Category Archives: Treatment Approaches

Book “The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy”

By Donald Robertson

By Donald Robertson

I took the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy in mid 2012 (more about my background of hypnotherapy here). The author of this book, Don Robertson was the course facilitator and trainer. I learnt my first “proper” meditation (dehypnosis!) with him, including my favourite “leaves on the stream“. So until today I can still always relate his Scottish accent with meditation, relaxation and hypnosis, because of how much I learnt from this knowledgeable man from Scotland at that time.

I believe this is the most well-informed and extensive textbook in this subject, a non-state hypnosis approach that is based on scientific research and clinical trials. It is nothing like any other books on hypnosis that you will find out there. It starts from the basics (history), theories, and practice of it.

So yes, it is highly recommendable to anyone from a scientific backgrounds (even if you are an engineer or programmer), who are interested in hypnotherapy and CBT, to have a go. I’m more than happy to answer any question you may have, just get in touch! Though, the most suitable readers of this book (i.e. those who will gain enormous benefit) are existing CBT practitioners who would like to include hypnotherapy into their practices and make them even more effective.

给自己无条件的爱

你爱自己吗?那是无条件的爱吗?

你有想过以上这个问题吗?

你是否可以想象,一个你很爱的人或宠物,是你很喜欢也很疼爱的,这可能是你的孩子、妈妈、家人、侄女、伴侣、弟弟、一个小宝宝、小宠物、或者你很爱的一个物品,就算它坏了你也会想尽办法修理它,如不能也会把它珍藏起来的…

现在,请闭上眼,想一想你对他/她/它(以下用“她”代替)的爱…… 不管她变成怎么样、做出什么、不做什么,你依然那么爱她… 你愿意拥抱她,表达你对她的爱,满满的爱…

现在,你可不可以想像,把这个“他/她/它” 换成你自己?

拥抱这个你,对你自己说“我爱你,无条件的爱你。不管你做了什么,或什么也不做,变成怎样,我依然这么爱你,而且我会一直爱着你…”

感觉怎么样?

生活中最常看见的无私、无条件的爱,通常呈现在妈妈对孩子的关系中,有时也在伴侣、家人之间出现,偶尔甚至出现在陌生人之间。

有没有想过,你自己的痛苦悲伤是怎么来的?你的幸福快乐又是建立在什么之上?

今天老板给你的工作很好的评价有升迁的机会,你感到开心。今天男朋友给了你一个惊喜,你欣喜不已。今天同事说你的裙子很好看,你也感到开心。今天终于给自己买了一台新车,兴奋不已。今天带孩子到郊外野餐,天气很好风也很大,可以放风筝,家人玩得开心,你也很开心。

今天老板批评你做事粗心,你失落并对自己失望。今天丈夫忘了你们的结婚周年纪念日,你大发雷霆。今天同事说你的新发型好像不太适合你,你有点伤心。今天才买了两个月的新车被刮花了,好伤心。好不容易把郊游的东西准备好,一家人正要出门,天空不作美,下起倾盆大雨,孩子伤心大哭,你不知道该对谁生气。

我想再问一次,你的快乐与悲伤,是如何得来的?

上面的例子,生活常出现。它们都有个共同点,就是我们都习惯把情绪交给了外面的世界、环境、人物、东西、事情,几乎都不是我们可以直接控制的。

有没有什么,是不需要别人或外在因素,是你自己内心可以得到的满足与快乐呢?就算全世界都让你失望,你还是可以找到的快乐泉源?

如果你想得到一两件事物的话,那很好。如果不能,我有些小建议…

信仰可以是其中一项。除此,做一件自己喜欢做的事、感受大自然、培养新的爱好、做自己喜欢做的运动(而不是为了别人或上载脸书而做的)、去一趟轻松的旅游、看一本好书、看一部好电影、冥想静坐、放空发呆、给老朋友打个电话、去陪一陪老人家聊天、写日记…… 好好地和自己相处,好好地听听自己心里的声音,好好地爱自己… 不管别人是否爱你、喜欢你、批评你…

回到一开始的问题:你爱自己吗?无条件的爱吗?

还是当你做得好,你才爱你自己;当你被称赞,你才爱你自己;当别人爱你,你才爱你自己?

Support Groups in KL / Klang

I’ve been asked about support groups quite a few times and been thinking how I can start this. It’s definitely something very common in western countries, I’m not sure how it will work here in Malaysia. Now I’m proposing the idea here, and for anyone who reads this and is interested in any of the support groups, please get in touch, let me know what you think and how we can start this and get it going!

Support groups for:

  1. Depression or mood related problems
  2. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  3. Anxiety or stress related problems
  4. Schizophrenia and psychotic related disorders
  5. Carers (immediate family etc)

What is it? How does it go? What do we do?

  1. Meet monthly or every fortnightly for an hour or so
  2. Getting to know people who share the same or similar problems
  3. Casual discussion following a theme that we set (led by me)
  4. Sharing, supporting and learning among/from each other

Languages:

  1. English
  2. Mandarin / Cantonese

Venues:

  1. Klinik Pakar Au Yong, Jln Pudu, KL
  2. Manipal Hospitals Klang
  3. Some cafes in Klang Valley?

Requirements:

  1. Patient’s willingness! (is not forced by others to join us; willingly attend, participate, share and listen to others)
  2. At least 3 to form a group
  3. To treat others with respect and maintain confidentiality
  4. To share the cost of a small administrations/materials/venue fees (if any)

These are just some ideas for now, if you have some ideas or are interested, please do leave your contacts (email or contact numbers) below or get in touch by emailing hello@huibee.com or calling/whatsapp 017-2757813

面对焦虑

焦虑就像一只老虎,你为了避开它,减少它可能对你造成的伤害,你给了它一块肉,希望它吃了肉可以离开。是的,它可能离开一会儿,可是,猜一猜,给了它那块肉以后,它真的不再回来了吗?可能一两个小时,可能一两天,这回它又饿了,可能更饿了,更强大,要更多更大块的肉。

焦虑也一样,你越是逃避它害怕它,越是为了它作出不必要的牺牲(害怕在社交场合被拒绝,干脆不去参加舞会;担心无法把工作做好,花更多的时间在担心而不是完成工作,甚至最后真的无法完成),它下一次再出现,只会变得更强烈,让你更不舒服、更恐惧、更害怕。

可是如果你选择和焦虑处在一起,它固然让你感到不舒服,但它并不危险,一段时间后,你的焦虑感会开始下降,下次再面临一样的处境,你也不再那么焦虑,即使还是有一定程度的焦虑,你的头脑也能告诉你,基于上次相处的经验,其实这个焦虑感可能让你感到不舒服,但它并不危险,你并不用逃避它。

那不逃避,就是怎么做呢?如何直接面对它呢?如何接受情绪呢?首先告诉自己,这感觉可能让你感到不舒服,但是它不会对你造成伤害。你可以感受一下它处于身体的哪个部分,比如胸口闷闷地,颈项后方有点紧、心跳有点快、或肚子有些不舒服等,识别它们,并容许、允许它们存在于那里,就像一个朋友带了一个你不太喜欢的客人来到你家一起聚餐,但你并不因此把他赶走,或者为了他一个人,不去招待其他客人,你还是允许他的存在,继续享受你的聚餐、继续做你想做的事。对任何情绪,其实都一样,都可以这么做。

Muscle Relaxation

Core principles of muscle relaxation:

  • Non-doing: you can’t do muscle relaxation. It is a ceasing of doing. A ceasing of effort.
  • There is always a deeper level of relaxation (people underestimate how much they can relax)

Here is a recording of muscle relaxation skills training:

Muscle Relaxation Recording (English) 

It starts around 6 seconds later. Basically you will be asked to tense various muscle groups in turn, then relax them as deeply as possible.

In general only a few practice of this would be sufficient to develop awareness of muscle tension during the day, then you can just use the cue words (in the recording) to relax any muscle group during exhalation any time of the day, anywhere once you notice the tension. This means that you will not need this guided audio in the long run.

Neutral Pure-O

Most people know that Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is the main intervention used for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). So the rationale is pretty simple here, say we have a patient who is afraid of contamination (obsession) and wash his hands excessively (compulsion), we do some preparation work and can then start the ERP by exposing him to dirt without letting him to wash his hands (response prevention). This is normally done on a very gradual manner (with the patient’s consent and enough preparation work beforehand, so it is definitely not forcefully done to him). And of course in reality the OCD cases are barely as straightforward and simple as this, but this is the general principle.

With pure obsession, i.e. those without any compulsive behaviour, it’s all in their minds, things can get a bit harder, but still, it’s possible. Some commonly seen pure-O are (1) relationship obsessions (discussed in my blog else where as “morbid jealousy” which might or might not be the same condition), (2) sexual obsessions, (3) religious obsessions, (4) violent obsessions, (5) neutral obsessions.

So let’s take a recently seen man as an example here. It started once when he drove past a church, and somehow a sexual related thought popped out in his mind, he couldn’t bear himself having such “dirty” thought in a holy place, and since then, whenever he goes passed any holy places, he will suppress his mind from coming out with any “dirty thoughts”. And as we all know that our minds don’t work this way, the more you try to push some thoughts away, the more they bounce back and pop up.

ERP is possible for such pure-O cases. After the initial preparation work including psychoeducation and relaxation training, they are exposed to those thoughts that they have been avoiding, in those places (based on the items in the hierarchy). So it works similarly for all different types of pure obsessions, be it relationship, violent, religious or sexual (in certain cases where direct exposure is not possible, it will have to be done in imagination, and by watching videos etc).

However, how about neutral obsessions? What the patient has could be some really simple, random thoughts, which might be inconsistent, but they might be spending hours and hours thinking about these random stuff. Like a young man I saw couple months ago, who reacts to any thought his mind comes up with, e.g. “why does the universe work this way?”, “how do my ears listen and my brain comprehend what others say?” etc. I couldn’t really carry out typical ERP to him, since those are really random topics and they can be completely different every time. So I needed him to start thought defusion exercises, mindfulness meditation (then he dropped out…). I believe this is the best way for neutral pure-O, though I understand how difficult it’s to increase their motivation to keep practicing until they see the effects (did have patients in the past who were surprised by how quiet their minds can be after such exercises – and this is just a bonus, as it’s not the intention or purpose of such practices).

Do enlighten me if you have better psychological intervention for neutral pure-O. And I hope all the OCD sufferers out there will not give in to the illness!