“Briefest Moments” video of Steve.

In January 2015 I invited a colleague, Chris Gunn, who is also a videographer, to spend a week with me in a house on the beach in Kauai. One afternoon Chris set up a couple of cameras and asked me some questions — some professional, some personal, some both — and edited the result into a 40-minute movie that might be titled, “Hanging out with Steve.” A sample from the video appears below. Chris created the video as a gift, but knowing the time and skill that went into this project, all proceeds will go to him.

Watch a sample on Youtube! https://youtu.be/Y3jIVIPv81k

You can purchase the full video here for $7.99.


Therapy Case Example article by Ron Soderquist

The current issue of the Psychotherapy Networker has an elegant example of using careful framing, and both conversational and overt hypnosis to change a simple unwanted habit. (with comments by Steve)

Read the article here.


How to motivate a family member to participate in therapy

In the same issue of the networker I have a letter to the editor about using “mental Aikido” to gently motivate a family member to join in change work by expanding the scope. The editor shortened my letter somewhat to fit the magazine. The slightly longer version of my letter is below:


In Kirsten Lind Seal’s case study, “Managing Hecklers in the Therapy Room,” the father insists that the problem is his daughter’s disrespect, and wants Seal to treat the daughter without involving him in therapy. Seal quite rightly wants him to be involved, and says, “Can we try it my way first?” The father responds, “All right, you win,” clearly indicating that he sees this as a struggle between them, and that he has given in—not the greatest for eliciting rapport and cooperation.

Whenever a client attempts to take charge of what happens in therapy in ways that are not likely to be productive, there is a more subtle intervention to elicit voluntary compliance.

“Look, you’re a lawyer, and I’m not. It would be pretty silly if I told you how to prepare for and handle a case, don’t you agree?” That sentence is something that the father has to agree with—and the more arrogant and dictatorial he is, the more he will have to agree. The implication is that it would be equally silly for the father to dictate how to do therapy. But since this is unstated, the father can change his response without a struggle or having to “give in.”

Whenever a family member refuses to participate in therapy, there is another intervention that will usually elicit compliance without a struggle. “You’re saying that the problem is entirely your daughter, so there is no need for you to participate. I’m OK with working with your daughter alone on this. However, that means that you will have no opportunity to contribute your views and ideas, and I assume that also means that you will have no objection to whatever changes we make without your participation.”

The changes in the father’s facial expression in response to this expansion of scope are a delight to watch, and if the daughter is present, her change in expression will be even more precious.

If you rehearse these two interventions so that you can deliver them smoothly and congruently, you will find many opportunities to use them to avoid struggling with this kind of client.