Today is the official launch day of the new paperback version of Eldon Taylor’s international best-selling book I Believe. The hardback edition of I Believe – When What You Believe Matters – was released last year and rapidly became an international best seller. The feedback received from readers was powerful. Many people reported significant breakthroughs in their lives—overcoming issues that had formerly seemed insurmountable.
In I Believe, Eldon shows us how current beliefs we are not even fully aware of can bind us and how to unleash the power of the magical fountain within. The code to rewriting our beliefs is laid out in I Believe.
In a fast moving world of endless stimulation, we often forgot our true power lies within. Finding it empowers us to reach our goals, experience unlimited joy, and change our world.
“I Believe is one of those special books to be experienced and contemplated not just read and the information recorded. Enjoy the journey… I did.” – Lindsay Wagner, Emmy Award winning actress, author and human potential advocate.
“Very seldom do we get a book which speaks directly to Us! Part life manual and part reminder of who we are, I Believe, will teach you ways to re-direct your belief systems and live the life you always wanted.” – James Van Praagh, spiritual medium and author.
“The ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus taught his students that what happens to them is not as important as what they believe happens to them. In this engaging and provocative book, Eldon Taylor provides his readers with specific ways in which their beliefs can lead to success or failure in their life undertakings. Each chapter provides nuggets of wisdom as well as road maps for guiding them toward greater self-understanding, balance, responsibility, and compassion.” – Dr. Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., author and Professor of Psychology and Humanistic Studies at Saybrook University.
“I Believe is an inspiring book that shows you all the benefits of choosing your beliefs carefully.” – John Gray, Ph.D. New York Times best-selling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
The brain is an electrochemical organ composed of billions of cells, called neurons, using electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals to one another produces electrical activity in the brain, that can be measured using medical machines such as an EEG (electroencephalogram). The main portion of the brain, the cerebrum or gray matter, is the control center of higher functions such as thought and emotion. In the back of the head, beneath the cerebrum, is the cerebellum, where equilibrium and coordination are controlled. The brain stem, at the base of the brain, is responsible for vital vegetative functions, including circulation and respiration.
The electrical activity in the brain is commonly referred to as “brain wave” patterns, because it is cyclic, or “wave-like” in nature. Beta, with frequencies typically ranging from 15 to 30 pulses per second in the Hertz scale, corresponds to awaken, ordinary state of consciousness. The mind operates at its most critical platform, constantly judging, doubting, reacting and refuting the information received. Alpha, with frequencies around 7 to 14 cycles per second, corresponds to the state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation we experience when falling asleep at night, deeply relaxed, when meditating, or when deeply engrossed in a movie or a book. Theta, ranging from 4 to 7 pulses per second, corresponds to deep sleep or deep levels of meditation. Delta, typically from 0.1 to 4 cycles per second, is mostly found in states of unconsciousness and coma, occasionally very deep sleep and catalepsy.
In hypnosis, we are experiencing Alpha and Theta frequencies. The same brain wave frequencies we experience when we are sleeping and dreaming. We also experience rapid eye movements (REM) similar to those we have when dreaming. However, contrary to the sleep state, we remain perfectly aware of our surroundings. We are more aware in fact, than we tend to be in ordinary Beta state of consciousness, where we are constantly distracted by thoughts, actions and reactions. We can open our eyes at any time and emerge from hypnosis on our own. When we do, we are not groggy or sleepy. On the contrary, our mind is crystal clear. The similarities between hypnosis and sleep partly explain why we feel deeply restored, rejuvenated and replenished each time we emerge from hypnosis.
According to neuroscientists analyzing encephalograms of the Alpha and Theta brain cycles, the attentive, deep, physical, mental and emotional relaxation experienced during hypnosis, as we slow our brain’s natural rhythm, produces significant increases in endorphin levels, the body’s natural opiate system, as well as dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which enhance focus and attention, producing higher levels of mental clarity, better memory retention and retrieval. The significant increase in endorphin levels partly explains why we experience considerable improvement in our feelings of well being, pleasure and good mood when we emerge from hypnosis.
This creates an ideal state of synthetic thought and creativity, functions of the right brain hemisphere, placing us in an ideal and optimal condition to learn new information, remember facts and data, memorize languages, analyze complex situations, all of which in a state of profound, restorative calm. The sense of relief and liberation resulting from finally being able to resolve and release wounds and negative emotions we had carried through our life adds to the lasting sensation of peace, well being and contentment experienced.
The resulting feelings of enhanced mental clarity, focus, attention and measurably improved mood, well being and pleasure have been shown to last for hours and even days after each session, making it possible to experience bliss in the midst of day-to-day chaos.
In his new book “Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology – A How-To Guide for Personal Empowerment” New York Times best-selling author Eldon Taylor gives an excellent overview of the transformational power of hypnosis and subliminal techniques.
His summary of hypnosis as a natural state of consciousness measurable by specific brain-wave activity is especially compelling. We know the brain is an electrochemical organ capable of generating electrical power. During normal state of consciousness, referred to as beta, brain-wave activity when measured by EEG typically vary from 15 to 30 cycles per second. In the alpha state of consciousness, brain-wave activity ranges from 8 to 14 cycles per second. The cycles drop between 4 and 7 in theta state. A subject in a state a hypnosis demonstrates brain-wave cycles of alpha or theta, similar to those experienced when we sleep. This partly explains the rejuvenating and restorative boost experienced during and after hypnosis. The experience of hypnosis, whether it involves creative visualization, guided imagery or regression to source (in other words to the root cause of the targeted problem), also produces rapid-eye movements (REM) similar to those experienced while sleeping.
However, contrary to the sleep state, subjects in a state of hypnosis retain full clarity of mind. In fact, we are more aware and have sharper focus in a state of hypnosis than we are in the day-to-day activities of our lives where we are constantly distracted by streams of thoughts, activities and circumstances unfolding around us. As Eldon Taylor points out, those of us practicing in the field of forensic hypnosis know first hand the mental focus and clarity experienced in that state enables us to consistently recover considerable amounts of information often burried out of reach when the conscious mind is distracted or distressed. Senior Special Agent John Kilnapp of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirms hypnosis may be the only way to recover the details of traumatic events crime victims or witnesses blocked out of their minds.
We naturally experience alpha and theta states of consciousness when we are deeply relaxed and focused. These are times when we may feel as if we were operating on auto-pilot, smoothly and effortlessly. Repetitive activities that have become second nature, such as being immersed in daily athletic routine, driving long distance or operating automatically as we can be in the shower for instance, are known to induce the alpha or theta states, in which our minds function in a superior manner, fluidly and effortlessly. These states of mind translate into accelerated and amplified abilities. We typically learn faster, comprehend better, retain more effortlessly and heal more rapidly at these levels of the mind.
There are countless examples of the power of the mind to alter physical and emotional experiences. The use of hypnosis for pain control for instance dates back to 1845 when Dr. James Esdaile successfully began performing surgical procedures using hypnosis as anaesthesia, rendering his patients analgesic and rapidly gaining worldwide reputation for his painless surgeries. Anyone who has experienced the phenomenon known as dissociation knows you can navigate in the midst of devastating events with a completely detached, peaceful, serene mind frame, removed from physical, mental or emotional distress. These levels of the mind enable us to act and react more powerfully, allowing us the efficiency to make the best decisions for our well being and the safety of those around us.
One of the keys to unlocking the power of our mind is belief. Beliefs govern our experiences as effectively as magnetism directs a compass needle. When we believe ourselves to be unworthy, unfit, or otherwise flawed, our subconscious mind works to bring confirmation to our beliefs every step of the way. Beliefs captured by the power of the mind can influence our DNA and deliver the strangest diseases, complete with physical symptoms. Documented multiple-personality cases show subjects having normal blood sugar in one personality and testing hypoglycemic the moment the other personality takes over. Mind consciousness has long been shown to influence what we experience around us, even affecting plants. Cleve Backster, a former lie-detection examiner, Harold Puthoff and Randall Fontes of the Stanford Resarch Institute, demonstrated not only that plants respond to human consciousness and actions, but also that they have memory.
Learning how to tap into the power of our minds enables us to reprogram beliefs at the subconscious level, release self-sabotaging habits no longer serving us and unleash our true potential. In “Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology” Eldon Taylor provides flexible, powerful and affordable tools to de-hypnotize ourselves from the negative subliminal brainwashing we encounter along our path, handing us the keys to unlocking the unlimited potential we hold within. And I, for one, am thrilled at the prospect of diving deeper into the realm of research and development being conducted on therapeutic subliminal technology!
Due to the traumatic nature of violent crimes, victims and witnesses often experience blocks in their ability to recollect key information and essential elements surrounding the events. Sometimes, the blocks extend over long periods of time, for which the person is unable to recollect any of their memories.
This was the case of a multijurisdictional murder investigation, in which one of the prime suspects contacted me to undergo forensic hypnosis on the recommendation of his legal and medical teams. Our client was unable to recollect any of his memories covering a period of a month and a half leading to the murder of his child in the spring of 2007. He also had no recollection of the week of the murder and wanted to be assisted in recovering every possible memory that could enable him to understand what had happened to his child.
Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), our client indicated he had been going through extensive psychiatric and psychological counseling, twice a week, going over autopsy photos, files and reports, in an attempt to determine the origins of the wounds sustained by his child. Nothing had been successful in enabling him to recover his memories of the events.
To assist the ongoing investigation, our goal was to retrieve our client’s memories relating to the week of the murder and to the events that took place over the course of the month and a half preceding the murder.
Our client had never been hypnotized and did not have any knowledge, experience or information in the process or nature of hypnosis. In a state of hypnosis, using tactile, olfactory and visual sensory memories, our client was able to recapture the day-to-day chain of events leading to the moment he found his child unresponsive.
His memories of a large segment of time had been repressed, in part due to the traumatic nature of the crime, and also due to the weight of potential consequences.
Stress, fear and trauma can affect the normal functioning of our memory in a number of ways. In some cases, the traumatic event in itself can be partially or entirely repressed from the conscious memory. In other cases, while memories of the traumatic event remain intact, post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to subsequent troubles in the person’s capacity to focus, process, comprehend and retain information following the trauma.
When not properly addressed, flashbacks of a traumatic event can start replaying in the mind in the form of intrusive and uncontrollable thoughts. The feeling, often referred to as broken record, is common in post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression.
In addition to assisting the memory retrieval process for crime victims and witnesses, hypnosis enables us to address the secondary effects left behind by trauma and empower survivors to recover their emotional balance, strength and peace of mind.
Dr. Joseph Murphy’s research on the power of the subconscious mind explains how to reprogram brain cells in the subconscious level of the mind.
Psychologists and psychiatrists point out that when thoughts are conveyed to the subconscious mind, impressions are made onto brain cells. It is the law of cause and effect. The subconscious mind faithfully reproduces the ideas impressed upon it. While our conscious mind is our reasoning, analytical, thinking mind, the subconscious mind on the other hand functions automatically, without our conscious effort. It keeps our heart functioning effortlessly and the processes of digestion, circulation and breathing are carried on by the subconscious mind independently of our conscious control.
As soon as the subconscious mind accepts any idea, it proceeds to put it into effect immediately. It works by association of ideas and uses every part of the knowledge, information, energy and wisdom you have gathered throughout your life to bring about its purpose. We get a reaction from the subconscious mind according to the nature of the thoughts or ideas we hold in our conscious mind. As soon as we give a command, or decree, our subconscious mind will faithfully reproduce the idea impressed upon it.
The subconscious mind is non-selective and accepts what is impressed upon it, or what we intrinsically believe. It does not reason or argue like the conscious mind. Like a fertile soil, the subconscious mind accepts any seed – good or bad – and proceeds on growing it to fruition. Our thoughts are active, like seeds. Negative thoughts, when nourished, sustained, watered and fertilized, will produce negative results. Destructive thoughts continue to work negatively in your subconscious mind, and in due time, will materialize in your outer experience. The subconscious mind does not engage in determining whether our thoughts are good or bad, true or false. It solely responds according to the nature of our thoughts or suggestions. When we accept something as true, even though it may be false, our subconscious mind accepts that belief as truth and proceeds to bring about the corresponding results.
As children, we function primarily in the subconscious level of the mind. Hence, the words, beliefs and opinions of those around us, especially those we look up to, rely upon and are taught to obey to, authority figures such as our parents, teachers or mentors, leave permanent imprints on the deepest levels of our brain, profoundly influencing our sense of self-worth, inner image and growth, determining our emotional, mental and physical states, and ultimately orienting the direction of our life. Emotionally charged events, experienced or witnessed, have the same influence on the inner workings of our mind.
The hypnotic state enables us to bypass the barriers of the conscious mind and access the subconscious level of the mind. This process allows us to bring to light the seeds responsible for our current, negative emotional and behavioral states, change the imprints left behind, and reprogram our brain with positive, healthy and beneficial truths, beliefs and images.
If you have conveyed negative concepts to your subconscious mind, the most powerful method for overcoming them is to replace them with constructive, healthy, harmonious thoughts. Frequently replayed onto the subconscious mind, they will form new, healthy habits of thoughts and life. The habitual thinking of the conscious mind establishes deep grooves in the subconscious mind. This becomes favorable when our habitual thoughts are readjusted to harmonious, peaceful, balanced and constructive imprints. If you have indulged in fear, worry and other destructive forms of thinking, the remedy is to recognize the omnipotence of your subconscious mind and decisively imprint freedom, happiness and perfect health.
Words from Martin Scorsese’s 2010 movie Shutter Island. In this drama set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston’s Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane.
The following lines are quotes from the dialogue:
– Did you know that the word “trauma” comes from the Greek for “a wound”? Wounds can create monsters.
– Do you know how pain enters the body? It has nothing to do with flesh. The brain controls pain. The brain controls fear, empathy, sympathy, love, sleep, hunger, anger, everything! What if you could control it? Control the brain…
– People tell the world you are crazy and when you protest to the contrary, anything you do or say is used against you to confirm their theory. Once you are declared insane, it is all called part of that insanity: reasonable protest or denial, fears or paranoia.
Often imitated, never duplicated, the WFR (Wilderness First Responder) course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) has become the nationally recognized standard in wilderness medicine education. Designed to train graduates to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations, the 80-hour course follows a fast, dynamic pace. Classroom lectures rotate with hands-on scenarios in the wildnerness, placing participants in situations where their capacity to think, analyze and react rapidly are put to the test.
I will be taking the intensive 8 to 12 hours per day program next month at the Lewis & Clack College of Portland. Among the topics covered will be spinal cord injuries, long-term patient care, chest injuries, shock, head injuries, wildnerness wound management, patient assessment, CPR, athletic injuries, fracture management and traction splinting, dislocations, cold injuries, heat illness, altitude illness, cardiac, respiratory and neurological emergencies, blites, stings and poisoning, diabetes, allergies and anaphylaxis, search and rescue, leadership, teamwork and communication, communicable diseases, lightning, submersion, etc.
Follow me as I make my way through this intensive medical boot camp training program in the wilderness and live to tell you about it!
April 13, 2012 – Boot Camp Preps
Josh, coordinator for the College Outdoors department of Lewis & Clark, e-mailed to inform us the course filled up with a total number of 30 participants.
Among the paperwork attached is a list of required personal equipment designed to protect us from the elements, with a note we will be spending considerable amounts of time oudoors in the wilderness, participating in mock rescues in all weather conditions, including evening hours. Multiple layers of non-cotton clothing, waterproof jacket and pants, sturdy boots, head lamps and flashlights are among the list of personal items required, as well as a large day pack to carry our equipment, a sleeping pad, long underwear thermal layers, feece, food and water supplies.
The release forms inform us of the risks linked to the program’s activities. Traveling through rugged, unpredictable, off-trail terrain, including boulder fields, downed timber, rivers, rapids, river crossings, high mountain passes, snow and ice, steep slopes, slippery rocks, ocean tides and currents, waves and surf, participants risk collision, falling, drowning, hypothermia, frostbite, altitude illness, sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration, insect or snake bites, predator encounters and a number of other potential hazards including accidental injury, illness, permanent trauma, disability or death. Can someone remind me why I’m always first in line to experience all of the above?
Stay tuned and follow me as I make my way through this exciting new endeavor!
April 19, 2012 – The Hunt for Equipment
Rugged outdoors flashlights: Check (already part of my deep sea rescue diving equipment). Head lamp: Check (part of my ocean kayaking gear). Long thermal underwear top and bottom: Check (part of my skiing equipment). Two pairs of wool or polypropylene socks: how in the world do you know what your socks are made of? Polypro-what? I’m pretty sure the French lace socks in my drawer won’t do the trick. How about my ski socks? Never mind, found Thor-Lon hiking socks at REI. No idea what Thor-Lon is supposed to be, but they claim “your feet will feel better” … okay. I’m sure I’ll be in need of a serious foot massage when I return to civilization anyway. Seriously waterproof jacket and pants: Question to the friendly REI team members: “Can I use my ski jacket and pants for the WFR course?” Their take: too thick, heavy and cumbersome for the fast-pace hiking and rescue scenarios involved. Price tag on lightweight and reinforced waterproof gear: one word “Ouch!” Sleeping pad: Who can lend me a sleeping pad? Polypro hat, digital readout wrist watch, fleece, day pack, notebook, paper, pencil: check, check, check.
Drove to meet my friend Fred in his Sellwood school this morning. An expert ocean kayaker who tours the planet forward and back, crossing foreign borders under any and all oceanic conditions in nothing more than the carbon/fiberglass shell of his kayak, Fred is the man to see for unmatched lightweight and collapsible gear. I knew I could count on him to outfit me with the lightest, most compact sleeping pad. As expected, he had a panoply of choices awaiting me in the trunk of his car. Of course, I took the fanciest one he had. What do you expect from a girl from Monte-Carlo? Light enough to hold in the palm of your hand, his inflatable speeping pad unfolds into a mattress, a sitting pad or a chaise longue in the blink of an eye. How about that? Will do just fine for me!
The look he gave me, however, when I mentioned I was taking the WFR course, startled me for one reason: it is the same reaction I received from the REI team members I consulted for advice on the equipment I was gathering for the specific purpose of the course. I mention it to make sure I am selecting the right gear for the job and the responses all concur. First there is a silence as they seem to be sizing me up, then a “whoa…” followed by a look of absolute respect. It’s getting to the point where I finally stop and ask: “What?” To which I’m told: “I heard it’s VERY intense…” Okay… Driving back home with my collapsible chaise longue/mattress/sitting pad, I wondered: should I be worried? I have a tendency to assume I can handle anything I set my mind to, but … can I? Oh well, time will tell. Kelly Clarkson’s voice chose that very moment to insist from my FM radio: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, footsteps even lighter, makes a fighter…” Story of my life after all, nothing new.
May 8, 2012 – Day One
Day one revealed that the release of liability documents warning us we were about to be traveling through rugged, unpredictable, off-trail terrain, boulder fields, downed timber, rivers, rapids, river crossings, high mountain passes, snow and ice, steep slopes, slippery rocks, ocean tides and currents, waves and surf turned out to not apply right away. So far we are on campus grounds, grassy fields, a walk away from buildings. This, in turn, momentarily reduces the long list of risks announced (collision, falling, drowning, hypothermia, frostbite, altitude illness, sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration, insect or snake bites, predator encounters, etc.).
So the intensity everyone was talking about has less to do with physical exertion or athletic abilities than with gargantuan academic overload. Renee, one of our two instructors, warned us when she introduced the course it was going to feel as if you were trying to drink from a fire hose shooting straight at your face. She added you’d occasionally have to turn your head to the side to catch a breath. Only if you do, the freight train continues at full speed and you’re no longer on it. So what does it feel like? Exactly as she said. Imagine taking a straw, thinking you’re about to get a refreshing sip of water, only to find yourself facing an explosion of continuous high-pressure water shooting medical acronyms, technical jargon, deadly injuries and various liability considerations at your wide-eyed, shell-shocked stare.
Imagine having to process that in a foreign language too.
May 9, 2012 – WFR & EMT
During my preparations for the course, I was often asked what differentiates Wilderness First Responders from EMTs. The principal difference lies in the amount of time during which responders have to handle patient care. The goal and mission of EMTs is to get their patients to definitive medical care (i.e. hospitals) within 60 minutes.
The nature of wilderness emergency medicine, however, is that responders will often find themselves hours away from definitive medical care. Having to care for sometimes critically injured patients without any of the resources found with urban medicine and facing environmental concerns such as extreme temperatures, rain, snow, ice, darkness or altitude, which increase stress and risks for patients and rescuers, WFRs have to provide long-term medical care to their patients.
Acting as nurses and psychologists, WFRs have to be able to make and take critical decisions to ensure the best possible outcome for patients and rescue teams alike.
May 10, 2012 – Realistic Emergency Medicine Education
Below Photo by Shawn Newman
WMI courses are intensive. Continuously updated with the emerging trends in wilderness medicine education, the challenging academic program is backed by realistic scenarios and simulated injuries.
The condensed, hands-on training takes place in a wilderness environment. An institute of the National Outdoors Leadership School, the Wilderness Medicine Institute tailors its comprehensive curriculums specifically to address outdoors medicine, leadership skills and risk management.
Graduates of the Wilderness First Responder course come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, including outdoors educators, ski patrollers, EMS providers, remote researchers, military special ops and physicians. They choose this course because the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS is the leader in wilderness medicine. For the last 15 years, the Wilderness Medicine Insitute has been the most recognized and respected educational provider of wildnerness medicine, setting the standard and teaching over 200,000 students around the world.
May 11, 2012 – High Quality Instruction
Classroom Photo by Kirsten Rudberg
WMI instructors undergo a rigorous selection and training program enabling them to provide the highest quality education available today in the field of wilderness medicine. Wilderness EMTs themselves, they have been there and understand first-hand how difficult it is to make critical decisions in emergency situations.
Backed by the most current treatment and evacuation protocols, the evidence-based curriculum prepares students to handle critical situations and make tough decisions.
Renee and Lisa, our two instructors, gave us a first-class level of instruction. Featured at right during her presentation on mental health, Renee’s constant humor, stand-up comedy style and compelling drawing skills made it possible for us to stay focused through the two-week long intensive academic program. Her presentations were unforgettable and will be forever etched in our memory. “Thirty and two Bro, that’s all you need to know!” Lisa’s supportive and encouraging approach kept me going when I started wondering how I would ever be able to memorize the massive medical curriculum in time for the final exams.
This is no ordinary classroom. Students are taught to act with confidence based on their training, knowledge and skills.
May 17, 2012 – Patient Report / Evac Request
By the end of the grueling two-week training, we were functioning on auto-pilot. The general level of physical and mental exhaustion had obliterated every other emotion, including the suffocating fear of failing. Before being called for our final pratical exam, I glanced at my test partner and smiled: “Between a former paramedic and a future ski patroller, we’re going to ace this!” He smiled back: “You bet!”
“This is Genvièv and Derrick with a patient report / evac request. We are currently located at Lewis & Clark.
We have a 31 year-old female whose chief complaint is sharp pain to the right clavicle. Patient states MOI was falling off a tree while climbing. Patient is currently LOR of A&Ox4. Patient was found lying supine with an LOR of P. Physical exam revealed palm-sized bruising to right clavicle and shortness of breath. Vital signs stable and within normal ranges at 11:00 am. Pertinent SAMPLE history includes asthma. Possible fracture to right clavicle and positive MOI for spine. We released spinal immobilization after patient passed focused spine assessment based on an LOR of A&Ox4, sober, not distracted, CSMs appropriate in all 4 and no spinal pain or tenderness. Treatment included clavicle sling and swathe and assisting patient with her asthma inhaler.
Request evac due to possible clavicle fracture. Hydrate and monitor for signs of shock and shortness of breath. Over.”
Prior Emergency Response Background
Before embarking on the Wilderness First Responder program, Genvièv was a Certified Emergency and Pain Control Hypnosis Instructor trained by US Marine and Police Officer Don Mottin. An Emergency First Responder and a Deep Sea Rescue Diver, she is a trained CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Provider, certified with the Emergency First Response Corporation, PADI, the CMAS, the FMAS and the ANMP, as well as an Animal and Wildlife Emergency Responder. She is now a Wilderness First Responder certified by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS and served on board the Professional Ski Patrol of Mount Hood Ski Bowl.
A crime-fighting tool often kept under the radar, forensic hypnosis refers to the application of hypnosis in civil and criminal investigations to enhance the recall of pertinent details among victims and witnesses.
When law enforcement officials need victims or witnesses to relay information from a crime scene, their memories are not always as helpful as they would like them to be. Stress, fear and trauma can affect the normal functioning of our memory in a number of ways.
In some cases, the traumatic event in itself can be partially or entirely repressed from the conscious memory. In other cases, while memories of the traumatic event remain intact, post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to subsequent troubles in the person’s capacity to focus, process, comprehend and retain information following the trauma.
In helping crime victims and witnesses recover their memories, forensic hypnosis provides law enforcement with vital information and leads allowing them to bring resolution to their unsolved cases.
The use of forensic hypnosis in criminal justice and law enforcement dates back to 1845. First used to solve a burglary case, it has since been used in a number of high-profile cases, including the criminal prosecutions of Ted Bundy, Dr. Sam Sheppard, the Boston Strangler, New York City’s Mad Bomber and the Scott Peterson case.
While Courts are divided over the admissibility of hypnotically elicited testimony, forensic hypnosis can be an important element in the preparation and outcome of a trial. Its use has been upheld by the US Supreme Court. In states where hypnosis is not admissible in court, forensic hypnosis, when conducted properly, can still produce vital information, leads and credible testimony to be pursued and verified independently.
To read more of this article, published in December 2011 in the Criminal Law Journals of Ezine Articles, click on the following link: Forensic Investigative Techniques
Our relationships with others weave the fabric of our existence and constitute the mosaic of our life. In sharing our experience with loved ones, we find warmth, joy, support, companionship and often purpose and direction. Our connectedness with others connects us to the essence of life itself. We have a natural tendency to turn to others to receive information and validation about ourselves. Depending upon the stability and nurturing we received in our childhood, as our knowledge and comprehension of life and our own identity was developing, our dependency on the information and validation we receive from others is more or less pronounced.
The behaviors, actions and reactions of individuals who were loved, nurtured and supported in their childhood vary greatly from the behaviors, actions and reactions of those who were not. As the child begins his journey of discovery of the world and himself, he relies on his parents, family and other authority figures to develop his belief system about his identity, his value and his role in the chemistry of life. The child’s mind functions primarily at the subconscious level. As such, he will accept and integrate the information he receives from authority figures as truths. These truths progressively form his belief system and the reference parameters according to which he views himself, his value and moves forward, processing and reacting accordingly to the world around him.
The child raised in a stable, loving and supportive environment develops an underlying foundation made of positive beliefs, a sense of self-worth, balance and inner-strength, which allows him to bounce back from life’s challenges more easily. Those raised with the belief they are not good enough, not worthy enough, face the world fractured, carrying a gaping void within, which makes it considerably more challenging to address life’s difficulties.
This fundamental difference is clearly illustrated in the case of a break-up or the loss of a loved one. While the loss of a loved one is unquestionably one of the most painful experiences we go through in life, someone whose sense of self-worth was supported during the identity development phase of their life, will proceed through the stages of loss, grief and sadness with a foundation of strength, knowing life goes on and their identity remains unaltered.
On the other hand, someone whose sense of self-worth was shattered during the identity development phase of their life, tends to rely on the relationships they have with others to fill the gaping void left behind by the lack or absence of self-worth they acquired in early life.
In this case, when the relationship ends, the early childhood wounds of despair, abandon, betrayal and terror are reopened and compounded. The fractures left behind, having never been mended, are re-triggered.
The person is left with a terrifying sense of free fall, as if the ground had suddenly collapsed under their feet. The sinking feeling, often felt physically with symptoms such as nausea, stomach or digestive problems, shortness of breath, tightness in the throat or chest, can be experienced as panic attacks, bottomless despair, loss of identity and depression, potentially even leading to a sense of inability to go on, suicidal ideation or actions.
Our sense of self-worth is the spinal cord of our ability to go through life, act and react to the challenges we face, while remaining centered, grounded, solid and stable. With a healthy sense of self-worth, we are anchored on our path, balanced in the midst of the constant shifting and unfolding of life events and able to pause and react accordingly. We are not led by an exhausting compulsion to achieve and excel, driven by the deeply-rooted panic of reliving the rejection we experienced in early life. The status of our relationships with others is neither detrimental nor determining to our sense of self.
Consequently, when we are called to work with individuals who find themselves unable to recover from the loss of a loved one, the root of problem does not lie in the relationship they recently lost per se, but stems from a lack of self-worth acquired much earlier in life, often in childhood.
With hypnotherapy, we have the possibility to track the negative emotions experienced – be it a sense of despair or darkness, a sensation of free fall, panic, void, terror, abandon, betrayal or anger – back to their original cause to discover what initially prompted them to appear in the person’s experience. In doing so, the root cause behind the programming of the negative beliefs is unveiled. This allows us the opportunity to shift the perception, release the negative beliefs and ultimately, restore and rebuild the missing sense of self-worth.
The results experienced include a noticeable sense of relief, as if a considerable weight had suddenly been lifted. We acquire a new sense of inner-peace, lightness, acceptance and the realization that events unfolding around us are separate from our inner value and do not have the ability to damage it. This enables someone to stand in the face of a loss and understand that, although sadness and grief are part of the process, who they are within and what they have to offer remains unchanged and endures.