(Breakthrough, Vol. VII, No. 4, Fall 1989)
Hemi-Sync® Application in Clinical Psychology
James M. Thomas, Jr., Ph.D., and Charles F. Danley, B.A.
Dr. Thomas is a clinical psychologist who has a multifaceted private practice in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Mr. Danley is his research colleague and serves as director of social services at the American Legion Children’s Home.
This presentation on the use of Hemi-Sync® in clinical psychology was divided into two basic parts: Hemi-Sync in a private practice and Hemi-Sync research in a residential facility for problem children.
James Thomas began his humorous and informative segment (“The secret life of a small-town shrink,” as he called it) by giving credit to the director of TMI’s Professional Division, Leslie France, for all the support she has lent to his efforts.
Dr. Thomas noted that he had attended a GATEWAY VOYAGE® one and a half years ago and found it a very powerful experience. In his practice, he had started with float tanks as a way of helping his clients relax and begin to deal with their problems. After GATEWAY, he suspected that Hemi-Sync might be a viable substitute for the float tanks and their inherent logistical drawbacks.
In the Oklahoma oil town of Ponca City, Dr. Thomas deals with many oil men, scientists, and engineers—people who could be loosely characterized as “toasted marshmallows . . . crusty on the outside, gooey inside.” Noting that helping such people get in touch with their feelings is difficult, at best, he gave an example of an engineer complaining about his child failing math, who exclaimed, “The kid’s flunking! What’s how I feel got to do with it?”
He said that Hemi-Sync tapes and the Hemi-Sync Synthesizer have been useful in helping him work with his clients, which helps his cash flow (“very important for a shrink”). He stated that when people come to him: 1) they want more options, 2) they want an experience (they want to know “something has happened”), 3) they want something they can do. For many, he remarked, “if you haven’t helped them the very first visit... forget it, they won’t be back.” In most cases, Hemi-Sync is a supreme tool for all of the above client needs.
In treatment, Dr. Thomas said his primary concerns are: first, to manage the client’s symptoms, and second, to strengthen the overall person. Hemi-Sync has helped him meet these goals. He recognizes that regarding the holistic goal, he’s only dealing with a piece of the pie, and often refers his clients to other professionals who can facilitate healing in other areas.
He often begins by asking a client if he/she is in any physical pain. He noted that studies show 90% of all people over 50 years of age have some physical pain, and that age bracket covers a large portion of his clientele. The Hemi-Sync tapes, such as Intro to Focus 10 (Discovery #2), can help them relax, which can assist in the decrease of pain, leading to greater relaxation. He will also ask clients to bring tapes of their own that they find relaxing (be it music, guided imagery, etc.) and play that familiar, comfortable tape through the synthesizer.
For the most part, Dr. Thomas has clients listen to Hemi-Sync in his office. This “anchors” them to his office—it becomes the place they go to have a healing experience. He shows clients how to operate the equipment and has them push the buttons. This serves not only to involve clients with their own healing process, but also implies that, “if they’re pushing the buttons, then they’re committed to getting better.” He often has clients come in and listen to a tape before a session with him, which puts them in a relaxed, receptive mood.
Dr. Thomas noted the importance of “mind set,” or creating expectations, before a Hemi-Sync session. He has rarely found Hemi-Sync to work well unless he has first prepared a client by embedding suggestions as to the benefits they will receive from the process. This principle was literally “brought home” to him when he helped his daughter with a high school project involving Hemi-Sync. Two groups of her friends came separately to their house to listen to a Hemi- Sync tape. Both groups listened to Intro to Focus 10. One group was told they would feel relaxed and the other group was told they would have a creative experience. The questionnaires they completed indicated that all the subjects had the experience they were told they would have.
To determine what suggestions or mind set to create, Dr. Thomas stressed the importance of a clinical psychologist listening to his/her clients. He said another valuable tool he uses is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). He noted that clients will usually reveal their “healing metaphor” verbally if one simply listens. Such a metaphor (e.g., “I feel like a ship tossed on a stormy sea,” “My world is caving in on me,”) allows a psychologist to customize an individual’s healing process.
When using Hemi-Sync, Dr. Thomas said, it is important to brief a client on the process to avoid surprises. For example, on the Intro to Focus 10 tape (which he uses extensively in his practice), he briefs clients about the Energy Conversion Box, the Resonant Timing, the Affirmation, etc. He also makes them aware of the possible results (which he must legally do), always keeping clients’ belief systems in mind (important in Bible Belt Oklahoma). He often tells them this is “an opportunity to learn about yourself,” and that often one gets worse before one gets better.
Dr. Thomas concluded his portion of the presentation with some basic observations about the use of Hemi-Sync in his practice. In general, Hemi-Sync increases: 1) the all-important rapport with a client, 2) a client’s dream content and recall, and 3) a client’s memory (especially repressed memories). Regarding some specific tapes: Intro to Focus 10 is the best overall tape, but it does not mix with any substances (such as drugs or alcohol), and it (or any F-10 tape) does not work with schizophrenics; Concentration does work with schizophrenics and borderline personalities as well as being generally useful for “pulling people together”; Catnapper is great for PMS, general anxiety, and individuals suffering from jet lag; Dehab and Nutricia have elicited “marginal” results (1/3 report no help, 1/3 report positive benefits, 1/3 report some benefit); people like Color Breathing (Threshold #4)\ some people like Mission 10 (Exploring #1) and don’t like Mission 12 (Exploring #2) or vice versa; Mission Night (Exploring #4) is good for getting people to sleep.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Thomas does consulting work for the Department of Human Services and the American Legion Children’s Home in Ponca City. Charles Danley, director of social services at the Children’s Home, talked about how Hemi-Sync is being used at that facility.
Mr. Danley explained that his 50-bed, coed facility works primarily with children of veterans (ages 10 to 17 years) who have been removed from home. He said the basic nature of his clients could be generalized in one word—”aggressive.” As an example, he cited one night when he saw Dr. Thomas coming out of a child’s room with a Bic pen stabbed through his hand.
Mr. Danley said that when Dr. Thomas came back from his GATEWAY VOYAGE a few years back, he told him about the Hemi-Sync process and of his desire to utilize it in the Children’s Home. The key steps Mr. Danley listed to making Hemi-Sync viable in his facility are: 1) permission from the administration, 2) ability to “prove” it is working (to the administration, the courts, etc.), 3) willingness to risk, and 4) constant evaluation and revision of methods and techniques.
At the Children’s Home, partitioned listening booths were set up, with clients able to check out cassette players and tapes. The Hemi-Sync tapes used are: Intro to Focus 10, Catnapper, Cable Car, Concentration, and Crystal Fantasy (using the synthesizer). There were some real successes in so-called “hopeless” cases.
During the first month, a rating of the children’s behavior was made on a Behavioral Rating Scale, ranging from 0 to 10—with “0” indicating the worst behavior, and “10” indicating the best. Thirty-nine days after being introduced to Hemi-Sync tapes, the average group rating increased from 2.87 to 8.27.
In another study, the eight “worst” children (based on incidents of “acting out”—physical assaults, etc.) were observed. They were asked to read the Affirmation and listen to Intro to Focus 10 three times a week for eight weeks. The incident reports for those eight dropped to less than one-half of the pre-Hemi-Sync reports, and perhaps more important, the incident reports remained lower than before.
It was pointed out that while Oklahoma is economically depressed due to the current oil situation, and many state programs are being cut back, the Children’s Home has received increased state funding. Mr. Danley gave some of the credit to the success of the Hemi-Sync studies; Dr. Thomas spoke up to be sure that Charles Danley received credit for his fine work at the facility.
New dorms at the Children’s Home will be equipped with built-in speakers and headphone outlets. Tulsa Children’s Hospital is considering working with Dr. Thomas and Mr. Danley to install Hemi-Sync capability throughout the facility. Also anticipated is a plan to write a Hemi-Sync protocol into every child’s Service Plan (the contract among the state, the child, the Children’s Home, and Dr. Thomas) which will add to the data base. Dr. Thomas enumerated other plans for future Hemi-Sync research, including work with migraine sufferers, a possible grant for working with Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes, and some associated research with the University of Michigan. A parents’ handbook explaining Hemi-Sync is also planned.
Dr. Thomas and Mr. Danley addressed the issues of dealing with critics and getting Hemi-Sync accepted by the mainstream. They agreed that two invaluable articles for informing people about the process are “Auditory Beats in the Brain” by Gerald Oster (Scientific American, Sept. 1973) and ‘The Monroe Institute’s Hemi-Sync Process: A Theoretical Perspective” by F. Holmes Atwater. [Ed Note: Both articles are available through TMI.] Also suggested as a valuable source for information on “neurotechnology” was Neurotechnologies Research Institute (NRI), Suite 402,1375 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, (415) 931-1080.
Summing up, Dr. Thomas and Mr. Danley stated that it is obvious to them that Hemi-Sync is an important tool in their field, and that the next steps might be networking with other TMI professionals, other organizations such as NRI and The East-West Journal, and generating some more good research.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 1989 The Monroe Institute