While this page and the list below have the flavor of something to be read before PERSONAL IN-CLINIC psychotherapeutic work, this information and self-questioning STILL APPLIES perfectly to realizations that must be considered at start of the online Af-x program. All clients who personally attend a practitioner visit a similar page, albeit slightly more directed toward the personal clinical setting.
The aim is to have people understand some of the challenges that Af-x presents in its manner of working that run COUNTER TO what our society expects psychotherapy to be and how it conducts itself.
This also applies to the online program, and some questions and points hereunder are left in personal clinical context to give you an overview of the workings of Af-x as it is conducted outside the online program.
We all think we want change for the better; who wouldn't? But before you proceed, it may be wise to have a read of what appears below. These are a few questions that have been asked from time to time by people wanting to do the therapy but are still expecting Af-x to be similar to mainstream talk therapy and counseling. So we'd like to make sure that you are aware of the many differences before you commit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: "What are the ideal time intervals between sessions?"
The "ideal" session spacings would be anything between a day and 3-4 days. The usual time frame is two visits on consecutive days; session one in the first day, and sessions two and three during the second day's visit. This applies to almost all Af-x therapists.
- In your online program, the same or similar applies. Although it is OK to spend a little time with the first part of the program; the information Stages, try to conduct the sound file stages within short time ( a couple of days).
Q: "How long are the sessions?"
Your first session may take anything between 2 and 3 hours with subsequent sessions taking 50 to 60 minutes each.
- In the clinical setting the first session equates roughly with Stages to Stage 8 of your online program -
Q: "How does Af-x compare to hypnotherapy?"
Clinical hypnotherapy relies almost entirely on a therapist's assessment of a client's symptoms and subsequent "re-programming" of the sub-conscious in an authoritative way that leads AWAY from those important human innate re-balancing abilities.
Af-x strives for the opposite. The experience of subconscious re-framing is one of gentle guidance to allow, rather than insist on selective attention to affect states: - not unlike selective meditation, mindfulness, prayer, or even daydreaming. Simple and gentle, yet effective.
- You may substitute the question with "how does this work compare with the usual online 'self-hypnosis' procedures?" - Similar answer, but thoroughly dealt with in the program -
Q: "Some other therapies claim that the "emotional release" in THEIR therapy is what is required for change. What makes your approach different?"
Af-x is VERY different. True, there exist some similarities in CONTENT, but vast differences in the CONTEXT of approach to the therapy. All successful therapy relies on a client taking back responsibility and empowerment, and the reflective, non-narrative nature of this work ensures that like no other. A 'catalytic release' as described by more demonstrative therapeutic approaches is unnecessary and may even be counter-productive in Af-x work.
Q: "Can I stop my medication?"
That's entirely up to how YOU eventually feel about that, perhaps in line with your doctor's opinion.
A responsible registered and licensed Af-x Practitioner will not interfere with the relation- ship between you and your medico, but always be aware that if you seek clarification from the same doctor that prescribed that medication for you, it is not in his or her best interests to admit that your medication will no longer be needed. Our advice is to seek out medical practitioners that respect your wishes.
Q: "What do I have to do after the therapy?"
Nothing. You will be encouraged to "let it happen" and be discouraged from trying to analyze the sessions' proceedings. Af-x asks that you, for once, trust your subconscious.
- Also covered later in the program -
Q: "What if I don't think I experience RELEASE during the sessions?"
As expressed above, popular misconception in our therapeutic society is that 'release' must be experienced during session work. Af-x works on the basis that the unconscious learns its own private reframing and re-learning skills without necessarily focusing on any consciously-registered 'release'.
In fact, it has been shown that the desire to consciously experience release has in some cases been the very thing that sabotages subtle and ongoing change at subconscious level.
- Af-x is concerned with what some might call the "let it happen" part of the unconscious. It is important to not push for change or proactively direct with the conscious mind -
Q: "Will I have flashes of painful old memories?"
Not necessarily so, and if you seem to, it may be the conscious awareness only of an aspect of self that wants to AVOID change. In any case, the encouragement for you to revive trauma - authentic or inauthentic - is an old psychoanalytic regressive method. We don't do that. In reality, most people proceed through this therapy experiencing little more than subtle feelings during session work.
- This is as unlikely in the online program as it is in latter-day Af-x work. It is a gentle process that takes place below awareness -
Q: "Is Af-x good for my ………?"
If there is ANYTHING in your life about which you are uncomfortable, or you realize you are being prevented from reaching your full potential in any way, this can almost always be attributed to early learned emotional response patterns.
Many people have been surprised at the changes experienced to areas of their life OTHER THAN what they originally sought therapy for. Sports people and other performers have "freed-up", executives have been able to make better stress-free decisions, and even those with true physically-generated symptoms and problems have found greater acceptance and peace.
In short, the above question has no definitive answer other than, "who of us has not learned habitual responses in our lives that could do with re-learning?"
Checklist For Therapy
The "Mind Over Chatter" Way
(Is This Approach For You?)
People would not come to therapy if on some level they did not want to achieve a successful outcome. Af-x Practitioners are trained to respect the client's non-conscious desires as well as obvious, conscious needs.
- You would not have purchased this program unless you were aware on BOTH conscious and unconscious levels that you require free-ing up of older patterns of thinking, choice-making, reacting and feeling -
Your practitioner should not proceed unless certain imperatives are understood, and you are comfortable with them. So the following checklist is included to give you an idea of those imperatives.
- Similarly for online work -
Remember, Af-x is about planting the seed of change at subconscious level.
Question yourself on these points below, and honestly appraise your likelihood of being comfortable with the following ... ...
Am I comfortable NOT talking about my woes?
Conscious-level discussion about you and your problems will be kept to a bare minimum. This respects your ability to know about, and deal with, presenting issues at non- conscious level. This is an "affect-oriented" therapy, not a "word-oriented" therapy. Your practitioner will explain why this is important in view of the reflective, non-intrusive nature of this approach.
- This is the area of the Af-x imperatives that allows us to say that the online program is BY DEFAULT a perfect format for Af-x work because, as you can see, it disallows for cross-discussion with "a therapist" -
Can I accept that my subconscious knows all?
This is cause-oriented work, rather than symptom-oriented. Don't be surprised if your practitioner leads conversation AWAY from your symptoms and problems. This is NOT disrespect for you; rather, it is respect for your subconscious mind.
- same as above -
Can I accept that any conscious memories I have may not be relevant?
This is a "feeling" therapy, not a "fact" therapy; recalled memories, if they are evident, will be kept at your private level and not discussed with your practitioner.
- Further to this, the online program - perhaps even MORE THAN the clinical program - is designed to address PREVERBAL emotional memories, and as such, these have no verbal/narrative connection to our conscious self -
Will I be able to let go of the need to try to make things happen?
You must be prepared to give up the effort of trying to "make change happen". Your practitioner is skilled at guiding and helping you to achieve a permissive "let it happen" level of operation. This is the appropriate way to allow for long-term subconscious change.
- One of the more difficult aspects of Af-x work for some people. Most people expect immediate results from therapy. In Af-x we are careful to abide by the evidence that the ESR feedback system offers and dissuade expectations of immediacy -
Will I be able to accept that I will not be asked for any "on-the-spot verification" of any changes brought about during the session?
After session work has been completed, your practitioner will not seek to immediately know about the outcome. This therapy introduces a new response learning at unconscious level; the results of this learning need to be observed over time.
- Obvious for the online program, but relevant to understand -
Can I let go of the conditioned belief that therapy has to go on and on until a therapist says it's time to quit?
This new learning through reframing is usually gentle, rapid and permanent. In almost all cases, this requires only three contact sessions.
- As above -
Will I be comfortable with the idea that the subconscious re-learns in its own way, and that I must trust my subconscious to bring about change?
- Any awareness of experience within the sound file stages may be profound and consciously recalled, or may be subtle and below awareness, or somewhere in between. The online program is designed for the latter. In clinical work, immediate ratification is NEVER sought, and why our client feedback studies are so important to the ongoing nature of the long-term success of this work -
If you are comfortable with most, or all you've read above, then there is no reason why Af-x cannot be highly successful for you. Just "Go with it!"
- Please return to Stage 2 text -
More detail about the therapy
If for any reason you wish to know more about Clinical Af-x in general, you might want to check out a list of questions (and their answers) that have come to Ian White's desk over many years. If so, go here.