Monday, November 7, 2011

New Book...Practical Philosophy: Words To Live By


Introduction of the book:

Practical Philosophy: Words To Live By (Formerly: 101 Lessons I Learned From My Clients)...Belief in oneself and living one's true potential are some of the most important ingredients that determine success and happiness. On the other hand, negativity, self-doubt, and emotional turmoil can hinder the positive flow of progress. Practical Philosophy: Words to Live by contains 200 little affirmations - tiny but important lessons or anecdotes - related to all vital aspects of life from emotional, physical and mental health to relationships to career to goal-setting, motivation and success. The goal of this little book is to help anyone in their quest for betterment by stimulating their mind and emotions. Each thought is concise and easy to relate to. The idea is never to underestimate the human spirit. If a person sets their mind to a task with the necessary drive to succeed, anything is achievable--and these affirmations are meant to be used as both an aid in and inspiration for the process.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, November 6, 2011 (The Essence of Hypnosis)

Hypnothought's question

What is the Essence of Hypnosis?

John's response:

In my opinion, the essence of hypnosis/healing is a 'Transmission of ideas' whether consciously (waking hypnosis) or subconsciously (sleeping hypnosis). Because of my viewpoint, I spend more time with the client in a waking hypnotic state (transmitting idea after idea after idea) and towards the end drive those same messages home via sleeping hypnosis.

For example, if a client comes to me for confidence issues; I would 'transmit the idea' that if I had confidence yesterday due to my being in the zone or having a stellar performance, I cannot permanently 'lose' this confidence today or tomorrow because someone (self included) is making me feel less than human by saying negative things to and about me. At this point in time, my confidence is just not in a position to be expressed (confidence soars in a positive environment). I 'transmit the idea' that my confidence will be affected depending on my conditioning, mood, health, sensitivity to my environment or the people I may encounter.

Another example: I will 'transmit an idea' that a fear of a cockroach isn't rational when taking into consideration that the insect is smaller than me (the larger/most poisonous animal up the chain wins) or cannot physically harm me. When I dig deeper into the mind/emotions of these clients, I find out that many have other irrational fears as well due to a vivid imagination (which needs balancing) and the lack of internal peace - these areas will be taken care of during sleeping hypnosis...with a strong disgust for the insect instead of a true fear. Some would use the term - nasty or an equivalent word - when referring to the cockroach. I let them know that the feeling of something being nasty/disgusting and experiencing true fear are two different emotions - a programmed idea. These ideas/messages transmitted will be the beginning of change even before we start the sleeping hypnosis.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, October 30, 2011 (Advice on PMS/PMDD)

Hypnothought's question:

Advice on PMS/PMDD?

John's Response:

In addition to what has already been said, I will provide you a different view point – one that I use when I run across these issues. What seems to work for the cases I have a combination of education and hypnotherapy. When I say education, I simply mean how she accepts or doesn't accept this process of life. Some girls growing up (especially those out of a strict home, an abusive situation, orphaned, neglected, etc) were never taught much about their period. Yes, their mom or guardian may have told them what it is and some things to expect but may not have gone into detail because it is such a private affair. Many societies have a thing about not talking too much when it concerns matters beneath the clothes. So many girls growing up may miss out on how important this process of life is. That it is part of the gift to be able to bring life into the world. That if you see it as a wonderful experience, it just may minimize some of the pain/embarassment/shame. After all, the level of pain hinges on how we view it.

If this was the case (and it was with many of my clients who had this issue), she may dislike the process or at best see it as a burden as opposed to seeing it as necessary and an accepted part of life. Think about the mixed messages that she could be sending her brain. Her brain is designed to deliver this process every month but her mind – consciuously and subconsciously abhors the process. The results = more than normal pain/ PMS/PMDD in some cases (of course, this is provided that the doctor has worked his/her magic without finding anything physical).

Speaking of pain...this is another issue and how one looks at pain that needs to be tackled. For example, think about three kids who all have common colds. One kid's mom is at her beck and call. She tells the child to stay in bed and rest and provide juices and soup. Another kid's mom immediately rushes the child to the hospital to get the opinion of the doctor and a prescription. And the last kid's mom tells her kid that I know it is tough but you must get up and move around – this is how you will improve. When the child becomes an adult, chances are she will view a common cold or pain the same way it was taught to her. The mother who waited on her kid with juices and soup will think this is the best medicine. The mother who took her daughter to the doctor will typically have a good relationship with her doctor and have drugs hanging around on her nightstand. And the one who told her child to move around will probably handle it better than the other two simply because she thinks moving around will eventually heal her. This goes for the period as well. If the child grows up seeing mom handle her period negatively/with excess pain or didn't explain much about the process, she just may program the child this way.

Of course I am generalizing and it is my opinion and what worked for doesn't mean it will work in every case...But find out how she views her period and motherhood. The ones I have had were usually in the mid 20s to 30s and were not ready to be a mother for various reasons – single, lesbian, career driven, relationship challenges – imagine the messages going on inside of their brain about getting pregnant/period? This mindset would create much stress. The ones who I have explained these issues to really understood and changed how they viewed life (education). Just informing them made a difference for them. After that, I taught them how to relax and 'let go' of their stress (hypnotherapy).

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, October 23, 2011 (The Illusion of Powerful Hypnosis)

Hypnothought's Question

The Illusion of Powerful Hypnosis

John's Response

In my opinion, a hypnotherapist/healer's power is in his or her humility and the necessary soft skills – compassion, understanding and sensitivity to someone's suffering. Granted, we deal with one of the most important organs – if not the most important in the health profession – the brain. When we are able to heal/fix/repair/administer/assist (or whatever term one would use) the human mind, body and emotions, quite naturally, one may feel a certain power within oneself. And at no other time will this perceived power be so intoxicating than when we are successful with a client where a psychiatrist/psychotherapist was not. Compound these successes over time and his or her perceived power will shoot through the roof.

However, as soon as this hypnotherapist/healer begin to say that he or she is powerful or behave that way because of the successes, he may lose sight of the big picture.

What should he be aware of as he/she feels his/her own power?

Namely, that anyone could learn what he knows with/without any 'formal training'. That he may begin to feel that he could heal everyone or every issue with one session. That he could heal/help 1000s of clients of the same or similar issues but a client may show up one day out of the blue that will throw him for a loop. That a client may 'read' the hypnotherapist/healer's perception of his own power and feel that it is too overwhelming therefore may rebel against him causing instant failure in assisting the client (many clients have shared this kind of experience with me after visiting an arrogant/insensitive hypnotherapist/psychotherapist/psychiatrist). That he may attempt to work with a client's issue that is above his skill level. That he may begin to work on an issue that really isn't the client's issue simply because he didn't totally listen, understand or delved deep enough into the issue. That he may argue/debate/shout at another hypnotherapist/healer for successfully using a different technique/method or having a different definition of hypnosis/trance. That he may become so comfortable in his own power that he forgets to read, study, accept and search for new information to enhance/upgrade his skills.

And I am not saying humility only for hypnotherapists/healers but for psychotherapists/psychiatrists/GPs or any other professional who may get too big for his or her britches because of his own power.

....It is really wonderful (and can be powerful) to appreciate, have confidence and 'high professional esteem' in what one can do in helping others to heal but having Humility is not allowing ones power to get out of control or turn into arrogance.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, October 16, 2011 (Nightmares)

Hypnothought's question

How to offset/change nightmares from an abused childhood?

John's respsonse
This is my method/how I have worked with these type of issues. One thing to consider first is that dreams (we dream every night whether we realize it or not) are an extension of our daily life and of what we have embedded in our memory center. When a client has suffered abuse, his or her daily life may be filled with negative/depressing memories of the past -consciously or subconsciously. Anything, anyone, any experience, any word, any sound, any smell or phrase could trigger these memories (the embedded abuse) at any given time. There is no conscious control over it.

How can you offset that as a healer?

First, you must defuse his anger towards his foster mom. The anger will keep him stressed-out more than anything. Stress is a major cause of heavy dreaming/nightmares. He needs peace, balance and harmony in his life – focus on these three words in your script if you do scripts. He must accept his past even though he hates his past. Let him know that no amount of therapy can change his past. He has to live with it and accept it the same way as a person born with any bodily flaws or any type of diseases. The more he fights his past, the more the past is his puppet master. Secondly, you must build his esteem, confidence and belief in himself. Abuse destroys the person. And third, you must coach him through life or what he didn't get as a child. Unfortuantely, abuse robs an individual of his or her personal rights and privileges. And lastly, you can offset his dreams by suggesting/conditoning new dreams. Get him in a REM state and make suggestions that he is in control of his dreams. He needs to begin to feel that he has personal control of his life irrespective to what happened in his past.

Most importantly, this is not a one time thing. Many people think they can come to a hypnotist/hypnotherapist one time and they are done. They will go to a psychotherapist for years but a hypnotherapist they think they need only one or two sessions. It is really nice society has this confidence in us but we all need more than one or two sessions with the client to deliver long term change. An adult who suffered childhood abuse is one of those issues that takes time. Let him know this is a journey to build a new life, a new perspective, a new person.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Saturday, October 8, 2011 (Explain Hypnosis)

Hypnothoughts' question

Explain Hypnosis in 3 sentences or less

John's Response

Hypnosis whether used positively or negatively needs at least these three components....

Trance – intentionally or unintentionally
Conditioning or seasoning for building new behavior/change/acceptance
Repetition – for the new behavior/change/acceptance to 'stick' long term

This definition could either be used for a client visiting a hypnotherapist or other mental heath professional, a volunteer for a stage/street hypnotist, a parent/teacher teaching a child, a friend consoling another friend on a loss or someone under the control of an abuser (an example: Stockholm Syndrome using fear/manipulation/imprisonment towards their victims) that may or may not know anything about hypnosis.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, October 2, 2011 (Sleep Issues)

Hypnothought's question:
I have a new client who has been having problems sleeping. He wakes up several times at night unless he takes sleeping pills. He now wants to come for hypnotherapy to deal naturally with his sleep problems that have been bothering him for years.

John's response:

There are a host of reasons people don’t sleep. Here are some of the reasons clients have brought to me for insomnia.

1. The new business hasn’t gotten off the ground inspite of their hard work
2. Relationship issues
3. Overload from helping the family which may consist of 10 people or more
4. Physical pains – headaches, arthritis, backaches
5. Worrying about a son or daughter
6. Worrying about a parent
7. Worrying about mortgages or the repossession of a car
8. A battered wife who was beaten if she slept before her night owl husband
9. Neighbors that made too much noise in an apartment complex a floor above
10. A person’s modus operandi was too limiting and drove them insane
11. The loss of a job or job loss was on the horizon
12. The client had a difficult personality and she didn’t get alone with colleagues.
13. Guilt, shame and embaressment

And there are many, many more reasons why people don’t sleep. With these issues, hypnosis, alone cannot do it. I have to coach these clients through their issues first. Oftentimes people just cannot cope with life! For example, I helped a mother sleep after I got her daughter back in university – she had dropped out. I helped the one with a difficult personality sleep after I advised her to post for a different position – one where she could manage projects and not people. I have helped others sleep when I worked them through their relationship issues.

The idea here is: I use advice, coaching, and behavior modification with many clients. Once some of these problems are solved or they have at least a workable solution to their issue, hypnosis would do wonders for sleep!

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, September 25, 2011 (sweating while in trance)

Hypnothought's question:

What does Extreme sweating while in trance mean?

John's response

Although, I haven’t had one to sweat during trance, I have had them to twitch, scratch their head, laugh, move about in the chair, and my most recent client began to shake uncontrollably as I began deepening the trance. All of these signs were related to nervousness by what they told me (which I suspect the sweating would be as well). On the most recent one, I stopped the session and asked her what was going on with her. She said she felt she was losing consciousness and was about to faint. I told her that yes, she was 'losing consciousness' but wasn’t about to faint but just was going into a deeper state of trance. I told her that we didn’t have to continue if she didn’t feel comfortable and that I would teach her what to do when she got home. She drank some water and wanted to continue. Once we continued, she dropped into delta and I then popped in the suggestions.

I have different clients who sweated when they were around people, outside even when there were no sun, inside when the temperture was normal to others or when they had to make a public speech. All of these clients told me that it was nervousness. Some people are more sensitive than others and don’t like other people to ‘stare’ at them or wanted attention. Find out if this is the case with your student.

Being a student in a classroom demonstrating could have the same affect as being in front a room delivering a speech – most people would rather have a tooth pulled according to statistics. If this is his case, he may or may not feel comfortable being the student. I only do one-on-one sessions and some people are nervous even with that. A classroom could be brutal to many people when they are demonstrating!

Two ways, I would handle it. Either get him alone and put him in trance and give him post suggestions to relax in front of the class or just let him watch if he doesn’t need to participate at this point in your class. Of course, all of this considering nervousness is his issue.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, September 18, 2011 (Test for confirmation)

Hypnothought's question:

Do you do tests to confirm if your clients are in a hypnotic state or not?

John's response:

I usually don’t convince my clients during the session with specific tests. All of my energy goes into suggestions – coaching/motivation/behavior modification, post suggestions and change. If I convince them at all it is after the session which may be a little unorthodox from the traditional convincers. After I bring them out of trance, I quietly get up from my chair and move about...sometimes, I get on the internet and check my messages, check my calendar or read a book (this is only if my clients went to sleep - which the majority do). Allowing them to get the much needed rest that they need. Also, it gives all of my suggestions time to percolate deep inside of their minds before they go home or back to work.
Of course how long they rest all depends on my schedule and if I am in my home office, their home for a house call or a clinic.

Client convinced? Absolutely! What better way of being convinced than to wake up and see the person who was talking to you (just a few minutes ago) on the internet checking e-mail or looking through a book?

But the biggest convincer of all comes when the client comes back the next week and report the successes from the first session. That’s all the convincing we both really need. The client doesn’t really care what happened in the therapy chair. She is more concerned with the results on what she came in for!

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Saturday, September 10, 2011 (Guarantees)

Hypnothought's Question
'is the offer of a guarantee of success something that can be offered by hypnotherapists and if so how is this possible'?

John's response

I have personally made guarantees to clients (only for emotional issues – anger, anxiety, depression, fear, phobia, panic attacks) who have already been to therapy and it failed them. The guarantee would be that they would have to come to at least 10 sessions and if they aren’t satisfied at the end, I will work for them for free.

The longest one came to session was 5 and she stopped because she didn’t feel any more need to come. I had them come to 4 and some to 3 sessions and they stopped which the guarantee stopped as well.

I will never make a guarantee on a consciously chosen issue/habit – smoking, drugs, alcohol, eating chocolate because it is easier to cheat (the hypnotist cannot control their environment) than for an emotional issue.

I have never had one to come back for more sessions after they stopped – some of these sessions were over 3 years ago.

My theory behind this is: generally speaking, people don’t consciously choose to be angry, anxious, depressed, etc. Since it isn’t something they can consciously control giving them guarantees is more a calculated risk - of course there are always exceptions for everything. But even with these exceptions, if you use both deep level trance and behavior modification/coaching on how to deal with the adversities (which is a big issues with emotional issues) of life these types will change as well before the 10 sessions.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Saturday, September 3, 2011 (Infertility)

Hypnothought's question
Seeking advice or script for infertility. Any suggestions appreciated.

John's answer

After my client has convinced me that both parties have been checked out by the doctor for this infertility issue, I go to work with coaching them on how to relax, ‘let go’ of robotic thinking (I explain why it is necessary to let go of science), deprogram negative behavior (if this is necessary) and activate her healing/reproductive center.

The goal here is to put nature in charge!

Of course I make no promises in a situation like this (which I tell them up front), but these clients have reached the end of the line when they come to me or any other hypnotherapist. Most have been told that there isn’t anything that can be done medically for them. Unfortunately, some of these ‘infertile’ women find out they can become pregnant right after they have adopted a child. Usually in this case, they would have ‘let go’ of the stress of getting pregnant and the reproductive process will do what it supposed to do naturally. To me, this says that the medical industry underestimated the power of nature in these specific cases.

Subconsciously, I drop them into delta to help them deeply relax urging nature to flow smoothly. Even though I had one client who didn’t come to me with an infertility issue, she had been told that she could never have children 10 years prior to our session – she was 38 at the time she became pregnant. What I did with her was to deprogram her from the debilitating emotional pains of child abuse – which was part of her stress and it prevented her from becoming pregnant. This was all it took for this client.

Had another client who I coached to stop counting months and days and buying over the counter ovulation and pregnancy tests and thinking of names and furniture before it was time - before conception. I put her in a waking trance and told her that women have had children before modern medicine was invented and without all of the information we have today. Too much information was causing this client’s issues. She too had been abused so I had to iron out these issues. Once she put nature in charge, she became pregnant – she was 39 just weeks shy of 40.

I would say you would need more than a script/metaphor in these cases. Anyone taking on infertility should consider at least these points. Make sure that:

1. They both have been checked out by a medical doctor.
2. Let them know up front that you cannot make promises. In this case it is best to under promise and over deliver
3. Deprogram them from the emotional ups and downs of child abuse if this is part of the client’s issue. It has been in a few of my cases.
4. Coach them on how to relax and ‘let go’ of robotic thinking. If they are counters, get them to stop and let them know that this puts more pressure on them – mentally, emotionally and physically. They need to allow nature to takes its course by taking science out of the equation.
5. If there is tension going on in the relationship between the two, coach them through their issues. This will take out the mental and emotional blocks to help nature flow as it should.
6. Drop them into delta and activate the healing/reproductive center

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Sunday, August 28, 2011 (Circadian Rhythm)

Hypnothoughts Question:

I have a client who wants to adjust her sleep cycle and is scheduled for a sleep study. Her MD told her that her circadian rhythm is what is keeping her up late at night and makes it difficult to get up in the morning. Yesterday she asked if there was anything that hypnosis could do to change circadian rhythm. My response was that I have not yet had the opportunity to facilitate this, and that I didn't see why it couldn't be done with hypnosis. We left it that I would do some research and most likely have something for her in 2 weeks when she returns from Antonio;s home of Kauai.

I've worked a lot over the years with insomnia, but never have adjusted the circadian rhythm.I haven't cracked my med books yet but I'm thinking it should be pretty straight forward, go to the control room, adjust the biological clock, hypothalamus, serotonin, body temperature. I probably need to add something about creating the desire to shut of the TV & computer and go to bed.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has actual experience with circadian rhythm and anyone who has additional thoughts and ideas.

Thanks to all of you!

John's response:

Too much adrenaline/cortisol (because of prolonged stress) may deplete the happy messages – serotonin which converts into melatonin for sleep and dopamine for pleasure/natural pain killer.

What I do consciously with these clients:
I teach/coach them how to relax and shut off if they are left brain dominants. When a left brain dom spin out of control, this is usually part of their issue.
If they are right brain dominant, I teach/coach them through their emotional issues, get them to exercise and bring fun into their lives because of their hopelessness.

What I do subconsciously with these clients:
I get as many sessions as I can and drop them into delta every session stimulating their happy messages – serotonin and dopamine if they are left brain dominant (this will get them to sleep and feel good throughout the day) and noradrenaline if they are right brain dominant to offset the droopiness and listlessness. By the way, if you help someone to stay in alpha for any long period of time, it begins to release more endorphins instead of excess cortisol.

Of course for me, this is my rule of thumb..there is always exceptions...


John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Saturday, August 27, 2011 blogging

As a member of Hypnothoughts, I ocassionally respond to questions or concerns related to hypnotherapy, hypnosis or healing from new and experienced hypnotherapists. I thought I would share some of these responses (each week) on my blog site dating back to October 15, 2010. I will provide the hypnotherapist's question (just to give you background on what I am responding to) and then my response/answer to the question.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

Thursday, July 7, 2011

John's Television Appearances

ANNOUNCEMENT: Until further notice, I will be appearing weekly, live, on NET TV in Malta. My slot is scheduled for every Wednesday during the programme "Kaxxa Jan", which starts at 6.30pm. The topics for discussion shall all be related to hypnosis and how this tool can be used in healing therapy. On July 6th, 2011, the chosen topic was Panic Attacks.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor