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—View from the far side of the recliner
I have been a Physical Therapist since 1986 primarily focusing on orthopedic and sports rehabilitation. My main tools were (and are) manual therapy, exercise and patient education. Overall everything seemed to be going fine for most of my patients. The folks with muscle tension headaches, neck, back and isolated joint pain responded well to what I had to offer. Then there was a group of patients who didn’t seem to have lasting improvements. These people tended to have more chronic and diffuse pain symptoms. Typically they seemed to focus more on their pain and less on function or activity than the patients that I had more success with. I noticed that the people in the group that did not respond well to my version of PT tended to talk a lot about things in their lives that were frustrating, unhappy and limiting. They seemed trapped in a life that they couldn’t change.
Maybe it wasn’t just a physical problem. Of course I knew that but what to do to help these patients? About seven years ago I really started to think about this and did some research discovering that hypnosis has a long history in pain control (and also other things that I wasn’t thinking about at the time).
The next step was finding a good school. It turned out that there were two schools that looked very professional in states that neighbored Arizona. The one in the San Francisco area would require flying and staying. The one in S ante Fe, NM was drivable allowing me to get to Flagstaff on some weekends. It turns out that both schools were excellent but the style of the one I choose really was the best one for me. Strange how that works out. The Hypnotherapy Academy of America program was a very intensive seven weeks with the last two weeks being clinical, meaning working with pain and health issues. My experience at the hypnotherapy school was amazing, changing the way I looked at and thought about many things. I felt pretty good about being able to help my patients with their pain. More about hypnotherapy school some other time. Although I had learned about using hypnosis for many situations I was single mindedly focused on pain and medical issues.
So my first paying client had a debilitating fear of spiders, arachnophobia. Time to broaden that focus and use what I had learned to help people achieve their goals in all kinds of areas. As Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would say,” and so it goes”.
Next appearing at a blog post near you; mistakes/failures/learning experiences. At least not to the level of catastrophes and disasters. It might seem strange to begin a blog series with things I’ve could have done better as a Hypnotherapist but that is the way I get smarter. It’s the old, “experience is the best teacher”. I’ve had a few experiences. I’ve had some good teachers.