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Anxiety and "Quantum Pieces": A Cop's Approach to Hypnotherapy

In 2014 I decided to become a full-time police officer. This career choice was a profound departure from nearly two decades working as a corporate executive. I spent six years as a night shift patrol deputy and it shaped me in ways other career experiences had not. Leadership, teamwork, strategy, preparedness and service were just a few areas where I developed new skills. I carried these into future personal and professional adventures in ways I never before considered. 

For example, mental health crisis calls were frequent, intense and required calm, swift intervention. These experiences taught me about the importance of de-escalation, listening, and showing empathy. Often, I had limited time to persuade someone that their life is going to be okay and it is worth living. I was fortunate to be well-trained in this area (thanks to my agency's policy on managing mental health crisis through appropriate intervention training). Law enforcement for me, was always a "learning mode" where I could develop adjunct strategies and personalize my approach in dealing with stressful incidents. 

One technique I created is called "Quantum Pieces": The concept is to get someone through the first minute of crisis, then help them through the next five, minute by minute, using a series of questions. If a person in crisis can get through five minutes, they're usually open to exploring the next hour of their lives and tend to enter a 'safe place' where higher quality mental health support can be provided. I might lead with: “Hey, let’s talk for one minute and try to put a plan together, okay? Give me one minute, and if you're open to it, give me a few more”. The strategy is to break crisis down into manageable pieces. You go with the smallest piece a person is able to manage and work outward from there. Quantum Pieces was effective in crisis intervention, but interestingly, it's applicable across many day-to-day aspects of life and worthy of sharing. 

We're bombarded daily with data, tasks, emotions, commitments and a myriad of other forces that pull us in opposing directions. Although technology has simplified many aspects of our lives, life is more complicated. Complication builds and for many, becomes overwhelming. This can be a driver for anxiety. There are times we all feel 'the walls closing in' and some of us see no immediate escape. If life starts to smother us, it’s usually viewed from a broad perspective. The best approach I discovered was to break life down into moments--"quantum pieces". Look at life within the shortest moment when things get crazy. Having a hard time getting through the week? Get through today. Today is going to be tough? Take it hour by hour. Minute by minute if that’s all you can handle. Little bits of time make events more manageable and positive action attainable. It’s always easier to take one step up than it is to leap over an entire mountain. Life is the goal. Quantum pieces is the tool...

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