Monday, November 19, 2018

Correction...Not Perfection!


(This blog was originally posted on October 17, 2016)


Photo by Rick Hustead





As with any behavior-modification program—which hypnotherapy is, by the way—clients typically come in with a list of all the things they believe are “wrong” with them. They can’t stay away from sweet or high-calorie/high-fat foods. They can’t give up cigarettes. They can’t get over the former spouse or lover and accept that the relationship is truly over. They don’t like to be or even feel safe when they are outside their comfort zone, an area that may not extend beyond the confines of their home. They “completely freak out” when they see a spider. And so on.

In addition to changing or abolishing the negative behavior, clients often want to know how it took hold in the first place. I couch this explanation in the context of John Kappas, Ph.D.’s model, Theory of Mind. Basically, the person learned to do “x” or adopted “y” belief by imitating, or modeling, these behaviors they observed in their social environment. A parent or guardian, peer or another role model explicitly or implicitly taught the individual to do it, and the person derived some kind of reward for doing it, too.

Another factor comes into play here, too: constant repetition of the behavior reinforces its strength and significance in the subconscious mind. There is a lot of truth to the expression, “Perfect practice makes perfect performance,” and this is especially true when it comes to reinforcing any behavior in the subconscious mind. Remember, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between fantasy and reality, objective observation and a joke. So long as the behavior is giving the person some kind of positive feedback (pleasure), the individual will continue to do (practice) that activity. Furthermore, this practice is perfect, as far as the subconscious mind is concerned.

I help my hypnotherapy clients change unwanted behaviors or beliefs by rewriting the content of the subconscious mental script that previously reinforced those old patterns. Since everything we do and believe has been learned, these patterns can also be corrected and even un-learned when we decide they no longer work for us or serve our best interest. Then we can create a different, positive mental script and continue to reinforce the behaviors and attitudes that will help us accomplish our new self-improvement goals.


Special Offer: Trauma Relief Hypnotherapy
I am currently offering a 25% discount off the first hypnotherapy session for active/retired military personnel and first-responders (including fire-fighters, police officers, ambulance/EMT personnel, and EMS dispatch operators) through November 30, 2018.


Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thoughts of the Day

Photo by Sara Fogan





Every now and then I like (and need) to take a few moments and remind myself about what is really important to me, in my life. If you follow me on my Calminsense Hypnotherapy Facebook page you may have seen some of these quotes before on this page, or will in the future. Many of these Quotes of the Day are beautiful examples and illustrations of the work I do as a hypnotherapist, so I will probably draw on them in future essays.



  • “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” – @ Inspire Us

  • “Whenever one person stands up and says, Wait a minute, this is wrong, it helps other people do the same.” – Gloria Steinem

  • “Less advice is often the best advice.” – Lolly Daskal

  • “Don’t fix a broken past. Build a positive future.” – Dan Rockwell

  • “Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers

  • “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

  • “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What? You, too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis

  • “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


  • “A friend is one who comes in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell

 


Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Proprioception


(This blog was originally posted on October 11, 2016)


Photo by Rick Hustead





When I count a client up and out of hypnosis at the end of the hypnotherapy session, I always drop in a suggestion that the individual begins to become more aware of his or her physical body. I add that the person is also becoming more aware of where the body is in relation to relaxing in the recliner in my office. I do this to re-stimulate the person’s proprioception: i.e., awareness of the different areas of the physical body and strength in relation to movement and position in the environment in the alert and aware state.

Proprioception is something most of us take for granted on a day-to-day basis. Remember, the conscious mind can only process a small amount of information at any one time. The ability to discern important (urgent) information is necessary for our survival, which is why so much of what the subconscious mind perceives and processes “rarely” makes it to conscious awareness. Can you imagine what your day would be like if you constantly felt the scratching sensation caused by the label stitched inside the collar of your shirt or blouse? How long would it take for you to become overwhelmed by the persistent sensation of each muscle in your legs constrict and relax while you walked across the room?

Consequently, we don’t think about how our muscles, tendons, joints and bones work let alone what they are supposed to do when we first roll out of bed or run to catch a bus or train. We just do the activity and expect that everything in the body is working/doing what it is supposed to. When we feel threatened by something in the environment or even the environment, itself, we become very aware of every muscle in the body. As the subconscious mind goes into the fight/flight data processing, the conscious mind wonders: How fast can I get out of here if I need to escape?
 
Another time we become much more aware and attuned to what is going on is when things don’t work like they should, such as after an injury or during an illness. For example, people who experience chronic pain are often hyper-alert to every sensation in the body as they try to find some position that provides some relief, if only for a little while.

Athletes, including dancers, naturally tend have very good proprioception. Or, I should clarify that this “natural” ability is a learned, oft-rehearsed behavior that has become a subconscious mental script. These individuals must have this to successfully execute their special skill in the sport to achieve the winning goal or point or, ensure that their movements seem effortless as their and their dance partner’s bodies flow with choreography. No matter what is going on, these individuals remain consciously and subconsciously aware of/attuned to the placement of the body and what it is and should be doing at all times. 

When my yoga teacher started to explained proprioception to the class today, instructing us to pay greater attention to specific areas of our bodies, she reminded me how similar this physical work is to what I help clients do in hypnotherapy. She wanted us (the students) to increase our awareness of how these separate parts worked together (or not) by noticing if there was any resistance in certain areas and then ease that tension by breathing into it. She also suggested that it was okay to allow ourselves to release or let go of anything we felt was holding us back or what we no longer wanted or needed to hold onto in our lives. This exercise reminded me so much of what I do with my hypnotherapy clients: i.e., inviting the breath into the body to release tightness and tension while increasing their relaxation, calm and comfort. Like yoga, hypnotherapy is an opportunity to increase self-awareness and make desired behavior changes starting with something as simple breathing in and breathing out. Directing awareness to what we are able to do to increase comfort within and control of the entire body or just specific areas is a great way to build self-confidence and belief in our ability to handle other areas of our lives. 



Trauma Relief Hypnotherapy
I am currently offering a 25% discount off the first hypnotherapy session for active/retired military personnel and first-responders (including fire-fighters, police officers, ambulance/EMT personnel, and EMS dispatch operators) through November 30, 2018.





Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2018