Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Forging ties that bind

Workshop of family focuses on the Five Ls to a fulfilling family life - learning, laughter, loyalty, love, leadership. 

By Sheila Menon
One of our most important goals in life is to build a successful and highly rewarding career. The other is to forge happy and successful relationships with those around us.
For most people their families are their major resources not just in terms of finances but also emotional support and advice. Families also provide role models for the younger generation.
Having a fulfilling relationship with family members will have a lasting effect on one’s personality, behaviour and self-esteem. For most people this legacy is largely positive, but for some conflicts and disagreements with family members create unresolved confusion and pain.
Children see parents in positions of power and influence. But it can help to remember that they are also people, each with their own set of emotional and psychological hang ups.
This new perspective helps create a clearer picture of one’s childhood. Understanding one’s parents is an important first step towards self-forgiveness and acceptance, which in turn reduces the likelihood of repeating the same mistakes with one’s own children.
Hugs are important. They can help even adults, who missed out on affection when they were younger. Positive emotional exchanges stimulate the growth of cortisol receptors in the brain, which is also important in managing stress.
Of course, therapy is another way to help rid oneself of unwanted baggage and leave you free to embrace more positive relationships.
The angry parent
All parents get cross from time to time, and whilst children don’t like this, single outbursts rarely lead to emotional damage. Prolonged anger however, which overshadows everything is harmful because children remain in a high state of alert.
As adults they may be hyper sensitive or avoid conflict at all costs. People pleasers who are nervous about expressing their own opinions often fall into this group. The good side is that these very skills are helpful in the workplace and are often found among the more supportive and reliable of colleagues. The down side is that bottling up real emotions can lead to stress, loneliness, frustration and sometimes passive-aggressive behaviour.
The controlling parent
When a parent is too controlling, children lack the opportunity to develop confidence in their own opinions. They may even lie to avoid conflict. As adults they find making decisions difficult or stressful.
Another common behaviour is avoiding criticism at all costs. Of course the positive outcome is that they are often diplomatic, good at considering other people’s feeling and opinions and weigh up the pros and cons before speaking.
Emotionally unavailable
Some parents are so self-absorbed, so focused on work that they are unable to show the empathy necessary for normal parent-child development. At an unhealthy level this is narcissistic and the child is considered only a reflection of the parent. Any request is at best ignored and the child is expected to be both subservient to the parent and at the same time a trophy to display to other envious parents and families.
Some parents can feel threatened or resentful as they watch their children grow up into young adults with lives of their own. They feel reminded of their own missed opportunities and lack of achievement.
Previous positive parent-child relationships may sour over time leaving the adolescent vulnerable. It is often hard for young people to understand what is happening and they may blame themselves for the communication breakdown. The uncertainty can lead to deep mistrust of any person whom they allow close.
Of course there is no such thing as the perfect family. But the Five Ls Guide can help make families the place where you can be yourself and be accepted for who you are. After all it is the first relationship that any of us will have.
The Five Ls Guide
LEARNING: Sharing with each other and learning value, behaviour and skills
LAUGHTER: The perfect “medicine” for strong family ties
LOYALTY: The glue that keeps families together
LOVE: The heart of the family
LEADERSHIP: The role models who impart shared values and respect
Workshop on “Family & What To Do About Them”
The London College of Clinical Hypnosis is offering a one-day discover workshop on Family & What To Do About Them at the special rate of RM50 (limited places).
Call 03 7960 6439 or email or to make your bookings.
Sheila Menon is Principal of the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH Asia).
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider.

Exploring your inner psyche through hypnosis

By Sheila Menon
There are times when even the most positive amongst us gets frustrated. Responsibilities seem endless, expenses keeping growing and time is an increasingly scarce commodity.
There has been a trend in Malaysia and all around the world to get in touch with one’s self. But it can be confusing knowing where to start. Travel is one option because it broadens one’s horizons and allows you to escape for a while. But there are times when it would be nice just to get an insight about what makes us tick.
Another strategy is to journey inwards, to discover your true nature. And no journey of self-discovery is quite complete without exploring the unconscious mind.
Sigmund Freud (one of the most eminent psychologists of all time) said that the conscious mind, all that we are aware of, forms the mere tip of the iceberg about who we are as individuals.
We get glimpses of our true nature when a spontaneous thought or emotion pops into our conscious mind. Freud said that they come from the unconscious mind, which appears to be hidden, but is in fact a large part of one’s psyche.
Understanding the unconscious mind
The conscious mind works tirelessly behind the scenes solving problems, remembering information and occasionally giving rise to an “aha moment”. Certainly, no journey of self-discovery, can be complete without getting to know your unconscious mind.
Hypnotherapists often consider the unconscious mind the real mind. This is because it is the seat of emotions and the storehouse of life experiences and memories.
The conscious mind is considered a sophisticated mechanism for analysing sequential facts or working out details. But it can get completely muddled trying to make sense of emotions. Clearly a new route is needed if you want to know what makes you tick or to make emotional changes.
Of course not everyone who signs up for personal discovery or hypnosis courses has a problem. Some people are just curious about themselves. Getting in touch with one’s emotions often leads to feelings of completeness, personal confidence and wellbeing. For some people this is enough.
But others become fascinated and there is a natural progression to learn how to help others through charity work, sharing with friends or even as therapists. So exploring your inner psyche for personal reasons leads to skills, enhances satisfaction and provides invaluable knowledge.
Learning about hypnosis has several extra advantages for modern living. Hypnosis is a natural form of relaxation. In fact, anyone who has experienced a pleasant daydream knows what hypnosis feels like.
Regular practice is mentally and physically rejuvenating and can help people manage stress and problems of modern life such as insomnia, chronic pain, frustration and even some gastric problems.
Using hypnosis as a form of psychotherapy
This is because the unconscious mind is also the gateway between the body and the mind. The more in tune you are with yourself, the more at ease and healthy your body becomes. It is not surprising therefore that hypnosis is also called the oldest Western form of psychotherapy. In Eastern tradition it is the close cousin of meditation.
The nicest thing about hypnosis is that it is a natural state. There are only positive side effects like improved confidence and feelings of mental calm. Personal discovery using hypnosis is working with your own nature, and many people describe the experience as being connected to their true nature. And it is as simple as having a daydream.
A simple and safe way to explore hypnosis is to utilise the few moments just before you drift into sleep. This state is called a hypnogogic state and is a naturally occurring state of hypnosis.
Take a few moments to enjoy the sense of lying on your bed. Then imagine yourself waking up feeling fresh and rejuvenated and full of positive energy. As you create this image, picture yourself waking up with renewed energy or imagine how well and positive you will feel.
Naturally and without too much effort you will already be in communication with your unconscious mind and through these simple images you inner mind gets the message of how you wish to feel when you wake up.
Sheila Menon is Principal of the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH Asia). You can visit the website; email; or call 03-7960-6439 for more information.
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider.

By Sheila Menon
While not totally kid’s play, paediatric hypnosis has been successful in transforming the life of children. This is because the language patterns used in clinical hypnosis are very similar to the way children naturally think.
The three most common techniques used are relaxation, storytelling and imagination while the most important part of the process is building trust with the young person.
Children have excellent imaginations. The clinical hypnotherapist will generally help the young person get comfortable and then create an interesting story about the problem to be solved. Using special hypnosis techniques the child embarks on a journey of imagination and metaphor, which is consistent with their own worldview. The child is shown how to solve the problems in this fantasy world and how to acquire the skills they need to cope in real life.
Solving behavioural issues
Clinical hypnosis can be helpful for simple behaviour problems such as coping with new environments (like a new school), situations that cause stress like school bullies, a lack of confidence, fear of the dark and bed wetting. It has also proved helpful in dealing with painful illnesses or medical procedures.
Clinical hypnotherapy can also provide support for children who have become confused about adult situations. Some children can become disturbed by seeing or hearing their parents argue. These children are either more sensitive to complex emotions or they do not have the skills or knowledge to cope with the situation. Rather than place the blame on one or more parent, there is a tendency to assume responsibility for the fight or unpleasant vibe.
This can give rise to feelings of guilt such as “Mum and dad fight because of me” or “I am bad” or simply “It’s my fault”. Another common response is to become like a sponge absorbing all the negative emotions in the home. An indication that your child is unhappy and needs help is when they start to withdraw, act out or become moody. In very extreme situations they may also think about running away or harming themselves.
In the USA about two-thirds of pediatrists regularly use techniques such as relaxation, storytelling and imagination when dealing with behavioural issues. The key to working with children is to provide the young person with a safe place, the tools to solve the problem and someone whom they feel is completely on their side and will not judge them.
In the USA about two-thirds of pediatrists regularly use techniques such as relaxation, storytelling and imagination when dealing with behavioural issues. The key to working with children is to provide the young person with a safe place, the tools to solve the problem and someone whom they feel is completely on their side and will not judge them.
In this way the parents can play an active role in the solution. Sometimes the clinical hypnotherapist will discuss the matter with the parents independently in a separate session. Of course the way these sessions are organised are highly individual and depend on the situation, the problem and the patient.
Clinical hypnosis can also help children prepare for difficult or painful medical procedures. Evidence suggests clinical hypnosis provides relief for both acute and chronic pain management. It works by addressing two key areas, anxiety about the procedure and management of uncomfortable or painful experiences.
The first step would be to discuss the matter with the child’s doctor and on their agreement, to include a clinical hypnotherapist as part of the team. Sometimes the clinical hypnotherapist will teach the accompanying parent how to use simple techniques so that they can continue to support their children at home.
Parents themselves can start the process of contributing to their child’s self-confidence and coping skills by three simple rules i.e. providing consistent boundaries and home rules that are fair and transparent; encouraging good behaviour rather than focusing on disruptive behaviour (the 3:1 rule of three positive to every criticism works); and by being liberal with love and hugs.
Sheila Menon is Principal of the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH Asia). You can visit the website; email; or call 03-7960-6439 for more information.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

My Diploma Weekend 4: Insomnia and Smoking Cessation

The two main interesting topic that I enjoyed in my Diploma Weekend 4 was Insomnia and Smoking Cessation.

According to SLEEPMED, in the course of any year, 20-40% of adults suffer from insomnia which is the most common sleep disorder, while 1 out of 3 people will have insomnia over their lifespan. We are taught thoroughly on how to take down a patient’s history. 

There are scripts provided to us which can be easily modified in order to suit our patient’s individual needs. We are also taught about the different strategies which will help our patient to form healthy habits which will reduce the number of sleepless nights and also improve sleep quality.
 Smoking is one of the leading threats to our physical well-being. 

According to WHO, tobacco has caused an estimated 6 million deaths per year, of which 90% of this is due to direct tobacco use while an estimated 10% is due to inhaling second-hand smoke. Smokers have tried other methods to be rid of this habit. However, the relapse rate is quite high and smokers have been looking for alternative methods to quit this habit and this provides a huge potential for the use of hypnotherapy. 

We are taught about this topic in detail. There is a step-by-step guide provided to us on how to take a patient’s history. We will go through all the reasons as to why they picked up the smoking habit and also question the patient’s motivation to quit the habit.

There is also discussion about the ethics when accepting patients. There are clear guidelines for us to follow on whether or not to take on the patient. Personally, I feel it is very important for therapists to have ethical practices as clear guidelines to guide them during their therapy practice.  

                                                                                                                            ~by Alex Chin

Thursday, 17 November 2016

MY STUDY EXPERIENCE by Alex Chin (current Diploma Student)

My first weekend into the Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy course brought a few surprises. The venue of the class was at NOCERAL UM and it was spacious and comfortable. It has the usual lecture hall setting where we can sit comfortably throughout the whole day. 

While the size of the class is just optimal, everyone can get undivided attention from the lecturer who is very open to any question from the floor. It is a very structured course where we are taught step-by-step on how to build a rapport with the patient and to take down the history of the patient in order for us to build a tailored therapy plan. 

Moreover, we are also being taught how to help the patient to identify their issues and set a realistic, workable goal for the patient to work on. It is very easy to follow even for those who have no experience in doing therapy work. They even stress the importance of ethical practice when doing therapy work as it is very important for patients to feel safe and comfortable to share the difficulties or issues they are facing and try to solve them in a very professional way. 

 As someone with a background in psychology, I feel that it is easy for those even with limited knowledge of psychology to follow through the course as all the important psychology principles are explained in great detail.

During the first weekend, we have been taught a very powerful script, which is the ‘Healing White Light’. It is specifically designed to stimulate the body’s own natural ability to heal. It is very useful in therapeutic work as it allows the therapist to install a very powerful suggestion to the patient that the body can find its own resources to speed up the healing process. 

It also helps the client to strengthen their own beliefs that they can face their issues confidently and solve them eventually. Self-hypnosis which is a very important tool in helping the patient is also being taught. It is very important for the patient to practice this on their own. This will speed up the healing process and reduce the sessions needed for therapy.

After learning each new technique, we practice it with our fellow course mates. I think it is very helpful that we can do some hands-on as it will enhance our learning while also allowing to us experience how is it like while doing our therapy work. Besides, we have the chance to clarify any difficulties we faced while we practice and get some valuable and useful feedback from the lecturer.

Overall, it is a very informative and fulfilling first class and I am looking forward to learning more in the coming months.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

HYPNOTHERAPY IN PREGNANCY & DELIVERY (True Life Testimony from a New Mom)

During the nine months of my first pregnancy, I had the privilege of experiencing hypnotherapy carried out by 2 well trained clinical hypnotherapists from the LCCH.  It was my first time and the experience I must say was something out of this world – simply amazing, very relaxing.  Initially, I was afraid of being pregnant – had my fears like any normal mothers would have when they are pregnant for the first time.  But all that was put to ease when I had my sessions with the therapists.
In fact, I enjoyed my pregnancy right till the time my baby girl was born on 6 July 2011.  I did not suffer from morning sickness as bad as some women go through.  But I did have my share of experiencing mild morning sickness.  How did I manage this?  Well, as the saying goes “it’s all in the mind” – I told myself that I will not allow nausea and vomiting to spoil my day, so I practiced self-hypnosis like how I was taught to do so.  Think positively and don’t let the feeling of nausea rule your mind.  The moment you think you want to vomit, believe me, you will trigger vomit.  So tell yourself that “No, I don’t want to vomit today no matter what happens” and you will not vomit – trust me, I did it and it worked for me.
I followed my therapists’ advice to always stay happy and cheerful.  I was also advised to always talk to my unborn baby.  I followed their advice and I realized that even during the time my baby was in my womb, whenever she moves around a lot which can cause some kind discomfort to a mother, I used to talk to her to slow down because mummy is feeling uneasy or mummy wants to sleep, she needs to go to work tomorrow – and immediately my baby used to stop her movement - I experienced this many times during my pregnancy.  There were also times when my baby did not move for some time and I became worried.  So I went to a quiet place in my home and spoke to my baby about my concerns.  I told her to move a little bit at least so that I know she’s alright – and she did. 
 My pregnancy went smoothly and I was hoping to deliver normally but due to my high sugar level, my gynaecologist decided to opt for C-section.  I practiced self hypnosis before and after my C-section. 
Before the surgery, I calmed myself by not thinking about the next day’s surgery, the pain I’m going to go through and how I’m going to go through motherhood, etc.  The next morning, I was all ready to welcome my firstborn and I was in fact proud of myself because I did not need any kind of consolation or encouragement from my husband or family members.  In fact, I smiled all the way to the operation theatre – why? Because I was looking forward to seeing and holding my baby – all the rest did not matter to me.  
After my C-section when I regained consciousness, I won’t lie to you but it was excruciatingly painful.  I fought the pain and did not allow it to ‘rule’ my life – how did I do that?  Back to self hypnosis – it played like a broken record in my mind over and over again – “I WILL NOT LET THIS PAIN RUIN MY MOMENT OF JOY WITH MY BABY – THE BABY IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME NOW “.  I remember my husband saying this to me at one point of time when one of the nurses came to poke me again and again because the saline drip was not functioning as it should.   He said “You have a very high resistance to pain – incredible”.  It’s true what he said, because I did not have ‘PAIN’ written all over my brains.  I fought it with a positive mental attitude or image.  The next day after my C-section, I did not wait for my gynaecologist or the nurse to tell me to get off the bed and start walking.  I did it on my own without any assistance.  I was determined to walk to the restroom and I did it successfully though the pain was really bad.  I did not let it deter me from walking.  My gynaecologist and family were surprised with my action but they were proud of me. 
I also recovered fast during my confinement.  With the right mental attitude and positive thoughts, any mothers can overcome whatever obstacles pregnancy and delivery puts forth to you because at the end of the nine-month journey, the fruit of your labour is your bundle of joy.  With that in mind, everything else takes a back seat. 
It is very important for mothers to be relaxed when feeding their babies especially if you are breastfeeding.  If you feel stressed, anxious, unhappy, your baby can somehow ‘feel’ your emotions and this is not good for the baby.  So relaxation is very important during breastfeeding and it is also the most amazing experience any woman can have in life.  I would encourage all mothers to breastfeed your babies as much and as long as you possibly can.  Here, self hypnosis plays an important role as well.  There are many myths surrounding breastfeeding but don’t let them influence your decision about breastfeeding.  With the right mental state and positive emotions, you know that breast milk is the best milk for your baby.  Feed your baby and the bonding between mother and baby begins from here. 
After my delivery and during my confinement period, like any new mothers, I too almost suffered from post-natal depression.  The pressures of being a new mother was too much for me to handle, moreover I had my baby after 14 years of marriage plus 3 miscarriages – this baby was very precious to me and of course my family.  I wanted to be a good mother but at the same time I had to put up with family pressure though I knew that everyone meant well and wanted the best for my baby.  I felt that unimportant (don’t get me wrong, I was not jealous of my baby getting all the attention) but I’m sure new mums out there will understand what I’m trying to say here.  I went through an upheaval of emotions and I almost reached the stage whereby I couldn’t take it anymore.  How did I handle this situation?  I went back to self hypnosis.  I calmed myself and reinforced in my mind that if I want to be an excellent mum to my baby and if I wish to enjoy motherhood, I need to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.  I cannot let emotions rule my mind and my body to suffer the consequences.  So, I learned to relax by looking at my baby first thing in the morning when I wake up and telling myself that “I am going to enjoy my baby today and be her mum.  I will not anything ruin my day.”  So that was how I managed to alleviate depression without the use of medication/drugs – which I almost took.
To all the women out there, especially first time mums, you will hear a lot of horror stories about pregnancy, labour and confinement.  Don’t get turned off, become phobia and have fear in you because every pregnancy is different for every woman.  I personally enjoyed my pregnancy till the end.  Believe me, it is the most beautiful experience in the whole wide world which money cannot buy.  From the time you find out that you are pregnant, seeing your belly growing day by day, seeing your foetus developing week by week, month by month, planning and anticipating the arrival of your baby, choosing a name for your baby, etc, all these experiences are unique in its own way and gives us such joy that words cannot describe.  Despite all the discomforts, etc, I must say that I’m proud of myself for managing the symptoms well enough to lead my life as normal as I possibly can.  Of course, I must thank the LCCH for giving me the opportunity to experience hypnotherapy because without it, I cannot imagine how I would have gone through my pregnancy and labour.  I do admit that when I was first offered a session in hypnotherapy, I was very reluctant and doubtful of its benefit.  But after experiencing only two sessions and learning self hypnosis, I was able to control my mind and body to work well for me throughout my pregnancy.  Self hypnosis had taught me to accept my new role as a mother and my baby, self image (after pregnancy our body changes – some of us gain weight as well as other obvious changes to adapt to), have a positive outlook in life and enjoy life.
In summary, mind over matter, it all begins in the mind.  Feed it with positive thoughts and you will get positive results.  The mind body connection is very important.  What your mind thinks is how your body is going to react.  Always think positive and have the right mental attitude in everything you do.  Practice self hypnosis in your daily life and you will be surprised to see the amazing results.
Today, I have a happy, bubbly and cheerful baby girl, Abigail Anne Samson.  She’s a very calm baby and I could see the difference between her and other babies around me. 

I would encourage every pregnant mother out there to come and at least try out one session of hypnotherapy.  You will feel the difference and when your baby is born, you will know the difference as well. 

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change”

~ Marie Mongan

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Psycho-Neuroimmunology (PNI) Mind Body Healing Workshop

This workshop is presented by Peter Mabbutt, Director of Studies of the LCCH and Dr Gayathri K Kumarasuriar, recipient of the Mahadevan Travelling Fellowship will be offering you a hands-on-tour of what is important in Mind Body Medicine.

The workshop is designed around a sumptuous tea allowing you to spend a relaxing three hours observing new methods, experiencing first hand and even trying out the methods of PNI or Mind Body Medicine.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the LCCH, this workshop will be held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort on 26 June 2011 between 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.  Registration fee is RM55.00 only.  Please contact 03-79606439/6449 to register or visit to download the brochure and registration form.