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At Home with Michael Yapko

Mar 31, 2024
Hello and welcome to the MF Keys at Home series. My name is Chris Michaels and I am the COO of MFT. Welcome to the third part of our management series. For the past two weeks, they have welcomed us into their


s as we gathered. As a community to meet this challenge, we have been joined by attendees from around the world, including the US, Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, UK, and Vietnam. It is my hope that in our future sessions we can continue to connect with your entities from all corners of the world. corner of the world and speaking of future sessions, I am pleased to announce the speakers for our final administrative sessions next Friday, May 8.
at home with michael yapko
We will be accompanied by Dr. sue Johnson, who will discuss how we can care for our most important relationships during these difficult times on Friday, May 15. Our


session will welcome dr. David Snart, who will be joining us, will discuss how modern brain science offers us insight into how we can better understand the mental health needs of our traumatized nations and impact mental health care for the future and finally on Friday, 22 May we will organize our final administrative session with dr. from melash, where she will discuss the loss of love in grief at the time corona virus registration for these sessions can be done on am of t org for this at home.
at home with michael yapko

More Interesting Facts About,

at home with michael yapko...

I urge you to visit our website at Machida or flash coronavirus up to Breaking News and Links and for our goal of keeping T members tuned in to family therapy news as we launch even more resources and virtual events to keep you connected , today's session is sponsored by CPH & Associates as the underwritten professional liability insurance. provider for key member goal DPH & Associates is proud to sponsor t admin series goal CPH provides portable transformational coverage that protects you throughout your career during this time of evolving practices. CPH is pleased to show you that your policy covers telehealth services as long as such services are permitted under your state law, a policy with CPH gives you peace of mind so you can focus on your career.
at home with michael yapko
Get policy highlights in an instant quote. a line in WWE Phin s comm without further ado. It is my pleasure to present to you today's information. presenter dr. Michael Yakko Dr. Yakko is a clinical psychologist based near San Diego, California. He is internationally recognized for his work in clinical hypnosis and alcohol-focused psychotherapy, especially in the treatment of major depression. He routinely teaches to professional audiences around the world. He has been invited to present his innovative ideas and methods to colleagues in more than 30 countries on six continents and throughout the United States. Gatto has had a special interest spanning more than four decades in the complexities of free and strategic therapy, the clinical applications of hypnosis, and the treatment of major depressive disorder.
at home with michael yapko
He is the author of 15 books and editor of three others, as well as numerous books. chapters and articles on the topics of brief depression therapy and the use of high blue clinical hypnosis in teaching psychotherapy. His books include his classic texts on clinical hypnosis, trans work, and introduction to the practice of clinical hypnosis. Edition of discriminating therapists who ask questions. distinctions and finding direction in therapy, mindfulness and hypnosis, the power of suggestion to transform experience. He is also a consultant at the content provider for the popular hypnotherapy phone app. More information about dr. Gaffers' work is available on his website.
WWF cocom. Let's welcome dr. Yes, thank you very much for that presentation, Chris. I want to start by expressing my gratitude to MFT for making this presentation possible. I think they've been doing an amazing job of organizing these things and having them well available to their members. I want to start by telling you something that happened that changed my life when I was just 19 years old and I was a college student at the University of Michigan at the time and I was studying psychology and being very serious in my studies. and we were in a very psychoanalytically oriented program and we were basically told not to bother studying hypnosis.
Freud abandoned him. There's really nothing there you need to study. I received a brochure in the mail and it was for a two day hypnosis. workshop on clinical applications of hypnosis so I was intrigued I signed up immediately I should tell you something about my personality and I was very curious I didn't know anything about hypnosis the only thing I knew was what I saw on television in stage shows and demonstrations ridiculous claims about the power of hypnosis, well this was clinical training and what interested me made conceptual sense to me, that if we can influence people for the worse or people can make themselves feel worse, then people should be able to influence in others to improve and people should be able to feel better, so I went to this workshop.
It was interesting. The first day was quite theoretical about what hypnosis is, how it works, what it can be used for and what the various hypnotic phenomena are and all that. kinds of things and everything I found very, very interesting, it made me think a lot about the power of words, the power of language, the way we use suggestions in our work and we do, inevitably, there's no way to escape it of using the suggestions in your work, but What was particularly fascinating for me and life-changing was on the second day of this workshop when he wanted to do a clinical demonstration with someone and I had never seen a clinical demonstration of hypnosis, so So I took a seat up front and wanted to see up close, what really happened here, where the mind control was and where all the things were that I had been so immersed in misconceptions about, and he got a volunteer, a woman, I guess.
She was probably about 40 years old, he interviewed her and she told him. the very sad story of how she had been leading a normal life of living turned out to be a therapist herself with a good clinical practice and life was fine and then she was in a terrible car accident and was seriously injured with many broken bones. a lot of lacerated organs, a lot of time in the hospital, it was a really bad accident and she suffered terribly. That accident had probably occurred three years earlier and she later reported during the interview how she had slowly recovered and was doing quite well, except for this chronic illness. pain he had in his leg and he had received all kinds of treatments for it surgical procedures medical procedures medications all kinds of things and the pain was so unrelenting and so terrible that it literally interrupted his entire life, he couldn't concentrate on much of anything otherwise, it made it difficult for him to work, it made it difficult for him to do anything, so I'm sitting listening to this lady describe this terrible experience and the residue of this accident and I'm thinking what this guy can say.
For her, that is going to make a difference in her life, what can he say to her that can make a difference? So I'm watching and at one point the interview stops and then he starts talking to her about doing hypnosis and invites her over. Closing your eyes encourages you to start relaxing and focusing on your breathing, a very gentle orientation towards the inner experience for a while, which is quite typical of hypnotic procedures, encouraging people to focus inward, so while he talks to her the first 10 to 15 minutes was just general. relaxation suggestions nothing earth shattering nothing really notable and I'm still sitting there waiting for mind control things that were all I knew about hypnosis all the myths and misconceptions I had in my mind despite the lectures the day before and then it started I spoke with her about visualizing the pain in her leg turning into a dark, slimy liquid that would slowly flow down her leg and eventually flow from her big toe into her shoes and eventually overflow her shoes and turn into a puddle of leg pain. floor now I'm like looking around the room wondering if anyone else thinks this guy is having a psychotic reaction right now what kind of images are these how strange and it was my ignorance.
I had no idea what I was doing or how I was doing it, but as I went through this session you had to see this woman's face, it was on her face what was happening and I couldn't wait to see what her response was going to be. description about what was happening, what did he do? I think of these strange suggestions about a viscous liquid and a puddle of pain on the floor, so the session lasted about 45 minutes and I was just paying rapt attention to what he was saying and how he said it and watching his every movement. he was doing and watching her face while she processed all these suggestions and finally he logs off and invites her to open her eyes and completely reorient herself and he didn't say anything and she just sat there. for what seemed like a very long period of time and then she started crying very softly and then she said this is the first time in three years that I haven't felt pain in that moment.
I have to learn how to do it. To do this, I have spent almost half a century intensely studying how people process information and recognizing that when people are in hypnosis they process information differently and if you had told this woman beforehand, I would do this session with you. and you will not be in pain, you can understand how she would be more than skeptical, she had already been through so many things that did not help and how could she have known this would happen, but this is the value of Hypnosis that you are creating through this very special quality of interaction, a type of relationship, a type of context where people can discover resources that they didn't even know they had.
Which makes these experiences so powerfully growth-oriented. Well, think about it for this woman. go through this experience when she finally sits up and opens her eyes and she can verify that she is now pain free. What effect does that have on her self-image? How does it change the way she thinks about herself? What does she tell you about the resources she has? she has something in her that she didn't know she had and until you create a context where people can come in and find these resources and how to mobilize them and put those resources in situations where people need to have them well, that's what counters the old mythology. that somehow hypnosis is going to help people lose control of themselves instead of regaining control.
This woman learned that she was able to regulate the sensations in her body. He learned that he was able to turn off or ignore the pain signals and this is what allowed him to then get his life back on track, stop taking or reduce the amount of medications he was taking, start living again, resume his clinical practice and begin to rebuilding your life again, what an extraordinary experience and I consider myself incredibly lucky that at this age 19 at the beginning of my career that I was exposed to this phenomenal demonstration of what human potential really means and here we are at this point in our lives with This nineteen-coated global pandemic is the concern of all levels of anxiety.
Depression increases daily for countless people, people who feel powerless, people who feel victims of circumstances, people who don't cope very well and being able to help people discover resources in themselves is an invaluable quality of intervention and Of course, this goes far beyond simply having a conversation with someone, it goes beyond logic and that in itself is something truly fascinating. It's not logical to talk to someone about their pain turning into a slimy liquid and then a puddle of pain on the floor. It's not logical, but it works and people are able to absorb experiences and generate meaningful experiences that go far beyond the limits of trying to think rationally about their life experience, so I hope to be able to do that in this relatively short time that we have.
We are together is to guide you on what the potentials of hypnosis are, what the value of hypnosis can be and to teach you some things about hypnosis that I hope you will find interesting, so with that as an introduction, let's go ahead and get down to business. work with it, the first thing I think you can probably appreciate is that this quality of interaction raises a lot of important questions, things that even now your city is listening to me and watching me. I hope these are questions that arise. For you on what kind of experience could help someone with chronic pain just by talking to them well, there is the first question: how does not paying attention to what we are focusing on translate into these non-volitional or automatic but meaningful responses?
This is one of the most curious. Aspects of hypnosis is a phenomenon called automaticity, the fact thatI can introduce through suggestions ideas for differences, changes and experiences that I will describe in a moment and these things seem to just happen and when people describe their hypnosis therapy experiences, they often talk about all of these notable changes that took place for them and that seemed to just happen. Why do some people respond so dramatically to experiential processes like hypnosis or mindfulness and find them transformative, while others respond minimally? Many of you will not have had any training in hypnosis, which I believe.
It's unfortunate, I hope some follow, but many of you have followed training and mindfulness and have done guided mindfulness meditation, which are structurally identical to hypnosis sessions, they differ in their intentions, but the procedures of using the approach are great parallels, well, yes they have. any hypnosis or mindfulness for any period of time, then you know the difference is that in response, there are some people who you will do a guided meditation with and when it's over they lift up and open their eyes and say, wow, that was incredible, and other people sit up and open their eyes and say: so what?
Not a great experience at all. What is the quality of responsiveness? unique to hypnosis and mindfulness or is this what regulates therapy responses, so every therapist should be really interested in that exact question. As a therapist, you know there are some clients you work with and you tell them what you think they might do. or you give them perspective on how they might see things and they say, "wow, you're a genius, you're amazing and they're very receptive and then they send you Christmas cards every year until you know you're wonderful and then there are other people with that you can work on and never seem to get anywhere.
What is that quality of responsiveness? This is one of the questions that the field of hypnosis has been asking for almost a century because people differ radically in their ability. responding to these types of suggested experiences that is what raises the next question that what determines someone's ability to respond is something that is determined genetically it is about fixed personality traits are these valuable traits that is what the next question is really about What are these different factors, how does expectations play the role, what is this phenomenon called suggestibility and what about the role of dissociation in the client's responsiveness, and is there anything we can do to increase the quality? of a client's responsiveness?
Well, these are great questions and this will be the backbone of things I'm going to talk about for the next 45 minutes or so. The first lesson you learned when studying hypnosis is that what you focus on amplifies in your consciousness what you focus on amplifies and each therapeutic model each approach to therapy emphasizes focus on one aspect of the experience or another that if you are a therapist Cognitive you will focus on cognition if you are an emotion focused therapist you will focus on the emotion if you are an interpersonal therapist you will focus on the relationship so each therapy has a focus.
The question is how do we deepen that focus, how do we make it more experiential, and why do we want to focus on that particular element. In my experience, how does having that quality of focus help someone? How does it count against someone to have that quality of focus? So I think this is a really important point because one of the ways to think about the whole essence of people's problems is that people's problems are concentration problems. People focus on the past which is unchangeable instead of focusing on the future and all the future possibilities that life has to offer.
People who focus on their feelings when they should be thinking. People who think when they should focus on them. their feelings people who focus on themselves when they should be paying attention to their children or their partner people who focus on their partner or their children when they should focus on themselves so I can go on but it is understood that people's problems are very often caused by focusing on aspects of the experience that are at odds with what they are trying to achieve and, in a nutshell, what hypnosis is all about is getting people's attention, securing people's attention and redirect it to where I can move this person's attention.
What can I encourage you to participate in that will be helpful to you? Of course, that's what you'd expect to do in therapy anyway, but hypnosis gives you a greater understanding of what elements of the experience will be critical components of the solution. Whatever you are experiencing, being able to pay attention with intention is one of the divergent points of the mindfulness approach. Now I'm a big fan of mindfulness, as Chris mentioned in my introduction. I wrote a book called mindfulness. and hypnosis, and after studying mindfulness for many years and seeing so many parallels to hypnosis, but mindfulness most often describes itself as paying attention without intention, hypnosis is about attention with intention , when you do a hypnosis session it is with a purpose that when this clinic The demonstration I described above began with the intention of helping this woman find a way to relieve pain and that was the goal and he used a series of strategies to help her achieve that goal, which she was able to do well when people experienced focus go into a state of repudiation when I am focused here it means that they are not focused they are what I am absorbed in this means that I am not paying attention to that and the The textbook definition of dissociation is breaking down an overall experience into its components.
So part of the decision making when conducting a session, whether a therapy session with or without hypnosis, is what elements of the experience I want to amplify in This person's consciousness, which I want to amplify D, but it is what allows changes in physiology to occur as the person's breathing changes and their body relaxes. changes in sensory perception as people feel closer or more distant or parts become larger or parts become smaller, parts become more sensitive, parts become less sensitive through suggestions that you provide. Cognitive change will occur as people's thoughts become more focused and the affective changes that will occur become clearer and when people are encouraged to develop more compassion, more kindness, more curiosity, certainly curiosity is one of the most important emotions that derive from the desire to know. wanting to learn and grow and grow beyond what people are experiencing behavioral changes that take place as people experiment with new behaviors temporary changes am I going to focus this person on the past and past experiences?
Am I going to focus it on this moment and being present? Right now, I'm going to focus you on the future and the possibilities of new things that you can experience, so that all of these types of changes that take place are quite powerful. I want to share with you a couple of recent neuroses. scientific studies that put the point in a different way no hypnosis is now at the forefront of brain research neuroscientists are asking obvious questions like what is going on in the brain of someone who can undergo surgery without a chemical anesthetic people who literally They're going to have their bodies open with hypnosis.
It's the only anesthetic right now that probably sounds fantastic to you if you've never seen it done and it's fantastic. I have participated in that type of procedure countless times throughout my career and it still amazes me, but wanting to study the brains of people who demonstrate these remarkable phenomena makes sense, it teaches us something about what happens in people's brains, how focus affects brain processing, what the relationship is between the mind and the brain, so one of these studies I just hope intrigued you. A little bit was a PET scanning study that was done at Harvard University a few years ago and this was a study that addressed the question: can hypnosis be used to alter color perception?
So before hypnosis was induced on a research subject, a series of research subjects were placed in a PET Scanner and shown a series of cards, some of the cards had black and white figures, some of The cards had color figures and as I looked at each of these cards it became very clear, very quickly, that different parts of the brain would be activated when someone was looking at something in black and white versus when they were looking at something in color, so You could literally look at the brain scan to see if it's looking at something in black and white or if it's looking at something. call her right now, then the hypnosis was induced and then the suggestion was given to them in a moment.
I'm going to show you the colored card again, one of the colored cards, they actually gave you a black and white card, can you guess which one? part of the brain lit up, so even though they were given a black and white card, it was suggested to them that it was going to be a colored card and it was the colored part of the brain that lit up that was activated, the person responded to the Suggested reality, not actual reality, is fascinating. There is another study that was done recently at the University of Oslo in Norway and this was a study that involved using pupil metrics to measure the pupil of the eye well since you probably know that the pupil dilates. and the pupil of the eye constricts depending on the amount of light it is exposed to, so when it is bright outside the pupil of the eye constricts, when it is darker the pupil of the eye dilates, this is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, in theory, this is something else conscious control so these researchers made the condition before hypnosis of measuring the size of the person's pupil and turning off the lights, turning on the lights and measuring the degree of expansion, dilation or constriction, then they did hypnosis and then they suggested, okay, now let's turn off the lights in the room the lights are going off now you can see the lights are going off the person's eyes the pupils would dilate so they would say okay now we're going to turn the light back on it's going to get brighter in the room and it gets brighter in the room your pupils will naturally constrict well here's the problem they never actually changed the quality of lighting in the room everything What they did was suggest that the room was going to get brighter and suggest that the room was going to get darker and again the research subjects responded to the suggested reality, not the actual reality.
Now we're starting to think about that and its applications, especially in light of this global pandemic. One of the things we're worried about and should be worried about is the mental health consequences of this pandemic right now we're dealing with life and death, who gets infected and what the mortality rate is going to be, but hopefully some day, sooner rather than later, when this pandemic is over, when we have better treatments and maybe even vaccines. We are going to deal with the emotional consequences and for you to have an experiential tool like hypnosis available to you where you can speak to the automatic responses that people generate.
Think about how automatic PTSD responses are. Think about how automatic and dissociative people are. when they have these spontaneous regressions that we call flashbacks or even think about very anxious people who don't have flashbacks, they do have flashbacks, they project themselves into the future facing the worst possible conditions and then they react in the present as if that had really happened. those who lose the boundaries that separate now from before or now from after well now I'm talking about boundaries and of course as soon as you start talking about boundaries we're talking about what's called compartmentalization let me share with you again some information. about that, so if we're going to talk about compartmentalization skills for some reason, here we're going to think about the role of compartmentalization as it plays out in any therapy, this is what is so imperative to understanding the phenomenon of dissociation, Unfortunately most doctors when they learn about dissociation, they only learn about it in the psychopathological sense, they learn about psychogenic amnesia and fugue states and dissociative identity disorder and certainly those are negative applications of dissociation, but dissociation , like all hypnotic phenomena, like all life experiences, are neutral in one. context what works against someone works very well for someone in another context all the value of these experiences depends on the circumstances.
On this particular slide you can see that the ability to compartmentalize two separate elements of experience isfundamental for any therapeutic change you have to make. Being able to detach yourself from the pain to be able to manage it. You have to be able to detach yourself from feelings. If you are going to learn to think more rationally about a situation, you will have to learn to detach from past traumas. If you are going to move forward with your life in a positive and healthy way, think about the frontline workers now during this pandemic, when you see them interviewed they all readily admit that they are afraid of going to the hospital.
They are afraid of being exposed They are afraid of getting the virus They are afraid of contaminating their families They are afraid and yet they go in anyway and how often does the therapist say some variation of the fear field and do it anyway, but I Now I'm talking about a mechanism to make that possible. Not everyone can feel afraid and do it anyway. Not if they don't have compartmentalization skills. Not if they are not good at dissociating elements of the experience. Here's yet another reason to want to do it. learn hypnosis so that you have a vehicle and provide how someone will be able to let go of fear and do what needs to be done, you know as well as I do that if someone is going to progress, it will be because they are able to go beyond getting out of your comfort zone, which requires a capacity for compartmentalization to be able to separate yourself from situational triggers to be able to react differently, to be able to stop being critical or simply idealistic and be more tolerant of what is happening. reality of the circumstances in a sophisticated way and even in terms of regulating your own internal environment now, if you care about what other people think of you and you have to take your social responsibility, you will have an inner critic the fact that you have an inner critic No It's unusual, you know, everyone with a conscience does it, but the question is, how do you respond?
How do you separate yourself from that inner critic when he criticizes you? You have an unfair reason to be more compassionate with yourself and less critical of other people. All of these skills that we value so much in the therapy world become easier and more deliberate the more you understand the value of hypnosis as a method. treatment tool, so it is very important to appreciate that this ability to separate from your thoughts and feelings is quite critical to being able to transform aspects of your life, but this is a hypnotic capacity, the capacity for dissociation that allows you to respond to new possibilities. . suggested realities that a therapist provides well even in the context of guided mindfulness meditation, you are using the same types of dissociative suggestions here they are, as soon as you tell someone to focus on your breathing, you are telling them to separate their awareness of other parts of life experience that if you concentrate on breathing it means that everything else must be separated and put into the background, that if you are going to tell them to concentrate on relaxing, you are telling them to concentrate on their physical . experience and, once again, everything else must be separated and take a backseat.
If you are going to say focus on my words, you are suggesting that the person suspend attention to the internal dialogue or any other external distraction, separating themselves from those other things so that they can focus on you and what you are saying and if you are going to suggest something like a Externalizing strategy, a very common suggestion, especially in the world of mindfulness, is to see your thoughts as if they are out there, put your thoughts on a sheet and watch the sheet float down the river, see your thoughts, you have clouds on them. the sky floating away from you, that type of outsourcing strategy is based on the ability to compartmentalize.
Well now, for the rest of my talk, I want to go from some of the general points about hypnosis that I hope are understandable to you to being much more specific now about what that means in terms of doing an actual treatment using hypnosis now, obviously this is not a hypnosis training course, like you can almost learn hypnosis in an hour. I have been studying hypnosis for almost half a century and there are still many things I don't understand even though it has been my focus all this time and even though I wrote the leading textbook in the field, there are many things I do understand. but there are still many things that I don't do, but I hope to mobilize in you a recognition that there is an important skill here to help people concentrate and concentrate on the aspects of the experience that will be useful to them in the future.
In this particular moment as we face this global pandemic, we clearly see how predisposing risk factors lead to two very different extreme responses. We see people who during this pandemic are thriving, they are learning new skills, they are reading more books, they are spending more time. They are taking online trainings They are in their yard yelling at their neighbors to stay connected They are on their balconies singing to each other They are doing well and then there are other people who can barely get out of bed They are shaking and shaking and crying and they can barely cope. fix, what are the predisposing risk factors and these become the targets of a hypnotic based treatment or even a mindfulness based treatment if you are going to be intentional in using this type of approach strategy so that the two patterns There are more than two patterns, but given the limited amount of time, I really just wanted to address the main two that I see as being critically important in shaping people's responses to this pandemic.
The first is how people handle ambiguity. The ambiguity, you know. The thing about life is that life is uncertain, life has no innate meaning, we give meaning to life through the decisions we make, but one of the things we know is that people differ dramatically and what They tolerate ambiguity so well and one of What we know from the strong research literature is that people who are prone to anxiety and depression have a very low tolerance for ambiguity. For them, ambiguity represents a really strong risk factor for anxiety and depression, and the reasons why are probably pretty obvious invite ambiguity. projection because ambiguity is reflected in situations that have no innate meaning we give it meaning so we call someone and they don't call us back simple example but then we start asking why they called us back and then the reflections come well maybe they are angry with me, maybe they no longer like me and the quality of your projections in the face of uncertainty will increase or decrease your vulnerability to anxiety and depression.
I'll say more about that in a moment. and then the rumination that is related to ambiguity is that rumination means going around and around analyzing and analyzing endlessly at the expense of taking effective action. With this pandemic, the ambiguities that provide much to ruminate on are obvious as soon as you start asking the big questions: What happens if I contract the virus? What happens if someone I love contracts the virus? What happens if someone I love dies from the virus? When will we have a vaccine? Will we ever have a vaccine? Will people be able to receive it?
I'll be able to go back to work I'll be able to see my friends what's going to happen to my income how I'm going to pay the rent and people ask question after question after question and it's understandable why they would ask those questions but it's part of what we need to train. to people is to learn not to ask unanswerable questions, as I say these two patterns are spreading especially prominently now with the coveted virus, so when we start to think about what we can do hypnotically, yes, even with an unused therapy hypnosis. but hypnosis amplifies the merits.
We can use hypnosis to manage symptoms. We can use it. Gnosis to reduce risk factors. The great psychologist and anxiety expert David Barlow talked about what drives anxiety: people overestimate risk and underestimate their personal resources. There is more to say about it, but this gives it a purpose. How do we help people estimate risk more carefully? And of course, risk is in the eye of the beholder. There are some people who don't believe in jumping out of a plane with a parachute. your back is really risky and then there are other people who think it's really risky to try a new pizza place so risk is in the eye of the beholder and what about underestimating personal resources?
How much do we want to help people recognize what their abilities are? In the same way that, as I told you in the initial story, when this woman discovered that she could control pain, she did not know that, for understandable reasons, she underestimated her own personal resources, hypnosis helped her connect with those resources, that is what hypnosis does well. There is a lot to be said about ambiguity and its relationship to anxiety and depression, but the risk factor is that people struggle to understand meaning, they want to understand what it means, and when they can't form the meaning, their level of anxiety increases. anxiety, we want to know what it means.
Ultimately, that's our way of trying to assert some degree of control over it and if we can look at it enough it means maybe we can gain some control, so what we're really striving to do is help people recognize and tolerate ambiguity. now just a moment, I'm going to go over a hypnotic process for those of you who do hypnosis, for those of you who do guided meditations, I'm literally going to give you a step by step procedure that I hope will be a useful technique for For those of you who They don't practice hypnosis or guided meditations, this can still be a model for how they can help people get better at handling ambiguity without freaking out, but these are the skills that This strategy I'm about to develop will help people acquire the first.
We need people to be able to recognize ambiguity before even entering the situation. Whenever possible, this person will go to a job interview next week. I don't know what's going to happen, it's an ambiguous situation. It would be nice to know that ahead of time, rather than being absolutely sure that if they say everything right, they'll get the job. That is not necessarily true, knowing that in ambiguous situations, the situation can have multiple meanings different ways of looking at it requires flexibility in perspective recognizing that no amount of research is going to answer the question there are many questions we can ask and no amount of research No amount of research is going to answer telling you if there are lives that we have lived in the past, so-called reincarnation, it doesn't matter, research is going to answer that for you, if so, that means being comfortable with being able to say I don't know. , it doesn't mean that you are unintelligent, it means that we don't know, so here is the structure for doing a hypnosis session and again for those of you who don't do hypnosis, just understand the essence of how we move people by building progressively about an idea from the idea before everything falls into place. from one step to the next, so the first thing, of course, is to guide the person towards hypnosis, is to be able to say okay, now we are going to do this hypnosis session, sit back, relax, make yourself comfortable, then comes the process induction, whatever you're going to use as a way to focus someone a lot of people use is just a simple breathing exercise or what some people call progressive muscle relaxation what someone else calls a body scan technique but focusing on the body and suggesting muscle relaxation muscle group by muscle group and then building a frame of mind about thinking about these things makes it okay to not know as that is the direction we are moving in so to start by saying : You don't know what I'm going to say, you don't know what you're getting at. to experiment, you don't know what you're going to learn, the person has to be okay with it because they don't know what you're going to say, but the implication is that you're going to be exposed to this. you have the opportunity to learn, you don't have to know it yet, but eventually there are things that you will know, how important it is to then introduce the inference process.
The problem with people is when they make projections and they don't know they are there. When doing projections they think this is really what is happening so they will tell themselves that the reason this person didn't call me back is because they don't like me anymore, well you come to that conclusion but You don't know that you don't I don't know, but helping people recognize that you're doing yourself a disservice when you make inferences or jump to conclusions when you don't have the evidence for it, and then provide examples of those inferences about how easy it is. for someone to come to a conclusion, form a projection without even realizing if I tell them that John and Mary are getting divorced and then I pause and say, why do you think they're getting divorced, how easy is it to make something up? and the problem with anxious and depressed people is that they think things and then make the mistake of believing in themselves the next step is nowreinforce okay I understand why you want to know things I understand why you prefer certainty and clarity it is useful to be able to have confidence and to be able to have facts to make decisions without having to wonder it is like reinforcing that with examples that there are times when knowing is a really good thing and when you can't really know, so if I'm going to go buy a car, if I ask the question which car has the best gas mileage that can be researched, that is provable, we can answer that question, the value of knowing helps us make a decision. decision on which one to buy if our criteria for purchasing it is best gas mileage, but then it might also highlight the other side of the equation.
There is also value in knowing that it is not weakness, it is not stupidity. There is value in not knowing if you have a hundred people in a room and asking how many of you would like to know. the exact day, hour and minute of your death, most people would say I don't want to know. In a more positive example, how many people, when you ask them if you want a boy or a girl, tell you that it doesn't matter, I just want a healthy baby, they don't want to know, they prefer. not knowing they want to be surprised an example of not knowing being pleasurable so they offer those kinds of examples of not knowing the joy of going to college without knowing what you want to do with your life and being open to discovering that is another example and then, by reinforcing that not knowing is desirable in some situations, you're better off saying "I don't know," you're just making something up, but then you're providing context when Is it okay to say I don't know?
So all these questions we asked about Covet 19, the best thing you can do now is say I don't know, time will tell and then comes the compartmentalization, how do I let the question go? without reflecting on it over and over again, so now that we're at the end of the session, let's integrate it so that when you find yourself making an inference you can step back when you make a projection, you can instantly recognize it and walk away. when you are faced with an ambiguous situation you can feel comfortable acknowledging the ambiguity of the situation you don't know closure disengagement ending the session well, let's quickly move on to the second one, which is about rumination, rumination gives rise to what many call the analysis paralysis analyze and analyze and analyze and one of the things we know about rumination as a coping style that falls into the category of coping style is that rumination is a very strong predictor of symptoms of anxiety and depression, so This becomes another goal of your treatment, how can you help this person through hypnosis through guided meditations?
Focus on moving from rumination to action if there is a cure for rumination, your action, so that when people ask questions without an answer. you ask over and over again they understand why they are doing that they think that by understanding it better that will somehow help them have more control over it and that is what they are desperately trying to do is gain more control over their circumstances so that it is understandable Why are they doing that? What's curious is that when you interview the participants in the room, they think that they are doing something, they think that by analyzing they are participating in an action, so one of the skills that you are trying to teach them is this: how can we? distinguish between useful analysis and useless rumination that is what is called discrimination strategy one of my recent books is called The Discriminator Therapist where I list dozens of discriminations that someone would need to make if they want to live in a healthy way, how can you? distinguish what is and what is not under your control, how do you distinguish what is and what is not responsible?
In this case, it is how you distinguish between useful analysis and useless reflections and I will provide you with the key criterion if it does not lead to timely and effective action it is a useless analysis we want people to move we want people to participate in what is called behavioral activation this is one of the things we know from the depression literature many of my books are about depression This is something I know very well: people who are more active in treatment have better outcomes than people who are not are. All therapists should now take it for granted, especially in light of the pandemic, to ensure they are providing for their clients. things to do between sessions so that you can encourage behavioral activation so this person can do things instead of just endlessly analyzing, that's when we use hypnosis to prepare people to do tasks and experiments and engage in positive activities so that everyone These things are really valuable and can be achieved hypnotically.
Through hypnosis, we encourage people to engage in these types of positive activities that can help people feel better. Just analyzing, just understanding, just letting yourself get wrapped up in your feelings and especially in a moment like this, what is someone doing? feeling except hopeless so again discriminations when it is good to focus on your feelings when it is going to work against you everything I have said about hypnosis as focal points changing focus becomes immediately relevant when your clients concentrate on aspects of experiences that are working well against you now as a summary let me start talking about why learning to use hypnosis well there is certainly empirical evidence that it works and that when we look at the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis it improves treatment outcomes, it is important to appreciate hypnosis is not therapy if you take the time to learn hypnosis you will add it to what you do improving what you do you are already using suggestion if the study of hypnosis means learning to use suggestion more deliberately effectively but the The evidence is clear and if you do therapy without hypnosis and then do the same type of therapy with hypnosis, it measurably improves the results of the treatment.
All therapies use a suggestion. Provides insights into how people structure experience. It is very important that it stands out. The Malleability of Experience One of the things that strikes me most about hypnosis is that it shows us that perception is malleable and when you consider how stuck your clients are, your clients get stuck in a belief trapped in an emotion trapped in a memory, the solution is malleability. Flexibility and hypnosis demonstrate that your perception of your body is changing, as it was for this woman in pain, that your view of yourself is changing, so instead of saying "well, this is who I am," Your vision of yourself is removable, it increases the sense of people. of experience control, which is invaluable and we can use it in many different ways, will we focus on feelings and amplify feelings, will we focus on cognition and will we amplify cognition, will we focus on your body and amplified physiological responses?
There is a lot of potential to generate the qualities of flexibility. Well, I just want to share with you a resource that you can share with your clients. I have spent the last two years working with two very smart and savvy tech people from Australia who have developed an app called mindset, it is currently available for iPhone and iPad later this year, it will be available for Android but you can download it and you will see that here We have dozens of hypnosis sessions to help people manage various symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Therapists download them so they can learn the processes, but more than that, they recommend them to their clients.
I hope you see it. I think you will find it very valuable and if you visit my website. You'll see that I have a newsletter that I send out a couple of times a month that contains new information about the studies that are coming out, book reviews, all kinds of tips and informative things. I hope you find them useful, so just provide your name and email address. and we will be happy to add you to the list and make sure that on my website you can check out the mindset app and learn about the various fitness training programs that I do.
I hope this whirlwind tour of hypnosis has been meaningful so that as you discover that you're going to use the suggestion anyway and creating this very focused context where people can respond to the suggestions and much more amplified in powerful ways is the best of the reasons to take the time to learn hypnosis, so I want to thank you. by your attention. I want to thank AMF T again for sponsoring this talk and I hope it was valuable to you. Thank you very much Chris. Thanks for that, dr. Yap Co. I also want to thank our sponsors again for the series.
See the pH of the associates. I hope everyone enjoyed our session. If you are interested in attending a future one, be sure to RSVP on a slash from the MFT organization at home.

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