Hypnosis and HypnoAnesthesia for pain Management Part 1
Ron Eslinger, RN, CRNA, APN, MA, BCH, CMI, OB, FNGH
Meeting the Client’s Needs – Personalizing the Pain Treatment Plan.
Clinical hypnosis for pain management and control is about personalizing direct suggestions, metaphors, and stories to the client’s history and expectations. The intake sheet, NGH BASIC, NGH GOAL and what the client tells you is critical in developing a personalized session that has lasting effect. If you are a script reader, you will be surprised at how much better your clients will do when you listen during the interview or actually do an interview. Doing so will allow you to create a script that is personal and life-changing for your client.
When I retired from the Navy and opened my hypnosis practice in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (the Secret City). One of the first things I did was call and make an appointment with two hypnotists listed in Knoxville, Tennessee. My first appointment was with a registered nurse with a degree in psychology. It took me three phone calls to find her home office. Once I arrived at her home, I could not get out of the car because two German Shepherds would now let me out of the car. She, the hypnotist, came and escorted me, to what she called the mother-in-law’s room, which had an outside entrance. Her interview consisted of two questions. One, what is your name? Two, what do you want hypnosis for? I told her my name and that I had just retired and did not want to procrastinate in finding a job.
She said lay down over there and look at the flowers on the wall. What she told me to lie down on, was a short and narrow bench that she called the couch. The flowers look like 30-year-old dried-up roses, probably from her wedding. I did not ask. She sit down in a squeaky, wooden, antique desk chair. And pulled out her book (which I own) and said let me see what I can find for you. The title of the book is Hypnotherapy Scripts: a Neo – Ericksonian Approach to Persuasive Healing by Ronald A. Havens and Catherine Walters. A book I highly recommend.
Halfway through the hypnosis, as I continue to be concerned about falling off of that small couch, those two large German Shepherds broke through the French doors and were staring me in the face! It was an interesting session. I did survive both the hypnosis and the dogs.
I learned a lot that day. I learned about what other hypnotists in the area were doing which if you haven’t done that you truly should integrate investment in your education and in your own well-being.
My major take away was the fact that there was no interview. She knew nothing about me. And that there was absolutely nothing in her hypnosis that was personal for me.
Second hypnosis session in the beginning:
It only took me two phone calls to find my second hypnotist, a Yoga Master. My fault, I was looking for a hypnotist office. The room he did hypnosis in was very sterile with a simple straight-backed chair across the room from a picture which I still too this day cannot describe, other than to say that it was a black and white geometric something. I was told to sit in the chair and to stare at the picture.
For the second time, I was only asked, what is your name, and what are you here for? I gave him the same answer. He did at least give a good explanation of what hypnosis was and how it worked, and what I could expect, almost. For the next hour, I sat very uncomfortably throughout the longest progressive relaxation induction in my entire life. It was painful. Again I learned a lot about how I was going to work with my clients both interactively and personally.
Did hypnosis work? Of course, I retired in December. I had two sessions of hypnosis in December. I open my practice in December two weeks before Christmas. That was in 2003.
Are you ready to personalize your sessions for client success? Only you can make the decision to study, train and learn how to be a successful clinical hypnotist personalizing the client’s sessions to their personality type.
Here is an example of an August 2015 graduate using client personalization skills. “I just wanted to thank you for putting on a great course. I learned a lot from you especially in the application of techniques. I was pleasantly surprised to be working with a weight loss client the other night and after I emerged her she gave me a great piece of info to use so I quickly re-induced her and developed a metaphor that I am confident was very powerful for her as it was so personal.” Nick Hill
He used a great technique of using what is learned in the debrief or post hypnosis interview to simply let the client re-enter hypnosis at which time he gave her a metaphor with suggestions specific to what she was willing to share because of hypnosis. Do not let these opportunities get lost.
The following is a follow up email from my July 2015 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) client who I saw for a sixteen hour intensive treatment over a five day period.
“I wanted to follow up with what has happen sense I have been home. First of all, thank you so very much for the Hung by the Tongue book. I love it and have enjoyed reading it.” (I spend time every session teaching the importance of positive self-talk. Hung by the Tongue was chosen because of her faith to personalize to her life style.) “I am doing great! I have started tapering off my medications. I am completely off of narcotic pain medication and that feels so good. I have also started physical therapy and that is going great as well. My life is completely different from before I came to Clinton. I feel like I got my life back and I am so excited and optimistic about my future. I am settling into my new routine well. I do relaxation/hypnosis 2-4 hours a day and I love it. It keeps getting better every day. I have been able to share what I have learned with so many people close to me. Sorry, if you get a lot of inquiries. Many were amazed by the results like I still am. Many of my friends and family have started using your apps and love it. I am hoping to come back in April to get trained let me know if it is sooner. Thank you for all you do! I can never explain just how thankful and appreciative my family and I are for all that you have done. I feel so blessed and forever thankful! Coming to Healthy Visions saved my life!”
You can also visit my blog http://roneslinger.com/category/hypnosiscasereports/ to read an article written by another client diagnosed with CRPS, which was published in the Journal of Hypnotism.
Hypnosis resolves a number of different ailments, including problems developed from past experiences, trauma, or habits. This large spectrum results in a wide variety of clients as well. While the application of hypnosis may be similar, the needs of a client or a patient may vary greatly. While you gather information on the client’s problems and motivations during the initial visit or encounter, also listen for hints regarding their personal needs. We have one fiscal needs which is for survival, and for psychological needs which include love, power, fun, and freedom. A good hypnotist is always paying attention to how the client’s pain effects each of these five needs.
Clients possess a variety of religious and spiritual needs as was displayed in the CRPS client above and my reason for not only giving her a book based on biblical quotes, but also actually reading quotes from the book and then explaining how those quotes related to her personally. How did I know what to say? I conducted a good interview and listened to what the client said.
The client’s religious, psychological and personal needs are used during hypnosis to help them cope with stress, fear and anxiety. Their personal needs also solidify their motivation and expectation toward making life changes. For you, the hypnotist, it is important that you do not pass judgment on an individual’s belief system, regardless of what that system is.
I use a number of techniques to personalize the hypnosis session to the client. I will list a few and how I use them:
A technique I starting using 3 years ago is one I learned at the NGH conference from Ruth Schneider and David Prudhomme, in their Stressed to Best training. I later completed the certification training. The value is learning the personality type of the client with a quick and easy survey. In the course I learned which words are key words to the client, this makes it easy for me to develop direct suggestions and metaphors related to the client’s personality type.
Examples of key words of a recent client. Spontaneous, possibilities, noticeable and expected, and limitless are only a few of that client’s personality type key word list.
I may suggest to the client. I wonder if you have ever been spontaneous. Meaning, did you do something without making plans or even wondering what the outcome may be? Would you be willing to be spontaneous now by changing your thinking from how you are, to how you would like to be? Just forgetting about the past and letting a healing present happen. Your healing thoughts create a healing response.
Think of all the limitless possibilities that are available to you, and each day as you become more and more comfortable those possibilities become more noticeable those possibilities that are actually limitless are there waiting for you. Sometimes those possibilities can be spontaneous other times they can be planned but most of all they are determined by your willingness to expect to achieve those limitless possibilities of comfortable competence.
There is a TV show called Big Brother and its motto is to, Expect the Unexpected. Isn’t it amazing though, how your doctors have continuously created your expectation of having to live with your pain? You will have it for the rest of your life. They created your expectation, and because they are the authority we accept that suggestion. Are you willing now to change their expectation of you to that which is unexpected by them. Consider your possibilities which are limitless in your ability to spontaneously and comfortably create a new expectation by simply changing your thoughts, rewiring your brain, and creating the expectation of comfort for the rest of your life.
Simple metaphorical techniques for changing pain to comfort can be found in movies, fairy tales, and quotes. How would you personalize the following examples for your clients?
Quote from Abraham Lincoln – “You are only as happy as you make up your mind to be.”
Quote from Howard Hilton Hill, radio commentator – “Every day is a brand-new day, it is a day that has never been lived before. It is a blank canvas. You can create your masterpiece.”
Movie – the Wizard of Oz. Do you know the story? Do you know the moral? This is one of the most powerful stories that I use to change your clients thinking in order to rewire the brain say no to the pain.
Aesop’s Fables, Have you ever read them? You may be surprised at the metaphors available that you can personalize for your clients.
All of my pain clients and most other clients watch certain scenes from the video, What in the Bleep… do We Know?
Go to www.healthy visions.com and click on the resources tab to learn more about scripts, metaphors, and pain management.