|Posted by kevanowen on March 29, 2013 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
TAIJI QIGONG for RELAXATION
NEW Introductory 6 Week Course Tuesday mornings 10.00 to 11.00am Tuesday May 7th to June 11th 2013 at The Bramley centre, Bramhall, SK7 ZDT.
Sessions will include gentle qigong exercises from Terri Goron, with a focus on how tai chi principles can be used to help relaxation. Sessions will finish with a relaxing seated visualisation from hypnotherapist Kevan Owen.
These sessions will be aimed at complete beginners interested in relaxation as well as anyone considering starting Tai Chi in September. Further sessions may be offered in September.
|Posted by kevanowen on June 8, 2012 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
As an experienced professional hypnotherapist I am passionate about helping you to make positive changes in your life. Whether your aim is to gain more confidence, to de-stress, to lift your mood, to overcome phobia or excessive anxiety, to stop consuming too much convenience food or to free yourself from the dangerous habit of smoking, hypnotherapy will help you to kick-start the change process.
Hypnosis is a special way of using various naturally occurring states. It’s a collaborative process in which you allow yourself to follow the guidance of the therapist by using your imagination to evoke positive emotions and rehearse behaviour change.
One aspect of hypnotherapy is the skilled use of guided imagery – a gentle yet effective way of reducing pent-up stress and generating deep relaxation -the crucial first step towards lasting therapeutic change.
Human imagination is a powerful reality generator. The kind of “movies” you run in your mind can have a direct effect upon the way you perceive reality and have a direct bearing on the way your life turns out.
Hypnosis and therapeutic guided imagery will enable you to focus your mind in a way that is helpful to you.
This wonderful creative process makes use of a natural facet of the mind, namely the ability to narrow focus of attention and to create new patterns of learning.
The state of flow is one of the highest positive emotions, a state of complete involvement. You enter a state of flow when you are totally immersed in what you are doing and you are operating at the very limit of your abilities. You could think of it as a very positive trance state.
Some trance states are less than positive and can cruise distress, e.g. anger, anxiety, depression and addiction. These are examples of common symptomatic trance states.
My aim as a therapist is to help you find a state of flow in your life, in which you free yourself from the trap of those negative trances and start to live a life of flow. This is the “sweet spot” between boredom and stress.
I use a solution-oriented approach, to help you achieve the positive changes that you would like to see in your life.
|Posted by kevanowen on July 10, 2011 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
A Guest Post by Bennett Mathers.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 56% of newly diagnosed cancer patients indicate moderate to severe pain associated with their illness at least half of the time with 81% complaining of pain more than twice and 34% reporting instances of discomfort or pain more than three times. Some patients are turning to alternative methods such as hypnosis to help them deal with the stress often associated with cancer.
An Australian clinical trial on hypnosis and cancer in 2005 raised awareness of the use of hypnosis to reduce stress, pain, depression and anxiety in some cancer patients, including those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other aggressive malignancies. While scientists have not found any evidence that hypnosis affects or alters cancer cells or has any impact on the immune system itself, there is evidence that the technique may calm common fears in cancer patients. Hypnosis is not intended to be a medical treatment for cancer, but it may play a role in managing cancer and promoting a sense of calm conducive to healing.
Hypnosis as relaxation method for cancer patients was also the subject of a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health. The NIH panel found hypnosis useful for chronic pain when used in conjunction with traditional medical care. There is no current scientific evidence to support the idea that hypnosis may hinder or stop the progression of any form of cancer. However, hypnotherapy may improve the quality of life of cancer patients by providing benefits including a noticeable reduction in fear and anxiety associated with cancer. Additional benefits may include:
• Reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches
• Reduction in bouts of depression
• Noticeable reduction in pain and discomfort
When hypnotized, an individual is able to concentrate on a single or specific thought, feeling, memory or sensation while blocking out distractions. This is believed to be a factor in reducing pain and stress in some cancer patients. Proponents of hypnosis for cancer patients do not generally claim that it can in any way cure the disease, but assert that the technique may be useful in reducing the side effects associated with some forms of cancer thereby potentially extending mesothelioma life expectancy by promoting the general health of the patient.
Hypnosis should be done under the care of a professional trained in hypnosis techniques. Self-hypnosis is not usually recommended when hypnosis is used for therapeutic reasons. Cancer patients with certain medical conditions or some types of mental illness should not be hypnotized.
Hypnosis may result in emotional distress in some cases. For this reason, the patient should be supervised at all times while under hypnosis. It is important for a patient to discuss the possibility of using hypnosis for therapeutic reasons with their doctor prior to undergoing hypnosis. Cancer patients utilizing hypnosis should not relay on it as a sole treatment or avoid or delay medical care.
By: Bennett Mathers
|Posted by kevanowen on August 8, 2010 at 10:37 AM||comments (0)|
Every human being at some point in their life will have times when they feel that they could do with some help with a personal issue or with psychological distress. Whether it is a difficult relationship, a problem at work or a troubling emotion, it can be helpful to talk it over with another person. Ideally that person will be someone who is an empathetic listener or be a “sounding board”. They may also offer another point of view on the problem which might provide greater clarity. Or they may possess skills or knowledge of human nature that in some way is useful to the person at that particular point in their life.
But how does one choose the best person for the job?
Throughout human history there has been no shortage of people willing to step into that role: Shamans, priests, philosophers, medicine men, wise women, counsellors, and psychotherapists of every persuasion.
In the 20th Century several differing schools of thought emerged about how people can be helped.
The medical model attributed psychological distress to physical causes that could be treated with drugs or surgery.
The psychodynamic model decreed that all our neurosis was due to unconscious processes that needed to be uncovered and “worked on”, usually over a long period of time.
The behaviourist school saw people on the level of lab rats, conditioned by what goes on around them, so behavioural therapy focuses on external factors and the way people respond to them.
The humanistic school emphasised free will and the subjective conscious experience of the individual, and humanistic therapy involves reflective listening to encourage what is called “self-actualisation”.
The cognitive model focuses on the thoughts and beliefs that people hold about the things that happen to them and cognitive therapy involves thought and belief “re-structuring”.
There are now literally hundreds of different therapy models to choose from. There is gestalt therapy, family therapy, transactional analysis, transpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, solution-focused therapy, energy therapy and so on. This confusing array of differing modalities makes it difficult for the average person to know which of these, if any, would be right for them.
In the last twenty years there has been quiet revolution taking place in the field of psychotherapy and counselling. It began in the 1990s when a group of therapists began to systematically study precisely which elements from all the different models of therapy are most effective. They went right back to the basics of what it means to be a healthy human being in terms of the basic physical and psychological needs.
This new Human Givens Approach recognises that all the major schools of therapy have contributed important insights and it has incorporated the best elements of each within a broader organising idea. The basis of that idea is that therapy works best when it is aligned to the givens of human nature.
Human Givens Therapists use up-to-date, proven psychological methods and techniques focused on problem solving and helping people to develop new life skills. They offer practical help based on sound scientific knowledge. The treatment is always tailored to the needs of the individual, helping the client to formulate achievable and realistic goals. Relaxation and guided imagery is often used providing relief from psychological stress and enabling the client to access their own natural resources and devise strategies for change.
|Posted by kevanowen on May 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM||comments (0)|
The first time that I heard the phrase “Human Givens” was on the 22nd July 2003. On that fateful day, as I was driving home from work idly switching channels on the car radio, I happened upon the BBC science programme “All in the mind”. This is an excellent series at the cutting edge of research and developments on all aspects of the mind and brain. In this particular episode Prof. Raj Parsaud was interviewing an Irish psychologist by the name of Joe Griffin who was talking about depression, and how people could be helped out of depression using new understandings about the brain.
During the course of this interview there were several references to something called “Human Givens”. I don’t know if you have ever noticed that when you hear an unfamiliar phrase for the first time, you can mis-hear it? For a moment I thought they said “human gibbons”. This is a good example of a psychological phenomena that I have come to know as a pattern match. Whenever we encounter something unfamiliar there is an in-built need to make sense of it. Our brains do this by going on a mental search into the memory banks to find something similar that we have encountered before. On this occasion my brain went on such a search and in an instant came up with the word “gibbons”.
What Joe Griffin was actually talking about however was the givens of human nature – those inherent patterns or templates that we are born with. This includes our basic needs and the resources that nature has given us with which to get those needs met.
Consider a simple house plant. If it gets the right amount of water, nutrients, warmth and light it will flourish. If it does not get the right balance of nutriments it will wither. Although human beings are considerably more complex than plants, a similar situation applies. Humans have a set of physical and psychological needs and the extent to which we can get those needs met will determine how well we are. These innate needs include security, attention, autonomy, friendship, belonging, status, achievement and meaning. Nature has also provided with an innate “guidance system” or set of resources with which we can get our basic needs met. These resources include memory, empathy, imagination, a conscious rational mind and an unconscious “pattern matching” mind. There is also the “observing self” – that part of us which can step back, be objective, and recognise itself as a unique centre of awareness.
We also have the ability to dream. Joe Griffin has proposed that the purpose of dreams is to defuse emotionally arousing expectations that are not acted out the previous day. His idea, which came as a result of several years studying his own dreams, is that dreams are metaphorical representations of uncompleted emotional arousals. The dreaming process allows the brain to discharge that pattern of arousal so that it is no longer lodged in the brain as an uncompleted programme.
It has been shown by sleep researchers that depressed people have more periods of dreaming sleep than the average person and Joe suggests that this is because of all the worrying or negative rumination that has been filling there mind. Because dream sleep uses up a lot more energy this results in the person waking up tired and unmotivated and so it perpetuates a negative spiral, known as the cycle of depression. Negative rumination is could be seen as a mis-use of the imagination.
By learning how to use the imagination more creatively, to draw upon one’s resources to get ones basic needs met in a healthy way, worry is reduced and sleep quality improves. This suggests how depression can be lifted without recourse to medication.
All forms of mental and emotional disturbance could be seen as being on a continuum, from stress and one end to psychosis on the other. The human givens approach offers a large organising idea as to how all these conditions can be relieved. It draws upon a variety of up-to-date, proven psychological methods and techniques focused on problem solving and developing new life skills.
After hearing that radio programme I was inspired to read the book (Human Givens – A new approach to emotional health and clear thinking by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell). This was soon followed by attendance at a variety of fascinating seminars and workshops about the approach supplied by Mindfields college. I went on to complete the Human Givens Diploma, as well as other training in counselling and hypnotherapy, and today I am able put that knowledge to good use in my own therapy practice.
In the next blog I will discuss further aspects of the Human Givens approach such as the way in which it brings much needed clarity to what has until now been a very confusing field.
|Posted by kevanowen on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM||comments (0)|
Remember Corporal Jones in the classic BBC comedy "Dads Army? Whenever the Walmington Home Guard got into dire straits, as happened frequently, Lance Corporal Jones would go into a flat spin and loudly issue the proclamation "Don’t Panic!”. In doing so he thereby succeeded in raising the anxiety levels of his compatriots even further. This was amusing to watch, but for a person caught up in the thrall of a real panic attack it is no laughing matter.
A panic attack is one of the most frightening experiences imaginable. It can feel as though ones very life is in danger. Common symptoms include a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking and a fear of losing control. Some people experiencing a panic attack fear that they are having a heart attack or going crazy. It is important to stress however that this is NOT the case.
Panic attacks occur when a person’s nervous system goes into what is commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. It is a natural protective mechanism that primes the body for strenuous physical activity. This mechanism is highly advantageous in a situation of real danger. It is something that has helped the human race to survive in the natural world for thousands of years. A fearful stimulus such as an approaching predator triggers a release of adrenalin which in turn produces the rapid heart rate and all of the other physical responses. These prime the body for either fighting the aggressor or running away. If no such physical exertion happens the person is left with no outlet for all that pent up energy. Hyperventilation disturbs the delicate balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, leading to symptoms such as tingling, dizziness and light-headedness.
So in a way the term “panic attack” is not a very accurate term. The person is not being attacked by panic. Rather their body is going on high alert to protect them from danger. Very often people experience this cascade of physical effects in situations where there is no present danger, and they are perplexed as to why it is happening. The explanation for this has to do with the fact that the human brain acts as a pattern-matching organ. It can trigger the fight or flight response in situations that provide an unconscious match to a feared event or situation. Usually something in the person’s immediate environment is triggering this unconscious fear reaction. It may be something very innocuous, a particular colour, sound or even a scent that at one time was matched with something dangerous for that person.
One of the best ways to recover from a panic attack is to practice a special breathing technique to counter the effects of hyper-ventilation. This technique is known as 7/11 breathing, so called because it involves breathing in to a count of seven, and breathing out to a count of 11. Doing this for five minutes or so will restore the oxygen/carbon dioxide levels to the correct balance. It is also important to breathe in and out through the nose, rather than the mouth, and to employ deep abdominal breathing rather than shallow breathing.
For people who experience panic often, hypnotherapy can be a very effective form of treatment. A good hypnotherapist will assist in teaching the client effective ways of calming down, of managing the symptoms or even removing the panic for good.