Episode 23: Rob McNeilly Interview

Rob McNeilly

In this episode, Dr. Robert McNeilly is interviewed. Rob is a medical doctor and a psychotherapist in Tasmania who had the privilege of learning directly from Dr. Milton Erickson. Rob was so inspired by Erickson’s human approach to therapy that he created his own interpretation to assist clients in a respectful, dignified way to deal with the human dilemmas that affect individuals, couples and families. Rob founded the Center for Effective Therapy in l988 to introduce Ericksonian Hypnosis and Solution Oriented Counseling to Australia. He has written several well received books on Solution Oriented Therapy and Hypnosis and offers online training in these approaches.

In this interview Rob discusses the importance of having a sense of expectancy on the part of both client and therapist, the importance of creating therapeutic relationships, the power of listening for resources, and therapist genuineness.

For more information about Rob McNeilly go to his website:  robmcneilly.simplero.com/

Episode 20: Helen Adrienne Interview

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In this episode psychotherapist, trainer and author, Helen Adrienne is interviewed. Helen is a graduate of Rutgers University and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Helen has trained in family therapy, mind/body therapy, cognitive therapy, guided meditation stress reduction techniques, and Ericksonian clinical hypnotherapy. She is an approved consultant for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York and New Jersey, and a Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work.

Helen is the best selling author of “On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility” and a founding member of the New York City chapter of RESOLVE™, a national infertility organization. For many years she has run mind/body support groups and other programs through RESOLVE™ for the infertile patient.

In the interview Helen discusses her work with mind/body stress reduction, fertility issues and teaching clients how to escape from stress and move into themselves, the importance of following therapeutic hunches, and the art of letting things spontaneously unfold in a session.

For more information on Helen Adrienne’s work, check out her website: www.helenadrienne.com

Episode 11: Stephen Brooks Interview

Stephen Brooks

In this interview I speak with renowned British psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, Stephen Brooks. Stephen was one of the first people to teach indirect and strategic methods of hypnosis in Europe in the 1970s. He founded the prestigious British Hypnosis Research Association at Cambridge University and ran training courses in hospitals and universities throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. In the 1990s Stephen decided to step back from his lucrative training business and private practice. He gave away everything he owned and moved to the mountainous jungles of northern Thailand to spend several years of deep personal exploration. During this period, he became interested in the nature and causes of suffering and began developing a workable practical psychotherapeutic process that he refers to as “Non Attachment Therapy”.  Non Attachment Therapy allows therapists to disconnect the trigger-response mechanism that occurs when clients’ thoughts trigger negative emotions. The therapist will then help clients learn that their symptoms were not caused by something outside of their control, but by an automatic thought process learned by the brain. Today, Stephen teaches what he calls “Future Focused Therapy” which combines the very best of Ericksonian Indirect Hypnosis, Buddhist Psychotherapy (Non Attachment Therapy) and his own insights into the process of human transformation. In this interview we discuss his background, the role of attachment in human suffering, focusing on love and compassion as client resources, and his experiences running an international training organization. Stephen is a very inspiring guy and you can find out what he is up to now by going to his website:  http://futurefocusedtherapy.com/

Episode 10: Bill O’Hanlon Interview

 

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This episode features an interview with world renown psychotherapist, author, and speaker: Bill O’Hanlon. A former direct student of Dr. Milton Erickson, he has gone on to develop his own therapeutic applications for client change: Solution-Oriented Therapy and Possibility Therapy. Bill has written over 35 books and presents inspiring workshops all over the world. In this interview he details his unique approach to working with clients, how he came to be a therapist, the necessity of focusing on client strengths and resources, the challenges of the early days of advocating for potential instead of pathology, and his appearance on OPRAH. He even blesses us with a quick song at the end of the interview! Bill is a wealth of information about the field of brief therapy and any time listening to him is time well spent.

Bill has many excellent workshops and online training opportunities which you can find at his website: www.billohanlon.com

Interviewed by Rob McNeilly

I was recently honored to have been interviewed by Dr. Rob McNeilly. Rob is a medical doctor, a direct student of the late therapy wizard Dr. Milton H. Erickson and the founder of the Center for Effective Therapy in Tasmania. Our quick interview covers such topics as the role of expectancy in therapy, research into the therapeutic use of hoodoo, and how clients can be therapists’ best teachers.

 

Rob is a masterful trainer in Solution Oriented Therapies and Ericksonian Hypnosis. As a matter of fact, he is now offering a new comprehensive and hands-on online program “Easy Hypnosis – A Common Everyday Approach after Erickson”. This great program has text, audios and videos so the principles can be readily learned and easily incorporated into one’s clinical practice (whatever your previous experience of hypnosis may be). It includes 6 one hour video coaching calls. I highly recommend this experience and urge you to explore the possibilities. Rob tells me that registration will only be open until April 25th, so if you’re interested, don’t wait.

If you are interested in learning the Ericksonian approach to hypnosis from a true expert and direct student of Dr. Erickson, there are details here.

Episode 5: Interview with Robert Musikantow

In this episode I get to interview my good buddy, clinical psychologist, researcher and author Dr. Robert Musikantow. Located in Evanston, Illinois, Bob received his PhD from the California School of Professional Psychology and has been a professor at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. He is presently in private practice at the Evanston Center for the Transformative Arts and offers training and workshops for mental health professionals.

Robert Musikantow

In our interview Bob discusses such topics as the role of circularity in therapy, first and second order cybernetics, his work with Bradford Keeney, hypnosis, moving away from pathology investigation and learning to trust one’s ability to improvise in the therapy room. Bob has a great ability at making complex ideas very simple. For more info on Bob Musikantow check out his website: www.robertmusikantow.com

Are You Ready to be Creative?

If you have spent any time reading my blog or listening to my podcasts you know that I am a big proponent of using creativity in psychotherapy. I see too many good therapists who could be amazing therapists if they would just allow themselves to be more creative in their work. The straight jacket many therapists put on themselves by strictly sticking to the textbook can inadvertently dampen their effectiveness.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s time to fall back in love with your work, have more fun, and gain the confidence to embrace more playfulness in your practice. This is why I am excited about this upcoming  event.

I’m speaking at a virtual event ­­ Create Fest 2016 ­­ that you can attend from the comfort of your home.

Create Fest is all about empowering therapists like you to awaken your creative spirit and reignite your passion for your work. What we do as mental health professionals is vital to healing in the world, so my fellow speakers and I are passionately committed to helping you revitalize and enhance your practice.

 

Createfest

 

Join me and a dozen of my “outside­ the­ box” colleagues. Each of my fellow speakers brings a wealth of experience, insight, and one­ of­ a­ kind creative thinking to the mental health field. Come discover some new approaches.

Each day, you’ll get to watch 6 fun and inspiring interviews PLUS 6 live experiential activities, designed to help you integrate and prepare to apply what you learn. This is not your average professional development conference! Create Fest 2016 will be 2 days of powerfully playful and practical ways to invite more creativity into your practice.

To sign up for this unique event, go HERE

If you are ready to have fun, be inspired and learn to expand your effectiveness as a therapist, then I know that I will see you there.

 

Episode 3: Being vs. Doing

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When therapists view client behaviors as something that can be altered rather than as a part of the client’s “being”, changes in the client can happen in surprising ways.

Episode 1: Introduction and Purpose of Podcast

Potential Not Pathology Podcast

Episode 1
This first podcast gives an overview of the purpose of the series and an introduction of the host. Also briefly discussed is the importance of moving beyond a strict pathology based model of therapy in favor of a model based on finding clients strengths and resources.

Brief Reflections on Erickson Congress 2015

I recently was able to attend and present at the 12th International Erickson Congress in Phoenix, Arizona. My trip was very enjoyable and was a moving experience for me. Getting to see old and new friends was great as usual. I enjoyed connecting with people such as Bill O’Hanlon, Bob Bertolino, Michael Hoyt, Mike Munion, Suzanne Black, Rachel Hott, Bob and Sandie Wubbolding, Eric Greenleaf, Betty Alice Erickson, Richard and Susan Hill, Rob McNeilly, Gabrielle Peacock, and far too many other people to list. It was a lovely time to be around like minded practitioners whose high skill level was only matched by their deep desire to help others.

 

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Bill O’Hanlon during the keynote address

The primary thing that I gained from the conference was a reinforcement of my belief in the importance of focusing on the potential each client brings to his or her therapy session. Every presenter I talked with shared my views that a constant focus on pathology rarely leads to change. Dr. Eric Greenleaf said it best in one of his sessions, “Psychotherapy seems to be the only profession in which constantly discussing the history of the problem is seen as somehow contributing to solving the problem. You don’t find this in any other profession. If a plumber has a problem, he or she just makes adjustments in how the plumbing operates. There isn’t all this long drawn out examination of the history of how the plumbing issue started”.

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Dr. Eric Greenleaf

I have attended many conferences in the past but the Erickson Congress is my favorite as it feels so much like a family reunion. Even people I did not know at first quickly became friends. Having a common goal for utilizing client resources over emphasizing diagnostic dysfunction seems to draw us together in a way that I don’t find at many other psychotherapy related conferences. The staff did a great job at helping everyone connect and enjoy the event. Dr. Jeff Zeig, the head of the Erickson Foundation, and his team made a wonderful occasion even more wonderful by exhibiting much care and professionalism to ensure everyone had ample opportunities to learn and interact.

 

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Dr. Jeff Zeig

On a personal note, I was honored to have been able to have a small, private tour of Dr. Milton Erickson’s home and office. His home has been turned into a private museum and kept how it would have looked if he were still living there. I was accompanied on the tour by some of my friends, including Dr. Suzanne Black and Dr. Rachel Hott. We all enjoyed seeing many of Dr. and Mrs. Erickson’s personal items and getting a sense of how humble Dr. Erickson really was. Just standing in his home I felt a sense of awe mixed with sadness. In some way I could sense the physical pain Dr. Erickson was constantly in toward the end of his life due to polio. At the same time I was overwhelmed by the feeling of how much he loved being alive and helping others. Just being in his office was inspiring for me and several of us were able to sit in his chair and soak up the ambiance of where he worked. Being in his home gave me a deeper sense of who Dr. Erickson was as a person. Even though I had written a book about his work, I didn’t have that personal sense of connection with him until after visiting his home.

 

Erickson backyardGetting a quick group photo in Dr. Erickson’s backyard

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Dr. Suzanne Black in Dr. Erickson’s office

There is a certain feeling of sadness I had as the conference came to a close. I know it will be another year or so before I get to see my therapy friends and mentors. Having had several days surrounded by people who share my passion gives me a renewed feeling of possibility for my profession. I encourage anyone who works in the mental health field to make sure you are able to have some time throughout your year to interact with like-minded souls as our profession can be a very lonely one. By interacting with our peers (friends) we can share new ideas which can help not only us but also our clients. I am grateful not just to be able to attend but also to be invited to present a short course. I am anxiously looking forward to the next one and I hope to see you there.