There is an intense mental toll of reaching—and remaining—at the pinnacle of a sport. “The top six inches of the body matter just as much the rest,” says Matthew Cunliffe, a sports psychologist, who spoke with Quartz about what goes through the minds of elite athletes and how psychologists can help them win. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
As an interdisciplinary subject, exercise psychology draws on several different scientific fields, ranging from psychology to physiology to neuroscience. Major topics of study are the relationship between exercise and mental health (e.g., stress, affect, self-esteem), interventions that promote physical activity, exploring exercise patterns in different populations (e.g., the elderly, the obese), theories of behavior change, and problems associated with exercise (e.g., injury, eating disorders, exercise addiction).[76][77]
I started smoking when I was 15yrs old. I am now 48yrs old. I have smoked at least a pack a day for 33yrs. More if I'm out on a girls night drinking wine! In the past I tried Chantix which worked for about 2 months but I had strange dreams and my entire personality went in the toilet so as soon as I stopped taking the pills I started smoking again. I also tried acupuncture which was a joke and I white knuckled my way for about 2 weeks.
Luke O’Neil for The Atlantic reviewed quit smoking hypnotherapy when he tried the treatment himself. He said “I left the session feeling noticeably different. I sat in my car outside for a half hour and did not smoke. I went to dinner nearby and sat, and had a drink, and did not smoke. Eventually I caved in to the craving, but I didn't like it. I'm still smoking, I just don't enjoy them anywhere near as much as I used to anymore.”
Today, hypnotherapists will suggest that smokers associate cigarettes with unpleasant tastes, odors, or sensations — for instance, that cigarette smoke smells like bus fumes, that the smoke has a nasty taste, or that it will cause you to suffer from dry mouth. They might also suggest that smokers believe that they have lost the desire to smoke and can easily cope with their nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
9. Power Words: Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. (e.g., When you’re thinking: “This hurts too much, I want to lay down and die”; say to yourself: “This feeling is connected with getting healthier and doing my absolute best.”)
According to Dr. Ken Grossman, a clinical hypnotherapist in Sacramento, “The only quality that makes someone a good candidate for hypnosis is that they want to stop. What makes someone a poor candidate is that they have no desire to stop.” McGrail agrees, adding, “There are very few people that will not allow themselves to be led into a hypnotic state.” While this may sound far-fetched to skeptics, think of it as the sort of state you’re in when you’re driving and miss your exit — that’s a mild form of hypnosis in and of itself. What these therapists do is just deepen the experience, using our natural capacity for dropping into trance-like states.
The American Society for Training and Development does an annual survey of training programs in general, and provides some valuable metrics. They also have good publications on leading leadership development strategies and programs. I suggest that you talk to peers in your industry to benchmark since practices vary widely from industry to industry, and depending on organizaion size. Finally, your executive team might want to come up with your own benchmarks for success since every organization and culture requires something different (i.e., decision making may be a big issue for leaders in one organization, but no problem at all for leaders in another organization). A question for the executive team to ask is “How will we know that our leaders are being effective?” Then, determine a metric that will best measure that success factor.
In today’s demanding business environment (cost pressures leading to flatter organizations, executive managers with more direct reports, “speed to market” as a competitive advantage with time pressure, etc.) executives have limited opportunity to devote time and energy to their own development as leaders. “Most executives struggle to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions and are too busy and too stressed to step back and learn from their experiences or to implement changes to satisfy best management practices.”[3]
As an interdisciplinary subject, exercise psychology draws on several different scientific fields, ranging from psychology to physiology to neuroscience. Major topics of study are the relationship between exercise and mental health (e.g., stress, affect, self-esteem), interventions that promote physical activity, exploring exercise patterns in different populations (e.g., the elderly, the obese), theories of behavior change, and problems associated with exercise (e.g., injury, eating disorders, exercise addiction).[76][77]
As chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) advances, about 35% of patients experience severe weight loss called pulmonary cachexia, including diminished muscle mass.[31] Around 25% experience moderate to severe weight loss, and most others have some weight loss.[31] Greater weight loss is associated with poorer prognosis.[31] Theories about contributing factors include appetite loss related to reduced activity, additional energy required for breathing, and the difficulty of eating with dyspnea (labored breathing).[31]
“Does anyone here feel like cigarettes are their best friend?” Hall asked, telling us to clap our hands, then to clap them again, this time leading with the opposite hand of what we were used to. It felt weird. The sound in the room changed noticeably as well. The point, Hall said, was that smoking is a habit we all perform as involuntarily, through muscle memory, as the way we choose to clap our hands.
It is far easier to describe what hypnosis is not rather than to describe what it is. For example, it is not one person controlling the mind of another. The patient is not unconscious and does not lose control of his or her faculties. People will not do things under hypnosis that they would be unwilling to do otherwise. The person being hypnotized is always in control. The hypnotized person decides how deep the trance will be, what suggestions will be accepted, and when to awaken. Therefore, a hypnotyized person cannot be forever "lost" if the therapist should fall dead during an induction or while the patient is deep in trance.
Sports psychologists may also pursue voluntary certification. This does not confer the legal right to practice, but does demonstrate expertise in a specialty area. Sports psychology professionals at both the master's and doctoral levels are eligible to become Certified Consultants (CC-AASP) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (http://www.appliedsportpsych.org/certified-consultants/become-a-certified-consultant).
Improvements that stem directly from coaching engagements include: enhanced executive learning, gains in corporate performance, enhanced relationships, increased leadership effectiveness and personal and organizational improvements. In the process, not only do executives improve themselves but substantially have a greater impact on their organization. Benefits to the organization include enhanced individual and organizational performance which positively affect organizational culture. These further provide enhanced reputation within the industry, improved employee morale, and positive work environments, thus greater productivity and enhanced client relationships. Coaching can be your competitive edge!
Dallas Sports Performance therapists who have a special focus on sports performance and sports issues, including sports counseling, and sports psychology. Sports counseling in Dallas may include sports preparation and sport coaching, while sports counseling in Dallas addresses issues ranging from performance to stress. Sports Psychologists in Dallas will help address sports performance issues for individuals and teams.
Abnormal results can occur in instances where amateurs, who know the fundamentals of hypnosis, entice friends to become their experimental subjects. Their lack of full understanding can lead to immediate consequences, which can linger for some time after the event. If, for example, the amateur plants the suggestion that the subject is being bitten by mosquitoes, the subject would naturally scratch where the bites were perceived. When awakened from the trance, if the amateur forgets to remove the suggestion, the subject will continue the behavior. Left unchecked, the behavior could land the subject in a physician's office in an attempt to stop the itching and scratching cycle. If the physician is astute enough to question the genesis of the behavior and hypnosis is used to remove the suggestion, the subject may experience long-term negative emotional distress and anger upon understanding exactly what happened. The lack of full understanding, complete training, and supervised experience on the part of the amateur places the subject at risk.
"Sometimes life becomes too difficult to battle on our own. Together, we can explore what events or relationships may be causing distress in your life and develop tools and skills to overcome these hardships. I strive to provide a warm and comforting therapeutic environment and convey empathy and understanding to allow my clients to feel safe and validated during our sessions. You are here, which means you've taken that first big step and I am here to help you through the rest of the therapeutic journey."
Take Jennifer Mansfield, vice president of training and development at a large software manufacturer. An acknowledged workaholic, Mansfield had followed a traditional path within her corporation, rising through the ranks by fulfilling every assignment with stellar results. When she was promoted to a managerial position, however, Mansfield’s self-confidence began to slip. As a boss, she found it hard to delegate. Accustomed to delivering 110%, she was loath to cede control to her direct reports. She also found it impossible to give negative feedback. As a consequence, her work and that of her subordinates started to suffer, and she was missing deadlines.

In order for a hypnotherapist to convey positive suggestions for change, the patient must be in a receptive state. The state is called trance and the method of achieving a trance is through induction. Induction techniques are many and varied and involve the therapist offering suggestions that the patient follows. The formerly common "your eyes are getting heavy" suggestion may still exist, but other more reliable and acceptable (by the patient) forms of induction have come to the forefront. The artful hypnotherapist is always aware of the present condition of the patient and uses this information to lead him/her down the path of induction. In its lighter stages, trance can be noted by the relaxation of muscles. At this point, hands can levitate when given the suggestion, and paresthesia, a feeling of numbness, can be induced. In a medium trance, a patient can be led to experience partial or complete amnesia , or failure to recall events of the induction after the fact. A deep trance opens the patient to powerful auditory, visual, or kinesthetic experiences. The phenomenon of time distortion is experienced most profoundly at this level. Patients may believe they have been away briefly, and may react with disbelief when told they were away much longer. Although some work can be done in lighter states of trance, the best circumstance for implementing change is when the patient reaches a deep trance state. At this level, the patient is focused inwardly and is more receptive to positive suggestions for change. This is also the point at which the therapist can invoke posthypnotic suggestions, or instructions given to the patient so he/she will perform some act or experience some particular sensation following awakening from the trance. For example, these suggestions, if accepted by the patient, can be formed to make foods taste bad, cigarettes taste bad, delay impulses, curb hunger, or eliminate pain. However, it should be noted that posthypnotic suggestions given to a person, which run counter to the person's value system or are not something they are likely to do under ordinary circumstances, will not be accepted and therefore not implemented.
"Dr. Kirby works with individuals and couples in his practice. Many of his clients are "worried well," adults who are generally functioning well, but adjusting to difficult life situations or recurring emotional and relational patterns. When these situations are causing anxiety, stress or depression, therapy can help. Dr. Kirby is known as a direct, smart, caring clinician. As a therapist, he helps his clients set and move forward with their life goals, improve relationships, and create more meaning and purpose. Whatever brings you in, Dr. Kirby prioritizes transparency and collaboration throughout the therapy process."
Sports psychology began with research on sports performance with psychologist and researchers Norman Triplett (cyclists are speedier in competition than when they ride solo) and Walter Miles (studied reaction time of football players to increase their reaction time after the ball hike). The person who was considered the first sports psychologist was Coleman Griffith. Today, most professional teams employ sports psychologists to assist players with mental health, performance, and well-being.
However, as you look towards the future, the world of executive coaching may take on a new shape. There may be more automation or a stronger focus on mental status or the psychology aspect of your career. As the executive coaching industry continues to grow, so does the number of ways in which this niche is going to change in the not-so-distant future.

"It is my belief that psychotherapy has the best chance to be effective when the client and therapist have a strong therapeutic alliance. That is, they have a good working relationship and are working toward exactly the same goals using methods or approaches best suited for the client. I strive to achieve this by providing a warm and safe climate, listening closely to the needs of my clients, and discussing our options and strategies."
McGrail believes that the approach Margaret took should work for most people: “It uses the power of the mind to change the behavior, and it is the mind that creates the addiction to smoking 10, 20, or 30 cigarettes a day. In hypnosis, we’re using that same power, much like a computer, to make those changes.” McGrail finds out what he needs to know about the person’s relationship with tobacco: history, triggers, and motivations for stopping. “The suggestions I give while I verbally guide them through their program make them start thinking about smoking as something they don’t want — or have — to do,” he explains. Instead, they can choose appropriate outlets for the energy they once devoted to smoking. For example, Jonathan, a 34-year-old database manager from Atlanta who’d smoked for 16 years when he decided to quit with the help of a $1.99 app on his iPhone, washed his clothes — even when they were clean — instead of lighting up. He also performed breathing exercises when he was tempted. A little silly, sure, but infinitely better for him than a pack of Parliaments.

I started smoking when I was 15yrs old. I am now 48yrs old. I have smoked at least a pack a day for 33yrs. More if I'm out on a girls night drinking wine! In the past I tried Chantix which worked for about 2 months but I had strange dreams and my entire personality went in the toilet so as soon as I stopped taking the pills I started smoking again. I also tried acupuncture which was a joke and I white knuckled my way for about 2 weeks. Rita is the answer!!!! I had my one session with her on June 9th and have been a non smoker ever since! My advice is to listen to the recordings she sends you. I listen to the 14min sleep one and also in the beginning I listened to one in my car. My career has me driving all over SoCal so that was a little rough but the tapes helped me through it. I cannot thank Rita enough for changing my life!!! I'm soooo happy to be a non smoker for the rest of my life!!!


Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) is an integrated psychological therapy employing clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).[14] The use of CBT in conjunction with hypnotherapy may result in greater treatment effectiveness. A meta-analysis of eight different researches revealed "a 70% greater improvement" for patients undergoing an integrated treatment to those using CBT only.[15]
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