Dr Patrick McCarthy's Key Topics of Thought

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New Zealand’s only medically certified hypnotherapist, Dr Patrick McCarthy, is the author of two books; Relax, Say Goodbye to Anxiety and Panic and Quit, Say Goodbye to Smoking. Patrick is also a recognised international speaker on the subject and considered a world expert on obstetric hypnosis.

 

You can listen to his conversation with MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine here.

 

Short on time? We’ve highlighted some of the key points discussed below. 

 

1/ The “you’re fecked” syndrome

When Patrick was working in Malawi, Africa as a young doctor, he met a patient that was paralysed from a ‘bamboozer spell’ – the man’s belief in the spell was so strong that another doctor, an Irishman, pronounced him “fecked”.

 

Patrick’s technique? To cure “magic with magic” and use the patient’s imagination to help cure him (you can listen to the full story in the podcast). In New Zealand, Patrick says the ‘bamboozer spell’ equivalent is our pessimistic attitude. He says we need to understand, for our own and our patient’s sake, how to be more optimistic because a pessimistic attitude can have a nocebo effect (the opposite of placebo).

 

2/ Doctors make terrible patients

It’s no secret that doctors make terrible patients!

 

Patrick says, “Doctors are great at being a doctor; at recognising the problems in others. But they are terrible at looking after themselves.”

 

In October 2017, the Declaration of Geneva (our modern Hippocratic Oath) changed to include the requirement for doctors to take care of their own wellbeing. It’s an important step because the way we are being as doctors is harming, even killing our patients as well as having a detrimental impact on our own health.

 

Patrick says the key is to be proactive; prevention is better than treatment. To put a ‘fence at the top of the cliff’ instead of an ambulance at the bottom. His simple self-hypnosis technique to reduce stress is one way you can do this.

 

3/ Take the direct route to a more relaxed and focussed mind

Doctors are more like mechanics than philosophers. We focus on the HOW more than the WHY. So when it comes to stress and anxiety, it makes sense to focus on the mechanism.

 

“There are thousands of whys but only one how,” says Patrick.      

 

He reasons that an easier way to tackle stress and anxiety is to use a simple technique to control the mechanism. There are thousands of reasons you may become stressed or anxious, so instead of trying to control these outside factors, Patrick suggests focussing on controlling your parasympathetic nervous system.

 

4/ The prevention technique

Patrick teaches his techniques from New Zealand’s only medical hypnosis clinic in Wellington. But he’s also explained the process in his book, Relax, Say Goodbye to Anxiety and Panic – he claims it takes less than an hour to learn and once a habit is formed, it takes seconds to implement. 

 

“You can’t try to relax or attempt or strive or endeavour or have a go because trying is not the same as doing,” he says.

 

“One day by chance I discovered a technique; a remarkable technique of simply touching a fingertip to access a positive emotion; a positive thought; a positive feeling; a positive image and to displace and replace the unwanted one in less than one second. I’ve been teaching that technique since 1991 to in excess of 10,000 people. Not one human brain has found away around it. Not one.”

headshot_patrick_mccarthy.png

New Zealand’s only medically certified hypnotherapist, Dr Patrick McCarthy, is the author of two books; Relax, Say Goodbye to Anxiety and Panic and Quit, Say Goodbye to Smoking. Patrick is also a recognised international speaker on the subject and considered a world expert on obstetric hypnosis.

 

You can listen to his conversation with MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine here.

 

Short on time? We’ve highlighted some of the key points discussed below. 

 

1/ The “you’re fecked” syndrome

When Patrick was working in Malawi, Africa as a young doctor, he met a patient that was paralysed from a ‘bamboozer spell’ – the man’s belief in the spell was so strong that another doctor, an Irishman, pronounced him “fecked”.

 

Patrick’s technique? To cure “magic with magic” and use the patient’s imagination to help cure him (you can listen to the full story in the podcast). In New Zealand, Patrick says the ‘bamboozer spell’ equivalent is our pessimistic attitude. He says we need to understand, for our own and our patient’s sake, how to be more optimistic because a pessimistic attitude can have a nocebo effect (the opposite of placebo).

 

2/ Doctors make terrible patients

It’s no secret that doctors make terrible patients!

 

Patrick says, “Doctors are great at being a doctor; at recognising the problems in others. But they are terrible at looking after themselves.”

 

In October 2017, the Declaration of Geneva (our modern Hippocratic Oath) changed to include the requirement for doctors to take care of their own wellbeing. It’s an important step because the way we are being as doctors is harming, even killing our patients as well as having a detrimental impact on our own health.

 

Patrick says the key is to be proactive; prevention is better than treatment. To put a ‘fence at the top of the cliff’ instead of an ambulance at the bottom. His simple self-hypnosis technique to reduce stress is one way you can do this.

 

3/ Take the direct route to a more relaxed and focussed mind

Doctors are more like mechanics than philosophers. We focus on the HOW more than the WHY. So when it comes to stress and anxiety, it makes sense to focus on the mechanism.

 

“There are thousands of whys but only one how,” says Patrick.      

 

He reasons that an easier way to tackle stress and anxiety is to use a simple technique to control the mechanism. There are thousands of reasons you may become stressed or anxious, so instead of trying to control these outside factors, Patrick suggests focussing on controlling your parasympathetic nervous system.

 

4/ The prevention technique

Patrick teaches his techniques from New Zealand’s only medical hypnosis clinic in Wellington. But he’s also explained the process in his book, Relax, Say Goodbye to Anxiety and Panic – he claims it takes less than an hour to learn and once a habit is formed, it takes seconds to implement. 

 

“You can’t try to relax or attempt or strive or endeavour or have a go because trying is not the same as doing,” he says.

 

“One day by chance I discovered a technique; a remarkable technique of simply touching a fingertip to access a positive emotion; a positive thought; a positive feeling; a positive image and to displace and replace the unwanted one in less than one second. I’ve been teaching that technique since 1991 to in excess of 10,000 people. Not one human brain has found away around it. Not one.”

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