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:

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