"The You you want to be"
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About Donald Pelles
It is such a wonderful feeling when a client leaves a session transformed, having resolved an issue that she or he had been wrestling with for years or even a lifetime, knowing that I have made a significant difference in that person's life and for the people around him or her.
I help people with issues in their lives, be they relationships, smoking, or weight control; I help them to control their pain, stress, and anxiety, to rid themselves of fears and phobias, improve their performance in sports, and to "get unstuck".
My modalities are hypnosis, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), and Quantum Focusing -- a powerful blend of self-hypnosis, meditation, spiritual practice, and creative stress-management. I am well-trained, resourceful, and creative: everything I do is based upon the goals, needs, desires, and characteristics of the particular client in front of me. The work I do is highly effective in getting the changes my clients want – it is highly unusual for me to see an individual for more than six or at most eight sessions.
I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and later received my BA from Harvard, majoring in mathematics and graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. I attended the University of California, Berkeley with an National Science Foundation Fellowship, where I received MA and Ph.D. degrees.
For many years I was a mathematician and then a software developer, before finding my true calling of hypnotherapy. I started Hypnosis Silver Spring right after becoming certified by the IMDHA (International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association).
Since late 1977 I have been happily married Rosalyn Pelles, the love of my life; we have three grown sons whom I am extremely proud of.
Donald Pelles Success Stories
Core Transformation – an Actual Session
Women dealing with stress
Myrna (not her real name) is an executive with a large publishing firm. In her job she deals with the details as well as the larger scope of multiple projects: promotions, scheduling, budgets, and the people: accountants, editors, copywriters, and of course the authors themselves – brilliant individuals, many of them, but with their own egos, quirks, and insecurities. more
She came to me because of bruxism: Myrna was grinding her teeth. Her dentist prescribed a mouth guard, which Myrna wore at night to help prevent further damage to her grinding surfaces and to three crowns the dentist had to painstakingly re-do. But that didn't help during the day: Myrna frequently caught herself grinding unawares, and now and then even chewing on her tongue.
In our first two sessions I taught Myrna to take himself into “The Zone”, a self-hypnotic, meditative state and asked her to get into the habit of doing this multiple times during the day, for two-minute “mini vacations.” We did hypnosis sessions to help her become more aware of the grinding, so that she could stop it earlier or avoid it altogether. And I introduced exercises to stretch the jaw muscles and condition her to keep her teeth apart, and reinforced her motivation to do them regularly.
By the third session we were seeing progress. I wanted to deepen the level of our work together, to address the internal, perhaps unconscious aspects that might be connected with Myrna's grinding. I decided to use the Core TransformationTM process, developed by Connirae Andreas, Ph.D. and described in the book, Core Transformation, Reaching the Wellspring Within, by Connirae and Tamara Andreas (Real People Press, 1994). There were other possibilities, such as hypnotic regression to find and resolve the cause and an NLP procedure called “parts therapy”. But I chose Core Transformation because it is gentle yet works on both conscious and subconscious levels and because it can sometimes bring about very profound changes in behavior, thinking, and feelings.
I first explained to Myrna what we were going to do; that while she did not consciously want to grind her teeth, it was as if a part, or aspect of herself was prompting her to do that, on an unconscious level. We would address that “part” and ask what its intent was, what it wanted. Then we would ask for the “intent behind the intent” and continue in that way, up a chain of higher and higher level intentions, until we reached a “core state”, which would be an intention, an outcome on the level of “being” or perhaps “oneness” or something else of that nature – and could go no further.
Myrna was curious and intrigued and eager to start. She saw the grinding, she said, as part of the way she takes on time. “Part of my identity,” she explained, “is that I can get six things done in the time it takes someone else to do one. The flip side is that I rarely have down-time.”
I asked Myrna to close her eyes, relax, and turn inside, then to gently and respectfully invite the part of her that was associated with “being highly productive and getting things done” to come into her awareness. She would notice some change or signal, I told her – such as a picture, a feeling somewhere in her body, or a sound that would signify the part’s presence – and when she did, to let me know by nodding.
Myrna sat there with her eyes closed and a moment later began to smile, then nodded gently.
“What do you notice?” I asked her.
“It’s a to-do list,” she said, as amused herself as I certainly was. (Not everyone gets such a graphic symbol, by the way – someone else might feel, say, a warmth in her chest or a bright spot in her visual field.)
“Ok, great. Welcome the part; thank the part for being there,” I told her, “because you know it has some deeply positive purpose for you.” Core Transformation is a “part-friendly” process and it is important to thank and appreciate the part, even parts associated with behavior or feelings we may not like. We are not trying to eradicate or suppress these parts, but rather to find and let them experience their core states, and in doing so transcend and transform themselves and their often narrow initial intents.
“Now ask this part, this aspect of you, ‘What do you want?’ and note any image, feeling, or voice or sound that comes up – then let me know.”
“It wants to check it off and get on to the next thing on the list,” Myrna answered, after short pause.
“Ok. Thank the part for letting you know that. Then ask it, “If you have this – checking off an item and getting on to the next thing on the list – fully and completely, then what is it you want, through having that, that’s even more important?”
“It wants a recognition of my competency,” said Myrna, smiling.
I nodded. “Once again, thank the part, and ask it, “If you have that, recognition of competency – step into how it feels – if you have that fully, completely, totally, then what do you want, through having that, that is even more important?”
We kept on in this way, building an outcome chain for Myrna's part. The outcome chain, up to the next to the last outcome, was:
- check it off and get to the next thing on the list
- recognition of competency
- to be loved by everyone
- loving myself
- immune to other people's judgements
- to not think so much
Asking the question once more, “If you have that, to not think so much, fully and completely, then what is it that you want, through having that, that is even more important?”, Myrna's answer was “I just want to be.” This I recognized as a core state:
- it is a state of beingness, rather than of doing or having or knowing or relating;
- it is not something dependent on others;
- it is not something he does or feels about herself; and
- it is not a specific emotion.
“just to be” is the part’s deepest (or highest) level intention, what it really wants when it checks an item off the list or when it prompts Myrna to grind her teeth.
Having elicited the part’s outcome chain and found its core state, I now went in a different direction. “Parts often feel that in order to experience their core states, they have to do things, to go through the whole outcome chain, just to get there,” I told Myrna. “But really, going about it that way is not necessary and it doesn’t even work very well. A part can actually go directly into its core state. So now,” I continued, “invite this part of you to step right into this state of just being and experience it fully.”
Myrna lay back in her chair and closed her eyes and her breathing slowed down and became deeper and more regular. After about a minute I continued. “Notice how having this core state of just being as a beginning, as your way of being in the world makes everything different, how it changes everything. You don’t have to, but if you like, you can tell me about it if you like.
It looked like she wasn’t going to say anything and I was about to go on, when Myrna spoke. “Wow, it’s a whole different perspective,” she said. “I’m very calm, relaxed, but my mind feels clear and sharp. I don’t have to worry about anything!”
“Wonderful,” I said. “Now, how does already having that state of just being, as a way of being in the world, transform, change, or enrich ‘not thinking so much’?”
“It’s not so much ‘not thinking’,” Myrna answered, “but more ‘not worrying’ – I don’t need to ‘over-steer’ everything, all the time.” She smiled.
I continued going through the Outcome Chain, in the reverse order. “And how does starting from this state of just being transform, enhance, modify ‘being immune to other people’s judgments’?”
“It doesn’t affect me so much. I can listen to them, hear them. But I don’t feel judged the way I did before – it’s just information.”
“And loving yourself?”
“That’s more of a given now. I can just be – there’s nothing in the way anymore, of loving myself.”
“And how does having just being as a core state, as a way of being in the world, change, transform, modify ‘being loved by everyone’?”
Myrna kind of half closed her eyes, nodding gently as if to herself. “That’s nice, but it doesn’t seem so important.”
“And what if someone doesn’t love you?”
“Well, then they don’t.” She gave a little shrug. “I’m fine – I don’t need that the way I did, you know?”
“And ‘recognition of competency’?”
“Not a question. I am competent. It’s not about recognition.”
“And how does already having this core state of just being as the starting point, as your way of being in the world, transform or modify ‘wanting to check off this item and move on to the next thing in the list’?”
“Well, I’m still going to be organized, and productive. But it feels like the urgency, the compulsive part of it, is gone, or a lot less. There anxiety, the worry, is just not there.”
This is the basic Core Transformation exercise, the first part of the Core Transformation Process. This session was very straightforward; not all Core Transformation sessions are this way. Sometimes, for example, another part will object and we will need to detour and do the basic exercise with the objecting part or parts before we can continue with the first part.
Myrna's bruxism is now much improved. She still grinds sometimes when feeling anxious and stressed, but not at all when comfortable and at ease. She wears her mouth guard at night, but as more of a precaution than a necessity.