Books.

Books.

February 3, 2014

 

People often ask me what sort of books or study I do, or they  ask what book I would recommend for self-help and improvement.

Well there are many questions like that and many good books on the subject, far too many write about in one blog.

What I’ve decided to do is just to tell you about a few of my favourite books that have helped me and given me the greater knowledge and I hope they will do for you too.

Anthony Robbins – Unlimited Power

This book was one of the first books I read that started to help me to understand how to change my own mind set and even perceptions around what I could achieve. I have read it a number of times and still love to pick it up and flick through it. He also wrote Awaken The Giant Within which he wrote before Unlimited Power but I read this after, possibly the wrong way around but it was still well worth reading this also is very inspirational for me giving answers and helping to believe in myself more. I recommend anything by Robbins

Mapping The Mind – Rita Carter

The best book and maybe the only one you will need until she brings out her next book on the brain and how it works. It is simply packed full of case studies and simple yet fully explains everything it very reader friendly way, in other word you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand this book. It will help you to understand this at times complicated subject. We all have a brain so why find out how that thing between our ears works !

I’m OK You’re OK – Thomas A Harris

This book was key to me getting to grips with the Parent- Adult- Child model of the personality otherwise known as Transactional Analysis. This book can get a little heavy and will take a little more reading but once you understand it , it opens up a completely new understanding of how we work and way we act, feel and say the thing we do sometimes.

Change Your Mind And Keep The Change – Steve & Connirae Andreas

This is another powerful book written by the brilliant Steve & Connirae. It is based on some advanced NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). This book gives different strategies to deal with issues and problem in life. It is written in a very easy to understand way. The name Andreas within my industry is a haul mark of quality and knowledge and together this family has done a great deal to advance the field of personal change and NLP.

 The Rainbow Machine – Andrew T Austin

Tales from a neurolinguist’s journal is how Andrew has presented this little gem. I’ve trained with Andrew on a few occasions and his humour yet knowledge is a great joy to listen to. In this book he recounts some of his more memorable cases and events. Some will make you laugh; some will make you gasp in horror. He has a very different approach to many therapist and to be honest it very refreshing. It really is worth a read.

Free Will – Sam Harris

If you think you have a free will then this book will make you rethink your beliefs on this subject. It is very interesting and intelligently written. It will only take you about a hour or so to read but is well worth the time.

What am I reading at the moment?

Phantoms In The Brain – V S Ramachandran…..and so far it’s been a great brilliantly interesting neurological read. I ‘m about a 1/3 of the way through it.

I hope you enjoy the books if you decide to expand your knowledge.

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk

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The Comfort Zone

January 6, 2014

The Comfort Zone

Do you spent a lot of time in your comfort zone? It is nice and safe and we don’t have to do what we don’t really want to do!

However, is that useful or healthy?

I’d like you to think back to the last lesson you really learnt in your life, have a good think.

At the time was that an easy or hard lesson to learn?

I’ve found in my life and speaking to people, the general feeling on this subject is that we only learn real lesson when in life things are not going so well, our backs are against the wall so to speak.

The great thing is we come though those times with some information of great value even if at the time it life seemed to be very hard or you were in a tough situation.

We spend a lot of time in our comfort zones day to day and that makes us very unsure of dipping our toes outside of it, it’s a bit scary at times. You may have to face your fears or do something you wouldn’t normal have or like to do. For some people that can be speaking up to the boss or applying for a new job. We make our comfort zones so you will know where yours is and what things may be outside of that.

This time of year lot of people are thinking about stepping out of their zone, for example if you want to get fit going to the gym can seem very intimidating because people think they are full of thin fit looking people and they will look silly or out of place. The reality is most people are plugged into their MP3 players and are uninterested who is around them.

Geoff Thompson has a great saying “There is no growth in comfort.” I have to say I agree on a person level. I had to learn lots of hard lessons and step out of my cosy comfort zone. It has made me the person I am. My comfort zone is now bigger but I know I need to keep stepping outside that and challenging myself to continue my growth.

A perfect example of this is doing this is training courses. When I started learning NLP, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy I had to step the furthest out of my comfort zone that I have done for a while.

Why?

I had old limiting beliefs that I couldn’t learn easily and was a bit thick. I had many wonderful wobbles and near melt downs on that journey and now I’m so glad it was hard because the wonderful reward that is now the job I love means so much more to me.

I regularly go on training courses with some of the best know trainer s in the UK and the world, guess what to do this I have to step out of that nice comfort zone and a mix with some highly intelligent people which always makes me wobble a bit! But I know I have to push myself and go, it gives me so much growth and inner self belief after the courses. Yes I was feeling nervous and apprehensive. I think to myself, will I be brainy enough to understand everything or will I ask the right questions without sounding stupid?

The reality is yes I can mix with these people and hold a conversation without them looking at me for sounding silly. My training and continue study and self-development has pushed me to become a person of knowledge and someone who will continue to push myself to feel uncomfortable in order to grow as a person.

How do you promote growth in your life?

If you want one to one help please contact me.

Regards

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


Feeling down?

Feeling Down?

October 16, 2013
There are times in life when I have felt down and depressed. This state effects lots of people and it seem to me the help from the doctors is not working too well. From what I have seen and heard doctors want to give people anti-depressants, it may help in the short term but it is not helping long term. People need to get to the root cause to change and start the healing process.

Many years ago I went to the doctors feeling down and depressed and yes he gave me some pills. I took the pills for 3 days and felt like a zombie, it was as if I was in a daze, not really there. It felt as though I was having an outer body experience as I wasn’t connected with the real world. After 3 days I said to myself and my parents whom I was still living with at the time I was throwing the pills in the bin and no one should be legally drugged like that. I know of people who have been on anti-depressants for years, is this helping them or masking the real problem? Maybe I didn’t give the drugs a chance to work but I wasn’t prepared to be drugged up to the eyes balls until they started working, give me some laughing gas instead !

There is much research into depression and what can help. It is proved that gentle exercises can help and also Diaphragmatic Breathing exercises help.

I went on a workshop with Andrew T Austin whom is very well known in the change work world. He uses a system to explain depression and this is what I also use now. Andrew has a vast knowledge on depression. I’ve trained with Andrew twice now and find it invaluable to my business and to myself.

For more info on this training with Andrew go to

http://www.23nlpeople.com/

The Three Pillars of Depression.

Guilt Shame Remorse

Causes

Anxiety Stress Panic

Causes

Temper Anger Frustration

This doesn’t apply to every case or every individual but it is a good scale and I have found it very useful in the past.

Feeling down does not cause a chemical unbalance in the brian, there is NO scientific evidence to back this myth up.

Please feel free to read this study. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020392

There are three basic molecules, known chemically as monoamines, which are thought to play a role in mood regulation: norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. The areas of the brain implicated in depression are the forebrain and the limbic system.

As a rule people who are suffering from depression are always looking back at past events in their life, finding fault in themselves or going over past events. If they are looking back all the time how can they see where they are going or move forward without tripping up?

I have found that people sometimes talk themselves into a bad state of mind. I was with a friend and they said about someone “What a right state to get into” to which I said “No, what a wrong state to get into”. If we look at the words, it’s true we can get ourselves into the wrong state with negative internal dialogue. We can talk ourselves into a low state of mind, thinking of the worst case. This is what happened to me I was focused on every negative parts of my life and feeling sorry for myself. I talked and thought myself into a depressive state.

There are simple steps we can take. The first is a bit obvious but true Smile! If you smile even if you don’t feel like it you can’t feel bad while smiling and its a psychologically very hard to feel low, also look at how you hold your body posture.

Walk with your chin up and shoulders back, chest out like a confident person would and the same while you are sat at home don’t slump in your chair, make your posture is correct. I also ask people to watch their favourite funny movie or comedian anything that make them laugh or smile. This will release good endorphins into the blood stream which help the brain chemistry .

Get some brightly coloured paper and write a good memory on each on and place them in different rooms of your home. Every time you see the papers take a moment to think of that good memory. When depressed the visual cortex of the brain is dulled so it important to get it working again, i.e. the bright colours. You will also start to train you brain to think positive thoughts every time you enter a different room.

Always consult with your GP if you are not sure.

I can help with your GP’s permission and help you to stay off the pills !

If you are feeling down and would like some help please get in touch for a free consultation with me.

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk

blhypno@yahoo.co.uk


Change

Change

 

Change can be a challenging thing if we don’t have the correct guidance or resources.

That’s basically what most of my clients come to see me about , they want to change  feelings, behaviours or a habit.

To get change we need a certain number of things to happen.

We need to recognise our patterns of behaviour or thoughts. Once people become aware of these they are no longer hidden so can’t be denied any longer.

Then we need to put an alternative in place or teach the brain to react in the way the client wants as in the outcome.

I use various skills to help this to happen such as transactional analysis, provocative therapy,  Neuro-Linguistic Programming and hypnotherapy.

 

Here is a short video explaining change.

Warm regards

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


Helping Our Hero’s

Helping Our Hero’s

 

Some of you may or may not know that I help our hero’s regularly within my therapy business with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Why?

Having sat in my chair time and time again hearing the horror stories of war and how the people are fed up with the help they received or not as the case maybe.

I keep hearing the same thing that these brave men and women are not getting the correct help they need but more importantly DESERVE !

As a rule I hear they generally only get 3 to 4 therapy sessions if they are lucky which Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based therapy, talking in other words. The problem with this approach is talking about horrific events often causes flashbacks or worsens the symptoms of PTSD and Truama. Why is the MOD continuing down this road of crap therapy?

PTSD works in a strange way which is why talking will not help at all. Trauma can get stuck in the right hemisphere of the brain so unlike other experience or memories will not be processed correctly. The memory is stuck so the brain doesn’t know what to do with it that’s why people keep reliving the trauma. Talk just makes it worse frankly.

If it was working then why is my phone still ringing with ex or servicing personal wanting help?

The problems are numerous with people with PTSD often drinking heavily or taking drugs in order to self-medicate which in turn has a massive effect or family and relationships which often will not last the strain and stress. This behaviour tends to be almost like binge drinking or drugs going off for days at a time into oblivion mode.

I can help using a combination of science backed eye movement therapy which has had up to amazing 90% success rate all over the world.

I want to help it’s my way of saying thanks and giving back, I offer a free service to military and ex-military personal which I normal run on a Saturday morning and afternoon.

Do you know someone who needs help? CLICK HERE

Share this blog and point them my way.

Regards

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

First published May 22, 2013

Over the last few weeks and months I’ve seen a big increase though my therapy practise of people suffering anxiety or panic attacks.

A lot of people complain of very similar symptoms such as racing heart beat and a feeling on being on edge all of the time among other things.

So what happening to cause people to feel like this?

First of all it will be more than likely start with something internally like negative dialog, which will create a picture in the mind. These two things together then create or start the process of creating a negative and most unwelcome feeling.

So the process starts at a neurological level in the brain.  It could be argued that anxiety itself is its own neurological symptom. After all, anxiety can change neurotransmitter levels in your brain causing them to send unusual signals to the rest of your body that  actually effect all your nervous systems and causes real sensations/symptoms.

The forebrain is the area most affected in people with anxiety and panic attacks disorders. The limbic system, which is involved in storing memories and creating emotions, is also thought to play a central role in processing all anxiety-related information. Both the locus coeruleus and the dorsal raphe project to the septohippocampal circuit, which in turn projects to other areas of the limbic system that mediate anxiety. The hippocampus and amygdala are of particular importance, as they are interconnected and also project to both subcortical and cortical nuclei. The amygdala fires off the fight, flight or freeze reaction in the brain then floods the body with adenine. It is the increased activity of the amygdala that causes the symptoms of anxiety and panic. It acually happens like this freeze, fight or flight.

Normally after each anxiety event, the amygdala resets itself to a normal level. But if we continue to experience anxiety or stress over a long period of time, our amygdala is modified and becomes fixed at a high anxiety level. In other words it is in the on position and needs to be switched off.

So it is a very real problem for some people. I think that a panic attack is anxiety but a much stronger reaction, anxiety that has been allowed to grow and become somewhat out of control. A friend who was a nurse in A&E in a local hospital said that 99% of people admitted to hospital who think they are having a heart attack are actually experiencing a panic attack

Anxiety and panic attacks can be cause by increased stress and inadequate coping mechanisms may contribute to anxiety.

One of the best ways to help yourself is to try deep breathing exercise every day for around 10 – 15 minutes at time.

How to do Deep Breathing Exercises:

  1. Find somewhere comfortable where you will not be disturbed during the exercise, if necessary tell who you live with family etc than you don’t want to be disturbed and to be considerate to your needs.
  2. Lie down or sit in a comfy chair, place your hands on your lower stomach. Breathe in through your nose so that your stomach rises, this mean than you will be breathing from the bottom of the lungs not the top. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds then slowly breathe out.
  3. Repeat these 3 or 4 times then allow your breathing to go back to normal.
  4. Concentrate on different parts of the body allowing these to relax one by one starting with the top of your head and working all the way down to the tips of your toes. Image you are in a wonderfully relaxing a safe place, I like to think of myself lying on a beach sunbathing.
  5. Just allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes of relaxing this way every day making part of your lifestyle. Try not to fall asleep as relaxation is different to sleep so you don’t want to associate relaxing with going to sleep although you may find it hard not too drop off at first.

If you feel you need a little more help then please contact me via the website or the office telephone number. www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk or contact me HERE

I am available for one to one or Skype (adam.cowming) therapy sessions if you can’t get to my office in person.

Regards

Adam


Weight Management

Weight Management

First published November 1, 2012

This is a subject that has been covered and covered but I think some people still miss one important point about this, especially clients that I see.

It’s not about diets, exercise but the psychology……….

I prefer to use the term “Weight Management” because the term “Weight Loss” implies you have lost something and people usually want to get back something they have lost. People lose things, usually, by mistake. As long as you think of ‘losing’ weight you are making life difficult for your mind to deal with. Instead, think of “Managing” your weight.

So what happens normally?

Here is the thing, people get to a certain weight and then they hit their weight fresh hold they then diet, exercise and lose some weight for a while…… put weight on again but this time their fresh hold may slightly be more i.e. they put more weight on than the last time because they are slightly more desensitised to the extra weight before they know to do something about it!

So something happens for them so they don’t see the extra weight until it is too late and in their mind they go … Oh no!!!   This is a classic yo yo dieting strategy. My job is to help the client break this cycle and get a new positive one instead, make the client aware of what and how they are eating.

As long as the client is educated and made more aware of their eating habits they will often make the shifts and changes themselves often this is done at an unconscious level. Clients often report back to me that they can remember an event or the reason they started over eating after a session while they are back at home, this is something I don’t do in the first session but often they tell me what I need to know to help them move forward or to address in another session if they want to.

I get the client to fill in a meal diary and be totally honest with it. Some clients I found didn’t realise they ate the snacks they did between meals, what I call graze on snacks and rubbish all day still having some healthy meals, they say ” but I eat healthy and exercise but can’t shift the weight” not even being aware of all of the calorie filled snacks in-between their meals.

Some client are so used to big portions that they think it normal to have a plate piled high with food, but if someone who hasn’t got a weight issue dished up a portion to them they would think it was not enough but the fact is it would be a normal meal size.

There is no big mystery to weight management but at the same time it is big business for the clubs and they make a lot of money from seeing the same people go to the meeting week in week out. They not doubt help people and offer a valuable service but if they can’t get a person’s psychology right then they will keep repeating the old patterns time and time again year after year.

Yes I run a business also but I see clients for around 3 to 4 sessions for this and give them enough tools to deal with the problem for life, I don’t want to see them for months on end because that would mean in my eyes I haven’t done my job correctly by offering a duty of care to my clients by helping them make the shift in their life they need to in order to keep the weight off .

If you are interested in one to one help then I provide Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Coventry.

Regard

Adam

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


Fears and Phobia’s

 

Fears and Phobia’s

First published on October 18, 2012

A fear or phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror can be automatic and overwhelming.

So what is really going on?

I will use spiders as an example simply because it’s that time of year when I start to get more spider phobia phone calls as they start to come in for in colder months.

First people will see a spider (Visual) then they may have some internal dialog(NOOOO a massive spider) or external (Scream Aaaaaaaa) this in turn will trigger the feeling(Kinaesthetic) inside like fight, flight or freeze which in turn gets processed as fear by the person.  Normaly the reaction is out of proportion to the situation, for example has anyone you know ever been in an unprovoked attack by a spider or been bitten? Not many I bet !

The thing to really think about is that we are only born with 2 fears :-

  • · Fear of sudden loud noises
  • · Fear of falling

All other behaviors are learned either directly or indirectly, the amount of clients I see who say that a member of there family is scared of the same thing. They more than likely learned to react the way they do because they have seen for example their Mum screaming that there is spider in the house and to get it out. The client learnt how to respond to spiders because it what their Mum did when they were a small child and as a child they did not have any other resources to call up on.

All of this doesn’t help a person of course who has the fear, so how can hypnotherapy help.

There are lots of different methods all will aim to do the same job of helping the client to feel differently about the phobia or fear and allow the client to disassociate themselves from the feelings. The client will just not be as scared or as concerned by the fear or phobia as before. They may not want to ever hug or hold a spider but they will be able to cope with catching one and removing it or just leave it to get on with whatever spiders do on a good night out !

I use different methods depending on what I think is best for the client, sometimes the work is already done before I even use hypnosis but the hypnosis is still a great way to help the client to think differently about the fear and allow the mind to process it in a more logical way in the future and take on some new learnings to allow the client to make a change and have a more appropriate behaviour towards the problem.

If your phobia doesn’t really impact your life that much, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. But if avoidance of the object, activity, or situation that triggers your phobia interferes with your normal functioning or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help with someone like myself.

Regards

Adam Cowming

Website  www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


Body Language

Body Language

First published on October 3, 2012

This is a very important tool that all therapist and business people should be aware of or have some form of understanding of, you’d think!

Body language means communication with the movement or position of the human body. It can be conscious – or unconscious. It is important to   remember that, although body language does give you an additional channel of communication, which sometimes contradicts the spoken word, it should be interpreted with care. For one thing, body language can be affected by particular habits of the speaker. To be able to read body language is very interesting, but it can be complicated, so watch out!

As a therapist I hope I have a general understanding but I know that I don’t know everything and it an area to which I’m looking into getting a higher level of understanding. I pride myself on my ability to be able to calibrate my client’s conscious – or unconscious body language.

The eight primary elements of body language are your face, eyes, posture, gestures, voice, movement, physical appearance and touch.

Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message

Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message

Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

The figure 55% comes from some research that Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971.

The ‘Mehrabian formula’ (7%/38%/55%) was established in situations where there was incongruence between words and expression.

That is, where the words did not match the facial expression: specifically in Mehrabian’s research people tended to believe the expression they saw, not the words spoken.

Mehrabian’s model is a seminal piece of work, and it’s amazingly helpful in explaining the importance of careful and appropriate communications. Like any model, care must be exercised when transferring it to different situations. Use the basic findings and principles as a guide and an example – don’t transfer the percentages, or make direct assumptions about degrees of effectiveness, to each and every communication situation.

Body language is now widely used in the field of selling, where sales personnel are trained to observe and read the body language of their potential customers. Sales personnel trained to read body language can now utilize this skill to read the subliminal cue exhibited by the customers to close a deal. Consequently, many companies such as insurance companies, direct-selling companies and international car-showrooms now engage body language experts.

I help out some workshops and it’s easy to tell who knows about body language and who doesn’t and the difference just pointing out little things to people can make them look at people very differently, often these workshop are not about body language but as therapists it will always be part of what we do so it good to help and pass on the skills we have to others. Some of the people who attend are not therapist so are not used to using these skills but are normally very fast at picking some of the very basic tips they get.

Regards

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


The unconscious mind

The unconscious mind

First published July 11, 2012

This is big subject of which we haven’t really tapped into its full potential. We know that it comes from the Limbic System part of the brain which has been shown to activate on MRI scans in this area.

So what is it and what does it do?

I look at it as the programming for the body and mind which is there to protect us. It is far more powerful than the conscious part of the mind. Within the unconscious mind there are parts that do particular jobs and tasks than run the programs in our mind and bodies. As a hypnotherapist is my job to work with this part of the mind to help you the client to overcome or change the programs that you maybe running that are not working for you. Imagine the brain as big computer that will only work as well as the programs we put into it. Sometimes we program the wrong programs into our mind and the conscious then unconscious mind takes on this new behaviour.

I always use this example to people who ask about how big is the unconscious, if you were to see on a neurological perspective it doesn’t look that big compared to rest of the brain. If you put your fists together next to each other like a boxer that is about the average size of a brain.

The unconscious is far more powerful so in this case size does not matter. To get an idea I say get a golf ball and put it next to a football. The golf represents the conscious mind and the football represents the unconscious mind!

Research is still on going into this but we know for sure is that it plays a massive part in our lives every micro second of the day of our life.

Here is a bit of information on the Limbic System of the brain.

The Limbic System sometimes called the “emotional brain” or “Old Mammalian Brain” is the next part of the brain to have evolved in the more primitive mammals about 150 million years ago. This is where our emotions reside, where memory begins and where these two functions combine together to mark behaviors with positive or negative feelings. It’s where mostly unconscious value judgments are made. Information going through the Limbic System are filed under “agreeable or disagreeable”. It also plays a role in salience (what grabs your attention), spontaneity and creativity. Located in the Limbic System are:

  • The Amygdala

Its name is Latin for almond which relates to its shape. It helps in storing and classifying emotionally charged memories. It plays a large role in producing our emotions, especially fear. It’s been found to trigger responses to strong emotion such as sweaty palms, freezing, increased heart-beat/respiration and stress hormone release.

  • The Hippocampus

This guy is all about memory and a little about learning. It’s primary role is in memory formation, classifying information, long-term memory. Like the RAM in your computer it processes and stores new and temporary memory for long term storage. It’s also involved in interpreting incoming nerve signals and spatial relationships.

  • The Hypothalamus

It should be called the Hypothalamus because it does so much. It’s linked closely with the pituitary gland to control many of the body’s functions. It monitors and controls your circadian rhythms (your daily sleep/wake cycle), homeostasis (making sure your body is running smoothly), appetite, thirst, other bodily urges and also plays a role in emotions, autonomic functions and motor functions.

  • The Thalamus

The Thalamus is THE relay station in the brain. Most of the sensory signals, auditory (sound), Visual, Somatosensory (from your skin and internal organs), go through this organ on their way to other parts of the brain for processing. It also plays a function in motor control.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and thanks for reading them !

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk