Of all the therapies currently practiced, hypnosis may be the one most shrouded in mystery and misconception. It often evokes the fear of losing control of one’s self. Deborah Kerr and Riz Virdee’s book lifts the hood on this technique – and in doing so, explains the process in a way that enlightens the subject while debunking some of its myths.
Kerr and Virdee are British psychotherapeutic counselors and trainers. Part of the appeal of self-initiated hypnosis, they note, is that the alternative can be so damning: Without conscious reprogramming, our minds can sentence us to lives whose functioning patterns impede self-growth.
The authors note that their approach is “grounded in evidence-based therapies” of transactional analysis (TA), rational/emotional/behavioral therapy (REBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Hypnosis, they contend, “literally reprograms your mind and overwrites your ‘martyr mindset.’”
The book’s first part describes the self-defeating dynamics of this mindset. Subsequent pages show how practicing “smartyrdom”— their coined word for breaking the habits of martyrdom—can produce significant and sustainable personal power. Kerr and Virdee walk readers through a step-by-step process that includes reciting a self-hypnosis script which, with continual practice, helps readers identify, evaluate and change their negative thought patterns.
They also include a self-progress road map, checklists and pages for journal-making, as well as other references, such as Barbara Harris Whitfield’s “Victim to Survivor to Thriver” table. Readers will also find an FAQ section that addresses some commonly held fears about using hypnosis techniques.
In several different sections, the book repeats verbatim the self-hypnosis script and tips on how to read that script aloud. It’s unclear why it’s necessary to repeat this information. Additionally, the authors acknowledge that not all readers will follow through with this journey of self-discovery, which can be lonely along the way.
That said, the book offers solid advice, and readers should feel some degree of solace and companionship with such engaging guides to shepherd them on their quests.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.