Any trauma or tragedy, whether from your recent past or indeed going back to childhood, can have a serious impact on your well being.
As a hypnotherapist I am used to seeing how much the frailty of mankind is often attributed to a single, or a number, of disturbing events that occur during one’s lifetime.
You only need to read about the experiences of some of the now pensionable victims of Jimmy Savile and his crew. An incident from their teen years, which may in itself have lasted a matter of minutes in reality, has by their own admission had a severe and lasting impact on their whole lives. Over the years they may have got on with their lives, often propped up by anti-depressants or other pharmaceutical interventions, but always there has been a nagging, shameful event that they have unsuccessfully kept at bay. Their relief in now being able to openly talk about, and thereby finally start to positively process their experience, is palpable.
At a recent IAPH and Thrive conference I had the great fortune to meet a wily and lively Irishman turned Essex boy called Paul Connolly. Paul is credited with developing the Boxercise fitness craze in the eighties, and being a personal trainer to a number of celebrities. He also wrote an autobiographical book entitled ‘Against All Odds’, detailing his childhood of abandonment (at two weeks old by some rubbish bins in Stepney Green), neglect and abuse at the hands of those that worked in the childrens’ home where he was living during his teenage years, St Leonards in Essex.
Despite an almost unbelievably horrific early start, this man has made an incredible success of his life – not specifically in financial terms, but rather he is happy and fulfilled and most importantly in a secure relationship with two children of his own – something he would never have even imagined during those early years.
Yet what is more significant is that of the eight boys who shared his dormitory during those St Leonards years, by their early 30s only two of them were still alive. The other six had all died, either dramatically and quickly by their own hand, or through years of self administered abuse of drink and drugs.
What is it that can make the lives of eight boys, all of whom went through similar circumstances, end with such tragedy, yet Paul is thriving?
Paul ultimately managed to process his experiences in a positive and helpful way. It did take him many years, and he was in danger of going down many a wrong path. But ultimately he was able to find a way of processing his experiences and integrating them into a positive perspective. In his own words – “I realised that, if I wanted my life to be good and meaningful, the only person to ensure that was me.”
The IAPH has developed a way of achieving such results in a much quicker way. This new method – Cognitive Processing and Integration (CPI) has been four years in the making and is a natural progression from its original Pure Hypno-analysis cousin. It is based on a far greater availability of research, making it professional, ethical and evidence based.
If you have recently undergone a traumatic and emotional event or upheaval – maybe a burglary, a physical attack, mugging or rape, if you have lost someone close to you and are having trouble dealing with the emotional fallout….
If you had had a major accident or illness, and may be healed physically but not mentally…
If you have had a particularly abusive childhood and have not ‘put it to bed’ yet…
If you find yourself suffering physical symptoms that seem to have no physiological causes – migraines, psoriasis, asthma, unexplained aches and pains, increasing levels of stress, anxiety and depression, increasing dependence on food, alcohol, cigarettes and other substances….
If you just feel that something about your life is not right, then CPI could play a crucial part in your future well-being, happiness, and more importantly your ability to move on with your life in a positive and meaningful way.
The first important thing to note is that NO hypnosis is involved. Rather CPI crucially provides a safe, non-judgemental and relaxed environment for the ‘un-burdening’ process.
Secondly, using Cognitive Free Association (CFA) you are encouraged to verbalise any thoughts, experiences, images, sounds, smells, memories with zero intervention on the part of the therapist. There is NO analysis, NO interpretation of events, NO second guessing what might have happened. CFA will enable you to bring to light any previously unprocessed or badly processed experiences, and then re-process them in a positive and helpful way.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, and the nature of the incident – whether it was a one off experience or a number of experiences taking place over several years – CPI can be carried out over a number of sessions, from a single session to maybe up to a dozen. This is significantly less than the years it can take in traditional therapy. It is non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical. And combining CPI with the powerful psychotherapeutic techniques of the Thrive programme to help change negative thinking styles and belief systems, then the opportunity to finally lead a truly happy and fulfilling life – free from the paralysing anxiety of your own negatively spiralling thoughts – is there for the taking.