OTHER INFORMATION THAT MAY BE USEFUL TO KNOW
"psychoanalytical treatment ‘seems to produce a good many more converts than cures’" (Crews, 1993)
Before I trained in hypnotherapy I first studied a NCFE lvl 5 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Ironically one of the areas I wanted to niche in and develop a working knowledge of was Cults and the de-programming of their disciples and followers (and here I am today). I became fascinated at cognitives biases and dissonance, though I evidently became blind to my own once I had embraced a preferred style during the training in and the practising of hypnotherapy.
In hindsight, I am grateful that my previous training bias in CBT planted the seeds to ways of thinking that always made me feel a little conflicted with what I was doing in terms of hypnosis and regression. It also gave me a solid foundation to work with when I let go much of what I had learned in terms of hypnosis. A CBT or Cognitive Hynotherapeutic approach also resonated with a client demographic I felt nothing short of stupid trying to make R2C work with.
Perhaps it is explained a little here:
Sensitivity Around Assimilation - The therapist should be sensitive to the assimilation process, as not all the techniques imported can be easily assimilated into one’s theory without contradicting or opposing its central meaning and worldview (Messer, 1989). For example, the technique of regression commonly used in hypnotherapy contradicts one of the principle tenets of CBT. In hypnotherapy regression is often used to access unconscious experience (Alladin, 2007a pp151-153) ... and it is readily accepted that one can have an affect without conscious cognition which is contradictory to the cognitive theory which holds that cognition precedes affect.
The therapist needs to be very sensitive to the patient, particularly to a patient who is well versed in CBT, when introducing hypnotic regression to access unconscious cognitions, otherwise the patient may be confused and question the credibility of the therapy or the integrity of the therapist. One of the ways of approaching hypnotic regression is to inform the patient.( P17)
COGNITIVE HYPNOTHERAPY - An Integrated Approach To The Treatment Of Emotional Disorders - Assen Alladin
My hypnotherapy training was with a GHSC Accredited School and as such consisted of more classrooms hours than the syllabuses I allude to in my presentation. I also am keen to reiterate that regression to cause did not constitute the central ethos of the training, though was elaborated on beyond the core NGH curriculum that formed the central framework of the syllabus. It also included other elements of therapeutic and change work that could be seen as alternatives to the R2C approach in their own right (for example, NLP techniques for phobia clients etc.). There was a lot more focus on the ethical side of therapeutic work, especially as accredited work in the UK should comply with the National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy, the value of which, in the present state of the profession, would form a new debate entirely. The point is the instructor put a lot more focus on professional ethics as a whole and this including giving students a platform to discuss any ethical issues pertaining to R2C. He certainly covered ethics more robustly and encouraged dialogue on contentious issues, far more than was expected of the R2C training organisation I briefly certified for.
It is worth noting as well within the NGH syllabus, though it does include regression as one of several methods available to a hypnotherapist, it does not promote it per se and, in contrast to the Regression-centric organisations, recommends a measured approach and importantly, the importance of being open with a client with regards to the subjects expectations and as also recommended by the previous reference, inform the client in advance. The NGH states amongst their brief coverage of Age Regression:
The NGH also recommends a far less authoritarian approach to working with and pushing clients to respond and highlights a few of the issues when working with recall and the dangers of confabulation.
Regrettably the NGH, despite offering what some may reasonably see as ‘warnings against the way the R2C schools ways of eliciting memories and responses’, use to happily co-certify students of those organisations as NGH hypnotists by default.
This was certainly the case as recently as late 2015 and I hope is something that has since been reconsidered, especially in light of some of those organisations becoming even more dogmatic in their view of R2C and implying its possible uses in terms of treating cancer and other serious medical conditions that we will touch on later.
THE SCHOOLS THAT MAKE REGRESS TO CAUSE THE CENTRAL TENET OF THEIR TEACHING
As you would have learned in the introduction and overview of my history, I was a certified instructor for the largest of them (and according to recent claims actually the largest hypnosis training organisation in the world). I was expected to know the trainers material inside out and do. In my capacity as a trainer for that organisation, I was required to sign paperwork that protected the intellectual (sic) property and as such I am not allowed to reproduce it in its entirety. I am pretty confident that the material has not evolved and as the material is both ISO9001 certified (don’t ask) and as it is still the same seven days in length, I think my confidence is well placed.
Plus, without naming names, I have been told as much by people still privy to the material but who wish to remain anonymous.
What I will do as part of this process is share the gist of what is in that material AND suggest that, as it has barely evolved in thirty years, those interested in delving further, go look for people who have paid to study with that organisation over the years and share what they have with you. I can assure you that the material is virtually unchanged though the scope to look outside of it has almost certainly narrowed.
I was also able to obtain the additional notes of the other recognised school of R2C training simply by using google and though I can’t stop people using the internet to source this training material and the material of other R2C dominated training schools, for balance I have chosen to refrain for publishing theirs too so as not to overtly prejudice this process for one and not the other.
That said there are comparisons to be made between the two major R2C schools and despite both originating from arguably exactly the same source, namely the work of Jerry Kein, one has evolved in terms of how they present their work and what they give their students and the same school also provides over 40% more classroom hours compared to the other (which is still pretty much the same 7 day syllabus it was decades ago). One appears to be more interactive in breaking down types of session and case histories, while the other has a lot of their reduced classroom hours spent watching videos, some filmed many years ago - something which I touch on more than once in this process. One also appears more flexible in giving their trainers freedom to develop their own styles of working and is far less focused about pushing the branding of the school as the priority - before, during and especially after the training.
Another point I want to share in terms of branding and school identity is the notion of people and personalities being the product of a training programme in contrast to R2C being the product of a training programme. Jerry was in no doubt the selling point and product of his original training and having had the pleasure of learning from and being assessed by him, I can absolutely see why. I have already shared he was a huge inspiration to me. His school has clearly shifted to focusing on the brand and to R2C now being the product. In terms of the 5-Path, I think that it is fair to say that as a training programme, it still very much benefits of having both. Having met Cal only a couple of times (which I have no doubt were entirely forgettable for him) and knowing people who speak exceptionally highly of him, I am sure he is equally as warm, genuine and looked on as fondly as his former teacher is remembered.
So let me reiterate, though I do have serious reservations about how people work, it does not mean that I mean to cast a light on either Cal or Jerry as people and individuals throughout this exercise of scrutinising the major schools and what they teach. I think both are/were entirely congruent in their own beliefs but unfortunately, some of those beliefs are of another time. I was recently speaking to someone I respect (and so have it on good authority) who told me that much like Jerry, Cal see his students as hypnotherapists and humans first, who happen to have been trained in the ways he views are the best ways to work with clients - our only difference being that I do not. It doesn’t reflect on him and I would be happy to work with him and any of the organisations to present their material in a more balanced way.
GIL BOYNE & THAT VIDEO
As mentioned my last regression to cause case made me reflect on the video I had seen in my own training of Gil Boyne working with a lady called Bunny. When I first saw this, despite the evangelical vibe to Gil’s manner and how he worked, I remember being equally shocked and impressed. I was so taken with the context and the spectacle, rather than disturb me (as it doe now), it actually motivated me to want to work with clients and their repressed memories.
As I have said about the other main personalities this presentation refers or alludes to, Gil was very much loved and respected by his students and people the world over. I genuinely think he was knowledgeable about his subject (to a degree) and probably had a broader awareness of other therapeutic modalities and the history of psychotherapy and psychology than those others I am referring to in the same breath.
That said, now with the benefit of additional knowledge and hours upon hours of real client experience, I have to say it mortifies me and disappoints me that I worked in that way for a short period of time. There are still a number of schools that recognise the ‘Master of Hypnotherapy’ and his methods, so this is very much directed at them and I extend the invitation for any of his students to discuss some of his more dubious material.
This video I consider to be a very dubious example of how NOT to work with a client or in a training setting. Again like the other schools and proponents, because I signed up online, I am not permitted to share ad-verbatim all of the comments on the website and because I do not want you to part with $147 to see them yourself (though feel free to do so https://www.gilboyneonline.com) I will give you a rough overview of what is going on.
It is worth noting that Bunny is a student of Gils and along with others, volunteers for him to demonstrate rapid inductions at a conference they are attending. The video is one of the most subjective demonstrations I have seen. The inferences Gil makes are incredible and while the website narrator presents what is happening in truly wondrous terms, the video is questionable in many ways.
While up on stage as a volunteer to demonstrate arm lock, the subject Bunny reveals afterwards that she had not been able to lift her arm for a year and a half without resistance and discomfort, but the fact she could in hypnosis is seen as it must be due to a psychosomatic problem (one would assume that had more chance of starting 18 months ago, but thats too rational). When questioned as to what her intuitive feeling to her bad arm/shoulder is she replies that “its trying to come to terms with this wonderful life I have and not being able to accept it” - I am sure you would agree this a wonderful life can be quite a decent thing and at this stage is certainly not hinting or should be encouraging any hypnotist to gowhere the discussion will eventually lead. The narrator asserts that Bunny has been learning hypnotherapy (and all of Gil’s biases) and psychosomatically deems herself as unworthy of happiness - I hope already the rational ones amongst you are frowning or sighing uncontrollably.
I will reiterate that Bunny is a student and in this situation, well acquainted with his ways and expectations and urge that you see this situation in this specific context (and reflect back when we discuss false memory and confabulation later in the series of audios.
Gil invites her Bunny in front of everyone to psychosomatically explore her bad shoulder under hypnosis. He leads her with emotive language, starting with the helplessness she’s feeling with her arm, to fear and after telling him she feels like throwing up (like I would if I had 175 people gawping at me) she then states that her upper arms are hurting like someone is holding them. Unfortunately by this stage she isn’t emotional or distressed enough for Boyne's liking so he grabs her roughly and helps her emotions escalate quicker until she he gets the desired wail (how this fits with all of these schools notions on touching, anchoring and not leading clients is well and truly anyones guess at this point, the only contribution from the website narrator is that everything is typically symptomatic of abused children).
Through a combination of techniques, including implicit suggestion, blatant leading and other dubious processes that would give anyone with any knowledge of false memory, confabulation and ethical therapy white hears, he leads the session to it’s inevitable conclusion.
It really has to be seen to be believed. But seen objectively, or it may be believed. For me this now looks like distasteful showmanship by someone who knew his subject maybe a little more than is being conveyed, understood the dynamic between the two and also involved a student well versed in his methods. Disturbingly, the leap from a client presenting a seemingly innocuous issue to it becoming a rape or molestation by a family member plays straight into this narrative, as it did in therapists chairs the world over with this assumption of a repressed memory needing to be fixed. The fact that any issue, be it a physical or mental condition seems to encourage and validate the exploration of deep memories will come up again - but I am just glad that it was my decision NOT to jump to conclusions that actually prompted me to pull the plug on my last foray into R2Ca few years ago. However I genuinely fear that hundreds, if not thousands of people, taught that this was the a suitable way to conduct sessions, would see forms of physical distress, both in and out of hypnosis, as green lights to probe further as Gil did.
Worryingly, if you read the narrator's post therapeutic notes on this car crash, they (the narrator) are blissfully ignorant to how wrong Gil almost certainly was to conduct this circus. A middle aged woman with a problem that manifested late in life and which she attributes to a blot on an otherwise wonderful life should not have found herself in the position she did. Four months later she reported being pain free and 'coping with other aspects of her life’.
Unsurprisingly she found herself investing in more therapeutic work for other issues (See questions 3, 4, 5 and 6 and reflect on this again later).