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Hypnosis Training Video #396: The Medical & Hypnotherapeutic Value of Forgiveness (Transcription)

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Cal: Hello everybody. Cal Banyan here, Cal Banyan Hypnosis Center. Oh my gosh, we are 390 something. I am so excited. This is episode number four with regard to my special guest, Scot Giles, one of the smartest men in our profession. You don’t know it, but you owe him in one way or another because of all the work he has done legislative.

I can say that he would probably contradict me, but, he is honest, humble, intelligent, confident, and he is someone I recommend that you get into your circle of influence. Just to give you a quick background on this, I have been talking about it in the last three episodes. I’ll go through as quick as I can, just want you to know in case you haven’t watched the three previous episodes.

Who Scot Giles is? Scot is a Board Certified Chaplin, a real Chaplin, and a Certified Instructor of the National Guild of Hypnotists. His hospital affiliated practice focuses on medical hypnotism and he is especially well known around the country for his work with cancer patients.

He has been the Affiliated Community Minister at the Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist Church in Palatine, Illinois since 1991. Scot is a member of the National Guild Advisory Board where he carries the legislation and governmental concerns portfolio. Scot received most of the votes in the National Guild of Hypnotists including the top award, the Rexford North Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also achieved the Lifetime Achievement from the 5-PATH® International Association. I was very proud to be able to give him that.

He has received the Ormond McGill Chair Award and it just goes on and on with awards. In 2006, the certification board of the National Guild of Hypnotists elevated him to the highest status of the National Guild, and that is Board Certified Diplomat. Including Scot, there are only 20 diplomats of the National Guild of Hypnotists in the world.

He is one of the first inductees into the Order of Braid International Honor Society of Hypnotism. He’s not just a hypnotist. He has also got a spiritual side, he has got an intellectual side, the hypnotism, he has got a physical side. Scot is an award winning second degree black belt in Taekwondo Karate and is currently studying as a swordsman in the Soul Sword Tradition.

Scot is also a former professional chef. We have had a few very nice meals together, whenever Scot invites me to out to dinner. I’ll climb over the hill and to go with him because he is an individual with fine taste. I am very happy to be associated with him and his wife. He loves good food and good wine. If you want to know more about Scot after watching this video or listening to the audio version, please go to www.csgiles.org.

How are you doing Scot?

Scot: I am doing fine Cal. Good to be back with you.

Cal: Yay, number four in the series. I am excited.

Scot: All right. We were talking about forgiveness which were, with many members of the clergy, it’s going to be a popular topic. Let’s start off with one of my favorite quotations, I believe it’s Mark Twain’s. He said, “Not forgiving someone is like taking poison yourself and then waiting for your enemy to die.” That’s absolutely true, absolutely. So it’s a great skill.

If I recall correctly, I am not a 5-PATH’er, I have a lot of respect for 5-PATH® though. I believe forgiveness is one of your basic techniques. Am I correct?

Cal: Right and Phase one is a preparation, test and convincing phase. Phase two is age regression and age progression work. Phase three and four, Phase three is forgiveness of others and Phase four is forgiveness of self. Because as long as we are holding people accountable for hurting us, or other people, or things that we love, then we are connected to that person and those emotions, particularly, anger.

Let me say it this way, forgiveness is the antidote to anger that we have towards others and forgiveness for self is the antidote to feelings of guilt and anger that we have toward ourselves. Very important and one of the coolest things about forgiveness from the 5-PATH point of view is, when done correctly, it provides insight. We get an “aha” experience. We go into a state of hyper suggestibility which allows us to accept suggestions for the long term.

Scot is going to be telling us something from another very interesting perspective. Please, go ahead Scot.

Scot: Forgive is just for you, just you said. The tradition of spiritual direction, this is, the importance of forgiveness is something you find in the spiritual traditions all around the world. Whether it’s the Christian tradition, it has its special emphasis because Jesus taught that, “In order to be forgiven ourselves by God, we need to be forgiving other people while we are here on earth.” It’s an important theme. In term of hypnotic practice, when you encourage someone to forgive, the long list of wrongs done to them, you are changing the emotional terrain inside their personality.

Feelings, in addition to everything else they are, are biochemical states in human body. When you feel a certain way, you are putting chemicals in the body as surely as if you took a syringe and injected them. Those chemicals change how the body works. If you go through your life feeling, like you have been victimized because you haven’t forgotten people who have hurt you and you tell yourself in your inner narrative of victim script.

You are changing your body and you are changing your health. That’s huge. Research that we have done, we have actually found that certain disease cohorts, certain kind clusters, people with different diseases tend to struggle with different kind of emotional issues. For example, cancer patients overwhelmingly and the research was done by Lawrence LeShan back in the 70s. You can read about this in a wonderful book called, “Cancer as a Turning Point.”

He found that cancer patients overwhelmingly, tended to be the care taking, over functioning members of their family who put everyone else first and themselves last. And over time doing that, caused resentment to build in the personality of the individual living with the cancer, or who would eventually be diagnosed with the cancer and we have found, I personally don’t think psychological states bring cancer on, but I think the research is clear that, once you have cancer, your state of mind is important in predicting your outcome.

We have found that the most dangerous emotion for a person living in recovery from cancer is resentment. Forgiveness becomes a critically important survival skill for a person that you are working with hypnotically for cancer care. In the aftermath of their treatment, you don’t want them sitting around stewing with resentment about the long list of wrongs done to me because that’s going to take them in the wrong direction.

On the other hand, patients with cardiovascular diseases have different issues. Those kinds of patients, and I am one, tend to struggle with global hostility. They have anger bubbling inside of them. The American Heart Association has done a lot of research with this.

Forgiveness, it’s not just a spiritual skill, it’s a survival skill, when you are working in a medical environment.

Cal: Absolutely, and my background is more mental health and one of the things that you learn as you are studying mental health is this thing called diathesis stress hypothesis, and that is, when we look at mental health, one of the things that we say is there is diathesis. Two thesis, two causes. One is a genetic physiological underlying weakness or propensity that were stress to manifest a certain kind of illness, and the other is other causes, and among them are just psychological emotional stress or environmental stress.

In the world of mental health, it’s considered that, either the carrying these psychological or emotional stress is, which of course is just like Scot was saying, causes chemical changes in the body, can contribute to the onset of the disease or disorder. Are you in agreement with that, Scot?

Scot: Absolutely. In fact, Martin Seligman, who was the Director of Clinical Training at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Professional Psychology, done a lot of research on what is called explanatory style, which is the characteristic way we talk to ourselves. He found clear similarities, both in animals and humans in health outcomes based upon what a person’s explanatory style was like. If you go through your life with an explanatory style that’s hostile, or resentful, or pessimistic, you are changing your health profile.

You are also going to make all the other stress in your life worse. What you tell yourself in the privacy of your mind has an enormous power to influence who you are, who you become and what happens to you.

Cal: Beautiful. Insight processes like, age regression, forgiveness work, even parts mediation work can really begin to shift an internal dialogue and particularly, enable you to do this forgiveness, which gives you that new lease, that new perspective.

Scot: Absolutely. I use parts work as a standard part of my own approach, and it’s a very powerful tool, and also regression can be useful for this. I think you have a technique you call the Informed Child, which changes the interpretation of past narrative.

Cal: Right. Of course, I didn’t come up with the Informed Child technique but it’s a big part of the age aggression. How many times have we said to ourselves, I wish I would have known and what we know now? With the informed child work, we have the adult aspect of the client working with the hypnotist, inform the child before the problem begins, so they can go through it. Like Scot said in the previous episode, things happen and then the mind wants to give meaning to it.

Those earlier events, when they are given meaning by the ignorant, ill-informed child of one, two, three, four, five years old, can be very erroneous, generating emotions that are not based on reality. So, we go back with the adult, shift those perceptions and it will literally shift our chemistry. Correct Scot?

Scot: Absolutely. The key thing that you’re working especially in a medical environment is, pointing out to the medical professionals that these emotional changes cause physical changes. You are shifting biochemistry, not just feelings in the mind. That’s the important thing.

Cal, there is a great resource, I would like to recommend to people who want to explore forgiveness more, which is the Stanford Forgiveness Project. An actual project at Stanford University Medical Center and the place to go is: www.learningtoforgive.com, all one word. Learning to forgive. You are going to find a tremendous amount of well referred research about the emotional and physical effects of forgiveness.

Great place to go for resources, and Dr. Fred Luskin has written a number of articles and I believe one book on forgiveness. It’s very accessible. And I would recommend his work as well to all of the people watching this podcast and Luskin’s work is on the learningtoforgive website.

Cal: By accessible, I presume you mean, you don’t have to have a Ph.D. to understand it.

Scot: Correct. It’s very, very simple. In fact, Luskin’s work especially, I think anyone, high school level or above, is going to be able to read with understanding and appreciation. I strongly recommend it.

Also in terms of regression work, Cal, are you familiar with the work of Dr. Ernest Rossi?

Cal: It doesn’t come to mind right away.

Scot: Dr. Rossi, R-O-S-S-I, was one of the students of Milton Erickson.

Cal: Oh, okay. Got it.

Scot: I come out of the Ericksonian side of the hypnosis world. He has done some research what he calls State Bound Memory, that is, there are certain experiences which we have which create a body of learning in the mind and that learning is tied to the physiological state that the body is in at the time when the learning occurs. State Bound Memory.

If, for example, you were terrified by a parent and you are scolded and frightened and this becomes a sensitizing event in the development of the personality, you really can’t affect that sensitizing event until you return the client to the same physical state that the client was in when the sensitizing event occurred.

So, if the client is terrified when the event occurred, that memory is state bound and can’t really be changed affectively until the person is regressed to that state of terror. Hypnotic regression becomes a very very good way of bringing a person back to something that approximates that physical state, and then the state bound memories become more accessible and you can work with them, you can reframe them and restructure them, and then forgiveness radiates out like a ripples after you drop a pebble into the pool.

Cal: Exactly right. One of the things is, and it could be a state of sadness or could be a state of fear and we take them back to these events, and then what we can do is take them before the event, to the informed child and then run them through it again in a different emotional physical state. And then, I talk about sometimes that, when we regress someone, the hardened character of the individual, who they are now becomes much more flexible and they become more like soft clay, and we can help mold their perceptions and how they respond to situations by going through those events again in that new state, and that new state is based on information, informed child work.

Beautiful, please keep going.

Scot: That’s basically the core thing. State bound memory is an important feature that I think hypnotists will learn more about as time goes on. Another thing Rossi teaches is something he calls ultradian rhythms. That is ordinarily in course of our day, we do go into a spontaneous state of regression.

That is where we are reviewing the things that have happened in our past and building new connections between past learnings and present experiences. When we are in that state of quiet reverie where this is occurring, that called the ultradian rhythm, those experiences also become subject to revision. The quick self-hypnotic processes,affirmation work, that kind of thing, can also be really effective.

These are all tools that hypnotists have in their toolkit, or can have, to be able to help people forgive. As I have said earlier in this podcast, if you change the thoughts in the mind, you change the body as well.

Cal: That’s right. My viewers have heard me talk about this, X happens, what happens next is you give meaning to it. Then depending on the meaning given, you are going to have either an emotional response that is pleasurable or unpleasureable, and this happens in the brain. It is a release of chemicals. Then, you will feel it in your body.

So, X happens, you give M meaning to it, then you are going to have an emotional response, then you are going to feel it in the body. So, X, M, E for emotion, F for feeling in the body and that emotional feeling that motivates behavior and that’s why you do what you do. But then there is also the secondary effect.

When you are consistently creating these kinds of perceptions, and creating these kinds of chemicals in your body. It doesn’t just have an effect in your behavior and your relationships but will have an effect on your health.

I have a quick question for you, Scot. In your mind, how would you best explain, briefly, to a client or a patient what forgiveness is?

Scot: Well, what I tell them is that forgiveness is a behavior. It starts with a behavior. You are trained in psychological processes and we have known since 19th century with William James, that feelings follow behavior. You want to change how you feel, first change how you behave and the feelings will then adjust.

Want to feel more self-confident? Act more self-confident and then your feelings will change. In 12 step program this is called, fake it till you make it. It does work. You want to forgive someone, the first thing you need to do is act as if you had forgiven them already, and then your feelings will change.

Ultimately, forgiveness is a decision. To draw a line through time and to decide what is on the other side of that line no longer will matter. You got to act to someone as if something that did happen hadn’t happened. When you start doing that, the feelings will also begin to adjust. It’s hard, but that’s where the work of the hypnotist comes in.

Cal: That’s beautiful. I struggled with really trying to understand what this was because people would talk about forgiveness. I look at it also, additionally, you said, no longer holding that person accountable. Like a bank will say, “You know what, it is going to cost us more to collect this loan than it is than the loan is worth.” So, they will forgive the loan and they say, it’s forgiven and now they behave like you say, as if it never happened.

So, it is that letting go of that accountability that you had, it’s as if you just let the debt go neutral, and then you can begin to behave. You don’t forget that it happened but you can act as if it didn’t. Beautiful, Scot.

Scot: Yup. I want to put off a final plug in here for you. Your book, “The Secret Language of Feelings,” is an absolutely wonderful book to give to clients to help them begin to understand what their feelings say to them. I do recommend that book routinely. We’re not here talking about today, I know you have another series of podcast where you discuss it, but it’s a great resource and I do encourage anyone viewing this podcast to take a look at it.

Cal: Thank you very much. Anything you want to say to wrap it up? I think we have come to the end of the time.

Scot: I think we are good, Cal.

Cal: All right. Once again, for you folks, I strongly encourage you to bring Scot into your circle of influence. Look at what he is recommending to you as resources, visit his website. I am hoping that he will continue this now new tradition of making videos, putting them on the Internet because he is just a wealth of information, and I really value my relationship with him.

All right, you folks. I want to see you in class? We got a class coming up, October, looking up my calendar here. October 13th to the 24th, here in Tustin, California. The weekend is off so you can go the beach, you can go the Disneyland, whatever you want. If you can’t be here in person, yes, we do have live online version of the course. You could be virtually here, raise your hand, I answer your question, all that kind of stuff, and it really does work out good.

All right, this is Cal Banyan. Once again, thank you, Scot and to all you folks out there who share us, like us, tell your friends about us, we greatly appreciate you. Please leave a comment below. Be this on Facebook or Google+ or on www.calbanyan.com, the home of this podcast.

That’s it. I am done blabbering. Hope to see you in class soon. Bye for now. Cal Banyan, signing out.

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