Explanation of Modalities
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy is an adjunctive technique that utilizes hypnosis to aid in the treatment of specific symptoms or health conditions. Hypnotherapy works by inducing a hypnotic state marked by waking awareness that allows people to experience detached external attention and to focus on inner experiences.
It is also used as part of a treatment plan for phobias and other anxiety disorders. It also helps with pain management, weight loss, smoking cessation and a variety of other applications.
What Is MER?
MER stands for Mental Emotional Release Therapy. It’s also known as Timeline Therapy. It was developed out of an NLP technique and put into a specific process by Tad James (one of Tony Robbins close NLP friends in the early days). Dr. Matt James (Tad’s son), has refined it further and included more coaching as part of the process, and re-named it MER. If you are a Tony Robbins fan, if you’ve been to Unleash the Power Within, or experienced Tony’s Emotional Flood process, you’ve experienced this technique already.
What Can it Do?
I find using this therapy extremely effective in my breakthrough sessions because it clears negative emotions and allows us to get to the root of issues quickly and easily. MER creates an incredible shift in a person in just one session. Clients often leave a Breakthrough Session in a bit of a cloud – feeling like life is perfect. Over the following few days, family and friends will wonder what’s different about you. Once you’ve experienced MER, and the usual stressors of life occur, you’ll find yourself amazed at how differently you will react to them. It will only serve to solidify the profound effect that has taken place within you.
What Is NLP?
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can be summarized by the saying, “The map is not the territory,” because it highlights the differences between belief and reality. It points out that each person operates within their own perspective rather than from a place of objectivity. Proponents of NLP believe everyone’s perception of the world is distorted, limited, and unique. A therapist who practices NLP must therefore understand how a person in treatment perceives their “map” and the effect this perception may have on that person’s thoughts and behavior.
An individual’s map of the world is formed from data received through the senses. This information can be auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, or kinesthetic. NLP practitioners believe this information differs individually in terms of quality and importance, and that each person processes experiences using a primary representational system (PRS). For an NLP therapist to work effectively with a person in treatment, the therapist must attempt to match that individual’s PRS to use their personal map. NLP practitioners believe it is possible to access representational systems using cues, such as eye movements.
NLP therapists work with people to understand their thinking and behavioral patterns, emotional state and aspirations. By examining a person’s map, the therapist can help them find and strengthen the skills that serve them best and assist them in developing new strategies to replace those that no longer serve them. This process can help individuals in therapy reach treatment goals.
Practitioners of NLP understand that the approach produces fast, lasting results and improves understanding of cognitive and behavioral patterns. NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Most practitioners of NLP compare the approach to cognitive behavioral therapy but assert positive changes may be made with NLP in less time.
What Is Therapeutic Imagery?
Guided therapeutic imagery is a technique used in a wide range of therapeutic modalities and settings including group and individual therapy.
Typically, a therapist using this approach will provide verbal prompts to direct the focus of the imagery, often encouraging the participant to notice various sensory aspects of the scene. A person in therapy may, for example, be asked to envision a peaceful place, including in this vision any aromas, sounds, and textures present. In this way, guided therapeutic imagery expands beyond visualization because it involves all five senses. Guided imagery is designed to impact the body as well as the mind, and breathing typically becomes slower and more controlled during the process while muscles relax, creating a state of calm and relaxation. Some practitioners may use music as part of the technique.
The process of guided therapeutic imagery has some similarities to other techniques designed to invoke a state of relaxation, such as hypnosis. Both techniques involve some visualization, a focus on the inner mental experience, and a relaxed state of mind. However, hypnosis tends to place more focus on suggestion while guided imagery emphasizes the senses. When used therapeutically, hypnosis can utilize the relaxed state to help a person become more receptive to new ideas and beliefs. Guided imagery works to incorporate a person’s senses in order to better direct and focus attention on a particular area of concern, imagining a desired outcome for that concern.