Open post
chinese restaurant phobia

Chinese Restaurant Phobia

Chinese Restaurant Phobia

I saw a client today with Chinese Restaurant phobia. This is one of the more unusual phobias I have come across. My client went to a Thai restaurant about two weeks ago and was enjoying the meal. But something in the ingredients set off an extreme allergic reaction. He ended up being stretchered out of the restaurant barely breathing and into hospital dangerously ill.

He was discharged two days later and swore to avoid Thai restaurants in future. However this week, when he went into a Chinese restaurant he immediately felt dizzy and frightened and had to go outside again. After ten minutes we went back in to join his friends. But again he was seized with an overwhelming fear and actually vomited when he ran outside.

It is interesting to see so clearly the process of how a phobia forms.  His unconscious mind has identified something in the Thai restaurant as being associated with the sudden onset of a dangerous illness. It is therefore primed to protect him  by forcing him out of any place where he might get harmed. It is now in the process of broadening out the possible indicators to include other types of Asian 'things'.  Over time, if left untreated, his unconscious will start to include an ever wider range of possible indicators. It may eventually end up as a full size fear of any restaurant, or even of food.

Treating the phobia

I like to treat phobias by going directly for the feeling. I ask the client to think about the feared situation and feel the fear. If they can get the fear as a feeling in their body I can clear it immediately using Gestalt Metaphor Therapy.

In this case the client could not summon up the feeling, probably because it has not had time to create a strong repeatable feeling.

So I put him into trance and tested to make sure he was under. Then I suggested he think about the Thai restaurant and the Chinese restaurant and the feeling that he got there. The client turned to be one of these people who go corpse-like in trance, and give no indication of what is going on inside. I therefore could not do a question and answer session with him.

All I could do then was assume he had the feeling and try to remodel it without feedback. I suggested that the feeling could become an object, that it  had a shape, a size, a color and so on. Then in several different ways I suggested  that the object was changing, shrinking, changing color and transforming itself in ways it wanted to. I really had no idea what was going in his mind or whether he was experiencing anything at all.

I brought him out of trance and asked, a bit nervously, what object had looked like. "Oh, a big concrete square," he said, "and I crushed it".

Looks like the job got done.

Please follow and like us:
Open post
Bored

Bored – a special word in hypnotherapy

Bored is a special word in hypnotherapy. When a client says to me "I  [do something] when I am bored" this immediately sets off a warning signal in my mind. Then I know I am dealing with a case of anxiety.

Boredom is better defined as a lack of stimulation. When you lack stimulation one of two things happens. You either get up and seek external stimulation, or you allow your inner thoughts to come out. Both of these alternatives have good and bad aspects. 

Seeking external stimulation is least bad of the outcomes. Some people get motivated to do useful things. Others just go aimlessly looking for something, anything, to do. The old saying 'the devil finds work for idle hands' applies here. Much petty crime is the result of too much time and not enough planned activity. 

Allowing inner thoughts to intrude also has several outcomes. Some client are so afraid of their inner thoughts that they spend their life in frantic activity, keeping busy all the time. Other people so hate the thoughts that they play music all day and keep the radio on all night. Having an external noise drowns out the the disturbing internal thoughts. 

Most people do not go to such extremes. But the fact that they are having these thoughts is disturbing, and makes them feel anxious. So they do something to fill the void. When things get quiet is often when people start on their bad habits. Snacking is a classic response to boredom. Smoking is another. As is hair pulling. 

So when the client tells me that they do it when they are bored, I start seeking the cause of their anxiety.  Fix that and you fix the behavior. 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
Open post
Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is being aware that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming. Some people claim to be able to do it, others claim it doesn’t exist.
Most of us have had the experience of realizing we were dreaming in the dream. Usually you just wake up and that’s it.
Lucid dreaming tries to do more. In a lucid dream, the dreamer interacts with elements of the dream. Really skilled lucid dreamers can bring other characters into the dream, such as famous power figures such as Einstein. Or they can create resources out of nothing, such as chain saws. They then use these to create changes in the dream. So if you are in a dream being pursued by some faceless monster, you create a flame thrower and destroy it.

The whole idea of lucid dreaming is intriguing. There is a minor industry claiming to teach people how to do it. Various psychologists are now investigating it as well. The attraction is that it might offer a way to deal with the thousands of service people suffering from PTSD. Every war produces thousands of cases, and they are very hard to treat.

I was reading about the latest research in this area and it struck me that lucid dreaming might be nothing more than a form of trance. The parallels are very close. They both involve REM thinking, and they both allow people to dissociate and enter states of imagination.

In fact many hypnosis techniques use exactly the same techniques. NLP has comedy transformation routines. These get the person to think of what they fear and get them to change more and more parts of it until it becomes ridiculous. Gestalt therapy uses metaphor transformation in a similar way. Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language get the client to visualize their issues as symbols and then change them.

So perhaps there is already a whole area of knowledge in existence.
If you want to try it yourself you can try ‘dream incubation’ to start you off. What you do is to rehearse some scene in your mind during the day in order to prime your mind for the night. You might want to think of an upcoming interview that you are worried about, or an exam. Go over it several times before bedtime, and then think of some symbol or object that sums it up. Then when you fall asleep your mind should create a dream about the situation. You will know you are dreaming when the symbol or object appear in the dream. You can then take charge and dream it into a successful conclusion

Please follow and like us:
Open post
secret hypnosis resource

Finding your secret hypnosis resource

Sometimes when you are doing hypnosis for smoking you need to utilize a secret hypnosis resource. You need to be always on the look out for things the client says that you can use. It comes down to really listening to your client. If you listen to your client the client will tell you exactly what they need.

I had a client come back to me several months after I had hypnotized her to stop smoking. She had started again and wanted me to fix it again. She told me that there had been a big family bust up. Her father had died and all sorts of unpleasantness between family members had come out. My client just couldn't take the arguing and spite and got stressed and started smoking again. 

It is a mistake to just take things the client tells you at face value. When I started probing about why the arguing had upset her so much I found the real reason. She loved her father and missed him desperately. With the family clashes and the loss of her dad she just couldn't cope. So she went back to the thing she had always relied on in times of stress: smoking. 

She was sitting in the chair weeping and it was clear that was not even near being over his death. As long as she felt that way she was not going to be able to stop smoking. So that became my secret hypnosis resource. 

I put her into trance and changed my standard stop smoking routine to include the secret resource. In trance I had her imagine a journey where she is going up a mountain path. The path gets steeper and harder and she can't go back and she can't go forward. Then along the path comes a person. This person is not described but it become obvious who it is. The person then tells her that he knows she is carrying some awful burden. He helps her let it go and it tumbles down the mountainside. Then he asks her to do something for him. He asks her if she will give up smoking for his sake. 

By this time my client was in floods of tears and promising to do anything for him. I then let the two of them reconcile and he told her it was time for him to go. He told her that he was happy where he was and it was time to let go. They embraced and then he continued down the path and she continued upwards. 

She me afterward that she felt such a feeling of relief. The path was exactly how she felt. And nothing would ever make her betray her father. She would never smoke again. 

Please follow and like us:
Open post
hypnosis suggestions

Can’t be hypnotized

Hello,I am looking for advice.
I have used a number of self hypnosis CD’s and paid for hypnosis 1-1.
I keep trying but they seem to have little or no effect on me.
Is there something I am doing wrong? Is there something wrong with me?
Can you advise if there is some thing I could do which would remedy this?
Many Thanks

What if I can't be hypnotized? The short answer is that everyone can be hypnotised. It is simply a matter of finding the right method.

Client centered issues.

What you get is not what you expect

Part of the problem may be that you are expecting something different from what you are getting. Everyone reacts differently to hypnosis. Some people expect to get fireworks and cosmic enlightenment.  Others expect to wake up totally blank and remember nothing. Some people feel weightless while others feel their limbs so heavy that they can't move. Still others jerk and twist in trance and are convinced that they can't have been in trance because they can move. 

The fact is that everyone's experience is different. I know I am going into trance when my right hand twitches. I know I am going into somnambulism when I get a tingle on my upper lip. But I can also have a conversation when I am in trance. 

Issues of control

As a hypnotherapist I get clients from all parts of the hypnotizability spectrum. The ones who do not go into hypnosis easily are usually people who fear losing control. They want to go into trance but when they feel themselves slipping away they instantly snap out of it. 

This is often mixed in with or a part of mental anxiety. In some people their mind is always busy. They are so filled with constant thoughts, worries and panics that they  cannot focus on the process. Some just drown out the words of the therapist. Others over analyse what the therapist is saying. They are both ways of protecting their mind from what will happen if they lose control.

Hypnotist centered issues

Competence

Some hypnotists just aren't very good. It takes a lot of experience to know when someone is going into trance, and when they are not. Anyone can read a script, and most people will go under. But some people need a different approach or multiple approaches to let go. 

Matching the induction to the client

A hypnosis recording is a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. There is nothing wrong with recordings, but they have limitations. NLP says that people are either visual, auditory or kinesthetic. There is some truth in that. So I have to match my induction to the client. I sometimes do two or even three inductions if I don't see the signs of trance I expect to see. And in every case, I test to make sure the client is in trance before I continue with the therapy.   Of you course, you can't be tested if you are listening to a recording. 

How to deal with it. 

The client can't do anything wrong in hypnosis. There is nothing wrong with you or your mind. You are a human being, therefore you can be hypnotized.  If you don't go into trance then it is the hypnotist's fault. Everyone can be hypnotised. It might take a while, it might take several goes, but it can be done. Whether the hypnotist has the skills or the patience is another matter. 

I suspect that if you have dealt with a competent hypnotist, and you have listened to multiple CDs, and you still can't go into trance, then the issue is one of control. Your mind just won't accept losing control. The test is if you have difficulty with sleep. 

A good hypnotist can work with you and find a way of bypassing your loss-of-control fears. However, this might take a lot of time and a lot of money. What I suggest you do is practice a simple form of self hypnosis. This will let you experience the feeling of trance in a safe environment and under your own control. Once you mind learns that you can give up control and not die, you will be able to go into trance easily. 

Self hypnosis exercise

All you have to do is to find some quiet place and do the exercise. Start by counting your breaths. On each breath out count from ten down to one until your breathing is soft and regular. Repeat it if you have to. Then count from ten down to one and think to yourself "body relaxing" on each out breath.  Repeat if you have to. 

Then on each out breath gently whisper or think a word. Any word. The word 'one' is fine. Or 'success' or 'trance' or anything else. The word is not important, the repetition is. Keep repeating the word until you dissociate. This means that the word will lose all meaning, will seem strange, disconnected. When you dissociate you are in the first stage of hypnosis. 

Notice what the state feels like. Then practice finding that state again some other time. Practice with your word again and again if you have to. Eventually you will able to think yourself into that state without the exercise. When you have achieved that, you are successfully going in and out of trance. You can then develop from there. The CDs will begin to work and you will begin your path to change. 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
Open post
hypnosis and epilepsy

Hypnosis and Epilepsy

Hypnosis and epilepsy worries some people, and believe that epileptics should not be hypnotized . This is not true. There is no reason why an epileptic should not benefit from hypnotherapy. There is nothing in hypnosis that would cause the onset of an attack, so there is no reason to avoid it.

There is no special procedure to use, just the normal approach. It is sensible to talk to the person about their epilepsy. Most epileptics already have their condition under control and know what to expect and what to do. All that is necessary is for the hypnotist to learn what to do in case an attack comes on during the office visit. The simplest way is to simply ask the client how to tell if they are having an attack, and what they would like you to do if one happens to strike while you are there.

Epileptics know exactly what they need and have been through it many times, so there is no great mystery: it is just something that happens occasionally in their life. The hypnotist just needs to accept that there is a remote possibility of an onset, and be ready if one happens. 

It is just an illness, it has to be treated with understanding, and can be worked around. Hypnosis and epilepsy is really not a problem. 

Please follow and like us:
Open post
hypnosis script drinking

Hypnosis Script for Drinking

I was recently asked why I don't have a hypnosis script for drinking and alcohol abuse.

In my view drinking is always a symptom of something else. Smoking is a habit: drinking is a cry for help.

I have a great deal of sympathy with alcoholics and problem drinkers. In my view they are simply self medicating and trying deal with unwelcome thoughts and feelings in the only way they know how - by numbing it with alcohol. Drinking is the only tool they have.

There is no such thing as a successful script for drinking. Abusing alcohol is not a hobby or something the client wants to do. They need help to understand their own behavior. You need to find out what is causing the feelings in order to get them off the alcohol.

Therefore a script will not do it. The causes are many and unique to the individual.
The feelings are always associated with childhood upbringing so you have to get the person to go back to the origin and either do Gestalt re-modelling or try some sort of Regression to Cause.
The origins are too deep and pressures to keep drinking are too strong for a one-way hypnosis. Unless you engage in a dialog with your client's unconscious you will not find the root of it, and if you don't find the root of it then you won't be able to remove it.

That is not to say that drinkers cannot be helped by hypnotherapy. They can. There are many techniques of hypnosis and NLP that will help. However things like Regression to Cause really can't be reduced to a script. A competent hypnotherapist should be able to tailor the technique to the client based on experience and training.

I don't believe that you can use a script and expect to get lasting results.
That is why I do not offer a straight hypnosis script for drinking.

Please follow and like us:
Open post
how to word suggestions

Self Hypnosis Suggestions

Self Hypnosis Suggestions

I received a query about Self Hypnosis suggestions:

I have a question about self-hypnosis. Is it better to give self-suggestion like:

I am now a billionaire

0r

You are now a billionaire

Okay this is just an example I am just wondering which is better to word, in first or second person? Or should you do both within the script???

This question has been debated endlessly. No one has ever come up with an answer that satisfies everybody. It is not simply a matter of wording. 

  1. Can you do anything in self hypnosis? Self hypnosis refers to the process of putting yourself into trance. Once you are in trance, you are not actually capable of forming logical thoughts. If you can, then you are not in trance. So if you can't form coherent thoughts then you can't form sentences and the words don't matter.
  2. Do you mean creating a recording you will listen to so that you put yourself into trance? I have never met anyone who has done this successfully. It is no problem to write out a script and record suggestions. But few people like the sound of their own voice, and since you wrote it you know what comes next and why you used those particular words. It is hard to get enough detachment to go into trance as you would if someone else was doing it.
  3. If we are actually talking not about hypnosis but about affirmations, does the exact wording matter? Again, millions of words have beer written about affirmations and there is no clear answer.
  4. If you have been brought up being told you are stupid and useless, then constantly reminding yourself that you are smart and capable will help to overcome your early programming. If you are an idle layabout then no amount of telling yourself 'I am a winner, I am a millionaire' will work. You just become an idle layabout with an inflated view of yourself. Changing the wording to 'You are a winner, you are a millionaire' doesn't really help.

You can play the recording (without the induction) over and over as you drive or at home doing something else and the words will eventually work their way into your subconscious. Whether they work or not is unknown. We are exposed to a massive amount of advertising but not all of it hits the mark. It is the same with self hypnosis suggestions.

The best way is to take yourself into trance with some relevant image in mind, and let your subconscious work on that for you. That process doesn't use words so the difference between 'I' and 'you' doesn't apply. 

Please follow and like us:
Open post
fear of driving

Fear of Driving Phobia removal

Fear of Driving

This phobia is fairly common. A surprising number of people get the shakes when driving over a high bridge or into a tunnel. Usually it is hard to pinpoint exactly why.

Yesterday I treated a woman who wanted to end her Fear of Driving. She said that she was OK around the back streets and normal driving. But when she got to a road with a drop off at the side, or a narrow part, she lost all her confidence. 

The source of the fear

I asked when this started and she said it began about three years ago and had got progressively worse. She told me she was out driving one day  when suddenly, out of nowhere, came an overwhelming sense of fear. Since that day she has been afraid of the feeling coming back. She tries to avoid driving so that she will not be exposed to feeling again. 

This is a classic description of how phobia is created. You are doing something distinct like driving or flying, and then you experience an overwhelming fear, and then your mind links the fear to the activity, and you have a phobia.

Normally it is impossible to say exactly what created the link. But in this case, the woman recognised the fear. Her son had died suddenly ten years before and this was the same overwhelming pain she had experienced at the time. Something she was doing or thinking at that moment reactivated the initial feeling. The pain gets linked to the driving activity,  and the Fear of Driving phobia is triggered.

Most phobias are not about the obvious activity. Fear of Driving is not about the driving, it is about not wanting to get that old fear again. The cure for phobias is to eliminate the origin of the fear. 

In this case the mother had never gotten over the death of her son. She was still carrying around that dread that something else bad would happen. So the answer was to lay the old fear to rest. 

Removing  fear of driving

I hypnotised her and put her into a deep trance. Then I suggested that she visualize a chair in front of her. Then I gently suggested that there was someone sitting in the chair, someone who wanted to talk to her. Someone who was taken away from her and didn't get the chance to say goodbye. I suggested that this person wanted to give her one last message before going away. 

I developed a dialogue saying to my client what a son would want to say to his mother. Then I  let her say to him what she wanted to say. I suggest that he was reaching out to her, and most movingly, she extended her arm out to where the chair might be. And slowly, tears rolled down her face. 

I finished the session by suggesting that her son had a gift he wanted to pass to her, and that he was saying "I'm OK mum. It's time to go now. I love you". He then got into a car and drove away, until the tail lights faded in the distance. 

I let her come back to the present in her own time. She said to me "I feel such a feeling of relief".  And that was the end of it.

Please follow and like us:
Open post
Dream Interpretation

Dream Interpretation with hypnosis

Have you ever considered Dream Interpretation as part of your hypnotherapy?

I love hearing about dreams, and doing dream interpretation, because they reveal what is going on inside the subconscious mind. It is often difficult to know if your hypnotherapy has actually been helping your client. This is especially the case when you are using Metaphor Therapy or Gestalt Therapy techniques. These indirect methods are designed to make subtle long term changes, sometimes so subtle that even the client doesn't realize they are happening.

I always ask the client what changes they have experienced since our last session. Usually the client can say what has or has not worked, and how they know that. But quite often the client will say that they haven't feel any change, even though I know that I have done some powerful work  with them, and they should have noticed some changes.

In that case I always ask if they have been having any dreams. Dream interpretation often gives deep insights into changes in the unconscious.

Dream interpretation example

One of my recent clients said that she felt that something was happening but she couldn't really say what, exactly. So I asked about dreams, and she told me the following vivid dream.

In my  dream I was laboring up a steep hill and there were other people going up as well. At the top was an airplane and we were going towards it. As I got closer the plane began to slip, and then it started sliding down towards me. I got frightened of being squashed and looked around for help, but I could only see two people, men, and when the men turned towards me I could see that they were unreal, with faces like cardboard cutouts from old cartoon comic strips. I realized that they were no help. The plane was sliding down towards me, so I put out my hands and was surprised that  the plane was pushed out of the way and passed by me harmlessly. That was the end of the dream.

I gave her my interpretation of the dream. Understanding dreams is simple. Everything in the dream is you. Other people are parts of you. Objects are metaphors for what you want to happen.

Using these rules, the going up the hill is a metaphor for struggling to change. The plane at the top of the hill is a metaphor for a means of escape. The other people on the hill are various parts of who she is. Metaphorically she want to get on the plane and fly out of there,  but is afraid of it, afraid of what might happen after the change. So that fear is translated into the plane turning into a threat. She seeks help from other parts, but sees that they in fact are cardboard cutouts, not real and not of any use any longer. So she gets the courage to deal with the threat, and deflects the plane and realizes that it actually can not harm her.

This was a perfect summary of her situation. She wants to change, but part of her is afraid to, so her mind shows her resolving this problem in dream. After the dream turns out OK, her mind can accept that she can change, and she starts the process of change on her own.

Later sessions actually confirmed this. She told me she no longer cared what she wore, or how she looked, because in fact 'Nobody cares what I look like. I have been obsessing for years over something that is not real'.

So her mind has now released the constant worry of having to look perfect, to be perfect. At some point she got on that plane.

Another case of dream interpretation helping with hypnosis.

Please follow and like us:

Posts navigation

1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9
Scroll to top

Enjoying this site? Share it around,