by Pamela Chilton, C.Ht., President
Foundation For Research & Exploration of Mind Motivation,
a teaching, healing, and research non-profit foundation
(800) 403-4325 www.odysseyofthesoul.org
What have popularly become known as "12 Step Programs" have proven
themselves to be highly effective for controlling and ending addictive
behaviors. Resisting someone or something for which a person has
developed a biological craving or need is one of the most difficult
things a human can do. So difficult, it forces one to seek the help
of others. Discovering how important humans are to one another is
a second important outcome of "12 Step Programs", as is gaining
appreciation for the wonderful abilities humans have to help themselves
and each other. Still another is becoming more open to the inner
power that transcends even human abilities. While "12 Step Programs"
are successful for many in helping to end or control behavior, however,
they have not proven effective in ending the need or desire for
Addictive behavior is like a train running out of control, and
desire is the engine that drives it. While a runaway train can be
brought under control by manipulating the rails it is running on,
the train is never really stopped until the engine has stopped.
There is a difference between ending a behavior and ending the desire
that drives it. As long as the desire remains, the person with it
feels a) deprived and b) fearful of its power.
Brain chemistry affects emotions and emotions affect brain chemistry.
When repeated exposure to a person, place, thing, or behavior triggers
identical, or similar, emotional response, the subconscious mind
programs a pattern of automatic bio-chemical responses to these
triggers. Thus, in the presence of the same, or a similar, person,
place, thing, or behavior, a bio-chemical need for it; i.e. desire,
is triggered. Biological needs are extremely difficult to deny or
ignore. It is a battle. Won or lost it is a battle with casualties.
Suppression of desire requires tremendous expenditures of energy.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs
"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you
will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." James Allen
"Associate reverently, as much as you can, with your loftiest
thoughts." Henry David Thoreau.
"Thought takes man out of servitude, into freedom."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery
that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives." William James
"What you don't understand is there is not a 'real' world.
It is really a world we made up." Frank Oppenheimer, Ph.D.,
Nuclear Physicist, and lead scientist on developing the atomic bomb,
when asked by his colleagues why he could produce reactions with
atoms they, themselves, could not.
"Israeli researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science
provided the first physical proof of the quantum mechanical theory
that, by the very act of watching, the observer affects the viewed
reality." Times Medical Writer, Thomas H. Maugh II
Does any thinking person doubt that thought is the foundation of
reality? Thought triggers will, emotion, and desire. Will, emotion,
and desire trigger bio-chemical reactions which in turn motivate
behavior. To end the desire for behavior, one must end the thought
that triggers the desire.
There is always an origin of every thought. Similar thoughts become
linked in the neurological pathways of the brain. Clustered thoughts
become beliefs. Beliefs are powerful engines that drive autonomic
and automatic behavior. When the fuel of desire is added to belief,
automatic behavior becomes addictive behavior.
Talk therapy is not "new age". In 100 BC the Yellow
Emperor of China wrote: "One who heals the mind by talking,
is the superior doctor, and by talking only, the superior doctor
can heal all the diseases of the body, mind, and spirit."
What is talk therapy but attempting to find the underlying thoughts
creating belief, desire, and behavior in order to change these?
Addiction is a disease. The only doctor who can cure this disease
is you. By talking, you can heal the desire for your addiction.
That is, if you talk about the thoughts creating the desire.
In a study of 112 adults with rheumatoid arthritis or chronic
asthma, doctors asked two thirds of the group to write about a very
upsetting event in their lives for 20 minutes a day, three days
in a row. The remainder just wrote about their plans for the day.
At checkups two weeks, two months, and four months later, almost
half of those who'd written about a traumatic experience had marked
improvements in their asthma or arthritis - whereas over half the
others had no change at all. (Remedy, July/August, 1999)
"This study shows that writing about stressful events may
actually reduce the symptoms of a chronic illness," says Joshua
M. Smyth, Ph.D, assistant professor of psychology, at North Dakota
State University in Fargo. Why? "Trauma may produce hormone
changes that affect long-term health and writing about it may help
Writing is talk therapy. Writing out or talking aloud to yourself
about what has upset you and how you feel about it is a valuable
self-help tool, if you can do so without becoming so emotionally
upset you lose control. A valuable addendum to writing or talking
about what has upset you is to a) write or talk about what your
upset emotion wanted to say or do at the time it happened and then
b) write or talk about what you might have said and done had you
felt perfectly calm and inwardly unaffected.
Therapy becomes important when: A) You cannot write or talk about
what upsets you without losing control. B) You do not know or are
fearful of facing what upsets you. C) The thoughts and beliefs fueling
desire are subconscious thoughts and beliefs.
"Positive thought at the conscious level only is like
riding half an ass. It will not get you where you are trying to
go." Hugh Harmon, Ph.D.
You have been forming thought from your beginnings. Every thought
you think becomes linked to similar thoughts you hold until clustered
thoughts form beliefs. Emotions linked to beliefs fuel desire which
fuels behavior. To change desire, one must change the beliefs and
thoughts that fuel desire. If you have learned to focus consciously
on positive thoughts and the behavior or the desire for the behavior
remains, then you must investigate your subconscious thoughts; i.e.
thoughts and beliefs you may not even be aware you hold.
"Healing is a conscious activity. To heal, you must go about
it consciously." Deepak Chopra, M.D.
How do you heal thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that are so buried
in the subconscious you are not aware of them consciously? It is
obvious one must bring them to the conscious level where one can
examine and change them consciously.
Anything that happened prior to the present moment is in the past.
Regression therapy is talk therapy about what happened in the past.
You have learned a great deal in your life. You have grown physically,
mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By reviewing the events
of the past through the greater awareness and knowledge you have
now, you are able to examine in greater depth the choices made in
the past that have created your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, desires,
Pschoanalytical therapy and psychotherapy seek to bring to the
surface; i.e. the conscious awareness, events of the past that affect
the present. This is regression therapy.
The Six R's of Regression Therapy
- Recognize the events of the past that have created the negative
thoughts, beliefs, and emotions creating bio-chemical reactions
that drive negative desires and behavior.
- Relive the experiences of those events.
- Release the unprocessed emotions linked to those experiences.
- Re-pattern the experiences with positive empowering actions,
emotions, and thoughts that lead to positive, empowering beliefs.,
desires, and behaviors.
- Realize the lessons gained in the experiences.
- Review the experiences of the past to test for positive subconscious
Each of the above steps are important to the healing of past events.
At times, each of these steps are covered in one session for one
event. At other times, it may be necessary to go over an event many
times, a step at a time, in order to uncover and heal all the negative
thoughts, beliefs, and emotions linked to it.
Hypnotherapy powerfully enhances regression therapy because
of the use of hypnosis which allows a person to more quickly and
deeply access the subconscious levels. Three common misconceptions
about hypnosis is a) it allows the hypnotist to gain control over
the mind of the hypnotized person , b) a person is must be unconscious
in hypnosis in order for it to be effective, and c) it is difficult
for most people to be hypnotized..
"All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. That is, it is not something
that is imposed on you, but something that you yourself do, and
someone else simply serves as a facilitator to guide you. Another
myth about hypnosis is that you lose consciousness and have amnesia.
The majority of people remember everything that occurs in hypnosis.".
D. Corydon Hammond, Ph.D.
If you are fearful you may be that rare individual who experiences
amnesia during hypnosis, simply tape your session to take home and
play. This is a good idea for everyone. Spontaneous amnesia occurs
in hypnosis when one is bringing up information one is not wanting
to face, which is the core of what is creating the negative conditions
one desires to heal. You will not be aware you had spontaneous amnesia
during the session until you play the tape. If you are disturbed
by what you hear, call your therapist.
Milton Erickson, M.D., one of the most respected psychotherapists
of the century and often called the father of modern hypnosis wrote:
"So far as I know, hypnosis as a form of human behavior has
been in existence since the beginning of the human race. Trance
is a common experience. A football fan watching a game on TV is
awake to the game, but is not awake to his body sitting in the chair
or his wife calling him to dinner. Practically all normal people
can be hypnotized."
Another myth about hypnosis is that memories brought up in hypnosis
are not as accurate or believable as memories brought forward in
conscious states of mind. The following is from the American Association
of Behavioral Therapists:
- A great deal of research over the years confirms that a person's
memory of things is based less on factual recall and more on what
they want and expect to be true. However, recent research by Edward
Hirt at the University of Wisconsin in Madison identified a strategy
that can overcome personal biases and facilitate accurate recall.
During this study, researchers observed that subjects who were
told to imagine; i.e. image, or mentally recreate the situation
in which they first experienced the information to be recalled
were much better at recalling it accurately than were those who
not use this technique.
As hypnosis enhances ones ability to image and to mentally recreate
the past, one might correctly suppose hypnosis would enhance accurate
recall of events of the past. While this is true, it is also true
that an improperly or poorly trained hypnotherapist can influence
this recall by the use of direct or indirect suggestions. It is as
important to check the training credentials of a hypnotherapist as
it is any other type of therapist. Especially as this profession is
as yet unregulated in most states. A minimum of 300 hours of training
with at least 200 of those hours in a classroom - not via tapes, videos,
or books - with certified instructors is important. Look in your local
yellow pages for certified hypnotherapists in your area and ask for
a free consultation with several. During your consultation, check
credentials and ask questions. Avoid controllers who offer quick cures.
You've already controlled your behavior. You need to understand it,
which is likely to require more time, commitment, and effort than
any quick cure can offer. Choose the qualified professional with whom
you feel most comfortable.
The Inner Child & Past Life Personalities
People in hypnosis will often begin speaking as a child when remembering
events of childhood, or will, when told to go to an originating
thought or emotion, begin speaking of a past life. Permitting oneself
to speak and feel as a child in regression therapy is highly conducive
to changing the negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions one developed
as a child. As the majority of ones personality - with its attendant
thoughts, beliefs, and emotions - is developed in early childhood
and reinforced throughout ones youth to be carried forward into
adulthood, working with the "inner child", "inner
teen", and "inner adult" is important to rooting
out and changing negative patterns of thought, belief, emotions,
While two-thirds of the world's population believe in the soul
and multiple life times of the soul, it is not necessary to consciously
believe in or accept this belief in order to heal thoughts, beliefs,
emotions, and behaviors in what the subconscious mind identifies
as a past life. It can be argued that such "memories"
of the subconscious mind are metaphors, much like dream symbols,
used by the subconscious to heal and transform inner thoughts, beliefs,
and emotions that are negatively affecting present behavior. Flowing
with the subconscious intent to heal and transform is a powerful
means of effecting positive change.
While there are many ways of changing behavior, effecting healing,
releasing emotions, and changing subconscious programming, hypnotherapy
uncovers blocks to reaching these goals. Such blocks can be resistance
with the "inner child", a "past life personality",
or the influence of others on your subconscious. Spirit attachments
are another area of subconscious influence which, like past life
therapy, are believed by many. Again, whether this is a metaphor
the subconscious uses for healing or a spiritual reality is unimportant.
What is important is to follow what your own subconscious suggests
(not any leading suggestions of therapist). (For more information
regarding the inner child, past lives, and spirit attachments read:
Odyssey of the Soul, A Trilogy, Book I, Apocatastasis by Pamela
Chilton, Hugh Harmon, Ph.D., and Light, available at all major retail
and internet bookstores.) It is exciting and important to note that
when blocks to goals are cleared, many processes, treatments, methods,
and means that have not worked to reach the goal in the past now
While group talk is supportive and enhances understanding of oneself
and of others, group therapy is ineffective and can, in fact, be
- People are unique individuals who process differently and at
different speeds. Experiences and emotions one person may be ready
to process may trigger traumatic memories or emotions others in
the group are not ready to acknowledge, let alone face.
- The human psyche is highly sensitive to judgmental criticism.
Therapists are taught to avoid remarks, gestures, emotions, and
even thoughts that would anger or upset a person in therapy unless
this is a conscious step made by the therapist to facilitate healing.
Untrained individuals in a group are likely to trigger the defenses
of others in the group by thoughtless or judgmental criticisms.
- People in therapy are more open to suggestion and influence.
Therapists are trained to recognize this and handle it carefully.
It is very difficult to avoid negative suggestions and influence
in a group setting.
- Hypnosis so greatly enhances regression therapy it is almost
senseless not to use it for regression therapy, yet using hypnosis
for group therapy is completely senseless. Trauma requires the
undivided attention of a professional therapist. As hypnosis is
likely to bring up repressed trauma, how undivided will be the
attention of a therapist when more than one of the group brings
up trauma during the hypnosis?
The End Of Therapy
Therapy is considered successful and finished when negative thoughts,
beliefs, emotions, and desires end. How long will this take? It
will take as long as it takes. The greatest block to successful
therapy is impatience. Only you can un-create what you have created.
How long it takes you to do this is part of your journey. Greater
knowledge and understanding are important parts of this journey.
With them, come self-mastery and with self-mastery, you are an inspiration
to others and a guide for many.