When hypnosis is a trigger

Postby Melsuhr » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:58 pm

Any tips for me on getting over hypnosis being a trigger? Many years ago a "therapist" used hypnosis techniques on me in a way that was very traumatising. Being pushed to remember stuff I wasn't ready for. I find any type of guided relaxation very hard to relax too for this reason.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:09 am

One option is to just not use hypnosis or guided relaxation. Billions of people successfully navigate the world never using hypnosis, why not you?

But, let’s for purposes of discussion say that is not the point. You don’t want anything, including hypnosis to have some sort of control. Therefore, you want to conquer hypnosis. In that case, use CBT.

The fundamental principle is small exposures to hypnosis/guided relaxation followed by reflection. The reflection is used to alter your understanding of the perceived “threat”. Via reflection you learn that this small dose of hypnosis/guided relaxation resulted in no actual harm. The worst that happened is you might have started experiencing a little anxiety.

Repeat, repeat, repeat these small exposures until the anxiety disappears. If a 5 minute guided relaxation is too much for you, reduce it to 2 minutes. Eventually you will be able to have a guided relaxation of X minutes without any fear. Then slowly scaffold or increase the duration to X+2 minutes, X+4 minutes, etc.

The key is after each session to take the time to reflect and acknowledge all the terrible things that DID NOT happen. Over time having realized you are still breathing and that you did not suffer any actual harm, you will increase your ability to deal with hypnosis.
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#2

Postby Melsuhr » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:25 am

Is the holiday Inn express that bad!!! Gave me a much needed laugh

Thanks. It's more me facing my demons. I have DID which adds that little bit more of a challenge. Also I find CBT really difficult, still trying to work out what safe is and what safe feels like which is kind of fundamental to any sort of desensitisation stuff.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:07 am

Melsuhr wrote: Also I find CBT really difficult, still trying to work out what safe is and what safe feels like which is kind of fundamental to any sort of desensitisation stuff.


Try reversing the question. What does “unsafe” feel like?

Safe feels like nothing. We are not hardwired to detect safe. Safe doesn’t send out any signal, it doesn’t release any chemical or grab our attention. We are hardwired to detect the unsafe, the novel, the unexplored. Your attention goes to the loud sound, the fast movement not to determine safe, but to determine if it is unsafe.

I use learning to SCUBA dive as a personal experience. Getting in the gear, heading out to the boat, getting in the water there was no anxiety. Safe didn’t feel like anything. There was no rush or flood of chemicals telling me “this is safe”.

Head under the water, breathing through a tube, surface is 1 meter away, exploring something new so heightened alertness, but still nothing is saying “unsafe”.

Then I get to a point in the training where I’m sinking. Instead of inflating the vest I had hit the release of air. The weight of the belt is dragging me down, not enough air in my vest, my ears begin to feel excess pressure. I’m sinking too fast!!!!! My brain reacts and my body gets a huge spike of adrenaline. Unsafe! Unsafe! I begin to panic.

The real danger was in my mind. The instructor knew I was fine, he had hold of my harness and we were not far from the surface. The floor was also not far below. A touch of air in the vest and my buoyancy is restored. What’s does safe feel like? I have no idea, but I know what unsafe feels like, even if it is only in my mind.

The process of reducing the unsafe then, in my opinion, is to focus on what it feels like to feel and then manage the unsafe. The gradual exposures or desensitization is not about feeling safe, but about exploring the unsafe.

Using the SCUBA example, you go from 1 meter to 3 meters to 9 meters. The entire time it wasn’t about feeling safe, but about not feeling unsafe. With each new depth it was confirming that you don’t feel unsafe. The entire time it was a heightened experience, exploring something new, seeing some amazing sites. Sharks, sea turtles, thousands of fish of all different colors, the amazing reef, etc.

I know in some sense it is semantics, but I think it is an important distinction. Safe feels like nothing.
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#4

Postby Joe100 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:51 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
The key is after each session to take the time to reflect and acknowledge all the terrible things that DID NOT happen. Over time having realized you are still breathing and that you did not suffer any actual harm, you will increase your ability to deal with hypnosis.


Nope.

"Regarding treatment combination, several studies have found that the addition of cognitive therapy to PE did not yield superior outeomes, whereas the addition of exposure techniques to cognitive therapy enhanced the outcome of the latter."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... po=22.4638

You also get this with depression where plain behavorial therapy does as well as CBT. Some cool studies on that.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:51 am

Joe100 wrote:Nope.


Not sure what this means. The study you linked supports the use of CBT. It is trying to determine which version of CBT is most effective.

You also get this with depression where plain behavorial therapy does as well as CBT. Some cool studies on that.


That’s cool. I’ve seen studies that show that certain, narrow applications of hypnosis is just as effective as CBT as well.
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#6

Postby Joe100 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:30 am

You wrote that they key is to reflect on all the terrible things that didn't happen.

The research shows that the cognitive piece is not needed. So it wouldn't be "key". Just do the exposure, that's enough.

This all of course leaving out the part where the efficacy of CBT has been proven when delivered by a trained therapist following a protocol. Not by some guy on the internet telling other people to try things.
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:32 am

Joe100 wrote:You wrote that they key is to reflect on all the terrible things that didn't happen.

The research shows that the cognitive piece is not needed. So it wouldn't be "key". Just do the exposure, that's enough.


Yes, I did use the word “key”. That most certainly changes everything. Great point. Do you have any more individual words that I used that you believe changes the entire meaning for you?

This all of course leaving out the part where the efficacy of CBT has been proven when delivered by a trained therapist following a protocol. Not by some guy on the internet telling other people to try things.


If a guy on the Internet tells you to try CBT, you think that this is recommending that the person go to Walmart, pick up a box of CBT and go try it at home? Or, do you think when a guy on the Internet says try CBT, they probably mean to seek out a trained therapist?

Maybe you read things into advice that isn’t there. Again, I did type something roughly to give CBT a try, so I could see where a person might think this means to use Wikipedia and YouTube videos. I mean, when someone says give hypnosis a try then YouTube is the next logical step, right?
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#8

Postby Joe100 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:31 pm

You told the original poster to use CBT. You then proceeded to write up a description of what he should do. Unfortunately the thing you told him to do has zero scientific evidence of it's effectiveness.
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#9

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:48 am

Joe100 wrote:You told the original poster to use CBT. You then proceeded to write up a description of what he should do. Unfortunately the thing you told him to do has zero scientific evidence of it's effectiveness.


But, I used the words “fundamental principle” Joe. I said, “the fundamental principle is”. Doesn’t that change the entire meaning for you? As in what I am about to describe is just the fundamental principle, not a specific recipe for you to try at home.
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#10

Postby Joe100 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:54 am

Fair enough.

It did look to me like a "hey try this", which I found shocking based on your strict fidelity to only recommending things proven to be useful in studies.

Now I understand that your words were simply there to describe to the poster what CBT might look like if the poster chose to go to a licensed professional who used the model and that you were not in any way suggesting that the poster do or try those things at home.
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#11

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:18 am

Joe100 wrote:It did look to me like a "hey try this", which I found shocking based on your strict fidelity to only recommending things proven to be useful in studies.


Actually this is a slight challenge for me, with two assumptions on my part.

First, I’ve never considered that when I reference CBT someone might consider a “self-CBT” route. I’ve provided a general description of CBT repeatedly in the forum, but always made the mental leap that post forum the next step would be a search for more information resulting in a path to a professional. It never occurred to me someone might interpret and then try a home version of CBT. My error.

Second, this idea of strict fidelity is based on my assumption that a person is not seeking the enjoyment of exploration and new knowledge, but an immediate solution to alleviate pain in one form or another. The “dire nature” or state of pain is something I think I read into posts that is not always there. Again, my error.
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