How To Manage Your Anxiety

When you worry and ruminate you begin to raise levels of arousal or excitement and turn on the sympathetic nervous system. While the best mental state is to return to calm, sometimes that is too difficult. You can’t move from one intense emotion to its opposite without a bridge of some sort like a calming ritual. If you are getting ready to give a talk or sing in public, the better strategy is to tell yourself, “ I am excited,” or tell yourself to “get excited” and use it as an incantation. In her research, Alison Wood Brooks of Harvard Business School, found that when you allow the nervous energy of a situation to flow through you, call it something more positive, and stop trying to control it, you have the ability to manage it better. Excitement and anxiety are close physiologically and are both experienced as high arousal. This strategy is not trying to persuade yourself that things are easy. It is possible to change the feeling from a “threat” mindset to a challenge mindset.

The worry mind is often triggered by novel and uncomfortable situations. It’s always a good strategy to inform yourself about the details of an upcoming event that makes you worry. If you can go to the place where it will be held and become familiar with the surroundings so there are few surprises, you keep your worry at bay.


Carol and Bill are planning their next phase where they will be teaching and writing. April 22-23, 2016 in Houston will see a new course with Dr. Roxanna Erickson-Klein called Mind/Body Hypnosis and Healing. The newest information on the power of placebo and how to trigger this response will be discussed along with new tools and strategies for pain management and how to develop a challenge mindset rather than a threat perspective. We have discovered new strategies, based in neuroscience, that can make you braver, stronger, happier, and more resilient. Watch for details!!

In June Carol and Bill will be in Los Angeles 13-15 teaching Doing Hypnosis: Interventions to Immediately Transform Clients with Anxiety, Trauma, Stress, Addiction, and Obesity. June 17-19 in Los Angeles we will be teaching Neuroscience for Clinicians. Watch for details!!

If you need to reach Carol call 713 703-8782 and Bill at 832-545-4833


Carol and Bill



Freud made enormous contributions to our way of thinking about the mind. He borrowed from 19th century Newtonian physics, which held that humans are mechanical and called his process “psychodynamics”. These principles included laws that governed energy and entropy. Freud focused on helping people explore their internal conflicts and early attachments. He believed that by developing insight, people could change their behavior.

Today with the advent of the new physics that evolved from quantum science and research from brain imaging and advances in neuroscience, we have a different understanding of how to enhance motivation to accomplish goals and develop a calmer internal world. While early attachment styles are important to understand, now we know that your mental state is crucial to your emotions and behavior. By changing the way you pay attention to your world, and managing your environment to support the change you want to make, you can change anything. We learn attention habits and practice a narrow focus where the only thing we notice is anxious thinking, or we practice an open focus where we take in other information or focus outside the mind. When you develop flexibility of focus, you feel happier and calmer for longer periods of time. And your thinking changes dramatically.

But if you continue to practice the same mental habits every day, you maintain the same person you think you are. When you direct your attention to what you can become by interrupting old habits of thinking and focusing, you move into immense possibilities for your future. This won’t happen through medication or by accident. It takes mental training by using neurofeedback or intense meditation, exercise, or some mental practice.

How about this experiment: Try to have a worry thought while you focus on the imaginary space between your ears. It’s impossible!


Receive 25% off and free shipping on Dr. Carol Kershaw’s and Dr. Bill Wade’s Brain Change Therapy by ordering directly from W. W. Norton and entering promo code KERSHAW at checkout. This offer is for U.S. customers only and ends 12-30-15. Visit bit.ly/BrainChangeTherapy to order.

Upcoming Activities:

Carol and Bill will be presenting at the International Ericksonian Congress in Phoenix December 11-13., 2015 http://www.ericksoncongress.com

After the first of the year, we will be offering a new online course through Ryan Nagy on Hypnotic Brain Change for Anxiety.

April 22-23, 2016 we will be offering a NEW workshop on mind/body healing based in the latest research. Joining us will be Dr. Roxanna Erickson-Klein, one of Dr. Milton Erickson’s daughters.

We will be closing our clinical practice December 17 to focus on writing and teaching workshops. We are planning our 2016 calendar now so if you are interested in us doing workshops for you, please contact us soon at 713-529-4588 or 713-703-8782 or 832-545-4833


Carol and Bill

November Newsletter

Can you create the future you want?

Milton Erickson was an amazing clinician who developed a unique therapeutic approach that was amazingly effective. From working on his family farm, he learned a respect for life. He encouraged people’s best decisions, and interrupted negative habitual patterns. We have a poster of Erickson on our office wall with the quote, “whatever you can imagine, you can master.” This was his life philosophy that has influenced us so much. When great people cross your path, it makes you look at your own life and your beliefs about what is possible. Erickson discovered that novel experiences create new learning to open the mind toward the possibility of personal success. When you are on the right path, you feel alive, develop certainty about what to do, and can still be responsible to your family, life partner, and business colleagues. If, however, you feel yourself being critical of others and fighting with them internally or having intense reactions, you may need to look at what is really promoting that response. It may be that you are unhappy with yourself. Your mind hates uncertainty and fear. When you look at your future, you want to know that you can create what you want. First begin with clarity of purpose and develop a workable plan to get there. It is so easy to lose connection with yourself about what lights up your life and to feel like you’re walking through molasses or living other people’s lives instead of yours. If you’re up against a roadblock, it may only mean that the system you’re using isn’t the right one.

To keep moving forward, you must know how to make the best decisions possible. There are several strategies to follow. One approach is to realize that no decision is ever carved in stone. If need be, if things aren’t working, you can always change your mind. Most decisions are really about how to live in the your most comfortable mental state. So, you must identify that first. Then ask how will your decision for change set you up to achieve more of your “target” state? The decision might entail moving to a new city, getting a new job, or starting a new business. Once you complete this personal assessment and you have the plan, take the first step and see what happens.

New Plans for us:

We will be closing our clinical practice in December to focus on writing and teaching workshops. We will be available for skype-type consultations (zoom.us) after the first of the year so please call us to set that up over the next few weeks. Carol: 713 703-8782 or Bill: 832-545-4833.

Upcoming Activites:

We will be teaching at the next 12th International Erickson Congress -Dec. 9-14, 2015. Our courses will focus on cutting edge discoveries in neuroscience and tools for brain change and how to achieve the optimal mind. See www.ericksoncongress.com

Watch for our new online Ericksonian course on Anxiety to be announced.

Our new course April 22-23, 2016 in Houston will focus on Mind/Body Healing and strategies to stimulate the placebo response. Dr. Roxanna-Erickson Klein will join us for a fascinating two days on the latest practical information and tools to help people heal mind/body issues.

Have a great November and Happy Thanksgiving.

Carol and Bill

October 2015 Newsletter

When you focus on self affirmation, you open into the possibility of changing a behavior that would increase life happiness.  Think about what is important to you and let yourself feel grateful for that.  Gratitude increases the feel good chemical, dopamine, in the brain.

Milton Erickson told the story of trying to get a stubborn cow to go into the barn.  The more he pulled her from the front, the more she stood her ground.  Then he had a brilliant idea.  He went around to the cow’s tail and pulled it.  Sure enough, the cow walked into the barn.

To help change someone else, a person needs to be open to making a change.  But if you are a parent who wants to encourage a child who seems oppositional and combative, being more indirect may be better.  Rather than directly pushing someone to do something he or she is resisting, it can be useful to point out how useful it may be to wait on doing certain things.  It might be better to give this new endeavor a lot of thought and wonder what other needs you have to address first.

Children and adults resist doing certain things for good reason.  Either they are fearful, lack confidence, or just aren’t interested.  Any of these reasons are legitimate.  When you take away the pressure to do something, a person can get in touch with his or her true desires.


Carol and Bill will be closing their clinical practice at the end of the year. They will move into full time teaching workshops and writing.

Upcoming Activities:

The next Online Ericksonian Conference on Anxiety will be offered soon. Watch for the announcement.

April 22-23 2016 Carol and Bill will be a offering a new workshop in Houston on Triggering the Power of Placebo with the latest neuroscience tools. Watch for details.


Have a great rest of October.


Carol and Bill

August Newsletter


Barbara was so desperate for connection that she kept having the same experience. She would meet someone, hold high hopes for that person, and then feel extremely disappointed when something happened that didn’t fit her model for feeling great satisfaction. Research in neuroscience tells us that experiences we have with caregivers become hard-wired into our brain. By the time we are 3 years old, patterns of emotional understanding and empathy are established.

Barbara didn’t realize that her parents modeled anxious and insecure attachment so that it was difficult for her to soothe herself when alone and to truly connect with another without feeling anxiety and disengaging. Her model and systems for living demanded immediate change without effort. She became disappointed and angry with most new potential partners. Her unconscious expectations once again led to her unconscious and expected outcome.

You were to designed to unlock hidden possibilities. But the next mental state you allow yourself to enter and the behaviors you express will either repeat the past or open into a new future. We teach the concept of positive hypnosis that can help you change how the past is activated in the present. You can change the attachment style you learned in your family by becoming aware of it first. Then, notice your internal movies when around another person. They will be habitual and patterned. Barbara became aware that her disappointment was preceded by fears of being left or controlled by another. Her pattern was to emotionally leave before someone could leave her. Her experience was that others left her.

Where you focus your attention and how you focus can create amazing change. This is the simple explanation for hypnosis. The magic of the right focused attention can change the way your brain functions so that stressful events don’t get in. You can start developing more awareness about your own inner dynamics. Experimenting with accessing your curiosity about what is possible and staying with something or someone for a longer period of time, can result in a more positive outcome, particularly if you can honestly share feelings and disappointments and understand your part in the problem. Sometimes the results occur in a brief amount of time, and sometimes it takes longer to notice a change. You must recondition the mind to have a different experience in your reality. The effort in learning how to use your mind really pays off. You can create a New Destiny.


Upcoming Events

Bill and Carol will be presenting at the 12th International Erickson Congress December 9-14, 2015 in Phoenix on SUPER MIND: Accessing the Neuro-Flow State for Achieving the Optimal Self and several panel discussions.

Carol’s book, The Couple’s Hypnotic Dance, is available in kindle format now on Amazon.

Bill and Carol continue to work on their new book.

Have a great rest of the summer.

Carol and Bill

June Newsletter

Worry is a brain problem. When you feel threatened, your amygdala, part of the brain that responds to fear, activates and sends messages to your cortex to evaluate whether you are in real danger. If you keep reviewing everything you are concerned about, the cortex is overwhelmed and leads to worry and looping anxiety. The more you worry about something as a solution to gain control, the more anxious you become. The takeaway is that a worried mind never comes up with great solutions.

Take time to write down your concerns and then prioritize them. As you look at them outside yourself, you will notice some sense of relief. Be sure and only look at them once. Add to that deep belly breathing. Take a deep breath and walk around the block while noticing the scenery and animals.

If you have stomach problems from anxiety, it is helpful to make an anti-anxiety elixir of 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and a half teaspoon of honey, taken 3 times per day. This traditional Indian remedy is thought to balance the body by increasing energy in the digestive system, thereby reducing excess energy in the mind. Additionally, studies show that lemon juice lowers blood pressure by strengthening capillaries. Ginger calms the stomach, while honey controls the blood sugar instability that accompanies worrying. We also recommend Rescue Remedy for calming the system that you can get at Whole Foods.

The inner voice inside of you hypnotizes your mind into limitations. This is the voice of judgment and pronouncements. Don’t believe it.

Researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered that your beliefs about worry can make it worse. If your idea is that “worry makes me safe” or “thinking about doing poorly in a performance will make me fail,” or “I can’t control the worry,” the worry thoughts become worse. But what happens when the phone rings? You can’t have a conversation on the phone and engage in worry. It is a good experiment to try to worry more and see what happens. You can interrupt the tendency in a variety of ways.

Train your attention by focusing on a spot and give all of your attention to that spot. Now focus on sounds outside and give all of your attention to those sounds. If your mind wanders, bring it back. Focus on the space in front of you and give all of your attention to it. Focus on the space in back of you and give all of your attention to it. Practice this several minutes each day.

Remember that worry becomes a habit over time. And you can break any habit by interrupting the old way of thinking; shift your mental state by focusing outside yourself on music, scenery, or someone you love. Animals are great for shifting states.

Upcoming Events

Carol and Bill are keynote speakers for the upcoming international online Ericksonian Conference. Their talk is Hypnotic Brain Change for Depression. Watch for the announcement.

Carol and Bill will be teaching their popular 5 day retreat at Esalen July 26-31 Life at the Edge of Possibility Esalen: Life at the Edge of Possibility. Consider attending for rest, renewal, and regeneration.

Carol and Bill

May Newsletter

Break Free from Worry

You wake up in the morning feeling uneasy; almost a trembling in your stomach.  What causes this bad feeling, you ask yourself?  Could it be the difficult conversation you need to have with your spouse?  Is it that you’re required to lay off someone at your company?  Or are you worried about having enough money to educate your children or retire comfortably?  Your mind goes from one worry to another nonstop!  Then you start all over.  What can you do?

The brain is designed to worry first and think through situations later. We tend to scan the environment for threat, even when we meet friendly people. In fact, you have the tendency to perceive threat in another person’s posture.  The brain reacts to these signals and to other negative input more strongly than positive news. Ironically, this negative bias has served us by keeping us alive. When our ancestors were in hunter-gatherer tribes and saw some tan object in a distance, to mistake the tan rock for a lion only cost a few calories.  To mistake a lion for a tan rock means you ended up lunch.  Fewer of our happy-go-lucky ancestors survived long enough to pass their genes.  We are the decedents of our quick- to- see- danger ancestors.

Even today, if you are a soldier fighting a war, this still gives you an advantage for survival.  Unfortunately, most of our worries aren’t the kind that require that type of immediate negative reaction.  In fact, your tendency to chronically worry can have a negative impact your physical and mental health.  Chronic worry can raise your cholesterol level, blood pressure, lower your immune system, as well as lessening your quality of emotional life.

The good news is you don’t have to be a victim of your genes or learned habits of worry.  Neither do you have to take drugs to move past the worry.  The neuroscience research is filled with studies that demonstrate how to calm your worries and rumination with simple brain change tools.

One powerful tool is meditation.  Years ago Richard Davidson, researcher at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, studied happiness.  One of his subjects was a Tibetan monk whose happiness factor was far greater than the other subjects.  Davidson was curious how this monk’s brain worked.  He placed Matthieu Ricard through a number of brain imaging studies.  What Davidson discovered was because Ricard meditated, the data from EEG’s and FMRI showed a calm and stable brain even when exposed to sudden bursts of loud noises.  Because Davidson could look deeper into the brain with his studies, he found that Ricard’s amygdala, which normally is a part of the brain that signals danger, remained quiet during these times of stress.  The amygdala sends signals to the right prefrontal cortex to send danger signals.  This part of Ricard’s brain was quieter.  The monk’s explanation was that he had meditated many hours in training to be a monk.

Davidson took another group of monk’s to study and found similar results.  He wondered if the normal person could learn to calm the mind without spending hours meditating like the monks.  He took a group of chemical plant workers and taught them how to do basic mindfulness meditation.  In over a 12 week period, meditating 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, this group reported less stress and worry and more periods of calm.  Those who observed them noticed how much calmer they were as well.  The FMRI’s showed the amygdala quieted as well the right prefrontal cortex.  Further studies have replicated these findings and demonstrated a person can achieve these same results in a short time.

How do you meditate?  Find a comfortable chair and sit down.  Make sure your feet are on the floor.  Place your hands comfortably on your lap.  You can look with a soft gaze about 3 feet in front of you or close your eyes.  Breathe normally. Begin to count your exhalations.  Start with the first breath and give it the number 1 until you have counted 5 breaths.  Begin again.  Any time your mind wanders, whether you think about dinner, your schedule, or some self-judgment, just simply think the work, “thinking,” and let go of the thought and return to counting your breaths.  We suggest begin by doing this meditation 5 minutes.  You can set a timer to let you know when the time is up.  Do this each day at approximately the same time.  If you want at the end of the week, add one minute.  The benefits of mediation are cumulative.  Notice the subtle changes that begin to take place.


Upcoming Activities:

Carol and Bill will be teaching in Esalen July 26-31 2015. Join them in an amazing experience of regeneration and life change: Life at the Edge of Possibility


Carol and Bill are working on a new book that reveals new strategies based in neuroscience that work for overcoming worry.

As you look toward the summer for some fun and recreation, take some time to review your goals for the year and consider any adjustments you need.



Carol and Bill



Jose Silva was a man who had little formal education but was fascinated with the power of the human mind. He studied hypnosis, psychology, and parapsychology and discovered his own ability at extrasensory perception was quite good. He could pick up information while in deep states of mind that would guide him in business and personal matters. Later he developed training courses that became world wide education on mind expansion. While his ideas might be considered primitive today, the neuroscience research suggest he was on the right track when it came to remote viewing and activating the healing response.

Years later research on the placebo response found that when people believed they were getting a medical intervention, they miraculously overcame health challenges. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is suggesting a person can indeed have a placebo response even when they’re unaware of any suggestion of improvement or anticipation of getting worse. Researchers discovered that the unconscious mind plays an important role in people getting better. So if you believe in the placebo response and say take a supplement for a cold, even if you don’t consciously believe it will help, it actually activates the placebo response. You can trigger your own healing response. The power of the placebo effect is illustrated in the movie classic, The Wizard Of Oz.  The wizard didn’t actually give the scarecrow a brain, the tin man a heart, and the lion courage, but they all felt better anyway because they believed it to be true. Now we know, even if they didn’t believe, they would have increased intelligence, empathy and love, and courage without doing anything.

Upcoming Activities:

Carol and Bill are offering a new course that goes beyond Silva Mind Training: Consciousness Exploration and Training: The Science of Personal Change one Friday per month 11-1pm beginning April 24 for 6 sessions. Space is limited so call to reserve your place: 713 529-4588. We will be exploring your abilities to calm the mind in any situation, use remote viewing, pick up information through your 6th sense, and overcome limiting beliefs.

Carol and Bill have been contacted by a major publisher to do a self-help book based on their professional book.

July 26-31 they will be offering their popular Esalen course: Life at the Edge of Possibility

Have a wonderful April.


Carol and Bill


John experienced a trauma at a young age when his parents divorced. At the time, he made an unconscious decision to never leave a woman even if she was cruel and demeaning. When he followed through on this decision, he gave his identity over to a woman who had not resolved her own pain from the family of origin and instead, chose to act it out through rejection, judgment, meanness, and cruel behavior. John’s energy continued to be lost to this woman, and until he reclaimed himself by making difficult decisions, life was unsatisfying. He realized over time, that he also participated in the negative behavior by slamming it back. Each of us has a driving purpose for being on the planet. It is what you do that transcends everything. And when you are clear about it, no amount of negativity, adversity, or drama in life can knock you off the path for good. And you discover there is really no need for drama at all. Personal power is only available to you when it comes out of the center of yourself. The homing thought is greater than a goal. When you begin to explore some of the possibilities, write them down and notice if there is a theme. This is the guiding north star in your life. It may be a connection you feel greater than yourself to a universal spirit. While the connection will go through different developmental processes and evolve over time, it is your rock, your center. Once you find it, think about something stressful and notice how it does not knock you down. For example, one homing thought is being healthy and this guides diet, exercise, activities, etc. without you really thinking about it too much. Or another homing thought is in this time of my life, how do I want to best express the gifts that have been given me. If at some point in life you were at a fork in the road and took the path away from your homing thought, you will be in a constant state of stress. When you ask yourself, “what gives meaning to my life”? and “when do I feel most energized?” then you come back to yourself. When you are directed by love, gratitude, and appreciation, you are on track with your highest self.

Upcoming Events

Carol and Bill will be offering a course on Consciousness Exploration and Training: The Science of Personal Change over the course of 6 months on selected Fridays 11-1pm. Through examining your astounding abilities to center yourself, overcome limiting beliefs, and go deeper into exploring your higher self, you will discover how to calm the mind wherever you are, and how to eliminate emotional stress, worry, fear, doubt, and lack of confidence. Join them as they bring some of the material from their popular course taught at Esalen which includes accessing the power of intention, remote viewing, and self hypnosis to accomplish personal goals. You will have the opportunity to set your personal learning agenda for the 6 months. Dates: 4-24, 5-5, 6-19, 7-10, 8-21, and 9-18 Fee: $600 for entire course payable in monthly installments Place: 3400 Bissonnet Suite 267 Call for reserving your space with $100 deposit-713 529-4588 Join Carol and Bill July 26-31 at Esalen: Life at the Edge of Possibility

Carol and Bill


Several years ago we traveled to England’s countryside and met a gentleman who showed us his rose garden. He was proud of its beauty, and it gave him immense pleasure to share this treasure with friends and surprise visits from people like us. The roses were some of the largest and richest in color we had seen. The attention he gave to each one reminded us of a kindly grandfather taking care of a grand child.     He took time with each rose and talked to it as if it were a living person. In doing so, his life was rich and joyful.

Attention is what gives life meaning and a range of emotions that color your experiences. How you pay attention can determine the quality of your very life. When you learn to increase the power of attention, it can create deeper relationships, develop less reactivity, more humor and satisfaction with each day.

But, attention is fragile and must be nurtured like a rose garden. We can ask if there are things we need to let go of in 2015 to be able to nurture ourselves better? Rather than being in pursuit of something, can we take time to pay attention to our inner spirit and nourish it? What would it be like for you to slow down to the best version of yourself?

To be more aware of your inner life, some time in mindfulness meditation or prayer slows the internal chatter so you can hear your higher self. Then you can experience more elevated emotions such as love, joy, gratitude for the simple things in life. This practice expands consciousness to the level of wisdom and understanding that all minds are connected and omnipresent. You have great capacities to be personally aware, to receive information about people you focus on, to fulfill your higher destiny.

Upcoming Events

Bill and Carol will be offering a once per month group experience in Consciousness Exploration with hypnosis, remote viewing, and mindfulness meditation. When you discover your innate capabilities, you will be astounded. Ceu’s will be available for clinicians. Watch for details.


We wish you a wonderful February!


Carol and Bill

January 2015 Newsletter

Each year we have the immense pleasure of teaching for Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. This magical place is named for the Esselen Indian tribe who lived there dating back to 2600 BC. The Esselen people believed they were connected to everything, and all things were alive.—the rocks, universe, the ocean, and everything had power and energy. They gave everything a name based on how they perceived its energy. For these people, the physical world they could see and the spirit world they could sense were interconnected.

This Indian tribe was extremely spiritual. Some of their cave paintings show human figures passing through portals into a new dimension, perhaps representing transformation. They believed in allowing all members of the tribe to express their uniqueness, and they sustained the idea that each member held a piece of transformative truth. Holding a deep reverence for everything and everyone, they practiced rituals to promote unity and oneness.

Each time we are in this sacred space at Esalen, our consciousness is touched, changed, transformed, and we are given the gift of interacting with the community, the land, and the sea. Michael Murphy along with his colleague and friend Dick Price, began this amazing retreat and educational center, to explore the potential for extraordinary life. It becomes clear with each experience in this enchanted place that “we live only part of the life we are given,” as Michael Murphy said in The Future of the Body. We all limit our lives.

You have extraordinary abilities and potential. When you can calm the ego’s defenses, or the fears that emerge in experiences where you feel a loss of power and status, and you listen to the Source that is accessed from a deeper place inside, you always know what to do. The process involves observing what is happening, reflecting on it, going inside, and quietly listening for some intuition or understanding, then action becomes clear and can be performed in a state of flow. This is the act of working with a greater reality than yourself.

What is it we touch when we go inside? Certainly some deeper aspect of ourselves activates that we call the quantum self. But we interact with a greater field that is everywhere often referred to as the Source. The Source is that universal energy that is the creator, sustainer, guider and field of information that Elmer Green, father of biofeedback, described long ago.


Carol and Bill have been invited once again to teach their popular course, Life at the Edge of Possibility, for Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Ca. July 26-31, 2015. Watch for the link.

Bill has been asked to speak at the Jade Buddhist Temple. Watch for Spring dates TBA.
Both Carol and Bill are invited to the Erickson Congress in December 8-13 where they will be presenting The Possible Life: Hypnosis and the Whole Brain State

Our very best to each of you for a wonderful year.

Carol and Bill


Jonathan Livingston Seagull? He yearned to learn more than his flock would allow and become all he could be. He discovered from his mentor that he was unlimited in what he could learn. His mentor told him, “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”
When you take time to pause and look within, do you experience the same thing?
During this holiday season, many become aware of an inner yearning for connection to something deeper. While the parties and gift giving are fun, taking time for self-reflection is important. Not only examining what you are grateful for is timely, but really asking yourself if you are frustrated, irritable, and yearning for something more in life, just what is it?

Yearning might be a state of preparation for developing and exploring your higher consciousness, the deepest aspects of self. Some moments of asking, “what do I want now?” can be valuable. “Do I want more adventure, deeper relationships, better health, more time with family?” Can you really have a dream life for the most part?

When we quiet the mind and move to a deeper place inside, there is no yearning because there is fulfillment. And there is no striving for something else. There is just the deepest experience of your self. You are a gift to the world, and you don’t have to be any more.

But you may want to make adjustments in your everyday world. Some moments of reflection to assess what to do can be helpful. It can be as simple as focusing on your breath for 5 minutes, petting a cat, listening to Mozart, or focusing on the imaginary space between your eyes inside your head. When you shut off the internal running dialogue, the mind rests and renews.


Carol has been asked to write a chapter for a new hypnosis book on working with couples hypnotically.
Carol and Bill are also working on a new proposal for a book for the public that simplifies their ideas from Brain Change Therapy. The book focuses on several brain tools to shift mental states into the flow zone. There has been an explosion of new research from Russia that supports the idea again that humans have many more abilities that we ever thought like receiving information from the field of information that Elmer Green, father of biofeedback, so long ago discussed.

Watch for a new workshop in the near future on these amazing cutting edge ideas that can boost life to the next level.

Our best for a wonderful holiday.

Carol and Bill



As we come up to the holidays, it is helpful to think ahead about how you will manage the stress. While fun, these times can put you into states of overarousal. Your mental states that precede thoughts and feelings influence your health. And your own mental suggestions, negative judgments of others without input from them, beliefs about what is true, and fears influence your daily life experience. What you think about repetitively completely changes how you feel throughout the day. If you think you will have a bad day, chances are you will.

If you begin to notice negative thoughts and mental states, interrupt them. You can shift your state very quickly and actually do this many times a day. When you find yourself making judgments of others without understanding their intentions (and most everyone has good intentions), examine benign explanations. How often do you think about Monday as being a pain to get up and go to work? Or do the negative states have a victim mentality to them?

Underlying this negativity are interesting theories that are usually not true.
Watch for certain themes you might be expressing. Some of us hear ourselves saying “it is just to hard to go to the gym,” or “I can’t stop eating sugar.”

The latest brain tool is the Mind Globe. You can take any snow globe, shake it up, and watch the snow gently fall to the bottom. Let the falling snow be your negative states or thoughts. As they settle gently on the bottom, your negativity disappears. Everything is impermanent. And the content of your mind disappears like ocean waves that come and go. You can also make your own Mind Globe by taking a mason jar, fill it with water, and sprinkle glitter into it. Then shake it and watch your mind shift into a calm state. Each time you use the Mind Globe you gracefully reinvent yourself with a few moments of profound change.

Remember, you must have positive experiences each day to deactivate the 1200 stress genes that turn on chronic illness. These positive moments strengthen new neural pathways that lead to peak performance. Changing your experience and behavior ultimately requires changes in your brain’s pattern of activity.


Bill and Carol are working on a new book for the public and hope to have the proposal finished soon.

They just returned from Italy where they taught and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast. And there they were invited to teach in Denmark and Germany.

We wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Carol and Bill



The balance of power in relationships is often unconsciously maneuvered by people trying to maintain a one-up position, a one-down position, or both a one-up and one-down position. Their unconscious life pattern drives the learned behaviors. The move is toward dominance over the other with the implication that one person is in charge of making the rules. In order to stay in the relationship, the other person must acquiesce.

Because we are wired up neurologically to feel threat, it is difficult for people to speak their truth to each other.   The risk is that the other person might leave, a move toward dominance, or that individual might collapse emotionally, a move toward dependency with the hidden message of “please take care of me.”

The antidote to maneuvering power is to expand your consciousness through building your own self compassion and compassion to others. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to spend time in nature.

When we were teaching in Esalen, a photographer shared some of his beautiful photographs of the area, both the scenery and the animals. He described the Esalen Indian tribe who lived hundreds of years ago and believed they walked through portals in time and space to appear in Big Sur, and the earth intimately supported their lives.

One special photo was of a whale that swam up close to the photographer’s boat and looked at him eye to eye. Four years later he was boating again in a different area, and a whale came along side him. The enormous animal had the same markings under one eye and again looked deeply into his eyes. Remarkably, it was the same whale. There was some transformative moment of conscious connection.

When you understand we are all connected, there is no room for maneuvering power. When you open your heart to another, and settle the mind, you experience enough love to go around.

Upcoming Events:

Bill and Carol will be teaching in Italy this month on   deep state hypnosis for developing resilience.

They have also been invited again next summer to teach for Esalen.

Take care of yourselves this month and enjoy life.


Love, Carol and Bill


The core wound is a trauma that occurs sometime in childhood and unless addressed, it hangs around throughout life. One mother left her daughter with a great aunt and didn’t return until the child was 8 years old. Then the child had to figure out how to grieve losing her great aunt and reconnect with her mother who returned expecting her to love her. She felt insecure for many years.

Trauma may be in the form of abandonment during the formation of internal security, or betrayal through emotional or physical abuse or neglect. Or it could have been in the form of observing your parent abuse the other one. This powerful hurt can result in a child feeling like s/he cannot trust others; problems with healthy attachment; i.e.; problems with making and keeping contact with friends or loved ones, tendencies to chase after or put up with people who are mean to you, or twining with your partner by having no emotional space, which results in never being able to do anything separately. Or, because of anxiety, it may be that you have problems with following through sexually with your partner.

If you have trouble shifting mental states, which we talk about as so important in living a healthy life, it may be that you are still suffering with these hurts. It is likely that you need to build the developmental learning that allows you to move into healthy functioning. This is done by hypnotically building security and learning that the fearful feeling that arises in relation to others is just a habituated response learned a long time ago. Then we tell a story to ourselves about why we feel the feeling, and overlay a future expectation on to the story. To learn how to interrupt the story and the inner movie, move into calmer states, and shift from a negative expectation to curiosity about what is possible. Some times this is much easier done with a therapist. And by the way, anything is really possible. This is crucial in creating a new future.

Upcoming Events:

Carol and Bill will be travelling to Italy to present two workshops in their work in resilience and trauma.

Carol’s book, The Couple’s Hypnotic Dance is avialable as an ebook on Amazon now.

Have a great rest of the summer.

Visit our facebook page: The Milton Erickson Inst of Houston

Carol and Bill


The new data comes from a study published by Yale psychologist Alia Crum and team (2013). They identified the stress “mindset,” the mental “frame or lens” that you use when you approach and understand an experience. If you have a negative stress mindset, you believe, for example, that you should avoid stress at all costs, that it saps your energy, and that it inhibits your ability to grow. If your stress mindset is positive, you feel that it makes you healthier, and that it enhances your performance and productivity.

Crum and her colleagues found that people with a positive stress mindset were in fact better able to handle laboratory-induced stress. In a work context, they were also more likely to seek feedback on their performance, which in turn would allow them to grow even more from their experiences, even the stress-provoking ones. The moral of the story is that if you want to handle stress more effectively, don’t label all stress as bad. Try to look at stress with a positive mindset and you will, in fact, be better able to cope with it.

Stress begets stress
This next secret comes from a fascinating line of research based on what’s called the “stress generation” hypothesis. According to this view, people play an active role in creating their own stressful life events by virtue of the way they handle their everyday life situations. We might call this the “Debbie Downer” principle (named after the Rachel Dratch Saturday Night Live character). When you allow your internal feelings of stress to leak to your external behavior, you create an aura of negativity that drives other people away. This doesn’t mean that you have to fake being happy when you’re not, but that by letting stress get to you in a chronic manner, your interactions with others can suffer.
By shifting into alpha and calming the mind, you dissolve stress immediately. Relax the tongue from the back to the front and treat it like a little boat floating in water. Breathe more deeply and focus the mind on the space around the body. (More on this later) When you focus like this, you create brain synchrony; or hemispheric balance. The result is that you feel great!

Upcoming Events:

Bill and Carol will be running their 5-day retreat at Esalen on Life at the Edge of Possibility in beautiful Big Sur.

Carol and Bill have been invited to Italy to present in October on Hypnosis and the Quantum Self.

Watch for the next announcement on a new course to be offered in Houston and San Diego.

We hope your summer is going well.


Carol and Bill

June Newsletter


This is the cure.

Stephen King is a prolific writer of the most intense and frightening horror movies ever witnessed. But, how often do you engage in an internal movie of the mind-marathon of the worst possible future scenarios? We often try to predict the future so to protect against difficult surprises by constructing elaborate internal films.

How often do you engage in anxious conversation? Unintentionally, these conversations turn on the anxiety brain circuit, reinforce the experience of anxiety, and start negative movies in the mind. The more you run these internal horror movies, the worse you will feel. This process deregulates the autonomic nervous system and begins to dump stress chemicals in the body.

Anxiety is a problem of habituated emotional states and is an existential condition where the fluid future is one that we must learn to live with. The ability to imagine worst-case scenarios is not maladaptive. We must learn how to deal with the uncertainty of life.

How we do this is that someone either in childhood or adulthood models either how to deal with disappointment, desire, and fear. Then, we internalize how to deal with anxiety. This can occur through therapeutic conversations and learning how to calm your mind through distraction, meditation, or something else that is more positive and interesting.

There is no chemical imbalance in the brain. This is a myth promoted by the drug companies to sell more drugs. In fact, drugs often make things worse. Side effects of medications to calm anxiety often result in more anxiety or depression. Because the rewards out weigh the costs, some people may do well on short-term medications. But people on cocktails of medicines over time usually do not improve (See Robert Whitaker’s book, The Anatomy of an Epidemic.)

Things normally get better when a person is in a loving community or relationship that reinforces positive mental states and behavior. But each individual must focus on mental training to regulate the mind’s tendency to run a horror movie du jour.

Upcoming Events:


Our new online course is now ready. Check out this most cutting edge course that will Shift Your Reality of what is Possible.


Carol and Bill will be running their popular week retreat at Esalen July 20-25. Join us for a time of renewal and regeneration as we lead Life At The Edge Of Possibly where you can explore areas you need a breakthrough and a plan to accomplish it when you return home. (Link)


Carol and Bill have been invited to Italy in October to teach the latest cutting edge material on Brain Change.


Carol and Bill


New research from Harvard discovered that anger outbursts can trigger cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attacks within two hours of the outburst.  The study said, “Psychological stress has been shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure, and vascular resistance. Changes in blood flow can cause blood clots and may stimulate inflammatory responses.”  Within two hours after an outburst, potential heart attack is increased five times, and potential arrhythmia increases three times.

To heal a hostile heart, use mindfulness training.  Just five minutes a day, focus on your breathing and allow thoughts to come and go.  In a recent study, one day of meditation resulted in participants turning off genes that create inflammatory effects in the body.  If you can’t get a Stephen King movie out of your mind, imagine running it backwards three times.

Taking a walk is always a great way to relieve stress.  But being curious about your response to something that happens is helpful.  We tend to miss people’s loving intentions in their behaviors toward us and project hurt and pain outwardly when we perceive others as trying to harm us.

Upcoming Events:

Carol and Bill are offering a once per month webinar beginning May 15 for five months called Consciousness Transformation with Strategic Brain Change Tools The first session is: Session 1: Shifting Reality with Clinical Hypnosis.

Module One: Expanding Reality

Discover the latest research and practical applications of expanding the reality of your clients and yourself with hypnotic suggestion, retrieval of resources, and practicing target mental states.

For the rest of webinar titles click here

July 20-25 Carol and Bill will once again be in Esalen running their popular week-long retreat. Join them for renewal and regeneration and a wonderful way to get your life back on track.

Have a wonderful May.


Carol and Bill



Did you ever have a dream as a child and someone told you it was impossible?  Or did you give it up because adult life became too difficult?

What stopped you?  Did you find your passion wasn’t there—did you give up because you didn’t have mentoring? Did you give up because you wouldn’t settle for anything less than the gold metal?

Was your dream worth you?  Did you really want it?  Or did you want something else?  Did you give up out of frustration—did someone discourage you from trying?

What was important about the goal—what experience were you wanting?

In the Field of Dreams movie, Burt Lancaster’s character, Doc, becomes his younger self to fill in a missing life experience of being a major baseball player.  It was something he regretted not doing.  He went back to have the fulfilling experience but what he realized was bigger than that.  Kevin Costner’s character looks to Doc to help revive his daughter who takes a bad fall and is not breathing.  Doc knows if he crosses the line marking the baseball field, he won’t be able to remain in the big game.   He crosses the line, saves the girl, and realizes being a doctor was his life calling and was extremely fulfilling.

When we were teaching a workshop in Oklahoma City a couple of years ago, we went to Brick Town and saw an older man who was singing and playing in a blues band.  It was so much fun to be a part of the experience with a group of people that loved being there.  We wondered if singing and playing the harmonica in a blues band had been a lifelong dream of his.  We asked around and discovered that he was a dentist during the day and living out a dream on the weekend.  He was well respected for his professional craft and received rave reviews for his hobby.  And the joy he provided was fantastic.

Where do people’s childhood dreams go?  If you didn’t live your dream, did someone discourage you; did the reality of your “believed” limitations stand in your way?  What was it about that dream that you had a passion for?

Some times people quit because they don’t think they can make it; or there is a lot of work involved or they are frightened.  Take a moment and remember your dream?

Like this dentist who helped many people, and who decided to revive his passion for the blues, you can still do what you wanted.

He decided to create his dream, even though it was in a different form that he had originally thought.

Fulfilled dreams are the work of imagination, inspiration, passion, risk-taking, and hard work.

Just sit for a moment, take a deep breath, and let yourself imagine what is your dream and what is your goal?  What did you need then and what do you need now to fulfill that dream?  Breathe it in, and think what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.

Upcoming Events

Carol and Bill will be teaching a new course April 25-26, 2014 in Houston called Strategic Neurocoaching:  7 Brain Change Tools for Overcoming Trauma and Activating the Optimal Mind.  Sign up for the most cutting-edge and new therapeutic tools to be the most effect change agents.  At the workshop they will be describing the Certification Process in Brain Change Therapy for those who are interested in making their therapy cutting-edge.  Some of this can be accomplished through online training.  Call for more information:   713 529-4588

Carol is coming out with a new cd called Quantum Self:  Hypno-Bilateral Stimulation to Overcome Trauma and Achieve the Optimal Mind.  She has partnered with a German composer who has created bilateral music for therapy.  The cd uses both hypnosis and bilateral music for accessing the best future self and is for anyone who has ever had an upsetting experience that has been difficult to overcome.  Watch for the announcement.

In May they will be launching their first online course called Neurocoaching the Mind: A Brain-Based Approach for Business, Financial, and Life Success.

July 20-25 Carol and Bill will once again hold their annual retreat at Esalen in California.  Join them for deep personal breakthrough change in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Have a wonderful April!


Carol and Bill

March Newsletter

What Limiting Myths Are Holding You Back?

You have been living under several psychological myths. With the advent of neuroscience discoveries, we learn that Darwin was incorrect.

It is not survival of the fittest, but those who cooperate the most, who are successful.

We have assumed that we must fight for everything, but the truth is far from this notion. Nature reflects this new idea everywhere. Our own bodies are a cooperative effort between cells, organs, and systems to keep us well and alive.

Freud was incorrect. We are not at war with our hidden dark forces. When our minds are calm, we know what to do.

We do not need to go on archeological digs into our own history to be free from dysfunctional patterns of thinking and being. Our mind/body has built in abilities to correct negative experiences in life. You can do, be, have more well-being than you think.

Another myth recently dispelled is that only living things have consciousness. But now we know everything in the universe has consciousness. The universe is conscious, creative, and coherent. All aspects contain self-organization and intentionality, and needs our respect and concern for its well-being.

More science is revealing that human life demonstrates incredible design, and we share minds in what is called entanglement in a matrix of energy. The truth is we are all connected.

We experience many turning points in our lives. These are the choice points, the fork in the road, the zero hour that gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate the direction of our lives, dispel our own personal myths (what are yours?) and make a change for the better. These opportunities can come through loss, gifts, transformative conversations, or grand experiences of being in a group that creates something greater than any individual. The latter is the blend of individual consciousness into a group mind that may represent what occurs all of the time outside of our awareness.

There is a positive shift occurring in the world. We can engage in the shift by doing the following:

  1. Make physical/spiritual health a priority
  2. Engage spiritual practices that leads to a change in priorities
  3. Build cooperative relationships that are uplifting
  4. Take courses in consciousness studies and expand personal awareness
  5. Align with our soul’s inner essence and desires for the greater good

Upcoming Events:

Bill and Carol will be teaching their April 25-26 workshop: Strategic Neurocoaching: ™ 7 Brain Change Tools for Activating the Optimal Mind. We will give clinicians the latest strategies and interventions to help clients overcome trauma and move to thriving. The seminar will present an easy framework to plug into the therapy you already do, and take your therapy results to the next level of success. There is one key difference between a clinician who gets clients to make extraordinary change, and one who achieves average success. That is understanding the latest discoveries in brain science and how to use them in a practical way. Register now.

May will see the launch of our online course: Neurocoaching the Mind for Business, Financial, and Life Success. Watch for it.

Esalen: Bill and Carol will once again present their popular 5 day retreat in Big Sur July 20-25. This is an opportunity to spend quality time with us and make transformative change in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

Have a wonderful March.

Love and Wisdom,

Carol and Bill

Online Ericksonian Conference: Solutions for Trauma

“Are you getting the results that you want with your traumatized clients?”

Join us for this online conference and instantly begin learning how you can create breakthrough change with your clients who are dealing with trauma.”

Attend at anytime (no fixed dates) and from anywhere…without spending 1000′s of dollars on conference fees, airfares and hotels.

What You Will Learn:

  • Be much more confident in your ability to treater even the most traumatized client.
  • How you can integrate effective trauma treatments into your practice and life.
  • Critical decision factors for how and when to use mindfulness for trauma.
  • The three core mindfulness practice skills (and how to adapt them to the unique needs of each client.
  • How you can integrate effective hypnotic trauma treatments into your practice (and have a MUCH bigger toolbox to use when treating traumatized clients).
  • Understand and use hypnotic memory reconsolidation.
  • The difference between productive recall work and destructive recall work and how to create safe contexts and environments. (So your client can learn new positive emotional meanings).
  • How to help create a new sense of self so that the clients grows more confident and more emotionally prepared to deal with future challenges.
  • Work with people and problems that you had never been able to work with before (and diversify your practice)
    Short and subtle ways of dealing with trauma that work respectfully with a wide variety of clients (even with those who have been repeatedly traumatized).
  • How to stop a person from becoming a “victim” of the treatment itself.
  • How to view trauma and even PTSD as a process rather than a condition (so that you can be create more effective interventions).
  • Flexible and unique ways of working with patients that respect their individuality and beliefs.
  • A great deal more…

Register today.


How can you increase creativity and connect your intentions for goal attainment?

Neuroscience has discovered the special mental state called non-thinking is key in developing ideas, solutions, and habit shifts. Non-thinking is the default state your mind moves into when you daydream or are quiet. But you can train this state, and it has great benefits.

You can solve any problem, break habitual habits, or figure out how to increase your finances. You can develop your intuition, devise a plan for the future, or improve your relationships.

William James in 1911 suggested a process for achieving non-thinking that included setting a goal and “unclamping” from the outcome. This means allowing your mind to relax and flow without criticism. Any idea that surfaces you can just allow it to be or write it down without analysis.

Physical exercise is a great way to facilitate this neural process. When you perspire and focus on moving the body, you unhinge from habitual thinking patterns. But mental exercise through meditation on a repetitive sound or image produces similar results. The use of daydreaming on purpose or allowing the mind to wander develops the creative state as well.

The father of biofeedback, Elmer Green, talked about relaxing the mind to enter the “field of information,” the matrix of electromagnetic energy, he said, where all information resides. While he used a biofeedback device for this, your own inner space and connection with the source field may allow you to sense the many futures that lie ahead so you may determine the alternatives.

Do you remember the magic potion in Harry Potter called Felix Felicis? When consumed, it allowed Harry to know exactly what to do to solve problems and kept him in a happy state of mind. Perhaps we actually have this ability.

When we were in Hawaii several years ago, we discovered that their shamans or kahunas believe that thoughts affect how the future develops and that by gaining mastery over the mind, you gain influence over the future. More recently, Bruce Lipton, cell biologist, discovered it is the inner environment that influences future events in gene expression.

When you practice non-thinking, you influence your mental state and your future.


February 15 is the first early date for a reduced fee for our workshop: Strategic Neurocoaching™ for Trauma: 7 Brain Change Tools for Activating the Optimal Mind

Many problems are related to traumatic experiences that have not been resolved.

We will be discussing how to help clients resolve small or great traumas to active a high performance mind and the latest neuroscience tools to accomplish this. This is the first time we have offered this course, and we will be talking further about non-thinking.

This workshop is approved nationally for 12 ceu’s. Call us for information: 713 529-4588

Have a wonderful February.

January, 2014 Newsletter


Researchers in Finland have discovered how emotions are experienced in the body. They found that strong feelings stimulate body sensations, and these are cross-cultural. They concluded “Emotions adjust not only our mental, but also our bodily states”. We tend to use our body sensations as feedback to ourselves to make alterations in our mental states and behavior.

We often tell our clients that your body is your best biofeedback instrument. If you pay attention to it, you can live in happier states of mind for longer periods of time by making adjustments. Elmer Green, father of biofeedback, used to say that with feedback, you can change anything.

Our vagal nerve is also involved in staying cool under pressure. Where you focus attention (your mindset) and how you behave can create a positive snowball effect through a feedback loop linked to stimulating your vagus nerve.

Healthy vagal tone is indicated by a slight increase of heart rate when you inhale, and a decrease of heart rate when you exhale. When we use diaphragmatic breathing and exhale with long breaths to the count of 4 or 5, the vagus nerve turns on and slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure in high performance activities. Higher vagal tone is linked to well-being, whereas lower vagal tone is linked to inflammation, negative moods, loneliness, and heart attacks. (Frederickson & Kok, 2013).

Acetylcholine releases when the vagus nerve is stimulated, and this reduces heart rate. This natural chemical acts as your own tranquilizer without the use of artificial chemicals that can have other side effects. You can stimulate your own vagus nerve by gently pressing two fingers on the neck right under the jaw bone. Notice a mild feeling of relaxation, and you have just turned on your own tranquilizer.

Barbara Frederickson and Bethany Kok of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the vagus nerve acts in a feedback loop between positive emotions, physical health and positive social connections. The practice of staying calm and nonreactive under trying circumstances, while challenging, can lead to a healthier body and mind. The perk you receive is to develop fierce equanimity, the state of mind that leads to kindness and grace under fire.

We are excited to announce that our book, Brain Change Therapy will be available for Kindle download on Amazon January 9.

Carol will be presenting a small group class called Accelerate: Ericksonian Hypnotic Strategies for Increasing Success in Life & Business which focuses on the masterful work of Milton Erickson using strategies to activate the brain toward trust, empathy, and success. This course is open to mental health clinicians, coaches, and change managers. January 17-18 9:00 to 4:30. Space is limited. Sign up Here

Once again Carol and Bill will be presenting in the Online Ericksonian Conference on Hypnosis and Trauma in February. Trauma is often behind many problems and there are powerful strategies to resolve it. Watch for the announcement.

Bill and Carol will be presenting their brand new course Strategic Neurocoaching: 7 Brain Change Tools for Activating the Optimal Mind, April 25-26.

In May we will launch our online course: Neurocoaching the Mind for Business, Financial and Life Success. Watch for the announcement. This has been popular.

We wish you all a wonderful 2014 and your best year ever. Remember, Milton Erickson said, “A goal without a date is a dream.”


Carol and Bill

Do something different this holiday to bring more: HOLIDAY CHEER!!!!

This year we want to encourage you to take some moments to really love yourself for being alive and be happy for who you are right now.

Think about the last time you felt in a state of flow, all possibilities were open, and everything was pure potential.  This state can be practiced and is truly a mental state of “thanksgiving.”

This is a state where you are noncritical, nonjudgmental, cheery, and positive.  It is not polly anna; it is an internal sense of flowing.

Frequently, we have seen people in our clinic have this experience on a neurofeedback system.  But you can have it in particular kinds of meditations where you focus on the imagined spaces in the body and just become aware of them.  For example, take a moment and focus on the internal space between your eyes.  This kind of focus results in the brain producing an alpha frequency, which is self-healing.  When you enter this state, it is impossible to think the same way.

This gives you “neurochoice.”  When you realize the effect your mental states and your thoughts have on your body, you can shift them with your focus of attention.  And in doing this you can influence the outcome you want.

But sometimes you must bridge yourself from a negative state to a more positive one.  It is difficult to move from one extreme state to another without a process.  The Buddha overcame suffering with meditation.  The British psychologist John Bowlby said we are happiest when we align with those we trust.  Each of these people had a “north star” to guide them and bring them back to their center during difficult times.

Identify your “north star” and practice using it frequently.

Carol has just put a new ebook on Amazon: (link) that you might find helpful this holiday season.  If you know how to make your brain work for you, how to activate motivation, and how to set up your environment in such a way that it supports the change you want to make, you can accomplish anything.  This small book describes the practical steps based in the latest science to do just that.


Carol and Bill


The optimal mind is a mental state in which we feel stress-free and happy with work, relationships, and daily life. Some simple and “free” tools we discuss can help you achieve this state of psychological coherence more frequently.

What is the Optimal Mind?

When your neurons fire in synchrony and create incredible clarity and excellent performance, you are in state of maximum brain connectivity. This is brain coherence and it is the state of ultimate mental and physical performance.

The synchronized state of communication between the brain’s hemispheres facilitates balance. This brain harmony creates an amazing coherence of communication between brain areas. High coherence leads to higher consciousness experiences and what we call, psychological coherence, where you are in charge of your mind, and you can accomplish your dreams.

Einstein was a genius physicist and a master violinist. After having been inspired by Mozart, he began to practice the violin religiously. Recent research demonstrates that musical training improves the brain. Practicing an instrument or singing engages all hemispheres of your brain and improves their connections.

EINSTEIN said of his theory of relativity: “I thought of it while riding my bicycle.”

If you look at the daily routines of creative people, there is a strong link between some type of bilateral aerobic motion that engages brain hemispheres and leads to those ah-ha moments and creative breakthroughs.

Research released on April 24, 2013 by Ruth Propper and colleagues from Montclair State University found that hand clenching increases neuronal activity in the frontal lobe of the opposite hemisphere.

The right hemisphere controls (and receives sensory input from) the left side of the body and the left hemisphere controls (and receives sensory input from) the right side. The researchers stated that ‘such hand clenching is also associated with increased experiencing of a given hemisphere’s “mode of processing.” Together, these findings suggest that unilateral hand clenching can be used to test hypotheses concerning the specializations of the cerebral hemispheres during memory encoding and retrieval.”

The researchers found that clenching your right hand may help form a stronger memory of an event or action by activating the left hemisphere, and that clenching your left hand may help you recollect the memory later by activating your right hemisphere.

Creativity requires divergent thinking to connect seemingly unrelated memories and ideas in new and useful ways. It is fascinating to think that the simple act of squeezing a ball with your right hand while learning could improve crystallized intelligence in the left hemisphere; and later you could stimulate abstract thinking by squeezing the ball with your left hand to engage the right hemisphere.

In a similar 2010 study researchers from Israel used squeezing the left hand to activate the right hemisphere. The researchers found that creative problem solving increased by squeezing a ball.

Squeeze a ball in your left hand to stop rumination.

In another study from 2012 published by the American Psychological Association, German researchers found that athletes can improve their performance under pressure simply by squeezing a ball or clenching their left hand before competition to activate the right side of the brain.

Right-handed athletes who squeezed a ball in their left hand before competing were less likely to choke under pressure than those players who squeezed a ball in their right hand which activated the left hemisphere.

“For skilled athletes, many movements, such as kicking a soccer ball or completing a judo kick, become automatic with little conscious thought. When athletes under pressure don’t perform well, they may be focusing too much on their own movements rather than relying on their motor skills developed through years of practice,” said lead researcher Juergen Beckmann, PhD, chair of sport psychology at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

“Rumination can interfere with concentration and performance of motor tasks. Athletes usually perform better when they trust their bodies rather than thinking too much about their own actions or what their coaches told them during practice,” Beckmann added. “While it may seem counter-intuitive, consciously trying to keep one’s balance is likely to produce imbalance.”

Beckmann notes that “Previous research has shown that rumination is associated with the brain’s left hemisphere, while the right hemisphere is associated with superior performance in automated behaviors, such as those used by some athletes.” Because the right hemisphere controls movements of the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side—the researchers theorize that squeezing a ball or clenching the left hand activates the right hemisphere of the brain and reduces the likelihood of rumination.


This study focused exclusively on right-handed athletes because the relationships between different parts of the brain are less well understood for people who are left-handed.

This research could have important implications outside athletics according to the authors. “Elderly people who are afraid of falling often focus too much on their movements, so right-handed elderly people may be able to improve their balance by clenching their left hand before walking or climbing stairs,” Beckmann said.

“Many movements of the body can be impaired by attempts at consciously controlling them,” Beckmann concluded. “This technique can be helpful for many situations and tasks.”

In Brain Change Therapy, we often use Strategic Neurocoaching through:

Bilateral brain hemisphere stimulation for optimal cooperation between the left and right sides of the brain and other ways of bilateral stimulation (auditory and tactile stimuli that are implemented according to a particular protocol for optimal results)


Hypnosis, neurofeedback, biofeedback, and psychotherapy for helping couples, individuals, executives, performers, increase their access to the Coherent Brain and optimal states of mind.

Clients can then

increase creativity, effectiveness, resistance to stress, and overall well-being prepare mentally for peak performance implement new behaviors overcome personal and professional disappointments, setbacks, and blocks on the way to achieving goals facilitate access to knowledge, skills, and resources in any situation or context enhance abilities and skills transform limiting thought and behavioral patterns into self-confidence and overcome phobias

Bill will be teaching an Introductory Course in Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy November 1-2, 2013. (Course is FULL)

Carol will be teaching a small-group course called Accelerate: Ericksonian Hypnotic Strategies for Increasing Success In Life and Business, January 17-18, 2014. (Limited to 10 participants) 12 Ceu’s for clinicians but open to coaches, consultants, change leaders.

The key to success is to master powerful conversation that activates the brain toward trust, empathy, and integrity. In order to influence and persuade that you or your product will accomplish what is promised, your conversation must calm the brain and engage a sense of curiosity and future focus. Milton Erickson was a master at unconscious influence. Join us as we lay out a blueprint designed by Erickson and now reinforced by neuroscience discoveries that demonstrate how to trigger confidence in you and others. If you are not getting the results you want, you may not be eliciting what you intend.

Learn the Power of Changing Frames

Use Marketing with the Brain in Mind

Apply the Master Blueprint for Powerful and Influential Conversations

Overcome Immobilizing Fears

Open to the Matrix of Possibility for Creativity and Success

Success Is Never an Accident but the Result of Regularly Applied Strategies, Actions, and an Internal Framework That Fully Overcomes the “Small You”— And Engages Life Vitally as the Maximum You!

Fee: $275

April 25-26, 2014 Carol and Bill will be teaching in Houston: Strategic Neurocoaching: 7 Brain Change Tools for Activating the Optimal Mind

People can overcome anxiety, depression, and low performance without major archeological digs into their history. This workshop will expand your awareness and skills needed to succeed in any endeavor. With these new 7 brain change tools, your therapy, coaching, and relationships with self and others can activate the optimal mind state.

Through humorous lecture, discussion, and demonstrations, you will:

Learn New Tools (not taught anywhere else) to enhance the body’s electrical functioning involved in creating the optimal mind

Utilize the Neuroscience of Possibility

Cutting edge information on how to coach the brain toward enhanced living

Understand the Coherent Brain and Psychological Coherence

Discover How the Heart Responds to Stimuli before the Brain; The Amazing Connection Between Heart and Brain

Activate the Ability we already use to Scan for Future Events

How to Increase happiness and overcome Unconscious Counter Intentions

Empower therapeutic skills to help people overcome any problem quickly

Engage the Unconscious Mind to Supercharge Life for Inspired Action

CEUs: 12, (3 for ethics)

Fee: $295 by Feb. 15, $325 by March 15, $350 by April 1

Student Fee: $250

Groups of 5 or More Fee by Feb 15 $275

Carol and Bill