November 15th, 2011
In 2012, students in the UK face huge increases in the costs of further and higher education. Tuition fees will rise by 300%
The Open University is also affected by this. The O. U. is set to lose about 80% of its arts and humanities funding. In 2012, the cost of courses will be more than three times the present level, rising from around £750 per course to around £2,500. The overall cost of a degree will rise from around £4,500 to £15, 000.
There are two ways of looking at this. The “upbeat” view is that Open University degrees are only half the price of residential university degrees and students can study from home, without incurring any extra living costs. Furthermore, those studying for their first degree will, for the first time, be eligible for student loans under the same conditions as other full-time students. This can therefore be seen as a wonderful opportunity for the O. U. as throngs of 6th form / college leavers descend upon it to snap up all those cheap degrees…
Meanwhile on Planet Earth the outlook seems rather different. Read the rest of this entry »
November 14th, 2011
Suggestion is the very essence of hypnosis (and, therefore, hypnotherapy). Hypnosis is no more – and no less – than one person offering suggestions, usually verbal suggestions, to another. In hypnotherapy, suggestions serve two purposes. Firstly, they are used to induce (and deepen) a state of hypnosis. Secondly, suggestions are formulated and offered to help solve a person’s problem or to help them achieve something, whether it be giving up smoking, losing weight, developing confidence, enhancing performance, or many other such issues.
Suggestions may be divided into two categories (though they often overlap):
i. Direct suggestion. This is usually a direct statement, such as “you are becoming more and more relaxed” or “you no longer have any need or desire to smoke”. Hypnotherapists, of whatever theoretical orientation, will typically use many such statements during a hypnotherapy session.
ii. Indirect suggestion. These are statements, descriptions, images, metaphors etc which do not relate directly to the subject or client but which are formulated to influence the person in some way. For example, the therapist might describe a peaceful, sunlit scene in the hope that the client might also feel some of that peace and tranquillity.
To say that a person is “suggestible” is sometimes taken in a negative way, as if to imply that a person is somehow weak, easily led or persuaded. But the simple fact of the matter is that we are all suggestible, at least to some extent. I would go as far as to say that suggestibility is part of what makes us human, one of the defining characteristics of a human being. Read the rest of this entry »
November 11th, 2011
Move him into the sun –
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.
Think how it wakes the seeds,-
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved – still warm – too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
– O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?
Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing bells for those who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls’ browns shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
November 10th, 2011
In my previous article I wrote of the need for more scientific studies of the effects, applicability and usefulness of hypnosis. This bizarre but interesting study by Wheatley and Haidt was not at all what I had in mind!
Wheatley and Haidt were trying to find out whether, and to what extent, a negative affective state such as “disgust” could influence the severity of moral judgements. This was how they set about it:
A group of highly hypnotizable subjects were given a post-hypnotic suggestion to feel a “flash” of disgust whenever they should read a randomly chosen common word. They were then presented with some short, written scenarios outlining a “moral” situation. Some of these contained the cue-word for disgust, some did not. The results, according to the study, show that moral judgements are grounded in “affectively laden moral intuitions”. Read the rest of this entry »
November 9th, 2011
I came across this the other day, while avoiding work by surfing the net:
The website appears to be an on-line version of an American Health magazine, imaginitively entitled “Health Magazine”. It reports a comparison study which reveals:
A recovery rate of 38% after 600 sessions of psychoanalysis.
A recovery rate of 78% after 22 sessions of “behaviour therapy”.
A recovery rate of 93% after 6 sessions of hypnotherapy.
A cause for celebration? Let’s keep the champagne on hold for a minute… Read the rest of this entry »