Harry

10-year-old Harry was jolted out of his day dreaming by his mother’s shout. It was good timing as the pail of water he was filling up was now spilling over. What again, he thought, that endless shouting. He was day dreaming about the amount of money he would be able to gather by selling the wild rambutans he would pick from the nearby forest to save up to buy a pair of new shoes. Harry never had a good relationship with his mother. There was always an inner struggle between love for her, and something else. His mother was always finding fault with him, and he would always be the first to get fingers pointed at if anything went wrong in the house.

Growing up was not as carefree as Harry had hoped. The second child in a family of 7 children, he had been in charge of the household chores since as little as he could remember, occasionally joined by a younger sister, Angela, when she was of age. There was plenty to be done around the house, clothes to be washed, water to be pumped up from the well, toilet waste to be cleared. The time he most looked forward to was time spent with his grandfather, a traditional and righteous man who believed in Harry. His grandfather would always say to his mother “Don’t keep picking on your boy, you have to rely on him when he grows up.” Harry spent the first nine years of his life sleeping next to his grandfather and hearing stories of the past, the present and the future.

Time spent outside of the house was heaven. There were lots to do in the little town other than picking wild fruits and flowers to sell, back in the 1950s. Harry learnt martial arts at the local temple; his father was a martial arts disciple of a monk there. He would swim in the river, collect stones on the river bank and sell to the local women to make necklaces, cycle to the nearby towns, play along the local railroads, and most of all, he enjoyed playing on the local basketball team.

And it was on the basketball court he met his future wife, Anna, the youngest daughter of a widow who ran a prominent Chinese medicine shop in the town. From the day they met when Harry was 10 and Anna was 13, they were like carrot and pea. Harry would meet Anna at her house at the crack of dawn every day and they would walk to the local school for basketball practice.

The years went by. Life in the town became harder and harder. 3 consecutive years of drought had brought hardship to the farming town and Harry’s father had to go find work in the nearby city where the jobs were. Harry’s grandfather had passed. Harry hated school and dropped out of school at 15 and decided to become an apprentice at a local car workshop in exchange for skills and meals. He was a quick learner and was soon on his way to become quite a good mechanic repairing cars and motorbikes. He continued at the workshop for another good 6 years not getting paid much and then the next several years at various odd jobs in the town and the nearby cities. Try as he might, good job opportunities seemed to evade him, even though he had good mechanic skills and he was hardworking.

The financial situation at home continued to deteriorate. Harry felt the overwhelming pressure of supporting the household on his shoulders as his older brother left town and not to return for several years. His mother would say, “Your father is not bringing home much, we need food on the table. You have to take care of your younger siblings. I don’t know if you will ever make it.” Anna would often help by channeling allowances to help with Harry’s family but Harry knew that was not a sustainable solution.

One day, in the midst of his misery and pondering about why life was so hard, he remembered his grandfather’s words from a long, long time ago, “Child, this is not the place for you. Remember, to have a better life, you need to cross the oceans.” After several days of deliberation, Harry decided that he should leave home to seek out a better life. He had heard that there were openings for technicians on board a cargo ship, he could go for that to cross the oceans. After all, there was nothing to lose except, perhaps, Anna.

Harry asked Anna to marry him and Anna readily agreed, despite strong objections from Anna’s family. “He has nothing,” her brothers had warned, “and he’s leaving town, he’s going to leave you here, he’s not coming back.” Anna was adamant. They had a small ceremony and invited a small group of friends and relatives for a simple meal. Several weeks later, Harry would say goodbye to a tearful Anna and his solemn father and set sail for the other side of the Archipelago.

And one day, Harry would look back and tell his children, “when everyone was skeptical, your mother has believed in me, and I thank her for it.”

 

Matthew and Sophie and the normal life

“Lunch? It’s gonna be another late night for me!” Sophie glanced up from the report she was reading, and smiled. “Sure, right timing! I’m famished” she exclaimed. “Alrighty, meet you at the stairs,” Matt continued, with a wink.

Sophie laid down the report, silently promised herself that she would get the reporting out by end of today to the team, and hurried to the restroom. As she emerged from the restroom and started towards the stair where she would be meeting Matt, she found Matt grinning at her, a shoulder propped against the wall, as she approached. “So good looking, who can resist?” she thought playfully.

Matt and Sophie met working on the team 4 years ago. Sophie had started with the team about 6 months prior to Matt joining the team. They both enjoyed their work on the 15-person team which comprised of a bunch of passionate and highly motivated 30-something, under the leadership of a charismatic and down to earth leader. The team had been hard at work for the past 6 months analyzing, forecasting, and formulating strategic solutions to counteract the impact of new technology disruption to the company’s market share. It was hard work involving long hours and because the team shared a common goal and a great team culture, members of the team bonded extremely well and produced great work.

It was also under such circumstances the friendship between Matt and Sophie was formed and forged. While both were intellectual and down to earth, Matt had a more laid back personality. Both were introverted, hated office politics, and loved deep conversations. They spent hours talking about life, love, their hopes and their dreams. Matt would share the story of his drug addict mother whom he had to care for since his teenage years and then he would share the story of how he biked across Australia in search of himself. Sophie would share the story of love once lost and the pain of a family feud she had to go through when young. They understood each other well and over time, developed a genuine caring for each other. Matt had supported Sophie throughout the time when there was a misunderstanding between Sophie and her immediate boss. “Keep your head up high,” Matt would say, “and keep looking forward.” And it was no surprise that Matt was the first one to get to Sophie’s side when a bar brawl broke out when team was out partying one night.

They shared precious moments: “There are 3 kinds of friendship,” Matt would say, “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Whatever the reason, I’m glad you’re my friend.” They would then smile at each other. They shared rare moments of aliveness and bliss that life would occasionally award them. “I experienced these rare moments when I was driving,” Matt would share, “It’s as if God, in those brief moments, has lifted the curtains just slightly to let me have a glimpse of the beauty of which is possible.” Sophie would agree, “That’s beautifully said,” while imaging that exact image in her mind.

In no time, the friendship tipped over and blossomed into love. Sophie confessed her feelings to Matt and Matt was conflicted. He had a long-time girlfriend with whom he had shared a long distant relationship for the past 4 years. In the past, Matt would say to Sophie, “Mindy is so jealous of you.” Sophie had innocently responded, “Oh, why would she?” The next few months saw Mindy moving across the country to move in with Matt and Matt didn’t object.

Sophie was hurt but she told Matt that she understood. It was during one of their regular lunch that Matt broke the news to her that he was getting married to Mindy. Sophie acknowledged his decision quietly and asked, “How did you decide to get married? I thought you said you’re not considering marriage right now?” Matt thought for a long moment, and then replied, “Mindy has sacrificed so much for me. We were together for a long time. Even though she didn’t want to move to this city, she had quit her job, uprooted herself from a place she loved, and moved across the country to be with me, with no friends, no family, no job in this city. She had a hard time fitting in here, but I think she’s doing better now. Yea, she’s done a lot for me. I think I’ll be happy.” Sophie nodded, as if she understood, but in her heart, she cried, “but what about you, what is it that YOU want?” Instead, she had responded with, “well, congratulations, I hope you will be happy.”

Several months later, Sophie moved out of town back home to be closer to her family. Matt got married and settled into a comfortable relationship. A few years passed by, Matt continued to work for the same company. His marriage with Mindy was what he had asked for, very comfortable, too comfortable. Mindy wanted to have children, Matt had resisted right from the start. Mindy was bewildered. “Why can’t we have kids, I love kids. I want kids.” Matt was adamant, “No, we have agreed when we got married. I don’t want kids.” In these moments of confusion, he had constantly asked himself, “Why do I not want kids with her, what’s wrong with me, why can’t I just make her happy?” And in these moments, he often thought of Sophie.

Sophie eventually found love and settled down and had 2 daughters of her own. She was fortunate enough to find someone who appreciated her deep and sensitive thinking. David was kind and caring, and an awesome father to the 2 girls. Sophie appreciated David’s love for her and the girls and was a good wife and mother herself. However, sometimes, when the moon was full, Sophie would look up to the night sky and wonder if Matt was happy.

Years passed by. Sophie’s 2 girls were now grown up women. David has passed a couple of years due to problems with his heart, it ran in his family, he had said. Sophie was extremely saddened by his passing; they had spent 28 good years together. But today, Sophie was excited beyond herself, quite different from the usual calm demeanor that she carried. Her older daughter, Hanna, was helping her dress up. “Mama, if you don’t hurry, your dear friend’s flight would have landed and we’d still be at home.” Sophie quickly put on her lipstick, hand slightly shaking, of a colour that was just a shade brighter than what she usually used. She took one last look of her wrinkled face in the mirror, tried to sooth some lines away and started to reach for her walking cane and said “I’m ready, but I look so old.” Hanna smiled, “don’t worry, mama, you still look beautiful.”

The arrival hall was packed during that time of the day. Sophie watched eagerly at the doors from which passengers would emerge from the baggage claim area. It’s been so many years, I wonder if I can still recognize him, she thought. Just then, a gentleman wearing a cowboy hat walked through the sliding doors and their eyes locked, and they smiled at each other, the all too familiar smile, as if the passage of time had meant nothing. Tears welled up in Sophie’s eyes as she greeted her old friend, “Hello, Matthew.”

Trauma and Parts Therapy

The night in the hospital gave me the time and silence to think. It was a brief hospitalization no doubt, for severe allergic reaction to hair dye (I had colored my hair earlier in the day) which caused the swelling of my tongue and throat. As this could be fatal in case the swelling blocked my air passage way, and in the worst case I might only have a couple of minutes for intervention, I was advised to stay the night for observation. This incident made me ponder the fragility of life. I had at times arrogantly assumed that I would live till old age, this incident started to make wonder what if I was wrong, that that night might have been my last night. I went to bed saying prayers for all the people that I love and those I’ve loved, and feeling thankful for everything I have had and experienced in my life thus far.

As I sat in the waiting room observing the other patients, I started wondering how much of the pain and illnesses experienced by each patient has been brought on by trauma, given the fragility of life, and how to build resilience to the challenges to life that we encounter.

Trauma has been defined by an experience of tremendous stress that is too much for the nervous system to cope or handle, or able to integrate the emotions generated by the experience. Very often, the experience tends to threaten the person’s survival or sense of security (Wikipedia). The emotions and response from these experiences tend to be stored on the person’s procedural or implicit memory which is more consistent and persistent, and harder to erase. The person in future similar traumatic situations, is able to draw on this memory very quickly in order to cope and survive. (Scaer, 2005) Every person’s response to the same traumatic event or stress is relative; the same event may be traumatic to an individual but not so for another, depending on the experience of the person and how effective the person is able to integrate the emotions associated with the event.

In the fight to survive, the body under extreme stress is very likely to be triggered to undergo the fight or flight response. In the event that none of these responses works, the person may unconsciously go into freeze which leads to dissociation. Dissociation happens when a person “locks” a traumatic memory out of his conscious mind for the sole purpose of survival.

In Parts Therapy, the dissociated part is “the wounded child” or “the vaded part” or “X” and is the vulnerable part while the “inner adult” or “Y” is the ego state that is formed after the trauma to survive and “Y” protects the whole self by rejecting “X” as “Y” deems “X” harmful to the whole self. (Lew, 2017) “X” however, will continue to manifest itself in different ways in the individual’s life. A person who has “locked” the traumatic memory of being physically abused by his grandfather out of his conscious mind would feel anxious and fearful when interacting with his grandfather or even family members who may resemble his grandfather. Over time, the symptoms may worsen through the process of irradiation of conditioning such that the person may react in similar situations related to but not identical to the original trauma (Scaer, 2005). In this case, the person may feel anxious or fearful in any situations that requires him to interact with a figure of authority which may be detrimental to his career in his adult life.

At some point in the person’s life, “X” wants to be processed, to be recognized, and to be re-integrated back to the whole self. At this time, “the adult child” or “XY” or “the client” would feel the need for change and perhaps consider therapy to seek help. The therapist through the process of hypnosis, would help with the healing by first acknowledging and recognizing “X”, have “X” go through catharsis to release all the repressed and pent up emotions and energy, and then help XY to go through the forgiveness process, before re-integrating “X” to the whole self. (Lew, 2017)

The process of catharsis is similar to what Scaer (2005) has described as freeze discharge. In the animal kingdom, after having been through a traumatic event, animals having undergone the freeze state and have survived would instinctively undergo the freeze discharge to let go of all the pent-up energy accumulated during the freeze state. In human beings however, the freeze discharge process usually gets thwarted and the trauma victims end up being locked up in freeze resulting in dissociation and other undesirable symptoms.

Not all parts in us are traumatic parts. An ego state (or part) is defined as a consistent feeling, thinking and behavior developed through repetition of behavior and experience. There are 3 broad categories of ego states or parts. We touched on hurt ego states such as traumatic part like “X”. Another hurt ego state is one that is in constant fight or flight mode, an example of which is a person who’s constantly full of rage and resentment. Another broad category would be destructive ego states such as the inner critic or the inner judge who is constantly belittling the inner child or inner adult, or even an inner perpetrator that is constantly causing harm internally in some ways. Yet another broad category and a very important one is the resourceful ego state. These resourceful parts are the helpful and positive ego states that help us move through life in a positive manner.

All of us possess a combination of all the ego states. Again, I cannot overstate the importance of self-awareness. Only in the presence of awareness are we able to identify the ego states at play and especially when certain destructive ego states become too dominant that they may be detrimental to our living life fully.

References:

Lew, S. (2017)  Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Counselling.

Psychological trauma. In Wikipedia. Retrieved on November 28, 2017 from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_trauma.

Scaer, R. (2005). The trauma spectrum. New York, NY. W.W.Norton & Company, Inc.

 

 

My journey into the world of Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy

My journey into the world of Psychotherapy and in particular Hypnotherapy has been an eye opening one, not to mention mind boggling at times. A couple of months into the coursework instantly widens up my originally myopic view of the world in a big way. I was constantly reminded of the quote: you don’t know what you don’t know. How apt in this case.

I came from the totally business background with exposure in Accounting, Finance, Operations, and Entrepreneurship, with my exposure to Psychology being limited to some chapters in college and applications of Psychology in marketing and advertising. I also used to be extremely left brained, applying logic in most decisions in my life, resulting in me being relatively close-minded and inflexible in my views in life. In recent years however, my inner world has started to shift and is still shifting as I write. It might be the depression that I went through or having gone through more life experiences, or both, I started to explore my inner world and became interested in the workings of the mind and the inner world in general and wanted to explore Psychology which in turn, brought me to Psychotherapy and then Hypnotherapy. More adequately put, as my inner world continues to shift, the study of Psychotherapy has revealed many answers to my questions as I go through the change of my inner self and spurs my learnings, and I have been grateful.

Increase in awareness

Awareness is the beginning of change. I have been fortunate to be self-reflective by nature. With the study of Psychotherapy, I have become more aware of a wider spectrum of thoughts, feelings, body sensations, moods, behavior, desires. As such, I was able to take corrective measures such as altering my behavior or taking certain actions to alter outcomes or altering my thoughts to bring about change in my feelings and emotions.

A recent example was one that involved an episode of stomach migraine. I started to develop stomach migraine 2 consecutive days in the week with no apparent trigger. I was eating healthy, exercising, and giving myself enough sleep and rest. I could not fathom what was causing the migraine. When the migraine continued for the third day, I paused and wondered if the ‘non-apparent’ stress was triggering the migraine. I realized that I was silently feeling anxious about upcoming deadlines of a couple of projects with a sense of feeling of helplessness that I did not have enough time to complete. With that realization, I took some actions to re-juggle my impending work, pushing back some deadlines that were more flexible. That realization of potential stress gradually helped with my migraine, and I was feeling fine towards the evening. This incident further reinforced my belief in the connection between mind and body, a concept I have started exploring further.

Becoming more open-minded to develop patience, compassion and more understanding of the importance of setting boundaries.

As the study of Psychotherapy opens my mind up to a world of unknowns to me, I gradually become more open-minded about the world we live in. I started the journey of acceptance of differences, differences at a deeper level. I learnt to accept that people make different choices in life, people want different things in life, that people have different priorities in life, people choose different routes to get to their goals, people find meaning in different things in life, people are different in so many different ways as people go through different childhood, different parenting different kinds of education, different exposure, different life experiences, and are born to different culture, different background, different genes, etc. and that it is all good.

I started to make an effort to understand these differences before passing judgment, something that I used to do quite effortlessly. Taking the pause to better understand opens my mind up: there is a story behind every façade; everyone is coping with life in their best ways possible; no situation is perfect and no one is perfect and at the end of the day, life is fair.

Addiction is an excellent example. I used to find it baffling that drug addicts would knowingly ruin their lives with drugs, causing harm to not only themselves but possibly also to their family and friends. I learnt that every form of addiction is an attempt to run away from the pain inside and what’s important is to understand what that pain is and resolve the pain in order to curb the addiction.

With more understanding comes compassion. It was certainly tough and it is still tough but I have tried to view certain people in my life whom I previously had negligible tolerance for, in a different way. Over time, I found myself to be more tolerant, more accepting and more compassionate towards some people in my life. Family is the hardest. I found means to start to forgive family members for some of the grievances they used to cause and tried to be more understanding of their predicament.

As acceptance and tolerance take hold, I start to give priority to setting boundaries. While I believe it good to be more accepting and tolerant, I feel that it is important we do this with wisdom and mindfulness to guide our action and that is through setting the correct boundaries. I used to embrace kindness and helpfulness on their own. Over time, however, I appreciate the importance to being kind and helpful with the correct boundaries. I used to help a fellow friend with many things as she is the “weaker” one among my friends. Little did I know that I was helping to cultivate her co-dependency. I started to learn that to love a person, we help her become independent, to become the person she wants to be.

Healing self and healing others

As I started my own journey of healing, I have been very grateful that understanding and resolving my clients’ issues has provided me insights into my own issues and has helped with my own healing as well. As a result, through better understanding, I was in turn better able to help my clients as well. Below are general themes that have arisen in my own journey that led me to learn more about them and in certain cases apply to some of my clients’ cases.

Understanding generational patterns of behavior – Behavior and even attitudes (such as fear of insecurity), dysfunctional or otherwise, gets passed down through generations. The dysfunctional behavior may range from possessing inferiority complex (insecurity) to the practice of abuse. If the child has not developed the cognitive ability to understand nor does the child have the necessary exposure to a different behavior to the same situation, the child would absorb the energy from the caregivers or family members and carry that energy or replicate similar behavior later in life. Recognizing the pattern is the first step for change to happen. Until awareness begins, the pattern will be repeated driven by the unconscious as part of survival response.

The importance of parenting – Attachment style – The impact of childhood on the adult life cannot be over emphasized. John Bowlby’s attachment style theory comes in relevant here to allow us to understand the general attachment style (secure, avoidant, ambivalent, disorganized) of the client and hence some potential behavior exhibited in adult life keeping in mind the styles are in a spectrum and exceptions do occur. As such, as therapists, we may prescribe treatment looking at attachment style as a cause of current symptoms.

The importance of connecting with our inner child – As we go through life mostly driven by logic and practicality, sooner or later in most cases, at some point in our lives, we start to be disconnected with our inner child as we make decisions and behave in ways to fulfill the expectations of our caregivers, our family, our community and our society. Long term disconnection gradually leads to our inner child being ignored, dishonored, belittled. The effect of this would be the adult feeling lifelessness, over a period of time, may lead to depression or other negative symptoms. Again, the beginning of any change is awareness. As soon as there is awareness, we can start to resolve the issue by starting to listen to our heart instead of our head, to rekindle the life inside of us which has long been stifled by our inner adult who is about ego and practicality.

Understanding the different parts in us that make us who we are – I used to think that most of us are a pile of mess in our heads. That cannot be closer to the truth given the numeral parts that are in us. A part is formed through conditioning or through trauma, in the quest for survival. There is always a time for the issue to be resolved, and that X will come back when Y is ready for integration.

It has been a rich and fruitful journey on self-discovery and helping to heal clients and this is merely the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to more learning and explorations of techniques in resolving many more different issues as I continue to work with each of my clients.

Reference:

Cherry, K. (2017). Verywell. The different types of attachement styles. Retrieved from  https://www.verywell.com/attachment-styles-2795344

Hypnotherapy, the unconscious and awareness

Hypnotherapy – The journey to the unconscious

I often like to think of hypnotherapy as the journey to the unconscious to effect change from the depth of the consciousness. Some of the other therapy techniques that involve talk therapy will also effect change in a person and techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in changing conscious thoughts may even eventually impact the unconscious through repetitive conditioning over time. Hypnotherapy, interestingly, could access the unconscious very quickly through hypnosis and uncover the root problems and through direct suggestions and other treatments, change deep seated beliefs to enable the person to heal, providing a more permanent and sustainable change.

The power of the unconscious

The conscious mind comprises only about 10% of our total mind, the subconscious about 50-60%, while the unconscious comprises about 30-40% (Thomas, 2010). Let’s briefly understand the differences here. The conscious mind represents our conscious thoughts and awareness, the subconscious represents the short-term memory as well as the pre-programming of our attitudes, perceptions, feelings, expectations, and behavior, derived from our learnings in life to that point in time. The unconscious represents the long-term memory which may be “tucked away” from the conscious mind for the purpose of survival.

An angry man might be conscious that he was feeling very angry because his suggestions were being callously dismissed by his management, feeling that he had been unfairly treated by management and so he felt rightful to be angry. Subconsciously, he had been “programmed” to react with anger whenever he felt insulted, ignored, or belittled related to the core belief of being useless; he had been conditioned to react in a certain way in response to the particular stimulus. Little did he know that the response stemmed from childhood incidents when his mother had severely caned him whenever he had done anything wrong and especially when he did not get perfect score in school.

For an average person who is relatively unaware of his emotional or psychological states, the subconscious and the unconscious are super powerful in driving conditioned coping behavior, to the extent that some of his own automatic behavior or attitude or reaction to certain life situations may even be puzzling to him.

Jessie had been the non-complaining, people pleasing caretaker in all her relationships. She constantly felt that whatever she did was not enough. In relationship after relationship, despite being extremely giving, she had been constantly fearful that her partner would leave her. As a result of her insecurity, she had been constantly worried and unhappy and would choose safe options in life that minimized her chances of being rejected, and she would allow her boundaries to be crossed in order to be giving in the relationships.

She became puzzled with her fear and constant worrying and felt that something was wrong with herself. Through hypnotherapy, Jessie found out that she had experienced ambivalent attachment style in childhood and more often than not had not had her emotional needs met as a child. As a result, she had developed low self-worth, had constantly sought approval and validation from her partner, and had strong fear of rejection and abandonment.

Awareness – the first step to change

The above examples illustrate how dysfunctional behavior is propelled from unsolved issues held in the subconscious and unconscious, holding the person captive, in many cases going through the same dysfunctional patterns over and over again. While hypnotherapists can treat such clients through prescribed treatments to plant new suggestions in the subconscious to resolve the issues. The key to recovery is still awareness. Only when clients start to be aware then the desire to want change arises.

An example of the steps leading to change might look like this. Tommy constantly felt alone even though he was always surrounded by friends and family. That feeling of void started off as a slight discomfort, as time went by, he learnt to cope with it by either distracting himself with Netflix, social activities or sometimes alcohol. Lately, that slight discomfort had snowballed into something a lot bigger. He experienced mood swings, extreme sadness without any apparent reason, and lifelessness. He would vent his sudden bursts of anger at his children, complained about the nitty gritty things around the house. His wife had suggested that he might be worried or anxious about something and asked him to go see a doctor. He insisted that there was nothing wrong with him and shouted at her. He was drinking everyday now; alcohol made him feel better and sleep better as it seemed like nothing else seemed to help him. His negative moods and behavior went on for a while, and climaxed one day when he flared up at work and hit a colleague. He was fired at the spot. It was only after this incident he calmed down and stated reflecting, that awareness gradually set in. He felt that he hated himself at that time, and he wondered what had made him change so much.  He missed the old him; he used to be quite happy and relaxed. A friend suggested therapy. He was skeptical but he was at his wit’s end. He gave it a shot and found out that he was suffering from depression and with the therapist’s help, he became more aware of his own feelings and started observing his behavior, and he started meditating and did self-hypnosis to plant positive suggestions to help himself. He gradually felt better.

The above example portrays just one of the many ways how awareness can arise within a person after a significant event and after much pain to effect change. Without awareness, it is difficult for true healing to happen. Many say that a person cannot be forced to change when not ready, the same is said about awareness, a person will begin to be aware when ready. However, I argue that it is possible to nudge a person in the direction to become more aware.

In general, people tend to be more reflective when given time to be alone, and being reflective would raise awareness of self psychologically, emotionally, and even in the body. To increase self-awareness, we would encourage alone time through stress-reducing activities such as mindfulness classes, meditation classes, yoga classes. For those who prefer higher energy activities, encourage alone time through exercising such as hiking in nature, running outdoor. Another way to spur an increase in self-awareness is through exposure by introducing the idea of awareness in opportune times. For example, teaching the importance of emotional intelligence and related to that emotional awareness in a leadership class, introducing ways to calm the mind and be more in touch with the body in a stress management class, or teaching ways to connect with the heart in a self-improvement class.

Other opportunities to increase awareness include creating positive environments where like- minded people can get together to share experiences with good intentions, and then educating the participants on the benefits of self-awareness, and asking questions that trigger the reflective thought processes in the participants.

The benefits of increase in general awareness of self are tremendous, whether or not the person eventually decides to heal through therapy. The world as a whole would be a better place to live in with the increase in awareness that results in shift to higher consciousness.

Reference:

Thomas, J. (2010). Mindset Habits. The Human Mind – How does it all work? Retrieved from http://www.mindset-habits.com/conscious-subconscious-unconscious-mind/