Over the last year I have become conscious of the fact that I am the child of an alcoholic. Started reading NLP books - the good ones ok?! This on going inner confrontation, which used to be tremendous, now exists simply in form, not in content. I visited a therapist with a Master's degree in psychology who had also studied hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The "good" version that is - Zeig, Rossi, etc. I myself had read a couple of books by each. Excellent material.
So I approach the person in question and pose the problem and explain the situation. I was made to "squeeze" out feelings, was told that I had an amazing amount of knowledge (yup, read some 70 books so far - went well beyond NLP, moved to cognitive-behavioral, existential, humanistic, etc). Was told that I had "too much knowledge".
So, after the squeeze (the hands method) which I found reasonably good (I came out of it saying - "he was my daddy and I loved him") I noticed that the person in question completely misinterpreted what I had said (“That’s right he is not you”…). Anyway, then I was given an induction (big deal, I have written more than 9 scripts to self-hypnotize – the world’s easiest thing). The tape is a metaphor produced perhaps to satisfy the mind of a child, not a 40 year old with an above the average IQ …
Then a few weeks latter I came across the first book which has really had a tremendous effect on my life – “Psychological Self-Help” by Dr. Dr. Clay Tucker-Ladd. The book is free and only exists in internet form. It can be located at
This book is now 30 years old and has been updated on a yearly basis. It is in excess of 1,000 pages and it is hardly the NLP type of thing. It made me understand that CHANGE is highly systemic and that any problem needs to be seen in the context of a much larger structure. Dr. Ladd suggests a framework, which consists of analyzing the problem in 5 parts: Behavior, Emotions, Lack of skills, mental processes or cognition and unconscious mental processes. This 5 part analysis is but the 3rd step in a 10 step process. It took me a week to “process” the whole thing (to document the problem, etc).
Hypnosis has its place in step 5 – “ Select the Self-Help Methods”. Yet it is only one of the 3 self-help methods I have elected. It deals with one aspect specifically – stress. It doesn’t deal with the problem itself – it can’t and it shouldn’t because I’m conscious of what the problem is and how it limits me – it’s fine we are all limited in some way or another – be it an alcoholic father, be it an earthquake which killed your brother when you were 5 – not my case…
So, like you, I found my experience of visiting a “clinical”, “with master’s degree”, “Arizona trained”, “hypnotherapist” a bit poor and lacking – a couple of hours … hardly systemic … hardly a framework … terribly incomplete…
I hold nothing against the person. These days (for the last 6 months) I have to some very interesting conclusions – self-help (of Dr. Tucker-Ladd’s caliber) is as efficient as any therapy and any therapy is only partially efficient. Scientific research demonstrates that Ericksonian Hypnotherapy (like any other therapy) is not necessarily more efficient than cognitive-behavioral or humanistic approaches.
I have now understood that hypnosis is simply a technique, not a therapy. Say whatever you want – I have read books by Erickson, Zeig and Rossi.
There has to be a framework, a structure to deal with any problem. A problem is not a fact in itself but rather an aspect of a much more complex structure. On the spot interventions (a la Brief Therapy et al) act as analgesics… getting rid of internal confrontation is hardly similar to a headache or stopping smoking … and yes, Chinese acupuncture is far more efficient than hypnosis in stopping smoking …
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