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Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Dishonesty and Psychological Reversal

Some people reckon they never tell lies. Unlikely isn't it? The magnitude of the lie perhaps has some relevance but I am sure that we all allow untruths to creep into our lives.

Most people tell lies to save themselves or others from harm, whether emotional or physical. Some people however lie in order to harm themselves.

Why on earth would anyone do that? It's known as Pyschological Reversal. Usually the mind will do all it can to protect itself and protect the body that houses it. In a psychologically reversed individual however it will act to harm itself.

Let's take someone who engages in negative and destructive behaviours. A classic one is the overweight person who knows they are eating themselves to poor looks, a restricted lifestyle, low self-esteem, bad health and potentially early death but carries on eating regardless. This person is not acting for their best interests and has reversed that mind behaviour that acts to protect.

What a perverse thing to do! Or is it?

In a pyschologically reversed person, there are deep forces at work in the mind. Essentially, the mind believes it really is protecting the person. But the way that protection is manifested is destructive to the whole. The reversed person is usually unaware of why they are doing what they do.

One fascinating case, treated by Roy Hunter, concerns a successful and career-minded 40 year old man who was overweight. He had piled the pounds on over the last 3 years and prior to that he was a healthy weight. Whilst in a hypnotic trance it was ofund out that a few years ago, he had been propositioned by a woman at work. Attracted by her but knowing that an office affair could spell the end of his career, he turned her down. Being so focussed on his career, the mind then sought to protect this competitive aspect by over-eating, to make him unattractive and thus avoid any further propositions by any women.

The mind is a powerful thing indeed.

I write on this subject today because I have a teenage client who needs to lose about 6 to 7 stone in weight (that's 98 lb for the American readers!) This equates to about a year of focussing on weight loss. After about 6 weeks of treatment I received 3rd party information that her eating behaviours have not changed regardless that she has told me different. At our next session, I knew she was lying but ignored it. Realsing she was rumbled, she failed to show up for her next session.

This is a hard one to take for a therapist. I don't care about how difficult my client finds it. I don't care that they simply can't stop eating popcorn or having midnight feasts and secretly stuffing chocolate. I don't care that it is impossible for them to eat healthy meals on business lunches. But I REALLY care if they don't tell me this. And if they lie to me, they are harming themselves. If I know how they feel, I can help them. If they tell me their difficulties, I can help them find their way round them. If they tell me the problems I can tailor my treatment to them. But why lie to me?

There are very powerful protective forces helping my teenage client stay overweight. If only she could have trusted me that bit more, I could helped her find them and change them.