If anyone has read my older blog posts, I have in the past, touted the use EMDR to help people heal from sexual abuse. EMDR is considered a power therapy in the field of trauma, but it does not hold a candle to curative abilities of Neuro Emotional Technique(NET). As I have posted a few posts back, patients suffering from complex PTSD underwent two functional MRIs pre and post NET treatment. In less than 5 treatments, they were scanned again, and the results showed there was no evidence of PTSD in the brain. So, what does this mean for people who have suffered sexual abuse? It means that it is quite possible to have a person cured within 5 sessions or less. Personally, I have seen a one time sexual trauma eliminated in 20 minutes. At first, I honestly did not believe it, so I scheduled a follow up session the following week. To my amazement, there were no occurrences of flashbacks, nightmares, or any lingering anxiety. Since then, stories like this have been the norm.
Before I proceed further and explain the process of treatment, I must add my disclosure. I am not allowed to say that I can cure anything, or that your results will be the same as other patients. I will say that this is worth a person's time. NET is an advanced form of Energy Psychology where we use Eastern Chinese Acupuncture points and applied kinesiology to find where the body stores the emotional stuck points. Or in the case of sexual trauma, where the body chose to store the memories and pain. Once we find the right spot, which literally takes a minute, we release the emotion by connecting the acupuncture point where the feeling is stored to the emotional acupuncture point, and the feeling is quickly released. As long as you can feel the feeling, we can release it. It is literally that simple.
I have been asked so many times why NET is not in every therapist's set of skills, and why CBT is said to be the cure all of every mental illness. The answer is quite complex. For starters, NET was developed by a skilled chiropractor by the name of Dr. Scott Walker. He was more interested in healing patients than being a research junkie in academia somewhere. It was not until the early 90's that the One Foundation was founded to create peer reviewed research proving what Dr. Walker and many others had already known. Second, CBT and these other talk therapies have more research behind them because it makes sense to them to just talk and use logic to fix whatever ails ya; it is clean, it stays in the head. Third, let's face it, psychologists are nerds. Their degree is based in conducting research upon research upon research. Just for my masters degree alone, I had to write 63 research papers in order to graduate. Finally, eastern oriental medicine is still seen by western eyes as a form of snake oil and weird voodoo. News flash, there is something to this stuff. Otherwise it would not have lasted 5000 years. So that my friends is the basic reason why NET is not in the forefront of therapy.
Till next time my friends,
While I am in between patients, I decided to write a quick post about how Neuro Emotional Technique has helped my patients to move past and heal from marital affairs, cheating, and adultery. Often times in couple’s therapy, one spouse remains emotionally stuck on a particular event or events of the past. This makes the healing process very difficult. I have heard it many times before. One spouse has the affair, and the other one is left trying to cope and pick up the pieces. They often stay to me, “How can I ever move past and trust my spouse again?” The answer is simple. If a couple is determined to work through whatever occurred trust can be rebuilt. First, the offending spouse need to “eat some crow” as I call it by being completely and utterly transparent. No secrecy whatsoever. Second, they MUST handle any emotional upsets from the other spouse with total mercy and grace. Here is what I mean by mercy and grace. Instead of getting frustrated and say things such as, “When are you ever gonna get over this?” The offending spouse must say something along the lines of, “You are right, I was wrong, and I will do whatever it takes to make it right so you no longer feel this way.” Anything less starts the healing all over. It opens the wounds back up. Now, this is where Neuro Emotional Technique comes into play.
The reason I love Neuro Emotional Technique so much is that we can get a year’s worth of talk therapy completed in under an hour. In the case in infidelity, the person who was offended, or the one left to pick up the pieces, will benefit the most from this technique. We focus on the emotional blockages that keep us from moving forward such as feelings of fear, anger, resentment, etc. Once these feelings are released, healing takes place rather quickly. I do not know how to describe how it feels for my patients when they go through this technique. There is almost a universal feelings of calm and peace about the whole situation. The mind slows WAY down, and the patient can think calmly for the first time in a long time. Basically, I am told that they have their life back.
So, if this is something you are someone you know may benefit from, please feel free to give us a call.
Till next time,
In the past few weeks, I have been touting the benefits of Neuro Emotional Technique or NET for short. Reality is that I am so excited to share this with as many people who will read these posts and listen to me babble on and on about its benefits. My goal is to spread the word about NET to as many people so they can actually find relief. So, in today's post, I am going to discuss how chronic pain may be helped with Neuro Emotional Technique.
Everyone has experienced pain before. Not everyone, however has experienced debilitating chronic pain. President Trump recently declared a war on opioid addiction. That is great and all, but where does this fit in with those who suffer from chronic pain? Pain is horrible. It is designed to tell us that something is wrong, but when it becomes chronic, our quality of life greatly suffers. If doctors are scrutinized for prescribing pain medicine to people who need it, the patient with chronic pain are the one's that needlessly suffer. This is where Neuro Emotional Technique may come to the rescue.
We know than pain obviously has a physical component to it, but did you know that there is often times an emotional component that when released can either eliminate or greatly reduce pain? When I went through NET training, I saw people with chronic knee pain, stomach pain, back pain, and even ear pain alleviated through NET. Personally, I blew out my elbows about 7 months ago from lifting too much weight at the gym. My elbows became so bad that I had to have my intern open a bottle of water for me because I could no longer twist the cap. What I found out when I had NET done on me is that I was having a difficult time with a close family member that has unfortunately been ongoing, and for whatever reason, my mind wanted to focus that emotional energy in my elbows. I was able to release the negative feelings, and I kid you not, I can move elbows, and I can even do push ups again without pain. The release was almost instantaneous. I have done it on so many people with similar results. Not long ago, I had an individual with ear pain that was having difficulty healing from surgery. We did NET for about 10 minutes, and the pain subsided. Even after followup, the pain was still gone. If for whatever reason, you can not come to us for NET or find a practitioner near, please check out our Facebook page where you can listen to my pain hypnosis mp3 free of charge. It is not as powerful as NET, nor is it as long lasting, but I hope you find relief when you listen.
Till Next Time,
Over the past few weeks, I have written quite a bit about Neuro Emotional Technique. In this post, I want to discuss how using this technique can help those suffering from substance abuse addictions and disorders.
I have said for more than a decade that there are two types of drug users. 1. The true addict you just enjoys getting high. 2. The person who chases the high in order to temporarily forget the struggles and pain of life. In almost 17 years of practice, I can honestly say that I can count on one hand how many people are true addicts and just like to get high. Everyone else is the second person. If that is you, I encourage you to continue reading.
Traditional substance abuse or drug counseling works on the idea that addiction is a disease and the person needs a combination of education, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a relatively new technique called Motivational Interviewing. Reality is that the average person will enter rehab up to 10 times before they quit for good. When we incorporate Neuro Emotional Technique into treatment, we first start with what stressors and trauma contributed to current drug addiction. We will focus childhood traumas and stressors, current life situations, and finally the overall desire to quit and stay quit for good. Once the stressors or in Neuro Emotional Technique lingo, Neuro Emotional Complexes are out of the way, we can then begin traditional and standard treatment. My belief is simple. First we must remove the initial cause as to why a person is stuck in a particular thinking and/or behavior pattern. Then, and only then, do we begin to educate and help the person find ways to stay clean and sober. Otherwise, it is kind of like brushing your teeth with a mouth full of Oreos.
Till next time,
Outside of Neuro Emotional Technique(NET), OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is incredibly difficult to treat. For those that do not suffer from it, OCD is mostly joked about in a haphazard sort of way, but to those who suffer from it, it is debilitating. Reality is that standard talk therapy does little to address the root cause. OCD is a form of anxiety, but unlike other anxiety disorder, there seems to have absolutely no initial cause of it. This is where Neuro Emotional Technique comes to the rescue.
Unlike talk therapy, NET finds the cause by using manual muscle testing to find the physiological spot in the body where the anxiety or OCD has it origin. I know this sounds pretty funky and completely WOO WOO, but it actually has scientific validation. For instance, it is a known scientific fact that the mind and body are interconnected, and when emotional stressors occur, the brain records those moments any where in body. That is why there are documented cases of people remembering traumatic experiences after receiving deep tissue massages. So, now let's get back to NET and how we address and treat OCD. Once we find this sweet spot, so to speak, we use Meridian Access Points(acupuncture points for the mind). Each point is associated with a feeling, and once the feeling is identified, we do what we call an age test. Since the subconscious mind records everything from conception to present, we can literally go back and find the emotional reality or perceived start of the event. Now, we have the cause. Once this happens, we just eliminate through pressing the meridian points, breathing deeply, and feeling the initial feeling or memory. This process literally takes 10-15 minutes from start to finish.
I know what I propose sounds like some snake oil being sold by a traveling salesperson, but I have seen too much to know that this works, and works astonishingly well. If confidentiality was not important, I would tell everyone what I have seen. Unfortunately, people have to take my word for it, and see for themselves. Because of this technique alone, I can honestly say that I am done with talk therapy, and have devoted my time to promote NET by showing as many people how fast and well this helps.
Till next time,
In almost 17 years in practice, I have never seen anything quite like the Neuro Emotional Technique(NET). It consists of 25% Neuro Psychology
25% Chinese Acupuncture(No needles required)
25% Applied Kinesiology
Actually, the percentages are not a hundred percent accurate, but they do consist of 4 fields of study to create one amazing method to treat underlying emotional stuck points faster than anything that I have seen before.
In the past, I would have treated people with four different approaches that depend upon each person's personality. A few years ago, I gave up doing talk therapy for EMDR and hypnosis. Now, I have almost completely abandoned them for NET. What happens is this. First we find where the emotions reside through accessing Meridian points in wrist. For the non acupuncture type, Meridian parts are scientifically validated points in the body and wrist that store emotional energy. Think of it as the remote control to our feelings. Different points equate to different emotions. Then, we find the initial cause of the feeling/s. What gets really weird is that that we may go back many many decades, but once we find the initial cause, we go back to the moment and start thinking forward. What happens next is mind boggling because nearly every person I have done this with reports that they feel different and the anxious feelings are gone. I must be completely honest here when I say the feelings are gone. The feelings that we worked on specifically are gone, but there may be other feelings that we are not yet ready to release. Usually when this happens, the other hidden feelings reveal themselves, and we can release them by next session. This generally happens when a person has several anxieties for a particular subject. Most of the time, we can treat in 1 session. We will repeat the pattern until all the feelings are gone. In average, I can do work on 10 feelings per hour. That is why I said that we can get about a year's worth of therapy in less than hour. Check out netmindbody.net for more info.
Till next time,
The One Research foundation is the non-profit research arm of Neuro Emotional Technique. They recently published two peer reviewed journals this past year regarding both Cancer and Trauma, and straight up Post Traumatic Stress Disoder(PTSD). What the research team did what perform pre and post tests with people suffering from PTSD. They had the participants undergo a functional MRI of the brain before and after. The brain before undergoing Neuro Emotional Technique(NET), lit up like a Christmas tree when the traumatic memories were accessed. In other words, all the typical symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety, fear, flashbacks, depression, etc, were all present. Just after only 5 sessions of NET, the participant's brain were scanned by the functional MRI machine again, and the results were astonishing. No evidence of PTSD existed in the brain. In other words, they were cured. Check out the image of the brain scan below. For more research information, check out www.onefoundation.org. It is pretty amazing stuff. I must add my 2 cents about this study. From my personal experience EMDR is an amazing tool for trauma. This too can work very quickly. The difference is that with EMDR, we must relive the trauma, but with NET, there is little to no reliving the flashbacks.
As both a therapist and a student of life, I am constantly searching for ways to help both myself and the lives of my patients. I feel that any provider, whether they are a medical doctor, nurse, psychologist, or therapist, should be open to possibilities that what they currently know to be true could one day be turned upside down. This is what happened to me this past March.
I have a colleague friend of mine that I have known since my early days of counseling. She practices in my hometown in Florida, while I practice here in Gastonia. Ironically, we each recieved training in the exact same forms of treatment that the average therapist never takes the time to learn. It was not until last year, I saw her post on Facebook about the Neuro Emotional Technique or NET for short. I asked her how much better is it at helping people with trauma, anxiety, phobias, etc compared to traditional talk therapy, EMDR, and hypnosis. What she said made my skeptical. She said NET blew those treatments out of the water. It was not until six months later when I was talking to an old friend from the church I attended as a child that NET became a reality. She said that she went to my therapist friend for help, and was helped immensely in just a couple of sessions. It was my friend's testimony that prompted me to sign up for the next training. What happened at the training completely took my previous 16 years of practice and stood it on its head.
I attended this training in Orlando. I am not going to lie, I was planning on going to the training, and if it was total garbage compared to what I had already known, I was going to leave and go on a mini vacation for myself, and spend the next few days lying on the beach with a cold one in my hand. Well, within the first hour, I was mesmerized. What I learned blew my mind. NET is a technique and a treatment method that helps people uncover and understand how life events in the past contribute to how we feel today. Often times, the events appear to be seemingly unrelated. We call these Neuro Emotional Complexes or just stuck points. It also uncovers emotional setbacks that keep us from healing physically. I literally watched people and now have treated people for chronic pain such as ear, leg, and stomach pain literally go away after uncovering and releasing past emotional stuck points. On a personal note, the physician who was teaching me asked me what I want to be different in my life, I said I want to be free of my addiction to sugar. What was uncovered was that my sugar addiction became out of control when my parents divorced when I was 17. To be perfectly clear, I am happy my parents are divorced and happily remarried, but at that time, but it was traumatic for me to go through. It was emotional residue, so to speak, that I was unaware that I still had in me. Since March 22(as of this writing on 5/5/18), I have lost over 30lbs without even trying. Another personal testimony is my elbow pain. I injured my elbows lifting weights. My elbows hurt so bad that I could barely lift myself up from the chair without help. I even had to have my intern open a bottle of water for me. To doctor helped me find the stuck point to that as well. My elbows have been bothering mefor about 5 months, and it was at that time, I remember making an off handed comment to my wife about a family member causing me a great deal of stress. That stressor was related to my elbow. Immediately after NET, I was to lift myself up, open my own bottle with out pain, and do unassisted push ups. My elbows now can finally heal. Needless to say, I am a believer.
So what does all this mean to the people that I serve and treat. It means that I am one of only 8000 practitioners in the world that are trained to provide this service. There are over 600000 therapists in the US alone. So, NET is pretty darn unique. What I have literally seen happen is that we can get through a year of traditional talk therapy in less than one hour. The results speak for themselves. I do not have to know deep, dark, family secrets. Nor do we have to rehash the painful past. Check my link for NET on our website for a video demonstration. It is really that simple. To be fair, this is not a cure all. The individuals who are not well suited for this technique are people who suffer from active psychosis, and people with severe mental illness that need immediate long term hospitalization. Almost everyone else achieves success. So if you are someone else you love could benefit, give us a call.
Till next time my friends,
Survivors of sexual abuse, often times, hide in darkness. For years, survivors suffer afraid that if they tell, they will be accused of lying, face rejection, and worse, judgment.
We at Bright Hope want survivors to know that there is hope, and just by reading this post, salute and applaud the courage that is being taken to just read this blog. For starters, I am going to give a synopsis of treatment options available to treat and help survivors heal.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Trauma Focused - (CBT-TF)
This form of therapy is designed to confront irrational thinking about what happened, and to provide education so the survivor knows how to better cope with the negative feelings. I am not going to lie, this technique is my least favorite by far. Research shows that it works just as well as the other two methods that Ia m going to describe. However, in my almost 17 years of experience, I am not a believer.
2. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing - (EMDR)
EMDR is the treatment of choice for veterans coming home from conflict. It's premise is that the brain is set up in two parts - Emotional and Logical. When trauma occurs, the emotional side of the brain basically freaks out and cause a freezing effect very similar to when a computer freezes up. The result of this is the all too familiar feelings of panic, fear, nightmares, etc. What EMDR does is connect both sides of the brain by either tapping back and forth on both sides of the body, holding vibrating paddles, and using the eyes to look right and left. When this is happening, the survivor starts to discuss or think about what happened. The result is that the trauma starts to be processed by the logical side of the brain. The results are usually nothing short of astonishing. Now, I must warn of the downside to this technique. It is exceptionally difficult for the survivor to go through. It is a controlled flashback, and for healing to occur, the trauma will have to be relived.
No, I will not make anyone bark like a dog. Clinical hypnosis uses the subconscious mind to work through the sexual abuse with little emotional pain. It is slower than EMDR, but is still significantly faster than CBT-TF. To fully explain what hypnosis is and does would require several more blog posts. Fortunately, I already discussed this great detail in earlier posts. In the beginning, until the brain takes hold and eliminates the trauma completely, relapses may occur. They are not, however, as strong or as bad as before. This is my personal favorite all around because it is holistic and can be applied to almost any situation in life. Plus, it is not as painful as EMDR. Rule of thumb that I tell my patients is that however long EMDR takes to provide relief, it will usually double that with hypnosis.
4. Exposure Therapy
It is EMDR with out the paddles, eye movement, and tapping. Faster than CBT-TF, and more painful than EMDR because it is longer. Basically, the survivor recounts their story until they no longer have anxiety about it.
All in all, please know that help is available. Reality is that different people prefer different things. My usual course of treatment is a 1, 2, punch with both hypnosis and EMDR because hypnosis strengthens the person before undergoing the difficult task of EMDR. Again, whatever method is used, please do not give up, and seek help.
Let's face it, no one wants to need the services of a therapist. Talking to a complete stranger about intimate details of our lives is anything but enjoyable. Sometimes therapy works, and most of the time it does not. Most of us therapists never persue training outside of continuing education and graduate school. We are content just practicing and using boring talk therapy. Don't get me wrong, talk therapy has it's place, but consider the alternatives.
What I want to particularly talk about is how alternatives to talk therapy can put lives back together without spending thousands of dollars on copayments and fees to have someone just stare at a clock waiting for your time to be up.
I have said this before, and I will continue to say it. Almost every person I see falls into two categories. Depression or Trauma(Anxiety). Depression can easily be treated with standard talk therapy, and benefits from what about to say. Trauma, on the other hand, does not seem to respond well to traditional counseling, and needs other solutions.
For those inidividuals suffering from trauma help arrives in the treatment of either or both EMDR and clinical hypnosis. For those interested in how either of these treatments work, check out the other pages on this site. What's cool, if anything can be cool about trauma, is that once we identify a cause of the truama, and treat it, everything else seems to fall back in line. Literally what this means is that once the initial trauma is desensitized, anything else that was problematic returns the the pretraumatic state. I have actually seen victims of rape and other heinous acts return to their lives in a little as 30 minutes. Even after a follow up the next week, there are still no signs of anxiety, stress, nightmares, and flashbacks. For those suffering from multiple traumas, we have to tackle each trauma inidvidually from smallest to largest. The results are the same.
I know this sounds too good to be true. Let me tell you, that I have done of 2800 sessions using EMDR and probably close to 1000 using hypnosis(I learned hypnosis later in my career), and I can not begin to describe th joy I get when I see someone who has suffered for years finally recieve freedom from the chains of mental oppression.
Till next time friends,
1558-G Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
As a practitioner of hypnosis, I am never shocked to see the positive applications that hypnosis has on my patients. I have watched countless times as people come into my office riddled in pain, and leave completely pain free. The mind is incredibly powerful. I have seen hypnosis turn addicts sober. As long as the mind is willing, anything can happen. This is why I want to talk about alcohol abuse and how hypnosis may be able to help.
The current course of treatment is a person addicted to alcohol will go into a multi day detox center and then enter some form of outpatient treatment. I read somewhere that an alcoholic trying to quit will quit a total of 10 times before finally quitting for good. I think the same holds true for most addictions.
This is where hypnosis comes into play. When a person is truly ready to quit drinking, hypnosis is able to address underlying traumas that lead a person to tip back the bottle. I have always said that there are two types of alcoholics. The 1st being someone who just likes to be drunk, and the 2nd is someone who is struggling with unresolved pain and trauma. I find 2nd to be significantly more prevalent. With hypnosis, we can finally put to rest the desire to drink by giving the subconscious mind another avenue to release stress and pain. Depending on the mind's readiness to change, true and lasting change can be seen between 1-3 sessions.
As always, hypnosis is not a magic pill. It requires a true desire on the individual's part. If you or someone you love is ready to make a lasting change, please give us a call.
Bright Hope Counseling Center
For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book written by a hospice nurse, who wrote about her experiences being with people in their final moments. She described people going through the famous 5 stages of grief. In case you did not know, they are Denial, Anger, Fear, Bargaining, and finally, Acceptance. In my office, it is a humbling experience to assist someone in going through these stages, but what I blew my mind away was the hope this nurse described in the people going through their most difficult moments.
As I write this, my thoughts immediately go to a dear mentor and friend of mine who is dealing with terminal cancer. Let's face it, death and loss suck. It is something that if we live long enough, we will experience it, and we too must personally go through it. Regardless of the circumstances, in order for us to be truly free, we must be at peace. My friend is at peace.
The word peace means so much to different people, and that is OK. What is not good is how we struggle to find it. I am a trained trauma therapist. I have always said that in terms of trauma, there is not much that I can not fix. The only thing that I have not been able to help is death without peace and hope. Particularly dealing with death, if there is no peace and hope, there is no resolution in the circumstance. As much as I want to help, I can not help a true Atheist comes to terms with a painful death because death is the final end. It does not matter to me what a person believes as long as they can find peace and hope that their loved one or themselves will one day find freedom and comfort. That element of belief is critical to finding the help we so desperately crave.
If you are in the position of trying to find hope and peace, read as much as you can about other's experiences. Read book about people who have had near death experiences. I even encourage to read about those experiences with people who do not share your beliefs. Connect with hospice groups. As always, we are here to help, and are just a phone call away.
Peace and Blessings.
Bright Hope Counseling Center
The answer is "Maybe, Yes, and NO." If I had a nickel for every person that told me that counseling did not help to resolve their traumatic past and memories, I would be able to retire to the beach yesterday. I always ask the person why they decided to give me a try. The answer is almost universal, "You helped my brother, friend, cousin, neighbor, etc." It is not that I am any better than the other therapists around; it is because I do not believe that one size fits all.
Quite frankly, talking about a traumatic past sucks. It often times will retraumatize the person telling the story. What good does that do? Absolutely nothing. That it why I answered, "no" when addressing the title to this post. Most therapist think talk therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) works for almost everything. This is what I call the one size fits all approach to therapy. As we have seen, this is not the approach to use.
The "maybe" answer comes from therapists who have experience with trauma, and have had some success treating it. This usually happens from therapists who are trained in different techniques besides CBT. They are what I call the eclectics. Generally, these therapists are fantastic in what they do. They assume their approaches can handle most anything. They use a wide net of counseling techniques to see what actually catches and works. Help normally comes with these therapists, but it may be slow because trauma is not their passion.
In our practice, we specialize in trauma. For myself, I live and breathe this type of work. I get the greatest joy in seeing someone smile for the first time in years. Little makes me happier than here someone who has a night's sleep free of nightmares. We use non-traditional techniques such as EMDR, hynpnosis, Visual Coding Displacement Therapy, and EFT to rapidly reduce symptoms. I have addressed these approaches in other posts. I know, it sounds like hocus pocus, but trust us, it works. Most of the therapists in our practice know how to use these techniques and you will be referred to a therapist that does. What we usually see is relief in one session, and full resolution in under five. Every situation is different, give us a call, and talk to us. We are not about wasting your time or money.
YES!!! Hypnosis works, and it almost always works quicker than traditional therapy.'
I do a lot of marketing on Facebook. At least once a week, I get some heckler trying say that hypnosis does not work, and that people are wasting their time. I have two things to say about these accusations.
First, hypnosis works when a person is ready and willing to make a permanent life change. Same is also said for counseling, coaching, mentoring, etc. I have personally witnessed hundreds of people whose life has been changed for the better because they decided to undergo hypnosis. I have seen anxieties eliminated. Panic attacks vanished, and life long traumas wiped away because of hypnosis. To say it does not work is an absolute farce.
Second, those hecklers are absolutely right that hypnosis does not work. I have always said that hypnosis is an art form. Just like there are horrible therapists, there are horrible hypnotists. Like counseling, hypnosis requires the client to play an active role in treatment. The therapist and/or hypnotist acts as nothing more than a nonjudgmental guide. Because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, the hypnotist must be able to guide the person into hypnosis to allow the transformation to take place. Without this, hypnosis does not work.
Oh, and for the record, there are only three types of people that can not be hypnotized. 1. People who refuse hypnosis. 2. People who are too developmentally delayed to comprehend what is being done. 3. My lovely wife; she just laughs at me. Everybody else can sit back and enjoy the break and ease the mind.
Relieve a panic and anxiety attacks in these easy steps:
1. Pick the smallest and farthest object across the room that your eyes are able to see.
2. Stare at this object as if you are trying to burn a hole through it with your eyes. Stare so intently as if you very life depends upon it.
3. Take slow deep breathes and try to blow the object away.
4. Repeat until panic attack resolves.
This is a Zen Buddhist mediation trick of "emptying the mind." Because panic attacks are the result of the mind racing, we need to rapidly cause the mind to stop. What this trick does is force the mind to only think of one thing and one thing only. Once this happens, the thoughts causing the panic attack can no longer race. This causes the person to feel better almost immediately.
Now, this is not a permanent solution, but a mere band aid in order to survive until the cause of the panic attacks can be resolved. For a permanent solution, check out this video.
Bright Hope Counseling Center
1558-G Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
Let's face it, depression hurts. People not suffering from depression often say, "cheer up. It's not that bad." or, "When are you going to get over it, and stop being a baby?" What they do not understand is that the black cloud of depression makes those that suffer from it feel as if they are in a dark hole with little room and no way out.
Depression usually consists in two forms. 1. Situational Depression and 2. Persistent Depression.
Depression that is situational is usually quickly resolved once the situation is either worked through, or the person's perspective on the situation has changed. This is usually done either through counseling or even hypnosis.
Persistent Depression is categorized by Diagnostic Book of Mental Disorders or the DSM as either Major Depression and persistent depressive disorder(formerly called Dysthymia). This type of depression generally has a biological make up for it, and most people benefit from an antidepressant, and on going counseling. Individuals suffering from this type of depression may experience bouts of depression with periods of relief. In times of relief, counseling and/or hypnosis is recommended in order to prolong the relief, and continue to develop coping strategies to limit any set backs.
Recent studies are beginning to show that moderate, regular exercise is shows promising results that may mimic some antidepressants.
For what ever reason, we are here to help. If we can be of any assistance or need resources to continue progress, please feel free to give us a call.
Bright Hope Counseling Center
1558-G Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
When life gets us down, we seem to overlook the options that are before us. Sometimes, what we need is to look through our predicament through a different perspective. If we seek professional help, there are so many counselors and therapists that we do not know where to turn. Know that not all therapists are the same. Do not necessarily worry about what letters are after the name, but focus on what the therapist provides and how they approach a particular issue or problem.
At Bright Hope Counseling Center, we pride ourselves on being different because we know that what we do works. We often times are the counseling center of last resort because by the time a person comes to us, they have already been through three, four, or even five different counselors. What makes us different is our approach. While most therapists and for that matter, most schools of counseling, preach traditional talk counseling such CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), we focus on techniques that work directly with the subconscious mind and use methods that wok on rewiring the actual synapses of the brain. Our difference is that we get people better fast. For example, we have had many people who have experienced traumatic events such as rape, violence, car accidents, etc. Instead of talking about it for what feels likes years, we jump right to the heart of the problem, and work on reprogramming the brain. The result is that the person usually feels better after 1-2 sessions. We come with a guarantee, that if we can not help a person feel significantly better in month, that we need to be fired, and help the person find a more suitable referral.
Chest hurts, heart starts racing, the sudden fear of imminent death, and the world around starts to close in. Sound familiar? Panic attacks are some of the scariest experiences a person can endure. Sometimes they only last for a few minutes, and others, last for hours. They seem to strike at any moment for whatever reason. They can debilitate a person to point of them never leaving their house, and when the thought of leaving happens, severe panic ensues.
Panic attacks leave the sufferer feeling absolutely helpless. Yet, I am here to declare that hope and healing is possible. With the right therapist, relief from panic attacks can come sooner than most people think. Below is a list of treatments that I have used with individuals to help rapidly resolve their panic.
1. Hypnosis - Clinical hypnosis works wonders for the rapid resolution of panic attacks. Contrary to urban myth, I can not make a person do anything without their consent. In other words, there is no barking like a dog or quacking like a duck. Anybody who wants to experience hypnosis will be able to be hypnotized. With hypnosis, the person enters a relaxed state where the subconscious mind becomes active. Once active, the mind is open to suggestions that allow the person to overcome the effects of panic attacks. What happens is that over time, the frequency and intensity is drastically reduced. For most scenarios, this is my go to method.
2. EMDR - This is a form of therapy that rapidly resolves traumatic experiences in patients. EMDR can be used to treat panic attacks as they are happening to help the brain become desensitized to the stressors that cause the sudden onset of attacks. For frequent panic attacks, this seems to work best.
3. Flooding - The concept of flooding is controversial. Many therapists like what it can do, but it taxes the emotional threshold of the patient. Flooding literally means what it says. The panic attack sufferer will place themselves in a situation that instantly causes an attack, and the more frequent a person is placed in that environment, the quicker the recovery. Imagine the brain is like a computer that is frozen. What flooding does is press the reset button, and fixes the error. I like the idea of flooding, but to convince the patient is another subject altogether.
4. Psychotropic Medications - I am not a big fan of psychiatric medications. I believe that they have their place in a person's treatment. Generally speaking, psychotropic medications work. They are, however, not permanent solution. The more permanent solution is actual therapy. Psychotropic medications in conjunction with therapy is also helpful.
We have all experienced anger. Some more than others. It is a common emotion. Anger by itself is not bad. Even Jesus became angry. Anger becomes a problem when it starts to consume and devour our thoughts and minds. Some people when they get angry enough say they start to see red or black out entirely. This usually represents a deeper struggle within the person.
Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~Eckhart Tolle
This quote by Eckhart Tolle sums up the root of anger in a simple sentence. The pain from can from anywhere. It may stem from being ignored and neglected as a child, or harsh past physical punishment and abuse. Low self-esteem and poor body image may also contribute to the past pain. We should always remember that we need to look past the anger and look for the inner pain.
So now that we have identified the cause of anger, how do we handle it? There are several ways to go about addressing anger. Anger management groups, online programs, and one on one individual counseling with a trained therapist. Anger management groups work. However, they can be quite intimidating to introverted newcomers. Also, the therapist leading the group may or may not be quite trained enough to identify individual social cues from group members. A quiet person may be interpreted as not being engaged. Online courses may seem like a viable solution. It may or may not keep the court system off the person's back. What online courses lack is that they do not address anger at its true core; at its pain.
Individual anger management counseling with an awareness of deeper issues can help the person address the cause of their anger from a biological, social, psychological, and even a spiritual level. Once the different aspects and issues are addressed anger will subside, and our fuse with significantly lengthen.
The internal struggle of depression and trauma can run incredibly deep. The scars and wounds of emotional pain , though not seen by the naked eye, cause infinitesimally more damage than anything physical. Society places an unfair stigma on the people that suffer because the world just does not understand. For some, many of these wounds have been going on since childhood. For others, they may be more recent. Either way, the person feels that they are completely alone and have no where to turn.
To those suffering, there is hope. I say this because our office has helped thousands of people find hope, purpose, and healing. Have we helped everybody we met? Unfortunately, no. In working with emotional pain, there is unfortunately, no guarantee. Will we give our best? Absolutely. The people we were unable to help refused to take the journey to healing with us. The reasons are many, but core is the same. They are afraid. Healing is scary, and sometimes past healers caused more damage.
I have heard dozens of stories where a person gave up hope because a therapist did not know what to do, or made a blanket statement that going back church will fix them. To those therapists, I say, "How dare you." There is nothing wrong with referring out to another therapist who has a different level of expertise, but to flat out deny the person the opportunity to heal is wrong.
So here is our proposal:
Give us a chance. We will compassionately listen and hear you. Since we specialize in non traditional methods of counseling, our chances of success are far greater than just talk therapy alone. Together, we will develop a plan of attack, and develop measurable goals for success. At times, it may be painful, yet goal will be in sight. If you feel that we are not a good fit, talk to us, and we will find someone that will. We are diverse group of therapists working with a common goal. Just know that there is hope.
While sitting on the couch with my wife yesterday, she mentioned to me that she just feels sad. Sad? I asked. Yes, sad. Being the therapist that I am, I starting asking her more questions in order to get to the reason for her sadness. In the end, all we could really come up with is that it was cold, cloudy, and just plain dreary. She seems to get this way every time the weather looks like doom and gloom. We believe she suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as S.A.D.
S.A.D. affects many of us who are stuck in a the house because it is too cold and dreary to go outside. Days without seeing the sun has an effect on almost all of us. SO, how do we beat it?
The answer is not that surprising. Here is a small list of what we can do to help keep the winter blues at bay.
1. Exercise More.
2. Start a hobby.
3. Connect with family and friends.
4. If involved in a particular faith, become more active.
5. Meditate and visualize yourself be warmed by the summer sun.
6. Not recommended because of the cancer risk, but it does help - Tanning beds.
7. Last but not least, vitamin D.
If you can think of any other ways to beat the winter blues, let me know.
In this blog, I want to address the issue that some Christians have with other Christians seeking out counseling and therapy services outside of their local church. I have been told on numerous occasions that if the Bible is not used, then it is the work of Satan, and can not address that heart of whatever is hurting the person. I have even been told, that depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc are not the result of some chemical deficiency within the brain, but an issue with unresolved sin.
In the past thirty five years, there has been a surge of churches preaching the dangers of secular counseling and therapy, and promoting the quite dangerous idea of Biblical Counseling. As both a Christian and a therapist, I am deeply concerned with what I read, hear, and see.
I memory serves me well, the biggest opponent to traditional counseling is Dr. John MacArthur. Dr. MacArthur is a pastor of a large independent fundamental Baptist church in California. He states that being a Christian and a therapist is an oxymoron because modern counseling theories and techniques are based on humanistic concepts and do not address the person's underlying sin. Therefore, the training required to be a Biblical counselor is the ability to quote Scripture in an attempt to apply to whatever issue is presented.
I have seen, firsthand, the damage done to people who first went to a biblical counselor. Even John MacArthur and his church was sued in the early 1980's after a counselee committed suicide after undergoing such treatment. I have seen people more despondent, more anxious, and now feeling judged, condemned, and unworthy of help. Using the Bible as a source of inspiration is one thing, but using it to tear a person apart is another. I will even quote Scripture when it is beneficial in helping a person, but never in a way to promote judgment.
My practice has the approach of looking at each person biologically, psychologically, socially, and SPIRITUALLY. Faith is important to a lot of people and should not be ignored. Faith in a counseling setting should only be used to build up, and not tear down.
February 2016, the time of year in which disappointment can easily occur as four weeks have passed to work on your new years resolutions. Each year people all over the world make the choice to make resolutions for the next year, to inflict change among their lives. It can be a time filled of motivation and excitement. What this change can mean in both big and small ways. Is it the most common resolution of losing some weight and getting into shape? How with some dedication and lifestyle modifications you can increase your energy, health and maybe most importantly your self esteem? Sure, change when decided by you can be invigorating, but what happens when change happens due to other factors? Change, when it happens can be terrifying, especially if it wasn’t chosen by you to occur. Change cannot always be predicted, and sometimes the only thing we have control of is how we choose to respond to the change.
Change can range on the spectrum from simple to complex, from minimal to catastrophic. It can be a shift change at work, or finding out you are losing your job because of downsizing. It can be going to the doctor and expecting a clean bill of health and walking out with an unanticipated diagnosis. While these are very different situations, both can have great effects on the person attempting to cope with this change. It is normal to be thrown by a change in situation, especially when you are comfortable in a routine. Positive coping to change can make the biggest difference in the handling of a situation. Of course, this is easier said than done and there are many different stages one may go through to get to the point of accepting this new, unasked for change. One of the earlier stages of change is contemplation in which we understand there is a problem or a situation that needs to be ameliorated but there is no commitment to action-yet. Being in this phase is a perfect starting point for you have begun to realize the need for change.
There are many circumstances when change can occur, both planned and unplanned. The question that I want to ask is when do you decide to make a change on something you know needs to be adjusted? Do you need to wait for a new year to have enough push to finally take action? Change can occur at any time that you wish, it can be very uncomfortable and difficult to face but that is what you can receive help with. Whether it is a change inflicted by yourself or one that occurs outside of your control, support is available to work through these tribulations. At some point in our lives, we have all had to deal with change. While some change is more difficult than others, the skills we use to handle the simpler change can often be modified and applied. Take a moment to think about a change that has occurred in your life, take a moment to think about a change you are ready to make. If you are ready to make or process a change and would like to do so in a supporting, safe environment feel free to contact us.
One of the hardest decisions a parent has to make is whether or not their child should take medication for ADD or ADHD. I am here to declare that medications are not the only option. Below are list of alternatives that have been successful with children
Binaural Beats - Binaural beats are two different sound tones where one tone is played in one ear, and the other, which is slightly different, is played in the other ear. What happens is that the brain tries to cancel both sounds out by creating sound that is not really there. The sounds are attuned to a special frequency that is tuned to a particular emotion and mental state. For ADD/ADHD symptoms, these tones are set anywhere between 14 and 20 Mhz. The results are usually instantaneous while the tones are being played, and the actual long term effects start to appear in around two weeks or so. Both Android and Iphone have free apps on their app store. I recommend using the binaural beats as often and as much as possible.
BioFeedback - This can be an expensive venture, but keep reading, I found a cheap alternative. BioFeedback connects electrodes to the brain that reads brain waves. What happens is that the participant is forced to concentrate on a task to control objects on a computer screen. It really is pretty cool. Unfortunately, the cost can be quite prohibitive. Prices range from 80-150 an hour. I was told that a person may need somewhere between 40 and 60 sessions for the results to occur. Now, for the good part. There was a toy company a few years ago created a game called MindFlex. It does essentially the same thing. The person puts on a device on the head, and it reads the brain waves to control a fan that makes a ball levitate. The person is forced to concentrate and focus enough to have the ball navigate through an obstacle course. The have stopped making this product for something called MindFlex Duel. Prices range online from $80.00 through $130.00. I highly recommend it.
Chiropractic Care - Yep, the chiropractor. Studies have shown that upper cervical chiropractic care has been known to alleviate and sometimes eliminate the symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children and adults. The belief is that the upper vertebras are slightly tweaking a nerve in the base of the skull, and when adjusted properly, the body can realign and heal itself. I was quite skeptical at first until I learned that in the 1940's-1960's there were chiropractic psychiatric hospitals. They had a cure rate significantly greater than medical psychiatric hospitals. The AMA had more money and clout, so they lobbied the government and had everything shut down. It was not until the mid 1980's that the AMA was sued and had to recant their false claims.
Of course, our practice is here to meet any counseling needs you or your children may experience. Our therapists, Gillian Squillacioti, LPC and Ameleo Manuel, LPCA have extensive experience treating children, and would be happy to meet and discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child and ADD/ADHD
Thoughts of rambling therapists.
All Abuse Alcohol Anxiety Anxiety Attacks CBT Chronic Pain Counseling Couples Death Depression Drug Abuse EMDR Emotional Pain Grief Hope Hypnosis Insomnia Marriage NET Neuro Emotional Technique Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Pain Panic Attacks PTSD SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder Sexual Abuse Sports Performance Substance Abuse Test Anxiety Trauma VCDT