Product reviews for Why Do I Keep Doing This!!?

Nick Jenkins cognitive hypnotherapist
OK, I admit it. I was a bit wary when I approached this book. The title's a good one, but the subtitle? “End bad habits, negativity and stress with self-hypnosis and NLP”. Self-hypnosis? So that's a self-help book, right?

But isn't ending bad habits, negativity and stress OUR job? Isn't a hypnotherapist recommending a self-help book a bit like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving (Judith Pearson is an American)?

Actually, no. Actually-¦ I really liked this book. I suspect I'm not the only therapist who groans inwardly when a client tells me she has been reading lots of self-help books -” usually, it means she has been pulled this way and that by a load of pop psychology and so many conflicting suggestions that therapy is needed just to get her out of blaming herself for everything that has gone wrong in her life (The Secret, anyone?).

This one is different. Why Do I Keep Doing This!!? is in a different league altogether and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a client-¦ in fact, I've already recommended it to my wife.

For a start, it brings an intelligent approach to the whole area of hypnosis and therapy, clearly explaining what hypnotherapy is and isn't about. You know, the stuff we have to explain to clients when they sit nervously in our chairs at a first session, but with some impressive neuroscience thrown in.
For another thing, it suggests ways clients can help themselves that can also be of use to professional therapists -” especially those of us, like me, who don't have Dr Pearson's 20 years of experience. And I particularly like the way the author says she made every effort to “avoid the tawdry marketing hype and false claims made by so many self-proclaimed gurus of hypnosis”.

The book is helpfully split into two parts: the first begins with a potted history of hypnotherapy and an explanation of hypnosis, followed by an overview of NLP (the author is very upfront about her indebtedness to NLP). A chapter on affirmation and visualisation comes next, and the first part finishes with what I guess is the most important part for many readers -” inducing and deepening trance.

The second part -” the bulk of the book -” consists of solution-focused practical applications for self-hypnosis, with chapters on topics such as addictions, smoking, weight loss, sleep, self-esteem, performance, and all the other issues we're all familiar with.

Well, I say that-¦ but I have to admit my eye was drawn immediately to Chapter 14: Pass your polygraph exam. I have actually had a client come to me hoping I could help him through a lie detector test his girlfriend wanted him to take to prove he had been faithful. If only I'd had this book! Apparently, though, American employers are increasingly using regular polygraph tests on employees (what?!) and this is advice to honest workers on not getting stressed. Sadly, it's not about helping liars.

For the rest, each section has useful tips, with NLP exercises and scripts that self-hypnotisers can memorise or record to help through the various issues. Plenty of good ideas here, too, for professionals.

And talking of professionals, the author -” you might be pleased to hear -” does recommend going to a hypnotherapist “if you aren't getting the results you want”. Self-help, as we all know, has its limitations - but this book could be helpful to me as a practitioner. And that's why I'd recommend it. We all need a bit of help sometimes.
Guest | 23/01/2012 00:00
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