Unwanted behaviour

/Unwanted behaviour

Behaving “badly” for a good reason: is this true?

The other day I saw a Facebook post by a well known Hypnotherapy trainer that stated, “remember: No matter how bad or damaging someone’s behavior might be, the intention behind it is always positive”.hypnotherapy in barcelona_ryan jenkins_trauma_positive_nlp_hypnosis This is one of the main presuppositions from the field of NLP and  Ericksonian Hypnosis and is used as foundation for the therapeutic protocols and  within these related disciplines .

Not surprisingly many fellow colleagues commented and a discussion began as to the veracity of this statement, as although used as a staple in the profession, many have an issue with this.

Comments such as “I didn’t realize rapists and paedos were just trying to be positive … silly me”

I get this entirely.  As a therapist seeing people who have suffered deep trauma and abuse at the hands of another, it’s extremely hard to rationally believe that somewhere behind these behaviors the person is shooting for a positive outcome.

This deserves a deeper understanding in my opinion and comes down fundamentally to the issue of ethics and free will.  The issue is that the offender had a choice to do the right thing and instead chose out free will to commit a horrendous crime.

Coincidentally the same day I was listening to a podcasts “The Joe Rogan Experience” where the interviewer was discussing this exact matter with famed Neuroscientist Sam Harris. Harris mentioned the case of mass murderer Charles Whitman who in 1966 murdered his mother and wife in their homes, then went to the University of Texas at Austin where he shot and killed three people inside the university’s tower. He then went to the tower’s 28th-floor observation deck, where he fired at random for some 95 minutes, killing fourteen people and wounding thirty-one before being shot and killed by police

Later, a suicide note was found by Whitman who stated that he had uncontrollable rage and was compelled to do these acts even though he loved his wife and mother and suggested that an autopsy should be done on him afterwards  as he knew something was not right with him. When the autopsy was performed, a “pecan-sized” brain tumor was discovered in the area of the amygdala, an area associated with emotional control. Harris suggested that knowing what we know about the Brain and it´s effect on behavior, Whitman (had he survived would not be considered as wholly responsible for his actions  as his very ability to control the were impaired, therefore he could not will himself not to do them).

Harris also stated that, knowing what we know about the phenomenon of Neuroplasticity , our own Neurological environment, the very topography of our brain is similarly responsible for our behavior out of our conscious control.

brain_neuroplasticity_hypnosis_nlp_barcelona_hypnotherapyinbarcelona_therapy_ryankenkinsSo from simply a scientific, rational mindset a murderer or pedophile may have anomalies in their Neurology causing them to do things to seek relief in some way. Is this a behavior seeking a positive outcome? Indeed, recent studies using MRI scans have shown that Pedophiles  who act on their impulses are different from those that do not . Are there other anomalies that science has yet to find out?

While it is totally understandable to respond to such behaviour with disgust and horror, it is also a common impulse to then retributory punishment. I remember while living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, groups of British “Lads” scouring the city looking to beat up infamous paedophile Gary Glitter , who was rumoured to be in the country at the time. This behaviour is normal, human emotional, non-rational AND has a positive intention (to remove a child abuser from circulation).

The ethical waters I am treading in now is likely to fire up some people, but as Sam Harris suggested, perhaps these people are not in full control of their behavior.  This is why Chemical castration is often practiced on offenders; in the thinking that they will never be able to be reformed or have the will to never reoffend.

In another personal case, when my other (a Medical Anthropologist) worked with a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea, there was the case of a man who killed his family (his wife and several children) except for one whom he named “Andacori” (death adder). As custom in the Hagahai tribe, when this man died, his remains  were put on display for the elements to “do their thing” and afterwards his bones were put into a tree, the traditional cemetery. My Mother and a another doctor were able to examine his skull  (in depth) and they found many lesions that were indicative that his had suffered from Yaws and that it had eaten into his brain. Yaws is a chronic infection that affects mainly the skin, bone and cartilage. The disease occurs mainly in poor communities in warm, humid, tropical areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Was this man responsible for his actions? Was he responsible for the bacteria that had invaded his system and most probably caused him to do those behaviors? What could have he been thinging, believing, feeling o lead him t do that?hypnosis_barcelona_dilema_positive thinking_hypnotherapyinbarcelona

As Clinical Hypnotherapists, we are well aware of the power that thoughts, beliefs and perceptions have on behaviors. What if his behaviors sought to address these in some way? Could they have had a positive intention?

The truth is seldom black and white and our responses as therapists have to be nuanced and take in the whole picture as much as possible.

Does every behavior have a positive intention? I’m not totally sure about that , but it seems to me that to act AS IF this true yields the best results in therapy because it opens to possibility that it just might be.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 May 15th, 2017|General, Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, NLP, Unwanted behaviour|0 Comments

Johnny Depp…poor mind, poor me.

Johnny Depp_Selfesteem_Hypnotherapy_rich_spendmoney_waste_weatlh_Ryan_simbai_jenkinsLast week we learned that Hollywood megastar Johnny Depp has problems. The kind of problems some might even wish to have. Rich people problems.

We found out that the actor that plays the charismatic, swashbuckling ¨Jack Sparrow¨ in the wildly successful Disney movie Franchise ¨Pirates of the Caribbean¨ spends 2 million a month on his lavish lifestyle and that his financial advisers (whom he is suing for mismanagement of funds) claim: “He has refused to live within his means, despite… repeated warnings about his financial condition.” Rumor has it that Johnny Depp spends $30,000 a month on wine alone.

Now for us people that are not multimillionaires, we might say to ourselves ¨well he’s Rich and he can always make it back¨. The truth is he may be financially successful to a point, but he is not Rich or wealthy and certainly not financially free.

Now bear with me here because this is a really important Idea to get across. Depp is successful because he has a talent that people will pay for. Handsomely. But he is not Rich because he has the mindset of a poor man.

A multimillionaire once told me something that stuck in my mind: “Rich people don´t spend money to feel rich, poor people do. Rich people make money and feel rich”.

His psychology is not dissimilar from most poor and middleclass people that get a “fix” from vapid consumption. The next gadget, the new pair of trainers right up to the Ferrari and “Bling”. It’s wired right into our biology. Hunters used to go out and expend energy then they would be forced to consume the animal as quickly as possible. I’m almost certain that the reward system of the brain would then fire off the pleasure centers and the behavior would then be repeated as much as possible. This is a wonderful short-term strategy to store up energy for long winters without food, and probably served our ancestors welllat some stage in our evolution

But then along comes the farmer who then can keep many animals, expending the least energy and now is able to have food all winter long. He learns to wait. He uses everything. He differs the pleasure to later and reaps the most rewards, eating his full but only when the work is done and thus gets to grow his wealth. His children can grow and prosper like this.

Depp is not rich because he is the hunter. Trading time for money and spending it crazy fast. He is a consumer. Now the executives that sign his checks…they are the farmers, and as long as they don’t spend their money at the expense of their future, they are truly financially free.

There is a reason for this. Depp has psychological issues around wealth. He obviously feels like the underdog who has scammed the system, the “pirate” who goes for the raid and then spends his booty at the first port o´call.


His issues are classic self-esteem issues and ironically his self worth doesn’t come from who he is, it comes from his thinking around money. Or rather that he was able to get money “for nothing and chicks for free” as the Dire Straight song goes.

The problem is that he feels he doesn’t deserve it. Look at any interview…when paid a compliment he squirms and deflects it. Just like he doesn’t really believe it. How do you think he will act when paid large sums of money?

In A Vanity Fair article he even states that he was overpaid for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean. 300 million dollars, which is no small sum of money, but seeing as he basically carried the whole franchise…you be the judge whether he deserves it or not.

Little surprise then that he wants to get rid of it a quickly possible.

This is non-conscious and comes from what I call the “inner blue print“…a subconscious plan for life. The part our selves that judges others and ourselves as either worthy or unworthy of any experience in life.

This is powerful. Out of a world of possibilities it can be the factor that can make or break our future and to know what work we need to do to change that part of ourselves is where the real magic happens.

In my previous blog¨inner blue print¨I spoke about  how hypnotherapy works to change the blueprint at the level those beliefs are created and some of the practical things you can do today to stop leaking money unconsciously.

By | 2017-10-15T19:38:07+00:00 February 11th, 2017|Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, Self-esteem, Unwanted behaviour|0 Comments