Monday, December 9, 2013

Forget about how to work with an issue; work with the client.

Many times I see postings on forums asking if people have as script for - and then an obscure issue gets listed. It's as if the common issues are all contained in a giant book of scripts and anything else one can go out and ask the community of hypnotherapists at large and someone will have it. Every time I see this I am forced to wonder, is this really serving the client, and is it the correct approach to hypnotherapy?
There's no doubt, if one has nowhere else to start from, a script is better than nothing. However, that is virtually never the case. When training therapists I always hammer home the things that helped me as I was learning my craft. hief among those things is asking questions. A one does so one realises swiftly that in almost all cases one is not working with 'arthritis' or 'depression', one is working with Josephine Smith, or Danny Demitrio. 
I don't know where those names popped up from, but they are quite suggestive and to the point, They suggest a little bit of character and that, after all, is what we are really working with. Every client has a unique character, with individual quirks and details, and in almost every case that is where we are to find the solutions to what troubles the client.
I subscribe to the general ideas proposed by Samuel Hahnemann, the noted founder of homeopathy, when it comes to disease (if not actual remedy). His theory was that all disease goes to a root of about four disease types (miasms), and manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In the treatment of clients using hypnotherapy we are well advised to return to this simplistic but often accurate truth. 
We need to spend less time focusing on diagnostic terms, such as ADHD or 'shingles', and more time really learning our client. The pertinent question is not, 'are we dealing with ADHD?' but more likely 'What is happening with the parents?' or  'What does this child thrive at?' or 'When is this child at his most joyful?' 
When we really get to know what makes our client tick the therapy we should deliver becomes very obvious. In many ways this is a clear differentiation between how we operate and how the medical profession operates. While the medical profession takes a simplistic approach (set the broken arm and send the client on their way), ours has to be more all encompassing (teach a client that it's not OK to keep returning to a partner that breaks your arm every couple of months).
Our  objectives as therapists should be to bring the client to a state that is comfortable and allows them to experience their joy. With the use of hypnosis we're able to motivate changes in their beliefs and lifestyle that will achieve this result. So, forget the scripts. Focus on the client and you'll find your answer.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Insanity in British Columbia - where do you fit in?

Mental healthcare in BC got of to what might at best be called a shaky start. Here's short account of the first reported incident relating to mental health in this, the most beautiful of Canadian provinces.

In 1850 British Columbia recorded its first case of insanity. A Scottish migrant who had recently arrived on a ship, assaulted Dr. John Helmcken, the local doctor at the jail in Victoria.
From 2.bp.blogspot.comThere is something wholly unsurprising about a Scotsman getting off a ship and promptly hitting someone. This may be a sad comment on my own deep seated prejudices, but the fact remains. I like Scottish people. I even like bagpipes. I used to spend every Christmas on the Isle Of Skye. As a result I can picture the scene with crystal clarity.
A man stumbles down a gangplank onto the quay in Victoria harbor.
He turns to a stranger, and says,”Fok, mahn, where the heel am aye?”
A helpful passer-by says,“Canada.”
“Wha?” says the new arrival and then punches him in the face.
It didn’t happen quite like that, but you get the general idea.
The response to this was to place the Scot on a ship straight back to Scotland, where it was suggested he may feel more at home. Whether it was felt he would be more at home among the Scots because he was insane, aggressive and belligerent, or just Scottish is not clear. Either way the approach was effective. Anyone who has seen Glasgow on a Saturday night after a Rangers and Celtic game would understand that all three groups would find Scotland the natural place to settle down.
Oddly enough the man he assaulted, Dr. Helmcken, went on to play a leading role in that other stronghold of insanity – politics. He represented Esquimalt and was elected Speaker, in the first House Assembly of Vancouver Island. He later became the first president of the BC Medical Association. One might say that mental health was set on a collision course with orthodox medicine from its earliest roots in BC.
Insanity in BC then appears to have been totally eradicated (according to the history books) until when in 1864 an infirmary for women was opened in Victoria, and included a small section for ‘female lunatics’. A handful of women were accommodated.
In 1873 Victoria stepped down as the capital for mental health, and The Provincial Asylum For The Insane was established in New Westminster. A Victoria asylum was closed and its 36 residents rehoused in New West. It was probably felt that with the governmental seat becoming established in Victoria, the local quota of lunatics was quite high enough.
New Westminster then began its long domination of the mental health scene. The hospital was renamed ‘The Provincial Hospital For The Insane’ (a catchy name, if ever I heard one) in 1897, and by 1899 the population had already grown to over 300. Chief among the causes of ‘insanity’ psychiatric literature listed ‘heredity, intemperance, syphilis and masturbation.’
Housed along with the patients were physically disabled children. There were reports of overcrowding and inadequate care; mental health in BC was probably on par with what it was at the time in most parts of the western world.
There were times when mental healthcare in New Westminster was considered very advanced. The development of Riverview (earlier named Essondale) came on the scene in the 1930’s and Coquitlam began to take over. In New West a large asylum named Woodlands stood overlooking the Fraser for many years, and was recently torn down. It has been replaced by some very modern apartments and town homes, all located within a stones throw of Memorial Gardens. The residents seem oblivious to the history of the area, and the fact that they are living by a series of graves which are the final resting place of numerous mental patients who died in the hospital, and their remains went unclaimed. It struck me as being the kind of thing one may want to know about, before buying the half million dollar properties.
Right from the time our Scottish friend slugged Dr. Helmcken in the teeth, mental health care in BC has been on a collision course with the medical establishment. Both poor relation and ugly sister, this branch of the family of health care in British Columbia has been underfunded, poorly staffed and largely misunderstood. One friend commented to me that the seeds of East Hastings denial were sown on that fateful day in 1850. Bummer.
Extract of The Devils Hypnotist by Rob Hadley

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our modern diet, and how we are working against ourselves.

Understanding weight issues when using hypnotherapy is very important. Blithely approaching the subject with a vague number that represents the weight a client wishes to achieve is not really enough of a goal. The real goal would be better defined as "to live with a healthy relationship to food."

The are many aspects of modern life that conspire against us, and push us toward a diet that is entirely unhealthy. In the past the human organism searched for fructose rich foods as a healthy impulse to find nutritious fruits as part of our diet. With the oversupply of sugar rich foods this once beneficial impulse is now one that drives us toward unhealthy refined sugars. Learn more about how sugar has affected our modern life in the documentary below. You can learn more about living with a healthy approach to diet at Vancouver Hypnotherapy Inc.

As a diabetic I am used to managing my sugar intake. I use no injections, and manage my entire sugar balance through carefully controlled dietary adjustments. It's not so hard, when you are sufficiently motivated.

Rob Hadley

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A history of opium, heroin… and tea.

The history of opiate addiction in modern society is not well understood. For example, few people realize that the intravenous use of morphine was originally believed to prevent addiction to opium. For many years it was actively promoted by the medical profession as it was believed to offer the beneficial effects of opium, while having no risk of addiction. Well, guess what… They got that wrong.

Understanding the nature of addiction is a challenge for most people either suffering with an addiction, or close to someone with an addiction. It is not unusual for people to contact Vancouver Hypnotherapy Inc.  after learning someone close to them has an addiction. The first reaction for many people is one of fear, with a degree of panic thrown in for good measure.

While this may not seem unreasonable there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that unless you are very familiar with the narcotic in question, there’s a good chance you may not be looking at this from a position of experience and knowledge. Knowing ‘how bad is bad’ is a good start point. We can help inform you and assess the situation, so you can move forward from a realistic and well informed position.

In the BBC documentary below you can learn how opium was used to prevent teething children suffering, and how the recreational use of heroin was once considered a sophisticated pastime. Fortunately times have changed, and values are rather different now.

As you watch this documentary, keep in mind that some things which we take for granted today, may be viewed in the future with the same consternation we now feel when we learn that western missionaries freely distributed morphine pills to Chinese Christians, in the nineteenth century. These were known as ‘Jesus pills’. The wholesale supply of SSRI anti-depressants which we see in society today, may well be just such a case.

Just because something is normal today, doesn’t make it right.


Enjoy this great documentary about opium, heroin and tea.





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why is hypnosis not used more widely as a treatment for addiction?

I often get asked this question.  There are several answers, but the most obvious is that the medical profession does not really embrace hypnosis as a modality it recognises. While some hypnotherapist are concerned about this, it ceased to be an issue we were concerned with at Vancouver Hypnotherapy a few years ago. We adopted this position primarily because most of the clients coming through our doors treat the medical profession with skepticism, as a result of their own experiences.

As such, our bookings calendar is increasingly full, and many of the clients consider the use of pharmacy a step backward, particularly when it comes to addiction. Increasingly the general public treats orthodox medicine as flawed. This is not to say that they reject the 'science' of medicine. They are merely appalled at the way it is delivered, and the extremely questionable practice of medicating someone as a solution to what is often a psychological or behavioural issue.

Hypnotherapy is best used to address belief systems and behaviours. I don't think anyone with an understanding of psychology, or hypnosis would question that. Most addictions can be very well managed through the use of hypnotherapy, from someone with appropriate training and experience. That's precisely what we deliver at Vancouver Hypnotherapy. We've been doing it for the last seven years and have seen over 5000 clients.

We screen our addictions clients closely. We will only take a client when we believe there is a strong likelihood of success. While we turn away 2 out of five addictions clients, we do operate with a success rate (tracked over 5 years) of over 80%. Our screening system does weight this figure substantially in our favor, admittedly. However, the fact remains, we have as much work as our six therapists can handle, so we won't be loosening this screening system anytime soon. We simply have to focus our efforts where they will be best applied. Investing hours of work in someone we do not feel is likely to have a successful outcome - at the expense of other clients that desperately need our assistance - is not something we can realistically reconcile.

So why is this method not more widely accepted? Partly because drug treatment is largely seen as an area people do not want to work in. Many consider it financially sidelined. Some misguided observers think that addiction is 'self inflicted', yet acknowledge the undeniable evidence that there are genetic factors involved in addiction. Many who suffer from addiction are very suggestible, so when a man with a level of authority declares the solution to their issue to be something he provides they generally go with it. Unfortunately this often simply results in addiction to the prescription drug they supply in place of the original addiction. The result takes the client no further forward.

My own feeling is that to effectively work in addictions one has to be prepared to look not at medical factors, but at social, psychological, financial and family issues. So, why on earth would we look to an overburdened and increasingly compromised medical profession for solutions?

We don't need to. Their point of view is of little relevance to our clients. It is of less to us.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Whatever you do - DON'T LOOK ON THE INTERNET! - Part 3

There’s a problem in social networking. It’s a result of the internet reaching maturity, and along with it some of us getting older, too. I first started messing about with the net in 1995, using newsgroups and email and the first inklings of web work with HTML1. No one dreamed of Facebook or other social media tools at that time. The technology wasn’t there to carry media rich content, and frankly too few people were connected to make it very interesting.

However, now the reverse is true. Every morning is started with platitudes and affirmation about how something something something will lead to something something something. Of course, this is accompanied with the inevitable picture of a kitten, lion or orangutan. Very inspiring.

Currently if one is not on Facebook, it seems to be because the very fact of not being on Facebook is a statement. For some it’s a reaction against the hours of time that can be swallowed looking at pictures of animals doing cute things, and for others it’s a response to the possibility that Facebook is going to share data with someone who wants to watch you doing not so cute things. The NSA has singlehandedly hobbled some US providers of web services (Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Microsoft), simply by making it clear (with PRISM) that, in a US jurisdiction, privacy is no longer an option. It’s going to be interesting to see if countries with more personal freedoms and protection of privacy, such as those in the European Union, become the development ground of new social networks and data systems, safe from the xenophobic antics of civil servants without regard for constitutional limitations. Regardless, the social network scene is ripe for radical change.

Of course, the irony here is that by not being on Facebook one creates the absence of a profile – which is in itself open to interpretation. To post nothing is almost as indicative as positing all your personal information, in terms of data modeling.

I asked a young member of staff (17), “How much time do you spend on Facebook?”

“Hardly any. You don’t know who’s reading your posts!”

“You mean the CIA? Come on!”

“Not the CIA.  Worse. My mom. I just put up posts about doing my homework and other stuff I know she’ll like.”

“Yeah... That's good cover. So what do you use for social connections?”

“Sometimes SnapChat, but mostly text messages. We all do that. It’s faster. Besides, Facebook is for old people.”

With large social media networks one is inundated with meaningless background chatter. The natural world deals with this quite well, making the call of individual birds sufficiently distinct for them to be able to identify mates and offspring in the cacophony of the forest chorus. They literally tune out the background noise to listen to conversations between members of their own species. My own expectation is that we will start to see something similar happening in social networks. We’re likely to see peer to peer social networks, with limited members. We’re also likely to see a growing shift towards social networks that rely not on the net, but on SMS and MMS messaging.

This reduces the background noise substantially, and increases the security. It reduces the marketing opportunities, but that may be a very good thing. To lose some marketing but gain relationships that mean something is a trade off we can all benefit from. After all, isn’t that what good marketing is about?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What’s going on with psychiatrists?

I was recently shocked to hear of one woman’s battle with a gambling addiction. She had originally approached Vancouver Hypnotherapy for some help, but instead went to her doctor. She was short of money, and felt that working with a solution covered by her government health insurance was the better bet (pardon the pun).
Her doctor referred her to a psychiatrist. She had a four month wait before seeing a psychiatrist, during which her addiction cost her a further $16,000, and the psychiatrist then prescribed antidepressants. Asked how long she would have to take them she was told “We’ll see”.
After two months, with no benefit she returned to the psychiatrist. She was concerned that she felt she was becoming addicted to the antidepressant, but that it was not having any effect on her gambling. His response was to  raise the dosage level.
After a further three months she found she had no benefit whatsoever from her prescription, and now had no money whatsoever. Stilla ddicted to gambling she was now also addicted to pharmacy she could barely afford.
Unable to pay for her gambling debts, and already maxed out on all her credit cards, she was banned from the local casinos. Her life began to fall into complete disarray.
In this particular case she overcame the issue herself, through her own fortitude and desperation. She described it as the most degrading experience of her life, and one that was made worse by the complete abdication of any responsibility on the part of the psychiatrist for worsening her position. She subsequently weaned herself off the antidepressants over a period of several months, against her psychiatrists advice.
Her reasoning was simple.
“I went on the antidepressants on the advice of my psychiatrist, because I was addicted to gambling. I now no longer have that addiction. Why would I remain on the antidepressants?”
I would love to be saying we contributed to her recovery from the gambling as we have with many others, but that was not the case. However, the story illustrates the problem many people feel when they reach out to the orthodox medical profession. The facts in this specific case, like many others, are that the proposed solution didn’t help; they claimed it would, and there is no accountability when they failed.
So, what exactly are we paying these people from public funds for?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Whatever you do - DON'T LOOK ON THE INTERNET! - Part 2

So, if you read to the last blog I wrote, you'll see I am in the midst of talking about healthcare, the need for reformation of the system, and how alternative healthcare has a very important role to play in the future of our health delivery systems.

Six hundred years ago, when people began to question their priests about what was in the bible that they heard read every Sunday, they were often told not to be concerned about it, the safety of their immortal souls was safe in the hands of the church. These smiling and helpful priests that read the mystical words were there to look after them, after all. Oh, And don't forget to pay your tithe on your way out of the vestry door.

Being largely illiterate, unable to read or write in Latin  and essentially without education, one had to defer to the wisdom of the priest. Sound familiar?

The reformation in the 16th century led to wars throughout Europe, and the great ecclesiastical schism that later resulted in thriving churches reflecting the national character of the countries in which they developed. The Anglican Church, the Church of England, became so good at this that we have long enjoyed having more Anglicans in Nigeria than we do in England - something even the most pragmatic of theologians has to find extraordinary. We've been praying to our English god, in an English heaven, for years - in English.

Now, I am not suggesting we are going to see armies of homeopaths, allied with naturapaths and chiropractors going into battle against dermatologists and pharmacists  on battlefields across Europe, however there is something of a conflict coming. The winds of war are blowing through the aisles of the health food store.

And what's really driving this? Well, it would appear that one of the most powerful forces is the undeniably powerful influence - the market. People prefer having a choice. Give people allopathic healthcare for free, and they still look for alternative healthcare solutions. It simply won't go away, even if it is effectively outlawed. The market demands choice.

The market also demands information. Patients can read. In some cases they really are better informed than their doctors. Doctors would be the first to claim they are too busy to read everything on the internet, but actually a patient who is taking an active interest in his health may well read some very important research.

It's realistically possible that a patient knows more about his condition than many GPs and some specialists.
Open discussion of healthcare issues online often helps patients, and any doctor foolish enough to treat a patient dismissively needs to consider what their profile looks like on Rate Your or other such websites. If it is not too great, while they may not be concerned, their future employers will be. The reality is that a dismissive doctor will probably not be taken as seriously by a patient as an alternative healthcare provider that has the time to listen, is motivated by producing results that serve the patient, and treats them with respect. Failing grades in these areas for MDs is not only common, but is part of the systemic failure of modern healthcare.

So, given that there's choice out there, and that the world of alternative medicine is growing in stature, where does this take us? Where ever it is, it's going to get interesting. Alternative healthcare providers of all colours and shapes - from hypnotherapists to nutritionist - are being trained in ever greater numbers, at a time where orthodox healthcare is finding training increasingly expensive and difficult. Alternative healthcare providers are being taken increasingly seriously by patients, who are often disaffected with orthodox healthcare. There are more and better schools for alternative healthcare systems than ever before. Standards are getting better, and while alternative healthcare is often opposed to regulation, the industry has one over riding factor that cannot be overlooked. Practitioners that are good at what they do tend to stay in business. Those that are not, don't. The market sorts it all out. That can't be said of orthodox healthcare providers. It's virtually impossible to fire a doctor, regardless of how massively incompetent they may be.

The culture of arrogance among doctors was once quaint and excusable. It's not anymore. Healthcare spending - and make no mistake, that means orthodox healthcare spending - accounts for 24% of the US Federal Budget for 2013. That's one percent more than defense.

Now, one has to start to question that spending. The questions are simple ones. Are we getting value for our money? Is the system working?

There will inevitably be a backlash. How or when it will come is anyone's guess, but it will happen. When it does alternative health systems will probably have to pick up the pieces. How will this look, I can't begin to say. However, I would suggest that this is part of the answer. As alternative healthcare providers we do need to learn from the mistakes of allopathic healthcare. We can't afford to be arrogant. We need to focus on the idea of listening to a patient, or client, or whatever you chose to call the person you are helping. And above all, we need to retain an open mind, or we will become exactly the thing we are set to replace.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Whatever you do - DON'T LOOK ON THE INTERNET! - Part 1

I find myself increasingly having to say, 'I'm not a zealot with a crusade against orthodox healthcare, but...', however I find myself once more writing about the problems of our healthcare system. When I say 'our', I really mean everyone's.

The concept of a bricks and mortar hospital is relatively new. Only on the last two hundred and fifty years have any but the largest of cities had their own hospitals. Prior to that capital cities, and some university towns had hospitals, but it was by no means typical of medieval cities. In fact, even having access to a doctor of rudimentary training was likely quite rare. Instead traditional healers, priest and witches were pretty much it. If you had a severe wound, although many survived the experience, more than likely you would make do with what help was immediately at hand. Obviously this was far from ideal. And so, in the place of this ragtag collection of mixed ability, people began to look for a better solution. And that's where our hospitals came from. And 250 years ago that wasn't a bad solution. Life has however moved forward.

I'm not the first to express this idea, I know that. One of the most eloquent calls for change came in TED talk, which goes some way down the road of instigation and encouraging change.

I think things will go very much further in future years. No one can predict how that will look, but you can be sure the changes will be extensive.

In the distant past, in some cases the church stepped up. It would be very interesting to see how many of their patients were 'the faithful'. I can't help wondering what was their a policy relating to sick pagans? I doubt we'll ever really know the answer to that, however in a small city with limited money I am not sure anyone would be very happy if the majority of health care dollars were spent on people from outside of the immediate community. The idea of the altruistic well meaning self sacrificing healer is delightfully innocent, but probably as unrealistic as it was Utopian.  Everyone had to eat. And that includes people working in the hospitals. Somewhere there's a profit motive, to a greater or lesser degree.

Today we find ourselves in a somewhat different position. Whereas before there was the option to go to a healer of some description  or to find a priest or witch, or find ones way to a bigger city and find a hospital, nowadays the orthodox healthcare system has done a pretty thorough job of destroying all options but the one they perceive as best for us.   I am not saying that all those healers were wonderful - far from it. I'm sure that getting sick in medieval times was a terrible experience. However, there was an element of choice which has systematically been removed from our modern world. Modern pharmacy based medicine has proactively gone out and removed as many options from the people it serves, as possible. This has happened through the concerted efforts to coerce organisations such as the FDA, Health Canada, and various other health overseeing bodies. And they've done a masterful job of it.

Generally speaking, unless someone really makes a study of it, the alternative healthcare provider is often considered a kook, charlatan or quack. No mention is made of the fact that some pharmacy is not tested properly, some doctors really are appalling at the work they do, and that incidents such as the Thalidomide disaster of the 1960's are all firmly the fault of modern medicine. Instead the easy target of 'alternative healthcare' is adopted, and attention focused upon the well meaning but bumbling practitioners of a system that is slightly outside of 'ours'.

By equating medical training with modern pharmacy based healthcare, the medical profession has created a powerful ally. Has anyone thought in recent years that studying to become a medical doctor could involve the remote possibility of embracing natural approaches to healthcare? Apparently not. These approaches appear to be absolutely at odds with one another. In universities which receive funding from pharmaceutical companies this is a situation that is unlikely to change. However, the provision of quality health care need not necessarily equate to the provision of pharmacy. There are perfectly healthy populations in Africa that cannot afford pharmacy that are thriving. This may come as a surprise to some, but it's true.

While elevating themselves to a venerated position in society, medical practitioners have created a culture of fear and ignorance around alternative healthcare.

'Don't take that, you don't know what it might do to you!'  The words are easily spoken by a doctor, regardless of the fact that he has never read the fine print on the inserted material that comes with the antidepressant he's just prescribed. The reality is becoming clear now that SSRI anti depressants are addictive despite pharmaceutical companies lobbying to have the word 'dependency forming' used instead, and in many instances actually make the situation substantially worse than before they were prescribed.

'You could end up making your condition worse," the doctor might say.

'Hang on a moment,' you might reply. 'You might make my condition worse!' And yet, how many of us actually say that? Why do we hesitate? Because that doctor is a trained professional. Well, yes, but he was trained in a university that received substantial funding from the company that makes the pharmacy he's prescribing. That cannot be entirely coincidental, and might fairly be described as a conflict of interest.

So many people, when talking about their doctor, say 'He's the best! He graduated top of his class!'

Is that hammering sound the last nail being beaten into the coffin lid of alternative healthcare?

Well, no. One has to ask, what about the other forty people in that class of medical students? Somewhere the person who scraped through is also in practice. He's someone's doctor, too. And he's probably out there screwing up right this minute.

These days doctors are often heard to disparagingly say 'Everyone with an internet connection is a doctor nowadays!' This propagation of fear and of ignorance is not something that is new in society. There's actually a rather unusual parallel with something that happened about six  hundred years ago. And that led to one of the largest social upheavals in the modern world.

It was called "The Reformation".

Part 2 will be online tomorrow. RH

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vancouver Hypnotherapy School - THA Training

Today at the Vancouver Hypnotherapy School we looked looked at Treatment Plans and a couple of videos including this one:

And I also suggested students listen to the following podcast:

If you are in training with us, these links will help you review.  If you are not yet in training with us, enjoy the information.

Best regards,

Rob Hadley
Vancouver Hypnotherapy School

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Regression With A Cutter.

As a child my client, Jenny had experienced a frightening episode in the classroom. She was 7 years old, and eager to please her teachers. In one particular class she was expected to bring in a short essay. The children were just getting used to the concept of 'homework'.

Jenny was a diligent little girl. Although there was some disruption in the family home, she liked getting everything organised and ready for school. She was very attentive to her appearance and liked to brush her hair, always making sure she looked nice - as her mother had impressed upon her. Somehow that day, as she'd packed her school lunch in her 'My Little Pony' school bag, she'd picked up the wrong piece of paper in place of her homework. Her mummy dropped her at the school and she went to her classroom along with all her friends.

As class started she pulled the paper from her bag and suddenly in a wave of panic realised it was not her homework at all, and just some drawings she'd been doing. Almost immediately, to her horror, she was asked to step out in front of the class and read her story. Suddenly short of breath and reddening with embarrassment she tried to reply to the teacher, but her words were caught in her mouth.\

With all the class focusing upon her, Jenny tried to explain herself. To her shock, her teacher started shouting at her and telling her she was a lazy little girl and obviously a liar. Not only would she have to stay behind after school, but because she had lied her teacher would have to phone her mother and explain that liars have to be punished. Jenny was shocked and afraid.

One can only assume that the teacher had problems of his own. However, during his tirade, Jenny began pinching her leg. As he continued to berate her, shouting, she squeezed harder and harder. It took her mind off the horrible experience she was being forced to undergo. By the time he finally finished she was bleeding.

After class she showed a few friends, who looked at her with mixed feelings of pity and confusion. Little girls are not meant to make themselves bleed.

Jenny, now 32, is over an addiction as a result of her treatment at Vancouver Hypnotherapy.  She's also over a serious cutting problem, which we learned (using regression) started as a result of the incident above. The cutting has left its scars, and she will wear them for life. She is now a talented artist, and I explained that those scars can be worm with pride, as they map out the journey that she has traveled and triumphed over.

As for the teacher, he is likely retired and oblivious to the damage he caused.

14th March 2013. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Perspective Is Everything

It's all about perspective. Instill confidence, make a task look easy and it becomes easy. For humans, perception is more real than reality. In this great talk Rory Sutherland puts a new spin on perspective. RH

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The hypnotist and the client.

I was recently talking with Russian hypnotherapist Svetlana Lazovskih. Svetlana is a talented hypnotist who has had great success working with clients managing poor self image and compulsive eating.

We were discussing the fact that there is among hypnotherapists a greater burnout rate than one sees in psychotherapists or some other therapy types. There are likely many reasons for this.  Part of it is the fact that training for psychotherapy is extensive and there is clearly an emphasis on the idea that there is a ‘healthy’ distance between therapist and client. 

The nature of hypnotherapy is very different to other modalities. There is a necessity for trust that does not exist in other therapy types to the same extent. This closeness to a client is positively discouraged in many counseling and therapy situations. However, the upside of this risky prospect is that the client is often working in a partnership that attains positive ends very rapidly. The danger the therapist faces is the negative impact of such a connection with the client. Faced with a failure – which will happen from time to time in spite of unrealistic claims from many therapists – the therapist inevitable feels that such a failure is at least partly their fault.

The connection between therapist and client is not magical. It is, however, an extremely delicate one. There is no doubt in my mind, having worked with literally thousands of clients, that success is most likely to be found when working with a client which one shares a powerful connection with. When one does not have a good rapport with the client, while a degree of success may be possible it is much less likely to be as profound as otherwise. 

This is far from ideal, and has many professional implications. However the upside is undoubtedly very important, to the extent of actually being life changing for many clients, and so justifies the risks for most therapists. At Vancouver Hypnotherapy Inc. we recognize this aspect of working with hypnosis as a therapy. We understand that the connection is a highly personal and subjective aspect of a process that is otherwise very scientific and logical. Matching therapist and client is a process that is not only very important, it has extreme implications around the likelihood of success. I would add here that at Vancouver Hypnotherapy we have six diverse therapists, and are more likely, as a result of this broad resource base, to be able to provide the right therapist than an individual working alone. This is simply a mathematical fact. Six heads are simply better than one.

Personally I have chosen to apply some strict limits around who I will work with and how often I work with a client. Across the board we now put a maximum of three therapy clients a day with our therapists. Because they are well compensated this is acceptable and we’ve found a business model in which this works well.
I believe hypnosis is all about rapport. It’s a  trust based process. Give yourself to the hypnotist, and the hypnotist will serve you. This is a relationship that is almost sacred. It must be taken seriously and approached with complete sincerity. As hypnotists we need to tread gently, for we tread on peoples hopes, and their dreams.

The following poem by William Yeats is one we are well advised to remember:

Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

In talking with Svetlana it became obvious that the relationship we share with clients is one in which it is hard to be entirely impartial, and one in which the client places enormous trust in their hypnotist. This is a responsibility anyone going into this line of work should take seriously and learn to acknowledge everyday.


Friday, January 25, 2013

What do people use hypnotherapy for?

We've built some great tracking software for use in our practice. This is a data driven system, which starts from when the client first makes the enquiry.

It helps us develop the relationship with the client, and gives us a accurate idea of what the client would like assistance with. Over the years we've built up this data and now it's beginning to tell an interesting story, and give us deeper insights into what we should be doing to develop our practice.

The graph above shows how many clients are in each of the listed categories. Obviously some categories have a great revenue contribution than other. 

Imagine you have no memory...

Imagine how life would be if each morning we woke up with no memory. Each day we would live recreating the relationships with those close to us.

No history, no animosity learned from prejudice and no resentment carried forward from the past. Everyday a new beginning. And each day the need to prove ourselves anew.

In his world friends are friends because of what is done today. Life is lived according to our actions now. we are accountable only for 'what is', not 'what was'.

Can I live this way for a single day? I am certainly going to try.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The long slow road to overcoming bulimia.

After nearly three months of working with a hard core bulimic client, I have just had a session that has left we with such respect for this young woman. It's been log and slow progress, but now she's become happier, motivated, and has reduced the swing between bingeing and purging, and the pain of restricting.

When using hypnotherapy with most clients we see a rapid result and evidence of progress is obvious. In this case progress has been slow and painstaking, but in reviewing her condition she is now clearly moving easily toward resolution.

I've seen her go from desperation, through release of her fear, to a point where she embraces her creativity, and physicality. She's doing pottery, exercising (yes, I even got her into yoga) and she's now enjoying her job. She's got a great place to live now, and she's done all these things through her own determination. Now, she's less anxious and her bulimic nature is slipping into a controlled place.

In many cases the client/therapist relationship would have failed as progress was not immediately evident. I've often showed how hypnosis can work with bulimia clients swiftly and dramatically. However, there were no quick fixes for this young woman. Her courage and determination have paid off and even though we've not see the typical response to hypnotherapy, she is gradually but definitely moving toward mastering her bulimia.

It just goes to show that sometimes the result is not as quick as others, and we need to be prepared to play a long game. I cannot tell you how much I admire the strength of our clients that stick to their guns and see it through.

They are inspiring.