|A while ago someone wrote to me and said 'Ken I am unsubscribing from this
list. There are too many words ...'
However in much of what we do we need to use words. Yet words can be
misunderstood and devalued. Physiological psychologists and psychiatrists
have a tendency to call psychological therapy 'talk therapy' with the
implication that it is just words and verbal conditioning.
Surgery and drugs make real change, but words are just words.
If we are to make progress in self development we need to understand words
and their role. Firstly, words are incredibly powerful.
Let me rephrase this. Words can be incredibly powerful.
For example hypnosis whether patent or latent can be very powerful.
Strangely, a lot of medical doctors who take up hypnosis are surgeons. And
many of these relate stories of how they have used hypnosis in serious
medical emergencies and avoided surgery and such things. This is using words
or 'just talk'.
And one doctor who used hypnosis when he was the emergency man for a metal
processing plant, used suggestion to help people recover from burns. He
supported this with video evidence of how someone who had stuck their leg in
molten metal almost miraculously heal quickly and with new skin growth.
The point of all this is to say that word can be powerful. They can be
incredibly powerful. But note that I say 'can be' because we often let words
flow through us without making any effect. In hypnosis the client is
receiving words and reacting to words and can be talked into doing almost
We know that words have made an effect when we notice some change in our
body. Something seems to go or release and we feel a sense of euphoria.
(There are many other bodily signs and this is just an example. The point is
that something changes in the body).
It seems that to give words power we have to pay attention to them. A
hypnotised subject by the nature of hypnosis pays attention to the words.
We can help ourselves pay attention to appropriate words by ensuring we can
define them and state their meaning. One side-effect of this is that we can
always rephrase something in different words and we are less likely to be
Another way we can pay attention to words and meanings is to try to make
them real by making models or just using everyday objects to represent
concepts and move the objects about to show the relationship between the
concepts. This also helps us keep our attention on the 'real world'.
Words can be incredibly powerful and make changes within us. But we have to
attend to the words and understand them for them to influence us as we want
As most self-development work is presented in words, it is important that we
process the information correctly. Clearly, however good the advice, if we
don't understand it or we don't apply it then it won't make a jot of
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