How Hypnotherapy Works

The more I learn about hypnosis in therapy the more I have to abandon all the preconceptions I grew up with. Hypnotherapy is not about manipulating people or directing them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, act without the usual inhibitions of social behavior – as in all the theatrical stunts we’ve seen in stage acts and movies. As Michael Yapko summarizes: it used to be hypnosis to, now […] Read the rest»

focus for mindfulness and hypnosis

Is There a Link Between Mindfulness and Hypnosis?

In looking for ideas about the power of the mind in healing, I’ve never thought about a possible link between mindfulness and hypnosis. Until now. Michael Yapko claims there is a close connection between the two in his latest book, Mindfulness and Hypnosis. I’ve learned a lot from his well-known self-help books on depression (Breaking the Patterns of Depression, Depression Is Contagious), but he is best known professionally for his […] Read the rest»

power of vulnerability video

Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown’s video on vulnerability hit me where I breathe. That simple. She touches on most of the themes – other than depression itself – that I’ve struggled with and written about for years. The big ones for me are shame, fear, the courage to step into life without knowing what to expect – the courage to be vulnerable. She weaves them into her warm and funny style of presenting […] Read the rest»

concentric blue circles

Peter’s Recovery Story – Part 2

Be sure to read Part 1 of this self-help recovery story about the development of Peter’s depression from childhood through the teenage years. Adulthood I moved a lot, even from country to country, but soon learned that the escape was merely temporary. My old self was following wherever I went, but moving about and keeping my mind occupied helped to keep the demons of the past at bay. By my […] Read the rest»

Boy alone on country road

Peter’s Recovery Story – Part 1

Peter told his recovery story as an extended comment recently, and I wanted to give it a more prominent place as another in our ongoing series of personal stories. Because of its length, it will be posted in two parts. During the last ten years or so, whenever the emotional roller coaster of my life has hit a trough, I often turned to the internet for relief. Feeling part of […] Read the rest»

Mysterious Roving Rocks of Racetrack Playa

The Challenge of the Ordinary

When I’m depressed, I dwell most on the failings of the past and the expected disappointments of the future, but there is also the challenge of the ordinary moments of the present. The challenge when depressed is to recognize the things I do well but unconsciously, the daily actions I’m good at but ignore when judging myself harshly. I’ve borrowed this thought, though adapting it to a different setting, from […] Read the rest»

Viktor Frankl 1972

Finding Purpose in Life – Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl’s central theme was the necessity of finding purpose in life. As he tells the powerful story in Man’s Search for Meaning, he learned that this was the only way to survive the tortures of a Nazi concentration camp. In creating his own form of psychotherapy, which he called logotherapy, he identified three ways of arriving at meaning in one’s life. They are work, love and the one he […] Read the rest»

Focus of Attention by-nd-h-k-d 250

Mindful Attention Is a Healing Force

Learning the skills of mindful attention can put you on a slow but steady track of healing. Medication and cognitive therapy try to put you on the fast track, but the effects don’t always last. Though it may take a while to instill mindfulness in everyday life, once established it’s with you for the long haul. The placebo response shows that the mind can have dramatic effects in healing. Its […] Read the rest»