This week I was interviewed by a running magazine about the use of hypnosis for runners. During it, I was asked who I’d like to work with if I could work with any runner or athlete, and I spoke with the interviewer about some famous runners. However, I would add that most elite athletes got to their level there because they have good psychological skills already, or applied psychological skills to help themselves get there; I think I’d help those elite find seconds to shave off their personal best times with the use of hypnosis, but I also said that hypnosis would be able to make a far greater impact on the running outcomes of those who were not already elite runners, and I shared a bunch of strategies and techniques. The magazine article will be published in the new year and I’ll mention it on our social media channels when it is available to read, for those interested.
While we were talking, I joked with the interviewer and said that really, I’d like to work with Scooby Doo. Scooby has issues, I believe. I thought this would make a good topic for a blog entry and ezine article too. That is why the blog today is slightly different to usual. Today it is all about how I’d help Scooby Doo become a more balanced and better functioning individual.
My rationale for him needing help and what I’d do about it is as follows:
1. He is a chronic worrier. Scooby Doo does appear to worry to excess; so much so that his teeth chatter in a way you’d expect someone with a severe form of hyperthermia to exhibit.
I’d teach him basic and applied relaxation skills and employ some sort of hypnotic desensitisation to help lower the very real physiological anxiety he has that makes him regularly pounce up into the arms of his friend Shaggy, or cower behind nearby furniture.
2. Scooby experiences a lot of fear. I’d teach Scooby Doo proper Socratic Questioning techniques so that he’d examine his thoughts and ideally seek out the logical explanation for things he is afraid of, rather than letting his imagination run wild and catastrophise. In the past, time after time, Scooby Doo has discovered that it was not an actual Ghost or a real monster, but a person with a vested interest who is pretending to be such an entity. You think he would have learned from all those former experiences, wouldn’t you? I’d like him to take an empiricist perspective and draw upon the evidence he has encountered and examine the likelihood of the monsters and ghosts being real and likely to harm him.
Scooby Doo obviously has a great imagination because he fears certain outcomes. I’d utilise this and have him mentally rehearse coping well with similar situations in the future while in the hypnotherapy session.
3. Scooby avoids certain situations and circumstances. He derives comfort from avoidance and escape, and this serves to negatively reinforce his fear of and apprehension towards those situations and circumstances. Again, I’d probably run through some mental rehearsal of approach behaviour and role play of those scenarios, perhaps with the adjunct of assertiveness training skills before tasking him with in vivo exposure to those circumstances equipped with the right kinds of coping tools for staying the course while his symptoms abate in those circumstances.
4. He eats for comfort. Scooby derives courage and is often seemingly bribed into situations by being rewarded with Scooby snacks and other edible treats. He also spends moments in the midst of investigations, reducing his anxiety by eating multi-tiered sandwiches. I’d be keen to equip Scooby with the skills to deal with his anxiety and not have to reach for food to help lower it.
It is plain to see, he can be helped and has a good support network around him to lean upon. That said, I think Shaggy is probably a bad influence at times as well as a good friend. Shaggy often confirms Scooby’s irrational fears and thus makes them worse, often exaggerating and amplifying them.
So there is my initial treatment plan outline with regards to how I would help Scooby Doo get himself together. I’d need to do a proper, more formal and comprehensive assessment first, but that is what I’d initially consider as a result of my initial observations of him.
Tailoring a treatment plan for Scooby Doo got me thinking, if I managed to successfully help Scooby Doo to establish a better level of mental health, I might get referrals and the chance to work with other professional peers of his…
Despite living in the highly uplifting, simple world of A. A. Milne’s creating, surrounded by positive influences of Tigger, Pooh and friends, Eeyore clearly needs help. I believe he has a very chronic form of depression and is incredibly pessimistic.
Earlier this week, I wrote on Facebook that I listened to a radio five live show, hosted by former England Cricket captain Michael Vaughan that was all about the dynamics of the dressing room in sport. When interviewed, Burnley football manager Sean Dyche mentioned how important it was to get someone out of the team or squad if they were disruptive and used the expression “misery loves company.”
I am pretty sure you all know what is meant by this notion. It is referred to a great deal in therapy and personal development circles. Unhappy people tend to like others, in particular those others around them, to be unhappy too. The unhappiness of others can become satisfying to such a person. Additionally, when people are not happy, or disillusioned, or gossiping, they often seek to spread it and for it to become contagious and it very often spreads in a surreptitious fashion and with subterfuge.
Eeyore is lower than this. He does not even attempt to drag others into his misery. He is dismissive of his own beliefs and always insists others will do a better job than him or make better choices than him. Eeyore has low energy levels, very low self-esteem, does not outwardly appear capable of making good decisions for himself and his disorder seems to be very persistent; though I am not professionally able to offer a formal diagnosis, I’d say Eeyore’s condition is chronic.
In therapy, I think it best to shine a light in those dark corners where these things can breed and spread, but on a personal level, I think it is wise for everyone to recognise how they are being influenced by others and the mood they spread. You may not even realise what sort of impact someone else is having upon you until you reflect objectively. I’d advise Eeyores colleagues and friends to not let him drag them into his dark place.
This week, I also sat down with my children to watch the classic Disney film, the Little Mermaid. The entire series of Little Mermaid films is currently available to view on Sky TV’s anytime Plus. It is a lovely film, until you realise the mental health issues that the main character Ariel has, and how they in turn detrimentally effect the lives of those who care about her.
Firstly, she hoards. She is a hoarder. She finds things that humans have discarded or lost and she keeps them all in a big secret cave dwelling where she dreams of a life she cannot and really ought not lead. The hoarding is a major issue, but not the one I am keen to discuss and help her with.
Firstly, and again, let me share with you something I posted on Facebook this week:
Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
By William Martin, from
The Parents Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents.
I shared this because I love it so much. To me, it speaks of a lovely philosophy of life that also has important application in my work. Ariel pined for a life she did not have and it made her desperately unhappy. She yearned to be ‘part of their world’ – her reference to wanting to dance and play with humans who walked around on legs, as opposed to the Mermaids and Mermen in her own world. She made poor decisions that eventually led to the demise of her Father for a period of time.
Learning how to enjoy the seemingly ordinary day-today experiences with my children, my running, my garden and my studies have all contributed to my approach to life. An approach that also serves my psychological and emotional well-being greatly. I’d like to share that with Ariel.
It is not just useful personally though. Those who know me and my work, also know that I adopt this kind of stance when it comes to hypnosis, therapy and well-being in general. Enjoy the ordinary, psychological processes that combine to form what hypnosis is, rather than seeking the magical and intangible in the first instance. I have found that learning how to perceive those ordinary psychological processes to be rather magical in and of themselves. I have also found marveling at the ordinary psychological processes helps to yield some of the seemingly most magical results in therapy too.
Ariel started out as a Mermaid with a lot of magical elements to her life if only she stopped for a moment to enjoy them – the singing crustaceans in particular.
I’m not entirely surprised that Ariel has some mental health struggles, her Mother died when she was young, her Father is prone to violent outbursts and her best friend Flounder, has a definite anxiety disorder. However, I think she’d benefit greatly from some hypnotherapy with me and since she has married royalty, I think she is able to afford the fees.
Who else then? I think that Pinocchio would probably want to come and see me for his pathological lying, but would not admit he had a problem necessarily. Charlie Brown could use my help with his depression, but Lucy is currently giving him therapy sessions, he might not find the time or have the inclination to see me. Homer Simpson seems to break into fits of explosive anger and Sponge Bob Square Pants lacks all social inhibition and necessary constraints required for appropriate social interaction. That is not including all the rich Royal villains with a variety of disorders that could be treated to advance their ongoing experience of life.
So there you have it, the market I’d be free to tap into if I got to work with Scooby Doo and give hm some hypnotherapy. If you know anyone who can put me in touch, please let me know.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.