Published My 30th Book!

I haven’t blogged in about a month because I have been busy finishing my latest two books.

The first of these books is my 30th book which is a milestone I’m proud to have reached.

As readers of my blog will know, my main focus is as an autism advocate sharing my experiences as an autistic individual and as someone who has spent much of my working life supporting other autistic people, their families, friends and other involved professionals.

One thing I am always keen to point out is that although being autistic has many challenges, we also have many strengths and being autistic isn’t a barrier to success.

Some people need support or guidance, or perhaps education around learning certain skills or learning to use skills they have and perhaps traits they didn’t think of as skills, but autistic people are as capable as anyone else at achieving things.

I remember about 20 years ago I had quit a job because of changes they were making to the workplace. A few months later they asked me to return. I went and met with the manager to talk to them about their proposal for me returning. I shared about what I wanted to achieve in the future – I was about 20 at the time. The manager told me that I should forget those dreams, I’m the type of person who will only ever be a member of staff, not someone who can achieve anything with my life – so I left and never took their proposal for returning to the job.

This wasn’t the only time I had this kind of reaction. I had many people tell me to forget these ideas of achieving things, especially when I would repeatedly fail. Something about me is that I rarely give up when I am trying to achieve something. If something fails I analyse what I could do differently and try again. If I decide I want to do something I do it, and often over-do it. My wife has regularly commented on how I could have set an easier target and everyone else would still be happy. An example of this was deciding to do 40 bedtime story videos on my YouTube channel across 40 days for my 40th birthday. This was a lot of work, it had a negative impact on my channel (I lost subscribers, rates of new subscribers halved, video views dropped by about a third), but I committed to doing this, it took me hundreds of hours to make the videos and upload them etc., to YouTube, but I had made a commitment and wasn’t going to break the commitment. One year I entered National Novel Writing Month. Because I worried that I would lose interest in the novel I was writing across the month I decided to write the 50,000 word novel in a week.

Anyway, I went off topic a bit there! But, what I was just trying to emphasise is that being autistic doesn’t mean you can’t do things and be successful. You may struggle with somethings, for example, I would love to be more successful as an author, I would love to have a talent agent who could support me and represent me, I would love to have a more successful YouTube channel to raise awareness of autism and mental health, but I really struggle with making phone calls, with being social enough to engage with others. I’ve been to official YouTube networking events (even whole day events) and come away annoyed with myself for failing to manage to talk to anyone. I have never managed to interest people in collaborations etc, but I then attend the next YouTube event, I approach the next talent agency and I continue trying whatever I can to push towards what I would like to achieve and continue to work hard everyday despite the continued presence of the urge to sit alone in the woods…

These two books are part of a new ten volume series of books I’m writing called Hypnotherapy Revealed Book one is Introduction to Hypnotherapy (http://smarturl.it/22y8sl) Book two is The Ericksonian Approach (http://smarturl.it/4oakl9)

Both are available in paperback and kindle ebook from the Amazon websites. You can find details for them on my Hypnotherapy Books page here on my website.

I have also recently contributed to friend and colleague Dr David Lewis’s book (we run The Mind Changers together) Triumph of the Will? (out this week on Amazon in paperback and Kindle) Which is about the impact of two men who used hypnosis with Hitler, one treated him for hysterical blindness and his hypnotic approach accidentally set Hitler on a new path, and the other taught Hitler hypnosis influence skills. I have written a blog post for Dr David Lewis which is on the books website.

Although I have finished working on these two latest books just two months after I finished working on my Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups book (you can learn more about that book on my Storytelling Books page) I still have much more I am working on…

Books I am currently working on are:

  • Volume three of my ‘Hypnotherapy Revealed’ series ‘Hypnotherapy Trance Scripts’
  • ‘Wellbeing for YouTuber’s and Digital Entrepreneurs’
  • Third book in my series of stories to help children relax and sleep (11 stories in each book) ‘Sleepy Rhyming Tales’
  • A book with Dr David Lewis (working title) ‘There Are No Problems, Only Solutions’ which is a self-help book

Until next time…

All the best

Dan

Help With Depression

Research has shown that in almost all cases depression is not a biological or genetic illness. The biological changes that occur are the result of the depression not the cause. In some cases the biological effects are caused by diet, and pregnancy can also cause depression, although most cases of post-natal depression are caused by the highly emotional thinking the depressed person is doing rather than being driven by the chemical changes. And most depression that ‘runs in families’ is due to learning how to respond to the World around us how the parents or grand parents did, learning a depression way of responding in the same way that a child learns to walk, talk and behave from parents and adults in their life.

Studies carried out in the US to try to find out what works when treating depression showed that to quickly lift depression what was needed was a mixture of cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal therapies. This has now been improved upon by also utilising a solution-focused approach, a human givens approach and guided imagery or hypnosis.

When a therapist works with a client to help them ensure their basic needs are being met and helps to get their focus of attention off of worrying and ruminating and onto problem solving and relaxing the mind, depression often lifts quickly. To significantly lift depression can now often takes less than three sessions. Depending on how depressed someone is, some people can make the changes they need to make themselves without help just because they know what changes are needed to be made, whereas other people need a little encouragement, and some need a therapist or coach that can help them to make the changes. And although depression can be lifted quickly that doesn’t mean that depression is lifted quickly with everyone. There can be a lot going on in someone’s life that has led to the depression and that maintains the depression that needs to all be addressed before the depression is finally able to be lifted for good.

Most depression is caused by emotional worrying

It could be worrying about a past problem or event, present problem or event or a future problem or event. This worrying causes over dreaming at night. When you dream too much it inhibits the release of serotonin and is almost as active as being awake. It also reduces the abilities of the immune system. All of this leads to waking up early as your brain wants to stop you from dreaming excessively, then often managing to get back to sleep yet still waking tired and unmotivated. This can then start off the next days’ cycle of worrying.

When depressed your thinking style changes as you are in a highly emotional state of mind. It can be like walking around in a trance (I would say you are walking around in a trance). You start thinking that everything has always been bad and always will be and that if anything good ever happens it won’t last, or it was only a one-off good thing, or ‘looking back on it, it wasn’t that good really’. Because you are in a highly emotional state you can’t think effectively about your problems so they can seem easily overwhelming because the emotional part of the brain and the logical part of the brain are two different areas, so when you are in any highly emotional state, whether it is depression, or even love, you don’t see different options, you don’t notice all the information about a situation, you become blinkered or blinded by the emotional trance you are in making it hard to see a way out.

To lift depression clients can learn to relax. This can be in many ways. One of the best is to do 7-11 breathing which is where you breathe in deeply to the count of 7 then out to the count of 11. By doing this with the out breath longer than the in breath you trigger the relaxation response. Just 3 or 4 deep 7-11 breaths will help to relax a client and focus their mind.

Next the client can challenge their thinking by thinking about what it is that they are worrying about and problem solving it. Also they can spend time each morning closing their eyes and truly imagining some good things about the upcoming day. At night or in the evening also spend a few moments to imagine what it will be like to feel much better, who will be the first to notice? How will they know? What will their behaviour be like? Really imagining it and feeling it.

AS SOON AS CLIENTS STOP WORRYING THEIR SLEEP WILL IMPROVE AND THE DEPRESSION WILL RAPIDLY START TO LIFT.

I cover depression on my course ‘Introduction To Overcoming Emotional Problems’ (Coming Soon) Which introduces about basic emotional needs, innate skills and abilities, and a variety of psychological problems and ideas about how best to treat them.

Below is a set of two self help tracks that can help to support people in lifting depression and anxiety. There is also a comments section. I look forward to your comments about the article, about the tracks, and if you have come here because you have been feeling depressed I look forward to hearing your progress and experience, and what you have found helpful to move on that you think would be helpful for others to know.

Feel free to share this article with others that you think may benefit from the article or the tracks.

There are some other locations on the web you can find useful information, like here about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and here about treating depression with hypnotherapy vs CBT.

Free Self Help Wellbeing Tracks – Use Both Tracks, They Are Interactive So To get The Most From These Tracks Follow The Instructions And Carryout The Tasks.

Track One

Track Two

Help With Anxiety

Anxiety is the natural survival response to run or fight being triggered at the wrong time. This response is designed to help you but in modern times this is often triggered by events from job interviews to social situations etc…

Anxiety and panic attacks are caused by a misuse of the imagination. For example worrying about an upcoming presentation you will be giving. Each time you imagine how bad it will go you create a template that your mind follows that tells it how it should feel about that event. Because you have the ability to use your imagination well enough to affect you, this means if you imagine it going well and look forward to it then that is the template that you lay down. This works by really building up the experience vividly in your mind getting pleasant, desirable feelings linked to the event.

When you have panic attacks or get anxious it shuts down the digestive system and all non-essential systems. It prepares your body to fight, run or freeze (playing dead). These responses could save your life in the appropriate situations. Even if it feels like you are going to die, you won’t. The feelings are because of the digestive system shutting down and because of the adrenaline released into the body. Most people say it feels like butterflies in their stomach, or a churning sensation.

Some people believe they will collapse or faint. Even if you do pass out your breathing will go back to normal and you will come round again. If you have a panic attack, rate the anxiety on a scale out of 10 and you can keep track of how quickly it is going. The chemicals released into the body that cause the feelings of anxiety leave the body after only a short while.

Whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious or just want to relax you can try 7 – 11 breathing.

Breathing in to the count of 7 then out to the count of 11.

You can learn the AWARE technique. Whenever you get anxious or have a panic attack you can remember AWARE:

A = Accept the anxiety, don’t fight it

W= Watch your anxiety, rate it from 1-10 and watch as that rating changes

A = Act with the anxiety, behave normally & do what you intended to do, breathe normally or do 7-11 breathing

R = Repeat all of the above steps until it goes down to an comfortable level

E = Expect the best, what you fear most normally never happens, mentally rehearse experiences where you thought you might have felt anxious in the past but surprise yourself when you don’t.

You can also do some mental rehearsal or guided imagery.

For Example:

‘Close your eyes, relax, vividly imagine watching yourself remaining calm whilst doing something in the future you would usually have found caused anxiety. Then imagine seeing yourself in that scene and notice how pleasant it feels to have this different response. Then once you have practised seeing yourself remaining calm and responding as you would like, you can imagine stepping into the scene and experiencing it in this new way as if you are really there, seeing what you would see, hearing what you would hear, and feeling the new calm or appropriate feelings. Then rehearse this regularly.’

During a panic attack if you take control of your breathing this will help you take control of the panic, if you feel it coming you could chew some gum or eat a small amount of food because you can’t be anxious fully at the same time as having your digestive system working.

You can practice sitting down and relaxing and then anchor that relaxation response. This response can then be fired off when you are in a situation that may make you feel anxious. You can practice this anchoring and firing the relaxation response, imagining being in situations that would normally cause anxiety and using the anchor to relax. The more you practice this the stronger the response will be.

Below are two tracks for improving well-being and reducing anxiety and depression. They can be played on the site or downloaded (small writing under the track with a link saying ‘download mp3’).

There is also a comments section below where you can leave comments or questions. And if you know anyone that this article would benefit feel free to share it with them.

There are some other useful places with information about tackling anxiety for example Genius Awakening has Five Ways To Quiet The Mind When You Feel Intense Anxiety, and you can find information about Generalised Anxiety Disorder here

Free Self Help Wellbeing Tracks – Use Both Tracks, They Are Interactive So To get The Most From These Tracks Follow The Instructions And Carryout The Tasks

Track One

Track Two

Help With Addictions

We are all born with the ability to create habits and with the process to get addicted. Without these abilities mankind wouldn’t have lasted as long as we have. There are many things that naturally turn into habits so that we don’t have to pay all our attention to them just to do them. Like driving a car, brushing teeth etc…

Sometimes this process gets high-jacked by a negative habit, like finding yourself smoking before you realise what you are doing. The process for addiction also serves a useful purpose. The process gives you a ‘high’ when you do something and causes irritation or uncomfortableness when you don’t.

This process is required for survival and evolution.

For example when a stone-age man used a stick to break open a coconut the ‘high’ of that achievement wears off over time so the stone-age man then turns that stick into an axe with a piece of flint. He then gets another ‘high’ from that achievement which also wears off over time. This process keeps the stone-age man reaching a point where he needs to do something to get that same high. Addictions high-jack this process giving a ‘high’ when carrying out the addictive behaviour and causing uncomfortableness when fighting to not carry out the behaviour. Over time you need to do more of the addictive behaviour to get the same ‘high’.

A useful analogy of addiction and the associated cravings is one of a company that wants to make positive changes. The ‘boss’ which is the part of you that is saying ‘I want to quit smoking (for example)’ has good intentions. Beneath the boss is a ‘secretary’ that monitors incoming messages from the body. The ‘security guard’ monitors levels of various chemicals in the body but doesn’t know what should or shouldn’t be there, the guard just alerts the secretary if any of the chemicals begin to go missing or reduce.

When the boss has stopped the intake of nicotine, after a short while it starts reducing in the blood. The security guard notices this and so he emails a message to the secretary. This message is laced with dopamine which is a feel good chemical. The secretary checks on the computer and sees that the boss has said ‘no cigarettes’. So the secretary ignores the message. As the nicotine goes down even further the security guard sends another message laced with even more dopamine. This time the secretary does a search on the computer for memories where nicotine has been taken into the body, and searches for memories that are also laced in dopamine. What the secretary discovers is that smoking has made the boss feel good when stressed, when bored, when socialising, etc… So the secretary sends a message to the boss laced with even more dopamine for the boss to act on.

The negative addictive behaviour once served a purpose

People start addictive behaviour for many reasons. It could be many things from peer pressure to experimentation. Often the behaviour initially is only in one context, like smoking with specific friends, or drinking with friends. One thing that all addictive behaviours have in common is that they give you a ‘high’. It could be a ‘high’ from doing a risky extreme sport, or a ‘high’ from taking a specific substance.

To start with this addictive behaviour is in your control. The bigger the ‘highs’ the sooner the addictive behaviour takes on a life of its own. Due to the way the brain works at some point when you feel anxious or bored you will want to relieve this feeling. To do this you turn to the most effective thing you know, which is often the addictive behaviour. This how you begin to create a habit for that behaviour. As long as you continue to do the addictive behaviour your mind will get used to the levels of various substances in your blood stream, whether these substances are created by your mind, like endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline etc, or whether these substances are added to your blood stream like nicotine.

Once you stop the addictive behaviour it takes a period of time for the chemicals in your blood to go back to normal. This period of time can be as little as a few hours for chemicals created internally, to a few days for chemicals like nicotine and longer for some stronger drugs. Once the chemicals in the blood have normalised all that is left is the habit, not the need for the chemicals.

The reason for turning to the addictive behaviour when you feel anxious or bored is that it gives you pleasure, or an instant feeling of gratification when you carry out the behaviour. Unfortunately most addictive behaviour quickly follows with a greater feeling of anxiety or depression as the effects of the behaviour wear off. This means that you have to do more of the addictive behaviour to get the same results.

Beating the addiction

One way to beat addiction is to link the addictive behaviour with the most negative outcomes you can vividly imagine, and not carrying out the addictive behaviour with the most positive outcomes you can vividly imagine. People with addictions will always have one or more of the basic needs or innate skills not being met, so find constructive ways to meet these.

Plan for times when you are most likely to give in to the addiction, finding ways to prevent the old behaviour pattern.

Don’t be put off by a relapse. Many people have a few relapses before they finally completely get rid of that addictive behaviour. When the addiction strikes it is actually only mildly uncomfortable to ignore the urge for the addictive behaviour but it tricks you into thinking it is worse. It also only lasts a few minutes. Try comparing it to other things like would you prefer a nagging toothache or this brief uncomfortableness for the addictive behaviour? Learn to relax; this lets you think more objectively and clearly. To relax you could breathe in to the count of 7 and out to the count of 11. The longer out breath triggers the relaxation response. Regularly vividly imagine the negative outcomes had you continued with the addictive behaviour and vividly imagine the positive outcomes of not carrying out that behaviour, what will it be like, what are the benefits, who else benefits, etc…

Feel free to leave comments below about how you get on overcoming addiction and please share this article with others that may be interested.

Transform the Lives of Those With PTSD, Trauma & Phobias

One of the main issues client’s present with are phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even clients who present with other conditions frequently have PTSD underlying the condition making it much more difficult to treat. Many clients who present with anxiety, anger, depression, self-esteem and confidence issues and some relationship issues often have some traumatic experience, or a series of traumatic experiences at the heart of the problem and without tackling this root cause the presenting problem can seem to stubbornly hang around. Often the presenting problem is the client’s own unconsciously attempted solution to the real problem.

You can learn to treat phobias, trauma and PTSD here for just $14.99 USD (usual RRP $149.99) in my new Treating PTSD, Trauma and Phobias With The Rewind Technique eCourse.

I remember working with a client who used to have angry outbursts at their husband. She didn’t know why she got so angry with him and did domestic abuse towards him. During our first session she revealed that as a teen she had been raped. She thought she had moved on from it, she could talk about it fine, she was aware that it was part of her history, but because she felt like she had moved on she hadn’t made the connection with her current situation. What led us to discover the connection was analysing what it was in the relationship which made her angry. It was specific tones of voice, specific ways she was touched and specific words and phrases. All of these were aspects of the traumatic experience from when she was a teenager. Once we de-traumatised the rape incident her anger stopped. The anger was a solution, it was protecting her on a primal level from being raped. If anything which pattern matched to that incident occurred it made her become angry so that she would fight to prevent coming to harm, even though now there was no harm going to happen, it was just her husband who she loved being loving.

It is very common for people with phobias – most commonly of spiders, flying (especially when someone is about to go on holiday), and dentists, to come for psychological therapy, but many therapists don’t recognise the traumatic roots of other stuck clients problems.

There is a fast and effective way of treating phobias trauma and PTSD and that is to use the Rewind Technique (you can access my Treating PTSD, Trauma & Phobias With The Rewind Technique course for just $14.99 USD (or equivalent price in other currencies plus any taxes) here – Usual RRP $149.99 USD).

The Rewind Technique is a rapid way of breaking the trauma pattern relinquishing its hold over the client. It is common for the Rewind Technique to work in 1-3 sessions. When treating phobias this means someone who perhaps has restricted an aspect of their life for years – like has always wanted to holiday abroad but has never been able to fly, or may have missed opportunities for this reason, or may have poor dental hygiene due to a fear of dentists, or may have restricted their life due to being scared to leave their own home – can suddenly experience freedom in as little as a single session, like the elderly lady I helped who had been involved in three accidents on the road and when out walking and had developed a fear of leaving her home. She hadn’t left her home for over thirty years and yet within 30 minutes we were both sat on the beach eating ice-cream discussing how life will be different now she can leave her home. This 30 minutes was life-changing for her. All I did was use the Rewind Technique with her, which you can learn to do here.

Some people have problems which seem quite complex, like a teen I worked with who had about 20 phobias, had anger problems at home, at school and when out with friends, had been seen by a psychiatrist for many years without any improvement in his behaviour, anger and anxiety or phobias and whose education was suffering due to poor behaviour and lack of attendance at school. In a single conversation with his mother I worked out that all of his issues stemmed from one school experience, I met with her son for less than 30 minutes, used the Rewind Technique on the incident from when he was in primary school and all of his phobias went away, his anxiety and anger problems went away, his school attendance improved, he became a happier and calmer teen and started doing well. This was a transformative moment for that teen and his mother and all it took was a single session with the Rewind Technique – which you can learn here for $14.99 USD.

An advantage of the Rewind Technique is that you don’t have to know any details. As long as the client knows what they are working on you don’t need to know. You can have a codeword so that you can say something and they will understand what you are referring to, but you don’t need to know what you are referring to. For example, I have worked a lot with teens and children who were physically, emotionally and sexually abused. There was a child who wouldn’t go in the bathroom, wouldn’t have a bath or shower. He was about ten years old and in a care home. I knew his background and why he was in care. Talking about sexual experiences with a stranger is uncomfortable for anyone, being a child and talking about them is even more uncomfortable. The child would get angry if you tried to get him to shower or bathe, he was getting bullied by other children in the care home for smelling and he would get angry if people tried to talk about what happened to him or tried to get him to talk about what happened to him. I used the Rewind Technique with him over about a 30 minute period. I told him he didn’t have to tell me anything about whatever has happened to him, he didn’t have to talk about it, I wasn’t going to ask him to tell me anything about it. I just asked him to give me a codeword for whatever it was that had happened that was making him angry. He said ‘bathroom incident’. I then did the Rewind Technique just referring to what we were working on as ‘the bathroom incident’. I didn’t ask him for any details about the incident, what the incident was, what happened, when, how often, how he felt about it. I just helped him gain freedom from what had happened. Within less than 30 minutes he was comfortable going into the bathroom and having a bath or shower. This meant he no longer got bullied in the home for smelling, his anger significantly reduced (he no longer got angry in relation to the bathroom or what happened to him) and his behaviour improved.

The Rewind Technique is an incredible technique for every psychological therapist’s toolbox. You can learn the Rewind Technique for just $14.99 USD here. (Usual RRP $149.99 USD).

The Treating PTSD, Trauma and Phobias With The Rewind Technique course covers:

  • How to treat phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma that underlies many other psychological problems (like: depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and addictions) with the Rewind Technique.
  • What causes phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • How to handle challenges you may face with clients
  • The principles behind the Rewind Technique and how to effectively deliver the technique
  • How to get creative with those principles so that you can create your own versions of the technique, like creating stories around the technique
  • What other issues the Rewind Technique works well for treating

To aid your learning there are additional notes and I have included 12 of my self-hypnosis PTSD and phobia treatment mp3’s (worth over £95 GBP) that you can use yourself or listen to as examples of using the Rewind Technique to treat different phobias and PTSD.

The tracks are:

  • Fear of enclosed spaces
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of going outside your home
  • Fear of needles
  • Fear of open spaces
  • Fear of puppets
  • Fear of rats
  • Fear of vomiting
  • Generic phobia cure
  • Fear of spiders
  • Fear of snakes
  • PTSD treatment for soldiers

This Rewind Technique course also includes five practice exercises and five quizzes to help test and embed your knowledge and comes with a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee.​