Saturday, 28 June 2014

VIDEO Dr Brian Weiss: Past Life Regression Therapy Background

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Hypnotherapy Treatment for Hiperhidrosis / Excessive Sweating

Exert from a case study, to read in full click here 

This paper refers to a 58-year-old man, whom we shall refer to as Daniel, who sought treatment for his hyperhidrosis. In the initial assessment consultation, Daniel told me that, on many occasions, he would sweat so profusely that his shirt would be drenched in sweat. He made it quite clear that the sweating tended to occur when talking to people in authority, but it did not occur when talking to his own staff. At this early stage, he was already aware that his father, a highly successful business man and entrepreneur, had been a very powerful personality in his life and that this had had some bearing on his hyperhidrosis. Daniel was keen to get a better understanding of how the treatment might help him, and it was explained to him how hypnotherapy might counteract the excessive sweating. It was here that the senior author described another patient who had been successfully treated for this condition some 30 years earlier; the patient found this extremely helpful and commented that he could relate to the severity of his problem. e weeks later, he said that he had recently come back from the Middle East and the USA, and he had not experienced any sweating whatsoever. However, when walking towards the consulting room, he happened to meet an ex-girlfriend and this immediately led to profuse sweating. He added that there seemed to be a large difference between being abroad and encountering people in England. Daniel spontaneously volunteered that an important factor in the sweating response was a feeling of inferiority; he also indicated that there was a high degree of anxiety in various members of the family-both father and uncle were nervous people.

Even in the first hypnosis session, Daniel was able to relax extremely quickly, and he very soon reached a level approaching sleep. When asked for a special place, he immediately referred back to a time when he was playing tennis with his coach in Florida. In this situation, he felt extremely well and confident, and the way that he described the situation made it very obvious that he was enthusiastic about the playing against the coach. It was clear from his facial expression that the whole experience of playing against his tennis coach was exhilarating and gave him a huge amount of confidence. I then asked him for a relatively easy social situation, and he said that he wanted to rehearse meeting the ex-girlfriend on the street. It was indicated that we could reduce the sweating response by introducing this experience in imagination followed by the special place. This was repeated several times until he felt comfortable in this situation. He was also given the post hypnotic suggestion that he should carry out self hypnosis for 10 minutes every day, using the association word 'calm' for the induction.

When he came for his third session, Daniel said that he felt decidedly better in a number of social situations and, although he still felt hot, he did not get the excessive sweating which had always caused him distress. He went on to say that there had been other times when his symptoms had decreased in intensity and he therefore wanted to exercise caution before attributing it to the therapy. He was surprised that there was a very noticeable improvement at this early stage and it was pointed out to him that patients recover at different rates.

During the hypnosis, Daniel wanted to rehearse a potentially difficult situation at a house warming party involving approximately 200 guests. His anxiety level was reduced by alternating this difficult situation with the special place-again, this consisted of playing against his coach in Florida. This special place was used repeatedly during the course of the therapy and Daniel found this extremely helpful.

A week later, when Daniel came for his next session, he recognised one of the patients in the waiting room: under normal circumstances, this would have caused severe sweating, but, on this occasion, it did not cause him any distress. Although he acknowledged that there had been an improvement in the sweating response, he was reluctant to attribute this to the treatment. Again, he was concerned about the forthcoming house warming party and he wanted to go over this in the hypnosis. We rehearsed three possible scenarios: a sit down meal, a buffet supper, drinks and canapes. In addition, he was keen to envisage two further social events-a cocktail party at his brother's house and a quiz night at his synagogue.

When he came for his next treatment session, the fifth, he told me that he had coped extremely well with the three social events, but, despite this improvement, he was disappointed that he had experienced a further episode of sweating when meeting senior officials in Italy. Indeed, Daniel continued to be negative about his treatment and was reluctant to admit that the therapy was helpful.

He was keen to talk at some length about his relationship he had had with his father whom he described as a very powerful man. His father had died 13 years ago. Daniel gave a verbatim account of what it felt like to talk to clients on the telephone when his father was present: on many occasions, his father tapped him on the shoulder, admonished him and undermined his authority. He could distinctly remember how he felt when talking to the clients on the telephone and that this caused a feeling of heat: this heat which he had felt in relation to his father had now generalised to a number of difficult social situations. Daniel began to understand the source of his debilitating social anxiety.

In the sixth session, he reported that he had unexpectedly met his ex-girlfriend on the street: he was surprised to find, however, that he did not develop any symptoms whatsoever. Notably, he did not experience any feeling of heat or sweating. He had also coped very well at a restaurant in central London; however, despite his many improvements, he was reluctant to show any enthusiasm in case this was only of a temporary nature.

In the second half of the session, hypnotherapy was used where, once again, the special place involved Daniel playing tennis with his coach in Florida. Whenever this scene was introduced in the therapy, his face would light up and he would feel that he had been 'charged' with a tremendous feeling of confidence. We then rehearsed the forthcoming event in his synagogue as well as a rather prestigious dinner dance event in London; again, whenever he found the situation difficult, he was immediately returned to his special place.

A week later, he reported that not only he had coped very well at the synagogue, but he had also enjoyed the dinner dance, and this is despite the fact that there were over 300 guests and that the room was decidedly hot. Indeed, he felt comfortable conversing with many of the guests and was free of all his symptoms. However, when he met his ex-girlfriend again when going to the bank, this did produce a sweating response, and he commented that the surprise element was particularly potent in producing symptoms. In the second half of the session, we rehearsed a number of forthcoming social events in hypnosis: on this occasion, uncharacteristically, he was prepared to admit that his sweating had diminished significantly over the last year. This improvement was maintained during the next week; and, at the next session, the eighth, he was pleased to report that he had attended the synagogue and was able to cope with the whole of the service without developing any symptoms.

In the tenth session, there was a distinct turning point in his treatment: he now wanted to know why he had had to suffer from the hyperhidrosis all his life, and this was now of paramount importance to him. It was stressed that these symptoms were directly related to his relationship with his father, and that this would require further exploration. It was pointed out to him that, in subsequent sessions, he would need to analyse the feelings that he had toward his father; in particular, he should focus on those occasions when his father would appear unexpectedly. Indeed, it was explained to him that these sudden interruptions were inextricably linked to his severe sweating response on chance meetings in the present day.

During the next three sessions, Daniel preferred to talk out some of his problems in the workplace as he had now become much more competent in social situations. In the fourteenth session, Daniel accepted that he was now much calmer, but that sudden, unexpected encounters still produced some sweating though it was markedly diminished.

In the sixteenth session, he was delighted to be able to tell me that his tennis had improved and, while this was not the aim of his therapy, he felt that this was a very welcome bonus. In the seventeenth and eighteenth sessions, he reported that not only had his sweating response been highly reduced but that he also felt calmer in himself. When he began treatment, he had always needed to be accompanied when going to social events, but this was no longer necessary for him as he could now attend these on his own. He found that this was a difficult adjustment to make as he had always needed an escort in the past.

In the 19th session, Daniel described a trip to the Middle East which involved a busy itinerary, and he was pleased to report that he did not have any sweating whatsoever. Although the outside temperature was high, Daniel did not experience any sweating beyond that required for thermoregulation. Daniel remarked that he no longer had any sweating symptoms when making phone calls, but, although this was a most welcome improvement, again he found that this required a great deal of re-adjustment.

In the 20th session, his last, Daniel agreed that his sweating symptom was much reduced. In particular, he was delighted that he did not experience any symptoms when making telephone calls to clients and that he did not feel that someone was listening to what he was saying over his shoulder. He now understood the origin of his symptoms and that these were a direct result of his relationship with his father. It was pointed out to him that, in fact, the hyperhidrosis symptom came from early childhood at a time when was petrified of his father; indeed, his fear of authority figures had remained with him throughout his life. He now felt that he had recovered sufficiently to terminate the treatment at this stage.

In a follow-up interview on the telephone 7 months later, he said that, while there had been considerable imIn a follow-up interview on the telephone 7 months later, he said that, while there had been considerable improvement, the therapy had not been a complete success. However, in reality, it was clear that he had made a vast improvement: he was able to cope with prestigious social functions, he was able to go to these events on his own, he was able to speak on the telephone without any trepidation and he was no longer frightened of authority figures. But, most importantly, his sweating had been eliminated in all these social situations.


Physicians and surgeons have made strenuous efforts to control hyperhidrosis by medical and surgical means without paying any attention to or considering the psychological factors responsible for the symptom. The Introduction describes the many treatment approaches from topical application to the invasive procedures such as thoracic sympathectomy. It has been the experience of the senior author that patients who have had a sympathectomy feel that they are worse off than they were prior to the operation. The excessive sweating is a release mechanism for their social anxiety; but, after the sympathectomy, they are unable to express their fears in this way and this makes them feel extremely uncomfortable. In the present case study, the authors have drawn together both the sweating symptom and its causation. As a result, the patient learnt to cope with a whole series of social situations which had previously been impossible for him, and this, in turn, opened up a new series of behaviour patterns—for example, being able to go to social functions on his own. It should be emphasized that social anxiety is at the heart of all patients suffering from hyperhidrosis other than those who suffer from medical conditions such as phaeochromocytoma. Social anxiety is particularly responsive to hypnotherapy (Kraft & Wijesinghe, 1970), but it is important to combine this approach with psychodynamic psychotherapy, to establish the underlying causative factors and to ensure that the patient explores and works through these emotional traumas. psychotherapy. This case study demonstrates the efficacy of using a combination of hypnotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Concise Sound Life Advice

“Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t major in minor things. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.”

— Jackson Brown Jr.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

INFOGRAPHIC How To Work Fast And Become More Productive

Thursday, 19 June 2014

'Hygge' And Why Denmark Is The Happiest Nation On Earth

Denmark is the happiest country on Earth, according to the United Nations, which may seem odd for a small, subarctic kingdom where the winter sun often sets before 4 p.m.

Yet Danes are almost defiantly merry. Not only did their country rank No. 1 in both this year's U.N. World Happiness Report (WHR) and the inaugural 2012 edition, but it has topped the European Commission's well-being and happiness index for 40 years in a row.

So what's behind all this boreal bliss? It's partly a regional phenomenon, since the U.N. also lists Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Sweden among its five happiest countries, along with nearby Switzerland and the Netherlands. But Denmark stands out even in euphoric Northern Europe, suggesting the country has an emotional ace up its sleeve.

Denmark isn't short on reasons to be happy. Its population is only about 2 percent of the United States', but its per capita gross domestic product is four spots ahead of the U.S. at No. 6 in the world. Its citizens enjoy easy access to health care, low crime, high gender equality and relatively clean air (half of Copenhagen residents commute by bicycle). They also get at least five weeks of paid vacation per year, which probably helps morale.

But beyond all that, Denmark endures dreary winters with the help of an arcane cultural concept known as "hygge." It's not an easy word for outsiders to pronounce — it sounds sort of like HYU-gah — and it's even harder to translate. Hygge apparently has no direct analogue in English, and related words like "coziness," "togetherness" and "well-being" only cover a fraction of its nebulous definition. Still, in hopes of shedding light on Denmark's world-class happiness, here's a closer look at the hazy nature of hygge.

Cold hands, warm heart

Hygge, originally a Norwegian word for "well-being," first appeared in Danish near the end of the 18th century, according to Denmark's tourism bureau. It has evolved into a big part of Danish life since then, absorbing connotations over time like a semantic snowball. The dark winters of Denmark helped turn hygge from a mere word into a kind of cultural panacea, manifested in various ways to buffer Danes against cold, solitude and stress.

"In other languages the word for hygge or coziness is more a physical thing, and hygge is more a mental thing," explains Lotte Hansen, a library science student from Aalborg, Denmark, who's interning at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. "It's like a feeling, and it's big at Christmastime. The candles, the food, being with your family."

"It's not only Christmas, though," she adds, noting hygge is a pervasive, year-round spirit. "It's like a mood you have. We can see hygge in many things, in many situations."

This flexibility of hygge is a major reason why English words like "cozy" don't do it justice. "Coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people's behavior toward each other," writes author Helen Dyrbye in "Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes." "It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment rolled into one."

Danes don't have a monopoly on these concepts, but they do take pride in their holistic way of looking at them. It's not unlike the American idea of thankfulness around Thanksgiving and Christmas, which refers to a general sense of gratitude as well as the implied presence of family, festivity and homemade food. Yet while holiday cheer doesn't last all year for many Americans — despite its potential health benefits — hygge has become embedded in the Danish consciousness.

"My feeling is that American life is so rushed that we often forget about doing things and creating these events of hygge," says Michele McNabb, librarian for the Museum of Danish America. "Americans vary so much in their family connections and friend networks, but you have to slow down for it. Hygge is not something you can do in a rush."

How to hygge

The word is useful as a noun or a verb, McNabb adds — "you can hygge by curling up on the sofa with a good book" — and as an adjective by converting it to "hyggeligt" (HYU-gah-lee). It generally has a social component, but there are wide-ranging interpretations across Denmark, allowing it to describe anything from a person or a building to an abstract ambience or sentiment. And for Danes who travel or move to America, the lack of a clear English translation can feel linguistically limiting.

"It's often connected to some social thing, but also a house can be hyggeligt, or different places can be hyggeligt," says Hansen, who came to the U.S. from Denmark just a few months ago. "We use it really often. When I came over here, I had to take a moment to think, 'What word can I use to describe this when I can't use hygge?'"

Of course, it's hard to pinpoint how much hygge fuels Danish happiness, but as the U.N.'s WHR points out, mental health and social support are known to affect national well-being. "Mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country," Columbia University's Earth Institute reported after the first WHR release in 2012, adding that "stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children." And while happier countries tend to be rich, it noted, "more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support."

If Denmark's happiness really is a product of hygge, as the country's tourism website suggests, maybe it could be exported to less jubilant nations? The U.S. ranks No. 17 globally in the 2013 WHR — behind both Canada and Mexico, as well as Panama — but perhaps an extra dose of hygge could lift American spirits a bit?

"I think it should be universally adapted," McNabb says. "I'm sure in other cultures there are some things that are similar. I just think the busier our lives get and the more on-call we are 24/7, there's a tendency to overdo things and be overstressed. The concept of carving time out for simple things is very important."

Read more:

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Importance Of Bed Time Stories

As a parent you probably read your kids bedtime stories like I do. What you may not realize is how important bedtime stories can be. Reading together is an important element to your child’s success in reading and creativity, but this is also a time in which you and your child can spend enjoying each other’s company, and sharing your love for one another. It is a process in which many special memories are created that involve you and your child, as well as a time when children can pay special attention to the story, the characters, the plot, and the lessons that can be learned from the story that they are listening to. Here are some information on the importance of bedtime stories.

Daily Routine

One of the reasons that the importance of bedtime stories is often highlighted by professionals who work with children is that it offers an opportunity to establish a daily routine. Parents and children often live extremely busy lives. There are many responsibilities that must be attended to throughout the day, such as work, school, chores, errands, extracurricular activities, homework, cooking, and similar types of events. Once the day has calmed and is approaching the end, children and parents alike can be comforted by the fact that they get to spend a little quality time together. In addition to this, children need to have some sort of daily routine in their lives. Why not making it reading an intriguing bedtime story?

Bonding with your Child

This is from personal experience. Being there for your child when you start and end the day is a great way to help build a closer bond with your child. As you work to spend time reading a bedtime story with your child, it helps create a unique bond between the two of you. As you read the stories, you can engage in open discussions about the characters that are part of the story, the places in which the stories depict, how the characters interact with one another, the problem and the resolution of the story, as well as any important lessons and values that are expressed in the story. This is a great time to hear the opinions of your child, and for them to hear yours. You can just enjoy a simple conversation while getting to know your child and teaching them your expectations on their behavior and words.

Reading Preparedness

The importance of bedtime stories includes the fact that it assists in reading preparedness. This is especially true if you read to a young child in their toddler years. It is during these years in which the brain is developing and growing the most. Children should be exposed to as many books, words, and sounds as possible so that they will develop into masters of reading and comprehension. By listening to the stories that you read, children can see and hear important sight words, learn how to pronounce appropriately, and expand their vocabularies. All of these elements are absolutely essential to ensuring that your child becomes a successful reader when they reach the appropriate age for this particular milestone in their lives.

Comprehension and Logic 

When children are exposed to bedtime stories and other types of literature throughout the day, it helps them develop comprehension and logic skills that are important to both the communication process and the development of educational skills. Children learn the components of a story, they learn how to predict events that happen in a story, and they learn how to recall events in a particular sequence about stories that they have heard. They can also learn how to make sense of real life situations through the means of imaginative and entertaining characters. By helping your child in the area of comprehension and logic through the means of bedtime stories, you are providing them with a skill set that will be beneficial all through their educational career.


The importance of bedtime stories also includes instilling important elements of communication in your child. We all communicate through written word, verbal methods, listening, and body language. Reading helps instill a higher sense of confidence in a child that is learning how to communicate effectively. Not only do the actual stories assist in raising awareness to communicating with others, but the conversations that you have with your child about the stories that you share together also helps in this area. You will find that the vocabulary that your child uses advances and that the descriptive phrases that they use to describe what they feel, think, and what to express to you become more in tune.

Morals and Values

Most of the books and stories that are classified as appropriate for children contain important morals and values. These morals and values often reflect how people should treat themselves, how they should treat others, and what is truly important in life. As parents, we expect our children to know and understand our moral expectations that we have for them, and the ways in which we feel that they should act. Considering that their minds are in a state of continual growth at a young age, it is often difficult to explain to them these expectations and the impact that they have on ourselves as well as others. However, a story brings these expectations and explanations to life in the eyes of a child.

As you can see, the importance of bedtime stories is more than just sharing a cute story. There are many advantages to sharing this time with your child. The advantages that you have been introduced to here include the following:

1. Daily Routine

2. Bonding

3. Reading Preparedness

4. Comprehension and Logic

5. Communication

6. Morals and Values

Take advantage of the importance of bedtime stories and incorporate them into your child’s life – you will both be glad that you did!I know I charish every moment.

Kevin – More4kids

Saturday, 14 June 2014

VIDEO Deb Roy: Birth Of A Word

Thursday, 12 June 2014

How To Quit Smoking

by , Certified Hypnotherapist
The history of smoking goes back to 5000 BC. Smoking has been associated with religious ceremonies, cleansing rituals, divination and even spiritual enlightenment.
Today, however, the dangers of smoking are well known. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the world. In the United States, about 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking related diseases [1]. At least half of all lifelong smokers die early as a result of smoking [2]. Thinking about quitting smoking? If you want to live a long healthy life you should be.
Some people are able to quit smoking on their own, but research show that the best way to quit is through evidence based smoking cessation technologies and programs. Seventy percent of smokers will attempt to quit smoking without using a program and 90 percent will relapse. (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.)
Ready to try quitting smoking on your own? Here are some tips to increase your chances.
  • Have a plan. To quit smoking, you must be prepared. Pick a goal date when you will smoke your last cigarette and start your life as a non-smoker. Between two weeks and 30 days from today.
  • Get a physical. Be aware of any health problems that may exist. It's better to know. Make sure it's ok for you to exercise.
  • Get regular exercise. Get your health back. Walking is a great way to start, riding a bike or doing exercise videos at home. Exercising will also help you deal with negative feelings that may arise in your first days of quitting.
  • Prepare to quit. If you smoke over a pack a day, give yourself two weeks to prepare your mind to quit smoking. If under a pack, give yourself a week. Adjust if necessary and based on your intuition and experience. During your preparing to quit period:
  • Write down all the reasons why it's so important for you to quit smoking. The more emotional, the better. ("I don't want my kids to watch me die of lung cancer" for example.) Write your reasons down on a few 3x5 cards and carry them with you. Put them up where you will see them. Read them several times a day.
  • Change your diet. Since nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant, you don't want to gain a weight after you quit smoking. (Very common after people quit smoking.) Start to eat three healthy meals a day with healthy snacks in between. Increase protein and reduce refined carbs.
  • In your preparation period, start to scramble your smoking pattern. For instance, if you smoke in your left hand, start smoking in your right. If you like smoking on the front porch, change your smoking spot to some uncomfortable place like out by the trashcans. Stop buying cartons and buy one pack at a time, changing brands each time you buy a pack. Start cutting cigarettes in half.
  • FIND REPLACEMENTS. In my opinion, this is the number one secret to successfully quit smoking. There are many reasons people smoke: to ease boredom, reduce stress, relax, as a reward, or simply because it's a habit. Of course, there is the addiction component as well. Find things to replace smoking with and have them ready on your quit day. Some examples:
    1. Find ways to stay busy to keep from being bored. At work instead of a smoke break, take a short walk.
    2. Keep your mouth busy using sunflower seeds in the shell, gum, sugar free suckers or hard candy, licorice, carrot sticks, celery sticks, pretzels, flavored toothpicks. Some people say that putting a Listerine slip in their mouth takes away the urge. Drinking milk works too.
    3. Keep your hands busy with a stress ball, or an object you can keep in your hand like a pen or small stone.
    4. Drink lots of water.
    5. Take a Vitamin B supplement to help with stress.
    6. Deep breaths.
    7. Use the nicotine patch, gum or prescribed smoking cessation meds if you need to, they are much more effective when used in combination with the techniques I'm giving you here.
  • Use affirmations. Use positive self-talk such as "I am free!" or "I can do this" or "I am in control" or I'm worth taking care of " or "I am healthy, happy and free from addiction." Make it a habit to say them several times a day.
  • ON YOUR QUIT SMOKING DAY: Tell everyone what you are doing to make yourself accountable. Pick your quit day carefully; a day when you have time to focus on your goal.
  • After you quit smoking, avoid drugs like alcohol and marijuana which can decrease your motivation. I suggest giving them up at least for the first month of being a nonsmoker, longer if they are major triggers that make you want to smoke. If coffee makes you want to smoke, cut down or eliminate it for a while.
  • Get lots of sleep. Your body needs energy to heal.
  • Get your teeth cleaned and get checked for oral cancer.
  • Get your car washed and detailed if you smoked in your car.
  • Avoid situations that will tempt you. Stay away from bars and parties where people will be smoking. Ask those close to you to refrain from smoking in front of you.
  • Give yourself a reward. Have a plan to get a massage after 30 days of smoke free. Or take a trip. Or buy something for yourself.
  • DON'T KID YOURSELF! Don't even think for a second that you can have "just one" after you quit. Chances are you can't. "Just one" can undo all of your hard work. Begin to see cigarettes for what they are: a deadly poison that you want to avoid at all costs.
Hypnosis was found to be more than twice as effective as quitting "cold turkey," and over three times as effective as nicotine replacement therapy, according to a a study presented October 22, 2007 at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Here are some online resources that can be helpful in your goal to become free from smoking:

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Recent Psychology Research

From creating new standards of care to emerging subspecialties, psychology is an ever-evolving field. Research is dictated by several factors, including funding sources, researchers’ interests, and institutional goals, but the number of ongoing breakthroughs is still stunning. Here are some recent findings in the psychological field.

Mind-Body Blends
Most people would agree there is a connection between physical and emotional health. New research and new forms of therapy are emerging in response. For example, according to the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, a new subspecialty in psychology called energy psychology has been created.

Defined as an “innovative method stemming from cutting-edge developments in the fields of acupuncture, medicine, psychology, chiropractic, and kinesiology,” the field combines mind-body therapies and self-help techniques.

Other psychologists are choosing to focus their private practices specifically on health issues and are looking for new ways to support both physical and emotional wellness.
Measuring Mental Health

The first order of business in treating any physical or mental health issue is first determining what exactly is wrong. Because of that, standardized scales are increasingly important. Mark Zimmerman, MD, director of outpatient psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital, and his colleagues developed the Clinically Useful Anxiety Outcome Scale (CUXOS) to measure depression, anxiety, and anger.

Zimmerman says, “We believe that the use of standardized scales should be the standard of care and routinely used to measure outcome when treating psychiatric disorders. Only in this way can we ensure that we are having an impact on our patients.”
Behavioral Economics

Why do people buy what they do? As long as companies have been willing to fund research, psychologists have been interested in behavioral economics, a field of study that examines how people shop.

The newest evidence from the National Academy of Sciences confirms what a lot of us already know: When we’re shopping and confused, we either go with the status quo and pick what we know, or we choose to do nothing and postpone making a decision.

This is the field of psychology that looks into why we tend to prefer salad dressing in one bottled shape over another, why certain colors of cereal boxes stand out to us, and which commercials appeal to us most.
Predicting Problems

What causes mental health problems? Another area of newly-focused research is in identifying situations or environments in which participants are likely to have future problems. A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, for example, indicates that “offspring of two parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder appear more likely to develop the same illness or another psychiatric condition than those with only one parent with psychiatric illness.”

Another example of similar research shows that children who have had a parent who died suddenly have three times the risk of depression than those with two living parents, along with an increased risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such information can help other health care providers, such as pediatricians, prepare for future issues.

Researchers Irwin Sandler, Ph.D., and Thomas F. Boat, M.D., discuss how these trends can affect pediatrics in a recent paper. “First, a pediatrician should be aware that parental death, as well as other family adversities, is a risk factor for childhood mental disorders,” they write. “The second implication for pediatric practice is that once the pediatrician becomes aware of increased risk of children, the pediatrician may have a responsibility to help link children and/or their parents with appropriate services.”
A Constantly Evolving Field

Psychological research is being conducted all over the globe by thousands of psychologists and scientists. New studies are constantly being published and changing the face of psychology.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

VIDEO The Fun Theory: Piano Stairs

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Dangers Of Hypnotists

The general public often thinks of hypnosis in terms of its potential for abuse. Most people have heard of the scandal which reached the highest levels of the Court of Imperial Russia and which may have been one of the factors which ultimately contributed to its demise, involving the notorious Russian monk, Rasputin who reportedly seduced many women by hypnotizing them.
It would be a mistake to assume that fantasies of seduction occur only to male hypnotists and never to their female subjects, especially if they should happen to find that the hypnotist, or hypnosis itself, is sexually attractive. In the sexually repressive atmosphere of Imperial Russia, it should not be surprising that Rasputin was able to find volunteers who would be willing to act out such fantasies, with varying degrees of self-deception.

Can hypnosis actually be used to compel obedience, when there is no underlying wish to comply? Some years ago, I was asked to testify in the case of a man who had falsely advertised himself as a psychologist and had begun hypnotizing teen-age girls in the area, one of whom subsequently accused him of rape. In order to make its case that hypnosis could be used to compel behavior, the prosecution had pointed to an incident in Eastern Europe several decades earlier, in which a stage hypnotist had handed a man a pistol loaded with blanks and commanded the man to shoot him. The hypnotized subject, who was an off-duty police officer, drew a loaded revolver from his pocket and shot three members of the audience. The defense, on the other hand, was prohibited from pointing to the girl's behavior in the neighborhood as evidence that she could have been voted "the girl most likely to. . . ."

I testified that while hypnosis cannot force people to people do something which is against their moral and ethical codes, it is impossible to conclusively demonstrate in the laboratory whether or not hypnosis could be used to compel anti-social behavior. You could never actually allow such behavior to occur in an experimental setting, or in any kind of staged demonstration, and the subjects know it! But, in what I like to call "the laboratory of life," the results are more clear-cut. Hypnosis in its modern form has been around for over two hundred years; and if you have to go half way around the world and back several decades in time in order to find even one instance of its alleged use in the commission of a crime, then it would be easier to conclude that this individual was psychotic or personality disordered than to conclude that his behavior was the result of the alleged coercive power of hypnosis. If hypnosis could be used in such a manner, by this time its anti-social applications would be well-documented -- in organized crime, in international espionage, by thwarted lovers, and in many other settings. And the evidence simply is not there, although it is difficult to convince some people of this fact.

Carla Emery, who was herself the victim of an abusive love relationship in which hypnosis was present, even went so far as to conclude that the practice of hypnosis involved a vast conspiracy which was designed to protect the income of those who used it, while preserving the freedom of those who would employ it for anti-social purposes to continue to do so!

With regard to the possibility of seduction under hypnosis, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority, whether a physician, psychologist, priest, teacher -- or a hypnotist. It is necessary for the trusted person to maintain strong boundaries and to stop any inappropriate relationships from developing, even if a client displays seductive behavior due to transference, a personality disorder, or mental illness. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then chances are, he may have abused his position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with his client, which is tantamount to rape. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attackhypnosis, rather than the power which the hypnotist (who had falsely advertised himself a psychologist) had abused while hypnosis was present.

Instances such as these tend to be reported in great detail by the media, and are amplified still further by depictions of hypnosis in fiction. Because of the publicity which results from them, there are many people who will not have anything to do with hypnosis . And because these abuses continue to surface from time to time, the public is probably never going to be won over completely, despite our repeated assurances that hypnosis is perfectly safe when used by trained and ethical professionals. Hyperempiria, with its emphasis on suggestion-enhanced experience as a catalyst for growth and change, is much less likely to be perceived by hypnophobic members of the general public as inherently dangerous.

(I am grateful to Dr. Annette K. Schreiber for her collaboration and assistance in the preparation of this posting.)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Psychology Of Stories

Told any good stories lately?

No? Well you might want to start.

Stories are more than simple fairy tales. Turns out, they actually alter our brains, and can even change the way we think and act.

Storytelling is a community act that involves sharing knowledge and values. It's one of the most unifying elements of mankind, central to human existence, taking place in every known culture in the world.

Here’s the psychology behind stories, and how you can craft a story for your brand that engages your customers and drives conversions.

The Psychology of Stories

Your brain is programmed to recognize patterns of information (human faces, letters, music notes, etc.) and assign them meaning (your mother’s face, the alphabet, the Star Spangled Banner, etc.)

Stories, too, are recognizable patterns, and we use them to find meaning in the world around us. We see ourselves in them, and the stories we hear become personal to us.

Stories are so near and dear to us, in fact, that we even invent them when they’re not actually there.

In 1944, 34 Massachusetts college students were shown a short film with two triangles and a circle moving across the screen. They were then asked to describe the scene. All but one described the movements with elaborate, human narratives, including:
The two triangles were men fighting as a woman (the circle) tried to escape.
The circle was “worried.”
The circle and the little triangle were “innocent young things.”
The big triangle felt “rage and frustration.”

This study demonstrates our tendency to personify abstract shapes and seek ourselves in the objects around us. This is called pareidolia, or “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.” It’s what happens when you see a face in an electric outlet, or when you see shapes in the clouds.

Basically, we’re obsessed with the human story and want to hear it all the time.

Why are we so in love with human stories? Because they activate our minds. Stories can activate parts of our brains that give us sensory experiences and influence our way of thinking.
Stories Create Sensory Experiences

Forget virtual reality. Our brains can put us inside of stories all on their own.

When we consume uninteresting information, like listening to a presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part of our brain called the Wernicke’s area is activated to translate the words into meaning. And that’s about all that happens.

But when we hear a story, our brains change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts activated, but so are whatever areas that would be used if you were actually in the story yourself.

For example, if a delicious entrée makes a cameo in the story, your sensory cortex is activated, making you smell and taste the dish. If the story involves motion, your motor cortex responds. Your brain has the power to take stories and make you experience them as though they were real.

In this way, you are the main character of every story you ever hear. And that’s perfect, because it means you can tell your brand story -- and everyone in the audience can be the hero.
Stories Influence Our Way of Thinking

And the brain doesn’t just stop at experiences. When listening to impactful stories, your brain can actually cause you to develop thoughts, opinions, and ideas that align with the person telling the story.

When we tell stories to others that have really influenced our way of thinking, we can actually have the same effect on our audience, as well. The brains of the storyteller and the story listener can actually synchronize, says Princeton's Uri Hasson:

“By simply telling a story, [a person] could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains.”

By telling a great story, you can actually change the way your audience thinks and even behaves with your brand.
Stories Translate to Sales

Stories can make your target customers the main characters, and even change the way they think and feel. If you do it right, storytelling could serve to be a really powerful marketing tool.

As a content marketer or copywriter, you can use stories to better engage your audience and increase your bottom line. If customers can see themselves as characters in your story, they’ll be more likely to adopt your product and experience the happy ending you offer.
How to Develop Your Story

But where do you start?

Unfortunately, most information isn’t nicely packaged in story format. As a marketer, you’ll most likely start with a handful of facts instead. (Our insurance is cheaper than competitors’, our product will help you lose weight, our service will save you time, etc.).

Though these concepts aren’t stories themselves, they still provide a great storytelling opportunity. By adding context to your stats, you can show your audience who you are and what you offer in a storyline.

How do you do this? You READ!
R-Research Your Target Audience

The single most important part of your story has nothing to do with the story itself, but the audience you’re telling it to. You can have a great, well-crafted story, but if it doesn’t line up with your audience, it won’t mean a thing for your conversions.

You need to have a sense of who your prospective customer might be. By interviewing people in your target audience (working moms, college students, small business owners, etc.), you can get an idea of who they are, how they speak, and what they care about. Then you can craft a story with which they might empathize.

You can use a variety of methods to interview your target market, including surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, social media, etc. Ask them questions about the things that are most important to them, such as their work, families, hobbies, and frustrations.

You’re kind of working backwards in a way. By getting to know your audience, you’re getting to know the main character of your story. After that, you develop your actual storyline.
E-Establish Your Story

Once you’ve done your research, you need to craft a story that corresponds with your findings. This is often the hardest part -- creating a story that the company wants to tell, but that also appeals to consumers.
The Storytelling Formula

The best product stories are snapshots of a world improved by using the product or service. You need to set up your story to show:
A problem that people have, which your product or service can solve
A way for someone to easily access that product or service
A world in which your product or service has made the problem disappear

But that’s not all you have to do. Remember how we said earlier that the brain recognizes a story as a pattern? You need to also make sure that you present the traditional story structure so that the brain recognizes the pattern and can work its magic.

That means framing your story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. You also need to include common story elements like character, conflict, resolution, and plot.

It sounds exhausting, but never fear! There’s an easy formula for spinning all of these elements into a comprehensive story:
Your beginning should introduce a character with a problem that your product or service will resolve. That problem is the conflict.
The middle should involve a character adopting your solution. This is the high point of your story’s plot.
The ending should show the character benefiting from using the solution. That’s your resolution.

This storytelling formula is by no means unique to telling stories for marketing purposes. In fact, it’s the basic structure of just about every story you’ve ever heard. Consider the fairy tale of Cinderella:
Cinderella lives with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and dreams of a better life. (Beginning - introduces the character and the problem)
Cinderella is visited by her fairy godmother and meets her Prince Charming at the ball, leaving one of her glass slippers behind. (Middle - introduces the solution, drives the plot)
Prince Charming uses the glass slipper to find Cinderella, and they live happily ever after. (End - reaping the benefits of the solution, bringing a sense of resolution)

You can use a similar format for your company story. Take Chipotle’s animated short film, “Back to the Start,” for instance.

“Back to the Start” depicts a farmer who realizes that he needs to change his methods if he wants to cultivate a better world. It tells the story of him going “back to the start” to approach farming in a more natural and sustainable way.

Here’s what the story looks like from a formula perspective:
A farmer allows his humane farm to be transformed into a factory-style farm, supplying his product to other industrial factories. (Beginning - introduces the character and the problem)
The farmer realizes the error of his ways and wants to change. (Middle - introduces the solution, drives the plot)
The farmer goes back toward more sustainable methods and supplies his product to Chipotle. (End - reaping the benefits of the solution, bringing a sense of resolution)

The spot was Chipotle’s first national ad, and it won the Cannes Film Lions Grand Prix. It aired in 2012 and has gained more than 8 million views on YouTube.

Why does it work so well? Because it’s more than an ad for a product -- it’s like a trailer for the brand.

According to Reid Holmes, executive creative director at Campbell Mithun, longer-length online spots like Chipotle’s are “an entertaining way to teach consumers about what you do and who you are as a brand, not just what you sell.”
A-Add Details

Once you’ve established your framework, you need to add in some little details that give it context and make it seem more authentic.

A story without personalized details fails to create context, and ultimately fails to make a connection. That’s why people are 14% more likely to interact with a personalized e-mail,and they’re 10% more likely to convert when they receive one.

Don’t miss the mark here. You have customers who align with your brand. Consider things they might enjoy that are non-related to your product or service, and how you can incorporate them into your story.

Consider Home Depot. Though not necessarily part of a story, Home Depot does a great job adding personal details on its Twitter feed. Not only does the feed promote Home Depot’s deals and specials, but it also promotes non-hardware-related articles that are really successful with Home Depot’s clientele.

Why? Because customers who align with the Home Depot brand also enjoy DIY projects, contests, and family holidays. And Home Depot knows it. For customers, this makes Home Depot seem less like a company and more like a friend with whom they have things in common.

You can do this too, based off that research you gathered. Do your customers care about being healthy? Find a way to tie that in to your story. Are your customers mostly parents? Find a way to use that to your advantage. Do your customers face a common struggle that’s unrelated to your product? Incorporate that into the plot somehow.

This way, you can create a story that advertises your brand the way you want while staying relevant to your customers. Sounds like a recipe for conversions to me.

Finally, you have to get the story out. Just like a show needs an audience, a story needs a listener. Without that audience, your story means nothing.

Thanks to the internet, there are a dozen ways of distributing your story to the masses. But how do you know which outlet is the best for you? This goes back to the research step. By conducting that research in the beginning, you already gained insight as to where your target audience spends their time.

Maybe a lot of your audience members spend their time networking on LinkedIn, or maybe they spend hours pinning on Pinterest. Publish your story wherever your audience can most easily “randomly” stumble upon it. I highly recommend making one of those places your own website -- like on your blog. This is space you own, "owned media," and is more reliable than rented space (like ads) or earned media (that you can't count on always receiving).

This digital age means that you have a lot of flexibility in how you present your story, as well. You can offer articles, videos, cartoons, drawings -- anything you can think of, really, as long as it appeals to your audience. Your mission is to use the web and emerging technologies to engage your audience and drive those conversions.

Stories are such a great marketing tactic because they’re so universal. Everyone loves a good story, because everyone is programmed to. Stories light up our brains and change our lives. If you tell it right, your brand story can improve people’s lives and your business at the same time.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Sports Psychology: The Yips

by Chris Geier, Certified Hypnotherapist

The new buzz word going around the subject of sports performance studies recently is Yips. This often crippling syndrome is affecting amateurs to seasoned pros. More and more athletes are catching a case of the Yips.

What pray tell are the Yips, you ask? I believe Yips are a negative physical reaction resulting from a repressed emotional trauma; in other words, an abreaction. How are the Yips different from anticipatory anxiety, or phobias and fears? An abreaction is a visibly obvious occurrence. Athletes can observe the affliction while it occurs as an involuntary muscular response, and in that moment they cannot deny that there is a problem. Hypnosis has proven a useful tool in helping my sports clients who struggle with the Yips.

I recently had a Division 1 college golfer come to see me who was struggling with this issue. His driving game was great; he could hit any driver, any iron and place the ball where ever he desired. But, he struggled with his putting game. Each time he had to putt, he saw negative outcomes; he was worried about what others would say if he missed the easy two foot putts. He was so anxiety riddled when he was putting that his hand started to twitch uncontrollably.

This went on for years; he didn’t know where this came from but knew that he couldn’t control it. He tried to grip the putter differently he tried changing his technique altogether. Finally he started a concentrated hypnosis process to help reprogram his subconscious mind. Through hypnosis he changed his automated association to putting that took him from the anxiety response with negative associations, to a confident, controlled and relaxed player.

This condition has been called many different things: Steve Blass Disease, Steve Sax Syndrome, and Knoblauch Disease, but it was brought to the forefront by pro golfer Tommy Amour in the late 1930’s. Tommy Amour suffered from uncontrollable flinches or twitches, and these were readily evident during his putting game. Many have tried to pinpoint the cause of this issue with no success. The Mayo Clinic had trouble pin pointing a cause in its studies. It was once thought that the Yips were always associated with performance anxiety. However, it now appears that some people have Yips that are caused by a focal dystonia, which is a neurological dysfunction affecting specific muscles. The Mayo clinic later confirmed that the Yips are actually a psycho neuromuscular affliction. Part of their suggested treatment includes the following: relaxation, visualization and positive thinking. Positive thinking in particular can help reduce anxiety, increase concentration and ease fear of the Yips.


Relaxing during an event can be challenging for an athlete. How can an athlete change their automated excitement (negative or positive) and achieve a more relaxed state during a perceived pressured play? That is exactly what a sports performance hypnotherapist can help with. A sports performance hypnotherapist can create a paradoxical state where anxiety and relaxation cannot coexist. Sports performance hypnosis can help form a new neuropath way for a new conditioned response.

As a Sports Performance Specialist and Guided Imagery Facilitator many athletes who come to see me tell me they only envision negative outcomes of their performances. These images often become the basis for a self-fulfilling prophecy over time. Working with hypnosis to reprogram the subconscious mind in an attempt to rid it of the unwanted scenes and produce positive visualizations is exactly what the subconscious mind needs and can help an athlete change negative imagery.
Positive Thinking

How does an athlete keep composure if they believe they are down or going to lose even before the event? That is the subconscious mind and its automated reaction and a sports hypnosis specialist is able to help change these issues from something that doesn’t work to something that does.

Hypnosis is the bridge between conditioned mental responses and physiological outcomes. As such, it can affect the success of these outcomes. In all of its automated responses the subconscious mind is the connection between the conditioned mental response and a muscular action. Until an athlete has a break in their negative patterns with a negative response and recognizes they are no longer in control of their outcome they should seek a Sports Performance Hypnotherapist to help them overcome these issues. The Yips can affect anyone. From young players to the most experienced pros. By understanding the subconscious mind and automation, it is the hypnotherapist who can link an athlete’s mental game with their physical attributes and create a successful outcome.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

VIDEO Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive