Monday, September 10, 2007

Secondary Gains

There are times when an individual may seek help for an issue, appear to be trying and yet success alludes them. There are those who reach their desired success quickly, then seem to do a complete 180 degree turn. Why is this?

Perhaps it is due to something called a secondary gain. If your disease allows you to miss days of work or school, illicit sympathy or gain attention, these are some examples of what a secondary gain is. Every behavior we have rewards us in some way or we wouldn't have that behavior. That's right, every behavior. Even the negative ones. Therefore, when changes don't seem to occur, it is time to take a look at what the benefit is.

It is usually said that to suggest you might be taking advantage of others as a result of your suffering is to blame the victim. How can you take any course of action when you are assumed to be unable to help yourself? This allows you to be treated as a victim, removing any responsibility to change your circumstances.

Are you giving yourself permission to act out irresponsibly because you "can't control yourself"? Going a step further, you can treat others poorly or have power over them if you are the "victim" and they need to conform to your special needs. Perhaps your family all has a similar issue and this allows you to be a part of the clan.

Through hypnosis, we can journey together to discover what the gains are. They are often not something the logical mind would expect. Once discovered, another method of meeting that need can be established. A healthy habit, thought or behavior that will allow you to move beyond the issue towards success. Away from over eating, nail biting, smoking or even the hiccups towards a life of freedom!

A former client with a long term physical ailment came to me hoping for a cure. There had been quite a bit of attention given to her ailment and her attempts at curing it. In my office, she was able to find relief. However, we agreed there needed to be more work done, to allow this to become a permanent change. The siren call of the media attention took hold. The follow up visits were not kept. The relief was sporadic. Perhaps a secondary gain can be seen here.

When you make a commitment to yourself, for change, it is important that you follow through with the entire course of action. You are worth it!

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