Monday, December 28, 2015

DIY Guess Who IRL Friends Edition

Finished makeover
A group of my friends does "board game nights" which is exactly what you think it is, but for up to 30 people. I decided to make a gift of the game Guess Who with the most common attendees as a gift for the hostess this year. I can tell you that it went over beautifully, beyond my expectations, and that it was played for several hours that night. Everyone was delighted to see themselves and their friends and which pictures I used.

If you'd like to make a Guess Who board such as this, here are the steps I took:

I bought a Guess who game from 1986 off of eBay. It has all the board pieces, all the pegs, and all but one of the guess cards. You might use one of the new ones that still in stores, but I don't think they look as nice. Cost: $26 after shipping, 30 minutes.

Look how Anglo it used to be!
It was a labor of love! Since this was a secret project (I'm not even posting this until after the gift has been given), I had to choose the persons to be featured and find photos of them myself. Facebook was an excellent resource. I used the Game Night group's members list to narrow the featured persons down to 24. This was no easy task as some people attend more often than others, some haven't come in awhile, but used to come often, some just started coming but are coming consistently. I hope no one is offended to have been excluded, but I had to use my best judgment. I went through the profile pictures of each of the 24 persons and looked for one that:  1) showed their face clearly 2) was not too close-up 3) was at least kind of flattering (I wouldn't want anyone embarrassed by the picture I chose, but I figured that if it was their profile picture at one point, it had to be a picture they liked of themselves), and 4) was interesting or humorous. Cost: 2 hours.

New and Improved Guess Who, IRL Friends Edition

Then came resizing the images. I have no skill in this area, so it took me much longer than it should have, poking around in Paint. The final images need to be 1 1/8" wide by 1 3/4" tall, including the name at the bottom. Move the resized images to layout on 3 images that are 4"6" so you can print them like proper photos. I used CVS to print them in seconds, but you might use your photo printer and skip that step. Make 4 copies of each; you only need 3 copies, but you're sure to make at least one error, so get an extra set. Cost: $6, 4 hours.

Cut out the images and adhere to the face cards in the game, aligning the top edge, and to the guess cards covering the existing image as completely as possible. I used scrapbook photo adhesive squares that I already owned. Cost: 1.5 hours.

As an extra precaution to make sure they last a good long time, take all of the cards to Kinkos and get them laminated. My Kinkos took about a day to turn this around, and they would not photocopy a single card so I could replace the one that was missing because of copyright issues, so I chose to just leave one person out; I assume no one will notice, but if they do, that's the reason. Cut the cards out yourself. The cost for cutting is well more than the cost of laminating and isn't worth the expense, in my opinion. Cost: $52, 2 hours.

Place them in their respective boards and provide a copy of the instructions, or make your own.

Total hours spent: 10
Total cost spent: $84

If you make one, please show me in the comments with a link/image! 

Here's how to make one for Doctor Who by @KarenKavett, which inspired this project from the very beginning!

Here's one for Harry Potter using the newer style boards.

If you Google "Guess Who custom" you'll find templates and tutorials for the newer style boards, but I prefer the older style.

*Guess Who is owned by Milton Bradley and this version is not for sale, but is a vanity project for personal use only. No profit is made or attempted based on the original work, retained under copyright, of Milton Bradley.


Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Reframing to Regain Faith

I recently worked with a Catholic woman in her 40s who felt that her history of serial monogamy had ruined her desire of dating in the future because it was in the way of her relationship with God. She felt that her four 5-year relationships were "failed" as they were all ended, and she did not know if she would or should ever date again as a result. She was erroneously linking past relationship with future relationships as if a pattern existed, and that it was a repetitive fractal.

We began with reframing the thought of "failed" versus "ended." There were good things about the relationships that made each of them last for many years. There were also things about them that were not so good that made them worth ending. I challenged her belief that just because something doesn't last forever, it does not mean it was failed. After all, she does not have the same job now that she had in high school. She agreed and it clicked. 

She responded "it must be the Catholic guilt." I asked what was "Catholic" about guilt? She told me that, in her understanding, you are supposed to be with someone forever. I asked if she meant her first crush or the boy she lost her virginity to? She laughed again. "Well, neither..."

I asked her about her concept of God in order for her to envision her deity exactly as was true to her faith, and let that model do the reflection for her. I wanted to know what he/she looked like, wore, got around, and did for fun? She said that he wears Birkenstocks and rides a bicycle, and probably has flowers in his beard. She laughed and smiled; you could see the spiritual connection, strong in that moment. I asked about his personality - was he forgiving and kind or vengeful and smiting - as certainly both versions exist in Catholicism? She said "he is hip, but not a hipster." I asked if he is with the times and gets what modern life is like, and she said he changes with the times. 

"So then, to him, does he get what dating is like?" She said he does.
"Does he think all first dates should be marriages?" She said he'd find that ridiculous, that you have to try people out for awhile to see what they are like and if they will be a good fit. "And if they are going to be a long-term good fit? Say, longer than the relationships you've had thus far? Even if it takes a few tries, even in your 40s?" She said he does.

"So you were guilty over what, again?" Nothing but smiles.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pink Elephant - Guest Blog by Julie Davis

It's not that bad.
I'm busy.
S/he'll handle it.
It'll go away.
It's not my problem.
I can't do anything about it.
 
What's that thing in the middle of your life that you keep tripping over but refuse to deal with?
 
This week, I invite you to face it...
 
...from afar: Observe and collect data.  What is the pink elephant? When/where/how does it get in the way? What is your contribution for it being there? What would today be like if it disappeared? How do you get rid of it? Do you want to?
 
...up close: Bring it up to others who are tripping over it, too (whether they know it or not). "Hey, I think there is a pink elephant in the room that I/we keep tripping over and I'd like to talk about that, is this a good time?" If met with defensiveness, avoidance or confusion, you are talking to a pink elephant (not useful) and might need to move to the next step.
 
...head on"I respect your interest in living with a pink elephant in the room. I'm not interested in that, however, and will be [over there]. If you are interested in having a collaborative discussion on how to remove and live without this pink elephant let me know. Otherwise, I'll be [over there].
 
Julie
 
Ps. If you are buried up to the eyeballs in pink dung, please call for help to get shoveled out FIRST.

Julie Davis, LMFT
Licensed Marriage Family Therapist 
Certified Rapid Resolution Therapist 704-807-1101, appointments available in California, New York, & North Carolina eMailWebsiteSubscribe to weekly article


Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Playlist of Songs for Two Rooms and a Boom

As you may or may not know, in addition to owning Clear Mind Group, I also co-own the board game production company Butter Knife Concepts (Facebook, Twitter). As such, today's blog is about board games.

Two Rooms and a Boom is a party game for 6-30 persons (15-20 is ideal, in my opinion). Each round is timed. You can download their official timers HERE, but I thought a playlist may be more fun. I don't think the rounds need to be exactly as in the instructions, so an extra few seconds for your favorite songs won't make a bit of difference.

Here's a huge list with many genres including "boom" that my group started when we played this game last time. Did I miss anything, or did you find a broken link? Please leave it in the comments.

Disclaimer: Official links were used whenever they could be found. Many songs contain graphic language.

2 minutes

3 minutes

4 minutes

5 minutes

6 minutes

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tying Balloons to a House

When one of your jobs is board-game design (I also co-own Butter Knife Concepts), you spend a lot of time thinking about Win Conditions. Win conditions are those things you need to do to win the game, such as collect a number of victory points. In life, we erroneously focus more on the Goal.

For instance, if your Goal is to quit smoking [or drinking, or drugs, or watching reality TV], every time you don't do "it," you're collecting a victory point. With AA/NA, you collect actual plastic chips; in a perfect world, you could turn them in for additional prizes, like at the arcade.

How many victory points does it take to satisfy your win conditions? That depends and is completely set by you. If your goal is to never do "it" again, then you need all the points from that point forward, and that may or may not be feasible, based on the individual. Conversely, if your goal is to refrain from doing "it" in excess, that may be an easier goal to reach, or even an intermediate goal.

Example: Let's say you were a person who drank to excess and would black out - possibly driving, exhibiting poor behavior, and so forth. Your goal could be to not drink to the point where you black out, so every drinking session is spent in full consciousness. You're collecting victory points every time you meet this new goal. Once you know you can do accomplish this, you may choose to set a more restrictive goal of only drinking on days when you do not have to work the next day. Each time you do this, you're collecting more victory points. Now, maybe you feel this is a good stopping point for you and you are controlling your behaviors to where you have reached the goal. Or, you may still choose to cut down further to only drink on special occasions, and then, only in moderation - a glass of champagne at a wedding, for instance. We are not cookies and a cookie-cutter answer does not make sense for us human beings. Nor can I guess, without your input, what your end goal is or should be.


Just because you have "tried" things in the past and did not get to the Goal, or did not meet the win conditions, does not mean you failed. It means you worked through something AND that you collected some victory points for it! This is relevant and means your Win Condition is closer than if you'd not been playing at all.

Think of it like this: If I wanted to get my house to float, like in the movie Up, I would need to tie a lot of balloons to the house. How many balloons does it take? Well, how big is my house? How much does my furniture weigh? Is it an African or a European swallow? Each balloon I tie, is progress. Each action is not an "attempt" but an effort of will. How much will does it take to break a long-term bad habit? How many balloons to float your house? Each one gets you closer to the Goal. Each successive Victory Point is part of solving the Win Condition.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Communicating with Infants

Mom always treated children like tiny people, because they are. With your infant, when in doubt, do the following, according to my Mom.

My Mom loves babies, both my parents do. Mom always said, babies can't talk, but they want to, so they cry. And when they cry, do the following, in this order:

  1. Pick them up.
  2. Alter their view (laying/sitting, direction).
  3. Offer them attention.
  4. Offer them food.
  5. Change their diaper.
  6. Take all their clothes off.
  7. Submerge them in water.

I always thought it was a bit of a strange list until I asked one day and she explained.

Pick them up because maybe their clothes are folded under them in an uncomfortable way, or their sock is crooked. Think of the hundreds of tiny adjustments you make to your hair, your clothes, your glasses every day. Babies are incapable of brushing a stray hair from their forehead that is annoying them.

Alter their view from sitting to laying down, from laying down to sitting, from sitting to standing. Face them a different direction. Maybe the sun is in their eyes or they're getting hot, or they just want to fidget. Adults do this all the time through greater motor control by tapping a foot or twirling a pencil.

Off them attention because they're bored or anxious or curious about what you're saying or doing and want to participate. Allow them to participate, at least through proximity. Offer some mental stimulation and a smile, even if you don't feel like it.

Off them food because maybe that cry means "I could go for a snack right now."

Change their diaper, and this should be an obvious reason. Even if a diaper was not soiled, Mom never skipped this step because "if the thigh is creased from the diaper or the genitals are folded in an uncomfortable position, wouldn't you want that fixed right away, and not just when there was a mess?" If you're thinking of the expense (and cost the the environment) of throwing away "perfectly good" disposable diapers, Mom never used them, and with my son, I rarely used them. You can absolutely reuse cloth diapers that are not soiled. [I won't get on any soap box about cloth diapers, but they're a great idea, not only for the environment, but also you'll change the baby more often and there is less rash and other problems as a result.]

Take all their clothes off because something may be pinching, twisted, or in some way uncomfortable. Or maybe they're hot or sweaty. Or maybe they'll just enjoy the breeze. My parents were naturalists, and I am almost surprised this didn't come higher on the list. It does have to feel strange for babies, used to the nude floating in the womb to come into contact with so many textures so close to their skin.

Submerge them in water because it's what they know and it's good for each of us to connect with the elements. This can be a quick sink-bath or a dip in the ocean, but she said a person in water was a content person. After all, why do so many vacations take place on a beach?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Worst Thing About Being a Therapist

For me, the worst thing about being a therapist is seeing people in pain who are not  yet willing or ready to make a change. This includes people who resonate with the following statements:

  • I don't think change is possible.
  • I've had these symptoms so long, they must be permanent.
  • Therapy can only take me so far.
  • Therapy hasn't fixed it before, so it can't.
  • I am my diagnosis.
  • If I'm not sick/mentally ill/in pain, who am I?

These statements are all arguable because GOOD therapy, the right techniques and therapist for an individual can overcome all of that.

I love proving these statements false! I love when a client comes in who has tried several different types of therapy with a variety of therapists and then discovers me, we're a good fit, and we work together to clear up the issue. They get better and they are both delighted and surprised. This is my favorite feeling.

lasting-impact.tumblr.com
And when I see people in pain, living with their symptoms, managing, getting by, doing what they have to, and still experiencing the symptoms, it breaks my heart. I came across the Lasting Impact Photo Campaign recently and it made me sad, not because there is a prevalence of sexual abuse, which is a thing we know, but because these persons have not overcome their trauma yet and are still experiencing the pain of that trauma. This is what breaks my heart. These persons are still victims, still living with, managing, trying, and hurting. I want to sit with them and say "There is a good fit for you. There is a right technique, right therapist, who you will connect with and overcome this. You can be rid of your symptoms forever. You can live again. You can be triumphant over that abuse that you suffered."

Trauma is an inappropriately strong association is built between the activating stimulus and the body's response. Good therapy breaks that association, permanently, without reliving the experience.

  • Every time I ____, I then ____. 
  • Every time I sleep, I have nightmares. 
  • Every time I go to that location, I have a panic attack. 
  • Every time I see bearded men, I get nauseous.
  • Every time it thunders, I cower.

For trauma, I recommend Rapid Resolution Therapy. You can see me for that service, or find a referral in your area HERE. Call me to schedule an appointment and start getting rid of your symptoms at 954-612-9553.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pre-Contemplation in Addiction

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the concept of Self Concept Model of Substance Abuse Treatment. In the article, I assert that you an use this model as early as the pre-contemplation stage of change. I want to speak in more depth more on that topic here.

The stages of change begins with pre-contemplation. During pre-contemplation, the person who would benefit from change is either actively avoidant of change, or is not sure if they want/need to make a change. Using the example of substance abuse addiction, the person will have exhibited behaviors that others find problematic, and generally have confronted the person about these behaviors. Maybe there have been interactions with law enforcement, borrowing of money, missing work, changes in mood or physical health, or relationship issues. The person is aware of these actions and is likely experiencing some negative feelings about the actions.

This is where other models fall short by citing the difficulty in moving a person from pre-contemplation (I can't change. I don't have a problem. It's hopeless.) to contemplation (I want to change. I don't know how. Please help me.)

This model bridges the gap between pre-contemplation and contemplation by taking a one-down position to allow everyone to be on the same level and the person to be the expert on their own life. So often, in pre-contemplation, the person can feel judged by their recent behaviors as if everyone else is "above" them, instead of equal to them. This leads to further isolation, decreased bonds, and often increased negative feelings of guilt, shame, and resentment. These negative feelings also impact existing mental health issues such as trauma, anxiety, and depression, and will often increase the desire to utilize substance abuse in order to decrease negative feelings, pushing the person further into their addiction - the opposite of the desired effect.

Utilizing the Self Concept Model, a friend, family member, or treatment staff member can meet the person where they are by asking neutral questions. Neutral questions ask about distinctions between recent life/behavior and how the client sees him/herself. Neutral questions are devoid of judgement. This is not possible for everybody in the person's life, but can be maintained by treatment staff. Ask about length of substance use and how they supported their habit in the same way you would ask their height and weight. It is merely information. At this stage, the information is not even for the treatment team, but for the person in order to see a time before those behaviors and the difference between those times.

Cognitive dissonance will appear as the person generally does not see themselves as an addict, despite addictive behavior. This is where change can be made. There needs be no "rock bottom" before change begins. Change begins with "I don't want to do this, because this is not me." (If a person has food addiction, they don't need to gain 800 pounds before they change their eating habits. Rock bottom is just that silly of a concept.)

This is the time for supportive conversation. Show the person that change is possible. Talk about success, about what life was like before, about how they see themselves after the changes have taken place. Enlist the support of anyone in the person's life who would like to be a part of that change. Educate them on a different way of engaging, positive about the future, neutral about the addictive behaviors, and connected.

A person who is connected, feels those behaviors are merely part of their history, and is positive about the future is less likely to relapse, or to want to engage in more of those addictive/negative behaviors.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Self Concept Model of Substance Abuse Treatment

Apparently, sometimes I sit down to write an article and develop a new treatment model. When you begin applying this model to your treatment center, please provide feedback as to how your clients respond. --AH

Daryl Bem's view of how one sees the self, Self-Perception Theory, is defined as: we are what we repeatedly do. That is, you only know how to define yourself by the things you have observed yourself doing. If you do something frequently, you must enjoy that thing, or you would be doing another thing.

Leon Festinger's view of how one sees the self, Cognitive Dissonance Theory, is defined as: we have views of ourselves that cause internal conflict when what we do or think is at odds with those views. That is, when we feel we are challenging our own core beliefs, it causes stress.

Both theories are valid, and in different ways. Both can also be challenged, of course. You might quickly assume that Self-Perception Theory does not hold up when a person hates her job, but still goes every day, or that Cognitive Dissonance Theory simply causes her to change her opinion about her job, simple as that. But neither is so simple nor are they necessarily mutually exclusive.

When applied to substance abuse, the person who has been displaying addictive behaviors (the client) can apply Self-Perception Theory and state "I have been a drug addict because I have been abusing drugs," or Cognitive Dissonance Theory and state "I have a history of drug abuse, but I am in treatment because I'm not a person who really wants to use drugs."

Add the Expectation-Value Theory of Achievement Motivation, which states that the more a person believes in his or her own ability to make a change, the more change will be made.

What you now have are the following client statements:

  1. I have evaluated my past behavior as having engaged in substance abuse recently, but there was at least some period of time where I was not abusing substances (even if this is early childhood). 
  2. I do not want to continue to see myself in that way. 
  3. Changing my present and future behavior will eliminate the internal stress of seeing myself as I no longer want to be. 
  4. I believe I can be substance-free (because I have been in the past).
  5. Belief in something valuable (reduced stress, elimination of substance use) makes it more likely to exist.
  6. I can accomplish this goal.

Substance abuse treatment teams utilizing theories such as these in tandem can show great results in clients by empowering them to change what it is they choose to change about themselves.

With a focus on client-centered positivity, this 6-step model can be implemented as early as the pre-contemplation stage, and reinforced at each of the Stages of Change, including during and after relapse.

The challenge of the treatment team in implementing this Self Concept Model is:
  1. Allow the client to see their behavior as being in the past, despite how recently it may have taken place. Provide for a future that is changeable and accent the positivity of engaging in treatment at this moment, which they can control. Discuss times the client was sober, even if it was only in early childhood. Keep the atmosphere light and positive. There is no allowance for guilt or shame; there is no judgment of the substance-using behavior, only description and clarification between the two states.
  2. It is key that the client sees herself/himself as ready for change, not that others are projecting this. There is a readiness in treatment, and it is most useful to strengthen the person in front of you, to his/her best self, whatever that means to them. Keep your values out of the room. 
  3. The client must be bothered by the behavior for there to be dissonance. It is the job of the treatment team to show the client that there are other ways, and they are attainable. This strengthens the client's resolve and gives necessary support during treatment. Assist, if necessary, with making the description of their future clear and reachable. Set short-term and long-term goals with due dates and ways of evaluating successes. Discuss a safety net of persons to help achieve these goals. 
  4. Frequently remind the client of their own belief in self and the treatment team must show a genuine belief in the client. If the team is guarded in their prognosis, remind them of Expectation-Value Theory and that this moment is the one in which the client draws strength from the team to support change in the future. Strengthen the client to believe in the future they have described. 
  5. Discuss what will change, and what has already changed, by ceasing substance abuse. Encourage the client to be curious about what might happen next. Ask them questions like "On a typical Saturday night, you described that you used to go out with certain friends and do certain drugs at the night club. What would happen if you went to that same club with those same friends on a Saturday night? What do you want to happen?" This is not setting the client up for negative feelings, but reality testing. The treatment team is not to induce guilt or shame, but allow the client to explore a real-life situation in the safety of treatment on their own terms. Ask open-ended questions and allow the client to discover other situations that they would like to explore before finishing treatment, or before in-vivo exposure to those situations. Discuss what the client thinks is and will be valuable that they are changing? This is highly personal and should not be presumed to simply be "not using drugs," but could include "quality parenting time," "closer relationships with my friends," and any number of things.
  6. Assist the client with accomplish their goals in every way possible, including linking them with community contacts and services, and requesting fellow members to assist one another. Recommend continued counseling in a supportive system that tapers off slowly.
This model can further be extrapolated to any addictive behavior, and many other negative behaviors that we do not term as addictive.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Your Power Song

Symbols are powerful instruments used by the brain to store larger clusters of data. Hypnotherapists frequently use symbols to embed commands and anchor to positive emotions. Symbols can be visual or auditory, or even based in touch.

Music is an auditory form of a symbol. Music can evoke a power all its own, bringing us back to a moment in time, or carrying us forward.

Today, I'd like you to create a musical symbol by choosing a song that is your power song, a song that makes you feel like you can take on any challenge successfully, that fills you with hope and happiness.

Listen to it in the car before you walk into an interview. Hum a little to yourself before a big meeting. Tap out the beat during a stressful time. Use it to connect you to that positive feeling and carry you forward.

Please reply in the comments with a link to your power song. 

Here are some to get you started:
Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield
32 Flavors, Alana Davis
Footprints, Tiesto
Choices, E-40
Freaks Like Me, Todrick Hall
It's Amazing, Jem

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Blocking Pain

Pain is a message.

Some messages can be responded to so that pain is alleviated. For instance, if you are sitting for too long in one position, you may get pain in the neck or back. Standing and stretching may eliminate this pain.

Some messages cannot be responded to at that time to alleviate the pain. For instance, chronic pain from an injury or pain after a surgery may simply need to give you the message of pain, but there is nothing to be done about that pain.

In both cases, the pain is a message. If you can respond in a way that will fix the pain, do so. If you cannot respond in a way that will fix the pain, the message can be dismissed. I can teach you several techniques to accomplish this.

Some items that induce pain are by choice and simply need to be endured. For instance, getting a tattoo or having allergy testing. These pains can also be dismissed as there is nothing you are willing to do that will cause the pain to end at that time.

Be rid of pain in the body in all three circumstances through a combination of techniques that will teach your mind how to respond, give you the message, and allow you to dismiss it. Call for an appointment at 954-612-9553.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebookand Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Awkwardness & Social Phobia

People with social phobia or social anxiety often worry that they are awkward or don't fit it with everyone else. However, almost everyone has that worry to some degree. And, we are all awkward at times.

A few weeks ago, I got my hair cut at the same salon I've been utilizing for several years now. I was in the waiting area as my stylist was finishing up the appointment before me. A woman I do not know who works there came over as I was absorbed in my thoughts and called my name. I looked up and said, quite loudly, "yes" as I stood up. But it was more like "YES!" in the semi-busy salon. I was clearly heard over all the other conversations and was mildly embarrassed by my volume.

But what could I do? Apologize for being too loud ever so briefly? Explain that I was thinking and had to snap back to reality? Blow it off and figure everyone makes mistakes?

The woman looked shocked, but only momentarily. She said "Come on back to get washed." I followed her back to the sinks and she made small talk, which I returned in my normal voice. I blew it off. No big deal. No need to make a thing when there isn't any.

With social phobia or social anxiety, people often think they need to have contingency plans for their contingency plans. Blow that off. Skip that extra work. Live in this moment. That moment is already over.

As for me, if that was the story they told one another at the salon at closing time and had a good laugh, then have a good laugh on me. The world needs more laughter and stories.

 Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.