Mind-Matters Podcast Series #4: Judith Hammond


This episode is a conversation with Judith Hammond who I first met in 2013 as we were on the same NLP Trainers course. Judith tals about being abused by her mother physically, mentally, verbally and psychologically/emotionally.

Judith explains how this conditioned her through her life and how she coped with this and work place bullying, abusive relationships and always managing to find the reserves to be there for her own kids despite all this.

It’s a deep and emotional conversation full of amazing insight into her life and how she has dealt with traumatic experiences. I have no doubt that like me, you will gain so much from it.

If you enjoyed listening to this episode and the others then please share them with your friends, family, colleagues and leave your thoughts and comments and your own experiences.

 

 

Mind-Matters Series Video #10: Refresh Your Mind & Body


This is a short video about refreshing your mind by moving your body. It’s based on the simple principle off doing something positive for yourself when you feel good and making it a habit, because when it becomes a habit, it makes it much easier and more natural do something positive for yourself when you feel negative or unwell.

Get started today no matter how you feel and begin to make your new habit.

 

Mind-Matters Podcast #2: Tamsin Astor


This week started with an interview for my Mind-Matters Podcast and in this second epsiode I talk to Tamsin Astor PhD who talks about dealing with her youngest son being diagnosed at the age of just 2 with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, whihc is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

She talks about the struggle to get her concerns heard and recognised by the doctors, hearing the diagnisis and dealing with the whole treatment process and being strong for her son, her family and herself.

She talks later about her divorce and how now, ten years on her son is clear and healthy and how they are planning a ten year celebration of him being clear.

It’s a highly emotive story, hugely inspirational and I hope you get as much from it as I have.

You can find out more about Tamsin by going to her website www.tamsinastor.com

Click on the link below to go to the Podcast and click on episode 2 to hear the interview with Tamsin.

Enjoy

Mind-Matters Podcast

Mind-Matters Series Video#9: Why Do We Limit Ourselves?


It’s a strange thing about human beings, we are often our own worst enemy because of how and what we think. We deny ourselves the opportunity to improve and grow purely because we limit ourselves through a lack of self-belief, lack of confidence and all because we think we can’t do it, can’t have it, can’t be it, don’t deserve it. These thoughts come about through conditioning from other people as well as our own homegrown rhetoric and are often developed through a lack of focus and understanding of what it is we actually want for ourselves.

This lack of awareness and focus can be hugely detrimental to our lives in terms of achieving what we want, yet it can take just a few minutes a day of learning to focus our minds, clearing the crap (thoughts and behaviours) and setting it on the right path at the beginning of each day enables you to become aware of what does make you happy, what really flicks your switch and then you can start to take action and make changes in your life and design the one YOU want and not one that others want for you.

I hope this video gives you food for thought and is a starting point and/or a catalyst for you to start from.

As always I’m here for guidance.

Simon

Creative Reframing


A wise old gentleman had retired and bought himself a modest home near a school. He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace and contentment. However, when the new school year began, the very next afternoon three young boys, full of youthful exuberance and post school enthusiasm, came down his street, banging merrily on every dustbin they encountered. The crashing percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old man decided it was time to take some action.

The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street. He stopped them and said, “You boys are a lot of fun. I like to see you express your exuberance like that. In fact, I used to do the same thing when I was your age. Will you do me a favour? I’ll give you each a dollar if you’ll promise to come around every day and do your thing.” The kids were elated and continued to do a bang-up job on the dustbins.

After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids again, but this time he had a sad smile on his face. “This recessions really putting a big dent in my income,” he told them. “From now on, I’ll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans.” The noisemakers were obviously displeased, but they accepted his offer and continued their afternoon ruckus. A few days later, the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way down the street.

“Look,” he said, “I haven’t received my Social Security check yet, so I’m not going to be able to give you more than 25 cents. Will that be okay?” “A quarter?” the drum leader exclaimed. “If you think were going to waste our time, beating these cans around for a quarter, you’re mad! No way, we quit!” And the old man enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days.

Changes In Treatment Approaches For PTSD


Below is an article taken from the APA website that I find extremely interesting and reassuring that the military is not restricting themselves to CBT and EMDR in treating serving personnel struggling with PTSD.

A psychodynamic treatment for PTSD shows promise for soldiers
March 2012, Vol 43, No. 3
Print version: page 11

PTSD
While cognitive-behavioral therapy remains the most well-researched treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, it doesn’t help all patients. That’s especially true for service members who have been perpetrators as well as victims of violence, says Russell B. Carr, MD, an Army psychiatrist.
“It’s a much more complicated experience, and they often feel a lot of shame in addition to the usual PTSD symptoms,” he says.

For the past six years, Carr has been working with soldiers who haven’t responded to cognitive-behavioral therapy, and he’s developed a new treatment rooted in intersubjective systems theory. This modern take on psychoanalysis pioneered by Robert Stolorow, PhD, posits that the heart of trauma is shame and isolation.
Carr’s therapy, described in the October 2011 issue of Psychoanalytic Psychology, has shown promise helping soldiers who haven’t responded to CBT by addressing the existential dread dredged up by trauma, and the feeling that their entire world has lost meaning. Though Carr’s goals are ambitious, his intervention is relatively short—requiring twice-weekly sessions for up to three months. As a result, the therapist must clearly define goals, keep conversations on track and quickly establish rapport with clients, Carr found.

Short-term therapy—which is typical of CBT, but less common with psychoanalytic approaches—is often the only option in military settings, he says.
“In the military, there is frequently the situation where a patient or therapist is leaving soon,” says Carr. “It’s a transient population, and it limits the length of time we have to work together.”

A key part of intersubjective therapy is helping clients put their feelings around traumatic experiences into words. These feelings aren’t always negative. One patient described in the article found he enjoyed the smell of burning human flesh, and was later horrified and ashamed of his initial reaction. By expressing empathy and not rejecting the soldier, Carr helped the soldier process the experience and reconnect with the civilian world.

Convincing soldiers that a therapist—as well as friends and family—can understand a little of what they are going through lessens their PTSD symptoms, Carr found. In some cases, soldiers even learn from the experience, he says. “Recognizing the fragility of life, you can refocus on what’s important to you, and not waste time on things that aren’t.”
—S. Dingfelder

Hypnosis and Fear of Needles & Injections


Needle Phobia Facts

The Fear of Needles Has Many Names and It Is Very Real
Trypanophobia? If you’ve ever tried to search for “needle phobia” or “fear of injections,” you’ve probably come across some very odd and confusing terms, yet this condition is very real, and a whopping 20 percent of people have a fear of needles. There are a lot of risks associated with the fear of needles. It can prevent people from going to the doctor, getting routine blood tests, or following prescribed treatments. Modern medicine is making increased use of blood tests and injectable medications, and forgoing medical treatment because of a fear of needles puts people at a greater risk for illness and even death. For example, diabetics who skip glucose monitoring and insulin injections can put themselves in danger of serious complications.

HERE ARE THE SIX MEDICAL TERMS THAT ARE RELATED TO FEARING NEEDLES:

  1. Aichmophobia: an intense or morbid fear of sharp or pointed objects
  2. Algophobia: an intense or morbid fear of pain
  3. Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles
  4. Enetophobia: a fear of pins
  5. Trypanophobia: a fear of injections
  6. Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT FEARING NEEDLES

Approximately 20 percent of the general population has some degree of fear associated with needles and injections. Traumatic experiences in childhood form the foundation of these fears—like seeing an older sibling cry when getting their shots.

As much as 10 percent of people suffer from a phobia called trypanophobia, which is a fear of needles and injections. Of those who have a fear of needles, at least 20 percent avoid medical treatment as a result.

The fear of needles is both a learned and an inherited condition. A fairly small number inherit a fear of needles, but most people acquire needle phobia around the age of four to six.

Below is my research into studies conducted using hypnosis to reduce or remove the fear of needles and injections.

Study 1: Hypnosis Assists to Enable Patients to Receive Essential Injections

Fear of injections: the value of hypnosis in facilitating clinical treatment
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.223/abstract

Results: Successful outcomes for the three patients described showed that hypnosis, adaptably adjoined with mainly behavioral and cognitive methods of counseling, can be of very great assistance in enabling patients to receive injections essential to treatment, and can usefully be made part of multidisciplinary team provision.

Notes: The present paper describes three patients with different problems who had high levels of fear or anxiety about receiving injections in botulinum toxin clinics. Individual differences in causes, history and personality made an integrated approach the logical choice.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 100-106, June 2001
By: David Y. Medd


Study 2: Hypnosis Effective for Needle Phobia

Desensitization Using Meditation-Hypnosis to Control “Needle” Phobia in Two Dental Patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515441/pdf/anesthprog00099-0027.pdf

Results: The researchers conclude that these case studies are of interest for the following reasons: (1) They show the effectiveness of meditation-hypnosis for “needle” phobia. (2) Meditation-hypnosis is a rapid, effective antianxiety technique that can be used in systematic desensitization. (3) Even long-standing “needle” phobia cases can be effectively treated with this combined technique. (4) The meditation-hypnosis technique is helpful in generalization to other anxiety-induced situations.

Notes: Two case studies were conducted.

Case Study 1
Meditation-hypnosis was induced. Within a few minutes, the subject was deeply relaxed. At first, the patient exclaimed “I’m afraid” but after a few repetitions of her mantra (meditation word), she was again deeply relaxed. While the patient was meditating, the following items were presented and well tolerated: placement of dental towel; turning on of unit light; backward inclination of the dental chair; having the patient maintain an open mouth for thirty seconds; insertion of author’s (DM) index finger into floor of mouth; insertion of saliva ejector into same area; placement of author’s index finger over alveolar mucosa of upper right central incisor; placement of topical anesthetic into same site; and finally giving one-third of a capsule of local anesthesia into that same region. As the patient did so well, at this and at the following visit, other items were added including, running the ultra high speed contra angle in the vicinity of the tooth for fifteen seconds; releasing water spray into the mouth and aspirating it; maintaining an open mouth for fifteen minutes and finally running the contra-angle for a complete minute with water spray in the mouth. The patient was then able to go to her dentist for subsequent treatment.

Case Study 2
The patient was taught meditation-hypnosis and was able to achieve good relaxation within seven minutes. She was then instructed to practice the technique by herself at home. She stated that it helped her reduce her overall anxiety with good results. The patient did not return for more hypnosis, but she spoke the researchers by telephone. She said that she was able to go to her general dentist and have the local anesthetic injections for the tooth extractions. Dentures had been made and she was very pleased. The patient apologized for not making the final hypnosis appointment but she said that it was not necessary as the relaxation technique allowed her to have the necessary injections and dental work done.

Anaesthesia Progress, May/June 1983
By: Donald R. Morse D.D.S., M.A. (Biol.), M.A. (Psychol.), Bernard B. Cohen Ph.D. Professor and Research Director, Department of Endodontology, Temple University School of Dentistry, 3223 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania


Study 3: Hypnosis for Needle Phobia of Child

Brief hypnosis for severe needle phobia using switch-wire imagery on a 5-year old.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17596226

Results: Following a 10-minute conversational hypnotic induction, the 5-year-old was able to use hypnotic switch-wire imagery to dissociate sensation and movement in all four limbs in turn. Two days later the boy experienced painless venepuncture without the use of topical local anesthetic cream. There was no movement in the ‘switched-off’ arm during i.v. cannula placement. This report adds to the increasing body of evidence that hypnosis represents a useful, additional tool that anesthetists may find valuable in everyday practice.

Notes: This was a case study of severe needle phobia in a 5-year-old boy who learned to utilize a self-hypnosis technique to facilitate intravenous (i.v.) cannula (a tube that can be inserted into the body, often for the delivery or removal of fluid or for the gathering of data) placement. He was diagnosed with Bruton’s disease at 5 months of age and required monthly intravenous infusions. The boy had received inhalational general anesthesia for i.v. cannulation on 58 occasions. Initially, this was because of difficult venous access but more recently because of severe distress and agitation when approached with a cannula. Oral premedication with midazolam or ketamine proved unsatisfactory and hypnotherapy was therefore considered.

Paediatr Anaesth. 2007 Aug;17(8):800-4
By: A. M. Cyna, D. Tomkins, T. Maddock, D. Barker, Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Study 4: Olfactory/Smell Hypnosis for Needle Phobia

Hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC): case studies of needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD
http://thethrivingmind.com/blog/hypnotherapeutic-olfactory-conditioning-hoc-case-studies-of-needle-phobia-panic-disorder-and-combat-induced-ptsd/

Results: The authors present 3 cases, patients with needle phobia, panic disorder, and combat-induced PTSD who were successfully treated with the hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning HOC technique.

Notes: The authors developed a technique, which they call hypnotherapeutic olfactory conditioning (HOC), for exploiting the ability of scents to arouse potent emotional reactions. During hypnosis, the patient learns to associate pleasant scents with a sense of security and self-control. The patient can subsequently use this newfound association to overcome phobias and prevent panic attacks.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 57.2 (2009): 184-197
By: Eitan G. Abramowitz, Lichtenberg, Pesach, Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Hypnosis and Pain


As a sufferer of chronic pain from various injuries over the years, the main being my left shoulder which is severely arthritic and having had 7 surgeries so far with the 8th planned for a few weeks time to fuse the joint. I am therefore acutely aware of how pain can interfere with everyday functioning both physically and mentally. I have been undertaking a meta analysis of research papers and projects for quite some time now and came across a number of studies which have shown that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during a variety of medical conditions including burn-wound debridement, [1] bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth.[2][3] The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.[4]

Hypnosis is effective in reducing pain from[5] and coping with cancer [6] and other chronic conditions.[7]Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[8][9][10][11] Some practitioners have claimed hypnosis might help boost the immune system of people with cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support the idea that hypnosis can influence the development or progression of cancer.”[12]

Hypnosis has been used as a pain relieving technique during dental surgery and related pain management regimens as well. Researchers like Jerjes and his team have reported that hypnosis can help even those patients who have acute to severe orodental pain.[13] Additionally, Meyerson and Uziel have suggested that hypnotic methods have been found to be highly fruitful for alleviating anxiety in patients suffering from severe dental phobia.[14]

For some psychologists who uphold the altered state theory of hypnosis, pain relief in response to hypnosis is said to be the result of the brain’s dual-processing functionality. This effect is obtained either through the process of selective attention or dissociation, in which both theories involve the presence of activity in pain receptive regions of the brain, and a difference in the processing of the stimuli by the hypnotised subject.[15]

The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject’s responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.[16]

Study 1: Hypnosis and Pain – Review of Clinical Trials
Hypnotic Treatment of Chronic Pain
http://www.mirtharust.com/articles/Chronic_Pain.pdf

Notes: This paper reviewed various controlled trials involving the use of hypnosis to control pain. It concluded that hypnosis can provide a significantly greater reduction in pain than physical therapy, education, or the management of medications. It even found that the hypnotic treatment did not even have to be called ‘hypnosis’ for it to be effective.

J Behav Med. 2006 Jan 11;1-30 By: M. Jensen, D. R. Patterson
Author Affiliations: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington. University of Washington Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, Box 356044, University of Washington Medical Centre, 1959 N.E. Pacific, Seattle, Washington, 98195-6044

Study 2: Hypnosis and Pain – Another Review of Studies
Pain Management: Hypnosis and Its Place in Modern Pain Management – Review Article.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17767210

Notes: This paper reviewed the various scientific studies that showed hypnosis was an effective treatment for pain management. It concluded that in spite of some of the “methodological flaws” involved in many of the studies, there was “sufficient clinical evidence of sufficient quality” to conclude that hypnosis is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Niger Postgrad Med J. 2007 Sept;14(3):238-41 By: F. E. Amadasun, Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Study 3: Hypnosis and Pain – Yet Another Review of Studies
A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia: How Effective is Hypnosis?
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140008410045#preview

This paper reviewed 18 studies conducted on the use of hypnosis to relieve pain over a two-decade period. It concluded that hypnosis provided an effective way to help people deal with pain because it had a “moderate to large hypnoanalgesic effect.” It further concluded that hypnosis should be more widely used in the treatment of pain.
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 48, Issue 2, 2000, pages 138-153 By: Guy H. Montgomerya, Katherine N. Duhamela, William H. Redda, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

Study 4: Hypnosis – Alternative to Sedation for Surgery
Hypnosedation: A Valuable Alternative to Tradition Anaesthetic Techniques.Techniques.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10499382

Notes: This paper reports on the anecdotal use of hypnosis in over 1650 surgeries that were performed in the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, at the University of Liège in Belgium. It confirmed that hypnosedation combined with local anaesthesia can be used as an alternative to more traditional means of sedation.
Acta Chir Belg. 1999; 99:141-146
M. E. Faymonville, M. Meurisse, J. Fissette, Dept. of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Univ. of Liega, Beligum

Study 5: Hypnosis for Pain During Plastic Surgery
Psychological Approaches During Conscious Sedation. Hypnosis Versus Stress Reducing Strategies: A Prospective Randomised Study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9469526

Results: Not only did the group using hypnosis require significantly lower levels of midazolam and alfentanil than the control group; they reported experiencing significantly lower levels pain and anxiety; and a greater feeling of being in control during the entire process. Their vital signs were also found to be significantly more stable than those of the control group. This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery.

Notes: Sixty patients patients who were going to have plastic surgery using local anaesthetic and intravenous sedation (they could request midazolam and alfentanil if needed) were randomly placed into a control group where they were taught strategies for reducing stress, or into a group where they would receive hypnosis during the surgery. Their behaviour was monitored by a psychologist before, during, and after surgery where their levels of anxiety and pain, and feelings of being in control, were recorded.
Pain 1997, Dec;73(3)361-7
By: M. E. Faymonvillea, P. H. Mambourg, J. Jorisa, B. Vrijensc, J. Fissetted, A. Alberte, M. Lamyf

Study 6: Hypnosis for Pain – Angioplasty Procedure
Use of Hypnosis Before and During Angioplasty.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1951141

Results: This study found that the surgeons involved were able to keep the balloon inflated 25% longer with the hypnotised group. Forty-four percent of the control group also asked for more pain medication, compared with only 13% of the hypnotised group.

Notes: Thirty-two subjects were recruited for this study. Sixteen were randomly assigned to be in the control group and 16 were hypnotised before they underwent an angioplasty (a procedure where a balloon is inserted into a vein and then inflated to help open the vein while the patient remains conscious and aware).
Am J Clin Hypn. 1991 Jul;34(1):29-37
By: E. J. Weinstein, P. K. Au, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, USA

Study 7: Reason Why Hypnosis Alleviates Pain (not Because of release of Endorphins)
Naloxone Fails to Reverse Hypnotic Alleviation of Chronic Pain
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6415744

Notes: Some researchers had previously believed that the reason hypnosis helps to reduce chronic pain was that it caused the body to produce endorphins (our natural pain killers). To test this theory, 6 patients suffering from chronic pain (caused by peripheral nerve irritation) were taught self-hypnosis to reduce their feelings of pain. They were then randomly given either a saline solution (a placebo) or naloxone (a drug that is known to block the effects of endorphins) and were tested for pain at 5 minute intervals for an hour. If the analgesic effect of hypnosis was somehow caused by the internal production of endorphins, then naloxone would have caused the pain to return. However, the results of this study demonstrated that naloxone had no effect on the power of hypnosis to reduce pain. As a result, it was determined that endorphins are not involved in hypnotic pain control.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;81(2):140-3
By: D. Spiegel, L. H. Albert, Dept. of Psych., Stanford Univ.

Study 8: Hypnosis for Pain – Fibromyalgia
Functional Anatomy of Hypnotic Analgesia: A PET Study of Patients with Fibromyalgia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10700332

Results: The subjects all reported experiencing less pain when they were in the state of hypnosis, then they did when they were in a state of rest. The researchers also found that there were significant differences in the way the blood flowed through the brain in these two states. They found that during hypnotically-induced analgesia the blood flow “was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex.” This study proved that hypnosis leads to real physical changes in the brain.

Notes: In an attempt to understand what happens in the brain when a person is hypnotised and then given suggestions for pain relief, subjects were recruited who were suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia. PET (positron emission tomography) scans were then taken of their brains when they were resting and then when they were in a state of hypnotically-induced analgesia.
European Journal of Pain. Vol. 3(1) 1999; 7-12
By: G. Wik, H. Fischer, B. Bragée, B. Finer, M. Fredrikson, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Study 9: Hypnosis for Burn Pains
Hypnosis for the treatment of burn pain.
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1383302

Results: Only hypnotised subjects reported significant pain reductions relative to pretreatment baseline. This result was corroborated by nurse VAS ratings. Findings indicate that hypnosis is a viable adjunct treatment for burn pain.

Notes: The clinical utility of hypnosis for controlling pain during burn wound debridement was investigated. Thirty hospitalised burn patients and their nurses submitted visual analog scales (VAS) for pain during 2 consecutive daily wound debridements (the process of removing nonliving tissue from burns). On the 1st day, patients and nurses submitted baseline VAS ratings. Before the next day’s wound debridement, subjects received hypnosis, attention and information, or no treatment.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology [1992, 60(5):713-717
By: D. R. Patterson, J. J. Everett, G. L. Burns, J. A. Marvin, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195

Study 10: Self-Hypnosis for Pain and Anxiety During Biopsy Outpatient Procedures
Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: A prospective randomised trial with women undergoing large core breast biopsy
http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(06)00393-9/abstract

Results: Women’s anxiety increased significantly in the standard group (logit slope=0.18, p<0.001), did not change in the empathy group (slope=-0.04, p=0.45), and decreased significantly in the hypnosis group (slope=-0.27, p<0.001). Pain increased significantly in all three groups (logit slopes: standard care=0.53, empathy=0.37, hypnosis=0.34; all p<0.001) though less steeply with hypnosis and empathy than standard care (p=0.024 and p=0.018, respectively). Room time and cost were not significantly different in an univariate ANOVA despite hypnosis and empathy requiring an additional professional: 46min/$161 for standard care, 43min/$163 for empathy, and 39min/$152 for hypnosis. We conclude that, while both structured empathy and hypnosis decrease procedural pain and anxiety, hypnosis provides more powerful anxiety relief without undue cost and thus appears attractive for outpatient pain management.

Notes: Medical procedures in outpatient settings have limited options of managing pain and anxiety pharmacologically. We therefore assessed whether this can be achieved by adjunct self-hypnotic relaxation in a common and particularly anxiety provoking procedure. Two hundred and thirty-six women referred for large core needle breast biopsy to an urban tertiary university-affiliated medical centre were prospectively randomised to receive standard care (n=76), structured empathic attention (n=82), or self-hypnotic relaxation (n=78) during their procedures. Patients’ self-ratings at 10min-intervals of pain and anxiety on 0-10 verbal analog scales with 0=no pain/anxiety at all, 10=worst pain/anxiety possible, were compared in an ordinal logistic regression model.
PAIN, Volume 126, Issue 1, Pages 155-164, 15 December 2006
By: Elvira V. Lang, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre/Harvard Medical School, Department of Radiology
Kevin S. Berbaum, Salomao Faintuch, Olga Hatsiopoulou, Noami Halsey, Xinyu Li, Michael L. Berbaum, Eleanor Laser, Janet Baum

Study 11: Hypnosis for HIV Neuropathic Pain
Hypnosis for Treatment of HIV Neuropathic Pain: A Preliminary Report
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pme.12074/abstract;jsessionid=FDE3EE6797A0D9728AC3692148843D74.d01t02

Results: Mean SFMPQ total pain scores were reduced from 17.8 to 13.2 (F[1, 35]?=?16.06, P?<?0.001). The reductions were stable throughout the 7-week post intervention period. At exit, 26 out of 36 (72%) had improved pain scores. Of the 26 who improved, mean pain reduction was 44%. Improvement was found irrespective of whether or not participants were taking pain medications. There was also evidence for positive changes in measures of affect and quality of life.

Notes: Painful HIV distal sensory polyneuropathy (HIV-DSP) is the most common nervous system disorder in HIV patients. The symptoms adversely affect patients’ quality of life and often diminish their capacity for independent self-care. No interventions have been shown to be consistently effective in treating the disorder. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether hypnosis could be a useful intervention in the management of painful HIV-DSP. Participants were 36 volunteers with HIV-DSP who received three weekly training sessions in self-hypnosis. Participants were followed for pain and its sequelae for 7 weeks prior to the intervention, and for 7 weeks post intervention. Participants remained on the same standard-of-care pain regimen for the entire 17 weeks of the protocol. The primary outcome measure was the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire scale (SFMPQ) total pain score. Other outcome measures assessed changes in affective state and quality of life.
Pain Medicine online version of journal published online April 8, 2013
By: David Dorfman PhD1,*, Mary Catherine George MM2, Julie Schnur PhD3, David M. Simpson MD2, George Davidson PhD2, Guy Montgomery PhD3
Author Information:

  1. Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  2. Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  3. Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA

Additional References:

  1. Patterson, David R.; Questad, Kent A.; De Lateur, Barbara J. (1989). “Hypnotherapy as an adjunct to narcotic analgesia for the treatment of pain for burn debridement”. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 31 (3): 156–163.
  2. Mendoza, M. E.; Capafons, A. (2009). “Efficacy of clinical hypnosis: A summary of its empirical evidence” (PDF). Papeles del Psicólogo 30 (2): 98–116.
  3. Ewin, D.M. (2001). “The use of hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients” (PDF). International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis: 274–283.
  4. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  5. Butler, B. (1954). “The use of hypnosis in the care of the cancer patient” (PDF). Cancer 7 (1): 1–14.
  6. Peynovska, R.; Fisher, J.; Oliver, D.; Matthew, V. M. (2003). “Efficacy of hypnotherapy as a supplement therapy in cancer intervention” (PDF). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 30 June – 3 July 2003.
  7. Nash, Michael R. “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”. Scientific American: July 2001
  8. Spiegel, D.; Moore, R. (1997). “Imagery and hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients”. Oncology 11 (8): 1179–1195.
  9. Garrow, D.; Egede, L. E. (2006). “National patterns and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine use in adults with diabetes”. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 12 (9): 895–902.
  10. Mascot, C. (2004). “Hypnotherapy: A complementary therapy with broad applications”. Diabetes Self Management 21 (5): 15–18.
  11. Kwekkeboom, K.L.; Gretarsdottir, E. (2006). “Systematic review of relaxation interventions for pain”. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 38 (3): 269–277.
  12. “Hypnosis”. American Cancer Society. November 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  13. Jerjes; et al. (2007). “Psychological intervention in acute dental pain: Review”. British Dental Journal 202.
  14. Meyerson, J.; Uziel, N. “Application of hypno-dissociative strategies during dental treatment of patients with severe dental phobia”. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 63.
  15. Myers, David G. (2014). Psychology: Tenth Edition in Modules (10th ed.). Worth Publishers. pp. 112–13.
  16. “Hypnosis, suggestion, and placebo in the reduction of experimental pain” faqs.org

Why Are Our Beliefs So Important?


Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis.

The concept of belief presumes a subject (a person) and an object of belief (the idea). So, like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs (that are actively thought about) and dispositional beliefs (that may be ascribed to someone who has not thought about the issue). For example, if I asked you “do you believe tigers wear high heels?” you might answer that you don’t, despite the fact you’ve never had to think about this situation before.

This has important implications for understanding the neuropsychology and neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent, then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail.

Philosopher Lynne Rudder baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief:

Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct – Sometimes called the “mental sentence theory,” in this conception, beliefs exist as coherent entities, and the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view.

Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions – This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we know it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says “I believe that snow is white” and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour. Most notably, philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong and will be completely superseded by a radically different theory that will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it – Known as eliminativism, this view (most notably proposed by Paul and Patricia Churchland) argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine, or the phlogiston theory of combustion. In these cases science hasn’t provided us with a more detailed account of these theories, but completely rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by entirely different accounts. The Churchlands argue that our common-sense concept of belief is similar in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain, the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety.

Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong; however, treating people, animals, and even computers as if they had beliefs is often a successful strategy – The major proponents of this view, Daniel Dennett and Lynne Rudder Baker are both eliminativists in that they hold that beliefs are not a scientifically valid concept, but they don’t go as far as rejecting the concept of belief as a predictive device. Dennett gives the example of playing a computer at chess. While few people would agree that the computer held beliefs, treating the computer as if it did (e.g. that the computer believes that taking the opposition’s queen will give it a considerable advantage) is likely to be a successful and predictive strategy. In this understanding of belief, named by Dennett the intentional stance, belief-based explanations of mind and behaviour are at a different level of explanation and are not reducible to those based on fundamental neuroscience, although both may be explanatory at their own level.

So after all that, how do we define Belief?

Definition: A belief is a Driver (usually Unconscious) we hold and deeply trust about something. They can trigger our Values, Emotions & Behaviours. Beliefs tend to be buried deep within the subconscious. We seldom question beliefs; we hold them to be truths even when there is no solid evidence to support the belief.

A Belief is aroused by an Event e.g. without being aware of it, Andy held the belief that it was ok to openly criticise people. Alienation of his friends caused him to identify, question, and change this belief about what is acceptable to others.

We each behave as though our beliefs are true. What we perceive defines what we believe and this belief or perception is what guides our behaviour. A Belief is a form of judging something to be true, sitting somewhere between opinion and knowledge. Opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. Knowledge is learnt expertise, skills, facts and information.

A simple definition for a belief is: A belief is an assumed truth. We create beliefs to anchor our understanding of the world around us and thus, once we have formed a belief, we will tend to persevere with that belief, sometimes even when holding onto that belief is detrimental to us.

Change begins with awareness. Awareness begins with learning about how beliefs and emotional reaction are created by choice.

Some fundamental information about beliefs:

  • They may or may not be based on truth
  • They can also be easily formed out of emotion relating to one or many incidents
  • They may or may not be supported by irrefutable evidence
  • They usually have an emotional attachment, which strengthens belief
  • They do not update themselves automatically and therefore are stored at the initial stage (emotional state, etc.)

There are 3 Basic Types of Beliefs

1. Casual Beliefs: Everyday, practical beliefs that don‘t matter much if we get them wrong such as – I believe it will rain tomorrow

2. Conditioned Beliefs: These come from an assessment of what has happened in the past and then predicts the same results in the future. So we get beliefs such as I‘m no good at this or I can‘t do that. These beliefs, if negative, can stifle our potential and limit our lives.

3. Core Beliefs: Can be positive or negative, lead us to be an optimist or pessimist and decide the answers to such questions as Who am I?, What is life about? What we learn and experience in early life shapes beliefs about the world and ourselves. Core beliefs are like a mental framework that supports our thoughts, beliefs, values and perception. Core beliefs are the deepest of all because what we believe “deep down inside” underpins our value system and our attitudes and opinions. This is one of the reasons why core beliefs are seldom questioned even when they are causing enormous problems within the person who holds that core belief.

Last of all, there is a fourth type of belief that overlaps all three previous types and these are Limiting Beliefs. These can be hugely destructive and even lead us to the point of complete hopelessness and suicide. Now of course, this does not have to be the case and is rare in the grand scheme of things, however, these limiting beliefs that we all have from time to time can really hold us back from achieving what we want to achieve in life.

“Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.”

Damn right it does.

The one common false belief holding you back is that you think that your past determines who you are. If that were true, no one would ever overcome adversity, benefit from a second chance, or improve themselves through education, self-discipline, or perseverance.

Your past actions, good and bad, can be judged by you and by others. You can learn from your errors as well as your successes. Others can think what they will, but neither your reflections on your past nor others’ opinions of you determine who you are now or in the future.

Believing that your past defines who you are is a toxic fallacy. Consider a circus elephant chained by one leg to a stake in the ground: Why doesn’t the elephant just pull the stake loose and wander away? Because it couldn’t do so when it was young. And so the adult elephant is still restrained—not by the chain, but by its past, or rather, the learned associations from its past (Chain around leg means “can’t walk”).

Cognitive dissonance is the culprit that motivates us to maintain the belief that what we were in the past is all that we ever will be. Leon Festinger originated the concept back in the 1950s. He also proposed the principle of cognitive consistency—that is, that we seek to maintain mental and emotional balance by thinking and acting in compliance with who we think we are. And who do we think we are? The same person we have always been. And so when we attempt to think and act differently, cognitive dissonance sets in.

Here’s the trick— metacognition. That simply means being able to observe one’s own thinking and feelings objectively and unemotionally, so that one can assess what may be “pushing our buttons.” If you want to change but experience cognitive dissonance in the process, metacognition can help you identify dissonance as a normal but unhelpful reaction. With effort you can then master the dissonance and proceed with the changes you want to make, until those changes become the new normal.

Are you chained to the past? If so, that chain exists only in your mind. You can remember and reflect on the past without being defined and limited by it.

What’s stopping you? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Negative_thinking-limiting-beliefs

Limiting Beliefs are beliefs we have that limit the way we live, or from being, doing or having what we want. We all have limiting beliefs from time to time in our lives, particularly when we have to learn something new that is way out of our comfort zone, beyond our current skill set or just so completely different from anything we’ve done before.

If you speak to any Olympic athlete they will tell you that there have been times when they wanted to quit because at times they felt it was just too hard to achieve that small improvement in performance to throw or jump further, to swim or run faster. They constantly have help from their coaches to reframe these negative thoughts that create limiting beliefs.

I remember very clearly several occasions during my time in basic training to become a Royal Marine where I wanted to quit. There were a couple of key tests that pushed me way beyond my limits at that time and the self induced pressure from that put my mind into a negative spiral of doubt and self criticism. My training team new I could do it, it was purely that stress and pressure had sown that seed of doubt and reframed my usual positive outlook into a limiting belief about these key tests. Just as the Olympic coaches do with their athletes, my training did the same for me and reminded me of everything I had achieved so far and what I was working so hard for, that elusive and exclusive Green Beret. Something I had wanted for a long time and this stirred the fire in my belly and revved up my determination, motivation, commitment and desire to refuse to quit until I had that beret on my head. They reminded me of the Royal Marines Corps Spirit, Values and Ethos which are:

The Commando Spirit

These four elements of the Commando Spirit; courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, were etched into my mind during my basic eight months training and are well known to all Royal Marine recruits by the time they complete their Commando training. But these constituents of the ‘Commando Spirit’ are what make the Royal Marines individual ‘commandos’. What shapes the way they work as a team, giving the Royal Marines its special identity, the way they carry their duties, is a second set of group values laid out below. They should seem quite familiar. It is the combination of individual Commando Spirit qualities, coupled with these group values, that together forms the Royal Marine ethos.

Royal Marine ethos = Individual Commando Sprit + Collective Group Values

  • Courage
  • Unity
  • Determination
  • Adaptability
  • Unselfishness
  • Humility
  • Cheerfulness in the Face of Adversity
  • Professional Standards
  • Fortitude
  • Commando Humour

These elements collectively are what have stood the test of time for me and all of my clients that I have worked with over the last twenty years in smashing Limiting Beliefs, these beliefs fall into five main categories:

1. Any ‘feelings’ that you can’t feel: If the description you give yourself or someone else gives you which, when you “try it on,” is something you cannot feel without hallucinating substantially. Eg ‘I feel I have to worry’. Also, where the word ‘feel’ could be replaced by ‘believe’ and the sentence still makes sense, then that could indicate a limiting belief. Eg ‘I feel (believe) people don’t like me’.

2. Negations: Anytime there is a negation describing anything, which might be an emotion eg ‘I’m not clever’, ‘I can’t have a good relationship’

3. Comparatives: Whenever there are comparisons. Eg ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t make enough money/friends’

4. Limiting Decisions: Whenever a Limiting Belief is adopted, a Limiting Decision preceded that acceptance. A Limiting Decision preceded even the beliefs that were adopted from other people. Eg ‘I should know all the answers’, ‘I should get it right every time’.

5. Modal Operators of Necessity: Words such as have to, got to, must, ought, should.

The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people (such as children, students, or employees) the better they perform. The Pygmalion effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regard to education and social class. The principle works in both ways, if you have high expectations then people will generally respond positively and achieve what’s expected, equally on the other side of the coin, if we have low expectations of people then they will respond according to our attitude and behaviour towards them.

Pygmalion_Effect

Some examples of Limiting Beliefs are as follows:

I must stay the way I don’t want to be because__________________________________

I can’t get what I want because______________________________________________

I’ll never get better because_________________________________________________

My biggest problem is______________because_________________________________

I’ll always have this problem because__________________________________________

I don’t deserve_________________because____________________________________

I’m not good enough to_____________________________________________________

NB. It is important to distinguish between statements of fact/truth, and limiting beliefs, for example:

POSSIBLE TRUTH/FACT ————————— LIMITING DECISION

I don’t have any money ———————— I can’t make any money.

I am not a good athlete ———————— I cannot become a good athlete.

I don’t have any qualifications —————- I need qualifications to succeed.

I don’t trust people ——————————- People are not trustworthy

Below is a little exercise that explains how to change or reframe a limiting belief so that you change your beliefs/thinking/attitude/feelings which changes your actions/behaviours which changes the results you achieve in your life.

Beliefs-Behaviours-Results

I would really like you to  consider this exercise and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief or had a long held, conditioned limiting belief that held you back from achieving something you really wanted, perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. Use this exercise to draw out the detail of a limiting belief/s and use this knowledge to reframe it into an empowering belief that drives your life in the direction you want it to go.

EXERCISE:

Every single one of your beliefs is important to you because what you believe determines who and how you are.

I would like you to use this cheat sheet and take some time to think about the times in your life where you have doubted yourself and created a limiting belief/s that have held you back from achieving something you really wanted. Perhaps not permanently but something that slowed you down and got in your way. I recommend writing a description of each belief in as much detail as possible so that you really understand what it is made of, this makes it much easier to identify what you can, want and need to change in order to reframe it and change it into a positive, empowering belief.

Answer the following questions and write your answers down:

  • How does it make you feel when you think about that limiting belief?
  • Can you identify what changed and when, if it did?
  • What limiting belief/s do you have right now? How does that make you feel?
  • What do you want to believe about that situation, person, people etc that would change the outcome to one that is positive for you?
  • How does changing the belief about that situation make you feel?

Part 1: What are My Limiting Beliefs

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Part 2: Now I Know My Limiting Beliefs, What Can I Reframe Them Into Empowering Beliefs

Use this section to reframe and rewrite your old limiting beliefs into new Empowering beliefs that bring a whole new spin, a new energy to them as they transform you and lead your life in a direction that you may have been striving for and now it will happen all by itself as you change your thinking, behaviour and results.

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My final thought is this.

Screenshot 2017-03-28 12.24.49

References:

Bell, V.; Halligan, P. W.; Ellis, H. D. (2006). “A Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief”. In Halligan, Peter W.; Aylward, Mansel. The Power of Belief: Psychological Influence on Illness, Disability, and Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-853010-2.
Jump up: Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07320-1.