Like hundreds of other Vancouverites, I spent the day downtown at Robson Square. But I wasn’t there just for the Olympic anniversary celebrations. I’m attending the annual two-day Clinical Hypnosis Training Workshop presented by the faculty of the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (B.C. Division).
Dr. Lee Pulos, well-known clinical hypnotherapist and president of our division, calls the weekend “Trance Camp”, and with his trademark gusto, he led a room full of psychologists, physicians and therapists through group inductions. He reminded us how we can each awaken the slumbering giant of the subconscious to manage our challenges and achieve our goals.
Dr. Leora Kuttner, a world-reknown expert on hypnosis in children, shared her therapeutic pearls. She reminded us that hypnosis can be a way to reconnect our patients to different aspects of their being and therefore to their essential selves. Her latest book, A Child in Pain: What Health Professionals Can Do to Help is an invaluable follow-up to her book for parents, A Child in Pain: How to Help, What to Do. Dr. Kuttner has done pioneering work teaching self-hypnosis to children with cancer. The impact of this work can be seen in her documentary films, No Tears, No Fears, No Tears, No Fears: 13 Years Later and Making Every Moment Count.
Dr. Heather Fay, a family physician who now practices complementary medicine, including hypnosis, acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine techniques, shared her expertise in helping patients cope with both acute and chronic pain.
Dr. Bianca Rucker, a prominent Vancouver sex therapist, shared her mind-body approach. Hypnosis is just one of numerous approaches she uses to help clients manage a variety of problems including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, sexual inhibitions, falling out of love, and past abuse or trauma.
Dr. Harry Stefanakis is a psychologist who has helped many clients who have suffered trauma. Hypnosis is one of the tools he uses to assist them in the healing process.
I have another day of workshops ahead, but our inspiring teachers reminded me of our incredible potential to help others. Attending and reflecting on these workshops and going through numerous hypnotic inductions reminds me that we spend much of our days in a trance.
We see and judge the world, ourselves and others according to the often unquestioned assumptions of our subconscious minds. Many of these assumptions are based on the events of the past, and they can hold us back from experiencing happiness in the present and the future.
Ask yourself, as I ask myself today: What am I feeling right now? What are the root causes of these feelings? What in my life and in my relationships remains unresolved? What must I do to feel complete? What do I need to do to feel fulfilled?
What may be keeping you from achieving your potential for happiness?
Coming Up: The Trance of Everyday Life.