These last couple of days I went on the Confident Childbirth course which is a Cognitive Hypnotherapy course that teaches mothers to prepare for a calm and controlled birth over a period of about 4 sessions.
I went on this course because of the pain management techniques in it. I wanted to add them to my current products to reach the most people possible.
I got this out of the course and so much more. In fact, I have pretty much decided that I will also become a Confident Childbirth Practioner and am looking how I can develop it to fit in with my Therapy Beyond Geography model – so watch this space!
But this blog is about me me me and I have been having a really difficult few weeks so I attended this course looking forward to getting involved in some learning which always lifts me.
I drove down and stayed on the outskirts of London in a Premier Inn. I had a long conference call on Thursday afternoon so I arrived at about 11:30pm and went straight to bed. I was up at 6am the next day and walked to the station. I got to Euston by about 7am and the course was an hour away and started at 9:30! So I hung around and had a coffee and a chat with the hubby and little one on Facetime.
The course is run in Jane’s house and I found my way there pretty easily.
The first exercise was teaching us how to teach self-hypnosis and so we first learnt to do it on ourselves. It involves finding a lovely comfortable, safe and even fun corner of your head that you can retreat to and allow other stuff to go on around you. I asked what happens if someone can’t find that space. Jane answered that in all the years she’d been in practice (which is quite a few) she’d never had that problem.
Reassured I settled in to the exercise.
As Jane talked us through the early stages where you focus on a spot with your eyes open and start drift off, I became aware of my heart rate increasing, my upper body starting to shake and a tear coming out of my eye. Soon everyone had their eyes closed and one person was even gently snoring. I was just trying to avoid total meltdown.
The good thing was that I was able to observe everything Jane did. The bad thing is that I am totally useless. Self-hypnosis is a really useful skill to have and I wanted to be able to use it when I next go to the dentist so that I can have work without injections. But my subconscious seems to be a no go zone. I was really disappointed in myself.
Of course, as the course was attended by other lovely Quest trained Cognitive Hypnotherapists they wanted to understand what was going on with me so if they had a client in the same situation they could help them. Unfortunately I couldn’t explain because I really don’t know why this is still happening. I had hoped I would be over this whole “being useless on exercises” thing by now – but clearly not. It left me shaken for the remainder of the afternoon but I still really enjoyed what we learnt.
The next day we did Glove Anaesthesia which is a numbing technique used in operations. You first use self-hypnosis (uh-oh) and then imagery and sensation adjustment to trigger a numbing of the hand. After that you’re hand is like it’s super powered because you can use it to zap the numbness to where you need it (in the case of birth the muscles around the uterus that manage the contractions).
So off we go again. I just breathe steadily using 7/11 instead of self-hypnosis. Visualisation is easy for me and I quickly have the image in my head. But then I can’t translate that into feeling. No matter what I do with my partner on the exercise, the sensation in my hand doesn’t change.
We complete the day and I head off home for a long drive.
As I drive home I remember that I have, since I was a kid, taught myself to disassociate from my body. I taught myself not to be ticklish. I taught myself to ignore other sensations. So that’s why I struggle to evoke a sensation – I have basically trained myself to ignore sensations for years to the degree where I no longer do it consciously.
With pain, I don’t fully numb but there might be away I can adapt what I do to go the whole hog – I will have to play.
I also went over to Sandra’s to get some PR photos done for my book. Becca met me in London and we headed out together so we could go for an early birthday dinner while we were all together.
They did my hair and make up and I got all togged up in my black dress. Everyone says the photos look good. I hate them. I think I look huge and am disappointed because I thought I was lighter than that by now.
Anyway, eventually the torture was over and we headed out for a lovely Chinese meal.
I am so fed up of being me right now. I can’t seem to do anything just the normal way and am just really disappointed in myself.
I can really understand why so few people are going to come to my Birthday celebration on Saturday. After all, I don’t particularly want to be with me so why would anyone else?