Connecting to Yourself

I remember it very clearly – standing there at the sink in the boys’ bathroom of my school, staring at myself in the mirror.  I was eight years old.


I had recently found my father’s photo album in the attic of my house.  He had died when I was a baby; I had no memory of him, only imaginings and questions.  One of the pictures in the album showed him at sixteen, on a diving board, from behind, naked.  My father was tall, with a manly, muscular physique.


I wondered about myself: would I be like that, in eight more years?  What would I be like?  Eight years seemed an impossibly long time to me – a lifetime (as it was, so far!).  I peered into the mirror, pretending it was magic, trying to see the sixteen-year-old me in there.
If he could look back at eight-year-old me, what would he think?  Would he like me?  Would he approve of me?  Or would he think I was impossibly silly and childish?  Would he even remember being me?  What would he be able to tell me?


“Watch out, Donnie, for that fifth-grade teacher, Miss Stanley – she’s a doozie!”


“Yeah, that’s what everyone says.  But I’ll have her in two years – what can I do?”


“Not much – she’s the only one.  Just don’t let her get to you.  Keep remembering, you’ll make it through that year; you’ll come out the other side.  You’ll do fine.  And sixth grade will be better.  Ok?”


“Thanks.  I’ll do my best.”


“Yeah, I know you will.”  From the mirror, he smiles at me.  “For sure.  You did – I mean, I did.”


My mentor was me


I stayed there a long time, then went back to my class.  I can’t remember whether I got in trouble.  Probably not – my third grade teacher was a sweetie.


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An allergy is a mistake your immune system makes

An allergy is a mistake – a phobia in your immune system. It has, at some point, misidentified a harmless substance as a poison or parasite.  Using NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programing) and hypnosis, we re-program your immune system and eliminate the allergic reaction.

Macrophage
Macrophage

The process works best when you know specifically what you are allergic to.  “Oak pollen” is better than just “pollen;” “Cats” is better than “pets.”


Your immune system is part of the mind/body system.  It is in constant contact with your brain and your limbic system; it sometimes acts independently of other systems in the body.  Your immune system is always on guard to protect your body from harmful substances.  It is composed of several different kinds of cells, each with its own function.

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Grief

Sooner or later in our lives we are all faced with losses. Loved ones die, we go through breakups, we lose the use of a limb, our hearing or eyesight. We lose our dreams, for one reason or another, and have to redirect our lives. Some people who have been abused feel a sense of loss over the happy childhood they never had. Some anticipate a future losses that might (or might not) happen.


NLP offers some remarkable ways to heal grief, to remove the obsessive sense of loss, while retaining, even amplifying the pleasant memories associated with the person or faculty that is gone (or is expected to be lost) and using these as resources for the path ahead.


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Aligning Relationships

Nearly everyone has the ability to view a relationship or situation from the perspective of another person, to imagine what that other is seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking.  In fact, we do this all the time – we are continually assessing others’ states of mind, their intentions, what they might say or do next.  It’s a mostly unconscious process, a faculty we are born with and continue to develop as we grow.

…we attune to the internal shifts in another person, as they attune to us, and our two worlds become linked as one. Through facial expressions and tones of voice, gestures and postures – some so fleeting they can be captured only on a slowed-down recording – we come to “resonate” with one another.


We come into the world wired to make connections with one another, and the subsequent neural shaping of our brain, the very foundation of our sense of self, is built upon these intimate exchanges …


– Dan Siegel, Mindsight.  (Dan Siegel is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author.)


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Wholeness

With the Wholeness process, there is a natural and immediate integration with daily living. Our life issues can actually be doorways to the experience of this “vast self” spoken of – or just a sense of affectionate presence and clarity. And the life issues are transformed in the process.
— Steve Andreas


‘I get so mad when she uses that tone of voice; it sets me off.” My client Jim is telling me about the argument he had with his wife last night."

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Transforming Yourself – Self-Concept and Self-Esteem

I am at The Little Bakery with my friend, Marlena, for one of our time-to-time lunches. Outside it is typical August weather, hot and steamy. I think of other times we have been here: cold and icy; pouring down rain; looking out at exquisitely colored trees on a crisp, clear fall day. Today I’m glad to be inside, where it’s cool.

 “I’ve been working with self-concept lately,” I tell her.

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Resolving PTSD

The following is a brief summary of a 4-day NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) training, “Resolving PTSD," with Steve Andreas.
  

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD – stems from a traumatic event or events which was directly or indirectly experienced.  Symptoms may include flashbacks, disturbing and recurrent dreams, avoidance, negative thinking and moods, hyper-vigilance, feelings of estrangement from others, aggressive and/or self-destructive behaviors.


"… an exposure to a terrifying life-threatening event, followed by multiple symptoms that persist and don’t resolve over time." – DSM-5

At the core is a phobia response, but intertwined with sometimes complex combinations of grief, guilt, shame, regret, and/or troublesome internal voices.
 
Steve started with an NLP technique known as the “Fast Phobia Cure” (a.k.a. V/K Dissociation, originally due to Richard Bandler), an NLP process that leads the sufferer to experience the traumatic event as though watching it from a distance rather than being immersed, and then to go through it backwards, jumbling the cause-effect perceptions. The Fast Phobia Cure acts as an “emotion eraser” so that the event, though still remembered, is stripped of the painful emotions and phobic responses previously associated with it. (I often use this procedure with people with phobias – elevators, bridges, spiders, bees, etc.).
 
When one person in the workshop went through the Fast Phobia Cure, the overall experience seemed to get worse: an immense grief came to the fore, around people who had died in the original traumatic event. Steve worked with him using the NLP Grief Process (developed 25 or so years ago by him and Connirae Andreas), allowing the person to experience his lost friends as an ongoing presence, rather than as distant and lost forever. Crucial to this process was the removing of the picture he had of one friend freshly dead, from front and center, large, and in color, to a small, black-and-white, distant picture. Then the second part of the Grief Process led him to look forward to encountering the values he had treasured in those relationships, over and over again along his future path.
 
Shame is the feeling of being judged by others, who are often perceived as larger, towering above and pointing at the small self who has violated their values. Guilt, on the other hand, involves a feeling of having betrayed one’s own values, usually due to an actual or perceived conflict of values where only one could be honored (“If I hadn’t done it I would have been killed.”). We learned how to work with and resolve both of these.
 
Sometimes PTSD sufferers talk to themselves in disturbing, threatening, critical, or self-destructive ways – internal voices. We learned ways to redirect and/or change these voices (rather than abolishing them, which often cannot be done), so that they no longer have any significant impact.
Another NLP procedure, “Spinning Feelings,” also due originally to Richard Bandler, focus on reversing the physical feelings of anxiety, hence neutralizing the anxiety itself.
 
An individual suffering from PTSD may be experience any or all of these different symptoms; resolution must involve teasing these strands apart and working with each in turn. The good news is that in this training we experienced and learned how to do this, allowing the suffering to end and the individual to get his or her life back.

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