The Road To A Better Life
by Bruce Kennedy

A case history from the client’s perspective

As we go through stages of our lifetime, we incur all forms of obstacles. To me they appear as hurdles to overcome in our journey of life. In a growing number of people, stresses from business and family life, is increasingly taking its toll. These hurdles become larger and sometimes overwhelming for people with a handicap. In my case, it was a speech impediment.

My speech impediment started sometime in my sixth year of life. At that time I lost my sister to an inoperable brain tumor. My mother, father, and I would visit her every Sunday in a nearby children's hospital. This went on for a year before she succumbed to the tumor. My mother and father were devastated. This was their fourth attempt for a family and I was the only surviving child. As a child of six, I was saddened like the rest of the family but because my sister never came home. I never had to deal with the additional loss of a playmate. It my earlier school years I had no problem with my speech. I was well liked at school and had numerous friends in our neighborhood. It was just after her death, so I thought, when the problem started.

When the problem arose I was very upset. Every time I tried to read I would stammer and the children around me laughed and made faces. The harder I tried, the worse I got. it affected the everyday talking to people. The worse was the telephone. As you can imagine I was alienated from the mainstream kids and only had a few friends now. They stayed around because I was good in athletics. I stayed around them because they were the class clowns. It was a good place to hide. The only relief was music (specifically singing). I learned to play guitar at the age of seven, played in numerous bands, and today have a successful band. In later years this was my vehicle to meet people.

All through my school years I was provided with speech therapists. Their solution was to slow down my speech, like a turtle, stop and start over. If you're ever on the receiving end of this method you could easily loose focus and sometimes want to fall asleep. In all the years of professional help, not one focused on the death of my sister as the possible cause. My adult life has been somewhat successful. I learned to adapt my speech problem to the condition. I would limit my access to the telephone, only using it when I knew who was on the other end. In business I would work harder to prove my net worth by volunteering on various job outside of my primary skills as a machinist. This is the way I have managed to get through life to this point. The fear of speaking held back the normal expression, and that combined with the fear of college classroom environment, limited my ability for improvement. Until now!

On a recent visit to Melbourne, Florida, a friend told me about Mr. Robert Brenner, a certified hypnotist. My friend told me he conducts in-depth sessions on a variety of problems, or as I like to call them hurdles. She had a discussion with him on speech impediments and Bob felt this was a hurtle which can be overcome. I went to his office with an open mind and an anxious heart. A chance of a new beginning after forty years. What have you got to loose. My session started with a warm greeting and an understanding discussion about hypnosis. The discussion was important to me because until now my experience with hypnosis was seeing a hypnotist on stage doing a night club act. It was always enjoyable to watch other people do wild and crazy tasks but I was not here for that. I was here to make a positive change in my life. I was later to find out it made a larger initial impact on friends and family around me.

After the discussion I was placed into hypnosis, aware of my entire surroundings, in a total relaxed state. Bob assisted my subconscious mind in recalling the time before and the time immediately after the speech problem occurred. I could recall vivid increments of time and the reason why it happened. All these years I associated the speech problem with the death of my sister. In fact it was a result of my first grade teacher, who I always liked, asking me to stand up in class to read a paragraph. This was my first time and when I had trouble reading the words! stammered. The class laughed and I just whimpered Boys were not supposed to cry. I started over, but because I was filled up with tears, I stammered worse. The teacher asked me to sit down and she would call on me later. Make no mistake about it. I had forgotten all about this incident but when I was into hypnosis, I recalled all the events. After an emotional release, the joining of my present with the past resolved the suppressed conflict.

When the session was over, I felt like a different person. My friend and I left. I spoke to numerous friends on the telephone as well as in person. All were emotionally affected by what happened, and as of this writing it has been 6 days, They can't shut me up.

In closing, I would like to say to all of you, hypnosis changed my life. It reversed forty years of accepting mediocrity and started me on a path to a new beginning. I now have to learn how to speak again but I'm doing it without fear. The stigma of hypnosis, as just a form of entertainment, must be changed. I would call what I went through as Hypnotherapy. With the help of Bob Brenner and a growing number of Hypnotherapists many people can find the better life as I have.