How do we really create change in our life?
This is the question that has led me to where I am today.
I was introduced to different forms of therapy and self-development as early as my teens. I grew up in Israel and my older brother ran new-age workshops about relationships, using a breathing technique called rebirthing. Since he was my older brother I joined many workshops as a participant and as an assistant. It was sometime in the mid-80’s when the New Age movement was at its peak and these ideas seemed new and exciting. Learning a new lingo, meeting like-minded people. We could attribute everything in our lives to this new theory. The focus was on the process with a promise that if we “clean” our past “birth trauma” life will be so much better… but was it?
Now, I didn’t have any serious emotional or psychological issues (at least not that I know of) but from a young age self-confidence was not one of my strongest traits. Especially around romantic relationships. I underwent countless sessions and workshops and had so many “insights” and amazing experiences. I did have some benefits. But honestly in the way I felt, in my real life outside of the therapy sessions or workshops, in the way I was engaging in life, I didn’t notice that much change.
And not only myself, I saw people coming to workshop after workshop session after session, “working on it” and “trying to embody it”. But if it was working, why did they have to come back for more and more?
I became curious about the process of change.
What really creates change?
Why do some people get the benefits and move on with their life while some just keep on coming for more?
When people told me about this new workshop or technique or therapy that was SO AMAZING I asked them, “What change have you noticed in your life since then?” In most cases, I got a surprised, confused look, “Nothing, I’m still integrating it…”
And this was common not only in the New Age system, it is the same (if not worse) in mainstream psychology. I know people that have a longer relationship with their psychotherapist than with a partner.
In many cases, all that digging into the past and revisiting old wounds and traumas made things even worse, leading to depression and dependency on the therapist. More than once I have worked with people who sound like a therapy manual or self-help book.
In addition to this, people in times of need often receive a cocktail of drugs which help very little and entail horrible side effects. This has an effect of convincing them that they are sick and helpless and there is nothing that they can do. Powerful pharmaceutical companies are encouraging over-prescription of medications.
All-in-all I found this system intolerable. There must be a better way!
Life changing journey
My life took a turn in my early 30’s when I journeyed with two friends from Israel across Australia on a bicycle. This 12,000km across the Australian desert was a pivotal point in my life, an experience that truly changed my life. I decided not to go back to Israel but to continue my travels. Since then I’ve travelled and lived in many parts of the world from the far east to Europe from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and the beaches of Mexico. Fascinated by learning about different traditions and, more than that, what unites us as humans beyond origin, race or culture.
The wounded healer
2006 was a difficult year for me, with a painful end to a relationship and professional dissatisfaction. I used to work as a sound engineer for bands and nightclubs. It was a job that I loved for many years but it lost its charm and fun. I felt stuck and I needed a new direction.
Then I stumbled upon a website which offered hypnosis MP3’s for download for various issues. I didn’t know much about hypnosis, just the stereotypical images from stage performances, TV and movies. Not very promising, yet intriguing. I downloaded my first MP3 and listened to it. After 20 minutes I got up and to my surprise, I felt really different. A pain I had carried for months was gone. And it stayed that way. My curiosity was sparked. What really happened here? How come not only the way I thought but also my emotional view had changed? I then began to learn more about hypnosis and later signed up for the full diploma course of Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy with the Uncommon-Knowledge school in Brighton, UK.
Learning from the best
I was fortunate that my training was evidence-based. You see, the science of psychology has progressed throughout the years. We have new approaches such as positive psychology, solution-focused therapy and the Human Givens. New findings from real-time brain scans and neuroplasticity allow us to have a better understanding of the principles that help to create change. (Interestingly this new knowledge sits very well with age-old wisdom from ancient traditions).
It is recognised that the person who comes for a session is the real expert of their life. It is important to meet you as a person and not as a theory or a model, to empower you so the change happens outside of the therapy room in your life in a way that works best for you.
Here’s the thing,
many problems that people experience are like being lost in a foreign city. What do I mean? Let’s say you’re travelling in a foreign city, trying to get somewhere, but lose your way. You’re probably not going to stop someone and ask them to show you all the ways you went wrong, all the wrong turns and dead ends. Sure, it will give you a lot of information but it’s not very helpful. What you’re probably going to ask is, “How do I get there?”. You’ll want signposts and landmarks that allow you to find your way by yourself next time.