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