TRIBUTE to Dr. Edgar A. Barnett
Excerpts from Unlock Your Mind and Be Free! A Practical Approach to Hypnotherapy
Excerpts from Analytical Hypnotherapy: Principles and Practice
NOTE: Several years ago, I took a hypnotherapy course, “Unlock your Mind and be Set Free” based on Dr. Edgar Barnett’s book Unlock your Mind and be set Free: Westwood Publishing Company. Glendale, CA. Since that time, Dr. Barnett has been one of my heroes. While surfing the internet, I came across an email address for Edgar Barnett. I sent him an email and asked if he were the Edgar Barnett who had written books on hypnosis and he replied that he was that person. What a thrill to be able to commentate with a person that I had admired for years! Dr. Edgar Barnett and Westwood Publishing Company have given permission to use excepts from Dr. Barnett’s books: Unlock Your Mind and be Set Free, but you can order Analytical Hypnotherapy from Westwood Publishing Company: http://www.westwoodpublishingco.com/ or from Dr. Barnett at Dr. Edgar Barnett, 464 Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L1C2. His two books have recently been published by Junica Publising at http://www.junicapublishing.com/
IMPORTANT: I have paid a license fee to Westwood Publishing Co. for permission to use this material. I cannot pass this permission to anyone else. Contact Westwood Publishing for further information.
Dr. Edgar A. Barnett – Biographical Sketch
Dr. Barnett was born in London, England and was trained as a family physician. He practiced under the National Health Services until emigration to Canada in 1966. He practiced family medicine in Kingston, Ontario, Canada until 1975 when he restricted his practice to hypnotherapy. He was awarded the Certificate of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) following examination in 1972. He was Chairman of the Department of General Practice at Kingston General Hospital. Also past President of Medical Staff of Kingston General Hospital. Currently he on the Consulting Staff of Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital.
* Past President of Ontario Society of Clinical Hypnosis
* Has been Secretary and Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
* Lectured in Family Medicine at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
* Awarded Diploma of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis
* Elected Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
* Author of several papers published in different journals of hypnosis
* Author of two books on hypnosis, “Analytical Hypnotherapy: Principles and Practice” and “Unlock Your Mind and be Free” Both.
* Has given workshops in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia
* Co-chaired a world conference on hypnosis in Budapest, Hungary in August of 1996
Now, Dr. Barnett sees patients by referral only. He treats a broad range of conditions such as: insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of self esteem and lack of confidence, phobias, dissimilative identity disorder, sexual abuse survivors, obesity, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain manage, smoking.
Excerpts from Unlock Your Mind and Be Free! A Practical Approach to Hypnotherapy
THE PRISON OF FEAR: Fear is probably present in all of the prisons of the mind but never so prominently as in the phobias. The phobias is related to a specific problem such as an unnatural fear of heights, darkness, close places etc.
THE PRISON OF ANXIETY: Unlike phobias, anxiety is not connected to specific circumstances, although it might be just as severe, The anxiety sufferer experiences himself feeling frightened or apprehensive for no obvious reason. People experiencing anxiety attacks are generally constant worriers. He always prepares himself for things to go wrong which they frequently do.
THE PRISON OF ANGER: Anger is a normal human emotion which becomes a problem when its expression is prohibited, Anger can be repressed but never eradicated. It continues to seek release by expressing itself in abnormal but somewhat disguised manner.
(1) Migraine headaches: Migraine headaches are responsible for an enormous amount of human distress. Migraines often results when anger is repressed instead of granted normal expression. Migraines quite often affect people who never lose their temper, cannot bear to hurt anyoneâ€™s feeling. She can never show the emotion of anger so her suppressed anger is like a sleeping volcano ready to erupt periodically in the form of a headache.
(2) Peptic ulcer: A peptic ulcer is another psychosomatic illness which can result from repressed anger. When this anger is held in, the stomach seems to produce more acid than normal which results is an ulcer. Unless the anger is dealt with, any medical remedies will be of short duration.
(3) Back pain: Repressed anger can often be the cause of back pain which has no organic cause. Suppressed anger can cause an organic back problem to be more severe than otherwise. When one can see their anger, vent their anger in non-destructive ways, and then let it go, improvement usually comes.
(4) Hypertension: Repressed anger can be a cause of high blood pressure or hypertension. Dr. Barnett states the origin of hypertension is usually an emotional tension which results from a blocking of the experience of anger.
(5) Obesity: Though obesity results from a variety of causes, one of the most common reasons for obesity is suppressed anger. The obesity person appears to be jovial but deep inside she is boiling with anger from the hurts that she has received. Yet she continues to swallow her anger with every mouthful of food.
THE PRISON OF GUILT: The prison of guilt is closely connected to the first three. Guilt is a potent factor in the production of all emotional illness. Some of the problem which guilt plays a prominent part are impotence, frigidity, obesity, skin disease, and suicides.
THE CRIME: In the eyes of the law, a crime is any act that endangers the peace and order of society. To maintain its good health societies must apprehend and punish those who defy its rules. There is a close parallel between the generally accepted understanding of crime and the crime which results in the imprisonment of’ part of the mind.
Dr. Barnett states that there is abundant and irrefutable evidence that unborn and new born infant can be aware of the events that occur even at so early a stage of life. True, consciousness does not develop until the early years of childhood, but the subconscious mind is highly developed in the prenatal period. In fact, the subconscious is sufficiently developed to be able to record accurately all significant events occurring at the time. These events, which may have a profound effect on the remainder of the individual’s life, require to be fully understood if the resulting problems are to be resolved. Dr. Barnett reports that some of his patients have gone back a the time in the womb and has recorded a strong impression of rejection, of being unwanted and other such feelings.
The feelings of having committed a crime can cause many emotional problems.
(1) The earliest crime that an individual can commit is the crime of existing. If a child feels unwanted, therefor he should not be. If a crime is an act which is a danger to the peace and order of society, an unwanted infant has clearly committed such a crime because his presence disturbs the peace. He has a feeling that his very existence is meeting with disapproval. He is guilty of the of the crime of existence.
(2) Another crime is the feeling that he or she is of the wrong sex. The person can feel responsible for the distress that his sex has brought to his parents. Barnett states that many cases of homosexuality can be traced to this crime. Their guilt about their own sex prevents them from functioning adequately as sexual beings. Feelings of unworthiness and depression are natural responses to rejection, and obesity is a common way for women to deny their femininity.
(3) A third crime is the crime of being angry. There are times when a child fells frustrated and angry. If the parent’s responses are extreme and sever, the child becomes aware that he has committed a crime. He feels angry but discovers that he must not express that anger. Only bad people are angry. Needing the parents approval, he represses his normal anger in order to gain their approval. As a result, the child internalizes his anger, denies his anger and becomes locked in the prison of anger.
(4) A fourth crime can be fear: When fear is unacceptable or meets with marked parental disapproval, the frightened child feels that he has committed a crime. Because his fear is unacceptable, he must hold it inside and becomes incarcerated within his prison of fear.
(5) For some, it is a crime to hurt. Our most fundamental emotions involves an awareness of pain. A person seldom conveys his hurt in a comprehensible manner and so its clumsy expression is met with admonishment. The message becomes clear. Hurting is wrong. Feeling pain is a crime, Unfortunately, the more we try not to feel hurt, the more our discomfort grows. Whenever a person says that he “does not care,” there is a strong clue that he is locked in a prison of pain for the crime of hurting.
(6) Love is one of our most healing feeling, if love is meet with strong disapproval, it is viewed as a crime. The individual who has been accused of the crime of loving may be unable to deny it, but he can prevent it from happening again.
(7) Some people have unconsciously come to the conclusion that happiness is a crime. Happiness can be frequently so rapidly followed by calamity that it would appear wiser to avoid being happy. Thus the person locks himself in a prison where happiness is forbidden.
(8) Some people feel that they have committed a crime by being curious. When curiosity is met by disapproval of those whose in society we are striving to belong, our parents, it becomes a crime. When the person is punished for being curious, it becomes a crime.
Dr. Barnett uses Bernie’s theories to explain his court of the mind. Eric Bernie recognized that we all function from more than one ego state. An ego state is a distinct set of feelings and behavior patterns. Each of us has at least three ego states. These ego states are labeled: Child, Parent, Adult. They are given capital letters to distinguish them from our normal understanding of the terms.
All societies devise a system for administering justice so that when an individual is accused of a crime, he can be tried. If found guilty, he is appropriately sentenced to a designated punishment. This usually takes place in a court of law where three essential participants can be identified: the accused, the prosecutor and the judge. We can identify the accused, but who is the prosecutor? Who serves as judge?
1) The Child: The Child is the original and perhaps the central ego state. It is the feeling part of our being. The Child feels all our normal emotions: hurt, anger and fear as well as their opposites: happiness, love, and security. The Child stands before the bar of justice as the defendant in our court of the mind because only the child ego state experiences feelings.
2) The Parent: Early in life, the Parent ego state develops in response to contact with people in the outside world especially oneâ€™s parents This internal Parent becomes very similar to the important persons in the child’s world. It merits its name since it is almost identical in thought and behavior to the true parents. It provides the person with a ready reference to the likely responses of the true parents. The function of the parent is to gather all the information it can about the people in the immediate environment of the child so that the child can respond in an harmonious manner to these people. The internal Parent acts as an excellent means of monitoring and modifying the child’s behavior to conform with the true parents’ ideas and beliefs so that it can get along well with them. The Parent ego state primarily intends to protect the Child, but the manner in which it fulfills this function is frequently responsible for much mental ill health.
3) . The Adult: The Adult state matures later than either the Parent or the Child. It develops from the part of the mind concerned with collecting information about the world around us and filing it away in the memory bands for future reference. With ample data at it disposal, the Adult ego state is similar to a highly complex computer which can arrive at new conclusions whenever it is presented with a fresh problem. An understanding of the Adult role is important for analytical hypnotherapist, who must rely upon this ego state to resolve the problems which the Parent and the Child have created.
In court, the accused is always the Child, the central part of the personality that is being prosecuted for a feeling as some other attribute that has caused offense. The prosecutor is usually a parent, more probably mother than father. Siblings, grandparents, and teachers can also function as prosecutor. The accuser is always someone within the child’s immediate environment who has been distressed by who he is or something he has done because of who he is.
The Judge is the Parent. Why? Because the Parent functions to prevent the Child from alienating himself from the true parent. The Parent must decide if the Child is guilty and must determine whether a punishment should be imposed to prevent the recurrence of the offense. The Judge may postpone judgement until one or more similar accusations have been made and it becomes clear that alienation of the parent is likely. When the case comes to the court of the mind, the case for the defense is always considered. The Child speaks up in his own defense, and his testimony is that he was only doing what seemed right to him. Though he may say that he did not know that being himself was a crime, but ignorance of the law is not an adequate defense in any legal system. How does the Adult fit into the trial? What can the Adult offer the defense? Unfortunately, the accusations are usually made before the Adult has gathered enough information about the world to be much help may reinforce the Child by assuring him that he is not abnormal and that others with the same attributes are not considered criminals for possessing them.
There are three principal emotions that protect us from danger and enable us to survive.
1) Hurt is the awareness of pain and the presence of dangers;
2) Fear, deriving its strength from the memory of pain, prompts the individual to avoid further pain by fleeing its source as quickly as possible;
3) Anger protects the individual from danger either by scaring it away or annihilating it.
A DISCUSSION OF THE CHARGES:
A. You must not exist: The worst crime that the Child can be accused of is the crime of existing. In carrying out the sentence, the Parent ego state is usually forced to make a compromise which is acceptable to the prosecution. When the sentence is imposed, the Parent ego state is unable to carry such a sentence to its logical conclusion. It can make life unenjoyable and cause the Child to seek insignificance so that, for all practical purposes, he doesn’t exist. As the individual grows up and the compromise appears insufficient, the full sentence “You must not exist” is literally carried out.
B. You must never feel angry: Anger is a natural feeling and a natural defense which is instinctively present in the Child. In the learning process, the Child may express his anger clumsily and in doing so may inadvertently threaten and frighten those upon whom he depends for sustenance anti security. If their response to the Child’s anger is extreme, he is liable to become convicted of the crime of being angry. Because he has shown himself unable to manage his anger, the Child is sentenced by the Parent to shun anger. This can be translated as “You must never feel angry”. The repression of this normal defense by the Parent is a common cause of many emotional illnesses and of a high proportion of psychosomatic ailments.
C. You are not lovable: “You are not lovable” is the sentence delivered by the Parent to the Child who has committed the crime by seeking to be loved by a mother who is unable to love him. The sentence must be served in the prison of pain and sadness with the burden of the accusation, “You are bad” If a child is met with rebuff and feels the pain of rejection often, the Child accepts the verdict that he is guilty of being not lovable.
D. “You must not succeed”: Sometimes success can be considered a crime which is punished by the sentence, “You must not succeed.” If locked up in prison of guilt, the individual will find ways to fail. The Parent bars him from success.
E. You must not be afraid: Fear is a normal human response to real or imagined danger. Unfortunately, many parents do not understand fear and are disturbed when they see it in their children. In addition, society frequently interprets normal fear as cowardice. For these reasons fears may be viewed as a crime, and the Parent is given the task of ensuring that it is not repeated by passing the sentence, “You must not be afraid.” An emotion that is blocked by the Parent in this way is often expressed in some more acceptable way. Overeating, excessive smoking, alcoholism, and some psychosomatic illnesses can result from the repression of fear.
F. You must not love: Love is normal human emotion, but there are people who are unable to express love because of the sentence, “You must not love” They have been found guilty of loving and have been sentenced never to love again. Loving is often confused with sexual activity, so that this inability to love is accompanied by an inability to enjoy sex. This may be expressed as fear of relishing or being involved in sex or making oneself unattractive is one way of avoiding sex and denying love.
G. You must not think: Most people consider being stupid as a handicap, but the Child can come to believe that it is wiser to act stupid than to use one’s normal intelligence. In fact, being intelligent has proved so disastrous that it has been interpreted as a crime with the sentence being “You must not think.”
HYPNOSIS CAN HELP: In discussing hypnosis, we often speak of “going under” hypnosis, even though there is never any loss of consciousness. Hypnosis is not sleep, no matter how similar the conditions may superficially appear. Stage hypnotists have lead to misconceptions because they indicate that the person being hypnotized is in a state of powerlessness. The power resides in the person, not within the hypnotist. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
In hypnosis the activity of the highly critical part of the brain is somewhat suspended. When the other areas of the brain, the highly imaginative resources of the unconscious mind is called upon, we have hypnosis. Whenever we turn to these highly imaginative parts of the mind and temporarily suspend the critical parts, we are employing the process of hypnosis. This enables suggestions to be accepted and acted upon. I would like to point out that suggestibility must not be confused with gullibility.
Hypnosis is not a state but a process. It allows us to communicate ideas or suggestions to the inner and subconscious imaginative part of the mind. For instance when the critical faculty is bypassed and the individual accepts the idea of anesthesia, anesthesia is produced in the suggested area of the body as powerful as any chemical. When the unconscious mind has accepted the idea of pain relief, it can readily accomplish this. The process of communicating the idea is hypnosis. The communication of any acceptable idea, its subconscious acceptance and the subsequent action is the process of hypnosis.
ESTABLISH SIGNALS: In order to locate subconscious memories as an analytical hypnotherapist, one needs to establish a signaling system which the subconscious mind can use in order to communicate with you at a conscious level. This is done by setting up a subconscious movement which indicates the subconscious answer “Yes”, and another signal for the subconscious answer “No”
Using the signals: First ask the subconscious mind some general questions in order to get used to this signaling system. “Is it all right for me to ask questions about your problem?” If the answer is “Yes” you can begin to ask questions. If “No” ask the question again. If the answer is “No” you should not go on. If the answer is “Yes”, proceed to the next question. The next question may be, “Is your symptom due to an emotional problem?” Again, you should get a “Yes” answer before proceeding. Next ask, “Is it all right to know the cause of this emotional problem?” A positive response is needed before proceeding.
Analysis can now begin:
1) The location of the critical experience. This is finding the crisis responsible for the emotional problem. This is the time at which the crime for the imprisonment was committed. It is the experience which made the client feel guilty; producing the constraints which have bound the client ever since.
(a) The review of all subconscious tensions. Ask the subconscious mind to review all old, outdated subconscious tensions and to indicate when this has been accomplished by lifting the “Yes” finger;
(b) Locate the earliest tension: Ask the subconscious mind to determine the earliest of these tensions and to indicate when this has been accomplished by lifting the “Yes” fingers;
(c) Review of the earliest tension: Ask the subconscious mind to review this earliest tension and the experience responsible for it in complete detail and to let you know when this is done by lifting the “Yes” fingers.
(d) Elevation of the subconscious memory to consciousness: Ask the subconscious mind if it is all right for client to know about the experience which is responsible for the problem. If so, indicate by a “Yes” signal. If “Yes”, direct the subconscious mind to bring the memory of this experience to a level of conscious awareness. During this time the client may have feelings of desolation, sadness, anger, or fear. By knowing the cause, feeling the emotion, and coming to terms with these feelings, the client can begin the healing.
(2) Review and acceptance of the previously repressed emotion: When the client has located the critical experience, he next task is to gain subconscious acceptance of the emotion. When this is accomplished, lift the “Yes” finger.
(3) Recognition of the present irrelevance of the previously repressed emotion: Ask “With the understanding you now possess, must you preserve that old tension?” You should receive a “No” signal before going on. If “Yes” signal continues, ask “Do you still need all of that outdated emotion?” if “No”, the subconscious mind is not prepared to release all of the emotions at the present time.
(4) Relinquish the unnecessary outdated tension. Call upon the subconscious mind to find a way to let the old outdated emotion go. Ask, “Using all of your subconscious understanding and wisdom, find a way in which this old, useless and outdated tension can be released, Indicate when this has been found by raising the “Yes” finger.”
(5) Resolution of the outdated tension: Ask the subconscious mind to supply a solution so that client can deal with the tension and can release it. When you have received a signal that this is accomplished, go on.
(6) Rehabilitation: Ask the subconscious mind to imagine the solution that has been accepted, being applied in three different relevant problematic situations, and to signal when this has been accomplished. If there is further work to be done, give direct suggestion that the client be successful and work on it another time.
Excerpts from Analytical Hypnotherapy: Principles and Practice
In order to help this patient, the analytical hypnotherapist persuades the patient to review in detail, through the medium of regression, those experiences which were responsible for the symptom-producing behavior. Having identified these experiences, and all of their associated emotional responses, he then activates the Adult within the patient to examine the current inappropriateness of such responses and encourages him to discover improved ways of behaving in the present. It has consistently been the author’s experience that, where uncovering has been possible, an inappropriate emotional response had been always discovered to be due to an unresolved Parent/Child conflict. In such a conflict, the expression of the individual’s natural response has been repressed because of unconscious guilt due to fear of parental disapproval.
By returning to the critical experience and reviewing them in the light of his present (Adult) wisdom and understanding, the patient is persuaded to reassess these experiences and then to find the resources with which to formulate more effective behavioral responses to the stimuli previously responsible for the symptoms. Location of the critical experiences is therefore crucial to therapy, even though it is only a part of the analytical hypnotherapist’s task. In order to achieve the cure symptoms, not only must the therapist enable his patient to recognize the inappropriateness of his responses as the level from which they originate, but also, he must encourage him to discover more effective responses which will ultimately enable him to function more effectively. (p. 89)
REFRAMING: Reframing is the name given to a technique for promoting a beneficial change in an individual. There are two types of reframing, the first of which attempts to separate the intention behind a specific set of symptoms from the symptoms themselves and to reframe (reassociate) that intention in a more beneficial behavior pattern. The second approach accepts the inappropriate behavior pattern and reframes it so that it only occurs in a useful context. It assumes that inappropriate behavior is only inappropriate because it occurs out of context and that there is always a context in which it is appropriate and useful. (p. 157)
SYMPTOM PRESCRIPTION: Symptom prescription is another application of indirect suggestion. In this technique, the therapist actually sanctions or encourages symptomatic behavior and in so doing, provides a rationale for the symptoms. In effect, the therapist directs the patient to do exactly as he is already doing; but at the same time, he provides an additional therapeutic contribution or modification to the symptomatic behavior. Zeig described three different principles espoused by Erickson: meeting the patient within his own frame of reference; establishing small therapeutic modifications which are consistent with this frame of reference; and eliciting the cure from within the patient. Thus the patient is assisted to establish change utilizing his own power and through his own resources. Symptom prescription gives the patient the opportunity to recognize, evaluate and change his own behavior either consciously or unconsciously. Zeig, in another paper, described how compels symptom prescription could be simplified by breaking the symptom into its elements and confining the prescription to only one of these elements. (p. 25)
THE PRESENTATIONS OF ANXIETY: Anxiety can present in many ways and frequently goes unrecognized because the presenting symptoms obscure it. In fact, it may be only on close inquiry that the individual is able to recognize the anxiety responsible for his symptoms.
Panic attacks: Intense, acute episodes of anxiety can be labeled panic or acute anxiety attacks, in which all of the physical symptoms of anxiety (e.g. sweating, hyperventilation, nausea, diarrhea, shortness of breath, choking, etc.) are frequently accomplished by a strong feeling of helplessness. Phobias: Phobias are also panic attacks with one main difference: the likely precipitating factors are known by the patient and are carefully avoided because of the severe anxiety response that contact with these factors will produce. In the phobias, the acute anxiety is likely to subside rapidly, when the individual is no longer exposed to the precipitating factor. (p. 262)
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior: Any unwanted behavior which cannot be consciously controlled must be considered compulsive and results from a persistent or repetitive idea which must also be regarded as compulsive. Probably all of the problems of addictions, whether to food or to drugs of different kinds, must be regarded as examples of obsessive compulsive behavior. The role of anxiety in these symptom complexes can more clearly be recognized when any attempt is made to impede compulsive behavior. For example, if the heavy smoker is deprived of his cigarettes, he becomes intensely anxious.
Psychosomatic Disorders: Psychosomatic disorders frequently conceal deeply rooted anxiety and even where the anxiety is apparent, the extent of it is discovered only during therapy. (p. 263) Gastrointestinal: The chronic bowel syndromes are often physical manifestations of unconscious anxiety. Over activity and spasm of the large bowel with abdomen pain, diarrhea and nausea are features of acute anxiety for some people. Conversely, those people who suffer from chronic bowel diseases; such as colitis, spastic colon, etc., are similarly suffering from an anxiety which is less obvious, but rarely do they receive treatment for this source of their symptoms. (p. 263-264) Cardiovascular: The role of anxiety in cardiovascular disease has gained wider recognition. Bruhn has shown that myocardial infraction occurs most typically under circumstances of emotional drain and Freidman and Roseman have elegantly documented the association between myocardial infarction and what they labeled type-A behavior pattern in which the person is found to have aggressive drives and an overwhelming sense of the pressure of time. Hypertension is also a disorder of the cardiovascular system and has been shown by Wolf to be closely related to anxiety; such patients show a striking need to excel.
Skin Disorders: There is no doubt that much emotional tension can be expressed via the skin. Muspah found that intense itching is often due to repressed anxiety and that therapy directed at reducing this anxiety will reduce the itching.
Sexual Dysfunction: Sexual dysfunction must be regarded as a psychosomatic disorder and is one that frequently comes to the attention of the analytical hypnotherapist. Chronic anxiety is now well recognized to be a common cause of sexual dysfunction. (p. 264)
To order go to Westwood Publishing Company: http://www.westwoodpublishingco.com/ or from Dr. Barnett at Dr. Edgar Barnett, 464 Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L1C2.