Some Comments on Pat Ogden, PhD, from the “S & P Summit”

After reviewing some of my notes taken from that Psychotherapy patogdan.jpgand Spirituality Summit last month, I wanted to highlight Pat Ogden’s approach to treating clients as one that was holistically attractive for many reasons.

I’m not a psychologist, so much of the content and many of the references that these presenters were describing were new to me. Evidently one big influence on Pat Ogden’s professional life was Ron Kurtz who was the pioneer behind the Hakomi method of therapy.

This method sounded so similar to the spiritual approach that on some level of your being, your body/mind/spirit knows what it needs and is working hard to bring that need to your conscious attention—you simply have to listen and allow it to show you what would help to reorganize your health.

ronkurtz.jpgSo here is more information on Ron Kurtz and the Hakomi method:

( http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/ron-kurtz-hakomi-therapy )

“Ron Kurtz:  Hakomi uses several particular, unique approaches to helping people study themselves.

We believe–or I believe, anyway–that self-study, as it’s practiced even in the East, is about reducing the unnecessary suffering that comes from not knowing who you really are. In fact, Hakomi means, “Who are you?” So, the way we do it is to establish a safe relationship–a “bubble,” we sometimes call it–within which the therapist helps the client feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.

Serge Prengel (the interviewer): So it’s really “Who are you?” in the sense of how you organize your experience.

RK: Yes, and how you do it unconsciously, automatically—things that go on, as John Lennon would say, while you’re doing something else. There are wonderful new books about the adaptive unconscious, and that’s an essential part of my thinking.

SP: That most of the processes happen unconsciously, and that there’s a reason behind that.

RK: Yes. There’s usually a habit that was learned as an adaptation to a situation, and these habits are not necessarily verbalized or even made aware; we have to bring them into consciousness.

SP: So that’s very much related to that notion that Hakomi is about, “Who are you?” And by creating the experiment, you give the person a chance to actually realize the belief that they carry inside.

RK: Sometimes they call it “self-discovery.” Assisted self-discovery–that’s how I like to think of it.

SP: That’s a very different approach from the more medical-oriented model of pathology.

RK: Yes, it’s totally not a pathological model. It’s a model of, “You want to study yourself? I’ll help you.”

Here’s a YouTube of Kurtz explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rcRda7-tsXU

***

I guess my comment on this Hakomi method is that it reminded me of the NLP approach coretransform.jpgchampioned by the Andreas (Connirae, Tamara and Steve) called “Core Transformation” where the NLPer takes a client deeper and deeper into what his body says would make him reach a Core State, such as to feel at peace, or to feel loved, or to feel okay, or to feel a sense of oneness with all.

It involves digging layer by layer into the question “What would make you feel closer to this desired state” as they explore the client’s present undesired feeling as opposed to unrealized but desired feeling that would improve the client’s life.  It’s a bit like peeling an onion down to its core point and then doing “soul-parts recovery and reintegration” for the client, which another technique frequently used in hypnosis, NLP, and shamanic healing.

And it’s also far too complicated a process to elaborate on further now, but basically it involves listening more fully and closely to your own body and mind telling you what it really needs and wants in your life to improve your health condition—mentally or physically, or both.makeyoufeel.jpg

So overall, the therapist’s focus is less about the standard clichéd line of: “How does that make you feel?” and more along the line of: “How do you WANT to feel, and what would you need to do or to receive, to feel that way?”

Anyway, my notes on Ogden extended beyond the Kurtz reference, but I’ll have to do it in parts or this will go way too long. But overall, I was impressed with Ogden’s presentation and hoped that others would study her approach to more holistic therapy.

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New Sources of Information Flooding In Now

Over the last three weeks in my own little myopic world, I’ve been treated to SO many new sources of interesting information that I’m practically buzzing as it processes through me.

What are these new sources? p&s summit2

I’ve previously mentioned the online “Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit” that was very interesting and hopeful for the future of psychology in general. Then there were a few Facebook posts that caught my eye and interest, as mentioned in the Dr. Joe Dispenza Ted Talk that I posted previously, plus a few other short Facebook vlogs that I didn’t mention here such as Lee Harris’s monthly energy report ( November 2017 Energy Update – Lee Harris ) or my favorite layperson’s astrologer, Kaypache Lescher’s weekly energy report.

web of bto.jpgBut besides those things, in approximately that same timeframe as the “P & S Summit” I had also signed up to listen to the “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/ ) led by John Burgos where another 30-plus online interviews were held with various presenters pertaining to energy-related subjects, spirituality, and creating higher-frequency consciousness.  Those are available for replay by signing up for his show’s newsletters (if anyone is interested—I’m not pushing it).

So…evidently my info tastes are eclectic, educational, and usually involve learning more about the human experience whether by standard methods or non-standard. I’d say Dr. Joe on Ted Talk was probably the bridge between those two methods this past month.

And I, like just about everyone else I know, like to think of myself as fairly sane and well-adjusted despite the challenging, daily-life situations we all encounter, and also in spite of the news media’s deluge of horrific and toxic subjects that are aired 24/7/365.

But for me to shift my listening back and forth between the “P & S Summit” and John Burgos show “Beyond the Ordinary” – now THAT is quite a set of auditory bookends, even for me. Talk about competing brain hemispheres.Beyond the ordin.jpg

Many of John’s interviewees are energy-sensitive folks like myself who can feel the nuances of the energy ocean we normally swim in; and many are considered healers, psychics, and/or trainers of others to likewise participate in the energy-experience (or the consciousness matrix) in some way.  Many of these folks are channelers of some other dimensional being (or many beings), and some are just directly intuitive and knowing of higher intentions due to natural and developed abilities to decipher them.

I personally am more so in the later group, and am also a bit more skeptical of the channeled stuff depending on the person doing it and how the energy of what they are claiming as truth feels to me, which means my gauge of truth is more along the line of a kinesthetic feeling in my body.

infinity.jpgThe only thing I know for certain on any of this standard or non-standard information is that there is little we know for certain. The rest is speculation and personal belief. All modalities are evolving in understanding—even the psychiatric profession. Look at Freud’s theories from a hundred years ago. How many psychoanalysts today are following the exact same guidelines that he set back then? So who is to say what is relevant and what is non?

ALSO, as if that online acoustic flood wasn’t enough, I had been reading an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) book (because I am a certified hypnotist and a studied NLPer) that was amazingly pertinent to shifting a client’s restrictive perspective and/or attitude. The book is called The Rainbow Machine: Tales from a Neurolinguist‘s Journal by the RM Austin.jpgAndrew T. Austin. To say his treatment with clients is unorthodox is like the consideration of how easy it is to turn water into wine with a single sweep of his hand, although he claims it’s far easier to turn wine back to water—says he does it all the time. (Little Austin humor.)

Irreverent is hardly the word for Austin’s NLP therapy theories and practice—illegal probably comes closer, and I doubt he can even get liability insurance if he actually does what he states in the book. But it was interesting—VERY interesting in how he approached client treatment—reminiscent of Milton Erickson’s early forays into clinical hypnosis, and Richard Bandler’s documented NLP experiences, because it’s all about reprogramming (neurolingually retraining) ourselves and those around us to perceive things the way we want them perceived, rather than how the client sees them which has led to their current life dysfunction.

To me there are many ways to treat the disarrayed human condition—many methods, many approaches, and many possibilities to better framing the troubling situation for the client in some respect—with lots of information sources available to us at any time to establish those new borders of life’s context.

sign post infoInformation-wise this month was particularly fertile for me in that respect, so there will be lots of subjects to explore further—just as soon as they all finally settle down in my noggin. I’m already seeing correlations in approach that might have been otherwise overlooked because that’s what usually happens when counter currents merge midstream. Hopefully once the whirlpools dissipate and disperse I can elaborate on them further in the near future.

Just not right now. My head is still swirling.whirlpool

Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy.jpgI don’t just love a good book. I really love a good writer because writing is both a skill and an artform.

In today’s world there are a few masterful wordsmiths who can not only turn a memorable phrase, but who can fully immerse you into their illuminating narrative. Those are the ones I applaud and whose talents I honor when I blog about them.

book.gifAgain while browsing the NEW BOOK section of the library, I ran across Satin Island by Tom McCarthy. Amazing! It’s subtle, distinct, but covertly deep as the Mariana Trench.

Tom McCarthy is definitely a “Writer’s writer”—one who electrifies the mundane with rich philosophical underpinnings masked by dry British understatement.

Without a doubt, LIFE is truly metaphor—and McCarthy’s every word becomes your symbolic stepping stone from banality to profundity, amassed under the guise of simplistic reporting of daily life around him—assessing the journey from here to there and back again.

His main character in this novel is called “U”—no name, just “U”. You got that, right? U is YOU, not directly of course, but by inference and association. He’s very Ericksonian (as in Milton—the great hypnotherapist). And his boss’s name is Peyman (yes, “pay-man”). I laughed when I finally got that.

Here’s a quote from the book cover about the novel’s contents: …”U., a ‘corporate oil slick.jpganthropologist,’ is tasked with writing the Great Report, an all-encompassing ethnographic document that would sum up our era. Yet at every turn he feels himself overwhelmed by the ubiquity of data, lost in buffer zones, wandering through crowds of apparitions, willing them to coalesce into symbols that can be translated into some kind of account that makes sense….In Satin Island, Tom McCarthy captures—as only he can—the way we experience our world, our efforts to find meaning (or just to stay awake) and discern the narratives we think of as our lives.”

It’s not an adventure novel—unless your adventure lies primarily in finding meaning from all aspects of your life. He starts with U sitting in Turin, Italy—or more appropriately in the Torino-Caselle airport waiting for a plane home. First sentence is this: “Turin is where the famous shroud isShroud.jpg from, the one showing Christ’s body supine after crucifixion….”

A few sentences later he tells how the Shroud of Turin myth was debunked by carbon-dating, then says, “But that didn’t trouble the believers. Things like that never do. People need foundation myths, some imprint of year zero, a bolt that secures the scaffolding that in turn holds fast the entire architecture of reality, of time… We see things shroudedly, as through a veil, an over-pixellated screen.”

And that’s the gist of his novel: he works for a corporation that makes its living selling a narrative of what contemporary life means so that other corporations can profit from the data in some way (while obscuring the actual ecological damages being done to the planet).

His boss, Peyman, makes a living selling “narratives”—does that mean the narrative is truth or simply whatever Peyman is selling? U asks himself that question.

Overall, McCarthy’s descriptions are kinetic and animated— by the 3rd page into the book I had grabbed my pencil to tag descriptive sentences. One of my favorites involved snoop“double-bumping over a railroad track.”

Will this novel be the book for everyone? Probably not. But for fellow writers who blushingly marvel at a colleague’s writing skills, there is much to admire about Tom McCarthy.

To Pick a Raisin

“After walking out grapes on vinethe backdoor, Elizabeth ambled off to the grape patch and decided to sit there on the ground until she could pick a raisin from the vine. Knowing that it might take some time for the grape to completely dehydrate, she closed her eyes, straightened her spine and began to meditate.”

“WHAT?” our rational mind protests. “You can’t just wait there until a grape shrivels into a raisin. It could take days. She can’t sit in meditation for days! That’s illogical.”

But the subconscious mind understood the story as metaphor for delayed gratification and immediately got the message from it. Elizabeth knew what she wanted, was willing to wait for it, and considered the wait-time as soul-nourishing and acceptable. It isn’t meant as a literal interpretation of events; it’s a hypnosis device called an Ericksonian metaphor.

Just to be clear, this brief story isn’t about the “dreams deferred” of Langston Hughes’ classic poem “Harlem” or the amazing 1959 Broadway play by Lorraine Hansberry, called “A Raisin in the Sun.”

This story is about how metaphors, particularly Ericksonian metaphors, access that inner systems program that runs our life—which is our subconscious mind—the behind the scenes controller of almost everything we think and do—from how we perceive and interpret the world around us, to how we react to those perceptions, because sometimes we automatically think someone is referring to one thing, when they are instead talking about another.

I was actually providing my own childhood memory of walking out the backdoor, going over to the grapevine area between our backyard and the garden, and sitting down waiting for the then tart green grapes to ripen to sweet burgundy for eating. My grandmother had come over to me sittingrapes-or-raisinsg there and said I’d be waiting a long time for that to happen—like days; and I said I’d wait.

Of course I didn’t. Kids have no concept of time. But my grandmother also told me back then that if I waited there long enough, those grapes would miraculously change to raisins. I later learned that “miraculously” meant to dehydrate in the sun and shrivel on the vine. But miraculously sounded so much better.

Miraculous is how hypnosis works. I admit that hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) absolutely fascinate me. That’s why I’ve been trained in those techniques.

I’m fascinated with them because so much of our lives we believe the world around us to be one particular way, and seldom comprehend that the world around us is how we perceive it to be. It is our perception of the world that makes it the way that it appears. And our perception is very changeable.

In the last 9 paragraphs I have shown that how you perceive and decipher what is presentemilton ericksond to you can be easily manipulated and refocused toward a desired conclusion. That’s the beauty of Ericksonian metaphors: It’s like being driven around the countryside by your eccentric Aunt Betty, who after hours of wrong turns and harrowing near misses of both stationary and moving objects, she somehow manages to find her way back to your home just in time for dinner.

The desired effect is: early suggestion of delayed gratification, food references as rewards for patience, proposed childhood memories to trigger your own childhood memories substantiating suggested premises; and last effect is to refocus your mind on how your perception miraculously creates the world that you experience.

I mean, seriously, …Aunt Betty was just too erratic to drive anyone, including herself, but it’s strange how she always knew when it was time for dinner at our house. I’d call that Selective Craziness; and it worked for her.