A brilliant psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, in his book called, The Politics of the Family, wrote “the clinical hypnotherapist usually knows what he is doing. The family hypnotherapist rarely does.” That means simply, the parent’s attitudes, statements, labels, directions and instructions are as influential on the child as the hypnotist’s suggestions and directions are to someone in a deep hypnotic trance.
An example is a young child, three or four years old, who exhibits a little shyness whenever a strange person comes into the house. She clings to mother’s skirt and mother says, “she is such a shy child and I don’t know why.” That is a label; it says “whenever you meet a new person, you act in this way, which expresses your shyness”. That is a conditioning and a label. Another way is to berate and scold the child, “you shouldn’t be like that, you should smile and say hello,”. “You should, you should, why don’t you, you’re doing the wrong thing”, which strongly emphasizes the behavior. And the child says, “but I can’t help it, Mama”.
Parents must set boundaries and limits and avoid attributions such as “you are a bad boy”. Or telling them what they can’t do. When the child brings home a report card with a poor mark in spelling and is asked, “why can’t you spell?” it is heard by the child as “you can’t spell, tell me why”. The child can only answer? “I don’t know.”
Once a person has gone through school and achieved a rudimentary education, there is no such thing as being the world’s worst speller. There are only people who believe that they can’t spell.”
Many clients have told me, “I am the world’s worst speller”. And I say, “many others before you have told me they hold that title; suppose I told you it is just a belief? Then, I ask, “do you read the newspapers?”. They respond, “Yes.” Do you read books?, “Yes”. Do you understand what you are reading? “Yes”. “Are you aware that you are visually photographing the correct spelling of all the words that you believe you can’t spell? Yet, each time you write them, you misspell them. Do you understand it is only a belief? Once a person has gone through school and achieved a rudimentary education, there is no such thing as being the world’s worst speller. There are only people who believe that they can’t spell.”
One of my earliest therapy films show a man who worked as a respiratory therapist. He was one who said he was the “world’s worst speller”. In the first session, I worked with him in front the class and after an hour of hypnotherapy, I said to him “when I count to three you will be the world’s best speller.” I said, “I am going to have the people in the class give you words to spell, and you can spell every one of them perfectly.”
He was hypnotized the entire time and I said to him “open your eyes.”
I turned to the class and I said “raise your hand if you have a word for him to spell. The class gave him difficult words to spell and he rattled them off with without any hesitation. He spelled 24 words quickly with only one mistake. That was the transformation that told him, “I have been suffering from the delusion that I am the world’s worst speller”. Because he heard himself spell words instantly that he had previously believed he couldn’t spell. You see, beliefs can create an imprisoned mind.
There is a portion of the mind that critically examines incoming ideas for their rational content and for the ability to link with previously accepted and held ideas. It’s been named the critical factor of the conscious mind. However, we have learned that the critical factor is not fully operational until about age eleven or twelve. Prior to that time and depending upon the source of the ideas, we tend to accept many ideas uncritically, including negative ones.
There are five principles that stimulate the acceptance of ideas at a subconscious level…