Date: 12/17/2017 9:46 PM EST
Date: 11/14/2017 4:04 PM EST
Date: 4/24/2016 12:06 PM EDT
Date: 1/31/2016 3:45 PM EST
Date: 8/2/2015 5:08 PM EDT
Date: 7/12/2015 1:13 PM EDT
Date: 6/30/2015 10:52 AM EDT
What is hypnotherapy, and how can it help?
Hypnotherapy is very simply a way to relax the active, conscious mind, and allow the wisdom of the deeper unconscious mind to come forward. Our active mind can only hold a few objects of knowledge at a time – and the more stressed we are, the less we are able to access it. Every thing else that we have learned, that we know, is held in the unconscious mind. Hypnotherapy is a specific way to relax that enables us to access that information, bypassing the conscious mind.
What does a hypnotherapy session look like? It’s pretty simple - and not very mysterious: you sit there, close your eyes, and listen to me! Think of it as guided meditation. There is no swinging pocket watch, there will be no quacking like a duck. There WILL be breathing in and breathing out, feeling your body relax more and more deeply…and before you know it I will be saying “and now open your eyes and return to full, normal consciousness!”
Here are five things that I use hypnotherapy for in my practice:
1) Phobias: fear of flying, claustrophobia, fear of heights, elevators, agoraphobia. Hypnosis can help your brain develop new resources and new ways of dealing both with old, habitual patterns, and with new fears that seem to be beyond the control of the conscious mind.
2) Trauma: hypnotherapy is a powerful tool in reducing the poison of traumatic events. In just a few sessions, hypnotherapy can bring healing to painful memories that in the past have filled us with dread.
3) Future events: not only can hypnotherapy heal painful events from the past, it can help us face difficult, fearful, or complicated events in the future (think job interviews, meeting the in-laws, etc).
4) Undoing beliefs that no longer work for us: low self esteem, relationship patterns that don’t work, poor career choices…many of these are driven by beliefs that we developed as kids that worked for us then, but are abysmally inappropriate for adulthood. Hypnosis not only can help us uncover these beliefs, but help us consciously create new ones that support a thriving lifestyle.
5) Reduce chronic anxiety: hypnosis is a powerful tool for deep relaxation that allows the body to “reset” itself and break out of the cycle of anxiety. Not only does that happen in the office, but I can teach my clients a self hypnosis technique that they can you use on their own, outside of the office.
Date: 5/31/2015 12:17 PM EDT
I've been hanging out with grief a lot this spring. In March, my dad passed away, and then over Memorial Day weekend I had the privilege of staffing the TAPS Good Grief Camp, a camp for military families who have lost a loved one. This is my one opportunity a year to work with kids: I lead the group for six year olds, and this year I had twenty three of them.
The training for volunteers for this camp is remarkable, and this year I was reminded of one very important thing: grief is messy.
Its messy because, despite what our culture believes, it isn't quantifiable and it doesn't follow stages (this article, by Megan Devine, entitled The 5 Stages of Grief and Other Lies That Don't Help Anyone, helps explain this). It's messy because it shows up unexpectedly, inconveniently, unbidden. And it's messy because it never, ever goes away - although it does get easier. Ann Lamont writes "You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
Grief shows up through out our life. When a child loses a parent, they grieve that loss as best they can at their age - and then grieve the loss again as they pass through new stages: school graduation, marriage, etc. For me as an adult, losing a dad meant being shocked when I realized he wouldn't be around when I retired (no matter that that was somewhat unrealistic - my dad would have been over a 100 when I retire!). If we're lucky, we grieve our losses as well as we can at each stage of our life, and when a new stage arises, we bring our grief to that stage.
Grief is messy - just like love is messy. One of the things that struck me this year at the TAPS Good Grief Camp was the intertwining of love and grief. Grief arises out of love - grief is what we sign up for when we love. We gathered to grieve the loss of moms and dads, brothers, sisters, friends. And the space was tender and full, heartfelt, compassionate, healing. Love was palpable.
Date: 5/19/2015 10:22 AM EDT
We’ve all been told that relationships are hard – and that’s true. But sometimes it’s difficult to know if the relationship is hard because it’s working, or is it hard because it’s just not a viable relationship.
In a viable relationship, the hard work pays off. In a relationship that isn’t working, the hard work that we put into it can almost feel like a self-inflicted injury – or at least like a constant struggle without any support or benefit. Feelings like that indicate that something needs to change.
Here are some examples:
Ways a relationship should be hard:
1) Relationships are inconvenient.
Your partner needs a ride to/from the airport/work/friend’s house/store when you have other plans, but you offer your partner a ride anyway because you know your partner would do the same for you.
2) Trust is actual, hard work.
Trust is not something from outside of our self that someone gives us – it’s not like a pill that we take. It’s not an excuse to close down or ignore what’s going on in our relationship and our own experience. Trust is built over time. It's a willingness to risk disappointment, and even pain, in pursuit of genuine connection, and that takes work.
3) Relationships are hard when, at the end of the day, you have to be willing to crawl into bed with someone that you’re mad at.
But you do it, because the desire to be to in the relationship is stronger than the need to be the one who is right. Also, your experience of the relationship so far has shown you that you’ll be able to work through it.
4) Letting go.
Over and over and over again: tough work.
5) Honesty takes work.
Leaning into conflict takes work. Changing the way you’ve always done things to accommodate another person in your life is tough. Negotiating those changes takes work. But you do it – because the payoff is worth it.
Ways a relationship shouldn’t be hard:
1) It shouldn’t be hard because there is physical violence.
2) It shouldn’t be hard because both of you are angry all the time.
3) It shouldn’t be hard because you’re walking on eggshells.
This can be related to anger (see #2), or because you are constantly put in a “damned if you do or damned if you don’t” position.
4) It shouldn’t be hard because your partner gives priority to past relationships or current friendships over you.
It’s one thing if your partner is good at remaining friends with ex’s – it’s another if that relationship takes priority over your feelings.
5) It shouldn’t be hard because you constantly doubt the genuineness of your feelings.
It’s natural to wonder if this relationship is working during the first weeks of any new phase of the relationship (becoming exclusive, moving in, etc.). It’s a problem if you have to continually convince yourself that you love this person and want to be in relationship with them.
Date: 4/9/2015 7:00 AM EDT