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sexual dysfunction depression

Sexual dysfunction and depression

Sexual dysfunction depression

I saw man today who reported that he has intermittent erectile problems. He he has been experiencing the problem frequently quite recently, although he has had it occasionally all his adult life. He is very worried that this is going to ruin his relationship with the woman he has only been seeing for a few months.When the relationship started, in order to avoid any problems, he would take Cialis and that ensured that everything worked okay. Previously she lived in a fairly distant town and he visited her mostly on weekends. The woman is now living with him and so the opportunity for sex is more frequent also.

As well as that worry, he revealed a deeper issue. Some weeks ago, they went out drinking, and he got very drunk. According to his partner, at some point he said "I would rather f*** a rat than some fat bitch like you." He has no memory of this incident at all, and has never done anything like it before. So he is deeply concerned about this. And of course it put him off side with his partner big time. So this has made him even more concerned that if he is unable to perform sexually, then she is going to take this is as confirmation of what he really thinks about her, and she will leave him.

He has been to the doctor and had all the tests and everything seems to be okay physically. So the problem must be something psychological. I asked him what was going through his mind when he wanted sex, but couldn't perform. He said "it's like I always have something running through my head at the time like a song you can't get rid of. I can't focus on the thing because of this distraction."

Finding the psychological reason

I asked him "would you say that your mind is always busy?" He agreed. I asked him "do you find yourself dwelling on things that happened in the past?" He agreed with that too. I asked him "do you get irritated when people don't do things they should do? Like bad driving behaviour?" "Yes", he said. "I get really annoyed at other drivers' bad behaviour. It happens every day."

It was fairly obvious from this that he actually has depression. I asked some more probing questions and it became quite clear that he has dysthymia. Like most people with dysthymia, he had no idea that he had it. And no idea that it was affecting his behaviour in many ways.

I explored with him aspects of his behaviour since he was a teenager. And as we looked into it more and more, it became more and more obvious to him that much of what he was doing was in fact a reflection of his dysthymia. He then revealed that his brother has depression. And that uncle. Thinking about it, many members of his family showed quite clearly behaviour consistent with low-grade depression.

H0w Dysthymia affects behavior

I then addressed one of the common issues with depression, which is perfectionism. Most people with dysthymia have high expectations of themselves, and of other people, and get irritated when these expectations are not met. It is quite likely that is sexual dysfunction is related to this. One possible mechanism is that he thinks about the fact that it might go wrong, and that would lead him to deep embarrassment. The more he thinks about the possibility, the more anxious he gets, which leads to exactly the thing he doesn't want. He is actually worrying himself into erectile failure.

The same mechanism would explain his outburst when he was drunk. Alcohol removes inhibitions. I would speculate that some point during his drinking binge, he began to dwell on his sexual problems and how he felt about that. In his drunken state that would have accelerated into an overwhelming feeling of frustration, and he just lashed out.

So the next stage is to help him deal with the way he thinks. Normally three or four sessions are enough to get rid of most of it. I am quite positive about the outcome.

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Valentine's Day hypnosis script

Valentine’s Day hypnosis

Valentine's Day is coming up soon. I began to think of ways that I could use hypnosis to celebrate Valentines. That got me thinking about what it is that we really do with hypnosis?

Most hypnotherapy is about getting people to change. Self-help books are all about changing myself. It's all about giving me more confidence, more courage, more self belief. It's all about me, me, me. Essentially hypnotherapy is selfishness. If it involves other people at all, it is about how to stop them affecting you negatively. It's about how to learn to deal with social situations. Or dealing with bullying. There is a saying in therapy, that you cannot change other people, you can only change yourself.

A special Valentine's Day hypnosis script

Well, I thought, why can't I change someone else? Why can't I use hypnosis to make someone else feel good about themselves? Why can't I use hypnosis to deliver a really good news message? Is there any reason why hypnosis can't be directed purely at making someone else feel good. Why can't I use hypnosis to tell her that I don't want her to change. I want her to stay exactly the way she is.

So for this Valentine's Day I am going to write a new kind of hypnosis script. I am going to write a new script that will tell someone else how much they are loved and wanted. I am going to write a script that will burn into their subconscious the  message that she is important, and valuable, and special, and wonderful. And I love her.

I am going to use every hypnotic technique I know to give someone else a fabulous ego boost that will last forever. I guess I am tired of always using hypnosis to deal with illnesses and problems. Doctors complained that the only ever get to meet people who are ill. I feel much the same. It will be really great to completely change my focus, and concentrate on getting across warmth and positivity. Just because I can.

 I'm already thinking up metaphors, visualisations and wordings that will let her know exactly how I feel. I don't think the sort of thing is ever been done before. I am really looking forward to this.

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Hypnosis marketing

Hypnosis marketing – packaging or contents?

I was looking at some really slick hypnosis marketing recently on the Internet. It is a hypnosis based service to stop smoking. It looks very professionally done and is franchised through many local hypnotists. The benefits to the hypnotist are obvious. A small local hypnotist is able to on-sell a professionally made stop smoking service. And presumably they get a commission from hosting the advert or recommending it to their clients.

I have no doubt that it works for some people. I have no doubt that doing it this way is much cheaper than going to a professional hypnotherapist. And it is a good thing that smokers are able to get some cut-price help.

What I do wonder about however, is whether the marketing gets more thought than the therapy. This particular service offers a ten step program. The smoker downloads ten audio hypnosis recordings and listens to them over a period of weeks.

Why a ten step program? Why not six or eleven or some other number? What is so special about ten?

It seems to me highly unlikely that purely by chance stopping smoking requires ten separate stages. Or ten separate things to address. And yet, it is very common for all sorts of therapies to be packaged in this way. I think it is much more likely that the people selling such therapy packages are looking for something catchy to use in their marketing. The number of steps has absolutely nothing to do with what is needed to produce the result.

To me, this suggests that the therapy is being twisted to fit the marketing, and not the other way round. If the therapy actually requires six steps or nine steps or some other number, then the package must contain unnecessary padding. Or the actual requirements are being thinned out and possibly are less effective.

I am always suspicious of any over-neat package of anything to do with human psychology. Human beings just don’t fit into nice square boxes.

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Comfort eating

Comfort eating and teenage anxiety

I had a new client yesterday who came to me about weight loss. To start with, I really could not understand what was motivating her to overeat. Depression is the most common source of being overweight, but this client showed no signs of it. She seemed bright and cheerful, although she was clearly well overweight.

I asked her what she got from eating. Like most clients, she said she has no idea why she ate. "I eat when I'm bored". "I just like chocolate and snacks". "If there is a snack in my desk, I eat it". "So why do you buy the snacks?", I asked. "I don't know. I just love eating."

Sports career ruined

I asked her if she had always been overweight. "No", she said. "Up until about age 16 I was really skinny, really fit. And then I injured my knee. I loved playing softball, it was my life, and then it was all over. Soon after that I started putting weight on and have battled with it ever since".

I have heard this before from athletes. They put their whole heart and soul into becoming good at the sport. They become really good, and hope to make a living as a player. And then they get injured, and their sporting career is over. It is a devastating blow for young person, and many athletes go through a period of despair and resentment. After that the athlete feels they have nothing to lose, nothing to live for, so they get into smoking, drinking, drugs and whatever else they want to do. And then they find they can't stop it.

I suspected that might be the case for this client. "How did you feel when you could no longer play softball?" She said "Oh, it wasn't just the softball. I got a terrible attack of asthma immediately after that as well."

A perfect childhood

It has been my experience that asthma is usually associated with stress. Asthma in children is usually associated with stress with the parents, and at home. So I asked her how she got on with her parents. "I had a wonderful childhood. I really loved my parents. We got on really well". Usually when a client says they had a wonderful childhood, I suspect they're hiding something. So I probed a bit more.

It turned out that my client was the middle child. Her older sister bullied her, but no more than sisters normally do. For some reason her parents were very hard on her older sister, but really indulged my client. "I remember going away for six or eight weeks in the summer on holiday with my parents camping and having a wonderful time with them. On my birthday I always got cakes and presents and chocolate. Really, I could have anything I wanted."

And then it all went wrong

So, summarizing I said "So you injured your knee and got asthma". "Yes" she said, "and then I went away to live with relatives in a different town." Because of her intense asthma she was advised to leave her home town and go to a much drier atmosphere. So she moved away from home and lived with some distant cousins. They were cold and distant and not very happy getting a teenager forced on them. And thus started a period of intense unhappiness for her. And this was when she began to eat.

It was now clear why she was addicted to eating. At the time she was living in a cold, unhappy place. She had lost all her friends. The passion of her life, softball, was over. She was no longer the golden girl who was indulged by her parents. Her life was empty, and turned to comfort eating.
Part of her unconscious mind was trying to get back to those wonderful days of holidays and Christmas when she was given whatever she wanted. It was her sad attempt to get back some happiness. And that was what her eating behaviour was all about. And she had been eating ever since, for more than 20 years she had been overweight. Since then she had got married and her parents had died.

Choosing the therapy

It seemed to me that my client was stuck in the past. She was trying to get back to a golden time, and had to be helped to move on from there. Thinking about psychological resources, using her mother as a resource seemed like the most promising approach.

I decided to use a script called Bridge to Freedom. This includes leading the client in trance to a bridge. On the bridge there is a Figure of Power who helps the client to get rid of whatever it is that is holding them back. I took her through the script, adjusting it to her own particular circumstances. I fully expected that she would see the Figure of Power as her mother.

Then I used the shortened version of another script called Cathedral of Parts. In this script the client is taken into something that represents their own inner mind. Then all the parts that make up the person's personality are brought out. One of them that is not doing what it should is singled out and changed. Normally the client says that they saw all different parts of themselves in various forms.

Coming out of trance

When I brought the client out of trance, we talked for a while about what she had experienced. She said "I feel completely different about eating now". I asked who the figure on the bridge was. She said "I think it was me". This meant that she had been using her own resources on the bridge. Using your own resources is much more powerful than getting resources from somewhere else.

I asked what the parts look like. And to my great surprise, she said "they were all foods". It seems that, in this particular case, it was actually particular foods that were her problem. It really was chocolate and snacks that were the culprits. So in her mind, she has changed her relationship with them.

And that should be the end of her comfort eating problem.

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Trichotillomania and anxiety

Trichotillomania and anxiety

I had a very memorable client today. He told me that he had trichotillomania. He said that he was constantly pulling hairs out of his beard and picking at his nails. He couldn't stop and he needed to stop because it was threatening his job. From previous experience I know that hair pulling is associated with anxiety. I asked him when the anxiety had started. He told me that he had been anxious all his life. So I asked him to tell me about growing up. He had grown up in a religious family. His father was in the military. His father was strict and verbally abusive. He was a perfectionist for whom nothing was ever good enough.

My client described an upbringing of constant anxiety. He had been sexually abused by an older stepbrother. I asked him at what age this happened. He said that he was three years old when it was discovered. Eventually his stepbrother was institutionalised. I pointed out that at three years old you have no memories, and so the sexual abuse, if it actually happened, would not have affected his behaviour.

I said it was much more likely that his parents had told him about it and expected him to behave badly. He told me that he'd spent much of his childhood on Ritalin. He was forced to take various pharmaceuticals until he went to high school. Then he just refused to take any more.

Ineffective therapy

He described an endless round of psychotherapists, counselors, guides and advisers. Most of these were faith-based. A few helped, most did not. He had been to group therapy, face-to face therapy, art therapy, meditation: you name it, he's been to it. He had spent thousands of hours in therapy. And I said to him, "You've been to all this counselling, all this therapy, and yet you are still anxious?". "Yes, I have tried everything. I have tried to stop my racing thoughts but I still get anxious in crowds. He said "I feel that there is something still chasing me".

I asked him what he felt had helped him. He said that being taught how to go sleep was very useful. He slept badly and often woke during the night. Meditation was also useful. He meditated on a regular basis. I asked them how it was that he meditated a lot, but still had anxiety. He just looked even more unhappy.

I felt that it was a tragedy that this decent young man had been let down by the entire therapy profession. It seemed to me there was very little wrong with him apart from his anxiety. Looking back, it seemed that most of it was the result of his parents behavior towards him. And all the nonsense labels that various therapists had tried to stick on to him.

Treating deep-seated anxiety

I felt that the best approach would be to tackle his anxiety head-on. Since he said that he had been meditating a lot, and was good at it, I asked him to put himself into trance. Just say the word "yes", when you are there.

He proceeded to put himself under. I got him to deepen the trance. Then I suggested that he focused on this feeling of "something still chasing me". His expression changed, and it became clear that he was actually experiencing that old anxiety. I kept on suggesting that he could go deeper into the anxiety, to become more aware of it, to allow it to come out fully. His whole body was showing signs of anxiety. I then suggested that he could become curious about that feeling. I asked him to consider its size, its colour, its shape and what object it most resembled.

Developing the metaphor

He said "it's a motor". This surprised me. Most people think of clouds or stones or something fairly general. I was quite happy to accept a motor, so I continue developing it. He said it was about the size of a basketball, it was black, it had moving parts, and it was dangerous. I asked "what else you know about it?". He told me it was a Langolier motor. This meant nothing to me, and I wasn't sure if I'd heard him correctly. He had a very clear image of the motor whatever it was, so I started on the next stage which is to change into something else.

I asked him "what would you like to have happen to this thing?". He said he wanted to stop it. Then he said he wanted to take it apart. I asked "and what would that mean for you, if it stopped and you took it apart?". He said "I could rebuild it". This wasn't what I expected, but I pressed on. "And what would it mean for you if you could rebuild it?". He said "then I would know how it worked". I asked again "and what would it mean for you when you know how it works?". He said "then I could be calm". This meant he had now established a link between changing the motor metaphor and his desired state. Changing the motor in any way would break him out of his anxiety state.

Changing the metaphor

So I asked him "what would have to happen for that motor to stop?". He said it couldn't stop. It was too dangerous. He couldn't even see it clearly, because it was moving so fast. Even going near it, things could fly off it and injure you. This was his unconscious mind's way of keeping away from the feeling. Most likely he had never really addressed the feeling at all at any time in his life, for fear of what might happen.

I then suggested, gently, that possibly some sort of wall, some sort of barrier could go around it. A moment later he said "Ah yes, there is a barrier around it". I asked him what it was made of. He said "glass". So I said, "just allow whatever wants to happen to happen". After a short time, He said "it's filled with water" with a sense of surprise in his voice. Then he said "it has frozen". And now I can see it clearly. "It's a very clever intricate machine". And he began to describe in some detail. He was clearly thinking of some real machine, and not some vague metaphor. This was very puzzling to me, but I kept on with the therapy.

I asked him what he would like to have happen to it. And he said again "I want to take it apart". So I gently suggested he begin taking apart. And he described in excruciating detail exactly what he was doing. He was taking tiny screwdrivers and removing the screws. Each screw was carefully bagged, colour-coded, labelled and laid out. He described taking each bit apart, laying it out, taking sketches and photographs so that he would know how to put back together again.

Destroying the machine

And he was constantly remarking on how clever and intricate and well-designed it was. He was filled with admiration for the working of this machine. This actually wasn't what I was trying to achieve. I needed him to destroy the machine, not follow in love with it. So I made more suggestions about what to do with the machine. Eventually he said " I could build something different with it". So I encourage them to think about using just a few parts to make something useful. He seemed very taken with this idea. He said he could make something for everyone and they would find it useful.

I said "and you can be proud of that, can't you?". "Oh yes," he said "but then everyone would start arguing about where the idea came from and try to patent it would cause a whole lot of arguments". So I then spent some time trying to assure him that it actually would work out well. I then checked to see if all the parts had been used. "And is there anything left of that machine?".

Destroying the dangerous part

He told me that there were many parts left. There were sharp and dangerous and couldn't be touched. I asked him what he was going to do with them. He said he would bag them up and put them away. This was not what I wanted. I wanted him to destroy those dangerous parts. Otherwise they might come back at some future time and ruin all the good work we had been  doing. I told him he had to get rid of them. And he said "okay, I will give them to some friends of mine". This would not at all what I had expected, but I figured  getting rid of them that way was as good as any other way.

So the machine had now been dismantled. I reminded him that this meant that he could now change. I asked him "how does that anxiety seem to you now?". He said "it all seems very distant". Job done.

Explaining the metaphor

I then brought out of trance and we chatted for a while. He said to me "did you notice that I called that a Langolier?". I said yes but I had no idea what what he meant by it. He told me that when he was a child he had watched the Stephen King movie with his father. It had frightened him at the time. The movie was about going to the edge of time and these machines called Langolier continually ate Time.

His young mind had associated these machines with some enormous monstrous power that consumed everything and could not be stopped. Somehow or other he had made a link between that and his childhood anxiety caused by things that he couldn't stop and had no control over. That was the metaphor that he brought up from the depths of his unconscious. By dismantling and disabling that machine metaphorically, he had dismantled his feelings of anxiety.

It is very seldom I get such a direct link back to the visualization of a childhood anxiety. But in this case it was very clear how his mind thought of his problems, and thought of them like this invincible machine. I made no attempt to address this trichotillomania as he had asked for. Instead, going after the source of the anxiety allowed him to take back control of his whole life. The hair pulling and nail picking will clear up by themselves now.

Outcome of the Trichotillomania treatment

Mr. Mason,

I'm writing to you almost a week after having undergone your hypnotherapy for my trichotillomania and I'm in a bit of shock actually. I've not pulled a single hair from my body, not one. Occasionally I will touch my beard but almost immediately remind myself that "oh yeah, I don't have to do that anymore". It's more than incredible, it's life changing and I can't thank you enough.
The ugly and driving anxiety that was driving this behaviour and others is gone and I can finally relax. I've even gone and purchased some concert tickets for my wife because I feel I can be in a crowd and enclosed space again, which will make a delightful Valentine's Day present to my wife. 
Best of luck to you, your work transition, and the ongoing project that is your wonderful home. Thank you again and infinitely.
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Boredom and creativity, or not

Recent research has suggested that boredom is something you need to go through before you can be creative. Yet everywhere I look people are doing everything they can to avoid it. Last week I was managing a series of presentations at the University.
The presenters were all new and inexperienced so I wanted to make sure that the audience was paying attention to them. I told everyone to shut their laptops and focus on the presenter. Everyone duly shut their laptops, except for one student who had to be forcibly assisted.
When the presentations got underway, I noticed about 1/3 of the students were actually now using their cell phones under the desk. Other students were showing withdrawal symptoms. It would seem that almost everyone nowadays seeks to be constantly stimulated. They appeared to be almost terrified of having one moment of boredom.

Research into boredom

In one recent study researchers asked their subject to do something either boring or something interesting. Then they asked the subjects to do something creative. One group copied numbers out of the telephone book and the other group watched a television show. Both groups were then asked to think up something creative to do with cups. The boredom group came up with more and better creative things to do with the cups.

In a second test subjects came up with more answers to an associative word test after they'd been forced to watch a boring screensaver for a while.
It has been known for centuries that being bored leads to daydreaming. And daydreaming leads to creativity. So how it works is not a mystery.

The scientist are now asking themselves that if everyone is overstimulated and never gets bored, what will happen to the nation's creativity?

For therapists the question is quite different. Most of our clients keep themselves constantly busy, have the TV on all the time, or listen to headphones in bed in order to avoid what happens to them when they're not stimulated. In that case what they get is fears and anxieties coming out. They don't get creativity, they get frightened.

Perhaps psychologists will begin to look into that?

Continuous improvement in therapy diagram

I was doing some work for an upcoming talk when I came across this diagram. It is used in project quality management. It is a standard flowchart for designing continuous improvement. There are hundreds of examples of things like this. What I found particularly interesting is that if you look at it from the point of view of personal therapy, it is the basis for almost all therapeutic interventions.

Continuous improvement in therapy

The diagram starts off by asking "where are we today?" in comparison with where we want to be, or where we think we should be. You are then asked to visualize where you want to be. The next question is "how do we get there?". This gets the client to think about what has to be done to move in the direction of the desired state. The client is then invited to visualize exactly what the desired state will look like, and how they will feel, when it is achieved. This is the basis of most NLP therapy and the modelling of excellence.

The next stage is Gap Analysis. "Where are we now are versus where we want to be?". This determines the size of the problem. It naturally leads to an analysis of what has to be done to close the gap. From that, the gap can be broken down into smaller pieces and each tackled individually. Then the question is "what do we need to tackle first?". The various issues can be prioritised. You then focus your attention on those key features that will have the biggest impact.

Continuous Improvement Action Plan

Once you know what has to be done, in what sequence, you can begin to work on an action plan. For each action plan the client can decide whether they personally have enough resources, or whether they need help from other people. The client then lays out in detail everything that they have to do personally, and everything that they need to ask other people to do.

The action plan gets started, and then the client measures progress is that with the expected progress. If it isn't working, then they go back and change the action plan. The action cycle continues: measure the outcome, the back to the plan, to a new action, measure the outcome and check whether it is achieving the desired outcome. When all the planned actions have been finished, it is time to reassess the situation. At that point the therapist and the client discuss where they are compared with where they want to be. And the whole cycle starts again.

They say that there is nothing new under the sun. The things that we therapist do to try to improve people's lives are in no way unique. And certainly, looking at the therapy process from the perspective of quality management gives an interesting way of reassessing what we do.

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Smoking blindness

Smoking blindness

My local health district has proudly announced a new smoke-free effort to help people to cut down smoking. It is the result of years of planning and the combined efforts of seven area health boards. The initiative is "employing expert staff dedicated to helping people across the regions to become Smokefree".

The new service offers face-to-face coaching and 24-hour phone support. "The quick coaches will support you through a six-week program and provide free nicotine patches, lozenges and/or gum."
The service is embracing all the latest in technology. As well as weekly face-to-face meetings, they are using texting, videoing, Skyping, and emails to keep constantly in touch with the smokers. And it costs nothing. People wanting to quit get any combination of nicotine replacement therapy patches, nicotine gum, and lozenges free and unlimited.
The government has said publicly that it intends to make the whole country smoke-free by 2025. This initiative is part of that policy. And I applaud anything that is being done to help people stop smoking.

Smoking Blindness

However, this looks like another case of smoking blindness. Everything in this new initiative is based on a model of smoking which regards smoking as a purely physical or biomedical affliction. This reflects the widespread view in medicine that smoking is the result of physical addiction. If you believe that smoking is the result of addiction to tobacco then of course the correct response is to help eliminate the addiction. This is done with pharmaceuticals and encouragement. In my view this is just official smoking blindness.

It is surprising to me that this entire multimillion dollar initiative seems to give no weight at all to the psychological side of smoking. Hypnotherapy is very successful at stopping smoking. It does not use pharmaceuticals, and does not offer ongoing multiweek support. This is because you don't need them.

Smoking is at least as much about the psychology of the smoker as it is about the physical side. In fact I believe that smoking is almost entirely a psychological issue. It is rather disheartening to see yet another instance of smoking blindness by the medical profession. I wish the initiative well, but I really think that they are working on a flawed model.

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brain scans

Are brain scans about to revolutionise hypnosis?

Brain scans are establishing if there is a link between suggestibility and the tendency to be easily hypnotised. Everyone is suggestive. If we were not suggestible the entire advertising industry would grind to a halt. The science of advertising has been the subject of intense psychological research almost since the beginning of advertising. Advertisers now know all the tips and techniques for getting and keeping your attention.  The aim is of course, to persuade you to buy their products. But on the way researchers have learned a great deal about suggestion, and flow, and states of mind.

Previous studies have been hampered by a lack of direct hard data. Knowing whether an advert worked or not has mostly been a matter of statistics and inferences. But no scientists can actually watch the brain at work as it is exposed to different stimuli.
Psychology researchers are now expanding their studies beyond advertising exposure and into the area of hypnosis. The driver behind this is quite surprising. Advances in neuroimaging (brain scans) is allowing scientists to look directly into the living brain. This means that scientists can tell which parts of the brain are being activated at any particular moment.
The importance of this is that finally, you can tell whether someone is actually hypnotised, or is faking it. And the result is that there is not absolutely no doubt that hypnosis is a real state that can be seen as a distinct configuration in the brain.

This means that almost everything that is known or believed about hypnosis must be reassessed. All the research published in the 20th century was really based on anecdote and theory and supposition. Live brain scans mean we now have the opportunity to study hypnosis objectively. It is now possible to measure the exact effect of different wordings and different techniques.

This means that for the first time controlled experiments can be made that will establish exactly what works and what doesn't, and why. This new approach to research may end up revolutionising hypnotherapy. Maybe hypnosis will finally turn into a hard science.

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client refunds

Should you give client refunds?

I got this email about client refunds:

I just want your opinion re this situation that came up today
Group session of 6 for smoking cessation.
45 mins later got a message that it hadn’t worked and it was my fault because I didn’t do stage hypnosis induction etc. she could have done the session herself.
So I replied answering her points. Now she has come back wanting her money back.  Paid 1/2 price as it was a group session and I travelled about an hour to get to the venue.
She was told it was a group session but she complained that there were others there.
Given her strong belief in what she thought I should be doing and saying and clearly not following my suggestions and her complete denial that it worked within 45 mins would you offer a refund? 
Your thoughts please.


My attitude to client refunds:

You get customers like this. Everyone does. You cannot avoid them.

You do your best and they throw it back in your face. Unfortunately, that is just the business we are in. We deal with people with mental health problems, and they do not act rationally.

If it was me, I would give her the money back immediately.

Life is too short to let these people upset you. There is nothing you can do. In our business the clients hold all the aces. When it comes to a dispute the client will always win. Even if you succeed in not refunding her payment, she will gleefully spend the next 10 years telling everyone who will listen what a crap hypnotist you are, and how she was right all along and you just could not help her.

You don’t need that kind of publicity. Refund her money and write it off to experience. Send her a nice little note saying you are sorry that it didn’t work out for her and you hope that she will find someone who can help her.

She has probably been to every health professional in the area and dismissed them all as useless. You were just the next in line. It doesn’t mean anything. And she is not worth spending time on.

All you can do is think back to see if you can identify any indicators that you can use to identify this kind of person in the future. And refuse to deal with them.

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