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Breathe for Bliss with Breathwork Therapy

Therapeutic breathwork can be both relaxing and energizing, depending on which type is being used. Breathwork therapy utilizes different kinds of breathing forms to achieve a given goal, such as improving mental, physical, and spiritual health.

There are significant benefits to overall health from therapeutic breathwork to help aid in self-healing.

General Benefits of Breathwork Therapy

  • ❖ Increase Self-Awareness
  • ❖ Release Negative Thoughts
  • ❖ Heal Emotional Pain and Trauma
  • ❖ Improve Personal & Professional Relationships
  • ❖ Increase Confidence and Self-Esteem

Mental Health Issues That May Benefit from Breathwork Therapy

Types of Breathwork Therapy

young man looking up breathing in through nose

There are many different types of breathwork therapy practices available, but a few of the more well-known forms include:

  • ❖ Holotropic Breathwork — The primary goal with this type of breathwork therapy is to achieve a sense of wholeness in mind, body, and spirit, as well as unblocking emotions and releasing energy.
    • ➢ Enables the participant to access unconscious experiences through altered and controlled breathing
    • ➢ A “re-birthing effect” takes place to help release energy blockages that have been stored in the body and mind due to repressed trauma
  • ❖ Clarity Breathwork — The main goal of this form of breathwork therapy is to support healing, increase energy levels, and improve mental focus.
    • ➢ This type of breathwork differs from holotropic as it does not focus on specific trauma but rather issues that hinder energy levels
    • ➢ Helps to release emotional energy that is hindering a person and keeping them stuck
  • ❖ Biodynamic Breathwork —- The primary goal with this form of therapeutic breathwork is to restore the balance between the mind and the body.
    • ➢ This breathwork recognizes that trauma is stored in both psychological and physical ways
    • Focuses on self-transformation
  • ❖ Transformational Breathwork — The main goal is to transform one’s life using hands-on, sound, and conscious invocation for spiritual self-empowerment.
    • ➢ There are three levels involved in transformational breathwork which uses the full diaphragmatic breath:
      • First Level — Opens and clears any areas of restricted breathing patterns
      • Second Level — Helps mitigate trauma and negativity held in the subconscious mind, including repressed negative beliefs and memories that are stored on the cellular level
      • Third Level — Allows us to consciously to connect to our self in new ways
    • ➢ Helps a person feel lighter and more coherent in the way they think and feel

All forms of breathwork therapy include a variety of exercises.

Types of Breathwork Exercises

The exercises require deep and focused breathing for an extended amount of time.

  • Box Breathing — This exercise, also called square breathing, is significantly beneficial to calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS) as well as reducing stress.
    • Start by slowly exhaling out of the mouth to remove all the oxygen from the lungs
    • Inhale slowly to a count of four and hold the breath for another count of four
    • Exhale slowly to a count of four expelling all air from the lungs and abdomen
  • Continuous Circular Breathing — This breathwork therapy exercise is a state of sustained breathing without holding the breath at any time.
    • Full, deep breaths
    • Breathing in and out continuously
    • Creating a circle of breathing
  • 20 Connected Breaths — In this exercise, the participant inhales and exhales a total of 20 times.
    • Four sets of short breaths and one deep breath
    • Breathing through the nose
    • A non-ordinary sensation may take place with this exercise
  • 4-7-8 Breathing — This exercise is designed to help bring a person into a deep state of relaxation, and is especially helpful for those who struggle with insomnia and anxiety.
    • Inhale through the nose for a count of four
    • Hold the breath while counting to seven
    • Exhale the inhalation for a count of eight

Woman closing eyes by window

The way we breathe affects how our mind and body work together as one unit. When we ask what breathwork is, we now know it is a combination of techniques and exercises designed to help a person become more consciously aware of their inhales and exhales.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, our mission is to help make positive changes in our clients’ lives. We do this by creating unique treatment plans with a vast array of options, including:

By utilizing more than one treatment together can expedite results, which drastically reduces overall treatment time.

Take that first step to living the life you were meant to lead without being held back. Book your appointment, and start on your “breath for bliss” journey today!

Before introducing any new therapeutic practice into your life, please consult with your primary care physician. This information above is not intended to replace advice by a medical professional. Please consult with our therapist prior to beginning any new regimen.

Breathe and Release Trauma From The Body

Sometimes in life, we experience events that are so devastating we can find it hard to breathe. Some of these events may be brief but still have long-term damage to our physical bodies and mind. These events are traumatic regardless of the duration and can leave a permanent scar that imprints itself on a person physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But, there are ways to release imprinted scars naturally.

What is Trauma?

Trauma can be a specific event, such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Trauma can also include physical and emotional neglect. These events overload the central nervous system (CNS), which can alter the way we process and recall memories. Other examples of trauma can include:

  • Negative situations that happen without warning
  • Unwanted events you weren’t prepared for
  • Emotional, or physical pain and suffering that occurs once or multiple times

The body, in response, perceives this trauma as a threat and undergoes internal changes to protect itself by going into survival mode.

The Effects of Trauma on the Body

The body is a finely tuned machine that responds immediately to any traumatic event, but there are also delayed responses as well.

  1. Immediate Physical Reactions
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Increased adrenaline (flight or fight hormone)
    • Increased blood sugar to provide extra energy
  2. Delayed Physical Reactions
    • Increased cortisol levels (stress hormone)
    • Lowered resistance to colds and infection
    • Sleep disturbances and nightmares

The long-term effects on the body may include heart disease, autoimmune, and liver problems.

The Effects of Trauma On the Mind

Illustration of a woman’s mind with anxiety

Trauma and the body are not a favorable mix, but the mind is also affected. When the CNS becomes overwhelmed, it can trigger emotional and behavioral changes that inhibit daily living. Some reactions are immediate, while others are delayed.

  1. Immediate Emotional Reactions
    • Feeling out of control
    • Guilt
    • Anger and fluctuating emotions
  2. Delayed Emotional Reactions
    • Mood swings
    • Emotional detachment
    • Anxiety

Our thought processes change in response to traumatic stress, which may trigger the following responses in our minds and/or bodies:

  • Misinterpreting Situations — If a current situation even remotely reminds that person of a traumatic event, it will cause that person to overreact.
  • Trauma-Induced Hallucinations — It is not uncommon to have hallucinations or delusions related to traumatic events; for example, if a man getting into an elevator is wearing similar shoes to the man who attacked that person, it could evoke an emotional response.
  • Intrusive Thoughts and Memories — These thoughts can come out of nowhere and can then easily trigger strong emotional and behavioral responses.

Overall, trauma can lead to a person feeling incompetent, damaged, and inadequate. Trauma can also lead to health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, but breath brings life, and it can also help release painful and traumatic memories.

Breathing Therapy for Body and Mind

Thankfully, there are ways to tap into the mind, which inadvertently affects the body, and this is called holotropic breathwork. Breathwork is when breathing patterns are altered to allow the person to tap into parts of the brain and CNS that are generally not obtainable.

Holotropic means moving toward wholeness. The process is a therapeutic breathing practice that entails using that person’s breath in an accelerated fashion to enter into an altered state of consciousness. Being in this state will activate the natural innate healing process.

History of Holotropic Breathwork

This highly effective form of breathwork was designed in the 1970s and 1980s by Stanislov and Cristina Grof. During the late 1970s was when Dr. Grof developed a safe and effective way to induce non-ordinary states of consciousness that allowed the transformation of releasing emotional conflicts to take place, which was to be termed as holotropic breathwork.

Uses for Holotropic Breathwork

There is a wide range of conditions concerning trauma and the body that benefit from holotropic breathwork, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Chronic pain
  • Avoidance behaviors

Some people have even used this form of treatment to rid themselves of negative thoughts and phobias.

What to Expect at a Holotropic Breathwork Session

The altered breath that occurs during the holotropic breathwork session is similar to the breathing that occurs during sleep. During this altered state of consciousness, the person can gain access to a deeper part of their mind.

While we sleep, our bodies go into an altered state of consciousness via the neurons within the brain. This process is re-created by alternating quick breaths with longer sustained breaths while listening to therapeutic music.

The goal of this treatment is to help with emotional healing, emotional release, and personal healing regarding trauma and the body. Because the process can bring up intense and emotional reactions, it is advised that it be done in the presence of a trained professional.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer tailor-made treatments, including holotropic breathwork, for dealing with the effects of trauma and the body’s response. Other powerful therapies offered include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • Thoughts are the core of feelings and behaviors
    • Change your thoughts, and you change the way you feel and behave
    • Learn how to create personalized coping plans when unwanted thoughts, feelings, or behaviors start to creep in.
  • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
    • Develop new patterns of thought and behaviors
    • Strengthen the connection between the conscious and unconscious mind
    • Learn how to imprint a new blueprint within the mind to alter unwanted thoughts and behaviors
  • Hypnotherapy
    • Assists in freeing your body and mind of any unwanted thoughts and actions through a guided state of hypnosis
    • Helps to overcome bad habits
    • Improves self-image and self-esteem

Our principle practitioner, Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., found that in the course of her education and practice that she could genuinely help empower her client’s lives by effectively transforming unconscious and conscious beliefs.

Contact us and get started on breathwork for trauma and transform your life by breathing and releasing all your negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors today!

Woman lying down in relaxed hypnotic state

How Hypnosis Works to Improve Daily Life

The term “hypnosis” comes from the ancient Greek word for “sleep,” which is “Hypnos.” Hypnosis creates a trance-like state that brings about a heightened state of focus and concentration. When integrated as hypnotherapy, this is performed by a trained therapist who uses mental imagery and verbal repetition to achieve the desired result. When a person is under hypnosis, they feel calm and relaxed, thus more open to suggestions. Read on to learn what goes on inside our minds during this process.

How Hypnosis Works in 3 Main Steps

The idea behind the hypnosis process is to allow the subconscious mind to become motivated to stay awake while having the conscious mind encouraged to rest. Still, the person undergoing hypnosis must be in the right mental state to achieve this, and that state of mind is referred to as the trans-state.

The three main steps of the hypnosis process include:

  1. Hypnotic Induction— The induction is the first step involved in the hypnosis process.
    • This initial phase is when the therapist gives the first suggestion.
    • The first suggestion typically ignites seemingly involuntary responses.
  2. Hypnotic State— In this state, you feel mentally and physically relaxed.
    • A sense of calm and focus takes over
    • A heightened awareness occurs
  3. Hypnotic Suggestion— The suggestion is the third step, where the focus is mainly on the areas that need to be addressed, such as eliminating bad habits and replacing them with positive ones.
    • In this step, other areas of the body may become affected physiologically, such as a lower heart rate.
    • Some people are more prone to suggestion than others and will have a faster progress rate.

How hypnotherapy works when a person is in a receptive state involves the therapist suggesting ways to achieve the desired goal, such as eliminating cravings to smoke or overeat. There may be visualization techniques to help implement seeing mental images of you accomplishing your set goals.

Side and posterior diagrams of brain sections

How Hypnosis Works on The Brain

According to neuroimaging techniques, increased activity in the brain is shown during different phases of hypnosis. The areas of the brain involved include:

  • Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)— located in the front of the corpus callosum, in the medial frontal lobe of the brain
    • The ACC is associated with conscious awareness and complex cognitive functions, including:
      • Decision-making
      • Emotions
      • Impulse control
      • Empathy
    • Hypnosis reduces the activity in this area of the brain resulting in being able to tune out worries and stressors.
  • The prefrontal cortex— located at the front of the frontal lobe of the brain.
    • The prefrontal cortex is associated with complex behaviors, including:
      • Predicting the consequences of one’s actions
      • Managing emotional reactions and impulse control
      • Planning for things in the future
      • Focusing one’s attention
    • Hypnosis reduces feelings of self-consciousness.
  • Frontoparietal networks— located between the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain.
    • The networks of the frontoparietal region are associated with control and behavior coordination.
      • Controls spatial and non-spatial information
      • Coordinating behavior in a rapid, accurate, and somewhat flexible goal-driven manner.
      • Cognitive control and functioning including attention and working memory
  • Hypnosis helps control negative behavior, as well as their physical reactions to negative thoughts and other stress factors.

How Hypnosis Works to Provide Specific Health Benefits

In psychology, we know that trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns are held within the body as well as the mind. In this way, general health conditions can stem from negative subconscious thoughts. Therefore, hypnosis offers health benefits for many ailments, some of which include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Self-image and confidence
  • Quitting bad habits
    • Smoking
    • Overeating
  • Fears and phobias
  • Pain management
  • Depression

Hypnotherapy can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer a wide range of treatments and design each plan to suit individual needs. We also incorporate blended therapies together, such as CBT and NLP, with hypnotherapy, which helps to achieve faster results. You will no longer be asking how hypnosis works, but instead, you will be asking why you didn’t do this sooner!

Our highly qualified and fully accredited staff are there to help you get past any of life’s challenges. Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed. M. is the primary practitioner. Anna completed her undergraduate degree at NYU as well as holding a Master’s degree from Columbia University.

Take the first step in making a positive change in your daily life by finding out how hypnotherapy works. Transform your life for the better, and book your appointment today!

Habits to be made LED sign

How to Change Your Habits for Long-Term Positive Growth

Change can be difficult, especially if the change involves breaking bad habits. Over time, our brains become wired to our practices allowing bad habits to occur automatically due to the constant repetition. Still, we can create new positive habits to replace the negative ones.

The Brain: The Motherboard for Habits

Perception of the mindset within the brain

The brain is wired to focus on things that have pleased us in the past. Studies have shown that when people see something that reminds them or connects them to a past reward, the brain then releases a rush of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feeling happy. So, past experiences do have a lasting effect on how we think and what we do, which makes changing your habits extraordinarily hard.

For a habit to be ingrained in our behavior takes approximately 66 days, but that depends on the habit. Some are easier or harder depending on the person. Since everyone is different, changing patterns can take some time, but there are steps you can take that
will put you on the right path for a positive change.

Top 5 Steps on How to Change Your Habits

  1. Identify the Trigger— Being aware of what triggers a bad habit can help you make the necessary change required. A well-known trigger for many people is stress, which can lead to igniting harmful routines.
  2. Obstruct the Trigger— Once we have identified the trigger, we can do things to change or alter the outcome. If habitually hitting the snooze button causes you to be late for work, then put the alarm clock on the other side of the room, leaving yourself no choice but to get out of bed and thus changing your pattern.
  3. Replace the Trigger— Completely stopping a bad habit is much harder than replacing it with a good one. When you change your habits, you interfere with how your brain is wired, which leads to the new positive behavior becoming your new habit. If stress causes you to bite your nails, start carrying a pair of gloves that you can put on when stressful situations occur.
  4. Visualization to Combat the Trigger— The more you think about something, the more the idea of it gets wired into your brain. Picture the new habit producing positive results, like eating healthier foods and smiling because you are enjoying it.
  5. Outside Assistance for the Trigger— Sometimes, changing bad habits can be too difficult, and the notion of how to make a change becomes impossible to grasp. Seeking outside help can make the process easier and faster. Some of the highly effective therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnosis.

Retrain your mind

How CBT Can Change Your Habits

CBT is based on the idea that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected and influence each other.

  • A great example is stress, which may lead to the behavior of overeating, which, over time, becomes your go-to habit when you feel stressed.
  • By changing a negative behavior, you will inadvertently change your thinking as well as how you feel.

How NLP Can Change Your Habits

NLP is based on the idea that the actions of the mind are due to past behaviors, so changing our habits will change the way we think.

  • New behaviors are imprinted into our brain, which develops into new positive patterns replacing the old negative ones.
  • NLP strengthens the connection between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind, further assisting in changing the automatic negative habits.

How Hypnotherapy Can Change Your Habits

Hypnotherapy is based on the unconscious mind being more receptive and open to suggestion during the state of hypnosis.

  • Hypnosis treatment is highly effective in changing bad habits and, when used in conjunction with other therapies such as CBT and NLP, takes less time.
  • During the deep state of hypnosis, the therapist can implement suggestions and visualizations to instill and support positive changes.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a vast array of treatments, all uniquely designed to fit each person’s needs. We provide the resources needed to help make positive changes for long term positive growth. Our highly trained staff can help you change your habits to create good habits that will lead you to a happier and healthier life.

You no longer have to ask how to change your habits and build good habits, you can make that positive change now by booking your appointment today!

Apple yes, chocolate no

Learn How to Change Your Eating Habits With Hypnosis, CBT & NLP

Unhealthy eating contributes to roughly 678,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Over two-thirds (67.5%) of American adults are overweight. Lack of exercise and poor eating habits are to blame, but there are ways to change your eating habits for the better. But before we find out how, we need to ask the more important question, which is why we have unhealthy eating habits?

The Root of Unhealthy Eating—Is It All in My Mind?

Unhealthy eating includes foods, such as junk foods, that are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Craving junk food and many “comfort foods,” also high in fat and sugar, causes our brains to release the pleasure-triggering neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin.

When we are stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which increases the sugar content in our blood. Cortisol also increases hunger, which is why when we are stressed, we crave junk food. Understanding that the root of unhealthy eating is in our mind allows us to focus our minds on changing our eating habits for the better.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

How our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected is at the core of how cognitive behavioral therapy works. CBT focuses on altering our thoughts, which will then affect how we feel and ultimately behave. For example, when we feel stressed (thoughts), we want to eat unhealthy junk food (behavior) and then end up guilty and depressed (feeling).

CBT deals directly with the dysfunctional thinking that leads to unhealthy eating. You learn that unhealthy eating is based on emotions, and even though you experience instant gratification and “comforted,” you will ultimately end up feeling worse about yourself and lowering your self-esteem. Re-focusing on self-esteem and feeling good about yourself will help you make healthier choices.

Glasses and pen with a notebook and plate of healthy food and a cup of tea

CBT Steps on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Setting Goals – Being very specific on goals is the key to success. Using behaviors that you can control, such as
    • Making healthier dessert choices by eating fruit instead of cake, cookies, or pastries.
    • Going for a walk after dinner
  2. Keeping Track of Food Intake – Keeping a food log will help you stay on a positive track as well as motivating you on your journey.
  3. Regular Feedback With Therapist – Getting regular feedback when you are making changes to how you eat is essential. Feedback provides an external measuring stick of improvement or adjustments that need to take place as well as further motivation.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP focuses on the belief that learned behavior directly affects the actions of our mind, and by changing our activity, we can then change how we think about that behavior. NLP changes the negative blueprint in our minds by changing our habits, we ultimately change our thinking.
Man thinking about burger food

Example NLP Steps on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Recreate pictures of unhealthy eating habits by picturing in your mind a symbol of an unhealthy eating habit such as a half-eaten greasy cheeseburger.
  2. Then picture something you would never eat, such as a living worm.
  3. Match the two pictures together to create a connection of something you know you don’t want to do with something you know you never will do.
  4. Creating a connection in the mind of the unwanted behavior (eating the greasy cheeseburger) and the thing you would never do (eating a live worm) is your new reality.
  5. You will successfully change the negative programming in your mind to become your new positive, healthier behavior.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Hypnotherapy

Sometimes, changing unhealthy eating habits takes more than sheer willpower. Hypnosis is highly beneficial when it comes to changing unhealthy eating habits.

Hypnosis with pocket watch clock

Hypnosis Tips on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Being in a hypnotic state allows the therapist to make healthy suggestions to an open subconscious mind replacing unhealthy habits with new healthier ones.
  2. Hypnosis can help strengthen a positive association with eating healthy and achieving long-term goals.
  3. As your mind is reshaped from the core, your thought processes and beliefs will change to create healthier behaviors.
  4. Using hypnosis for eating habits changes your subconscious thoughts to incorporate new automatic positive behaviors by choosing healthier foods.
  5. Hypnosis will help your mind become more aware of what your body needs instead of what it thinks it wants.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we can help you learn how to change your eating habits by utilizing CBT, NLP, and hypnosis together in a blended approach, which allows for shorter treatment time.

Change your life for the better by taking that first step in making healthier choices and contact us today!

Sign that says Possible and Impossible

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that combines analysis of thought process (cognitive) with behavior. The ultimate goal of CBT is to change negative patterns of thinking or behavior to allow for more positive emotions.

CBT helps to make sense of unbearable problems by breaking them down into smaller, easier-to-handle parts. These problems are broken down into five primary areas:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Emotions
  3. Feelings, including physical
  4. Situations
  5. Actions or behaviors

CBT sessions acknowledge that all five areas are all connected and affect one another. For example, your thoughts about a given situation can affect you emotionally and physically, which then leads to how you respond in your action or behavior.

Core Principles of CBT

CBT deals with what is going on in a person’s current life. The problems a person is having is believed to be based on the following:

  1. Negative thoughts
  2. Learned patterns of harmful behavior

CBT teaches a person better ways of coping with unfavorable thoughts which will lead to a happier and more productive life.

How CBT Changes Thinking Patterns

Thinking patterns are the core of what cognitive behavioral therapy is, and changing them involves strategies, including:

  • Recognizing the negative thinking that is creating the problem
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence
  • Understanding other people’s behavior and motivation
  • Learning problem-solving skills to deal with difficult situations

How CBT Changes Behavior Patterns

  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them
  • Learning how to calm the mind and relax the body
  • Role-playing to prepare for potential problematic interactions with others

Treatment Benefits of CBT

The goals of cognitive behavioral therapy include helping those suffering from mental health ailments, some of which include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • PTSD

Steps Involved in a CBT Session

What cognitive behavioral therapy is involves a few typical steps.

  • Identify the negative situation or condition which could include:
  • Evaluate thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that occur from the negative situation
    • Finding out it is not the event or situation that is upsetting us, but rather the meaning we give them.
    • When adverse events occur, it is our reaction that makes the situation worse.
  • Identify negative or distorted thinking
    • This process will help in seeing the patterns of behavior and thinking that are contributing to the problem.
    • Recognize the emotional, physical and behavioral responses that occur
  • Alter negative or faulty thinking
    • Asking yourself if your thoughts are based on fact or an inaccurate perception
    • If this has been a long-standing problem, this step may take some time to work through.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Other Forms of Psychotherapy?

  • Practical – CBT approaches issues in a no-nonsense manner by identifying specific problems.
  • Focusing on the Present – Rather than delving into past issues that brought you to this place of negativity, CBT is primarily concerned with your present thinking and behavior.
  • A Joint Effort – CBT has you work with your therapist to find logical and reasonable solutions.
  • Setting Goals – In a CBT session, you will be able to discuss the specific goals you want to achieve.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Going to Teach You?

With CBT, you will learn how to think and feel better in your daily life, including:

  • Developing a more positive way of seeing and thinking about a given situation
  • The ability to distinguish between facts and irrational thoughts
  • Being able to see a given circumstance from a different perspective
  • The ability to face fears instead of avoiding them
  • Focusing on how things are rather than how you think they should be
  • How to stop fearing the worst

We know cognitive behavioral therapy works, because we see how it can change our clients’ lives for the better. Learning how to put a stop to the negative thinking that can, if not addressed, spiral out-of-control leading to other problems down the road such as depression or even worse. By making issues more manageable and simple, we reduce their power over us and the way we feel improves.

So, what is cognitive-behavioral therapy? It is a simple approach to changing your life for the better. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of treatments, including CBT, along with neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy. By utilizing an integrative blend of different forms of therapy, we help you achieve your goals at a faster rate.

Each client is unique, and we believe that the treatment plan should also reflect that, so we tailor-make a specific plan to fit individual needs. No matter what is holding you back in life, take that first step to living the life you deserve, and book your appointment today!

Behavioral Therapy Works

New Years Resolution text on Scrabble game pieces

A Therapist’s Guide to New Years Resolutions Tips for Optimal Mental Health

Making resolutions at the end of the year has become a societal expectation, and one that often leads to disappointment when those expectations aren’t realistic. Stating a goal to ourselves and others should be empowering, but if the change we want to make seems too complicated, we can end up feeling defeated.

The new year means a fresh start, and clients often seek to improve their health by eating better and working out more, so they sign up at a gym. After a few workouts, they stop going and then feel bad because they made a resolution but did not stick to it. Enter the spiral of defeat. Let us help you define healthier ways to pursue New Years’ Resolutions for your mental health.

New Year’s Resolution Tips That Will Help Turn Your Words Into Actions

      1. Set Reasonable and Attainable Goals — Rome wasn’t built in one day, so if you set unreasonable and unattainable goals, you are bound to end up feeling bad in the end. An example is the oh-so-common goal of “getting fit”:
        • If your ultimate goal is to shed pounds, realize that it will take some time, so set up smaller mini-goals that aim to get you closer to that finish line.
        • Maybe your goal is to hold a plank hold position to strengthen your core for 5 minutes. Each week, try holding it 30 seconds longer than the week before, and before you know it, you will have your goal attained.
        • Or, maybe your goal is to start working out in general. Start small. Go on a walk everyday. Wait to join a gym (where you may over-commit and over-spend) until you’ve established a routine with daily walks and other free forms of exercise.

    Blank post it notes on a bulletin board for setting healthy goals

    1. Keep Resolutions to a Minimum — Getting overzealous can lead to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately giving up, which can be followed by guilt. Guilt can infiltrate your New Years’ Resolutions and your mental health.
      • New behavioral patterns take time, and if too many goals are made, the focus will be scattered instead of united.
      • Focusing on one specific goal will allow you to make the necessary behavioral changes toward that desired intention.
    2. New Year, New Resolution — If you find yourself making the same resolution year after year, maybe it is time for a new one?
      • Trying something new will help avoid repeating past failures because if you tried and failed, your self-belief can become diminished.
      • If you decide to repeat a past resolution that didn’t pan out, take time to go over your strategies and what worked best, and ask yourself what prevented you from achieving your goal.
    3. View Setbacks as Opportunities As with anything we do in life, there will be setbacks, and things will go wrong.
      • A great New Year’s resolution tip is, instead of looking at setbacks as failures, look at them as opportunities to learn from your mistakes and grow from them.
      • Understand the challenges you face so you can be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
    4. Ask for Support — It’s ok to ask for help, because putting extra stress on yourself isn’t going to be a positive mental health New Year’s resolution solution.
      • A trained therapist can help you understand the connection between the body and the mind.
      • There may be something holding you back from achieving a resolution that is deep within your mind.
      • Having a compassionate therapist shed light on ways to attain your goals while changing unhealthy behaviors is a recipe for a winning resolution all on its own.

    Person on top of a mountain arms spread wide

  1. Make the New Year Your Year to Shine

    The best New Year’s resolution tip is not to let self-doubt or other negative thoughts derail your goals in life. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a vast array of treatment options that are integrated individually for each client in our Miami Beach community. Some of the life-transforming therapies we offer include:

    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) — A powerful form of psychotherapy that is based on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors being interconnected where a change in one will affect the others.
      • For example, if you think you can’t do something, you may then feel fearful, which can lead to giving up.
      • CBT can help change the way you think, and ultimately feel and behave.
    • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) — This form of psychotherapy deals with altering the negative behavior patterns we have established over time and developing new healthier habits that can be learned or “imprinted.”
      • NLP focuses on strengthening the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
      • You can also increase your problem-solving skills as well as your creativity with NLP.
    • Hypnotherapy — This widely used form of psychotherapy allows self-limiting beliefs and negative behavior to be addressed by the therapist.
      • When a person is under hypnosis, they are far more receptive to having negative thoughts or behaviors altered into a more positive state.
      • Hypnotherapy allows things that might be holding you back to be addressed and put to rest.

    Bring in the new year with healthy goal setting, and don’t let anything hold you back. Let Miami Hypnosis and Therapy help you reach any goal you want with new year’s resolution tips you can adhere to.

    Contact us today and take that first step in creating an empowering resolution for your new year and making that goal stick!

Healthy friendship with healthy boundaries between two women in a flower field

How to Set Boundaries Without Crossing the Line

Healthy relationships and friendships are built on trust, common interests, communications, and clear boundaries. Setting boundaries is essential to having a healthy life, but for many, it is a difficult task to accomplish. Many of us are people-pleasers and thrive on extending ourselves too far to please others. Understand that setting boundaries will not make others dislike you, but it will make others respect you. We work closely with clients at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy on building tools to understand and establish boundaries that improves quality of life for both clients and their loved ones.

To begin the process of setting boundaries, you must do the work of learning how to understand your limits, and realize that this will take courage and practice. It is a skill that you can master over time. When you think of how to set boundaries, understand that boundaries are not based on restrictions ⁠— they are based on values that are important to you, which will help you to live a more genuine and authentic life.

How to Know if You Need to Set Boundaries

There are a few telltale signs to look for, including:

  • You hate saying “no” to people.
  • You put other people’s needs ahead of your own.
  • You find yourself feeling a lot of guilt and anxiety.
  • You feel more resentment instead of love toward others.

The following steps are the basics for learning how to set boundaries and can help get you on a healthier life path with solid, sustainable boundaries.

Step 1. Name Your Limits

Think about what your physical, mental, and emotional needs are regarding what you can tolerate and handle, as well as what makes you feel stressed or uncomfortable.

  • If someone says or does something that makes you uncomfortable or upset, it is perfectly fine to let them know.
  • Communication is the key, and knowing when to say no is vital because the word “no” is a complete sentence.

Standing up for yourself is especially hard if you suffer from low self-esteem, but setting healthy boundaries is how you can start to improve your sense of self-worth.

Red Journal to write down values and boundaries in

Step 2 – Identify Your Values

When you think about how to set boundaries, start by taking a few minutes each day and ask yourself what are the most important things to you. These are your core values. Examples of some core values include:

  • Honesty
  • Knowledge
  • Justice
  • Family
  • Creativity

Step 3. Create Boundaries That Help Honor Your Values

Develop boundaries that help protect what you value most in your life. How these boundaries are set up should be in sections that divide the various aspects of your life, including:

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Self

Step 4. Be Ready for People to Resist Your Boundaries

Once your boundaries are set, there will be those that do not like them and will resist and push away from them. Stay strong and firm in your stance, because if you maintain your boundaries, others will have to learn how to control themselves rather than controlling you. Likewise, your friendships may grow stronger as a result.

Some people are very controlling of others, but there are things you can do when others resist your boundaries and are trying to control you, including:

  • Realize the person who is upset is the one with the problem
  • View their anger realistically, because it is not about you
  • Don’t allow their displeasure to cause you to loosen your boundaries for fear of losing them
  • Don’t let their irritation make you angry
  • Walk away, take a breath and let it go

Setting healthy boundaries is a win-win for everyone involved, especially for you. With these new boundaries, your self-esteem and confidence will grow because you are taking pride in yourself, and it will shine through to others.

Step 5. Seek Support

Sometimes it is too difficult to set boundaries, especially if you are a people-pleaser or even codependent. This step will be challenging, but remember, no one will love you less just because you respect yourself.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, our full range of services includes hypnotherapy. This highly effective treatment is often combined with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

If you are struggling with how to set boundaries, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can help. We have a vast array of treatments that are uniquely designed for each client because no one person has the same needs when it comes to setting healthy boundaries.

Contact us today and start feeling better by taking the first step to transforming your life with strong and healthy boundaries!

Man and woman sitting not facing each other looking serious

How to Deal with Conflict: 10 Tips to Calm the Chaos

Conflict in relationships rises from having different opinions and unspoken expectations couples may have. These differences might seem trivial, but they can trigger unsettling feelings that stem from a more deep-seated personal need.

Just because a couple has a conflict does not mean the relationship is in trouble. Conflicts, when handled properly, can even help strengthen relationships. Constructively dealing with disputes can help you gain a better understanding of your partner as well as bring you both closer in the end. If not appropriately addressed, conflicts can escalate and end up creating a permanent wedge in your relationship.

Conflict Basics

So, just how does someone deal with conflict? You first need to understand the basics of conflict:

  • A conflict is more than just a disagreement — A conflict is perceived as a threat, regardless of whether it is a real threat or not.
  • Conflict will continue to fester if ignored — These perceived threats will linger until they are addressed and resolved.
  • Our response to conflict is often based on our perceptions — Our perceptions have been created due to life experiences, beliefs, and culture.
  • Conflicts trigger strong emotions — People who get stressed easily will find it more difficult to resolve disputes.
  • Dealing with conflicts can be an opportunity for growth — When you can resolve conflicts, it builds trust, which is vital for long-lasting relationships.

Man and woman embracing at sunset

10 Tips for Attaining Conflict Resolution

The following conflict management tips will help provide positive ways to deal with adverse situations.

1.  Be Direct. Speak up and let your partner know what is bothering you instead of expressing displeasure in more indirect ways, which often leads to lashing out at a later time.

2. Talk to Your Partner Productively. Convey how you feel about a specific problem and the impact it is having on you by using I-based statements such as:

  • I feel (the strongest feeling)
  • When you (the objective description of the behavior)
  • Because (the specific impact or consequence)
  • I would like (what you want the person to do in the future to prevent this problem from occurring again)

Using I-based statements focuses on how you feel without blaming your partner, and the behavior descriptions focus on a specific behavior that your partner is engaging in rather than a character flaw.

3. Choose Your Words Wisely. Word choice is critical when dealing with conflict. You should avoid using extreme words like “never” and “always.” These words create a generalization about your partner and will cause them to become defensive.

4. Deal With One Issue at a Time. Bringing up multiple issues instead of focusing on one at a time will result in nothing being resolved efficiently.

5. Be an Active Listener. Active listening is a great conflict management tip that lets your partner know that you have heard what they said without interrupting. After your partner has spoken, you will then paraphrase what they said, rephrasing it in your own words. This process helps prevent any misunderstandings before they start.

6. Hold Your Tongue When Hearing Your Partner’s Complaints. When we hear criticism from others, it can be difficult not to get defensive, but getting defensive will only escalate matters. Other things to avoid when dealing with conflict include:

  • Saying “Yes, but…” may suggest that the views of your partner do not matter.
  • Cross-complaining will cause the conflict to escalate and portrays another defensive behavior.

7. Look at Things From Your Partner’s Point of View. Putting yourself in your partner’s shoes can help you see things from a different perspective, which can de-escalate anger.

8. Refrain From Contemptuous Remarks. When you make contemptuous remarks, you belittle your partner.

9. Balance the Positive With the Negative. Negative remarks back and forth will only create more anger and upset. Try incorporating something humorous and light-hearted, which will break up the negative pattern of words.

10.  Know When to Take a Time Out. Sometimes, we need to walk away for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. If you find you and your partner falling into a negative tunnel that neither of you can get out of, then politely let your partner know that you need to step away for a few minutes to clear your head.

Couple standing far apart looking out at city holding hands

Sometimes dealing with conflict feels too complicated, and you feel you can benefit from professional help. Professional therapy is a productive, safe way to resolve your interpersonal conflicts with friends, partners, or family. If you need a family conflict therapist in Miami, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy offers a vast array of therapies to assist, including:

Contact us today to discover new ways of living with your loved ones in harmony, navigating conflict with tools that will enhance all of your relationships.

Man sitting at airport terminal looking at plane

Travel Anxiety Tips to Help Manage the Fear of Flying Phobia

Roughly 20 million Americans suffer from a fear of flying, also known as aerophobia. Just the thought of getting on an airplane is too much for many people, so they may avoid flying entirely.

What causes a fear of flying, and are there any treatment options available? Can you ever wholly rid yourself of this life-restricting phobia?

Causes of Aerophobia

Although there is no specific cause of aerophobia, if a person has a fear of heights, they usually also have a fear of flying. More often, people fear flying because they have no control over their situation or their safety.

Child covering eyes from fear of heights

Sometimes this fear can be genetically inherited, or it may be modeled to children by their parents, but once you have a fear of flying phobia, it can restrict you and make you feel as if you can’t do the things you want to do, including travel.

Symptoms of Aerophobia

Every person’s reactions are different. Depending on the severity of the fear, the following are a few symptoms that may occur:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

Treatment Options

One of the best forms of treating fear of flying is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The basis of CBT is that our thoughts create our feelings, which result in our behaviors. If we change our thoughts, we alter our behaviors.

CBT allows a person to manage their fears by helping to change the way that person thinks gradually. CBT helps a person develop a sense of mastery and confidence about their thoughts and feelings, so they feel less overwhelmed by them.

The CBT process also includes exposure-based strategies – This type of treatment gradually exposes the person to face their fear but in small steps. Exposure-based strategies for aerophobia might include reading about airplanes and how they function, or going to the airport and watching planes take off.

By exposing yourself to your fear of flying phobia, you gently get acquainted with the fear and emotionally embrace it rather than run from it.

Travel Anxiety Tips

Managing anxiety is critical when traveling, and fortunately, some powerful tips can help get you airborne calmly rather than in panic mode.

1. Learn Your Triggers – Knowing what triggers your anxiety when flying can help prevent the fear of flying from becoming activated. Some common aerophobia triggers are:

  • When the plane takes off
  • When there is turbulence
  • When the plane lands

Being prepared is vital when it comes to fear of flying phobias. If you know that something is about to happen that will bring about anxiety, you can plan to cope with it in advance.

2. Get the Facts on Flying – Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to treating the fear of flying.

  • Replace “What if..?” thoughts with facts, because anxiety thrives off of ignorance.
  • Read up on how airplanes work and what causes turbulence.
  • Don’t give in to anxiety-ridden thoughts; instead, do the opposite. Allow the feeling to pass as though you are going through an ocean wave.

One fact that might alleviate a fear of flying phobia is knowing that around 10,000 planes are airborne at any given moment, safely carrying passengers to their destinations.

3. Utilize Other Coping Skills – Distract negative thoughts by focusing on other things.

Distracting the mind from any negative thoughts can be extremely beneficial. Instead of fighting the anxiety about flying, you can change the course of your thought pattern and focus on something else. When you fight the thought, it gives it more energy, almost like adding fuel to the fire. Refocus and restart your thoughts.

4. Seek Outside Assistance – Sometimes, the fear of flying phobia is too overwhelming, and seeking outside help is the only answer. A few of the most productive treatments include:

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we utilize multiple treatments that work together to help each patient. We understand that phobias affect everyone differently, and so we create unique treatment plans for each patient.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for fear of flying is beneficial, but when it is incorporated along with NLP and hypnosis, the treatment is not only expedited, it is far more effective.

Don’t let your phobia prevent you from enjoying life. Contact us today, and start living in peace instead of panic.

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