This book is dedicated to those clinicians, both established and new to the field, who have the intellectual curiosity to seek improved ways to help people, the openness to consider that which is truly new and the willingness to test the effectiveness of the techniques they use. Edwin Yager
From the outset of his career as a psychotherapist in the early 1970s Dr Yager spent much of his time trying to discover why some of the behaviours that he witnessed in his clients might actually be happening. What were the root causes? How could he best get to the central cause of the problem and then eradicate it?
Much research and consideration led him to developing a theory which grew and become a technique that he named Subliminal Therapy. He has promoted this therapy consistently as the most effective and efficient means of accomplishing real change in his patients. Many fellow therapists raised eyebrows and questioned what was being done but research has very much confirmed the thesis that Dr Yager was putting forward.
On reading the initial sentence that I quoted at the beginning of this review I felt that a gauntlet was being thrown down by the author to all and sundry to try and disprove his claims. I did not feel at all enthusiastic about it at all in the first instance. I felt that I was going to be faced with dull, dry, academic argument and would be egocentric into the bargain.
Thank goodness my fears were unfounded. I will be honest. To begin with I did not find the book the easiest to read although this did improve as I was drawn deeper and deeper into the text. At the end I felt stimulated by what I had read so the journey was worthwhile and I invite you, as potential readers, to take the journey for yourselves and discover the power of this new technique for working with patients.
So what is Subliminal Therapy ? In brief it is an code of communication with the unconscious mind. The point is to revise and review old memories, examine the responses to carefully selected questions and aiming to be able to relate cause and effect. It is through this that the therapist is then able to derive solutions and execute decisions with considerable precision. There is no formal hypnotic trance required but it is noted that many clients drift naturally into trance as the session continues.
Whereas in hypnotherapy the therapist normally addresses the patient by his or her preferred name, in Subliminal Therapy the therapist addresses a specific part of the patient's mind. The part he communicates with throughout he has named Centrum. This is acknowledges to be a part of the client's consciousness that is happy to be helpful and is also wise. It is that part of the conscious mind that can have free communication with all other parts of the consciousness. To begin with the whole idea seems somewhat strange and detached from normal practice but then one begins to see very definite links with Parts Therapy and also Egos State Therapy too.
I take issue with the title of the book. To me the word subliminal makes me think back to the times when public advertising had subliminal messages contained within them sounds or visual effects which were affecting people's minds and therefore their choices without them being aware of it in any way at all.
As therapists we continually say to peopleyou will be aware'. I think that is important. It has a certain security in it. For some reason the word subliminal suggests outside of control and awareness and I feel unless very well explained to patients and let's face it not all patients have the greatest power of comprehension then the therapy being outlined sounds somewhat threatening rather than dramatically beneficial.
AddressingCentrum' too adds to this feeling of strangeness and even initial distrust of the whole business.It has an almost alien touch.
The important thing is am I won over my Dr Yager's arguments ? Am I comfortable with the description and explanation of his methodology ?
The Subliminal Therapy Institute writes :
Over the years, patients have presented a wide variety of problems. Some of the presenting symptoms have been strictly psychological, such as phobias and obsessions; however, most have had a physical component, such as insomnia, asthma, pain, or dermatological, sexual or gastro-intestinal components, that allopathic medical treatment has not been effective in eliminating. It is entirely possible that the common denominator of all of these problems is conditioning; they were -˜learned' at some previous time. Essentially without exception, the -˜problem' of today was a -˜solution' when it began. When past circumstances are understood in the light of current knowledge, a problematic consequence can be re-interpreted (re-framed) in a manner that is consistent with current life needs and values, thereby eliminating the symptom/s.
Subliminal Therapy is a highly efficient, hypnotic technique of psychotherapy that utilizes subconscious abilities to achieve consciously desired change by enabling that understanding. This is accomplished in a logical sequence of steps: Identify that part of the mind that was formed at the time the (current) dysfunction was learned; Establish communications with that part; and then Educate the part about current reality, thereby persuading it to accommodate the beliefs and values held consciously. All this while concurrently ensuring conscious awareness of, and concurrence with, the work as it progresses.
Through a wide variety of detailed case studies Dr Yager goes through his treatment of patients presenting a variety of problems from Pain to Quitting Smoking, from Anxiety to Alcohol Abuse A basic transcript and analysis is given of Dr Yager's communication with Centrum in the various patients. He carefully outlines the instructions to give, the questions to ask, the way to evaluate the communication so best to lead it forward to creating the cure he seeks.
After initial awkwardness in entering the patient/therapist flow of communication the book gives a detailed and fascinating introduction and insight into what it, without any doubt, a powerful therapeutic tool. It is not a therapeutic procedure that can be rushed and some patients quoted have seen the Dr for an extended period of time.
After reading the book I am more inclined to believe that Subliminal Therapy is an unquestionably highly efficient psychotherapeutic tool. It achieves its results by using subconscious abilities to achieve consciously desired change through bringing about a state of understanding within the patient.
It is a very logical approach.
1 Identify the part of the mind that was formed at the very time that the dysfunction under review was first learned.
2 Open a channel of communication with that part we call the Centrum with carefully crafted questions.
3 Educate that part about the reality of the situation as it is now. The therapist aims to guide it towards accommodating the values and the beliefs that are held consciously by the patient. So the conscious and subconscious feature together with the emphasis being on
4 Ensuring conscious awareness of and concurrence with the whole therapeutic process as it unravels and progresses.
In the book we are taught that Subliminal Therapy is an efficient and effective way of accomplishing reconditioning through guiding the patient towards an understanding of the deep causes of the problem from its very outset, the cause of the problem being presented, from the perspective of the present moment. The early experience that set off the whole problem is given a full airing and , when understood in the light of present knowledge, the influence of the past time can be set aside allowing current judgement to prevail allowing a healing, reprogramming to take place.
A lot to take in, I feel. This book merits more than one reading. It deserves that attention as I think we have much to learn. Subliminal Therapy is a formidable tool in our armoury of techniques to help our patients more forwards.