Showing posts with label sharing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sharing. Show all posts

Sunday, May 1, 2016

10 Ways to Learn to Like Yourself Better

Now let’s examine those 10 ways you can become a self-liker rather than a self-critic:
  1. Don’t be afraid to confront your failings. The Boyraz and Waits study showed that being able to think about your weaknesses doesn’t condemn you to a life of self-hatred.
  2. Step back and enjoy your accomplishments. When you’ve done something well, don’t be afraid to admit that you succeeded. It doesn’t have to be something earth-shattering: Having cooked a good meal, eat it with pleasure and allow any compliments from those you cooked for to sink in.
  3. Learn to look at the things you like about yourself in the mirror. Sure, your makeup isn’t perfect and that rash on your chin makes it look a little red. But what about the great job you did on your hair? If all else fails, find a mirror with better lighting than the bright fluorescents in your office.
  4. Go on a date with yourself. On the date, spend some time alone devoted to thinking about your experiences: Enjoy a movie or concert, or a meal at your favorite restaurant while you spend time reflecting on what’s going on around you. You can even laugh at your own jokes.
  5. Strive to be a better person, but don’t expect changes to happen all at once.You might be completely unhappy with your weight and can’t stand the thought that the pounds aren’t melting off faster. Give yourself a realistic timeline and measure yourself against smaller, achievable goals.
  6. Spend a weekend day or evening without worrying about how you look. Try a makeup-free Sunday or a grubby t-shirt Tuesday night. See what it’s like to be yourself without being concerned about impressing anyone else.
  7. Think about the past, but don’t let yourself be overwhelmed with regret. You wish like anything that you could turn back the clock and not have said the hurtful thing you said to your friend. Once you've uttered those words, though, you can't unsay them. However, you may have learned something useful about yourself in the process and certainly can make every effort to apologize.
  8. Understand that no one is perfect. When you’re in low self-acceptance mode, you believe that everyone is better than you. It’s possible that others are better than you in certain ways, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person yourself. Instead of comparing yourself negatively, accept that fact, and then see if you can learn from it.
  9. Enjoy your personality, foibles and all. So you’re a little bit too meticulous and want everything to be perfect. When things don’t work out as you wish and you start to berate your weaknesses, stop and do a reality check. So you spilled coffee all over your brand-new tablecloth. OK, maybe you’re a bit clumsy. That doesn’t mean you’re worthless.
  10. Like “most” of yourself as much as you can. You’re may not reach 100% self-satisfaction, but maybe you can get to 75 or 80%. In the measure of self-acceptance that the Louisiana Tech team used, getting high scores meant saying you were happy with “most” of your personality traits.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals

You can trigger more happy chemicals naturally. Here’s how.
You can stimulate more happy chemicals with fewer side effects when you understand the job your happy chemicals evolved to do. Here’s a natural way to stimulate each, and to avoid unhappy chemicals.

#1 Dopamine (Embrace a new goal)

Approaching a reward triggers dopamine. When a lion approaches a gazelle, her dopamine surges and the energy she needs for the hunt is released. Your ancestors released dopamine when they found a water hole. The good feeling surged before they actually sipped the water.
Just seeing signs of a water-hole turned on the dopamine. Just smelling a gazelle turns on dopamine. The expectation of a reward triggers a good feeling in the mammal brain, and releases the energy you need to reach the reward.
Dopamine alerts your attention to things that meet your needs. How you define your needs depends on your unique life experience. Each time dopamine flowed in your youth, it connected neurons in your brain. Now you’re wired you to meet your needs in ways that felt good in your past.
Dopamine motivates you to seek, whether you’re seeking a medical degree or a parking spot near the donut shop. Dopamine motivates persistence in the pursuit of things that meet your needs, whether it’s a bar that’s open late, the next level in a video game, or a way to feed children. You can stimulate the good feeling of dopamine without behaviors that hurt your best interests.
Embrace a new goal and take small steps toward it every day. Your brain will reward you with dopamine each time you take a step. The repetition will build a new dopamine pathway until it’s big enough to compete with the dopamine habit that you’re better off without.

#2 Serotonin (Believe in yourself)

Confidence triggers serotonin. Monkeys try to one-up each other because it stimulates their serotonin. People often do the same. This brain we’ve inherited rewards social dominance because that promotes your genes in the state of nature.
As much as you may dislike this, you enjoy the good feeling of serotonin when you feel respected by others.
Your brain seeks more of that feeling by repeating behaviors that triggered it in your past. The respect you got in your youth paved neural pathways that tell your brain how to get respect today.
Sometimes people seek it in ways that undermine their long-term well-being. The solution is not to dismiss your natural urge for status, because you need the serotonin.
Instead, you can develop your belief in your own worth. People are probably respecting you behind your back right now. Focus on that instead of scanning for disrespect.
Everyone has wins and losses. If you focus on your losses you will depress your serotonin, even if you’re a rock star or a CEO. You can build the habit of focusing on your wins. You may think it’s cocky or risky or lame, but your serotonin will suffer if you don’t.

#3 Oxytocin (Build trust consciously)

Trust triggers oxytocin. Mammals stick with a herd because they inherited a brain that releases oxytocin when they do. Reptiles cannot stand the company of other reptiles, so it’s not surprising that they only release oxytocin during sex.
Social bonds help mammals protect their young from predators, and natural selection built a brain that rewards us with a good feeling when we strengthen those bonds.
Sometimes your trust is betrayed. Trusting someone who is not trustworthy is bad for your survival. Your brain releases unhappy chemicals when your trust is betrayed.
That paves neural pathways which tell you when to withhold trust in the future. But if you withhold trust all the time, you deprive yourself of oxytocin.
You can stimulate it by building trust consciously. Create realistic expectations that both parties can meet. Each time your expectations are met, your brain rewards you with a good feeling. Continual small steps will build your oxytocin circuits. Trust, verify, and repeat. You will grow to trust yourself as well as others.

#4 Endorphin (Make time to stretch and laugh)

Pain causes endorphin. That’s not what you expect when you hear about the “endorphin high.” But runners don’t get that high unless they push past their limits to the point of distress.

Endorphin causes a brief euphoria that masks pain. In the state of nature, it helps an injured animal escape from a predator. It helped our ancestors run for help when injured. Endorphin evolved for survival, not for partying. If you were high on endorphin all the time, you would touch hot stoves and walk on broken legs.
Endorphin was meant for emergencies. Inflicting harm on yourself to stimulate endorphin is a bad survival strategy. Fortunately, there are better ways: laughing and stretching. Both of these jiggle your innards in irregular ways, causing moderate wear and tear and moderate endorphin flow.
This strategy has its limits. A genuine laugh cannot be produced on demand. A genuine stretch requires a little skill. But when you believe in the power of laughing and stretching, you create opportunities to trigger your endorphin in these ways.

#5 Cortisol (Survive, then thrive)

Cortisol feels bad. It alerts animals to urgent survival threats. Our big brain alerts us to subtle threats as well as urgent ones. The bad feeling of cortisol will always be part of life because your survival is threatened as long as you’re alive.
Cortisol especially grabs your attention when it’s not being masked by happy chemicals. You might have a sudden bad feeling when yourhappy chemicals dip, even though there’s no predator at your door.
If you can’t get comfortable with that, you might rush to mask it with any happy-chemical stimulant you’re familiar with. Your well-being will suffer. You will lose the information the cortisol is trying to give you, and your happy habit will have side effects. More cortisol will flow, thus increasing the temptation to over-stimulate your happy chemicals.
This vicious cycle can be avoided if you learn to accept the bad feeling you get when a happy chemical surge is over. It doesn’t mean something is wrong. Cortisol is part of your mammalian steering mechanism, which motivates an organism to approach rewards and avoid threats. You need unhappy chemicals to warn you of potential harm as much as you need happy chemicals to alert you to potential rewards.
If you learn to accept your cortisol, you will be free from the rush to mask it in ways that don’t serve you. You will make better decisions and end up with more happy chemicals.

Building New Happy Habits

Your brain got wired from past experience. Each time your neurochemicals surged, your neurons built connections. Experience wired you to turn on your brain chemicals in the ways they turned on in the past.
When you’re young, your neurons build new connections easily. After eighteen, it’s not easy to build new circuits to turn on in new ways. It takes a lot of repetition. So pick a new happy habit and start repeating it. Over time, your new happy habits will feel as natural as your old ones, and you won’t have the unfortunate side effects.

All retrieved from:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What is Attachment Theory and what does it mean in my relationships ?

What is Attachment?
Attachment is a special emotional relationship that involves an exchange of comfort, care, and pleasure. The roots of research on attachment began with Freud's theories about love, but another researcher is usually credited as the father of attachment theory. Bowlby shared the psychoanalytic view that early experiences in childhood have an important influence on development and behavior later in life. Our early attachment styles are established in childhood through the infant/caregiver relationship. In addition to this, Bowlby believed that attachment had an evolutionary component; it aids in survival. "The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to particular individuals [is] a basic component of human nature" (Bowlby, 1988, 3).
Attachment refers the particular way in which you relate to other people. Your style of attachment was formed at the very beginning of your life, during your first two years.  Once established, it is a style that stays with you and plays out today in how you relate in intimate relationships and in how you parent your children. Understanding your style of attachment is helpful because it offers you insight into how you felt and developed in your childhood. It also clarifies ways that you are emotionally limited as an adult and what you need to change to improve your close relationships and your relationship with your own children.
Early Attachment Patterns
Young children need to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver in order for their social and emotional development to occur normally. Without this attachment, they will suffer serious psychological and social impairment. During the first two years, how the parents or caregivers respond to their infants establishes the types of patterns of attachment their children form.  These patterns will go on to guide the child’s feelings, thoughts and expectations as an adult in future relationships.
Characteristics of Attachment
Bowlby believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment:
1) Proximity Maintenance - The desire to be near the people we are attached to.
 2) Safe Haven - Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat.
3) Secure Base - The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment.
 4) Separation Distress - Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.
During the 1970's, psychologist Mary Ainsworth further expanded upon Bowlby's groundbreaking work in her now-famous "Strange Situation" study. The study involved observing children between the ages of 12 to 18 months responding to a situation in which they were briefly left alone and then reunited with their mother (Ainsworth, 1978).

Based on these observations, Ainsworth concluded that there were three major styles of attachment:
1) secure attachment,
 2) ambivalent-insecure attachment
 3) avoidant-insecure attachment.
Researchers Main and Solomon (1986) added a fourth attachment style known as disorganized-insecure attachment. Numerous studies have supported Ainsworth's conclusions and additional research has revealed that these early attachment styles can help predict behaviors later in life.

Secure Attachment:

Ideally, from the time infants are six months to two years of age, they form an emotional attachment to an adult who is attuned to them, that is, who is sensitive and responsive in their interactions with them. It is vital that this attachment figure remain a consistent caregiver throughout this period in a child’s life. During the second year, children begin to use the adult as a secure base from which to explore the world and become more independent. A child in this type of relationship is securely attached.

Avoidant Attachment:

There are adults who are emotionally unavailable and, as a result, they are insensitive to and unaware of the needs of their children. They have little or no response when a child is hurting or distressed. These parents discourage crying and encourage independence. Often their children quickly develop into “little adults” who take care of themselves. These children pull away from needing anything from anyone else and are self-contained. They have formed an avoidant attachment with a misattuned parent.

Ambivalent/Anxious Attachment:

Some adults are inconsistently attuned to their children. At times their responses are appropriate and nurturing but at other times they are intrusive and insensitive. Children with this kind of parenting are confused and insecure, not knowing what type of treatment to expect. They often feel suspicious and distrustful of their parent but at the same time they act clingy and desperate. These children have anambivalent/anxious attachment with their unpredictable parent.

Disorganized Attachment:

When a parent or caregiver is abusive to a child, the child experiences the physical and emotional cruelty and frightening behavior as being life-threatening. This child is caught in a terrible dilemma: her survival instincts are telling her to flee to safety but safety is the very person who is terrifying her.  The attachment figure is the source of the child’s distress. In these situations, children typically disassociate from their selves. They detach from what is happening to them and what they are experiencing is blocked from their consciousness. Children in this conflicted state have disorganized attachments with their fearsome parental figures.


Adult Attachment Patterns

Secure Personality:

People who formed secure attachments in childhood have secure attachment patterns in adulthood. They have a strong sense of themselves and they desire close associations with others. They basically have a positive view of themselves, their partners and their relationships. Their lives are balanced: they are both secure in their independence and in their close relationships.

Dismissive Personality:

Those who had avoidant attachments in childhood most likely have dismissive attachment patterns as adults. These people tend to be loners; they regard relationships and emotions as being relatively unimportant. They are cerebral and suppress their feelings. Their typical response to conflict and stressful situations is to avoid them by distancing themselves. These people’s lives are not balanced: they are inward and isolated, and emotionally removed from themselves and others.

Preoccupied Personality:

Children who have an ambivalent/anxious attachment often grow up to have preoccupied attachment patterns. As adults, they are self-critical and insecure. They seek approval and reassurance from others, yet this never relieves their self-doubt. In their relationships, deep-seated feelings that they are going to be rejected make them worried and not trusting. This drives them to act clingy and overly dependent with their partner. These people’s lives are not balanced: their insecurity leaves them turned against themselves and emotionally desperate in their relationships.

Fearful-Avoidant Personality:

People who grew up with disorganized attachments often develop fearful-avoidant patterns of attachment. Since, as children, they detached from their feelings during times of trauma, as adults, they continue to be somewhat detached from themselves. They desire relationships and are comfortable in them until they develop emotionally close. At this point, the feelings that were repressed in childhood begin to resurface and, with no awareness of them being from the past, they are experienced in the present. The person is no longer in life today but rather, is suddenly re-living an old trauma. These people’s lives are not balanced: they do not have a coherent sense of themselves nor do they have a clear connection with others.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Top Ten Psychosomatic Symptoms

The origin of a psychosomatic illness is within the brain.  The illness is the brain’s attempt to throw a person’s consciousness off guard by inducing physical changes in the body, in order to prevent the person from consciously experiencing difficult emotions, such as rage, sadness, and emotional distress.
People with psychosomatic illnesses contribute millions if not billions of dollars to the medical industry in the form of various treatments, including operations, medications, physical therapy, etc.  People can spend decades chasing down physical symptoms when the root causes of their problems are emotional.
The reality is that somatic symptoms are extremely common. Research has found that approximately one-third of all physical symptoms fall into this category.  However, patients are not quick to accept or believe that their symptoms do not have an actual physical cause. Only about 15 to 20 percent of patients will accept such a diagnosis.
To be technical, the proper term for psychosomatic illness, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is somatic symptom disorder.  There is an overlap across the spectrum of somatoform disorders, and this designation helps reflect the complex interface between mental and physical health.
What follows is a list of the ten most frequent somatic illnesses:
  1. Chronic Pain Syndrome
  2. Fibromyalgia
  3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  4. Gastrointestinal syndromes
  5. Migraine headaches
  6. Frequent need for urination
  7. Tinnitus and Vertigo
  8. Allergic phenomena
  9. Skin rashes (Eczema, hives, acne, etc.)
  10. Eating disorders

Friday, January 15, 2016

Brain Imaging Shows Brain Changes in Depression

Traditionally, depression is suspected when symptoms that suggest impaired psychosocial functioning are present for more than two weeks. Symptoms of depression include an overwhelming feeling of sadness, difficulty to experience pleasure, sleep problems, and difficulties with engaging in everyday life.
This clinical presentation of depression guides physicians to make a diagnosis and to select antidepressant treatment such as drugs or psychotherapy.
Currently, at least 40 percent of depressed patients actually benefit from antidepressant treatment, whereas 20 to 30 percent of patients may suffer from chronic depression that negatively impacts their quality of life.
Emerging research addresses the neural bases of depression as well as how treatment can induce changes in the brain. Modern brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are often used to view brain modulations.
This line of research expands the commonly accepted premise that depression is associated with dysfunction of specific brain regions involved in cognitive control and emotional response.
In order to improve the efficiency of treatment and reduce the burden of depressive disorders, depression clearly needs to be defined at the neurobiological level.
A recent fMRI study showed that depressed patients had an abnormal activation of the medial prefrontal cortex. During this study, subjects had to judge whether personality traits described them or not (i.e. ‘Am I selfish?’), or whether it described a generally desirable trait or not (i.e. ‘Is it good or bad to be greedy?’).
The dysfunction of the medial prefrontal region may explain specific complaints of depressed patients such as self-blame, rumination and feeling of guilt.
It was observed that this activation pattern was maintained over the course of depression after 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment. These results are difficult to interpret but suggest that, after remission of depression, some patients show persistent abnormalities of specific brain regions.
Such abnormalities may indicate the need for complementary treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy in order to reduce the risk of depressive recurrence.
Overall, these findings contribute to the argument that brain imaging studies could provide biomarkers of diagnosis and improve patients’ chances to responding to specific treatment modalities. Such neurobiological markers of depression may help psychiatrists to tailor antidepressant treatment to the brain and the biological needs of the patients. However, despite over a decade of such research, no such biomarkers have been found.
In the general population, depression is still frequently associated with or perceived as a bad lifestyle, impairment of judgment, bad choices, and ‘psychological weakness.’
However, the results of brain imaging studies demonstrate that depression impacts the brain, and is associated with dysfunction of specific brain regions involved in cognitive control and emotional response.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

What Really Happens During a Therapy Session?

When you take your car to the car mechanic, you know what’s going to happen: Your car will get repaired.
When you break a bone and visit your doctor, you know what’s going to happen: Your bone will be set in a splint or cast and eventually heal.
But when you make an appointment to see a therapist, do you know what’s going to happen? Many people aren’t quite certain. Will you just talk? Will you have to discuss your childhood? Will you be “hypnotized?" And what’s the “point” of seeing a therapist, anyway? Why not just talk to a friend?
There is a great deal of uncertainty in our society about what actually happens during a therapy session, what types of issues and problems are suitable for therapy, and what benefits a therapy session can provide. I’d like to address a few typical questions—and misconceptions—about what therapy is, what it isn’t, and how it really works.

Q: Do I have to be “sick” or “disturbed” to go see a therapist?
A: No. Thinking that one has to be “seriously disturbed” in order to see a therapist is a myth.
While some therapists do specialize in severe emotional disturbances—including schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts—many focus on simply helping clients work through far more typical, everyday challenges like mapping out a career change, improving parenting skills, strengthening stress management skills, or navigating a divorce. Just as some physicians specialize in curing life-threatening illnesses, while others treat “everyday” illnesses like flus, coughs, and colds, psychotherapists can serve a wide range of clients with a range of needs and goals, too.
In fact, most of my clients are successful, high-achieving people who are quite healthy, overall. Most are challenged by a specific, personal goal—like losing weight, creating more work-life balance, finding ways to parent more effectively, or feeling anxious about dating again after a rough break up.

Q: How can I choose the right therapist for my goal/situation?
A: Choosing a therapist is like choosing any other service provider—it’s a good idea to visit the practitioner’s website, and read client testimonials or reviews (if they have any—many do not, for confidentiality reasons). It's also good to ask friends and family members, or your physician, for referrals (and of course, check to see who is covered in your health insurance network).
If you are hoping to work on a specific issue—overeating, smoking, making a career change—try to find a therapist with expertise in that area. Many list their specialties or areas of focus on their websites. There are therapists who specialize in relationship issues, parenting issues, anger management, weight issues, or sexuality—pretty much any issue, goal, or situation you can imagine. If you’re not sure about someone’s expertise, just call them and ask. If they can’t be of assistance with your issue, they may be able to refer you to someone who can.

Q: What actually happens during a therapy session?
A: Each session is, essentially, a problem-solving session. You describe your current situation, and your feelings about it, and then the therapist uses their expertise to assist you in trying to resolve that problem so you can move closer to having the life you wish to have.
At the beginning of a session, the therapist typically invites you to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, or whether there are any goals you’d like to discuss. You’ll be invited to speak openly. The therapist will listen and may take notes as you speak; some, like myself, take notes after a session. You won’t be criticized, interrupted or judged as you speak. Your conversation will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. This is a special, unique type of conversation in which you can say exactly what you feel—total honesty—without worrying that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, damage a relationship, or be penalized in any way. Anything you want—or need—to say is OK.
Some therapists (like myself) may give clients some homework to complete after a session. That homework might be to set up an online dating profile and reach out for a first date, or to exercise three times a week. It may be to spend some time each day pounding a pillow to safely release pent-up emotions, make a nightly journal entry, or any number of “steps” and “challenges” relevant to your goals. During your next session, you might share your progress and address any areas where you got frustrated, stuck, or off-track.
Of course, every therapist is different, every client is unique, and every therapist-client relationship is distinct as well—which means that there is no universal description of a therapy session. Some therapists employ dream interpretation in their work. Others bring music or art therapy into their work. Others incorporate hypnotherapy, life coaching, meditation, visualization, or role-playing exercises to “rehearse” challenging conversations. The list goes on and on. Ultimately, regardless of their approach, a therapist will listen without judgment and help clients try to find solutions to the challenges they face.

Q: Will I have to talk about my childhood?
A: Not necessarily. Many people think that visiting a therapist means digging up old skeletons from your childhood, or talking about how awful your mother was, etc. That is a myth. What you talk about during a therapy session will largely depend on your unique situation and goals. And depending on your goals, you may not actually talk about your past that much. The focus of your therapy is as likely to be your present-day reality and the future that you wish to create.
That being said, if you REALLY do NOT want to discuss your childhood, the intensity of your desire NOT to talk about it might suggest that you should! When people have strong negative emotions—about their childhood or any other topic—it’s typically worth doing some excavating to figure out why that is. Whatever is causing them to feel such strong emotions about the past is more than likely impacting their present-day life in some way, too.

Q: How long will I have to go to therapy?
A: This varies from person to person. I’ve had clients who booked one session, we worked out their issue(s), and they were all set: They marched out and didn’t need a follow-up session. Sometimes, one brave, honest conversation is really all you need.
Other clients have booked sessions with me over a period of several weeks or months, focusing on one issue, resolving that issue, then perhaps moving on to a different challenge. Then there are other clients who I’ve been working with for some time—they appreciate having a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly “check-in.” They may share their feelings, sharpen their life skills as needed, or perhaps enjoy a deeply nourishing guided meditation or hypnotherapy experience to de-stress. As one client put it, “Every two weeks when I meet with you, I leave your office feeling like you pressed my reset button.”
Therapy is really about whatever a client needs—a one-time conversation, a temporary source of support during a life transition, or an ongoing experience to optimize health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Q: Is meeting with a therapist over the phone—or through video chat—just as effective as meeting in person?
A: That depends on your personality and preferences. In the state of Hawaii, where I live, at least one insurer that I know of covers doing therapy virtually via video chat (like Skype or Facetime). This makes it a convenient option for people. Many of my clients do enjoy having some, or all, of their sessions via video chat because it means they don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules to drive, park, and so on. They can just close their bedroom or office door, pick up the phone or log in, and away we go—very convenient.
Where feasible, I suggest trying out both ways—do a traditional, in-person therapy session and then try a video session—and see which format is the best fit for you.

Q: Why see a therapist? Why not just talk to a friend or someone in my family?
A: If you are blessed with caring, supportive family members and friends, by all means, share your feelings, goals, and dreams with those people. They are a big part of your support network, and their insights and encouragement can be very helpful. However, people who already know you might not always be completely objective when listening to you. For example, you may want to change your career, and you confess this dream to your wife. She may want to support you 100%, and try her very best to do so, but she may also be dealing with emotions of her own—such as anxiety about how a career shift will change your lives, not to mention your income. These emotions could make it difficult for her to listen and support you objectively.
This is why working with a therapist can be so valuable. It's a unique opportunity to share everything you’re feeling, and everything you want to create, without anyone interrupting you, imposing his or her own anxieties onto the conversation, or telling you that you’re “wrong” or that you “can’t.”
A therapy session is a space where you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone else’s feelings—you can be totally honest. It also means you have the potential to solve problems faster and with greater success. In the long run, that’s better for you and everyone else involved in your life, too.

To sum it up:
Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you to solve problems, set and achieve goals, improve your communication skills, or teach you new ways to track your emotions and keep your stress levels in check. It can help you to build the life, career, and relationship that you want. Does everybody need it? No. But if you are curious about working with a therapist, that curiosity is worth pursuing. Consider setting up one or two sessions, keep an open mind, and see how things unfold. You have very little to lose and, potentially, a lot of clarity, self-understanding, and long-lasting happiness to gain.

Source: Dr. Suzanne Gelb @

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Scans Show How Hypnosis Affects Brain Activity

The word "hypnosis" tends to conjure up images of subjects partaking in silly activities they might not otherwise agree to. But over the past few decades, scientific study of hypnosis has begun to identify how the approach can work to alter processes such as memory and pain perception. According to a new report, hypnotic suggestions regulate activity in certain regions of the brain and can help it manage cognitive conflicts.

A well-known example of cognitive conflict involves a person trying to name the color of ink used to print letters that spell out a different color. For example, the word "blue" spelled out in red ink. It usually takes subjects longer to read out such a list than it does to read a list of color names written in matching colored inks. In previous work, Amir Raz and his colleagues at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University had illustrated that hypnosis could be used to reduce this conflict in highly hypnotizable individuals. In the new work, they used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and readings from scalp electrodes to monitor brain activity while subjects completed the ink-naming task.
The researchers also gave the subjects a posthypnotic suggestion to interpret the colored words as gibberish, which presumably would allow them to focus more on the color of the ink instead of reading the word. Highly hypnotizable individuals had better accuracy and quicker reaction times compared to those previously identified as being less responsive to hypnosis. The imaging data indicated that the hypnotizable subjects showed reduced brain activity in both visual areas and the anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in conflict monitoring. Thus, the authors conclude, the results "illuminate how suggestion affects cognitive control by modulating activity in specific brain areas.

Sunday, November 1, 2015




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

10 Ways to Make Memory Rehab Work

Physical exercise can rehabilitate bodies that have grown soft and flabby. Can mental exercise rehabilitate brains that have deteriorated because of disease or age? Maybe.
A published scholarly review has examined the research literature on this issue and arrived at several useful conclusions: 
  1. Focus, Reduce Distractions. The two common causes of forgetting, in both normal people and those with impaired memory, are a) failure to register new information effectively, and b) interference from conflicting sensations and thoughts.
  2. Customize the Rehabilitation Needed. Rehab need to take into account the type of memory therapy and the cause and severity of the impaired memory capability.
  3. Learn in Small, Frequently Repeated Chunks. New information has to be re-packaged for memory-impaired people so that it is in simple, concrete form, in small chunks, and repeated frequently — with patients required to re-state the information and make explicit associations with what they already know. (Notice how this sounds like the way one needs to teach young children).
  4. Practice Attentiveness. Attentiveness to new information can be enhanced by self-cueing, wherein patients remind themselves to be more attentive at crucial moments. This can even be done by creating a conditioned reflex in which a cue signal conditions greater attentiveness. (Notice how this sounds like how you “clicker” train dogs).
  5. Uses Mnemonics. Mnemonic tips and tricks can help. This includes using acronyms, rhymes, stories, and constructing mental images.
  6. Find Ways to Compensate. Even in patients with severe impairments, some aspects of memory, such as subliminal or implicit memory, may have been spared and can be exploited to compensate for the lost ability.
  7. Spread Rehearsals Over Time. Memory rehearsal is more effective if it is spread out over time rather than bunched into a few closely spaced sessions.
  8. Manipulate the Cues. Be more aware of cues you are using. A “vanishing clues” approach can help. For example, in a rehearsal session, cued retrieval might begin with cueing the first three letters of a target word, then repeating later with two, then  one, and eventually no letter cues.
  9. Minimize Error, Lest you Learn the Errors. Trial-and-error learning is generally less effective than learning conditions that minimize error, because error responses can get stored as memories that compete with the right answers. In short, it is better to not know than to generate wrong answers.
  10. Use Memory Crutches. Using external memory aids (sticky notes, wall charts, notebooks, etc.) should help, bearing in mind, however, that using such aids may themselves be a memory task. It is like having a schedule calendar and forgetting to check the calendar. Smart phones and radio paging devices (“NeuroPage”) can be especially helpful because they remind the patient when to check on the stored information. In some patients, repeated use of such aids develops a habit for target tasks and these may even generalize to certain non-target tasks.
These ten approaches are some of the same approaches that work especially well in people with normal memory capabilities. To make them work in patients with impaired memory just takes more effort, patience, and time.
Source: Ptak, R., Van der Linden, M., and Schneider, A. 2010. Cognitive rehabilitation of episodic memory disorders: from theory to practice. Frontiers in Human Research. 4 (57): 1-11. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2010.00057.

All retrieved from

Monday, April 13, 2015




  • 受害者被电话催眠后,将陷入恍惚状态Alpha-Theta脑电波状态,逻辑思考能力受限;很容易做出不理智的决定。当你发现对方说的话毫无疑点但同时却觉得困惑不已,或许你几经成为了受害者。(可以透过脑电波反馈疗法EEG biofeedback训练你的逻辑思考,专注力甚至让你变得不容易被影响和催眠)。
  • 当你发现自己变得特别的乖和听话,那或许就是一个被控制的迹象了。
  • 当你发现自己的情绪反应强烈时,你或许已经进入了失控状态。
  • 勇敢的说“不”,跳出恍惚状态,让自己恢复理智。
  • 有的人无法轻易跳出恍惚状态,可以考虑学习自我催眠或者脑电波反馈疗法来帮助自己加强抵御力或增强逻辑思考能力。
  • 催眠是无法控制别人的行为的,因为如果你不愿意合作,没有人可以催眠你的。催眠的功效实际上就是合作与配合度来决定的。只要你不合作,没有人可以催眠你的。

事实上,当你收看这节目或阅读此文章时,你的大脑潜意识就如已经植入了我(临床催眠师的角色就如软件工程师般)给你的初级版防毒程式anti-virus。那么电话催眠罪犯(他们就如hacker般的角色)的病毒virus就比较难对你的潜意识产生影响了(记得勇于说NO! 跳出催眠状态)。如果你想要找寻临床催眠做疗法,建议找有向MSCH或AHPM注册的催眠师。再次特别感谢电视台的化妆师,主持人和工作人员的专业服务与制作。

If scammer is trying to hypnotize you without knowledge, what can you do exactly to not get hypnotized?

Hypnosis is natural, we are all in and out of trance every day. The hypnotic state is a very natural state of physical relaxation and heightened mental awareness whereby an action is felt to "just happen" automatically without conscious effort. For example, when you are driving, you often slip into a trance state where the conscious and unconscious minds appear to concentrate on different things (conscious mind focus and think about the task later on & your unconscious mind is focusing on driving the car). 

Your unconscious mind (hypnotic trance state) just like the part of you which looks out for you. Your action is felt to "just happen" automatically without conscious effort when unconscious mind(hypnotic trance state) is in charge. 
Most of the time it does a good job but sometimes it makes mistakes. For example: Bad habit, eating pattern, phobia, headache, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, light sleeper, anxiety and more. Your hypnotic trance can give rise to problems or solutions, depending on the value of the context.
Thus, clinical hypnotherapist is just like a "software engineer" to help you reprogramming, re-education or re-training your unconscious mind. Then gives your subconscious mind the "anti-virus"software that it needs, to stop it from makes mistakes again. Hypnotherapy are at their best when they are collaborative. So if you don't want to be hypnotized, then you can't be hypnotized. In Malaysia, make sure the hypnotherapist belongs to one of the major governing bodies such as - The Association of Hypnotherapy Practitioners, Malaysia (AHPM) which is regulated under the FCNMAM. Yes, AHPM members must adhere to AHPM's ethical, professional and evidence-based practice guidelines.

Scammers are like a hacker. They understand how our unconscious mind (hypnotic trance state) works. They identify possible exploits and hack into your unconscious mind (hypnotic trance state) and put"virus" into your system either through security 'holes' and then you might make mistakes. They can find exploits by using specific technique. Some victims are easier to go into hypnotic trance state than others. Thus, those people "system" are easily hacked. Stop collaborative when you receive their call so you can't be hypnotized. 

However, there are many ways to improve your system, so you won't be hacked easily:
EEG biofeedback/neurotherapy:
Hypnotherapy works with people who are highly suggestible. Highly suggestible people tend to have certain brainwave profiles. They usually have Alphas and Thetas which can be increased easily. These brainwaves are associated with relaxation and dreaminess. That’s why hypnotherapist always ask you to relax, focus and calm down. In some people, these brain waves can increase easily, making them more vulnerable to go into hypnotic trance state. An experienced hypnotherapist (just like software engineer) or scammers(Hacker) can detect it. The good news is that EEG biofeedback therapy can train you to control your brainwaves at will. With this training, you can protect yourself from people who try to exploit your unconscious mind (hypnotic trance state).

Clinical hypnotherapist is just like a "software engineer" to help you reprogramming, re-education or re-training your unconscious mind. Then gives your subconscious mind the "anti-virus" software that it needs, to stop it from makes mistakes again. Yes, if you set your mind against being hypnotized, you can't be hypnotized. However, if you don't realize you're being hypnotized, and so don't know to be resistant, you can sometimes be hypnotized lightly. Thus, experienced clinical hypnotherapist able to identify or guide you to prevent being hypnotized by giving your subconscious mind the "anti-virus"software (hypnotic suggestion). Scientists have found evidence that hypnotic suggestion can modify processing of a targeted stimulus before it reaches consciousness (Suomen Akatemia, 2013). This result indicates that all hypnotic responding can no longer be regarded merely as goal directed mental imagery. It shows that in hypnosis, hypnotic suggestion is possible to create a engrams. Engrams are means by which memory traces are stored as biophysical or biochemical changes in the brain (and other neural tissue) in response to external stimuli.

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2013, August 13). A hypnotic suggestion can generate true and automatic hallucinations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 10, 2015 from