest, and so on down her body.

I then suggested that she focus on her hands, and to become aware of what her hands wanted to do. I encouraged her to make micromovements as she thought about what she wanted to do. Then I asked her to imagine what muscle movements she would do if she was to fight the intruder, or she quickly got out of the bed, or if she pushed an alarm button. I took her through various scenarios that I thought might be appropriate ways of dealing with the situation. I tried to get her to talk through what she might have done, but she was unwilling or unable to hold a conversation while in trance.

After that, I brought her out of trance, and showed her how to go back into trance by herself using self hypnosis. I did this to teach her a technique that would allow her to turn off her chronic anxiety by resetting her feelings back to a calm level.

Clearing the Home Invasion anxiety

At the end of the session I asked her what she felt about the micromovements. She told me that had felt a tingling all over her body as she tensed and relaxed. She then said that the feeling of 'waiting for something to happen' that she always had, was gone.

I wonder to what extent the 'cures' that are credited to hypnosis are actually the result of the induction that most therapists use, the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Induction? It may be that it is the progressive tensing and relaxing that are doing the work, and all the 'patter' is actually irrelevent. It is maybe something to think about?

 

What do you think of this technique? Do we hold fear in our muscles for years? Share your ideas below.

 

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smoking procrastination

Smoking Procrastination Fear of doing it wrong

You never stop learning in this business. My smoking client today said she loved smoking but had to give up because it was affecting her health. I asked what she loved about it and she told me that it calmed her down. It turned out that she had anxiety all the time. Smoking was how she self medicated. She actually had smoking procrastination.

Smoking Procrastination

I discovered that she came from an alcoholic family. This led me to suspect that she would have some form of depression and I started probing gently about that. When we got to the questions about Black and White thinking she said that she was a procrastinator. She would stay in bed in the morning and her husband would bring her cups of tea. And with every cup she would have a cigarette. She said that sometimes she would stand in front of her clothes closet and not know what to put on, so she would have a cigarette and think about it.

I traced this to the perfectionism associated with B & W thinking. She agreed that rather than take a decision that might be wrong she would put it off: smoking gave her an excuse to drag it out by another ten minutes. I think that she was fearing the wrath of her parent and wanted not to commit to anything in case it was the wrong action. In childhood when she got things wrong  she would get shouted at, and an argument would ensue.

It seemed that she was mainly smoking to avoid taking action. If she didn't do anything then there was no danger of anything that would trigger those old feelings of fear. This fear of doing things wrong was also the source of her ongoing lifelong anxiety.

Have you dealt with procrastination? How can it be overcome? Share your ideas below.

 

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