A book review by Tim Brunson, PhD
Although many times a person needs professional help when addressing life's challenges, it is indeed possible for a person to embark on a self-help journey – provided that they have the correct tools. In Why do I Keep Doing This!!?: End Bad Habits, Negativity and Stress with Self-Hypnosis and NLP Judith E. Pearson, PhD, presents readers with a comprehensive, well-communicated, and effective guide. She addresses sixteen specific issues, most of which are very common to people in the western world.
Essentially, this book is a collection of many very effective self-help NLP and hypnotherapy techniques garnered from the contributions of some of the leading thinkers and practitioners of those fields. Dr. Pearson, who is also a licensed mental health practitioner, provides succinct commentary, which clearly explains theory and moves the reader through an easy-to-master hypnotic journey. How she uniquely weaves these ideas together is what makes this a valid contribution. Although just about all of the theory covered in this book was available in the last few decades of the last century, when appropriate she updates and embellishes the material in this concise volume.
This book is primarily directed at non-clinical readers. As she has done in the past, Dr. Pearson excels as she excellently communicates what could be complex information in a way that can be easily understood by the average reader. I found her presentation to be extremely logical and very easy to follow. Although I appreciated the experience of digesting the entire book, I could just as well picked any of the application chapters, focused on the presenting issue, and gained considerable benefit. Clinicians, however, should not overlook this book. I feel that a practitioner could obtain further insights into the approaches that she provides.
The book also contains a very valuable companion CD. It contains two tracks. One briefly mentions some of the basic theory, which is also covered in the book. Therefore, should someone can listen to the CD prior to reading the book. The second track is a very nice sample of a hypnosis session. In the session she covers a few very effective induction and deepening techniques, demonstrates the therapy portion, and leads the listener through what she refers to as reorientation. I enjoyed participating in the session – although I must say that I found her technique of counting regressively during induction and deepening and progressively in the orientation phase rather disconcerting due to the fact that I am more accustomed to the opposite approach.
Clinicians who read this book and who are also aware of many of the theories and definitions that I have been promoting over the past few years will most definitely notice a few areas of divergence. However, those differences – which merely represent the diversity of thought within this field – are clearly overshadowed by the immense value of this rather straight-forward work. I commend Dr. Pearson for her excellent results.