The following blogs are an excerpt from a conversation with Todd Goodwin, Board Certified Hypnotist at GoodwinHypnosis.com, who was interviewed by Conor Flynn, host of the Rx Podcast (DrinkRxCoffee.com), on July 30, 2018.
This second segment explores the relationship between some of our most common personal problems and their underlying causes, and why most common solutions don’t work well.
TODD GOODWIN: So coming back to hypnosis…Basically we all experience hypnosis, the question is, how are you going to use that state to enhance your life, if that’s your goal, to improve certain parts of your life, how to remove certain negative programming that you’ve learned early in your life when you were hypnotized by your parents or teachers when you were a child or society, you know, limiting beliefs, things that disempower you like “I’m not good enough.” Or if daddy left when I was a little boy, then you know, maybe “I’m not worthy of love.” Or my coach yelled at me a lot in Little League. So I believe “I’ll never be good at sports.” Something like that. We learn these things early on that usually end up disempowering us and form the root of most of our emotional and behavioral problems.
While a lot of what we work within our practice, on the surface looks like, you know, bad habits or addictions, emotional challenges, like anxiety, or stress, or phobias, low self-confidence or motivation. Really, those are just symptoms. So the behavioral symptoms, if someone drinks too much or they eat too much, and that’s why they’re overweight or they have issues in their life. That behavior is a symptom of an emotional challenge, usually stress or anxiety or fear or guilt or grief or trauma of some kind, and then that emotional challenge is also a symptom of some belief system or way of thinking. In which case, you need to realize that the belief, which is the ultimate cause of their problems, is something they learned in their life. because no one’s born with low self-worth. No one is born craving alcohol or junk food, no one is born hating an ethnicity or race or one person over another. These are all things that we learned. And if we learned it, we can unlearn it, and hypnosis is simply, as I use it, what some people call hypnotherapy. Essentially, we’re helping people access an important, powerful learning state to effectively unlearn these, these toxic and unhealthy states of mind so that they can free themselves of the emotional and behavioral problems without relying on willpower or lengthy talk therapy or medication to do so.
CONOR FLYNN: I’m sure that it varies from person to person. But generally speaking, if someone does hypnotherapy would how many sessions does it take? Or is this a prolonged thing? How does that usually work?
TODD: That is completely dependent on the individual and the issue. And that’s one thing we determine when we do an initial consultation with someone. But that is a very common question. If I had to generalize, I would say it’s very brief. And it depends, but I would say that most of the people we see when they present with whatever issue they have, we see four to seven times over the course of one to two months.
CONOR: Now is there a maintenance aspect to it also, like getting the oil changed in your car to come back once every year, twice a year, depending on how much you’re driving?
TODD: It’s not necessary. It’s always helpful. But it’s important to remember or think about a gardening metaphor. If you have weeds growing in your garden, you can analyze the weeds, you could analyze the type of weeds and the genus and the species and what particular strain of weed they might be. And based on their height, and how they’re growing, how long they’ve been there and where they blew in from and how they got there, to begin with. You could study that, you could predict what will happen if nothing changes with that weed, it just continues to grow and overtake the garden. And that, for many people, is like talk therapy. It might be interesting, and it might reveal certain things, but ultimately, you’re still left with the weed. So just analyzing is not usually going to change much, it’s just going to give awareness. And while awareness is important, it’s only half of the solution.
You could put weed killer in there to kill the weed, to poison it, but you may end up ruining the flowers, too. And that would be like certain pharmaceuticals. You know a lot of psychiatric medications, while certainly very helpful and necessary for a small subset of the population, are overprescribed, typically, and many of them are addictive and carry a lot of side effects and very difficult to withdraw from. So that would be like the weed killer. It may accomplish it. But it may have a lot of undesirable side effects.
There’s positive thinking, which is, you know, pretending like the weed’s not there. And you can just sort of ignore it and say, “No, no, it’s just flowers, it’s only flowers.” But when you open your eyes, the weed’s still there. And then there’s the willpower-based behavior modification. I have a master’s degree in nutrition, and I was nutritionist briefly in the late 90s. And anyone who has attempted to change their eating habits, or any behavior, knows how difficult it can be, like you’re fighting yourself. When you try to use willpower, you try to use rational thinking you try to force yourself. Usually, that doesn’t work very well. And that would be like stomping up and down on the weeds to kill them. But as long as the roots, which you can’t see, because they’re underneath the surface of the soil, are intact, the weed’s going to keep growing.
So while it may be interesting to speculate about where it came from, and what kind of weed it is, and what the implications of the weed in the garden will be, ultimately, as long as those damn roots are there, that thing is going to keep growing. You have to reach down and pull it up by the roots. And once the roots are gone, they don’t come back. My point is with the maintenance, is if you’re trimming weeds, then you do need to do a lot of maintenance. But if you pull the weeds up by the roots, and you get all of it, and that’s our goal, then they don’t come back. Now you might get another weed coming in at some point in the future because we live dynamic lives, we’re dynamic people. We may have new things happening that affect us that we need to tend to. We do have a lot of clients who over time, come back, maybe two years later, for help with something else, but usually, when we effectively get the issue resolved, it doesn’t come back.
The next segment explains the necessary relationship between hypnotist and client and how people in the USA spend more than $60 billion per year to be hypnotized.