Thursday, July 27, 2006

Interactive Sessions VERSUS Listening to a CD

Hypnosis sessions: Tapes or Live Hypnotist?

There are different types of hypnosis sessions. I'll be talking about two types: Power Programming Sessions and Interactive Sessions. Because this blog is about weight loss, all my references will revolve around that particular topic.

Many hypnotists pooh-pooh the use of hypnosis tapes and CDs. I guess I am more open to them because I have used them personally with great empowerment.

Power Programming - This is where (mostly), the hypnotist does the talking. This can be done effectively via live session, over a telephone line, or through a CD. The goal of this type of session is to have the client be supercharged with powerful suggestions for changing core thinking systems, which obviously leads to a modification of behavior. Anyone who has listened to hypnotic weight loss tapes (or CDs) knows they are filled with positive suggestions for making healthy food choices, drinking sufficient water, getting exercise, reconnecting with the body, eating in a relaxed manner, chewing food thoroughly, portion management, etc.etc.etc. Sometimes (usually unbeknownst to the listener) they contain some type of NLP - NeuroLinguistic Programming - technique to facilitate the assimilation of these suggestions into the unconscious.

So, what is NLP, you might ask. The answer to that is rather complex, but suffice it here to say that back in the sixties two brilliant guys (Richard Bandler and John Grinder) got together and came up with the concept. One guy was a linguist (Grinder), and the other (Bandler) an information scientist. One thing they found was that there are basically “recipes” for success and that anyone could have the same success as another simply by following the recipe. Of course, sometimes getting the secret ingredients posed a challenge, but they also researched how to uncover pretty much any information they wanted. But that’s another story. 

They also noticed that human brains and computers have a lot of similarities in how they use language to process, organize and categorize information, and thereby produce results. Anyway, these brilliant guys boiled it down to a science, and devised various techniques to help us upgrade our “bio-computers”, if you will, so we can live more efficiently, more effectively. Simple stuff really. In fact, it’s all common sense techniques - like role modeling after people close to us. What we're doing anyway. They just tied it up neatly, and labeled it, so we could do it on demand, instead of haphazardly.

A question I get a lot is, “Is listening to a CD as powerful as having a one on one session?” I’d have to say, “Possibly. It depends on the subject.”  Listening to a tape or CD does several things.

1) Have you seen those commercials where the guy wakes up, and there’s a cheering section saying, “Thataboy Bobby, you are amazing. You are what makes the sun come up every morning. Even the moon hated having to retreat from your presence. You are awesome!…” Then he goes to the car and the cheering section is out there, “Bobby, we are so proud of you! You’re the best driver in the world…” Then he gets to work and the cheering section is there with more accolades. Well, listening to the CDs will create a cheering section for you, in your head. You’ll be at breakfast and the voice in your head will say, “Gee Mandy, you’ve been so great this week, choosing the right foods…You’ve lost three pounds…make sure to get some protein with that toast…you are so awesome staying on track…” Now that voice sounds like your hypnotist at first, but eventually it starts sounding like YOU, and You are proud of yourself…You are taking responsibility for making good choices…Then you’re at lunch and the voice in your head says, “Are you sure you want that Coke? Water would be better for you. You’d feel better if you drank water instead, whaddoya think?…” Then another voice in your head says, “Yeah, you’re right. I should have water.” And you order water and life is good.

2.) Listening daily to CDs will magnify your commitment, keep you focused, cement your self-confidence, raise your feelings of self-worth, reinforce and compound prior suggestions inside your unconscious mind, fortify your determination, and keep you solidly on track.

I always ask my clients, “Is there a noticeable difference between listening and not listening to your tapes?” Every single time the answer has been YES. My clients know that when they are being supported emotionally and mentally by their tapes that they make better choices, feel stronger, exercise more, and eat less. Isn’t it nice to know you can reduce feelings of stress, deprivation, and anxiety around weight reduction simply by LISTENING TO A THIRTY MINUTE CD OR TAPE! Stop reading this and GO put your headphones on.

Interactive Sessions:

Is listening to a CD as powerful as having a one-on-one session with a present therapist? Note the purposeful use of the word Present. There is nothing worse than having a session with a therapist whose mind is elsewhere. That said...today I'll talk about one-on-one, interactive sessions. That means that the hypnotherapist and subject are in intentional communication with the goal of resolving some obstacle holding the subject back somehow.  Again, this post is focused on weight loss in particular, and does not especially apply outside of this category.

 
I typically use interactive sessions with clients who've been overweight since childhood, have more than sixty pounds to lose, and/or are running self-sabotage systems. In these populations there can oftentimes be found deeper underlying issues to get past, before they can embark successfully on the transformational journey of weight loss.
 
The first two are self-explanatory, but let me illustrate the third - The Self-Saboteurs. This is the gal (or guy) who says she wants to lose weight but can't give up cookies - NO MATTER WHAT. Now I actually had a client tell me that, about chocolate chip cookies. She started our first session with this statement, "I've been through loads of counseling, and even had fights with my therapists - no one is going to make me give up chocolate chip cookies. No one!" This gal was in her fifties, an educated woman (most of our clients are professional people - this lady was a teacher), she had about seventy pounds to lose, and she had emotional strings to cookies. In her case, as it was rather severe, I didn't believe listening to CDs alone was going to cut it. I DID have her listen to CDs, mostly (at first) for the repeated hypnosis conditioning, creating that supportive cheerleading section in her head, and continued positive reinforcement for the work we were going to be doing.
 
In our one-on-one hypnosis work, we found out that when she was a child - it almost always goes back to childhood - her mom was manic-depressive. Back then (1940's-1950's) people didn't get on psych medication so easily as they do now. Since her mom was not on any medication her vicious mood swings posed a real threat to her five children. For example, on several occasions when fighting with dad, this mom threatened to kill the kids - IN FRONT OF THE KIDS! She was almost always mean to everyone, except for once in awhile, when she was feeling good, and during those times she showed her motherly love by baking...(sing out in unison) Chocolate Chip Cookies. 
 
My poor client cried hysterically as she dug up a good portion of her emotional damage. As a result of her mom's strange behavior (well not so strange for a manic-depressive) my client had emotionally associated chocolate chip cookies with all kinds of warm and fuzzies - love, calmness, kindness, acceptance, safety, security. Scary stuff, huh? You might wonder if my job entails hearing scary stuff like this all the time - YES. More often than you'd think.
 
Back to the client. By revisiting the cause of her obsession, we were able to dissolve the hold it had on her. Imagine the hidden cause as a an angry BOIL, festering like an evil abscess inside her psyche, making her behave in ways that made no sense to the outside world. Nor even to herself, for that matter, for she had no conscious recollection of what was leading her to obsess on cookies. She thought she was born a cookie monster.  Now, imagine the work we did was equivalent to lancing that boil. We went through a lot of muck and mire but you have to squeeze it clean. Then it can heal, good as new. That day, after the tears were dried up, I gave her a particularly powerful CD to rebuild her self-esteem and raise her feelings of self-worth. Now cleansed, the CD would be the ointment to strengthen ego, and quicken healing.
 
She returned the following week and happily reported she hadn't had a cookie all week! We have a saying, You can't un-see something until you've seen it. I hope you've read enough so that the saying makes sense to you. She didn't know what was there, then she understood, and that transformed the thing into gold. I call it turning lemons into lemonade. I should know. I myself had to go through my own personal and intense one-on-one sessions. I'm not going to get into my core issues right now, but suffice it to say I was unconsciously holding on to my fat. I had massive hidden fears about becoming smaller, more vulnerable in an unpredictable, threatening world.
 
Now, would listening to CDs alone have helped lance the boils? Maybe, but it's unlikely. One- on-one intervention speeds up the process so people like me and my client can get past the "rewards" of overweight behaviors and get busy losing weight.
 
There, you have a clue to the difference between listening to CDs and interactive therapy sessions. 
 
Till Later!
 
Hypnotically yours,
Gina Fox, CHT

Posted by Gina Fox at 8:16:14 PM in Category 1 (24) | Comments (0)

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