Let’s try and exercise. The exercise is: Don’t think of an elephant! Whatever you do, do not think of an elephant. I’ve never found a client who is able to do this. Every word, like elephant, evokes associations. Elephants are large, have floppy ears and a trunk, are associated with circuses, and so on. The word elephant is defined relative to its features and context. When a person tries not to think about an elephant, for example, direct and associated experiences with elephants are likely to come to mind. In short, when you suppress a feeling, you evoke that feeling. This can be seen in everyday speech when you say, “Don’t worry, Don’t be late, Don’t blame me.” By saying “don’t” you are encouraging yourself to think and feel what you were trying to avoid. The conscious effort made to avoid concentrating on something can, ironically make our attention focus on something more.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Your mind (if it’s like most minds), spends a lot of time criticizing itself. If the thought comes up I’m so ugly, and you start arguing with it, or resisting it, you are just investing more energy in that thought pattern in your brain. If someone came up to you and said ‘You’re a purple elephant’, you would probably not get insulted, because there is no agreement that you have that goes ‘I believe that I might be a purple elephant and that is a bad thing.’ On the other hand, if someone comes up and says You would look better if you lost 15 lbs and got rid of that double-chin you would might get very upset. In fact, you might after reading that feel a little jab like “they’re right, I do have kind of a double-chin, I should really get rid of that.” That’s because somewhere in your mind you have an agreement that (a) you might have a double-chin and (b) having a double-chin is a very bad thing to have. So when someone points that out, or you see an advertisment with a 120-lb model, your mind comes up with “I’m ugly” and you agree with it. So the key is to stop agreeing with your negative thoughts. This doesn’t mean arguing with them or resisting them though. If someone said “You’re a purple elephant” you wouldn’t argue about how you really aren’t and how even purple elephants have feelings – you would just shrug and say “OK, whatever”. You would have no charge on it. That is the attitude to cultivate with your negative feelings and thoughts – a mental shrug. “Ok, that’s what my mind is doing, whatever.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
We’ve all known at least one person whom we would call a victim: Someone who has actually been victimized by someone else, or for whom “life has been hard.” And we don’t want to give them a bad rap, I mean; really, they’ve had it hard, right? So, we tolerate their inability to get up in the morning, or their constant or convenient references to their hard lives, or even their abuse, while we sigh and try to be understanding and say, “Yeah, but she’s had a hard life,” or “Yeah, but he’s been through a lot.”
Now, I don’t want to come across as an unsympathetic person here, but with regard to the victim role, it can turn on a dime into the bully role, if we’re not watching. See, there’s a difference between someone who occasionally has a victim thought, and someone who is living the role. Anyone can get on the pity pot now and again. Anyone can fault life circumstances with life choices. Sometimes it’s hard to reverse that and fault life choices with life’s circumstances. I mean that means taking personal responsibility! But if we are going to finally arrive at acceptance of any particular given circumstance, be it an abuse or an accident, illness or a “bad” job or relationship, we are going to have to take personal responsibility. And those of us, who do finally move to acceptance over that given circumstance, have learned to take personal responsibility over the choices that we made. That doesn’t mean that everything that happens to us is within the power of our choices, but it does mean that we have choices about how we are going to respond to those events over which we have no control. And it does mean that we have much more say-so in our lives than many of us would like to admit.
For someone who has opted to live out the victim role, this means all but never being the cause to your own effect. The mantra of the victim is filled with phrases like:
“You just don’t understand how hard it is for me!”
“I had no choice!”
“I was out of control!”
“I was overwhelmed!”
“She or he made me do it!”
“I can’t help it!”
I could go on, but you get the idea. This person lives out of what we, in the mental health field, call externalized locus of control. In other words, they locate their controls outside of themselves. They truly believe that their own actions and even their thoughts are controlled by something or someone outside of themselves. The very idea of challenging themselves to do something different than they’ve always done, hoping for different results, is foreign to them. They cannot even imagine that they are responsible for life choices. It’s their parent’s fault for not loving them enough; it’s their teacher’s fault for being bad teachers; it’s their brother or sister’s fault, their wife or husband’s fault; it’s the driver of that car’s fault–THEY ruined my life!
Ever heard someone say, “He/she/it ruined my life?” At the very least you were listening to someone who is in the throes of a victim seizure, if not someone who lives entirely out of the victim role. Let me be absolutely clear here, before we go into any further depth: NO ONE can ruin your life but you. Take note, there was a period at the end of that sentence. Regardless of what happens in our lives, we still have loads of options, and still are in charge of what we do with it. But the thinking, the belief system of the victim finds this thought unbearable.
Why would such a seemingly hopeful belief be so unbearable to the victim? Because it means taking responsibility for life and life’s choices. Taking responsibility to them means several things. It means:
Bearing the burden of this awful life.
Holding myself accountable.
Fear, terror, blinding terror!
You see, how we interpret makes a huge difference. I interpret taking responsibility for my life and the choices I make as grandly hopeful. I interpret it to mean that nothing, NOTHING can keep me down. But this concept is foreign to the victim. The victim thinks: If I take responsibility for my choices, my responses and very often the actual circumstances themselves then I’ll have to feel this enormous guilt. I’ll have to be ashamed of myself for all the things that I’ve done. My response to that, of course, is well, that’s your choice. You don’t have to choose guilt and shame, but of course, you could if you want.
Victims think, but I should add here that they only think these things on an unconscious level, for to think them consciously might be to recognize what they are up to. Victims think that life is, indeed, awful and that they could not bear to imagine being responsible for such an awful thing. My response to that is, again, that perspective is a choice. Very often, when one of my client’s is in the throes of a victim thought, I will ask her (let’s say it’s a she this time) how yesterday was and she’ll give me a litany of the terrible things that happened yesterday. Then I ask, “What else happened?” The best she can tell me is that “Oh everything else was just okay.” But I’ll insist that she be more specific and tell me about what else happened and what she felt about each specific thing. I’ve yet to have a single person who is not able to come up with some really cool things that happened that day. Things that he or she had not noticed because s/he had been so busy thinking about how bad the day was. For someone who is not identified as a victim, this switch helps them to buoy the other upsetting things that happened. And it helps them to build hope that there are always some good things going on. But for the victim, and this has been almost diagnostic for me, this discussion will cause great consternation and even irritation. The victim will avoid, change the subject, criticize me for being Pollyanna, just plain deny that anything good happened, or if they can admit that they had a good experience or two, they will “yes but” it to death before it reaches the true light of day.
Persons who are identified as victims simply do not want to realize that they are responsible for their own attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and ergo, their emotions. They don’t want to do the work of realizing that beliefs create attitudes, mantras and eventually emotions. They want to believe that their moods are just related to bad things that have happened to them, or to swings. Victims will often say that they need a medication adjustment when in fact what they need is an attitude adjustment. But the medication, being an external control, is held accountable.
The really bad thing about all this is that in the process, victims get themselves victimized. They get involved with bullies all too often. Why do they do this? Well it isn’t because they are masochistic. It’s because the bully will help them stay in the victim role and for some reason this victim role seems to work better for them than anything else. Not being responsible somehow makes them feel safe–even if in that safety they are getting the beatitudes kicked out of them. This is where the terror of changing out of the victim mask and costume becomes apparent. Even though the victim role may be killing them, in the most extreme cases, they will hold on to it for dear life, for the prospect of living without it is more terrifying than death.
I want to be clear here that not everyone who is being abused is living out the victim identity. Some, who are being abused, are living out the scapegoat identity in which they feel guilty and responsible for others’ behavior; some are living out other roles we’ll talk about later. But when victims are living in an abusive situation, it is because it makes it possible for them to maintain the victim identity.
The other really bad thing about all this is that very often the victim flips over to the opposite side of the coin and actually becomes the bully. In fact, many victims bully others with their victimness. It works like this:
“I’m so sick, you have to take care of me, and if you don’t I’ll show you in some way that you really are going to have to come up to it.” Maybe they will do this by getting sicker, maybe by attempting to force your hand in some manipulative way.
“I need you; you can’t leave me.” And so the victim holds his or her victim hostage to this desperate need.
“He/she/it ruined my life. Now it’s up to you to fix it.”
Again, I could go on, but you get the idea. Anything within the life of the victim can be used to scare, cajole, manipulate or abuse another person, who is perceived by the victim to be the next best “mama.” Very often the victim will accuse those, who don’t do their bidding, of abandoning them. When I am working with a client who is being so manipulated by a victim, I will very often inform them that adults can’t abandon other adults. When we were children, our fear of abandonment was justifiable since we were utterly dependent on our caregivers for sustenance. But the growing up process means becoming more and more accountable for our own choices. Adults are responsible for their own lives–which mean that they don’t need a primary caregiver anymore. The very notion of abandonment implies that the person left behind is not capable of caring for him or herself. But, you see, for victims, everyone else is responsible for their well-being, because they are absolutely NOT.
So, how do we deal with victims? Well, first we recognize the victim thoughts which hold us victim. We need to be able to see the ways that we are thinking like victims before we can recognize it in someone else. And while we may not be living out the victim role, we must fully understand that we are 100% accountable for our lives to this point and after, in order to be able to recognize and deal with a victim identity in another. Why? Because the victim will be very good at talking you out of thinking that s/he is responsible for his/her own life.
Second, because we are now clear that we are not responsible for their lives in any way, shape or form, we can walk away from that responsibility. This may or may not mean walking away from the victim, but it will mean walking away from taking any form of responsibility for them, their lives or their choices. And that clarity about who is responsible, which we learned in the first step, is going to keep us from feeling guilty when they deliberately take a turn for the worse, or get themselves victimized again, hoping we’ll come to their rescue. That also was their choice.
And third, we can take complete responsibility for how we react to their manipulations and machinations to get us to renew our commitment to being responsible for their lives. This might mean confronting ourselves about what secondary gain we get out of rescuing victims.
Will they get it? Occasionally to rarely. But that’s their choice. Most often I find that victims have this really cool cat-like feature. They always, somehow, land on their feet. Often this means that they will find someone else to hold hostage to their refusal to take responsibility for their lives. But I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that if enough of us take 100% responsibility for our own lives, the victim will find no one out there on whom they can utterly lean for their lives, and the whole victim identity will one day fade away.
Until then, I intend to be responsible for me…not you!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Every person seeks happiness. You hear it all the time. “I just want to be happy.” “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This last phrase points out an important aspect, the pursuit of happiness. There is no guarantee that it can be obtained. One of the common things I see is people spending most every waking moment seeking happiness. As if it is something out there to be gained or discovered. Perhaps this is a major contributor to the status of society.
Watch television for more than five minutes and you will see this idea confirmed. If I can only get the car, house, boat, job, relationship, salary increase; then life will be complete. I will lack nothing, at least until the next can’t-do-without product is available for purchase. The average adult now has more than 4 different careers in their lifetime. My father-in-law had one job from the time he was a teenager until retirement. Forty-two years at the same job. That’s almost unheard of now. It seems our society is more into the thought that if this job won’t bring about happiness, the next one will. If this relationship doesn’t bring about happiness, then a relationship with him or her will. If life in this tax bracket isn’t satisfying, then the next bracket up will be. It’s the same story over and over. Something out there will complete my life. It will fill the void.
What if the key to happiness rests internally? What if happiness can be learned?
This starts with the idea that happiness is up to me. My perspective of things will influence the results. My expectations affect the outcome.
So what is it about my life that brings me happiness? If I change my outlook from happiness being something out there to it resting internally, ask this; what am I grateful for in my life? What are my successes or wins lately? When I focus too much on what else is out there, I neglect the things we currently possess. Going to the other extreme is also unhealthy. Spending too much time focusing on what used to be produces blurred vision about what is.
Focusing too much on the future or too much on the past, I will miss a lot of what is going on now. I think I have told every one of my clients at some point to slow down. We live life at a fast enough speed as it is. Sometimes speed only produces uncertainty. Did you realize that of all the species on the planet, humans are the only ones that when lost, speed up. All other animals will slow down or even sit down until they get their bearings before proceeding. Do you know where you really want to go? What is your vision for life?
If you have trouble answering the preceding questions, that’s where you should spend some time reflecting and searching. Take an inventory of your current life. What are the things that you enjoy? What are the things that drain you? Enjoy the things going on in life right now. Happiness can be learned, and it starts with what’s going on inside you now. Happiness is not something out there, its inside. Resting deep within your soul waiting to be tapped into. By slowing down and seeking what you really want, life will begin to be more aligned and then more full.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Some have noted a pattern of suspicion followed by silence among those who knew something about Sandusky’s behavior with young boys. Those who work with survivors of child sexual abuse know this pattern all too well and are often angered by it. How do we explain the reluctance of people to talk about their suspicions openly so that something might be done to stop these atrocities?
One of the explanations suggested is that the abuser is a person of power or status who could use that power to punish anyone who dared talk about what they suspected or knew. Though there is some truth to this, especially in the minds of the young person who has been manipulated and sometimes threatened into silence, I think there is a more basic explanation that comes clear in an understanding of the nature of shame and our responses to behavior that evokes shame.
Shame is one of the powerful survival emotions with which we are all hardwired. It is the emotion that compels us to surrender and try to hide when we are faced with an overwhelming threat or defeated in competition. It can save our lives in a primitive battle over status, and it has a complex function in forming our consciences and guiding our moral awareness. But although we use the word in a way that has many complex connotations, it is a fundamental and powerful basic emotion, and shares some characteristics with other survival emotions.
1. Shame compels an immediate behavioral response. Fear compels us to freeze first, then run. Anger compels us to attack. And shame compels us to surrender and withdraw, averting our gaze and trying to hide. We want to become invisible, and anything that draws attention to us makes the shame stronger. So when someone tells an inappropriate joke at a party, everyone wants to crawl under the table. And when someone in your group is behaving badly, no one wants to be the first to call attention to the problem. “For some people, the subject is literally unspeakable.”
2. Shame is contagious. Like the panic triggered in a crowded theater when someone shouts fire, or the rage evoked in a mob when it is focused on a target, shame over someone’s exposure evokes an emotional response in all of us. Depending on our relationship to the person shamed, the emotional response can be one of shame or anger, but if the person is a member of your family, tribe, or a group with which you identify, the shame will come first. When Dad is drunk and making a fool of himself, everyone in the family wants to leave the scene. A secondary
reaction of anger may set in soon, but the initial response is shared shame. If our political leader makes a gaffe, we all groan inside before we go into defensive action.
3. Shame is followed by anger. But the anger may be expressed toward almost anyone. After feeling the sting of shame, we may be angry at ourselves, we may be angry at the world, we may be angry at the easiest person to be angry at – which maybe the victim of the abuse – or we may fear the anger of others that we know is likely to emerge if we make a lot of noise about the shameful situation. So family members enable the alcoholic rather than confront, institutions shield and hide the abusers in their midst rather than share the shame of exposure, and people with suspicions of others, particularly leading members of the group with which they identify, keep their mouths shut and their heads down (the classic posture of shame). The fear of angry reprisals can extend to fear of legal action against the institution involved. But underlying this fear is the naive wish that it will all just go away if we can cover it up or keep quiet about it.
Understanding the nature of our powerful survival emotions, how they compel us to freeze, run, attack, or hide, can help us resist the self defeating behavioral responses that can arise in response to emotionally loaded situations and help us solve problems sooner. Wishing the problems and the feelings would just go away only prolongs the damaging situation.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
About a month ago, Declan Procaccini’s 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.
“He came into my bedroom and said, ‘Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!’ ” Procaccini says. “He was really shaken up. I said, ‘Tell me about it,’ and he told me he’d had a dream that a teenager came into his classroom at his school and shot all the kids in front of him.”
Procaccini’s son is a sensitive kid, frequently anxious, so Procaccini did what he often does when his son crawls into his bed with a fear or anxiety: He explained why the fear wasn’t rational by simply laying out the math.
“The chance of that happening here are 1 in a zillion,” Procaccini told his son, and then continued with a lesson about probabilities and possibilities. “You know, it’s possible that Godzilla could right now come through the trees? Yes. But is it probable? No. I think we both know that it’s not probable.”
This discussion seemed to calm his son down a bit. He shook off his dream and returned to life as usual.
“That worked out for a little while,” Procaccini says.
And then Procaccini’s community became the “1″ in “1 in a zillion.”
‘I’m Going To Need Help For A Long Time’
The day Adam Lanza shot his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School, Procaccini’s 8-year-old daughter was in a reading room just down the hall from the principal’s office.
She had walked herself to her class early and was sitting there with two teachers when the three of them heard the sound of gunfire coming from outside.
“They grabbed my daughter by the arm and threw her into the bathroom,” Procaccini says. “There’s a little bathroom off the reading room, I think it’s a single-person … and the three of them just sat in there, quiet, ’cause he came into the room.”
Apparently, Lanza didn’t hear them because he left, and everyone in the tiny bathroom survived.
In the days after the shootings, though, one of the teachers who had been at the school and knew Procaccini well reached out to him and his wife, Lisa. She wanted them to know just how terrifying their daughter’s experience had been.
You need to get your daughter help, she told the family. Procaccini recalls her saying, “I was literally in the same area as your daughter, and I know what she saw and I know what she heard, and I’m going to need help for a long time. You need to get her help.”
But since the shootings, Procaccini’s daughter has barely talked about what happened, barely registered any emotional distress at all.
“I don’t know if she’s just disassociated. I don’t know if it’s her defense mechanism. Or I don’t know if she just doesn’t get it. I truly don’t,” Procaccini says.
His 10-year-old son, however, has been struggling. Procaccini’s son graduated from Sandy Hook Elementary last year and now attends Reed Intermediate School, which went into lockdown during the shooting, so the boy had no idea what was happening until Procaccini picked him up and told him about it. Immediately, Procaccini says, his son started crying. “I mean, he was crying like a little baby. I haven’t seen him cry like that, you know? He was so scared.”
And as soon as they got home, Procaccini says, his son made a decision: no more school for him. “I’m not going!” he insisted over and over again.
But when Procaccini’s family went to see a therapist the next day, one of the things the therapist made clear was that staying away from school was a bad idea. The more school his son missed, she told Procaccini, the harder it would be to get him to go back.
And so on Tuesday of last week, when Reed went back into session, Procaccini tried to persuade his son to go.
“I said, ‘Come on, I’ll walk you in, I’ll show you!’ And he just snapped. And it was crying and screaming, ‘I’m not going! I’m not going! You’re not leaving me!’ “
For the rest of the week, Procaccini and his son simply drove to the school and walked together through the halls for hours, Procaccini’s car keys safely tucked into his son’s coat pocket so that Procaccini couldn’t drive away by himself.
This procedure was supposed to convince his son that school really was a safe place, but his son doesn’t seem to be buying it, and Procaccini is worried about what will happen after the holiday break.
“I don’t have a plan, really,” he says.
Since the shootings, Procaccini’s son hasn’t had another dream, but Procaccini is certain that if he does, there will be at least one difference in the way that Procaccini responds. Procaccini won’t talk about probabilities and possibilities again. That argument suddenly doesn’t make any sense.
‘Something Somewhere Will Happen’
Zhihong Yang, another parent of a Sandy Hook student, lives two miles away. Yang tells me to call her Jen, and when I walk in, there’s a small pile of papers spread over the table in her kitchen, handouts for Sandy Hook Elementary parents distributed at a conference the night before.
Yang’s son Jerry is in the third grade and was at Sandy Hook during the shooting. Unlike some of the other kids who were at the school, he genuinely seems to be doing OK. But for her part, Yang finds herself thinking about things she had never considered before.
“Yesterday I went to Costco and I can’t help but think: If there was a shooter here, what do you do? I went to the supermarket: If something happened there, what do you do?” she says.
This makes sense, since death is all around Yang. Take her drive to school. Her usual seven-minute route is now lined with families affected by the tragedy. “At least four families that had victims in that accident,” she says, “and when I drive by I feel the pain and I do cry.”
Yang is from China. She says that in college there, she studied math, and then suddenly — totally without prompting — I find myself in another conversation about possibilities and probabilities. Yang, it turns out, specialized in statistics, and since the shooting has been thinking a lot about possibilities and probabilities, reconsidering her original feelings about them.
Yang tells me that she had always assumed that she was safe because the chance of a shooting happening to her specifically was very small. But since the shooting she’s been focused on this one rule of statistics she learned in college, which she calls the “large number certainty theorem.”
“If the base is big enough,” she explains, “even though the probability is small, things will happen with certainty.”
By Yang’s reckoning, this is how the large number certainty theorem applies.
We know that many people have guns, and we know that a certain number of people have disordered minds or bad intentions, and we also know that this is a huge country. In other words, the base is big.
“So, you know, mathematically, something somewhere will happen with certainty,” she says.
And so though Yang previously depended on the idea that school shootings were so rare they would probably happen to someone else, the shooting has taught her that “we should not wait until it actually happens to us to take action.”
Yang has decided to get more involved with fighting for gun control. This, to her, seems like the logical thing to do.
Still, the logic of many parts of all this are not clear to her at all.
“You can safely predict that this will happen, but why it particularly happened to that class? To that teacher’s room? That particular family?” she says.
This obviously is not a question that math can answer. Math can tell us only that something will happen — not when, not to whom.
And so, Yang reasons, morally she should not distinguish between its happening to someone else and its happening to her. Probabilities just aren’t improbable enough for that.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
There once was a man in a boat enjoying the serenity of the river at dusk. He sees another boat coming his way and is glad that someone else is sharing his pleasure. Then he realizes the other boat is heading toward him. He starts yelling to the boatman to turn aside, but the vessel just keeps coming faster and faster. By this time he’s standing up in his boat, screaming and shaking his fist, and then the boat smashes right into him. He sees that it’s an empty boat.
This is the classic story of our whole life situation. There are a lot of empty boats out there.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
What is hypnosis? Have you ever been totally absorbed while reading a book, cooking or watching a movie? Did you zone out to the point you didn’t notice what else was going on around you? If so, you’ve experienced a trance-like state that’s similar to what happens to you during hypnosis.
Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state of mind. It is usually achieved with the help of a hypnotherapist and is different from your everyday awareness. When you’re under hypnosis: -Your attention is more focused -You’re deeply relaxed and calm -You’re more open to suggestions, and less critical or disbelieving
The purpose of hypnosis is to help you gain more control over your behavior, emotions or physical well-being. Hypnotherapists say that hypnosis creates a state of deep relaxation and quiets the mind. When you’re hypnotized, you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions. You’re more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to change your behavior and thereby improve your health and well-being.
Who is hypnosis for? Hypnotherapy has the potential to help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of diseases and conditions. It can be used independently or along with other treatments. According to scientific studies, hypnotherapy may be used to: · Change negative behaviors, such as smoking and overeating · Reduce or eliminate fears, stress and anxiety · Lower blood pressure · Control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy · Reduce the intensity or frequency of pain · Treat and ease the symptoms of asthma Although hypnosis may have the potential to help with a wide variety of conditions, it’s typically used as one part of a broader treatment plan rather than as a stand-alone therapy. Like any other therapy, hypnosis can be helpful to some people but not to others. It seems to work best when you’re highly motivated and your therapist is well trained.
Types of hypnosis
There are a variety of hypnotic techniques. The approach you choose depends on what you want to accomplish as well as your personal preferences. For example, in one method a hypnotherapist leads you into hypnosis by talking in a gentle, soothing tone and describing images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being. While you’re under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist suggests ways for you to achieve specific goals, such as reducing pain or stress or helping to eliminate the cravings associated with smoking cessation. In another technique, once you’re under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist helps stimulate your imagination by suggesting specific mental images for you to visualize. This conscious creation of vivid, meaningful pictures in your mind is called mental imagery, and it’s a way to help bring about what you want to achieve. Self-hypnosis is a third technique. A certified hypnotherapist teaches you how to induce a state of hypnosis in yourself. You then use this skill on your own to help yourself. For instance, hypnotherapists can help executives visualize what they want to accomplish before they perform it, such as giving a presentation or making a sale.
Although hypnotherapists, like other health care practitioners, each have their own style, expect some common elements:
A typical session lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.
The number of sessions can range from one to several.
You generally bring yourself out of hypnosis at the end of a session.
You can usually resume your daily activities immediately after a session.
Although hypnosis may have the potential to help with a wide variety of conditions, it’s typically used as one part of a broader treatment plan rather than as a stand-alone therapy. Like any other therapy, hypnosis can be helpful to some people but not to others. It seems to work best when you’re highly motivated and your engaged in the process.
Myths about hypnosis If you’ve ever seen hypnotism used as entertainment in a stage act, you’ve probably witnessed several of the myths about hypnosis in action. Legitimate clinical hypnotherapy practiced by a qualified professional is not the same process as that performed on stage.
Myth: When you’re under hypnosis, you surrender your free will.
Reality: Hypnosis is a heightened state of concentration and focused attention. When you’re under hypnosis, you don’t lose your personality, your free will or your personal strength.
Myth: When you’re under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist controls you.
Reality: You do hypnosis voluntarily for yourself. A hypnotherapist only serves as a knowledgeable guide or facilitator.
Myth: Under hypnosis, you lose consciousness and have amnesia.
Reality: A small number of people who go into a very deep hypnotic state experience amnesia. However, most people remember everything that occurred under hypnosis.
Myth: You can be put under hypnosis without your consent.
Reality: Successful hypnosis depends on your willingness to experience it. Even with voluntary participation, not everyone can be led into a hypnotic state.
What is the situation? How does that situation make you feel? What’s the worst part about the feeling in that situation? When else have you had this feeling? Who does this situation remind you of? These questions promote self reflection and personal insight into why this circumstance is dominating our thoughts. We need to understand ourselves since we have to live in our own skin. There will always be times when insecurities arise but they will pass from our attention. We can use distraction but still our thoughts continue to dwell on these feelings. We try to move on but our head is stuck in trying to solve an emotional problem. We need to let go of these feelings, which is easy to say but hard to do. There is an emotional reflex that occurs that takes us back to a time when we had the same feeling and we try to avoid that same outcome from reoccurring. We may have not gotten over that feeling when it first arose. We took it personally and now fear exposure of our inadequacies. There is a need to overcompensate for this short-coming and we try to prove to others that we are not how we feel. We want to protect ourselves from being hurt so we remain guarded but end up getting our heart broken since our partner is not getting the affection they need. We try and stop people from think negatively about us so we portray a facade and wear a mask of composure that offers an appearance of composure, when we are feeling weak inside. We look to others and wonder why we cannot tolerate the events in a similar fashion. Perhaps they too are playing a role, wearing a mask and putting up a front. We are not in their head and no two people come from the exact same background. We all have different perceptions of the situation and react differently. We look to others, social proof to see what is the best way to handle a situation, but consider the source, their map is good for them, their recipe suits their taste but is not preferable to our palate. We end up with a bitter taste in our mouth or get lost along the way.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I like to say that the heart is where emotions come from. Yet, the heart has no judgment at all. We are all born as emotional beings, which we use to help us survive. Our brains are not fully developed, so our logic is not always logical or rationally based on facts. We seek to avoid pain and cry out for pleasure. When an infant hears his parent’s arguing and yelling he will cry. Infants are emotional being that use their emotional radar to pick up on the feelings of those around them to survive. Historically, teenagers have always seemed to make illogical and irrational decisions. This is partly due to the limitations in their logic and reliance upon their emotions. Adolescents seek out pleasure, are unable to delay gratification, and pursue impulsive actions. As we age our brain fully develops and our logic takes over. Yet our emotional memories are strong and trump our rational decisions. Can we logically explain all the things we do for love? The time and money we invest in caring for others, beyond evolutionary theories, there is no logical explanation other then it feels good to love. Emotional memories become emotional reflexes as we age. We no longer even think of these motivations, we just react. Yet, below the surface our fears of pain lead us to defend ourselves to avoid the misery we once were exposed to. This pain may be from our own direct experience or it may be vicariously through witnessing another’s pain. Still these emotional memories were so strong and even traumatic that we have spent a great deal of our lives acting in ways to avoid reliving them. The longer we act to avoid these experiences the more these emotional memories turn into strong emotional reflexes. Eventually reaching the point where we no longer question where they come from but feel obliged to act in accordance with them out of internal discomfort. Emotions cause us physical discomfort in the form of headaches, muscle tension, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, or an increased heartbeat just to name a few. These are ways our body communicates with us and lets us know that we are neglecting ourselves. So we seek to release this pain by lashing out with exaggerated emotional reactions and dump our pain onto someone else. Typically these are safe targets, who are people that love us because we know that they will forgive us and tolerant our outbursts.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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