How Guided Mind Clearance Therapy Cured My Emotional Eating
Once again, I find myself being asked to write about something I don’t understand or I’m not familiar with. This time it's Guided Mind Clearance. I know, right? Guided Mind Clearance – conjures up images of an episode of Hoarders in someone’s mind palace – like dudes in hazmat suits have got their facemasks on and barged into Hannibal Lector’s head…
But, weird mental pictures aside, it actually gives me a good framework for a piece – I’m new to this, you may well be too, so let’s do the journey together. Admittedly not parallel in terms of the presently accepted space/time continuum but metaphorically at least. 😊 And if I’ve been the guinea pig already then maybe you can benefit from my experience and get a better insight into what this whole shizzle is really about.
So! I’m asked to have a look at this website (the one you are on right now) and I can see that this treatment can purportedly be used in a whole host of scenarios – ranging from depression and anxiety to weight loss (and didn’t my little ears prick up at the mention of that) to combatting physical pain.
The size of the problem
Let me give you some background, I’m approaching 40, I have had two children and I have always, but always had issues with my weight. The fact that I’ve never physically gone above a size 14 (10 US) hasn’t had much of an impact on the amount of time I have spent worrying and stressing about it and the size (or should that be girth? 😊) of the problem in my mind.
Like most women, and I dare say a lot of men too, the prospect of a ‘magic bullet’ or shortcut to weight loss is something that I’ve never been able to scroll past – as much as I know that raspberry ketones, protein powders, intermittent fasting plans and metabolic body type analysis are all shamanistic and frankly shameless, marketing ploys, doesn’t mean that I don’t live in hope still😉. But seriously, I know that the key to weight loss and maintaining that loss is attitudinal and related to lifestyle and choices.
Ah yes, its all so simple eh? Just change the way that I shop, cook, live, eat, work, parent and exercise. Easy peasy. But actually no, it isn’t. If it was then we’d all have done it by now, wouldn’t we?
This is the point that I’m at when I’m asked to have a look at this site, test out some of the treatments and write some blogs for it – and, of course, my first question is the title of this piece - ‘Can Guided Mind Clearance Cure My Emotional Eating?’
I had my tongue firmly in my cheek when I said it; obviously if people were able to do that we would have done it years ago and we’d all be walking around looking like Selina Gomez and Justin Beiber already (Instagram would become entirely redundant!). But I’m told that actually, yes, the thought processes and behavioral patterns behind overeating, weight issues and ALL the associated guilt/shame/comfort cycles could be cleared out and new process put in place.
So, I said what any half-crazed, desperate reasonable optimistic and open-minded person would say: ‘I’ll give it a go!’
I met Daniella, the therapist on a zoom call and I settled in my favorite armchair whilst she gave me the rundown on what the treatment actually does, how it works, and the differences between this and hypnotherapy.
The basics (as I understand them anyway – Daniella can probably explain this much better than me) are that traditional hypnotherapy reprograms your existing thought patterns into better ones. Obviously, the details of those will vary from person to person and dependent upon what you would like to achieve. Guided Mind Clearance on the other hand, doesn’t force a different set of imperatives over the top of what’s already there. It clears out the issues/grievances/traumas/negative patterns already there to allow you to reestablish for yourself a better set of basics.
Think of it like the tacky, green and brown, geometric wallpaper your Gran has had in her downstairs toilet since 1976. Its old, its wrong and it makes you feel a bit ill to look at it for too long. You can either buy lovely new paper and stick it up over the top or you can strip off the old rubbish and start afresh with paper, or paint or some of those uber fashionable ‘Live, life, love’ wall stickers (just kidding, we know they’re pretty awful too). But you see what I’m saying, right? Guided Mind Clearance is about stripping back the deadwood and starting a fresh. I don’t know which of the two is best – I guess it will come down to the individual, but that’s the best analogy I can give for the way I understand the differences between GMC (cos I’m sick of typing it now) and traditional hypnotherapy.
So, after I had a better understanding of the principles behind the treatment, we discussed what it was that I wanted to achieve from it. I swear I could actually see Daniella making mental notes as I spoke, and oh my word, if she didn’t truly empathize with what I said then she is possibly the best actress in the world.
Daniella was able to probe deeply into the thoughts and feelings behind my behavioral patterns and she seemed to be able to very quickly isolate the triggers and ‘rationale’ (namely the lack thereof) behind the way I thought and felt about food, my weight, my lifestyle. She pinpointed I think, 4 areas of emotional reaction that were key to my cycles of ‘food abuse’.
At this point she invited me to start with the technique. Nervous, I was. But fainthearted? Never :D
Yellow puss balls, black smoke and ‘something like the alien from alien’
The technique or treatment in its simplest description is putting someone into a light trance, using breathing and relaxation techniques very akin to basic meditation whilst keeping a dialogue with them. They are then asked to imagine their issues in a place in their bodies with a color, shape, texture, smell, or flavor. Once visualized these entities can be ‘removed’ within the visualization and banished into a white light representing an emancipation from the malevolence they signify.
Yes. I know. I know how that sounds.
But as the old axiom goes – you can’t knock it till you’ve tried it. And frankly, I was surprised at what my imagination did. The imagery I experienced was not like something I was actively conjuring – it was coming from somewhere outside of my conscious mind. I shocked myself. Danielle would gently bring up one of the emotions I had talked about in the initial consultation and ask me to identify where in my body I would place it, where I felt it most. Then I gave it a physical appearance, including, shape, color and texture (one of them I could even taste) before using a variety of implements to exorcise it from myself and send it hurtling into the bright white light.
What scared me was the darkness my mind conjured in association with the things that I had been so blithely discussing moments before – I had stress-balls full of infected yellow slime in my solar plexus to represent my sugar cravings; my mind gave me black smoke filling the back of my brain cavity as I was prompted to think about my gratification issues, my guilt was manifested as a huge, red, tentacled creature befitting something Sigourney Weaver would struggle to battle – even in the fork-lift suit.
But, one by one, I was able to extract, vacuum, exorcise and, at one point, jet-wash, all of these demons of mine into that light.
And afterwards? I surprised myself again. I cried. I cried and I cried because not only was I shocked by the depths of the iniquity my mind had conjured over this matter that I didn’t realize was actually such a big deal but also at the sadness I felt. I realized I’d been carrying all that bile and darkness and hate around with me, and worse, pointing it all at myself for so long. I was sad that I had tortured myself with all these things for all that time.
Daniella reassured me that it was really quite normal to have a strong emotional reaction after a session and for once in my life, I didn’t feel like a total douche crying in front of someone. And the weirdest thing? I felt physically smaller. Not shorter, or less than - but lighter, and human-being-shaped. The feeling I’d had for years and years, the physical feeling of being stuffed inside a skinsuit that’s two sizes too small; just disappeared.
Obviously, having had this session yesterday I can’t tell you right now if it will lead to actual weight loss or not. But I can tell you that my attitude towards food, my weight, diet, exercise and lifestyle is NOT what it was yesterday morning. I genuinely think that I will lose weight now that I no longer believe I am ‘disgusting’, and I am not in a cycle of denying myself things only to crack and binge on them later. I also feel that a lot of the gratification triggers I suffered from can be sidestepped through not punishing myself for feeling them in the first place.
This is the thing isn’t it? I was punishing myself for being a fatty, and what’s the punishment for being a fatty? Making myself fatter. I was the defendant and the judge and the executioner all in one. So now I don’t feel like I deserve to be punished for it I should be able to stop punishing myself. If that makes sense. 😊
I will of course, keep you all updated with the rest of my journey. My issues with food are not, by far, the only issues I have, and I am keen to see what else Guided Mind Clearance can do for me.
Oh, and this morning when I woke up? I wasn’t hungry. 😊
The results: Guided Mind Clearance Therapy kickstarted a change Amy's relationship to food and 5 months later she had dropped from a UK size 14 to a remarkably slender size 8! Previous diets have been a struggle for Amy but this time her experience wasn't a painful at all. She followed her own calorie controlled plan at the start but soon she found that she didn't really have to think about planning it, and so the weight just naturally dropped off over time. Now its a case of keeping the weight off of course, but so far so good; Amy is feeling great about her weight, lifestyle and eating habits.