Monday, July 30, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Meeting & Rehabing the Disorder Core

"You & only you create the patterns that you want in your life. You are totally responsible for which patterns stay & which patterns go. This is about no one else.....but you. This is not the time to run & hide. Nothing positive is accomplished from that position.".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Each time I do a workshop or meet a new client in my office, I return to my writing with new fervor, for each individual brings a disorder that is new & different from all others. Each one is unique unto itself & as I keep myself attuned, the disorder core will open to me with it's own suggestions for rehabilitation.


The first & perhaps most important concept I have to impart, whether writing or speaking or recording, is for the individual to understand that he or she is separate from the disorder. When I first meet up with them, this is rarely understood. In fact, the disorder is usually firmly entwined around the individual, just like a clinging, out of control child that is busy manipulating to get his or her way. The connection is so strong that both, the individual & the disorderly child part, think that each one is the other. They are totally consumed, sharing emotions, thoughts & behaviors.

It's important for me to introduce this concept gently. I usually work with an image of the tightly wound child & utilize my words, either written or spoken, to slowly disengage the child. My work is to build rapport & understanding, the words actually doing the untwining. Usually they come straight from my gut feelings & over the years I've learned to trust them.

In the library of my mind I have a resource center that is filled with words & images for each part the work I set out to do. Often times, even I'm surprised about what comes out of my mouth or onto the paper or computer screen. I often think of my inner librarian, scanning the resources for what will work best. Working with the spokenWord is not all that different from the written word. One only has limited time or space to sell the idea. Since I'm actually working with two separate parts, the individual & the disorderly core, I must decide how to frame the pitch, as well as where to throw it.

I usually prefer to pitch to the individual, of course realizing that most likely, are not in their mature-Self, especially in their relationship with their disorderly core, because if they were, they wouldn't be purchasing my books or CD's, or working with me directly.

If you've been following my blog, you already know Aida & some of the behaviors of her disorderly core. You may remember that her core was formed very early in childhood by her very emotionally intense family. To me, Aida's core reminds me of a bulldog, a noble & kind breed, but if not disciplined, capable of intense strength & rage at the slightest provocation. One can't help but to notice how Aida respectsher disorder, even to the point of being it's humble servant.

Remember how she fixed the tray by the side of her bed & how beautifully she kept the food available for walk-by snacking? Now, how do you think her disorder would react IF she didn't do these things?

Aida chose to image her disorder as a very spoiled child, who expects everything to be done to her highest expectations. She was greatly concerned about what was going to happen when she decided that she's had enough of this nonsense. Part of her fear is her familiarity with intense emotion & rage & it's easy to understand why Aida has agreed to stay at this "servant level" for so long, despite knowing consciously that she is participating in dangerous patterns.

Aida's disorderly core archtype is not uncommon. In fact, this type of core lives inside many other's who harbor addictions. Judy, another woman in my workshop has similar issues with a disorderly alcohol core. Just thinking about "taking on" her core drained color from her face. I wish I could have read her mind, but everything about her shouted that she was absolutely terrified of that part of her very own Self. If you are new to this way of thinking, it might help to think about out of real living out control children who remain undisciplined because their parents are afraid to apply it.

And so, for Aida & Judith, until the healthy displine plan is designed & integrated, their disorderly cores will stay twisted around them, even cutting off their circulation. It's important to know that some cores are so toxic, that they are life-threatening. Andy, who is bulimic, is one of those with a super-toxic core. Her core actually demands that she vomit in a "three times per day" ritual.

Those with disorderly eating need specific tools, as well as support to be able to step up & to discipline this part of themSelves. This is why it is so important for written or spoken words to address the underlying issues, providing images that bring inner organization & power to the matureSelf.


The subconscious mind works backwards & this is of great benefit to the strengthening of the matureSelf. What it sees & senses, it believes as true. A powerful image & affirmation that I like is, "Whatever it takes, this is what I'm going to accomplish & I remain consistent with these new patterns of life that I have chosen."

Think about Aida relaxing deeply, tilting her gently closed eyes up to view her inner movie screen. Remembering the words, she formulates the image of what she wants to accomplish AS IF it were already completed. Her coreSelf is happy, healthy & balanced. Aida appreciates that the core is a child & may forget the images, but all she has to do is to notice that forgetting, relax into the moment & to bring forth the images again..... perhaps holding her child gently & lovingly.

The core responds to this love & respect for itSelf & wants to please. Aida is now in charge of designing & implementing her new personal myth or pattern. This is not a family or social myth, but her own myth, designed to bring her to a higher level of health & performance.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Locating Motivation

"It's true that one has to want to change, but hot desire & intense motivation can be found, or placed in the conscious, subconscious & unconscious areas of the mind. So, there is no shortage of resources."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Most of us are not tuned into the different areas of our mind, nor are we truly tuned into our body. We may think we are, but thinking & actually doing are two different things. In order to tune in, we need to be actively practicing tools such as heightened awareness & mental biofeedback or body scanning. These tools connect us directly with body sensations & the emotions/thoughts that are related to them. The tools are quite easy to learn, but besides learning, they need to be enforced & of course, that takes time & desire to become a better caretaker of one's assets. As I tell those who work with me, "either you do or you don't. Your outcomes will reflect your inner choosing.."

When I presented this knowledge hook to Aida, she was very positive & hopeful that this time around things could be different for her. She loved the idea of having inner motivators, as well as a mature/adult Self that was ever present. As she commented, "While this is more complicated than I thought, I can now understand why I haven't been able to succeed. I simply wasn't taking care of business, nor was I working well with my assets."

Aida's job was to begin to uncover her old & current patterns that came from modeling her earliest teachers, including the teachers up through today. These would also include her community & cultural norms. As Aida has a very strong personality, I expected some conflicts along the way & I wasn't wrong. While it's never easy to take our models off the top shelf & to examine them closely, it seems to be more difficult when the individual has bought them or owns them in their soul. This was the case with Aida. The parenting or modeling she received came from a loving, but intense extended Italian family.

Changing these norms was going to take some very special Interactive Self-Hypnotic applications, but Aida was up for the challenge, as her physician had truly frightened her about her liklihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.


No matter what you want to achieve, it is vital to manage body tension. The stress chemicals that are produced from tension, not only store fat, but are related to many disease states, including the altering of immune function. Aida held a very high level of body tension, a good portion of this being unconscious or subconscious. In other words, she simply wasn't aware of how tense her deep muscles were. True, she complained of neck & back strain, but had attributed that to the many hours she sat at her computer & the weight that her body carried around. Once she learned to be a close observer of her body communications, she realized that she woke up at a high level of tension.

Looking at other areas of life, she couldn't help but notice that when she was with her family of origin, her body became even more tense, dispite the fact that she & her family got along very well. However, she was quick to agree that her family, while happy, leaned towards tense living & probably this is where she picked it up. What Aida described is an example of subconscious modeling; the body responding to the tension carried by another individual or multiplied by a group of individuals.

Aida's job was to lower her body tension norms & then to program her mind to notice increasing tensions, so she could release them "in the moment." I asked her to work with a program I've written called Mental Biofeedback or Body Scanning. It would take her about thirty days to re-program her body for a lower level of "normal stress." She also worked with a program called Becoming Aware that assisted her in recognizing body sensations, along with the emotions & thoughts that were connected. Within a few weeks, Aida was much more relaxed & less reactive to her stressors. She was now ready to enter her models or patterns & to construct changes.


Once relaxed, it is much easier to enter a chosen focus. For Aida this meant entering & cleaning up old models or patterns. She was becoming aware of the connections between her thoughts & emotions & how they played out in her body. Now, she needed to begin to pay attention to the details of what was currently happening & noticing what seemed to be getting in tthe way.

Aida ran into a few problems with areas that she didn't want to see or to clean up. Many of these had to do with old family patterns or models that were very ingrained from the time she was a child, for example, the weekend family get togethers, the continuous eating & the huge main meal. Of course, she could now see the connection to her own continuous eating & complete lack of discipline, all of which presented as a huge block. It was now time for her mature/adult Self to bring in the motivators, many of which were very frightening because if Aida didn't change, these negative motivators would most likely play themselves out in current reality.

I asked Aida to work directly with her emotional children for these were the parts of her personality that wanted to hang on to the old patterns. Her child-Self needed to be brought into the new disciplines & rewarded every step of the way. The rewards in Aida's case would come from ongoing positive inner affirmations that helped to raise her self-image & self-esteem. She needed to motivate, change & reward on "baby-steps." For example, each time she thought about the weekend family ritual, she reframed it in her own mind, playing out the scene as she needed it to be, as if she were the writer-director & producer.

In the theater of her mind she felt her mature/adult moving through the scene & interacting with the family & her new inner choices. Each time she said no to something or chose to follow her new script, she hugged her inner children with a tremendous flow of love. In the background, she played some of her favorite music. Then, she future-paced an inner motivation that she had designed earlier. Many of these were available to her. Sometimes she asked her inner child to choose the motivational reward. This became a very popular mind-game & worked as it's own inner motivation.

No inner arguing or discussion was allowed. Everything was decided & activated ahead of time. As Aida tells it, "The first weekend felt like I was wearing new shoes, but I was able to walk the walk without to much angst. My inner children knew that they could eat healthy food, but they had to watch their portion sizes & had to follow the new rules. It's rather funny, but they seemed to like having rules. I never expected that."

NEXT BLOG - Working with Emotional States

Monday, July 23, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Awakening

"What is often perceived as failure, is simply a matter of lack of specialized education. Emotional & thought management fall into this group".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


Coming out of the closet with a collection of perceived failures & a list of personal short-comings takes courage. I remember Aida telling me that she felt "nude." As she explained it, "I never shown these things to anyone before & quite honestly, I've never wanted to look at them. In fact, I really don't want to look at them now. The idea of giving them up is also frightening to me, because who will I be without them?"

Aida hasn't been able to separate her mature, adult-self from that of her disorderly eating issues. In fact, she still isn't aware that she has two separate kinds of eating disorders & that she, in her mature, adult form, will be managing both of them. As she learns the practice of heightened awareness, the divisions will become clearer & in so doing, it will become easier for her to manage the different facets.

Aida has lots of personal power, or resilience to bank on. Just for starters, she is a successful business woman, as well as a great mother, daughter & friend. She is NOT her eating disorders, nor is she her body, nor her mind. These all stand apart from the "authentic Aida" & as she comes to awareness of this, she will be able to relax into the process of creative healing.

Aida will learn to build mind bridges to her resilience or resources & in so doing, she will uncover more & more, perhaps some going way back to the time when she was just a baby. Interactive Self-Hypnosis is a powerful awakening tool that she & I will utilize for this part of her work. Few of us have taken the time to participate in this kind of mind work. It's really quite easy & everyone can learn to do it.


I'm going to ask Aida to relax deeply into the moment. She has already worked with me & has reinforced her ability to relax utilizing an mp3 for this purpose. Because of her preparation, she can be in a ready mind & body state in just about 30 seconds. Within a week or so, she will be able to do this in any moment she chooses. She will close her eyes gently & follow my suggestions, first locating a path that will take her back to earlier times.

Aida is in her adult, mature mindstate & is carrying a basket to hold her past resources. This is an embedded suggestion to her subconscious mind. It's one of positive expectation & will ready the mind for releasing her memories of earlier power. Earlier adult-selves & children of all ages come to greet her, all carrying gifts for the basket. Each is clearly labeled with a picture or words describing her inner power.

While Aida may not be able to read these during this time of deep relaxation, more than likely she will have many break-through memories later in the day. She also realizes that many gifts come from areas of her life where she may have perceived failure in the past, as our greatest strengths are located within these experiences. This is indeed good new for Aida who has been battling weight issues for a good part of her life.


I like to teach in self-hypnotic trance & this is quite easy to do, whether I'm using the written word or the spoken word. Metaphor or specialized imagery is my vehicle for this. The school-house is one of my favorite over-arching images. Most of us can think or visualize an old-fashioned school house, complete with bell & playground. The teacher inside this school house is the Higher or Mature Self, thereby giving Aida the opportunity to work on knowing this part of her, her main player & power source. Sitting inside the classroom are her child emotional states, each wearing a teeshirt with their names on the front. Some of these emotions are quite big & have been around a long time, but they are still children. In the past, Aida was afraid of them & that is why they were hidden, but no longer. Now they are in school & ready to learn new, healthy disciplines.

As the mature, adult Aida presents the new "game plan & rules", she will get a sense of her own power & for her, this is completely new in managing her eating issues, although she has been successful with this in other parts of her life. The reslience that she gathered in her basket, sits in testimony to this. In fact, the bigger eating disorder emotions are busy looking at that power right now.

While this may seem like child's play, it is far from that. The subconscious mind is the creative-child mind & responds well to these types of images & metaphors. In fact, once the mind engages, it will want to detail the imaginology even more & in so doing, bring forth the needed changes & motivation for Aida to change course.


Aida had never thought or her thoughts as "things." In fact, she rarely thought about her thoughts at all, other than to react to them & to follow their directions. Never once did she consider that she could actually change all of them IF she wanted to do. As far as she was concerned, there was little choice, but as we discussed this further, she had to admit that she didn't follow the direction of her thoughts in all parts of her life. In fact, in her business life & in her parenting life, she dismissed many a thought. This awareness will help her to know that she can & will do the same in her eating disordered department.

In the school-house Aida asked her emotions to give her any & all thoughts that were not in keeping with the new, healthy disciplines we were designing. As Aida tells it, "My goodness. I never realized there were so many. I imagined that these kids were emptying their pockets onto my desk & while it looked like a bunch of paper clips, rubber bands & even a few worms, I knew that these were the thoughts!"


I asked Aida to relax deeply into the moment inside the school house & to have all of the emotional kids do the same. When everyone was quiet & peaceful, she simply pointed to them & a golden circle was placed around each one. She came to understand that this was a healing circle & the presence of all of this inner healing could be felt in her own body. Change was on the way....

NEXT BLOG - Building New Resources

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Stress Connection

"We are all powerful, creative people & can manage our mind & body connection at very high levels, within the 24 hours we are given..... if we are willing to do so"...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

I hear plenty of sagas about plenty of things & having enough time to manage stress is probably one of the biggest. My favorite patient statement is, "I'm too stressed to manage my stress." The truth of the matter is that the body needs the release & the mind is ready, willing & able to assist. Now, if the body owner doesn't set the rules for the stress-release, then the mind will choose & usually it's not a healthy way. In addition, since no correction came from the body owner, the mind will continue doing the same. This is partly how addiction & emotional/stress eating come to be so powerful.

Not all disorderly eating is stress-eating & Aida is an example of someone who has both issues. Aida designs webpages & works from home. When I met Aida, her goal was to lose weight. At five foot one, she was already over two hundred pounds & gaining steadily. She made no secret of the fact that she loved to cook & she loved to eat & spent a good part of her day doing both.

Her clients loved to stop by her home office because it was always filled with wonderful aromas, as well as samples of whatever on the menu, for Aida had no rules as far as food was concerned. Fruit sat on the counter, next to homemade biscotti. There were no rules for food choices, portion sizes or eating times. According to Aida, this is the way she grew up & how she viewed normal.

What she didn't consider "normal", was her stress or emotional eating. Once it became dark outside, Aida became dark inside. As soon as the dinner dishes were done, she headed for bed & the television. The stash was beautifully presented on a side-tray, even with a linen napkin. The anticipation of release was over-whelming. She thought about it often during the day, even planning what would prepare for the stash. Sometimes she cooked something special, just for that purpose. According to Aida, it was better than sex. The only person she had to please was herself & she delighted in it. The level of her stress didn't seem to change the level of the stash or binge. This was a regular, nightly ritual that served the purpose of release.

It was quite a different story for Elissa. She could go days & even weeks without emotional eating on her own. However, when she was in the office, she couldn't stay out of the kitchen. But according to Elissa, everyone did it & if she didn't do it, then she would be considered "out of the pack." As she explains it, "our office is a very stressful place & if we didn't have our candy, cookies & cake, we would all go mad." I met Elissa at a workshop that she attended because she was beginning to notice changes from all of the daily sugar. In addition, she didn't feel hungry for healthy foods & this was beginning to frighten her. On weekends, she felt better, but when Monday rolled around, it was back to stomach aches, irritable bowel, anxiety & even pure panic disorder.


Both Aida & Elissa have emotional eating issues & even though the disorders present themselves differently, each will benefit from the same techniques & suggestions. When writing a book or a CD/mp3 program, one doesn't have the benefit of face to face assessment, but as the writer, I can place critical questions & awareness tools that will allow each individual reader/listener to enter their own life experiences & to take their harvest to the technique. This I call Interactive Self-Hypnosis.

It's important to differentiate between physical & emotional or psychological stress, the reason being that each needs to be taken care of separately. It's important for every individual to eat a properly balanced diet that takes into consideration their individual needs. Some of these include family or personal medical history, body weight, lean body mass size & body fat percentage, as well as exercise levels. Viewing the body as a car, if the right amount of gas isn't in the tank, then the car won't go.

When a person has a high body fat percentage, the lean body mass is going to be small. Their physiology is set up to burn sugar & not to burn fat. The lean body mass IS the fat-burning machine & so it needs to be built up. Unless this is clearly presented, the individual will continue to burn lean body mass & to become even fatter than before. This is what happened to Aida. When she came to my office she was 62% body fat & her lean body mass only weighed about 85 pounds. In other words, her lean body mass was anorexic.

There are also other things to consider. When there is no eating discipline, the hormones that manage the blood sugars become way out of balance & sometimes, like in the case of Elissa, the appetite signals change & usually not for the best. When there is no discipline the body enters food stress & even more stress chemicals are produced. We can notice this in both Aida & Elissa. When we look at the family & personal medical history, we can also find other reasons for the body not burning fat. And so, while our readers/listeners usually don't have a PhD in nutrition, they still need to understand how their body works & what they are responsible for doing.

Once their physiological needs are met, Aida & Elissa are ready to work with healthy emotional release tools. In my work these include mental biofeedback, emotional & thought management. Images, or hypnotic suggestion are going to be very useful here. In mental biofeedback, each woman will learn how to communicate with their body sensations. This is key in managing both the production of stress chemicals & the diminishing of them. They will also re-program their body to alert them "earlier". This will allow them the opportunity to release stressors "in the moment", instead of storing them, like in Aida's case, until she climbs into bed with her "stash." Aida began to learn that her daily thoughts about the "stash party" were attempts by her body to alert her to an increased level of stress.

NEXT BLOG - Managing Thoughts & Emotions.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Inside Secret Eating & What Works

"The willingness to see takes a spoonful of courage & is the first step out of procrastination. Like other things in life, it's not as difficult as it seems. Take my hand & I'll pull you forward".... Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

It takes quite a bit of energy to harbor a secret & especially for secret eaters. Through the years I've been invited into many secret rooms & have been able to explore the exquiste details & often original creativity of the secret's many facets. As a writer & nurse practitioner, these experiences have been invaluable for they allow me to work with a special set of keys. These keys allow me to know the questions to ask, either directly or indirectly & of course, whether we are questioning ourselves or others, everything is about asking the right questions.


Most individuals, including myself, want everything yesterday & the idea of taking time to wake-up is usually not popular. Unfortunately, this is the reason why it is so difficult to overcome issues such as these. Secret behaviors cannot be addressed while they are still locked in the basement & yes, it does take courage to be willing to open the door. That is why I often open the door for the reader/listener & then, gently show them that while there may be a mess, it isn't as terrible as they thought.

Metaphors or working images help enormously. The subconscious mind works backwards & so the images are about what is desired, "as if" they were already present. Just as the power of the "secret" was in the details, so is the power of the new imagery.

When I met up with Emma & her secret, she was middle of the night-bingeing on ice cream. Ice cream bingers have additional creative issues because if they live with other people, it's next to impossible to hide ice cream in the freezer. Because Emma binged at night, she was able to replace the ice cream the next day. Of course, she had already memorized the "original level" of the old container. That meant either eating down to the old level or putting that part down the sink. Each facet of her secret was involved with very specific emotions & each emotion had a need for it's existence.

The first image that Emma entered was a walk around the hours that were involved in the binge-behavior, only these hours were binge-free. She needed, not only to see what she truly wanted, but she also needed to mind & body visit all of the details. Mind & body visiting means hearing her thoughts & feeling the body sensations of being balanced & practicing healthy behaviors. This can be accomplished in many different ways.

I invited Emma to be the writer, producer & director of this segment of her life. In order for her to get the true feelings inside the healthy actorEMMA, she went on stage & entered the individual playing her part in the drama. This also gave her the opportunity to lighten any emotion she still felt was too intense & then, she stepped out & observed the scene continuing. This is called future-pacing & is an invaluable tool, both for writing, as well as in the therapeutic environment.

Emma was now ready to go back to the "old scene" & to invite the actorEMMA, along with the presenting emotions to come to the classroom for a Q&A. In the beginning, Emma needed some help with formulating her questions. Part of her was actually frightened of the size of some of the emotions, but as she came to understand that she was the mature-adult & truly in charge, she was able to build a new kind of relationship with these parts of herself. This was not about blame, guilt or shame. It was about a need to understand, to provide what was & may still be needed by those parts of her & to bring a higher level of health to her mind & body. Here are some questions Emma asked to the emotions involved in the old night bingeing...

Why do you do this?
What do you need?
How can I help you?
What needs to change?
What would you miss if we stopped this?
What would you gain if we stopped this?
What should we throw away?
What should we keep?

Usually the answers are quite child-like & that is because the emotions are truly a child-part of ourselves. Emma came to learn that her emotions needed much more release time. She tended to be a workaholic & rarely took a break, just to relax. She spent her day moving from one activity to another, while never feeling the sense of true accomplishment. Her emtions wanted this to stop. They wanted to be thanked & admired for what they had done & they wanted this to come directly from Emma.

They wanted to eat whatever she wanted out in the open. Most were tired of having to spend so much time running the binge. They simply wanted OUT. How great it would be to be free of all of this. Emma was a grown woman & if she wanted to eat ice cream every day, this was her choice. It was her responsibility as a mature-adult to decide how to run her nutrition & to manage her choices. If someone criticized her, she simply didn't have to defend her choice. She is the writer, director & producer of her life. This is true freedom.

Of course, everything we do has consequences & so Emma's work involves having a look & a the details of the consequences. This is where she will gather her motivators & as she does so, she will be alone & not with her emotional side-kicks.

We motivate on both negatives & positives. Emma needed to feel the negative consequences of over-eating ice cream. She came to experience what it felt like to be obese, as well as to truly have diabetes & heart disease. What does it mean to be locked into a killer disease? What does it feel like to wake up in the morning & to have your choices curtailed by a stroke? What emotions hang out in your day? What has she given up here? What about the other chronic diseases that have been fired off by these choices, such as arthritis or chronic fatigue? How has this impacted her creativity & productivity? What about relationships? How does she feel about herself in this living environment? All good questions.

Positive motivation is usually not as powerful, but can be enhanced by the choice of "feeling" words, either written or spoken. Feeling her clothes fitting comfortably or having everything in her closet one size! Liking herself without anyone else having to say anything. Feeling proud & balanced. Relaxed & creative. Reversing the aging process. Being in control. Sensing her true power.


Emma has much work to in relation to managing thoughts & emotions, not only concerning her ice cream binge, but in all areas of her life. Noticing & questioning thoughts & emotions will take her closer to her authenic self & keep her out of developing habits & behaviors that take her in the direction of illness, both physical & emotional.


Some other areas for Emma to enter will include...

Reviewing food & beverage intake in relation to her family & personal medical history.

Learning a relaxation response skill such as mental biofeedbck.

Learning to take the time for her mind & body to repair.

Enjoying working with problem behaviors & thoughts processes including mistaken beliefs & habitual thinking patterns.
Desensitizing her emotions.

Examing her coping strategies, removing what doesn't work & building new ones.

NEXT BLOG - Emma & others work to understand & reduce stress.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Writing for the Addicted Listener

"We are not our stress, our thoughts, our out of control emotions, or our addictions, but this does not mean that we are not responsible for managing them."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

While I write SpokenWord programs utilizing Interactive Self-Hypnosis, one does not need to be a therapist to write for these market. However, when doing so, it's important to truly get a feel for what this specific listener needs. This also holds true for the written word. Working with a therapeutic consultant may give you just the insight you need to write a successful program or book.


One of the reasons I began writing in this field was that I felt the existing material often stopped short of truly helping the reader or listener, who needs to fully participate in the written or spoken word in order to effect change in their life. To my mind this is why there are so many books on weight loss, but we still have an epidemic of obesity in our nation & in other parts of the industrialized world.

I've written & produced many programs for specific addictions, both for adults & children. Being at the mercy of addiction, no matter what kind, takes away from the beauty of life. The addicted individual stands in the corner of life, knowing that sooner or later the addiction will make it's appearance. While it may appear to be welcomed or even joked about, it is never an inside joke. Consciously or subconsciously, the participant does know that the addiction is harmful & usually has a growing fear that the nightmare is just around the corner. This underlying fear or anxiety is often blocked or at least tempered in order to keep some level of balance.

There are both physiological & emotional components to addiction. As the listener comes to understand this, some of the guilt & shame can be better channeled. Those who answer to stress with addictive substances or behaviors often have a high anxiety personality & while sounding negative, there are some positive virtues. In addition, when the high anxiety is managed correctly, taking into consideration both of the aforementioned components, the individual can gain healthy ground in many different arenas of life.

Here are some areas that the addicted listener might be experiencing:

Rigid Thinking - black & white, filled with "should's, musts & can'ts." Keep in mind that all thoughts are mini-subconscious mind programs & that each thought joins up with those already planted, while encouraging more to come forward. Bringing the listener into heightened awareness & presenting metaphor or suggestion for change is truly a necessity for success.

Excessive Need for Approval - this includes low-self-esteem, fear of rejection, sensitivity to criticism, difficulty saying "no" & tendency towards co-dependency. As the writer, it's important to create images & metaphor with this in mind. As the subconscious mind does not accept negatives, such as "I have no fear of rejection", the writer must plant a positive suggestion, but keeping in mind the negative that is being addressed.

Extremely High Expectations of Self - sometimes it's difficult to recognize the low self-esteem because those with high anxiety personalities tend to hide it very well. They are often high achievers, are very creative with a ton of imagination. These facets can be turned into assets with the right words, suggestions or metaphor. It's all a matter of bringing balance to the chosen words & painted images.

Perfectionism - this follows the areas highlighted above, but deserves it's own mention. The listener with excessively high expectations, all or nothing thinking when evaluating his own actions, also has a tendency to focus on small flaws & errors, making them into mountains. Again, this is an opportunity for the writer to present suggestion or metaphor for bringing balanced thinking. Working with mind images is very useful here & as the listener enters the clearly, defined image & begins to participate with the Spoken or written words, change ensues.

Excessive Need to Be in Control - the listener or reader wants control of every life facet & since this is impossible in real life, stress builds & release is sought with substance or addictive behaviors. There is also a tendency to try to control feelings & behaviors of others. Sometimes this is overt & other times it is held inside, appearing as completely normal & more than well-balanced. Knowing what may sit underneath, the writer can design very specific imagery or use the written or SpokenWord in ways that help to diminish these tendencies.

Tendency to Ignore the Body's Physical Needs - people who utilize addiction for managing stress usually have multiple addictions, some more potent than others. There is a tendency to disconnect from the body & it's needs & may not even sense things such as fatigue or other physical symptoms. There is usually a history of very poor self-care, except they may look very well indeed on the outside. This is why the writer of either the Spoken or written word has such a unique opportunity to help this large part of our population for the writer gets to go indoors.

As a writer, it's not necessary to address each of these issues in a "to do list fashion", but just knowing your audience at deeper levels, will allow you to help them to manage their multiple issues, for indeed, every writer is a therapist of sorts.

Complimentary mp3 download SpokenWork programs are available at the following link:

SpokenWord Audio

Designing Metaphors for Addiction

Your mind works as a servo-mechanism. That means it serves you whatever you request & those requests come from your visual & audio thoughts, as well as your automatic programs that reside in your subconscious. appetizing is the platter you are being served today?....
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


The appetites or needs of those living under the darkness of addiction are very specific & so the sound-bites or written words need to be designed to meet these needs. As creative writers, we tend to work in metaphor or story telling & this is a perfect way to tempt the subconscious mind.

When writing in interactive self-hypnotic suggestion, I can cover lots of territory with a few simple images. When the listener or reader enters the image, the metaphor becomes multi-dimensional & therefore much more powerful. I'd like to introduce you to a sampling of my favorites:


While many of us have heard the term inner-child, few of us work with this concept on a daily basis. The child-self is separate from the mature-adult or higher self. This is an extremely important concept for my listener or reader. Just as he is not his thoughts, emotions or body sensations, he is also not his inner child. This technique is called disassociation.

The child-self remains with us throughout our life & right now, in this very moment, your child-self is with you. It doesn't matter what you are doing. The child is never far away & as you come to recognize it, you are then free to manage your emotions, because your child-self is wearing an emotional coat, or if you prefer because it is summer, a tee-shirt with the name of the emotion written across the front. There are all sorts of coats or tee-shirts. Some you have had for a very long time, perhaps almost from birth & others were placed on you as a young child. As you became older, more & more coats or shirts were placed on you perhaps by your parents, siblings, relatives, clergy, teachers, neighbors & even your community at large.

We all have a large variety of these. Some tend to be very controlling & rigid. Others may be woven from fearful threads or those colored with guilt or shame. When these are worn it is often difficult to think, much less dream freely about what you might like to have for yourself; what you might like to experience in life. When you are wearing one of these you might hear yourself thinking or saying out loud that "you can't do something or that might be ok for others but not for you." When these coats are worn one lives in a locked world. In this instance you curtail your inner gift of creativity, keeping yourself in the corner of life.

Those individuals harboring addiction often have a huge collection of rather dirty coats & so a shopping trip is definitely in the plans The listener is delighted to know that these coats can come off in an instant & new, colorful, light coats can be chosen instead.

When working inside this metaphor I like to spend time examining each of the new coats....admiring their qualities, the strength & durability of the fabric, the uniqueness of the design, as well as the great fit. I suggest a few very powerful new coats & perhaps a few that appear on the surface to be less important. This part of the metaphor is aiming towards balance, which of course is something that the addictive listener needs as well.


Balance is a key ingredient for healing addictive tendencies. The balance beam is a simple metaphor & most individuals have observed gymnasts performing on a balance beam & so they are familiar with what it is. The beam can be painted with the name of a particular issue & the listener can practice balancing in this area of life.


The mature self is separate from the child-self & is completely free from emotional coats. Getting in touch with this powerful element of the personality is very important for the individual harboring addiction. There are many ways for the writer to introduce this part & literature is filled with examples. However, I like the listener to uncover their own mature or core self & so one way is to take them to one of the creative parts of the inner workshop where there is a block of valuable carrera marble, as well as a hammer & chisel.

As work begins, the chips fall away & the figure can be seen emerging. Then the listener notices that he is not the only worker on this project. The mature or core self is also chipping away, wanting to be free. I've found this metaphor to be extremely empowering as the relationship with maturity begins on a mutual working stage.


No matter how simple a word, it has intrinsic value when writing therapeutic material. Negatives are never utilized in any images, except for cleaning or clearing or manipulating in some positive way. It's important for the mature or core-self to understand that part of it's work is to clear or heal negatives, no matter how "old" they are.

All words flow towards building or suggesting strength, as well as what is the desired outcome. When an individual reads or listens the brain waves are slowed & so the door of the subconscious mind is opened, allowing even simple words that are self-affirming to perform at high levels.


I've placed a complimentary mp3 SpokenWord program at the following link. The name of this program is The Life University.

You can make something happen today. Good things can happen to you & for you right now. As you learn to break your big plan for success into small steps, you can take the first step right away. Your success is a matter of your expectations. Once these are accepted by your own inner mind, the plans are placed on the drawing board. You are the one who stretches your horizons & then designs the roadway........Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

This program takes the listener or practitioner of self-hypnosis to the powerful Life University. The listener has the opportunity to visit skill building areas that may need more structure in his/her own life including emotional management, thought management, goal building & action classes, life balance, health, work ethics & motivation, relationship building, spiritual enhancing & opening, future pacing & planting & much more.

This program allows one to self-assess, to find areas that may benefit from change & to actually plant the mind programs to do so. This is an ideal program for those who truly want to move on & to truly make those changes that will greatly impact their lives.

Working with the Therapeutic Self

"We think we want to do things, but that simply isn't enough, for without emotional motivation, the thought won't go anywhere. It's like a car without gas."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

As writers we have many, many unique opportunities to help our readers or listeners towards change, but that won't happen unless the written or spokenWord is well-marinated in hot-desire emotional images that speak directly to the therapeutic part of our audience's mature self. It's also not going to happen if we are not taking good care of ourselves, both physically & emotionally. This is especially important for those of us who write in the field of self-help & self-development, although well-written fiction has placed many a person on the road to change because the subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between truth or fiction.


Inside each of us is something called the therapeutic self. In the practice of nursing, this is a key element in designing the nursing care plan for the patient. In writing, I find this just as important. When someone says "your writing or your audio really speaks to me," you know that you have reached the door of the therapeutic self.

The concept of the therapeutic self plays a major role in the development of a positive attitudinal approach, both for the writer & the reader/listener. What you do, what you say, as well as what you think & feel make you unique & your uniqueness is the key to deep caring. The depth of the caring will impact on the ability to bring change. To achieve positive change, each of us, writer & reader/listener must be invited & then to be motivated to look at ourselves & to examine our assets & liabilities.

Without the knowledge gained from an honest appraisal of the personal self, the therapeutic self can be in jeopardy of being ineffective as a change agent. So yes, as writers, we have our own self-work to do, if we want to bring this depth to our audience.

To be therapeutic, you must be yourself. And so, you need to recognize your personal strengths, as well as your weaknesses & to work with them, bringing them to their highest levels. In the practice of Interactive Self-Hypnosis, this is accomplished with the help of the subconscious mind. Here's an inner working example:

Invite yourself to relax deeply into the moment. This is as simple as finding a quiet place, utilizing a few cleansing breaths & intending to bring this experience to yourself. Once settled in, tilt your closed eyes up about twenty degrees & view the mind-screen. If you are not a visual person, just pretend that you are sitting in the second row of a movie theater & put your limitations aside. On the screen place your mature or therapeutic self, perhaps sitting on a comfortable chair. On the right are chairs for your assets & on the left sit the chairs for your liabilities. Image them as children coming in & taking their appropriate places. Notice there is no voice of judgment.

Once everyone is settled down, notice the light filtering in through a big window & entering both the assets & the liabilities. Black drops exit the fingertips, transmuting into gold dust as they touch the floor. Notice the assets are becoming bigger & stronger; the liabilities smaller & less intensive. The gold dust is now presented to your therapeutic self to bring back to the workshop of your daily world.

Here you are being genuine, honest, open & flexible. There is no voice of judgment. Nothing here speaks to errors or mistakes or any other negatives. Here, the self-esteem grows strong. In allowing yourself to just be, you share feelings, as opposed to trying to mask or cover them. Sharing is a very meaningful part of honest & open communication, but before you can have it with others, you must be able to have it with yourSelf. This is the practice of being human & is the essence of professionalism, both with yourSelf & with your audience. This is mature growth.


The therapeutic self needs specific positive attitudes for living at healthy levels. This is so for both writer & audience & so when writing, we come from our own therapeutic position & speak to the mutually mature aspect of our audience. Here are some powerful additudes to entertain, as well as to deliver in your writing:

Personal Worth: This is the viewpoint your hold about yourself & others. For example, staying aware & understanding such things as cultureal & social differences, respect for humanity, tolerance & patience towards human fraility. This is especially key when writing for addiction or other self-help areas. Whether it be the spokenWord or written word, the writer should demonstrate a conviction that dignity, individuality & equality of people must be protected.

Personal Integrity: I believe strongly that we must all maintain a sense of honesty towards ourselves & with others. We communicate on so many different levels & if we are living a dishonest life, then this will come through as well....not the type of delivery we want.

Open-Mindedness: We can model a willingness & ability to change, for it sits within all of us. As we practice, this will find itself in the work we deliver to our audience.

Hopefulness: As writers, we must practice looking at our own life situations from the bright side. This will then allow us to easily convey brightness to our audience, keeping in mind that we cannot give what we do not have to give.

So writing is not just about getting the words on paper, or the sounds on the disk. It's not just about deadlines & struggling with mental blocks. Writing is also about how we care for ourselves & the attitudes we hang around with, for like it or not, they are a part of what we share, consciously or subconsciously.

Inside Secret Eating

No need to run & hide from disorder, no matter where it lives in your life. As you come to take care of it, just like magic, other things will fall into place".... Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

As far as writing markets go, one doesn't have to look far to find an emotional or disorderly eater. All I have to do is to look in the mirror, but as I look at myself I'm not really seeing the emotional eating part of me because it is hidden. While we all live behind masks, emotional eaters are especially good at this. Even though I've met thousands of people with this problem, I'm still taken aback by someone who looks "so together" who comes to tell me their unique story.

Take yesterday for instance. A beautiful thiry-something woman, Denise, came to my office to work on "some issues." As we got to know each other, I learned that she is a very successful television producer with a long, impressive resume. I also came to learn her deepest secret, that of being a serious closet binge eater who vomits every night before taking her antidepressant & a sleeping pill, so "they will work faster & take me away from my desire to eat more & more."

Secrets such as these form a big part of the problem, as well as being able to help individuals such as Denise. I remember a publisher telling me that "no one wants to be seen with a book whose cover reveals their secret." And so, the title of your book or audio may or may not speak to the person who needs to benefit from it, but the material must. This is one good thing about mp3's. They are simply downloaded to one's own computer or ipod & no one else but the listener "needs to know." Three of my biggest sellers in mp3 are Managing Bulimia & Emotional or Compulsive Eating. Next on the list comes Skin Picking & Nail Biting, most likely for the same reason.

What about diet books? It's seems to be ok to buy one of those, but for emotional or compulsive eaters, what they need is not going to be found in those books. In fact, some of them tend to make the problem even worse because it is very difficult for the emotional eater to stay with a plan, when the underlying issues are not addressed at the same time. Also, many people with emotional eating are not over-weight & believe because they are not, then it's ok to continue down their unhealthy eating path. Unfortunately, they are very mistaken. Luckily the television producer decided to take the "risk" & to bring her issues out into the open where she could learn to take care of them.


Emotional & compulsive eaters tend to be disorderly in their nutritional & stress management care. If you've been following my blog, you know about the desire for perfection, the rigid thinking, the excessive need for approval, low self-esteem, extremely high expectgations of self & the need to be in control. And while they may bring this to other parts of their life & may even present themselves as "being in super-control of their eating" while others are watching, there is one part of their eating life that is for their eyes only. This is where the emotional release takes place & it is private & personal.

For Julie, another one of my patients, it means getting into her car at the end of a normal stress-filled workday & stopping at her favorite binge supermarket, usually where she is confident that she won't meet up with anyone she knows. What could be worse than having a shopping basket filled with binge foods & meeting up with someone from the office or church? Once she is safely out of the market, Julie repacks the bags in the trunk of her car. On the way out to the car, she grabs a few additional plastic bags, so the stash can be divided into groups & hidden under the seats of the car. That way, her husband will not see them or question her about them. Her husband who is very health-conscious, believes Julie to be the same. According to Julie, he would be horrified & lose all respect for her.

Julie takes one bag of chips to the front of the car. These are designated for the ride home, whatever left going under the seat & out of sight. Julie's ritual includes ripping the bag open with her teeth. Her thoughts & her body sensations are already deep into the "fix". She takes a solitary chip in her mouth before starting the ignition & sucks the salt, enjoying the sensation as much as the taste. Then she shoves a small handful into her mouth, moving them around with her tongue....finally relaxing, the sensation of satisfaction & safety entering her body, as she carefully reviews her stash in her mind. Ahhhh.....feeling so good, but lingering in the back of her mind is the voice of judgment. "What is wrong with you? Why do you do this? Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" Julie pushes the thoughts away, answering with another handful of chips.

Everything will be just fine now.....or will it? Julie knows better. Bingeing in the car presents all sorts of problems including crumbs on her clothing, on the floor of the car & grease on the steering wheel, but this binger is no amateur. She's walked this dangerous road before & was even caught once, or at least there were "suspicions" which of course, Julie flatly denied & then quickly dodges the trouble, by hurrying inside. As she tells it, "that was a close call." Julie pulls the car to the side of the road a few blocks before arriving home. The place is her favorite because it is quite safe. Few neighbors enter her subdivision from this entrance. Making sure she is unnoticed, she steps out, brushes off her clothes, checks the floor & the seat for evidence & then wipes the steering wheel with a packaged cloth she keeps in her purse for "such occasions." Mission far.

After dinner, while her husband brushes his teeth, Julie moves the stash inside, artfully carrying it past her kids who are doing their homework. Some she places inside her blouse. Her heart pounds but her defiant part laughs as she heads for her carefully chosen hideouts. "It's all worth it....every bit of it."

Julie is a night binger. After everyone in the house is sleeping, including herself, part of Julie wakes her up. She carefully gets out of bed, looking back at her sleeping husband, measuring his breaths. No change.....good. She walks to her hiding places & makes her choices. Tonight it will be salt & crunch first & then sugar. Sitting in her favorite family room chair, she carefully opens each package, still keeping her ears on alert for any footsteps on the stairs, never letting her guard down. "Somehow it's part of the game & enjoy being with this devious part of myself. It's powerful, like some of the girls I knew in high school. No one knows this part of me & I've kept it a secret for as long as I can remember. I don't know if I can ever say good-bye to her."

The attention to detail is very important to the binger. Julie has stored a toothbrush & paste in the guest bathroom to use after her eating ritual. If the binge was big, she may use the toothbrush handle to induce vomiting, but this means be extra careful. No one can hear her & she cannot leave any signs of this; another thing to clean up. "I try not to vomit because of all the complications, but sometimes I know I'll never fall asleep unless I do. I'd truly like to get rid of this part, but then again, it does help me to relax deeply."

Not all binge or emotional eaters are women, nor do all have such complicated rituals as Julie. One of my clients, Harold, is a investment broker. He sought out my services as a clinical hypnotherapist because he had a medical condition called bruxism, meaning he mashes & grinds his teeth. During his assessment, Harold asked me if I could also help him manage an annoying problem. Just about every evening, precisely around 9PM, he would start having mad cravings for soft ice cream. Both Harold & his wife had sworn off sugar years ago & everything about their lifestyle spoke of health.

So, Harold started making up stories about needing to go out for gasoline or back to the office because he forgot something, etc. A good part of his waking time was spent thinking up new ways to get to his "stash." As he was telling me of his plight, I couldn't help but notice how excited he was, rather like a young boy telling me how he goes about fooling his mother.


There are many people who maintain that they have emotional or compulsive eating issues, when what they really have is something I call "disorderly eating." Some eat continually, others having more of a pattern. In order to explain this way of managing their eating life, stress or the label of emotional eating is attached to the behavior. There is no discipline whatsoever; no plans for meals or snacks. I call this living by the seat of your pants & the numbers of people who participate in disorderly eating is huge. Just look around. You don't have to look far.

While all of this is very sad for adults, it is even more so for teens & kids because they are setting lifetime patterns. Their parents are their mentors & so this is seen as "normal." I see many of these children in my practice & sell more mp3's than I'd like to count that address some of the negative outcomes of disorderly eating. These include concentration, focus, sleep issues, early alcohol addiction, early smoking & many others.