I say tomato…


I’ve come to the conclusion that the Airport trances you get these days aren’t as entertaining as the Airport trances we used to get when I was younger.

It’s possibly because they’re actually of a better quality than the good old bad old days of routine delays and lost luggage. Not that the age-old art of random air-transport delays has been completely lost because Mykonos was still good enough to subject us to that old fashioned routine of getting us to accept a short thirty minute hold up which then gently eked itself out into a whole hour by the time we’d managed to actually board the plane.

The pilot, who had apparently been too busy to introduce himself in that customary EasyJet style eventually threw the real delay at us once everyone was safely strapped down into their seats and we were patiently waiting for take off. He even went so far as to thank us for our patience with the delay we’d just experienced before casually lobbing a further ‘We’ve just been informed that due to the delayed departure our next available  take-off slot is just over an hour from now’. Why did they have to wait until we were safely locked on board the fully fuelled aircraft? Ah well; extra helping of boredom here we come.

It turned out though, that the tactics being used were really to lull us into a false sense of the inevitable. I was waiting to use the toilet, as you do when trying to fill a random hour with nothing to do aboard a sealed Airbus 320, listening to the cabin-crew manager not-so-gently quoting rules at one of the cabin staff who’d been collared by an angry American lad concerned about missing his connecting flight to Scotland from Luton.

I’d happened to chat to the same lad in the departure lounge as the first delay was being re-announced in order to clarify the actual time of postponed take-off. The announcement was in crystal clear Greek-English right up until the bit which mentioned the new departure time which appeared to be at ‘tri-tompty’. Needless to say we were slightly confused. Especially him as he was really trying to work out whether he’d miss his connecting flight with which he had carefully crafted a very neat and somewhat tight ninety minutes from an on-time landing.

He was trying to keep the delay as low-key as he could so as not wind up his partner even further, seeing as he’d already quite successfully embarrassed her by having his cabin baggage thoroughly searched at Security by forgetting he had a litre of Ouzo stashed in one of the inner pockets thereby mildly breaching the 200 ml maximum fluid limit. The last thing he wanted to do was let onto to her that any substantial delay would bring about an unscheduled overnighter in Luton airport by this disruption to his delicately balanced connection plans.

As I was learning during my lavatorial queuing, EasyJet small print recommends an absolute minimum of three hours between scheduled landing and connecting departure times or they happily, and by the sound of it, gleefully, wash their hands of your problem.

As his luck would have it, this was the point where new style delay tactics met old and the captain happily announced that he’d secured an immediate slot for us and would everyone return to their seats. Time for me to hold on, if you get my drift. The relief belonged to my American acquaintance and I’d just have to wait a little longer. In the bad old days, we’d probably have sat through the full hour, had another delay slide itself in and probably a failure of the cabin air-conditioning to add sweltering heat just for good measure. But that was then. This is now.

These days with advanced computing and corporate fear of fines and squeezed profit margins, aircraft slot manipulation generally copes with everything except terminally bad weather. You just can’t beat the wrong sort of snow to bring an airport to its knees, can you? (That was a tag-question, just in case you’re interested). These days, airport trance generally seems to err on the side of good-natured boredom rather than the angrily stressed out multi-delayed trances of yesteryear’s holidays with small children.

Mind you, come to think about it, Gill and I now have the luxury of being able to choose our holiday dates more or less as we please and therefore have tended to choose flights which are less likely to have children on board. Don’t get me wrong here, I like children. I’m even told I behave like one every now and then but there is a time and a place and cooped up on a small aircraft is not a child’s natural Habitat, (a store which I think has lost its touch by the way, the designs seem to be trying too hard, if you know what I mean).

So perhaps airport trances haven’t changed after all, although I suspect the quantity of mega-delays we’re subjected to has tended to diminish over the years, unless of course you’re an avid watcher of any of the many flies-on-wall docu-dramas which thrive on passenger-airline conflicts.

The thing is, I think I’m experiencing the same airport lounge scenes as everyone else. I use the same language, the same descriptions, quite likely some of the same airports and airlines but the same words are being used here to describe different personal experiences. I say what I mean but this gets heard very differently because my co-conversationalist uses a different frame of reference to decode my meaning into their version of the reality.

We got know a couple who were holidaying in the same place as us in the last week. Nice people. We were staying in the same hotel over the same week, having travelled, as it turned out on the same flight, so part of what we discussed in our trivial holiday-maker way was our return trip home. Same airport; same airline; same destination. I thought we were on the same wavelength until I realised that they were going to leave the hotel a whole hour before we did, just to make sure.

They’d been talking about the small local airport and its small check-in area, small security and small departure lounge, as had we. It turned out that to them, this meant it would extremely congested because of its lack of space, so making check-in delays inevitable. I’d been talking about exactly the same words but thinking that we would be through check-in really quickly as there wouldn’t be the usual hustle and bustle of more active and sizeable airports.

Same language, different meanings.

This phenomenon threads its way into many therapy scenarios and is one that I’m constantly on the alert for in the conversation between my clients and I. I’d just taken my eye off the conversational ball, so to speak because I was on holiday.

This phenomenon is why Cognitive Hypnotherapy takes such care in uncovering not only the client’s underlying issues and solution states but also and in some ways more importantly, the actual words that each client uses to describe those states. After all, it’s irrelevant which words I’d choose to use and if I want to be able to talk meaningfully with a client’s unconscious mind, it will have a far more precise understanding of what I’m talking about if I use its very own programming language. This is why a thorough Consultation is such a key part of accurate therapy.

This is just one reason why Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be such a brief therapy in comparison to others, some of which apparently expect clients to buy into many months, if not years of working towards a solution.

This is why, if an interim recording would prove beneficial for a client, each one gets a specifically written bespoke download, tailored to each individual, using their words. No two clients would get the same.

This is why some chronic pain sufferers may hear ‘Cognitive-based pain-management’ as simply dismissing their pain as ‘its-all-in-your-mind’. Indeed, I’ve come across practitioners who’ve misunderstood their own training in the same way. To me it simply means this; Pain is very real but the mind is very powerful. Perception can be manipulated. Pain can be relieved.

This is also why some relationships founder, despite both partners trying really hard to understand each other. The same words are being said but different personal reality decodes the meaning into something else.

And this is especially why so many issues have their roots in childhood. Not only is language and experience drastically different between a child and an adult, (particularly a parent; I recall leaving hospital as a first time father feeling completely different to the man I had been when I entered many hours earlier), but children also perceive the world in very dualistic terms. Things are either right or wrong, good or bad, on top of which evolution has  programmed them to believe that the world revolves around them. It’s how evolution ensures they survive such a long period of parental dependency. It’s why children can seem so demanding. They are. Pretty much everything a child sees or hears or experiences is in their mind entirely to do with them. This is why seemingly innocent comments or incidents can have such long-lasting effects.

This is why Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be so very effective and it’s why I’m choosing to spend the rest of my life using it to help clients.

And this is why, if your life is telling you that somehow, somewhere, something’s wrong, you just might find that Cognitive Hypnotherapy is exactly what you’re looking for, (but in your own words, of course). 

Why not get in touch? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Mum's not in... © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Mum’s not in…
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

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9 thoughts on “I say tomato…

  1. About a year ago, I engaged in cognitive hypnotherapy to stop smoking. It worked for about 3 months but then I was back on them…see I have been smoking since I was 9, I am now 36. Long time for your cognitive to get used to this normal way of thinking and functioning. I gave up when I was 24 and started again when I was 31. My main goal was to purify my body so I could have a healthy pregnancy, which I did at the age of 28. I started the smoking literally the day I stopped breastfeeding. However, during this time, I had a traumatic experience which triggered my natural response of ‘light up, it’ll make the situation easier.’ The reason why I started in the first place was because I was sent to boarding school at the age of 9 and hated it so much I did everything I could to get kicked out…if I knew then what I knew now, I would have done something entirely different to get asked to leave, which I was by the way. So, I have been on this roller coaster for the past six years of quitting and starting up again. My advice to anyone and everyone – never start smoking, ever ever.
    Good to get that off my chest!
    Danni

      • Hi Danni,
        thanks so much for the comments. I’m pleased it seems to help, feel free to write as much as you like – if it’s long enough I might even have to re-post it!
        Was it ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ you had or was it another type? There are so many different schools of hypnotherapy these days.
        I guess your unconscious doesn’t really see smoking as being like breathing but it definitely equates smoking with something beneficial.which it is reluctant to let go of. It odd but it’s trying to protect you by keeping you doing something you know is seriously unhealthy, weird isn’t it?
        The key is to unlock what it is that smoking equates to in your unconscious and then de-linking it. usually this is done in conjunction with other techniques that help to break habits.
        Feel free to keep in touch.
        Wishing you all the best
        Tony

    • You’re welcome! I do try to take everyday experience and give it a twist to help illustarte either what Cognitive Hypnotherapy is all about or do shed light on some of the techniques or thought processes involved.
      I’m gald it seems to be working,
      all the best
      Tony

    • Hi,
      I’ve accepted the invitation. Many thanks, I feel a little honoured!
      When I post something, do I simply do it the same way I would have done it in my own blog?
      All the best
      Tony

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