Book Review :Mindfulness and Hypnosis –The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience

I would just like to share my book review I wrote for my association. It’s good  to share.

Mindfulness and Hypnosis –The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience

Author: Michael D. Yapko, PhD    Published by: W.W.Norton&Company Ltd. In 2011

Dr Yapko has written an intriguing account where he endeavours to bridge the gap between guided mindfulness meditation (GMM) and clinical hypnosis. Suggesting that despite the difference of backgrounds, they are essentially two halves of the same walnut drawing on shared experiential and suggestion-based approaches with focussed attention paramount to both GMM and hypnosis.

However whereas GMM has found considerable support and recognition in health and mental wellbeing settings (perhaps due to both its original Buddhist roots and clinical research highlighting its effectiveness); clinical hypnosis struggles to attain a similar standing as it still suffers from both the historic and modern sham practitioners and populist misconceptions of stage and entertainment shows.

Nonetheless, Yapko goes to considerable length to dissect and analyse GMM transcripts to highlight the hypnosis content, such as direct and indirect suggestions. Although his comparative account may be somewhat reductionist to the meditation process implying it is a form of hypnosis and perhaps misses the spiritual point and unique values of meditation to the individual.

Despite this Yapko makes a valid point that the label is not what is important, it is the process and outcome that counts. Therefore, through his well-structured composition, drawing on both scientific evidence and clinical judgement, Yapko provides the reader an opportunity to utilise different strategies to engage with clients and broaden both clinician and client resources towards greater attunement.

On a personal note, I found the book interesting, as I required some information about GMM to help me deliver mindfulness sessions in CUH Temple Street. I wanted to deliver these sessions with a hypnotic content and this book certainly helped justify my approach to the sessions highlighting the common ground hypnosis and GMM share. It also provided me with a plethora of excellent reference sources, which have been useful in expanding my knowledge of GMM and in the delivery of the hypnotic mindfulness sessions.

I would certainly recommend this book as an invaluable addition to any therapist’s library or indeed to anyone with an interest in GMM / Hypnosis.

Are you 1 in 3 or 1 in 9?

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As we approach World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10th October , please let me share some Irish mental health facts and 10 tips to boost your mental health resistance.

1 in 3 who attend a family doctor have a mental health aspect to their medical problem.

By the age of 65 1 in 9 will spend some time in mental health care.

10 tips to boost your mental health resistance;

  1. Have the courage to be imperfect
  2. Take time out for yourself
  3. Sign up for that course, join that club
  4. Be active everyday in as many ways as you can
  5. Spend time with people who make you feel good
  6. Laugh out loud each day
  7. Get a good nights sleep
  8. Share the work-load, get everyone involved
  9. Try to be positive and focus on things you can control
  10. Talk about your troubles and seek help early

Take care and do what you can one step at a time.

5 a day for Mental Wellbeing

5 a day

As it is mental health awareness week culminating in World Mental Health Awareness day on October 10th 2015 just like to share the recommended 5 a day for mental wellbeing.

Just like nutrition in our foods let us all support each other with the little things that might just make all the difference:

Give – Your Time , Your Words, Your Presence

Keep Learning – Embrace new experiences, See opportunities, Surprise yourself

Be Active – Do what you can, Enjoy what you do, Move your mood

Take Notice- Remember the simple things that give you JOY

Connect- Talk & Listen, Be there , Feel connected

We are all in this together…

Freeing the hurt

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One on the things I hear a lot from people who have been in therapy before is ‘I’ve dealt with that already’.

Yet they talk about if for a minute and get visibly upset. Would you like to know how you can be sure you’ve dealt with something? It is simple. When you think about and really step into that old memory and you find it does not hurt any longer. That is how you know it’s dealt with.

Not thinking about it, pushing the memory away, or pretending it’s not painful means it’s still stored in a way that can pressure your emotions and create stress and anxiety.

It’s the thing that you really don’t want to look at that’s most likely to be holding you back. It’s kind of obvious. If it hurts so much you won’t even look at it or talk about it then you know for certain that there is a lot of hurt locked in there. Your mind is trying to avoid it, but that keeps it ticking and pressuring your systems.

It’s a bit like when a bill comes in and you can’t deal with it, so you don’t even open it. You just put it to one side so it’s not in your face all day, but yet you know it’s there and on a lower level it keeps bothering you and adds to your stress until you do deal with it.

We can keep torturing ourselves for years to avoid a bad feeling now. How long do you want to feel bad? That’s how long you should bury or avoid the real issue.

If you know something is hurting but you’re pushing it down like that, then congratulations! You know how to make your life better. You just need to deal with that issue, and things can be better. Find a method that discharges the locked-in emotion. If your mind re-evaluates pain properly, then it can simply fade. Look for a win, not just a band-aid.

Too many of us (myself included for too long) just accept things as ‘how my life is’, but which can change for the better. Pick the goal that will let you enjoy life the most and seek ways to achieve that.

Change is easier than you think