Monday, September 4, 2017

I AM SUCH A CARD!



MY TWO BUSINESS CARDS
Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand,
he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
~ Voltaire (1694 – 1778)

This blog entry is about HYPNOTHERAPY from my point of view and practice, of course.  As you read, you’ll notice that I’ve attempted to express Hypnotherapy in a context that is pragmatic to other traditional forms of therapy and even, at times, to English literature.

This blog entry is also about my pencil portraiture (a fancy name for sketching people’s faces).  I’ve always loved the expression, Chaucerian Parade, and so today I’ve decided to re-label this regular section as MY CHAUCERIAN PORTRAIT PARADE.

To begin I’ll give the skinny on the client-centred therapies for which I’m empirically proficient. When I say proficient, I’m expressing that I’ve delivered each of these therapies in both academic and professional practice.  Here is a dance-card (pun intended) description for each:


  • Reality Therapy (RT) was my first academic study and it served me well.  RT got me into guidance, got me into private practice, got me my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology.  During my past and present years as a professional high school guidance counsellor with Regina Public Schools, RT has always been my go-to model.  (Reality Therapy and Choice Theory are from the same hand-books written by William Glasser.)


Counselor guidelines: Who are you? What do you want? What are you been doing about it? Is doing what you’re doing working for you?  (Of course it is not … because if it were working … YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE.)


  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) was my first pragmatic system when I did contract work.  One agency for which I did contract work, Catholic Family Services, insisted that I follow this model.


SFBT is characterized by the rather hypnotic Miracle Question (MQ).  You wake up one morning and YOUR PROBLEM IS GONE … How would you know?  Describe your imaginary problem-free day …. How would your life be if it were perfect? … And so when you wake up tomorrow morning behave exactly as if your world was perfect and everyone around you is responding according to your perfect world picture.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another model employed at another counseling agency, Ehrlo Counselling Services, for which I did contract work.


CBT is a behavior therapy purportedly combined with simultaneous reflection and introspection.

All of the aforementioned therapies are considered behavioral therapies, action-oriented and monitored by the therapist/counselor so to speak. Hypnotherapy, too, is action-oriented, but entirely client driven, and not necessarily monitored by the therapist.  Therapist monitoring is always dependent on following sessions.  Hypnotherapy, typically, takes fewer sessions than other therapies.

Hypnotherapy is now my favorite.  Hypnotherapy is therapist suggested imagery creating for the client surreal experiences to be re-enacted immediately thereafter.

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a natural brainwave state in which you have been many times.  Whenever you have experienced extreme emotions while reading a book or watching a movie, or whenever you daydream at home or at work, or when you are drowsy just before falling asleep, and whenever you have been glued to the television, are all just some rather ordinary examples that are very similar to natural brainwave state of hypnosis

HYPNOSIS IS NOT MEDITATION.  
When a subject enters an altered state of consciousness through meditation, the focus is on oneself.  When a subject enters an altered state of consciousness through hypnosis, the client is open to receiving suggestion from the therapist.  The motive for most meditations is to focus on oneself; whereas, the focus on hypnosis is to take action outside of yourself.

HYPNOSIS IS NOT SLEEP.  
During sleep a person will not hear conversations.  During hypnosis a person will hear the therapist’s voice. During sleep a person has no ability to concentrate; whereas, during hypnosis a person has an extremely high ability to concentrate.

HYPNOSIS is a technique used in HYPNOTHERAPY

SOME FACTS ABOUT HYPNOTHERAPY:

HYPNOTHERAPY is a form of Hypnosis used for therapeutic purposes. 
HYPNOTHERAPY is relaxing and enjoyable. 
HYPNOTHERAPY can help clients overcome certain phobias and other emotional problems. HYPNOTHERAPY IS A STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?

The conventional wisdom suggests:
“The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions” (American theologian, E. Stanley Jones, 1884-1973).

The conscious mind is the one that most people associate with who you are, the one where most people live day-to-day. The conscious mind is where you are at in the present moment. But by no means is this where ALL the action takes place.

It is generally agreed that we have three minds, the conscious mind, the subconscious (per-conscious) mind, and the unconscious mind.

People, generally, seek HYPNOTHERAPY to help them change some present and undesirable behavior patterns in their lives; eating less and quitting smoking, and getting a good night sleep, are just some popular examples.

I believe in the power of HYPNOTHERAPY, and I’m reasonably comfortable with the academic distinctions between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, and that hypnosis could be an altered state of consciousness.

However ... 
I believe HYPNOTHERAPY to be a state of crisp and clear consciousness.

And this state of crisp and clear consciousness is brought about by hypnotic induction.  The hypnotist will SUGGEST – the subject will COMPLY, and this is hypnotic induction.

Any exchange between the hypnotist and subject, has been defined as hypnotic induction; induction being a synonym for a session. Every hypnotic induction, no matter the method, that interaction between practitioner and client always involves the social process of having the client take on the role of hypnotic subject.  Always, the hypnotic subject is a willing participant, taking on the role of which involves a willing suspension of disbelief of the client’s limitations.

For more than 200 years since Mesmer proposed his animal magnetism theory, hypnosis has struggled for scientific credibility (See The Trouble With Hypnosis, K. Harary, March 1st, 1992).

Hypnosis, it seems, begets an altered state of mind that eludes current means of measurement.  (The key word is measurement, a word NOT used in qualitative theory.)  Hypnosis is a qualitative/subjective state, such as love and joy and hate and pain are for the most part, subjective, therefore qualitative.  Such abstract states are exceedingly difficult to measure through quantitative means.

This I know:  A successful hypnotherapy session has more to do with eloquent and descriptively thick language, than with hypnotic protocol.  Creating a picture state of mind, a metaphor so to speak, is the basic strategy of hypnosis. A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two. For a person afraid of flying, the hypnotic metaphorical suggestion could be a comparison to riding in a car.   For pain, the metaphorical suggestion could be the expressions of warmth and pressure.  For fear of public speaking, the suggested metaphor could be for the subject to imagine, rather than banquet guests, addressing a group of new slow pitch ball buddies.  Even the idea of hypnotic age regression is a metaphor.  Nobody really regresses to an earlier age; memories are not literal, they are imagined.  Nobody actually re-lives any moment suggested.

And this, too, I know:  For hypnotherapy to work, hypnosis has to create for the client, an alternative history; one that is thick and vivid enough to positively distort into a healthier history yet to come. 

This is my self-described ALTERNATE HISTORY HYPNOTHERAPY (AHH).  This is what you get when you seek hypnotherapy from me, an opportunity to create your own future history.

In the ethos of Reality Therapy mixed with ALTERNATE HISTORY HYPNOTHERAPY …

EVERYBODY HAS A STORY TO TELL (William Glasser) … 
AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO RETELL … UNTIL IT ENDS RIGHT! (Neil Child)

Alternate History (AH) is a genre of speculation fiction which alters historical events and sets stories within worlds created by those changes.  The only rule required of writing a successful alternate history is that the changes must be reasonable and the outcomes plausible (John Farrier, January 2014).   

ALTERNATE HISTORY HYPNOTHERAPY (AHH) is my positive application of the new story-line the client wishes to enact.  For example, a client wanting to quit smoking will, through AHH, will adopt a partially new lifestyle that does not include smoking.  Every human being has the trait of suggestibility.  It is the client who holds this important factor to be hypnotized; it is the client who wants to quit smoking or wants to get thin or wants a good night sleep.  Everyone has the tendency to respond sometimes to suggestions.  Under hypnosis, this tendency is artificially increased by the technique of the hypnotherapist.  The power of suggestion and the tendency to respond to that suggestion is what hypnotherapy is all about.  SUGGESTION IS EVERYTHING.

SUGGESTION IS EVERYTHING.  Hypnosis is not sleep.  Hypnosis is a state of trance.  Hypnosis is a state of increased suggestibility.  Hypnosis is a mix of prescribed suggestion and auto-suggestion.  Hypnosis is a form of automatism; it is the perfect state of automaticity.

ALTERNATE HISTORY HYPNOTHERAPY (AHH) will always work provided the following client-therapist conditions are met:
 
The client has to be candid about the current state of dysfunctional affairs.  The client has to tell it like it really is.  If the client is smoking two packs of cigarettes a day or drinking a case of beer every day, or howling all night at the moon; all of this and even more has to be disclosed to the therapist.  Failing to acknowledge and admit exactly what conduct is troublesome for the client means only failure for the hypnotherapy results.

Clients have to reckon with the facts that their acts do not have just singular consequences.  Every dysfunctional act is in concert and discordance with those people surrounding them.  Whether they are family members, workmates, or playmates, their dysfunctional actions have caused enough personal concern and social embarrassment to lead them to hypnotherapy.

Clients have to realize that once they’ve altered their current actions to create their new history that other actions, too, will change.  For example, a client who quits smoking will inevitably quit coughing and could end up running marathons.  Clients who quit drinking will inevitably meet teetotallers and java maestros who prefer coffee shops over pubs.  Clients who lose a few pounds may decide to become fitness fanatics or even fitness instructors.

Clients who cease their problem afflictions may, too, be delusional, expecting their entire lives to change in the most positive regards.  Clients who conquer negative addictions by latching on to behaviors regarded as more positive, will without a doubt  experience a positive part-time change, but this part-time change may or may not attribute to their whole-life happiness. One does get more attractive (literally and metaphorically) through successful hypnotherapy but … the entire world will not be donning sunglasses to adjust to the glow.  Rising from the hoi-polloi and transforming to the highfalutin will not happen suddenly.

Clients need to create for themselves histories that are detailed explicitly.  These new histories need to go where the alternate history realistically supports, not necessarily where the client wants them to go.  For example, clients who are in constant tipple need to quit drinking completely, not just cut back or sip socially.  I say this because when a client who is always drunk finally comes to hypnotherapy for help, the new history will not allow that client to be part-time drinking.  Clients who are prone to alcohol addiction need to create realistic, not romantic and delusional, non-drinking scenarios. 

Clients participants of AHH need to understand outcomes that are positive and plausible.  Human beings have a built-in elasticity factor.  Any connections and movements toward an old habit will always result in resuming to a former self or state.   Hypnotherapy is client-therapist collaboration.  It is up to the therapist to guide and help the client create the new historical path onto which the client wants to set foot.  Here is the outline of my typical hypnotherapy session with a client:


  • CONCERN: (This is the reason why the client is seeking hypnotherapy.)

  • CAP-A-PIE INDUCTION … RELAX & ENERGY EMISSION … 10 TO 1 COUNT-DOWN

 (I employ a variety of inductions, all of which to solicit client relaxation.)

  • SCRIPT #1 [ENTERING MOST PLEASING AND RELAXING PLACE]   

  • SCRIPT #2 [ALTERNATIVE HISTORY INCLUDING BEHAVIOR BENEFITS]

  • SCRIPT #3 [EXITING MOST PLEASING AND RELAXING PLACE] 1 TO 10 COUNT-UP


In closing, I would be amiss not to mention Mindfulness.  Mindfulness seems the current counsellor flavor, lining all the Western book shelves and written about in literally hundreds of psychology blogs.

Mindfulness is to practice that Zen-like non-judgemental awareness of the richness of the present moment.  Mindfulness is the practice that makes us pause and reflect, to gain a certain distance and perspective of our present conditions.
  
Hypnotherapy would be especially helpful to those clients who frequently and/or continually experience racing thoughts, an appeal even to those who are now subscribing to Mindfulness. Hypnotherapy is the employment practice of focus, focus, focus.
And that’s that!
And here is my CHAUCERIAN PORTRAIT PARADE FOR THIS WEEK:

ROB MILTON IS A CALGARY CARICATURIST
 
ROB MILTON IN EAU CLAIRE (CALGARY)

ROB DREW ME IN RETURN

MELANIE AT THE CENTENNIAL MARKET (REGINA)

LEVI (KENSINGTON MARKET IN CALGARY)

EDIE AT A BARBEQUE

MY COUSIN, CRAIG, AT A BARBEQUE

JOANNE


BOB (JOANNE'S HUSBAND)

KEENAN (MY NEW COLLEAGUE)

PATSY (MY NEW COLLEAGUE)

GARY (MY NEW COLLEAGUE)

 
BUSKING WITH MY NEW GOLD TONE BANJITAR




Saturday, July 22, 2017

BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS: NOT WORTHY OR NOTE-WORTHY



BEST SKATES EVER!
I’d love to profess to be a non-nondescript nudnik, but I cannot, and this string-of-pictures blog entry presents my reasons why not.  This string-of-pictures blog entry is not meant as an Aesopian ageist tale.  Aside from my predilection for wearing work boots, blue jeans, and white shirts, this string-of-pictures very much represents my current 66 year old behind-the-camera behaviors, and assertion that age, being not only a chronicle of our seasons, is fundamentally, too, a behavior.)  This string-of-pictures simply reflects what has been important for me these past couple weeks while I’ve been on holidays.  (I did plan on a buskation to the Canadian Rockies but the forest fires are now blazing out of control.  And I had half-heartedly planned a European to visit our youngest son, but he is packing up to move to Shanghai.  Alas, until I go somewhere, I’m here in the Queen city, Regina, Canada, taking pictures and, of course, busking with my guitar and harmonica, or with my pencil and sketchpad.)  From a buskeroo perspective, some of these pictures are note-worthy, while others, not so worthy, at least in the realm of busking.  Even those pictures that are not worthy reveal my day-to-day indulges.

My title for this blog entry is from a quotation from Danish philosopher-theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, whose writings I studied in grad school.  

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Regular readers know that along with time, the theme of hockey, too, continually orbulates this blog.

Not only do these (pictured above) CCM Tacks represent my imagined amaranthine alterity, these skates typically and unabashedly give me license to brag about my connections within the face-off circles of the Regina hockey community.  For example, I often write about my best friend, NHL’er COLBY WILLIAMS, and my confidant and coffee mate, National Hockey League scout, BRAD HORNUNG, and more recently, retired NHL’er and current Western Hockey League scout, DREW CALLANDER.

My best friend, Colby Williams, who is now signed among the chosen 50 players with the Washington Capitals, sent me these CCM Tacks.  Leaving my current position of employ, the Tacks were a good-bye gift.  This is the second pair of skates given to me from Colby.  Previously, he gave me his first issued skates from the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.  Colby was the team captain during his third and fourth seasons.  (See my blog entry, COLBY SAVES CHRISTMAS:  THE SILVER SKATES published December 21st, 2014.)  The first skates were WHL issue CCM CRAZY LIGHTS; these new skates are NHL CCM TACKS.  WOOT!

COLD AS ICE
My penchant for the game has also been confirmed a few times by the fourth estate (Regina LEADER POST no less). I'm in my CCM Crazy Lights.


KYOMAN AND SELF
KYOMAN  is the proprietor of the family run business, JEAN & TOP DESIGNERS (Regina, Canada).  I am a regular and very happy customer.

YUNA'S FAMILY PORTRAIT

YUNA is Kyoman’s grand-daughter.  YUNA IS AN ARTIST!

ROXANNE
I drew ROXANNE’S portrait, while set up next to her at the new CENTENNIAL MARKET in Regina.  This new market is the perfect venue for portrait busking.  Over the years I’ve set up in the wind and the rain at the downtown Farmers Market, but outdoor drawing in inclement weather sucks.  Unless it’s a perfect Simpson cloudy and windless day, sketching portraits indoors is much better.  Also at the Centennial Market I can come and go.  At the Farmers Market, whether thrumming or drawing, I have to pay for the whole four-hour slot; therefore, feeling somewhat obligated to stay the entire time. 

Factoid:  At tops, either thrumming or drawing, I’m a ninety-minute busker.  Four hours straight is too much.

ANOTHER GIFT!
 Roxanne gave me with this chunk of jasper as a gift for drawing her portrait.

HANGING AT LAST

Finally, I’ve hung my picture of Marrakech Square on our condo wall!

SILA (AND MY PICTURE)
What are the odds of having a beer in one of only three pubs in all of Marrakech, and just happen to be sipping at the same perch, apparently, as the artist who painted this picture.  Sila is holding my picture up for scrutiny; whereas, the real scene is in the backdrop.


Since my salad days as an English Literature undergrad, I’ve passed by this frog at the old university campus at least a thousand times.


 It’s that tornado time of year again.  I took this picture from my balcony.


Taken from the downtown Tim Hortons parking lot, what are the odds of seeing two accordion players squeezing tunes while prancing down a city sidewalk.


I’m trying to get my didge and guitar act going.  I’m hoping that practice makes perfect.

GEESE GEESE GEESE
This picture is typical of Wascana Park.


 One of the sights while riding my bike 'neath the Wascana waterfall.

SUNDOWN ON THE ALBERT STREET BRIDGE
 
Back to Kierkegaard … Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Looking backwards at these pictures, I certainly understand why in the moment I thought them significant enough to stop me (in my tracks). 

My self-mand (and perhaps my mantra):

I shall endeavor to appreciate each moment that stops me today and every day hereafter!

Factoid:  The problem with each present moment is that as soon as you blink, immediately that particular moment becomes part of your general past.  Hmmm … time … the concept and puzzle of which is one of my recurrent themes.

Factoid:  My first two blog posts (TIME: AN ESSAY ON THE HUMAN PERCEPTION OF TIME, March 20th, 2010 and TIME AND TIME AGAIN: AN ESSAY ON TIME TRAVEL, March 31st, 2010) seemed so important to express at the time they were written (pun intended); and though I've blinked many times since they were posted, the prompting of both have the fondest of memories.  Both these posts were suggested to me by my close friend, Rick Steciuk, who is still an avid follower of this blog.

Factoid:  And these posts, I believe, very much project my angst concerning the stopping or slowing of time.  Being a projective psychologist, I have to admit that I, being 66 years of age, seemed to be quite concerned about my days left with the living, and that I unwittingly project my ageist angst time after time after time!  

Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE today include HUSAIN AND CURTIS, two of my favorite Regina musicians:


HUSAIN (MUSICIAN AND TECHNICIAN FROM B SHARP)


CURTIS (MUSICIAN AND SOUND TECHNICIAN FROM BUSHWAAKER BREW PUB)
SELF (GUITAR BUSKING AT SHOPPERS ON BROAD)