Stage 1: Recognise
Stage 2: Rewire
Stage 3: Reinforce
Stage 4: Retain
More Information about Transformational Change
Critical Factor 1. We do not leave your old pattern still running in the background. We deactivate it. Unfortunately many therapy processes install new patterns while leaving the old ones running resulting in a feeling of inner conflict, a sense of uncertainty as well as the potential for relapse. Positive association is known to be a powerful tool for change. It is even more powerful when negative associations or meanings are released first. Then you do not run interference with old ways of doing things, old meanings or feelings.
Critical Factor 2. The Transformational Change process ensures you create your own road map to success utilising the 5 essential elements of change: vision, skills, incentives, resources and an action plan.
Critical Factor 3. Transformational Change combines effective counselling with hypnotherapy . We discover the key patterns that hold your issue in place. We ascertain what is unique about your process so that each session is strategic and individualised. In a nutshell we work together to heal the patterns you don’t want and create patterns you do want. No mystery – just neuroscience and evidence-based clinical practice.
- Walk & Talk Therapy – sometimes just walking and talking brings a new perspective to the issue. The act of walking helps things shift. New ideas and insights can come. You can, literally, take steps towards the life you want to create. We can experience the enjoyment of being outdoors in a beautiful setting to relax the mind and body. Walking can give us a new perspective.
- Writing Therapy – this might be writing a journal, writing letters to yourself, writing poems or just lists of words that come to you around a particular issue. You don’t need to be any kind of writer to find the value in writing therapy. I can guide you through a range of writing activities from the very simple & safe much as lists, 5 minute sprints (just whatever comes to mind in 5 minutes of continuous writing), writing a dialogue with yourself, an event, a person and even your body to tap into your inner wisdom. You can learn the art of journal writing to keep a simple record your life, to support you through life transition and to get clarity. Writing can slow your thoughts down so you can get a handle on them and start to become aware of the patterns. Writing can allow us to get into relationship with our experience not be immersed in it. You can play with words to notice the power of language in shaping your experience. You can simply write to say hello to yourself.
- Simple Art Therapy – we can all draw. We can all use crayons, textas, colouring pencils and so on to allow our inner world to express itself. You can make a collage. We are not producing a work of art but simple drawings and pieces of art that express your inner world. What you can’t say in words can be expressed in colours, shapes, textures and images. You can show how things relate to each other as they are drawn on to a page. You can make changes in real time as you work through each session. You can keep a simple art journal which captures a 1000 words in a single image.
The first is Hebb’s Law. “Neurons that fire together wire together”. Not only that, firing neurons invite their neighbours to their “pattern-making” party. So if we focus on an experience repeatedly we invite more and more neurons to be wired together in an expanding network. You can see how what you focus upon either reinforces your problem or reinforces your solution.
The second is the Quantum Zeno Effect. The Quantum Zeno Effect is, in a nutshell, “whatever you pay attention to persists”. The act of watching something slows down its rate of decay. Every time you check in on a memory, feeling or thought, it reverts back to its “original” state and that’s why old memories,feelings and even pain can feel as strong as when they first happened.
Your brain is not an accurate time-keeper. In fact, it can’t really tell the difference between your current reality, a memory or your imagination. It uses all three at the same time to decide what to do in any given moment. It uses the past to make judgments about what is happening in the present simply because it cannot process the billions of bits of new data in each moment. It goes searching for something similar it already knows and colours this latest experience with the meanings and patterns you laid down last time or when you were a child. You could say, “The past gatecrashes your present.” And, just to add to the mix, it turns out our memory isn’t as good as we would like to think. When you remember an event in the past, the process is more like “putting on a play from a script” than “replaying a video”. Eyewitness testimony, it turns out, is one of the least reliable forms of evidence allowed into courtrooms. The good news here is that you don’t need to believe your memory is “factually accurate” and therefore unchangeable. You can widen your perspective allowing your memory of the past to adjust itself creating new responses to old issues.
At the same time vividly imagined events based in the future actually wire the brain in present-time. That’s why elite athletes practice their sport over and over in their minds and consider it an effective use of their time. You, too, can go forward into the future in your imagination and bring it back into the present and rewire the brain to start moving towards that type of future. As you know, neurons firing off positive patterns invite more neurons to join them and it gets easier and easier to stay in the positive pattern. You could say it’s the best kind of neuron party. Each and every time you choose to imagine and do something positive it gets easier, feels more natural and spreads into other areas of your life.
So if this is all true, you might be asking why haven’t my best efforts to change worked the way I wanted them to? That’s because you have been trying to run two programs at the same time; the old and the new. In essence, they are competing with each other for your attention. Sometimes one pattern wins out; sometimes the other. To create lasting change we need to turn off or deactivate the old, no longer needed wiring. But how do we do that?
This brings us to the most exciting discovery in neuroscience in recent years. Neurons can be deactivated through a process called “memory reconsolidation”. This happens when we hold an old pattern up close and personal with a new pattern. Up until this moment the brain has been keeping them separated (think of different filing cabinets) so that they cannot contradict each other. This process saves us from feeling hypocritical or confused. Once we bring the two patterns together, in full awareness, the brain is compelled to rewire itself, deactivating the least helpful pattern. The good news is you keep your biographical memory while releasing the negative emotions and patterns associated with it.
Neuroplasticity means our brain can change itself. Because our brain can change – so can we.