Relationships, Specializations

Healing from Psychological Abuse

The hallmark of an abusive relationship is being told that you can only seek love from the abuser. For children, the abuser cultivates shame – the belief that something is wrong with the child. For adults, the abuser makes a series of escalating “me or them” ultimatums that narrow their victim’s social circle until there is no where else to turn.

Psychologists interpret the pattern of abuse as a pathology in the abuser’s brain that grows around low self-esteem. The abuser constantly seeks to demonstrate strength by asserting control over others. It is not a campaign of overwhelming force, but starts with a series of little compromises that cultivate complicity in their campaign against others. In “The Sociopath Next Door,” Martha Stout explains that the campaign starts by claiming innocence when a protector attempts to speak out against the abuse. The abuser claims victimhood, and begins their campaign of complicity among those that rally to their aid.

But there is also a psychic aspect of the abuse. The abuser isolates their victim because they cannot receive the energies of love through a normal, healthy engagement with others. They are vampires, stealing talent, energy, and joy from their victims.

In working with victims in recovery, I offer this simple experience: love knows no barriers. It travels over psychic walls, penetrates foundations, and creeps through windows. If you truly desire love on its own terms, then all you need to do is open your eyes and its light will enter. With that light to avail you, all the lies of the abuser are annihilated.

But even more, love does not respect the barrier of time. The most beautiful moments in therapy are those in which the victim takes into their arms the image of their younger self and affirms “I love you. We are strong enough. Come to me.”

That is the ultimate victory – to call forward all that was lost from the past and reclaim it, entering into the future with the wisdom to discern danger in our relationships, and thus to confidently and joyfully project our virtue into the world.

If you’d like to reclaim those energies, hypnotherapy is the most direct means of overcoming the conventions of the scientific mind that stand in the way of psychic healing. Contact Brian today.


Lives in Both Directions

In her past-life regression (PLR) course, Michele Guzy invited Natalie Gianelli to channel the wisdom of Dr. Peebles, a historical figure who died in 1922. In the AHA pay-per-view course, the discussion of our era was fascinating: one participant asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Peebles clarified that humanity is learning that fear is ineffectual. The Middle East was a cauldron that attracted global attention, helping to focus that realization. I was intrigued by the degree to which this matched my own spiritual engagement.

Then Michele asked about past-life regression and its validity. Here again Dr. Peebles replied with insights that match my own experience. Spirit sees our lives as holes in Swiss cheese – not sequential but linked by proximity to the spiritual effort that manifests most powerfully in them. He predicted that in six years, hypnotherapists would begin guiding people into lives in both directions.

Given the correspondences noted above, my response was to consider this claim seriously. Two points seem important. First – if life progression is possible, why don’t we do it already? And secondly – what is it about the standard regression procedures that biases it toward the past?

In the first case, we do have procedures for progression. Cheryl O’Neil’s Metaphysical Imagery program includes a progression journey that took me 1000 years into the future. Such procedures are not satisfying in the context of Peebles’ teaching, however, for Peebles was suggesting that the therapeutic procedure must allow the subconscious to identify any and all lives relevant to the presenting issue.

And here the standard regression procedure is biased. The formulations walk the client back through this life and into their mother’s womb, back to the “Universal White Light” that harbors our soul between lives. While in principle our future death also leads into that white light, the regression back to the womb matches our evolutionary perspective. In the material realm, problems manifest in the past and inspire solutions in the future. And our religious teachings also tend to that perspective: in the traditions of Abraham, original sin lies in the past, redemption in the future. In the Vedic traditions (including Buddhism), karma comes forward from the past, and enlightenment lies in the future.

Conversely, near-death experiences (NDEs) hold tantalizing hints that evolution unfolds through more complex temporal pathways. Common in NDEs is a realm of pure light, populated by those that cherish us and governed by our religious avatar. The future seems to reach back into the past, and we don’t need to die to witness its virtues. We just need to enter a profound hypnotic state – that being, of course, the most immediate consequence of a severe trauma (“The Worst is Over”, Acosta and Prager).

This brings me to my own process, formulated as an intern at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute upon receiving a pro bono submission requesting past-life regression. I hadn’t taken Guzy’s certification course, and so had only my dim memories of the first-semester PLR lecture to draw upon. Driving home I idly constructed the outline below. The pro bono client didn’t respond to my phone calls, but by serendipity one of my clients asked for PLR in his next session. I thought “What the heck?” and took him through two lives in the one-hour session using the protocol below.

My client was mature and seeking to understand wanderlust, rather than to resolve a phobia or body syndrome. The lives were peaceful and productive. That will not always be so, and by those doing this work routinely, the protocol below must be enhanced with anchors to facilitate return to the hypnotist’s context should overwhelming trauma be encountered.

The Protocol

In the cognitive portion of the session, probe the motivations for PLR. An avatar is selected to represent the virtues sought. The induction is followed by a brief imagery journey:

Walking on the shady side of a hill along a meadow just out of sight. Voices of friends and family drift in and out of hearing but being firmly on the path “from where you were to where you are going,” the journey continues onwards and upwards. As the way rises, a cloud settles from above, the mist enveloping comfortably while growing gently luminous. All sense of time and place fades.

Finally, the path rises through the mist and opens onto a dimly lit hilltop. All along the hilltop are mementos of this life: cherished possessions and experiences, as though walking through a kaleidoscope. Stepping finally onto clear ground, visible above the mist in all directions are other hilltops, with possessions and experiences representing other lives.

In viewing those hilltops, a spark leaps to alertness in the heart and mind – a spark that seems somehow to be present on those other hilltops.

Then the avatar strides out of the mist from the other side of the hill. Walking forward in greeting, all the virtues of the avatar settle around the client. The avatar posts itself alongside, as though a guardian.

And something seems to call – something familiar. Familiar not to flesh but to the eternal spark. Something calls from out of the mist and while the flesh cannot touch it the spark within yearns to grasp it. It is something that a child would cherish. The yearning grows stronger and stronger until it is overwhelming, and then, knowing that the material self is safely guarded, the spirit slips free and reaches down and is pulled, pulled, pulled through the mist.

And then you are there, holding it. You open your eyes and look at your feet. What do you see? And what are you holding?

Basics, Specializations

Hidden Messages

When we write a letter, we are conscious of sharing our thoughts with our reader. When handwriting, though, we also express deep subconscious attitudes.

Sit down with a piece of paper in front of you. Before you write, you pick a tool, and even that choice reveals something. How nuanced are your views? Do they change depending upon the audience? How important are your emotions to full understanding? Pencil, ball-point, roller-ball and felt-tip all address those expressive needs in differing degrees.

Then starting in the space of imagination, you put pen to paper near the top and at the left – the edge closest to you. As you compose the first line, the pen moves away from you – extending thoughts to your reader even as time advances into the future. Line-by-line, the pen moves away from your head, down toward your body.

The spacing on the page represents the directness and solidity of your engagement: letters as regards your thinking, words as regards your relationships, lines as regards your community, margins as regards your life.

As with the page in the large, so with each letter in detail. Verticals join the various realms of being (thought, society and body). As they flow up and down, loops suggest the degree to which others are brought into those interactions (wider means greater openness). Ovals in the middle range reflect social interaction, and openings and little loops reveal the patterns of our communication. Are we more open one side or the other? Do we tend to filter? Bowls reveal openness to new ideas, and from what source (self or other). Leading strokes suggest the concreteness of the commitments that motivate communication, and trailing strokes the principal context for their expression.

Given the wealth of detail on the page, even from a few lines a skilled handwriting analyst can determine a great deal about the writer’s personality. What is shocking to realize is how much processing the subconscious is doing as you make each mark on the page, injecting deep concerns regarding acceptance, competence, and stability.

Are you feeling a sea change in your personality? Are you beset by mixed messages in your relationships? Do you want to communicate more effectively to a specific party? Do you want to understand their priorities?

Are you ready to address the gap between your conscious goals and subconscious motivations?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” contact me for a detailed handwriting analysis.

Basics, Specializations

Habit Management

How many things do you do without thinking about them? You might include “walking” and perhaps even “using a knife and fork.” But did you include adjusting your pulse rate and blood pressure when you exercise? Releasing fat for conversion to sugar in the liver? For all those things, you can thank your subconscious mind for taking care of and supporting you.

But this is what makes habits hard to manage. We smoke a cigarette after dinner and that changes blood flow, affecting our digestion. The body expects that and has adjusted the way it processes food to match. Take away the cigarette, and now it can’t process food properly.

Or how about starting a new habit? We want to exercise more, and there’s that break at 3 PM when we sit around drinking coffee. Maybe we could walk then? But the reason that we don’t do anything around 3 PM is because we’re resting before the push to closing time at work. When we start walking, we might make mistakes and coworkers and supervisors call us out. Maybe more exercise wasn’t such a good idea after all?

The two examples illustrate how dedicated your subconscious is to you, and how wide the range of its concerns. As burdened as it is, every change in routine is a possible crisis. For that reason, it prefers to resist change. Try to stop smoking and the cravings get more intense. Plan to exercise and at the appointed hour you feel more fatigued than normal.

So how to change our routines?

Hypnotherapy is a valuable aid because it presents to the subconscious the positive results expected from the change. We’re not throwing a change at it without preparation – we’re getting its buy-in and support.

Once that commitment to change is established, we then proceed incrementally. When we wake in the morning, the body is primed to start the day. Adding a little exercise to that routine is consistent with the expectations of the body and subconscious. So rather than putting a change into a time of rest, we add it to our active routine. “I shave – and then I do twenty lunges.” What we add to the time of rest is laying out a reminder: “After brushing my teeth, I put my sweats on top of the dresser.”

To prepare to end a habit, we break up patterns. We stop smoking after meals. Through relaxation therapy in hypnosis, we recognize the onset of anxiety and soothe ourselves with deep, calming breaths while visualizing our favorite vacation spot.

And most importantly of all – when we meet the plan, we smile inwardly and tell ourselves “Good job!” Then that night, when we pass through hypnosis on the way to sleep, the subconscious reviews the events of the day and hears “Good job!”

If this sounds like the foundation for a life-long skill of habit management, you’d be right. Succeed once with something meaningful to you, and habit change becomes a habit! Through the sleep transition, you could eventually build that acceptance – but why not speed the process up with hypnosis?

If you’ve got an important goal that depends upon a change in routine, reach out to Brian today! Mention this blog post and you’ll get your first session at a 50% discount.

Active Aging, Specializations

Hypnotherapy in Later Life: Part 5

Life in Harmony

Developed in the third quarter of the 20th century, the Ericksons’ Stages of Development end at age 65. Today if we live to 65, we have a 50% chance of living to 90. Given that nearly a third of life can be lived after retirement, we would expect to find stages on that journey into mortality. Indeed, after her husband’s death Joan added a ninth stage of development in which prior successes are challenged as the organism and mind weaken.

Louise Aronson (in “Elderhood”) applies a model arising from the medical community. It aligns with the ninth stage of development but distinguishes social and medical challenges. Retirement, as a social challenge, often occurs while we still have physical and mental vitality. As in Erickson’s model, these “seniors” (as Aronson labels them) are concerned with sustaining the integrity of a personality that slowly is cut off from the pillars that support its expression. It is only among the “old” that accommodation must be made for slacking vitality. Among the “elderly” medical concerns dominate, while the “aged” hope for dignity in the process of dying.

In both cases, of course, we have a sense that the final stage of life is a desperate gripping by the fingernails as the cliff tilts up and back over our heads.

To escape this dread, I add the liberating dimension of spirituality. The practices are:

  • Life review to remove limitations to personal growth.
  • Spiritual deepening as a loving management of the boundaries between “I” and “we.”
  • Inner peace as stillness and sensitivity that guide us into beneficial relationships.

The goal is a life lived in harmony and balance.

Let’s elaborate now on why that is hard. As a child we adapt to the culture defined by our parents. The middle stages of development are driven by conflict between those behaviors and society. To manage that conflict, the conscious mind evolves to engage society and validate experience. The subconscious – the original “naked” mind – continues to operate, but never fully integrates our social experience. Conversely, the conscious mind operates without full access to the physical and spiritual resources managed by the subconscious.

If to live in harmony is to expose those resources, then harmony requires that we heal the divide between the conscious and subconscious minds.

How does hypnotherapy facilitate this process? By helping seniors achieve the Stages of Development in their new living environment, thereby removing resistance to spiritual growth.

I myself began this journey in my adolescence. As a child of the ‘60s entering adulthood in the ‘70s I realized that our society needed to change. I choose love as the fulcrum for that change. In 2005, my exploration of that principle had revealed:

Love dissolves the barriers of time and space, allowing wisdom, understanding and energy to flow between us, and embracing us with the courage, clarity and calm that overcomes obstacles and creates opportunities.

One manifestation of this principle came as my unconscious father clung to life on his last day. I stood at the head of his bed to announce “Dad, a big brain party is waiting for you in heaven.” The hospice nurse, noticing the change in his face, announced “I think that he heard you.”

Seniors have a unique opportunity to cultivate such capabilities. As harmony grows, it becomes palpable to others as a presence of peace. Its effects include dissolving anger and fear, exposing hypocrisy, redirecting resistance, and encouraging collaboration. Those benefits unroll to shape the future. Reaching into the past, peace recovers parts of the personality trapped in sorrow or trauma. Through these gifts, the elder draws to them those less experienced or fortunate. They are beloved not for their ability to entertain, but for their abilities to heal and guide.

In a study of nuns in the Order of Notre Dame, another inexplicable benefit was seen. The academics saw the simplicity of the community as an asset, allowing them to expose the biological preconditions for dementia. As part of the study, the Sisters agreed to be autopsied after their death. The surprise came when the autopsies showed that women in their 90s, fully functional and active, had brains like those suffering from late-stage dementia.

How can this be? My sense is that when life and soul are fully aligned, the brain is no longer necessary to the expression of our intentions. The soul immerses itself directly into the tissues it needs to control. In exploring this new process of living, the soul surrenders fear of separation from the body. When the time comes, it lets go gracefully.

The last post in this series will consider the contrasting outcome – a long, debilitating decline into incoherence – and how hypnotherapy can minimize the associated trauma for both beloved and caregivers.

Part I || Part 4 | Part 6