Resilience Talk

Rae and I attended a talk at Linlithgow Primary School last night (5/02/18). The talk examined how early intervention work with children classed as vulnerable, can make them a whole lot more resilient to the stresses of adulthood in later life. A diverse range of teachers, parents, Police, Local Authority employees and interested public were in attendance. It was a subject close to our hearts and one we have been teaching our students for years. There is strong empirical evidence linking our early childhood experiences of an adverse nature to later social and health outcomes. Both physical and mental health are compromised leading to compensatory behaviours later in adult life. In crude terms the bad cards people are dealt in early life through physical, or emotional challenges tends to link in to their adult health.  A lack of love and support in early life will often be reflected in low adult self esteem and this in turn  will bring about certain adult tendencies. This leads certain people in to making poor life choices later such as addictive behaviours.  All done mostly unconsciously in an effort to deal with the unresolved early life challenges.

The main theme was the need for early intervention in childhood with quality social, medical and emotional support for those children classed as vulnerable. The realisation that there is potential for huge savings in cost and time in solving these complex issues at a young age especially to a present day society plagued by adult ills, is of course just common sense. However the leap from common sense to common practice will take some political clout to achieve. The Scottish Government are broadly supportive on resilience but there is much work by everyone to make this vision happen.

We are strong advocates of “Sleep Talk” (look it up on the Internet) parent led self hypnosis for insecure children overseen by specially trained therapists to help resolve a whole range of childhood anxieties. It is a team effort between parent/s and therapist to secure the best outcome for the child. I personally have been using it with parents and young children for some 16 years. I know it works, the parents know it works and if you know how hypnosis and suggestion therapy works you will know this too.

For either good or ill our parents are most likely to be the most influential hypnotists we will encounter in our life.

Telling your young child that “mummy loves you, daddy loves you, (sister/brother, grand parents, even family pets) loves you” every night as they drop off to sleep is so simple yet amazingly powerful.

Put it this way,  you are presumably an adult reading this, so give this some consideration. If someone had put the effort in to that simple little process during your formative years, just how safe, confident and assured do you think that would have made your childhood? The developing human mind (we are all vulnerable as children) simply cannot get enough reassurance.

Luckily our brains are fairly plastic and good therapy is one way to resolve the unhealthy influence of early adverse childhood experience.

What ever happened can be re-worked through the power of hypnosis a modality designed to deal with all that bad stuff in the past and lurking there in the unconscious part of the mind. What’s not to like? Even as an adult there is nothing wrong with silently repeating this mantra of safety and acceptance.

Hang on though, I hear you say what if my mummy and daddy didn’t love me and even harmed me! Well thankfully the unconscious mind is no respecter of reality/history, nor is it very rational (try telling a flying phobic that statistically flying is very safe). It simply will not rationalise that fact until through hypnosis it eventually concedes it is safe to fly. Similarly re-writing or over-writing your own personal history in a consistent and repetitive way in hypnosis is something the mind likes to do. It is not interested in the past so much as the novel and new helpful suggestions coming it’s way and of course the warm feelings it brings. Does that sound too good to be true? Well listen the next time you sit down to watch a Batman or Superman movie with the kids and you end up with that nice “warm, all is well with the world feeling”  be aware you have been, albeit temporarily, hypnotised in to a changed state.

You do the same thing in your daydreams. Come on admit it, how many of you have spent sometime thinking of your imaginary lottery win in your mind, including that delicious farewell to your boss?

Thought so, you see this hypnosis business really isn’t that mysterious at all. We are all hypnotised and we can all hypnotise ourselves in to helpful or unhelpful trances. As I often tell my students a good hypnotherapist just alters a person’s bad or unhelpful everyday trances in to something far more useful and helpful to the self.

In fact the American therapist and writer Stephen Wolinsky once wrote a book on that very subject and he was a very clever man.

So until next time stay loose folks and watch your own trances, they may not be serving you well.

Yours therapeutically,

John