Friday, 28 October 2016

Consciousness and Transformation

Consciousness is both who we are and who we perceive ourselves to be. At any given time, who we truly are does not change, however we are constantly re-writing the stories that we tell ourselves. Those stories are based on our perception of the world and our place in it. Consciousness only exists in the moment; our recollections of the past and our fantasies of the future are just more stories. We cannot know what will be in future moments and we cannot trust what we tell ourselves happened in the past, because although real events may have happened, our memories of them are not necessarily accurate. Memories are not the real events, they are based entirely on the “false selves” that are the stories we invent and build upon our perceptions and associations. How many times have you filled in gaps in your memory with good or bad recollections that cannot be recalled by others who experienced the same event?

Transformation means changing our perceptions or our view so that we recognize that what we tell ourselves about the world and about ourselves is not the reality of the world around us or who we truly are. The real being that is buried within us must shed our “false selves” in order to be truly experienced in the moment, being whole or “integrated”. The rare moments when that happens are moments of “peak experience” and potentially transformative as they allow us to recognize the difference between reality and the storytelling that forms most of our world view. Those moments of true experience, unfiltered by our internal stories are when we can be truly dazzled, amazed and awakened by the truth. Finding new ways that allow us to experience the truth is what transformation is all about.

Hypnotherapy can help you get past your internal stories, identify the positive and negative internal associations that may be holding you back, strengthen what’s within you that can help you make progress and start you on a path of true transformation by helping you make changes in your life. This is what I mean by Helping you realize your potential!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Huh? Individuation?

Individuation is a process of intensely personal self-discovery.  It may be initiated at any time, typically at a mature stage of life when one has the opportunity and experience behind them to evaluate and question one’s transpersonal place in the universe.  It is a process that may have many levels of depth as self-deceiving layers are identified and peeled back to gain insights into who someone truly is and who he or she feels they are meant to be.  As a process of examining one’s place in the world and one’s interactions with oneself and others, it is not something that can be directed or provided as a formula.  Each person must follow his or her own path and come to his or her own conclusions.  It is an iterative process, with each level of discovery potentially launching a new round of inquiry and building up a sense of self understanding that increases self-actualization.  It is a process that once started, does not end as understanding only continues to deepen as further self discoveries are made.

More than introspection, it starts with an effort to understand oneself and proceeds to explore soul purpose or place in the world.  It is an umbrella term to describe the effort to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”  By its nature, individuation is a personal quest that not only will be a different process for each individual, but also will yield completely unique results.  It is not a taxonomy of traits or a personality analysis, but rather an exploration and celebration of the individual that each of us is.

Self-actualization may be a measure of how comprehensive a person has individuated, but even that is a stretch as I do not think that there is a comparative scale.  The idea of comparing degrees of individuation would challenge the individuality of the process.  Even without a conscious effort to seek it, I believe that everyone individuates to the degree that they are driven to do so.  For some, this may be very little and they may enjoy a contented perspective of themselves and their role with little or no need to drill down into the matter.  For others, they may be restless to discover answers to questions about themselves that are not immediately obvious or necessarily answerable.

Hypnotherapy, particularly Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis can help start or deepen a journey on the path of individuation.  You remain in control at all times as the hypnotherapist facilitates your access to your own subconscious.  Meanwhile, Handwriting analysis is a way of checking in with your subconscious.  Not what you write, but how you form the letters and place them on the page are direct ideomotor indicators of subconscious traits, feelings and concerns that can help situate you on the individuation road.


Kappas, J.G. (2009). Professional hypnotism manual: Introducing physical and emotional suggestibility and sexuality (5th Ed.). Tarzana, CA: Panorama Publishing Company.

The Centre of Applied Jungian Studies. (n.d.).  The conscious living programme: Individuation. Johannesburg, South Africa: Author. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Creative Process

Creativity has been described as a process of preparation (getting ready), concentration (diving in), incubation (working out the details), illumination (making it all come together) and verification (making sure it is good). I can see that process, especially when one recognizes that steps within the model, or the entire process, may be repeated.

In my experience, it is essential to be driven by some fundamental curiosity. This may be a question to be answered or a what-if scenario of considering alternative potential problem solutions, plot twists or turns of phrase or paint color. To address this curiosity a positive intention must be developed by focusing the will to create. This intention allows the transition from preparation into concentration. Throughout the process, the cultivation of mindfulness helps the creator reach and remain in the flow of the creative zone.

I believe that every creator must establish a commitment to their work, which is perhaps part of incubation and illumination. My successful works came from the application of intent and commitment so I believe these to be necessary although not sufficient for creativity to flower. Finally, I think every creator must take risks; if not before, then as part of the verification stage. Self-critique, review by the gatekeepers of your field of endeavor, or exhibition of your work leads to changes made to your own approach to the process and style of future works if not revisions to the current work.


Paine-Clemes, B. (2015). Creative synergy: Using art, science and philosophy to self-actualize your life. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Childhood Memories

Sometimes, childhood memories are not particularly positive, rather being part of the roots of our old personal myths if not real traumas we may have suffered.  Traumas have a habit of resurfacing, like how you always seem to physically hurt yourself in the same place over and over again. In the worst cases physical and emotional traumas can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  (See my blog from March 2016 about PTSD.)  However, if not traumatic, our old negative personal myths can sometimes serve a purpose. For example, a past failure that led to a personal myth about needing to prove yourself could contribute to feelings of self confidence and independence and over time, lead to a strengthening of these positive aspects despite the original negative experience.  Sometimes, we need a little help to locate where feelings come from within us.  Meditative reflection, Healing Relaxation and hypnotherapy programs can help us continue on the quest for balance -- recognizing that we may have many experiences tucked in our subconscious that are not all good or all bad.

This realization can seem obvious when you look back on past memories, but most of us subconsciously color our memories into positive and negative associations that, according to the Theory of Mind, we then carry with us, possibly without even recalling the root cause. Trying to focus on strengthening one side or ending up wallowing in the other can be a challenge in trying to move forward in personal growth.  As a facilitator of your own exploration of your subconscious, a hypnotherapist can help you better understand some of the sources of wisdom and insight that are within you and help you gain perspective on your own memories.

Contact me to start making powerful changes in your life.


Davenport, L. (2009). Healing and transformation through self-guided imagery. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

Feinstein, D., & Krippner, S. (2008). Personal mythology: Discovering the guiding stories of your past -- creating a vision for your future (3rd Ed.). Santa Rosa, CA: Energy Psychology Press/Elite Books.

Jung, C.G. (1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.)(2nd Ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Kappas, J.G. (2009). Professional hypnotism manual: Introducing physical and emotional suggestibility and sexuality (5th Ed.). Tarzana, CA: Panorama Publishing Company.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Hypnosis for Integration of Positive Changes

Some of my integrated imagery clients have experienced both present life memories that they had consciously forgotten as well as scenes that included both present life memories and odd elements that were not part of present life. In one case a memory of skating with a brother that was not a present life brother morphed into a present life memory of skating in his childhood backyard with his present life brother. For another client, a familiar place (a trail in the woods) had a large rock that is not part of the real trail today and that my client wanted to climb feeling great accomplishment to do so.

Both of these cases illustrate the significance of using hypnosis to let clients go "where the subconscious leads". In each case, the clients were fascinated by the familiar setting having some alternative twist associated with it. In debriefing after the sessions, both of these seemingly mundane incidents interested the clients greatly because of the potential for there to be some meaning or message from the subconscious involved. I suggested that they reflect upon the potential meaning or relevance of what they saw and experienced.

These cases also afforded me the opportunity to offer post hypnotic suggestions for re-scripting scenarios related to the subjects' concerns. One was to imagine a mental thermostat to help control feeling cold and anxiety about the cold; the other was an imaginary coin that could help decrease annoyance and negativity to allow greater enjoyment and excitement in life. In both cases, my guiding of the re-framing/re-scripting scenarios allowed the clients to practice using the techniques within the trance state, enhancing their own willingness to use the techniques out of trance, in their everyday lives.

One of these clients warned me that he had been a subject for hypnosis before and that it had never worked. I believe that with a good rapport between hypnotherapist and client, that resistance can be managed down and the client can enter the hypnotic trance state while remaining in control and comfortable at all times. Many of my clients have complimented my tone, the way that I guide and the effectiveness of what we have accomplished, but it is really the client who does the work of resetting their own neural pathways and changing their old habits. It may take several hypnotherapy sessions to successfully strengthen a suggestion to make it truly useful, and a combination of the techniques of integrated imagery regression hypnosis, with transpersonal and more general hypnotherapy can be customized to meet each client’s particular needs at the time of the session. This is the value that I imagined being able to bring via both integrated imagery/regression and using it as part of a broader hypnosis practice. It is very rewarding to be able to provide some useful help to people rather than just exploring forgotten memories "for fun".

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Power of Personal Experience

I recently attended a wellness fair sponsored by the local community health center. Many people approached my display about hypnotherapy, integrated imagery and advanced handwriting analysis and asked questions. Many asked about my credentials and experience. It occurred to me that aside from my training and practical experience, the fact that I too have undergone general hypnosis and regression hypnosis sessions is an advantage in working with clients.

I completed a graduate certificate in Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis at Atlantic University in Virginia. The three levels of integrated imagery classes, residencies and volunteer sessions provided me tremendous personal experience with hypnotic induction, deepening and using various techniques in addition to the specific regression techniques being taught. In general, those residential practicums helped build my confidence in hypnotherapy as well as in regression work. The hours spent in residency and practice sessions also provided many of the required clinical hours to complete my external certification as a hypnotherapist by the Hypnotherapists’ Union.

The third level regression course, which focused on spiritual regression in particular, inspired me to seek additional training and qualification in more general therapeutic work. I can personally attest that accessing the superconscious and higher wisdom to resolve issues and help clarify perspective can be dramatic. Additional training and resources such as the Simpson Protocol for superconscious access, the Heartmath Institute’s work on Coherence, and the Transpersonal Hypnosis Institute’s training program have all been very motivating and personally as well as professionally relevant.

My personal experiences as a client undergoing regression hypnosis at many of my training courses raised my self-awareness and have allowed me to better empathize with the experiences of my clients. Resolving issues from my own past was powerful and effective in raising my confidence in the efficacy of this work. Reaching my own higher state and learning on both the physical and nonphysical levels has been a wonderful growth experience.

Finally, being able to study and practice both in person and online has been great. The mentors, instructors, teaching assistants, and classmates that I have learned alongside, guided and been guided by have made my professional growth a shared experience. Contact me to see how we can work together and draw on both of our experiences to help you learn, grow and reach your own potential!


McCraty, R. & Childre, D. (2002). The appreciative heart: The psychophysiology of positive emotions and optimal functioning. Boulder Creek, CA: Institute of HeartMath.

Salisbury, A.F. & Hasegawa, Y. (1995-2005). Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Protocols Workbook. Golden, CO: Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Institute.

Simpson, I. & Robinson, T. (2011-2013). The Simpson Protocol instruction manual: Working interactively in the Esdaile State and beyond. Hempstead, NY: Inner Healing Press.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Many I's in Team

Most times that I have worked with others on creative solutions, it has been in the context of software or systems project design work. Usually it is in the development of proposals in which creative design solutions to requirements must be articulated elegantly and succinctly, meeting the technical requirements specified by the client and also standing out as an attractive design unlike competitors' offerings while still meeting internal business needs of being doable and profitable.

I can think of only a few occasions outside of work in which I have been part of a creative team. The first was an attempt to jointly write a work of fiction with a partner. Over many years, I have been involved in plenty of creative writing games of interactive fiction in which multiple players from around the world each contribute prose from the perspective of their fictional characters’ roles in an ongoing story. The narrative elements then hang together as one continuous piece of fiction. As another example, two years ago, my first stage play : Ashes to Ashes was produced by an amateur theater group,
In each of these cases, when the work has been successful, it has been through a few key principles that may never have been stated among the group and yet were critical to success. First, there were clearly defined and understood roles of the team members. People bring their own talents and strengths to the team, but the project must be sorted out so that there is no unnecessary overlap or contention on key components. Second, there was recognition of each other's abilities and mutual respect. Third, there was no second guessing of each other’s contributions. The team may engage in self critique, but it is done in an open and inclusive manner with all parties sharing equally in the presentation of their work and acceptance of suggestions, praise or criticism on what they have accomplished.

These things are all like rules of engagement, without which, the project would likely fail, although just having them in place does not guarantee success. The greatest guarantor of success in team work in my experience has been equality. It is reflected in the mutual respect noted above, however, team members must be equal in their level of skill, understanding, or ability. They do not have to have the same skills, but unless they are on a par with their level of ability, it will not be an even partnership or team and one member or subgroup will dominate the rest.

The resulting product from an imbalanced team may be excellent, but the experience will not be rewarding for all team members in the same way that a project of equal contributions can be. Dominant members may feel put upon or that they carried the team. Less skilled members may feel used or that they were lackeys of the greater contributors. It is unlikely that the team will want to create together again, unless forced to do so (such as in a work situation) in which case resentment can fester and poison the quality of the work.

Friday, 11 March 2016

PTSD and Hypnotherapy

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be an underlying and unrecognized cause behind a number of other problems.  Sometimes, people come to hypnotherapists for help with sleeping problems, feelings of frustration, phobias, concentration and focus problems, feeling “trapped” or “stuck” in their situation, relationship challenges, self-confidence, or feeling “stressed”, without realizing that there may be a past traumatic event that is contributing to these issues.  As a hypnotherapist, I do not diagnose or treat any condition, however hypnotherapy may be able to help you deal with PTSD as well as many of these issues that may manifest because of it; working to support your medical and psychological health care providers.

What is PTSD?

There are six medical criteria that indicate PTSD:
  •            you have experienced a stressor event;
  •         you re-experience some form or memory of the event in some way that seems beyond your control;
  •         you consciously or unconsciously avoid things that remind you of the stressor at some level and a numbing of general responsiveness occurs;
  •         you experience hyper-vigilance or heightened sensitivities that you did not experience before the stressor event;
  •         your experience of these things lasts for more than a month; and
  •         you endure significant impact in your ability to function socially, at work, or in other ways because of it.

So what constitutes a stressor event?

Everyone experiences a personal response of feeling sad, frightened or anxious after having experienced a traumatic event.  Typically, as time passes, we get over it.  In some cases, either from a single experience or from a combination of multiple traumas, you may instead feel increasingly isolated and trapped with those painful memories, leading to a sense of being under threat or in danger.  You may feel that you will never get back to “normal.”

Most stressor events are frightening or horrifying situations in which you felt powerless to help yourself or others.  We often think of soldiers experiencing this, but it can happen to anyone that lives through a threatening experience that made them feel helpless, either as it happened to them, as they witnessed it, as they learned about it having happened to someone close to them, or as they tried to help others through it or to respond to the situation.  It may happen quickly after the event, or may take years to slowly build into PTSD.

Although common examples include natural disasters, violent attacks, abuse, neglect or domestic violence, car or other serious accidents; a stressor can be any shattering event that made you feel helpless.

How does PTSD affect behavior?

You may experience “flashbacks” or upsetting memories of the event, nightmares, intense physical reactions (like pounding heart, sweating or nausea among others) to anything that reminds you in some way of the event.  You may consciously or unconsciously start avoiding places, things and situations that remind you of the event, including feelings.  You may lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy or feel unable to experience positive emotions.  You may feel isolated and numb or have increased sensations of your own limitations and limits to your own future prospects.  You may become forgetful, have trouble sleeping, lose your temper, feel jumpy, irritable, have various aches and pains or have difficulty concentrating.  You may become involved in substance abuse or other risk-taking behaviors, feel dread or distress, think about suicide, feel betrayed or mistrustful, feel guilty, ashamed or at-fault.  Many people fear that nothing can help and that they will never feel better.

What can be done?

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.  Studies have shown that overcoming PTSD is possible by reaching out for help, establishing a solid plan and developing new coping skills.  Even if you suspect or know that you are suffering from PTSD, at least 20% of people fear seeking help because they worry what others may think and over 30% of the general population of North America don’t want anyone to know that they may be in any form of therapy.

Hypnotherapy, with a referral from your doctor or healthcare provider can help address PTSD.  Based on your personal circumstances a combination of stress inoculation, cognitive behavior and exposure therapies can help you to cope with the issues you face.
Stress inoculation can help you to deal with your reactions to reminders of the stressor event by giving new coping skills such as relaxation, breathing control, reaffirming self-talk, and generally changing how you react to the external stimuli that cause you stress.  Hypnotherapy can help you start, reinforce and strengthen these coping skills.

Cognitive behavior means changing how you think in order to change the way you feel.  Replacing negative thoughts and emotions that arise and recognizing that feelings are not facts allows you to rewrite the stories that you keep telling yourself about your experiences.  Hypnotherapy allows you to directly access the subconscious while remaining in control so you can apply the changes to your internal stories directly.

Exposure therapy means reducing the impact of exposure to both the things that remind you of the stressor event as well as the memories of that event itself.  Hypnotherapy allows not only accessing of past events maintained in the subconscious while you remain in control, but also provides a method of rescripting or revising the associated memories and triggers that have become part of your subconscious baggage.

There is no universal approach as each person’s circumstances and plan for dealing with PTSD is unique to their circumstances, needs, background, nature of the stressor event and what else may be going on with your health or your life.  The key is to get started and get help to deal with PTSD.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Foa, E. B. & Meadows, E. A. (1997). Psychosocial treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: A critical review. Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 449-480.

Machenberg, L.R. (2012). Hypnotherapy and post traumatic stress disorder. Tarzana, CA: American Hypnosis Association.

Schnyder, U., Ehlers, A., Elbert, T., Foa, E. B., Gersons, B. P. R., Resick, P. A., … Cloitre, M. (2015). Psychotherapies for PTSD: What do they have in common? European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 6,

Zawadski, B., Popiel, A., Foa, E., Jakubowska, B., Cyniak-Cieciura, M., & Praglowska, E. (2015). The structure of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder according to DSM-5 and assessed by PDS-5 – preliminary results. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 3(1), 1-11.

Zimberhof, D. & Hartman, D. (n.d.). The ultimate guide to clinical hypnotherapy techniques. Issaquah, WA: The Wellness Institute.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Hypnotherapy and Depression

Nearly ten percent of North Americans suffer from depression, or so they are told, no matter what the cause may be. That means that if you look at any random group of ten or more people, at the bus stop, in the lineup at the grocery store, walking down the street or in your workplace, the odds are that at least one of them is suffering from it.

Most depression is addressed with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. There is research to support that combined therapies are more effective than psychopharmacology alone. But what about a fresh approach?

Depression is sometimes described as feeling like being caught in a downward spiral or a vortex. A friend of mine uses the term “catastrophizing” to describe the bleak outlook that depression sometimes presents. There are real symptoms, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual that are repeatedly reinforced through unconscious negative self-talk and negative underlying belief systems. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapeutic techniques can help by exploring conscious thoughts and behaviors driven by the negative underlying influences, but they cannot get to the root cause beliefs that keep the cycle of sorrow continuing.

Similarly, medications can provide relief of the symptoms, but that is as far as they can go, not to mention the potential side effects that they bring with them. I never understood those disclaimers on the drug ads that warn that antidepressants can increase the risk of thoughts of suicide until a friend began to take them. She said the only way she could describe it was that they reduce the extreme impact of being so emotionally down by reducing the all extremes. The emotional lows are not so low, but there are no emotional highs either. Life becomes blasé, so the thought of ending life creeps in.

Hypnotherapy provides an alternative approach to looking at root causes. Now although hypnotherapy is not a treatment and does not diagnose or treat any problems with a physical or mental etiology, a hypnotherapist can work with your doctor, counselor or psychotherapist on a referral basis to help you explore what underlies your suffering.

Hypnotherapy can go beyond merely addressing symptoms. In fact, last year, the Wellness Institute, which offers professional training to psychotherapists and counselors in hypnotherapy, identified four significant benefits that hypnotherapy can offer. These closely correspond to my own experience working with people in my training from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute and Atlantic University, so here is my version of them:

1. Uncovering Internal Resources

During hypnotherapy, you can explore your own internal subconscious resources. The role of the hypnotherapist is to help guide you in this exploration and make sure that your own internal resources can remain accessible to you even after the session ends. Accessing internal resources can enhance your coping skills and increase your resiliency, which are two areas battered by being depressed.

Direct access to the subconscious and the superconscious can also enhance your spiritual connection, whatever you conceive that to be, whether you feel that you have reached a higher power or just a higher aspect of yourself. Since being depressed creates feelings of isolation, being able to connect or re-connect with that inner channel to wisdom can be helpful.

2. Going Deep

In the hypnotic state, you directly access your subconscious mind. Being able to access the place that is the source of dreams and phobias under your own control, guided by a hypnotherapist, often allows identification of the underlying negative associations that have become part of the much larger problem. Hypnosis provides a mechanism to safely examine deep emotions and the buried baggage that goes with them.

Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis can help you correlate your present situation to earlier experiences, allowing you to understand your own belief system with insights unavailable to the conscious mind. Your situation may not seem logical because it is not. The place that dreams and phobias come from is not a place of logic. The conscious mind is the source of logic and reasoning, and it is only 12% of your mind’s potential. The rest is the unconscious, where inspiration, but also fear and emotion reign supreme. At the very least, gaining some insights into what happened or is happening at a subconscious level can help you become more forgiving of your own younger self and understanding of your present self.

3. Reframing the Negative

If you trace negative beliefs and conclusions safely back to their source, sometimes the subconscious mind will be able to allow a reassessment of the events that have piled so much negativity around them. Like an irritant in an oyster that results in layer upon layer being wrapped around it, the subconscious collects negative associations that emanate from their underlying causes. With a hypnotherapist guiding you, you may be able to apply the wisdom and insight of your present maturity to change the long-standing way that negative associations have been held in your subconscious.

You do not necessarily have to continue to accept those myths of your own emotional making that say that you are alone, unloved, not good enough and so on. This is not just Pollyanna affirmation, this is working inside your own subconscious to help change your underlying belief system for the better. That is what self-improvement is all about and that is what hypnotherapy is for.

4. Rescripting

One of the most powerful aspects of hypnotherapy is that it allows you to rewrite the history of events that you carry within your subconscious. This is not about changing the facts about what happened, but rather about changing your associated emotional attachments and responses to events and emotions. This powerful tool can allow you to re-imagine the circumstances in a more positive way, even subconsciously experiencing the “what if” of a different result to the situation.

Much of our emotional baggage comes from second guessing and regretting how we handled situations and then fearing and doubting our ability to manage similar feelings and situations. The extreme example of this is when we build some unfortunate event that harbors significant negativity in our subconscious into such a powerful force that it can paralyze us with fear, overwhelming the logic of the conscious mind. Powerful emotions, negativity and impact on our day-to-day lives can come from the negative forces within us that help spark the cycle of depression as well.

Being able to revisit, rethink and rework a traumatic event or emotional response within the subconscious that has become so layered with negative associations that it affects our conscious life is a powerful tool indeed. You can address your own needs at a deep and direct level, and reduce the power that those deep wounds carry.

In Conclusion

Hypnotherapy alone does not diagnose or treat depression or any mental or physical illness. However working with your health care provider, a hypnotherapist can help you in ways that psychotherapy and drugs cannot. A holistic approach to mind, body and spirit seems to me to be very appropriate when trying to deal with issues of depression.


Amoroso, J. Z. (2012). Awakening Past Lives: A Guidebook to Self Exploration. VA: 4th Dimension Press. Virginia Beach, VA.

McCraty, R. & Childre, D. (2002). The appreciative heart: The psychophysiology of positive emotions and optimal functioning. Boulder Creek, CA: Institute of HeartMath.

Salewski, C. (2015). What’s the best way to treat depression: Medication, psychotherapy, or hypnotherapy? Retrieved from

Salisbury, A.F. & Hasegawa, Y. (1995-2005). Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Protocols Workbook. Golden, CO: Transpersonal Hypnotherapy Institute.

Simpson, I. & Robinson, T. (2011-2013). The Simpson Protocol instruction manual: Working interactively in the Esdaile State and beyond. Hempstead, NY: Inner Healing Press.

Woolger, R. (2004). Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul. CO: Sounds True.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Patterns around us, Patterns within us

Patterns appear in nature and in creative works.  How do you use patterns?  How can patterns be used?

Patterns are not necessarily visual, they may also be templates for artifacts or activities or patterns of behavior. 

I see patterns in relation to creativity in 3 positive ways:

1. Patterns with which I am familiar and which I try to use in my work. For example, organizing a poetry collection or setting the plot of a novel to follow the "Hero's Journey."

2. Patterns that I had not known before that I discover and that inspire me. For example I saw repeating patterns in sheets of ice on the cliffs along the side of the road, so I had to paint them. Similarly I saw ripples in the moonlit water and painted the scene.

3. Patterns that are more esoteric or sacred to me that more broadly influence my creativity. In regression work and in accessing the superconscious mind, recurring patterns of labyrinths, spheres and points as well as specific ratios and numbers kept coming to me with such regularity that they have become powerful totems for me. I have worked with these patterns by trying to build systems of meaning for myself around them.

When we establish behavioral patterns, rituals or habits in our daily lives, they can be helpful, or they can get in the way of our success.  Modifying unwanted or counter-productive behaviors for self-improvement is what hypnotherapy is all about.  So consider the patterns that you have built in your own life as well as those around you.  Be inspired by the good ones.  Consider why you are carrying the baggage of those that are not so good.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Creative Courage

The characteristics essential to the creative process are those that support the essential elements of curiosity, intention to create, commitment, and risk-taking. All of these elements spring from and are supported by courage and a sense of self-assuredness. These underlying characteristics allow for willingness to change and take risks – what Leland calls “the lubricants” of creativity. It requires courage to try new things and to seek alternatives to habitual thinking. Adults may not fear the monster under the bed, but our fragile egos do fear public humiliation, embarrassment and ridicule, which may be the reception of our creative efforts.

Mitchell and Haroun quote Elmer Bischoff’s four principles for creativity as:

“1. Work hard.

2. Take chances.

3. Respect the validity of your own imagery.

4. Accept the struggle of the creative process.”

This philosophy acknowledges the need for courage and self-assuredness. My personal experiences in my creative efforts certainly have demonstrated to me the need for self-confidence without arrogance and the willingness to overcome our innate resistance to change. The enemy of creativity is the inertia of spirit that gives each of us pause and doubt. Each of us must summon our courage to overcome that inertia.


Leland, N. (2006). The new creative artist: A guide to developing your creative spirit. Cincinnati, OH: North Light Books.

May, R. (1975). The courage to create. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company Inc.

Mitchell, D. & Haroun, L. (2007). Finding your visual voice: A painter’s guide to developing an artistic style. Cincinnati, OH: North Light Books.

Paine-Clemes, B. (2015). Creative synergy: Using art, science and philosophy to self-actualize your life. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

What is Integrated Imagery - Regression Hypnosis?

Integrated Imagery, a technique to aid in psychological and spiritual growth through exploration of the unconscious mind, was developed over twenty years of psychotherapy practice by clinical psychologist John Z. Amoroso, Ph.D. This technique uses a positive psychological approach focused on purposeful living and creativity.  The use of hypnosis to induce a light trance state can help set the concerns of the conscious mind aside by creating a more relaxed condition.  The unconscious mind, which holds the deeper wisdom and guidance of the inner self, can then be more effectively accessed.

Regression hypnosis is an accepted psychotherapeutic technique.  Exploration of the unconscious mind has roots in the work of preeminent psychologist Carl Jung and is widely noted in the premises and theories of transpersonal psychology.  One may refer to the experiences one has in such a session as past life memories, or memories of the collective unconscious, according to one’s personal beliefs. It is not necessary to believe in reincarnation in order to use Integrated Imagery techniques.

Regression hypnosis differs from such techniques as reverie or guided imagery in that it takes the traveler along a time continuum.  The session may lead the traveler to explore earlier present life experiences and may include memories that are not real from the present life.  These memories may be direct communications from the subconscious mind or may represent the birth experience or even further back into previous lifetimes. Through this exploration, clues to current life challenges often unexplained by current life experiences and the preoccupations of the conscious mind can be found.  The unconscious mind guides the traveler to images or incidents that are important or useful to know.

The full participation of the traveler is required during the trance journey. The traveler is never unaware or out of control during the session and verbally works with the guide throughout, as the guide helps the traveler navigate the many stages of the journey. The traveler is recognized as a being of body, mind, and spirit and may find physical, emotional or spiritual connections throughout the journey. 

One of the unique aspects of Dr. Amoroso’s approach to regression hypnosis is what he terms the Energetic Chain of Experience.  This relates to the soul’s stream of consciousness throughout its continuous journey in life, death, birth and the periods in between the life experiences.  His methods seek to also uncover memories of the time the soul spends planning the next life, choosing a life situation, the time spent in-utero prior to birth, and the streams of potential outcomes the soul envisions from a future life experience.

Communicating directly with the subconscious, unlocking memories that have accumulated over the skein of time, discovering the origins of both positive and negative themes that affect personality, and using this information to benefit the traveler’s current life situation is the objective of Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis.

Although each lifetime is unique, Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis can help unlock greater potential and facilitate growth and healing by accessing subconscious feelings, images and sensations from deep within your present self. The spirit brings forward both positive and negative imprints from former incarnations that may influence the current life. Some examples of positive imprints might be “natural” musical skill, especially strong leadership ability, or an inherent fondness for animals. Examples of negative imprints might include lack of self-esteem, feelings of abandonment, or lack of self-confidence unsubstantiated by present life experiences.

I have completed a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis from Atlantic University as well as certification in Regression Hypnosis through the American Hypnosis Association.  Contact me if you want to discuss a session to help you realize your potential.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year! More on Moss, Dreams and Connections

If you have not read Robert Moss, do so, just to amaze yourself at the connections he can show to your own dreams and personal experience. My dreams shift from those that are reflections of events of the day, to those with deeper meaning happening closer to the time I wake up. My mindfulness practice tends to sometimes allow my mind to wander into seeking the meaning behind what I dream. I was particularly struck by Moss’ description of approaching the ancient Temple of Dream Healing for its similarity to the beginning of Zen training. In seeking to learn from a Zen master, traditionally the student sits outside the monastic gateway and demonstrates that they are truly interested and dedicated to the pursuit of enlightenment until they are noticed and brought inside this “gateless barrier”. In my case this process was metaphorically achieved through an online application and subsequent interview process with a seemingly interminable waiting period. I recall that feeling of anticipation and impatience as I stumble forward through dream quests.

Two years ago, I undertook first degree Reiki training and experienced a confluence of imagery from dreams, and from regression work. During the workshop, after the master had completed my own attunement and moved on to another student, I distinctly felt a fatherly hand upon my head, whether in blessing or reassurance, I am not sure. It reminded me of specific experiences from one of my regressions and led me to a series of images that were so strong that they could have been the remnants of a dream. I subsequently conducted a self-regression and gained further insight into these images. All of this makes me think of Moss’s idea that we “can sometimes meet master teachers” in dreams. A quote by KekulĂ© reported by Moss seems to be especially true for me: “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the truth.”

Keep on dreaming!


Amoroso, J. (2012). Awakening past lives. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.

Hoshin, A. (1992). The bodymind of the way: Zen teachings on Dogen zenji's Shinjin Gakudo. Ottawa, Canada: Manuscript in preparation.

Moss, R. (2009). The secret history of dreaming. Novato, CA: New World Library.

Reed, H. (2005). Dream solutions! dream realizations!: The original dream quest guidebook. Mouth of Wilson, VA: Hermes Home Press.

Shibiyama, Z. (1974). The gateless barrier: Zen comments on the Mumonkan. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications Inc.