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Age regression in a young woman

Understanding and Managing Trauma With Age Regression Therapy

Traumatic experiences can happen to any of us, and they affect each person differently. In particular, traumatic events in which severe physical harm or death was imminent or occurred can trigger feelings of stress and panic that last for weeks, months, even years afterward.

When the aftershocks of the trauma continue to cause distress, pain, and anxiety for more than one month following the incident, the phenomenon is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Often, trauma we experience in our youth may be completely locked away in our minds, depending on its severity, and manifests later in life through mental health issues or physical health issues.

What Is Regression in Psychology?

Age regression therapy is an approach that aims to shift the way that you recall painful or traumatic memories. Under the guidance of a professional therapist, you’ll be guided into a state of hypnosis and taken back mentally to the age at which the trauma occurred so that they can change their perception of the events that transpired and experience healing.

The Aim of Age Regression Therapy

Reaching into the past with age regression therapyWhat is the purpose of regression in psychology? The goal of revisiting earlier ages and time periods in our lives is to help uncover the root thoughts and feelings may be causing imbalance and/or negativity in the present.

The way these earlier stages are experienced and the level of emotional intensity felt depends on the level of hypnosis used in your age regression therapy session. Here is an overview of the levels of therapy you can expect in a session:

  • Light Level or “Revivification”

In this stage, you’ll be guided into a state of light hypnosis that is somewhat similar to relaxation or meditation. While in this relaxed state, you will be prompted to try to recall events from the past. Often, people remember details in this state better than they would have in a state of full consciousness. While in this state of recall, you’re still aware of your present moment and aware that you are in a session with your therapist.

  • Medium Level or “Pseudo-Regression”

While in a very relaxed state of consciousness, your therapist will help navigate your awareness to a younger age, with the intent to safely revisit events from that time. Picture it like viewing a movie of your own past. The experience can be more intense at this level, and you may be asked to notice details like the tastes and smells that accompanied the event. However, as in the light level, you’re still conscious of your surroundings, you have full control, and you’ll have awareness of your surroundings.

  • Deep Level or Complete “Age Regression”

What is complete regression in psychology? The deepest level of age regression therapy is much more physical and emotional than the other two levels. In a complete age regression session with an experienced and qualified therapist, you’ll be safely guided into a safe space where you can completely detach from your present surroundings. In these sessions, you’ll experience the childhood event again as if it were actually happening, along with the accompanying movements and emotions.

This level of age regression therapy can be the most confrontational and takes time to achieve after many sessions with your therapist. In our holistic approach to age regression therapy, we hope to help you reframe the event and transform the way the memory is recalled, and how it may manifest itself.

Importance of Working with Qualified Therapists in Age Regression Therapy

What is the risk of regression in psychology? The risks lie in inexperienced therapists who do not have the credentials and make false claims about their practice. This could lead to the accidental introduction of false memories by the therapist. The other risk is that emotional harm may be caused if you are not ready to confront your childhood memories.

There is a reason the human mind locks away traumatic memories like this, and it takes time, patience, and compassion to safely release trauma. It’s essential to work with a professional, licensed mental health counselor and qualified hypnotherapy practitioner who can safely assess your unique needs.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Journaling as a part of cognitive behavioral therapy and age regression therapyIn cases of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), age regression therapy is not the only way to help you manage symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be used to help increase personal resilience and gain a new perspective.

What is CBT, compared to regression in psychology? As a solution-focused approach, CBT aims to identify potentially negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to modify them so that you can experience and react to life’s ups and downs in a more reflective, less reactive, way.

In the case of PTSD, there are three main strategies used in CBT for helping mend past traumas:

  • Exposure Therapy

In contrast to age regression therapy, this strategy involves being exposed to the past event in a safe and controlled way through writing, mental imagery, or visiting the place where the incident took place. The therapist can observe your beliefs and feelings in connection with the event and help you modify the ones that are causing them distress.

  • Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring helps you gain perspective about a past event and make sense of the experience, with the aim to see it in a new light. In contrast to age regression therapy, this technique is used while in a state of full awareness. This process helps work through guilt associated with past trauma, especially.

  • Stress Inoculation Training

Through step-by-step exercises, your therapist will work with you to manage how you react to the stressor. This strategy can also help you view your experiences more positively and feel more empowered and in control.

Face the Past Safely at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy

If you would like to face past trauma and find relief from post-traumatic stress disorder with cognitive behavioral therapy or age regression therapy, it is essential to choose a qualified and experienced therapist to help you.

Anna Marchenko—the primary practitioner at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy—is a board-licensed hypnotist and counselor. As a highly trained therapist, Anna has a number of research-based therapeutic tools that can help you make a breakthrough in a shorter period of time.

Take the first step by calling us to book an appointment. It’s never too late to reach out for help. We’re here to help you get started on a brighter path.

Looking for inspiration to do some self reflection at home? Check out our favorite books for self care and self improvement that complement your journey to find balance.

Picture of healthy fruit with heart cut outs

How to Change Your Relationship with Food Mindfully

Food and our relationship to it shapes how we live our daily lives. Sometimes, it’s easy, and we look forward to meals, can balance our diet, and use food to support a balanced lifestyle. Sometimes, we disconnect, form habits around food that may or may not be healthy, and turn to food as a treatment for deeper underlying issues. This disconnect is a mind-body disconnect and a lack of mindfulness. The severity of the latter can be what leads or has lead to eating disorders.

When you or a loved one are struggling with eating disorders and you’re wondering how to change your relationship with food, read on here to understand more about yourself and your eating habits. Remember to reach out to your primary care provider and/or primary psychologist if you feel that you or your loved one is at risk.

Our Entanglements with Food

For many, food is used for so much more than just refueling. You may be approaching it for solace, celebration, obligation, or a number of other reasons. Even your mood can affect what and when you eat. In fact, depending on the day, how much you eat varies drastically. You could be overeating, undereating, or simply eating unwisely because of all these external factors. How to change your relationship with food starts with understanding your food triggers.

Observe Your Hunger & When You Feel Hungry

Notice when you feel hungry. Whether you’re eating because the clock says so or you’re suppressing your appetite because you’re too busy, it’s time to be more mindful of what your body is telling you. Take your daily situations out of the equation and pay attention to when you’re actually feeling hunger. Consider starting a journal to note the fluctuations of your mood and how that may relate to when you feel the need to eat when it’s not a mealtime.

Habits Around Cravings & Comfort Food

For most of us, fast food and junk have made their insidious ways into our diet, ensuring we crave them many times a week. It’s called “comfort food” for a reason! In an attempt to avoid these, many people turn to dieting. While diets will tell you what to eat, they’re often restrictive, and it’s easy to fall into a cycle of eating too much or too little

So, how do we change your relationship with food? It’s time to step out of this pattern and reconnect with your body.

When you release yourself from judgement and guilt, you have a chance to actually taste the food you’re eating. And while yes, ice cream tastes really good, you may realize that you actually enjoy nourishing choices like fruits, vegetables, and even quinoa.

Food as Reward and Punishment

Relationship with Food Mindfully
It’s not a surprise that many adults use food as the carrot or the stick in their daily lives. Food has long been a well-known reward system or a punishment system, either as sweets for dinner or a reprimand for not eating all your food as part of the “clean plate club.” Is it possible to change such a deep seated association? We think so. If you really want to learn how to change your relationship with food, this is crucial.

It’s Time to Get Help

If you’re struggling with your approach to food, we are here for you. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we have years of experience working with those who suffer from eating disorders or anxiety and depression associated with food. Reach out today to learn how we can help. Take the first steps to transform your mind and mind-body connection!

woman at sunset by the beach

5 Tips for Creating Good Life Habits

Creating Healthy Habits

If you examine your daily habits, it’s probably obvious that you have some good ones and some bad ones. These habits develop through repetition and personal reinforcement, so changing any of them requires the same repetition to make them stick. While it’s good that you have healthy habits, there are probably a few that you want to change or add to your life to develop a healthy lifestyle routine. Ready to learn about creating good habits and clearing the not-so-good? Read on today for top tips and advice from the experts at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy.

Identifying Your Current Habits

The first step for creating healthy habits is identifying the ones you already have. You might want to keep a journal that tracks and monitors behavior that you’re proud of as well as behavior you might want to change. Tracking will help you understand why these patterns developed and help you spot deeper issues.

Many people want to exercise or sleep more, but they’re convinced they don’t have enough time. If you spend some time tracking your daily activity, it could help you identify places where your time is being sucked — perhaps on social media or other distractions? Do you want to stop biting your nails? Figuring out when exactly you do it could point to triggers that you can avoid.

Setting Goals for Creating Good Habits

A healthy lifestyle routine doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it like everything else. Set yourself some basic goals to help you slowly transform the habits you want to change. Your goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time sensitive. If they don’t meet all these criteria, you might lose motivation or feel overwhelmed trying to keep your goals.

Your goal might be to lose weight. How much weight do you want to lose? How do you plan to accomplish that? Perhaps set yourself a small goal — like losing five pounds — and then focus on how you’re going to develop good habits to make it happen. Maybe you swap out your daily sugary snack for fruit. Perhaps you add a 30 minute walk into your morning routine. Keep track of everything as you plan it out to help ensure you’re staying on track.

Creating a Strategy

Person writing down goals list at desk

After establishing which habit you want to change or add to your daily routine, you’ll need a plan to help you find all the resources and motivation you need to meet your goals. From free classes in your area to fitness groups and support meetings, do some research to stock up on the tools and people you want to help you make it happen.

Building Your Cheer Team

Once you’ve started involving others in reaching your goals, you suddenly also have the benefit of creating a support team to cheer you on when you accomplish a goal, keep you going when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and keep you accountable throughout every up and down. Creating good habits doesn’t have to happen alone. Whether you go to a therapist or to regular meetups with your workout group, there’s no reason to go solo.

Keeping Yourself Accountable

Support group hands in circle

You’ve started creating good habits, but every now and again, you let yourself slide or give yourself a free pass. We understand! Creating change in your life takes time. While sometimes you need a break, habits are dependant on repetition. Get right back up, and try again.

Keep yourself accountable by reporting obstacles and backsliding to your support system, or discussing why they might be happening with a CBT counselor. Perhaps you’ve overcome the initial reason behind your bad habit, but something new has developed that you have to face.

Miami Hypnosis & Therapy Can Help

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we’re all about creating good habits for healthy lifestyle routines that work for you. We offer life coaching, therapy for depression, anxiety, help with eating disorders, and even in improving athletic performance. We offer a number of flexible therapy options that put your needs first. Reach out to us today and discover how we can tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.

Man and woman standing by the sea holding hands at sunset

Benefits of Couples Counseling 101 and What to Expect

Couples counseling is remarkably beneficial to a relationship not only as a last ditch effort to save the relationship but also as a way to prevent a potential complete dissolution. By having couples counseling at the first sign of any damaging patterns can help prevent things from progressing to the point of no return.

Many couples are afraid to go to counseling because they are unsure of what happens or they may feel uncomfortable having a third party involved in their intimate lives. However, the knowledge gained in couples counseling brings wisdom and insight, thus resulting in a more stable and loving relationship in the end!

Benefits of Couples Counseling

  1. Helps Couples Understand Their Feelings. Having a third set of eyes and ears can help couples get in contact with their personal feelings regarding their partner and the relationship itself.
  2. Helps Dissolve Roadblocks. Every couple has disagreements and having a safe and controlled environment to air grievances can help prevent things from escalating and spiraling out of control.
  3. Helps to Deepen Intimacy and Communication. At the beginning stages of a relationship things are new and fun making it exciting for both partners but as time progresses things get into a routine, and the spark they initially felt goes away. By making a set “date” to attend couples counseling will benefit both partners as attention will now be given to the “relationship” itself.
  4. Helps Promote Self Awareness and Personal Growth. Even though your relationship is the main focus during your counseling session, how you interact with your partner may correlate with how you interact with your friends, coworkers, your family, and even yourself. You may find individual counseling sessions equally helpful in this process.
  5. Learn How to Resolve Conflicts in a Healthy Way – In couples counseling, you will learn how to effectively listen to your spouse as well as learn how to communicate better with each other.
  6. Learn How to Process and Work Through Unresolved Issues. Having a safe environment allows the freedom of expressing any unhappy thoughts felt as well as finding out if your spouse or partner is even willing to do the work necessary to make your relationship stronger.
  7. Learn More About Yourself and Your Spouse or Partner. Couples counseling benefits both parties together and as individuals to find out who each of you is deep down and if you should be together or not.

What to Expect from Couples Counseling

Couples counseling helps couples recognize and resolve conflicts within their relationship. The counseling sessions are provided by licensed therapists who have graduate or postgraduate degrees and typically includes both partners, but sometimes one partner will choose to work individually with the therapist.

The only preparation required is to find a therapist that makes you feel at ease, and during your session, you can expect a few benefits of couples counseling to include:

  • Problem Solving Skills
  • How to Communicate Openly
  • How to Discuss Differences Rationally

A few things to keep in mind when choosing a therapist include:

  • You might have homework. There may be exercises your therapist gives to help improve communication at home and in your daily life together, using a combination of neuro-linguistic programming techniques learned in your sessions and other tools to help shift your habits and behaviors.
  • It may be difficult to discuss specific problems openly. Some issues can be more challenging than others to talk about so there may be times when there is complete silence. There may also be times when there is yelling but consider the therapist as your personal “referee” who is there to help you and your partner deal with any emotions that surface during your session.
  • You can attend therapy alone. It is more beneficial to have both parties attend couples counseling as the name implies but you can benefit from an individual session by learning more about your reactions and behaviors.
  • Couples counseling is often short-term. Some couples need more time than others, but for the most part, counseling for couples tends to be short-term in duration.

Signs it Might be Time for Couples Counseling

  • You keep having the same fight
  • You’re unhappy with your sex life
  • A significant life change has occurred
  • Your partner wants to go to couples counseling
  • You want to better your relationship

Relationships have ups and downs, and sometimes taking that first step and admitting you and your partner need counseling is the hardest thing to do, but thankfully there is a safety net you can feel secure in at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy.

Our principal practitioner is Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. who founded Miami Hypnosis & Therapy after attending graduate school at Columbia University, NY and worked in the mental health field in both New York City as well as Miami. Anna’s philosophy is to empower people to change and improve their lives.

The benefits of couples counseling start with you, so get started on transforming your relationship and book your appointment today!

MHT-Couples-Counseling-5-Reasons-Blog

Unhappy Relationship Signs: 5 Reasons Why Relationships Break Down

Relationships can break down over time, but there is hope! Knowing what signs to look for allows you to be prepared and rectify situations before the complete dissolution occurs.

  1. Communication Breakdown. When communication starts breaking down, and what you say (or don’t say) to your partner is being misinterpreted, this is one of the red flags that there are deeper issues in the relationship. Two examples of this kind of communication disconnection include:
    • Misinterpreting Messages – Without a clear understanding of what is being said, misinterpreting can occur which will ultimately lead to arguments.
    • Refusing to Listen or Assuming – This usually happens when the person listening does not like what they are hearing and decides to tune their partner out or make assumptions as to what is being said.

    A breakdown of communication is a critical sign of an unhappy relationship and can be indicative of unresolved issues and suppressed emotions from childhood that manifest themselves through actions and behaviors toward their spouse or partner.

  2. Breakdown of Intimacy. Intimacy is not just physical, it is also emotional, and when one or both partners feel a lack of either, this can potentially cause conflict sooner than later.
    • Physical Intimacy – The physical aspect of intimacy is the driving force in a relationship and does not necessarily require emotional intimacy, but without it, it can feel like a betrayal.
    • Emotional Intimacy – The emotional component grows and deepens between two people in a relationship, and a healthy love relationship cannot exist without emotional intimacy.

    A healthy relationship requires both physical and emotional intimacy, which both contribute to creating a harmonious, balanced connection. Not having a balanced connection in this way is a big factor in contributing to the breakdown of a relationship or marriage.

  3. Breakdown of Trust. Another critical sign of an unhappy relationship is when a relationship loses the foundation on which all relationships are built: trust. It is because of trust in our relationships that we feel safe in them, comforted, and bonded. A breakdown of trust can occur due to many factors including:
    • Infidelity
      1. Physical/Sexual
      2. Emotional
    • Jealousy
    • Lack of Reliability or Dependability
    • Lack of Mutually Supportive Goals
    • Lack of Financial Compatibility

    Trust issues need to be addressed; if not, they will manifest and keep resurfacing causing the relationship or marriage to be at risk.

  4. Breakdown of Finances. When money issues develop it can trigger some of our deepest psychological needs and fears including:
    • Security
    • Power
    • Control
    • Survival
    • Trust

    The longer a couple has been in a relationship, the higher the chances are of having financial issues arise which is yet another pivotal sign of an unhappy relationship.

  5. Breakdown Due to Growing Apart. Relationships go through ups and downs with time and growing apart can happen due to many reasons such as:
    • Change in Life Obligations: Work, school, having children, empty nest syndrome
    • Lack of Commitment
    • Lack of Compatibility
    • Different Expectations: Expectations are resentments in disguise, after all!

Early Warning Signs

  • Not having sex as often or it isn’t what it used to be
  • Not participating in activities together as much as before
  • Having recurring arguments over the same issues without any resolution
  • One partner spends more time on activities or interests that are outside the relationship.
  • One or both feel dissatisfied and unhappy

When a relationship grows apart, solidifying it back together can be a challenge, especially if it has been brewing for a while. Thankfully, there is hope for this and all the other signs of an unhappy relationship at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy where relationship difficulties can be resolved in a safe and supportive environment. We can also help you and your partner identify potential issues individually that may be contributing to upsets in your shared, daily life.

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal practitioner who completed her undergraduate degree at NYU as well as holding dual Masters degrees from Columbia University. Anna is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist who also did Post-graduate work at the International Institute for Interpersonal Hypnotherapy.

Knowing when to consider relationship counseling starts with the desire to take that first step in rekindling your relationship by deepening emotional bonds, addressing recurring negative patterns of behavior, and revitalizing the passion you once had. Take the first step today, together, and make an appointment for that positive relationship transformation you seek.

Man and woman on swing above the sea kissing

How to Strengthen Your Relationship With Mindful Co-Living

Cohabitating can be a delightful arrangement but if we are not mindful we can end up creating a not so compatible situation. Arguments can arise due to daily stressors that we bring home with us, but there are ways to work around them.

Mindfulness starts with being present in this moment, not thinking about the past or worrying about the future and paying attention without judgment. Being mindful has health benefits and can help make us healthier, happier and less stressed which will bring a calmer atmosphere to your living situation.

How to Strengthen Your Relationship at Home Mindfully

  1. Communicate Mindfully. When sharing thoughts the communication process should be mindful which means the communication should show sensitivity as well as being open to multiple points of view and be more open-minded to new viewpoints on various issues.

  2. Listen Mindfully. When our partners feel as though we are not paying attention to what they are saying, it can create resentments that lead to arguments. Mindful listening is a key skill to learn when considering how to live together. If you find your mind wandering which can happen quickly, here are a few tips to get back on the listening track, see if you can notice your wandering thoughts and try to refocus on the words your partner is saying.

  3. Take a Breath. We need to take care of ourselves before confronting issues with our partner. In this way, how you strengthen your relationship can start as simply as watching how your breath shortens right before a potential argument.

    Everyone argues at some point in time, and instead of escalating the argument, sometimes if you stop and take a breath you can help calm down and clear your mind. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold the breath for five seconds. Slowly release the breath out of your mouth. Consider other tools on mitigating anxiety, as well.

  4. Seek Couples Counseling. One of the best places to spend quality time together to help strengthen your relationship is couples counseling where both partners learn bonding techniques to help with better communication, learn how to resolve conflicts and challenges productively as well as resolving unwanted patterns of behavior.
  5. Change Negative Habits and Patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy and neuro-linguistic programming can help both partners work through what the mind may be blocking so that both partners can have the clear pathway needed to start feeling better together.

When people ask how to strengthen their relationship, creating a space where both people can thrive in should include being able to be productive, creative and relax with your partner in that space. Many relationship building activities utilize mindfulness which can help strengthen and unite one another, and the following is just one example.

  • Five Senses Exercise. Take your partner on a walk and explore nature together. While you are walking together, you will both utilize your five senses along the way.

    • See – Pick five things you see and challenge yourselves by picking out objects you wouldn’t usually pick such as a shadow or even a rock.

    • Feel – Pick four things you can touch and feel. Explore the texture and rigidity of the object.

    • Hear – Pick three things you can hear which could include birds chirping and leaves rustling.

    • Smell – Pick two things you can smell. Aromas of fresh cut grass or food cooking would be examples.

    • Taste – Pick one thing you can taste. Depending on where you are walking, it could include the air itself or a sip of water.

This exercise will bring you to a mindful state together and will also utilize communication and listening to help you further understand how to strengthen your relationship.

Learning how to live together can be a relationship strengthening process in and of itself, and at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, Anna Marchenko (LMHC, M.A., Ed.M.) works with you to create tailor-made sessions to address all of your concerns.

In addition to Anna’s exceptional knowledge, her hypnosis certification is from the only program in Florida certified by the Department of Education, so take that first step and learn how to strengthen your relationship at home and discover transformation today!

Does Hypnosis Have Proven Scientific Benefits?

Does Hypnosis Have Proven Scientific Benefits?

Hypnosis has often been portrayed in pop culture as a sometimes novel and even outlandish way to have people perform tasks without their conscious knowledge. Almost everyone is familiar with the “you’re becoming relaxed and sleepy” trope, but there’s much more to hypnotherapy than mere gimmicks. With professional hypnosis, it’s possible to gain measurable benefits in several areas of mental and physical wellbeing, and there is even recognized scientific evidence that makes it a popular treatment for a number of conditions.

If you are concerned about your health and are looking for effective treatments that don’t include medication, then hypnosis could be a viable alternative that is worth consideration.

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Hypnosis Treatment and Therapy 2

Improving Mental Performance with the Benefits of Hypnosis

Mental performance relates to several complex factors that can be difficult to understand, and in some cases difficult to measure or identify. While we don’t understand every way in which the mind works, we can at least identify specific treatments that can provide the enhanced mental performance to benefit people in different scenarios.

Hypnosis therapy in Miami is one method that can improve mental performance. It’s safe and without the risk of unwanted side effects. Hypnosis could be ideal if you are looking to enhance mental performance to aid in your career, overcome mental blocks, or even to perform better in athletic competition.

Understanding the ways in which hypnosis improves performance can help you to determine whether it’s right for you.

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