Frequently Asked Questions on The Sleeptalk® Process
Q: Does it matter if only one parent does SleepTalk® ?
A. It’s better for both parents to be involved since the child develops their sense of self-worth and self-acceptance from both parents, and because this balances the energy of the male/female, Mum/Dad component within the child’s perception. However it is only slightly less effective if only one parent delivers the statement.
Q. What happens if more than one child is sleeping in the room?
A. This is not a problem because you can conduct the SleepTalk® process with both/all children. Remember, all children gain from utilising their full potential. And is there any limit to the number of times it’s appropriate to tell someone you love them!
Children usually gain the most assistance if they are between the ages of about 18 months/ to t 14 years of age although this depends on the individual child’s development, both emotional and intellectual.
As a rule, by puberty it can be very difficult to get past the conscious critical analysis, which is too protective and well-defined or formed by the teen years. The acceptance of the younger child is determined only by the ability of the child to understand the language. However, positive suggestions both prior to and after birth are essential.
Q. What areas of behaviour management can this process assist children with? For example, can it assist Autism or the controversial Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?
A. Yes indeed. The Autism spectrum is actually very wide because there are many variations in symptomatology, for example some children experience difficulties with speech, some won’t look at you, some have temper tantrums.
Registered SleepTalk®consultants around the world are indicating positive results with a wide range of behaviour disorders from health issues, learning issues, stress and anxiety, to Autism or the Autism spectrum disorders. The labels ‘Asperger’ and ‘Autism’ seem to be very prevalent at the moment, and some of the case histories I’m receiving report major changes in the children’s social skills and behaviour, which is very rewarding.
Another area that responds well to SleepTalk® is “an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behaviour toward authority figures that goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behaviour”. This type of behaviour is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as ‘Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ (ODD), a diagnosis that is considered controversial by some professionals. (It’s important to remember that labels don’t necessarily reflect causes; often the labels given to children are descriptions of their behaviour, which is the effect rather than the cause.)
Common features of ODD include excessive, often persistent anger, frequent temper tantrums or angry outbursts, and disregard for authority. Children and adolescents with this disorder may appear very stubborn and often annoy others on purpose and blame others for their mistakes. Parents observe more rigid and defiant behaviours than in siblings. These ODD children may appear resentful of others and even take revenge when someone does something they don't like. In order for a child or adolescent to qualify for a diagnosis of ODD these behaviours must cause considerable distress for the family and/or interfere significantly with academic or social functioning.
We are delighted that SleepTalk® does appear to be able to assist with both of these “disorders”. Certainly the parents I’ve had the pleasure of working with have reported very positive changes in their children, an often for the entire family. Calmness replaces anger and frustration, co-operation replaces “Oppositional Defiance”.
Q. You mentioned before that positive results with a wide range of behaviour disorders are being achieved with the Goulding Process. Tell me about issues dealing with education, stress and anxiety.
A: Over the past 40 years, we have successful case histories about children/families dealing with aggression, poor behaviour management, stress, fear, anxiety and trauma, sibling rivalry and destructive communication patterns. The process is particularly helpful when dealing with issues around education and study, co-operation and concentration.
Health issues also respond in a positive manner, such as asthma, bed-wetting, nail-biting and speech difficulties.
Professor Ian E Brighthope, a very prominent expert based in Australia, believes that the Goulding SleepTalk® for Children process should be adopted by all parents. He has described it as a sensible, practical and easy-to-follow method of communicating important messages to the unconscious mind. He considers it especially useful for effecting changes in children’s behaviour. He suggests that educators and health professionals consider SleepTalk® in the management of all disorders in which the mind plays a significant role.
The Process has been described as “the two-minute gift with changes that lasts a life time”. Parents talk – children listen – creating happiness while they sleep. SleepTalk® is a profound gift because it’s important for parents to realise that it’s not what we leave to our children that matters, it's what we leave within their minds.
Q. So this process empowers parents to rectify some of those negative suggestions or situations?
A. Absolutely. From the moment of birth and even before birth, professionals now believe thoughts, feelings, reactions and memories are registered in the deep unconscious mind, and those memories, with the accompanying thoughts, feelings, emotions and reactions, will last for life.
Suggestions and autosuggestions are very powerful, especially when made to a child by someone in authority over them, so parents have a major role (and responsibility) in ensuring that their child develops a positive mindset during their early years.
Q. Is there any difference in the basic process when working with a mainstream child to that with working when a child who is intellectually, physically or emotionally impaired?
A. All children experience conflict and all children have the potential for improvement, for creating empowering change. Remember, the difference between what is considered mainstream or non-mainstream behaviour is a matter of perception and belief, and is socially and culturally determined. “Mainstream” reflects what the majority consider to be acceptable behaviour or standards. These can change, such as the acceptance of smoking, which used to be widely accepted and practised, and is now banned from public places.
The SleepTalk® process needs a minimum of twelve weeks to complete the basic process for a so- called “mainstream” child, though sometimes you can see a result within two or three days. However, when working with a physically or intellectually impaired child, you may be waiting as long as six months for positive feedback that the suggestions are being accepted. The child must in some way indicate or express a change of behaviour, identifying acceptance of suggestions given. Be attuned to your child – the changes may initially be very subtle and can manifest in a number of ways.
Feedback is important to establish whether or not the “concrete” Foundation of new belief structures have set hard. You have poured the foundation for the house and with all things it takes a little time to set. You have to wait for the concrete foundation of belief to be accepted before attempting to build on it, and importantly you will need to keep motivated to do it each night. If the child is physically, intellectually or emotionally impaired, it may take much longer than 12 weeks for change to occur, which is why you must work closely with your client and keep them motivated.
Q. Would you tell the child that you are practising SleepTalk®?
A. No, never. The conscious critical analysis would interfere and might negate your efforts. I would, however, encourage repetition of the basic suggestions during the day (waking hours) to reinforce the process. It’s one thing for Dad to say “I love you” or “Daddy loves you” whilst sitting on the end of the bed where no-one can hear or see, but it might not be quite so easy out in the big wide world. So, for that reason, it would be helpful to repeat on a waking level during the day that same message for both the child and for the parent. This is especially helpful if the person or parent conducting the SleepTalk® has interpersonal difficulties and expression or communication fears.
Q. What happens if the child awakens whilst doing the basic SleepTalk®?
A. That is not a problem; just continue with the basic. The child may in fact sit up, the whites of their eyes may be looking at you or they may say to you in a sleepy voice, “Go away”, “What are you doing?” or “I love you Mum”. They may even agree with you, perhaps even nod their head as you work through the process. Any communicating movement or change is feedback – don’t let that deter you. Just continue with the “basic process” script; you are still accessing the deep unconscious area.
Q. Does it matter if the radio or the TV is on whilst conducting SleepTalk®? Or perhaps people talking in another room?
A. Yes it does. It is very important that television, radio, conversation, or communication of any type is not occurring while you implement SleepTalk®. Remember, you are accessing the deep unconscious area of the child’s mind and any interference from radio, television, perhaps arguments or details of discussions within hearing may be confused with the suggestions that you are making.
In fact, it’s always important that your child does not fall asleep in front of a television or radio, and is not subjected to the violence of arguments or negative discussions and comments about them whilst the are asleep (or even awake for that matter!). It’s one of the most important factors to be aware of. Even during the “normal” sleep process, the child’s brainwave frequency may alter to a level where they are accessing the communications around them. Sleeping children travelling with you in a car can also hear!
Q. Is SleepTalk® the same as hypnosis?
A. No. The only thing SleepTalk® and hypnosis have in common is that they both use suggestions. Hypnosis is conducted while the subject is awake and has a conscious memory of the process. SleepTalk® is conducted whilst the child is asleep with no conscious memory of the process.
Q: Does SleepTalk® work with children who don’t have concerns or problems? And what benefits would they gain?
A. Absolutely. SleepTalk® is for all children. I would include absolutely everybody. The recipients of SleepTalk® do not necessarily have to have a problem. A child may be five or six years old, happy and well adjusted but are you absolutely assured that they are as positive and self-confident as they could be? That they are using their full potential? Just because a child doesn’t share their concerns, does that mean they don’t have any? A belief that they are loved and their world is a happy place will ensure that everything they do is done with a sense of self-confidence and self-worth. Besides, many children grow up with a positive healthy self-image and without anxiety, but don’t really utilise their individual talents. What a marvellous opportunity parents now have to assist their child’s mind to guard against negative suggestions and stop the thieves of self-esteem.
Q. You have said that it is not appropriate to use persuasion with SleepTalk®. Why?
A. Using persuasive language such as “I love you because you were good today” may activate the conscious, critical, analytic function of the brain and cause the child to conclude that he or she is only loved if s/he behaves in a particular way. This is conditional love, whereas SleepTalk® conveys unconditional love. Persuasion causes practical problems if, for example, you said, “you will be happy today because it is school holidays”. What happens when the child needs to go to school? – conflict and disharmony. You have created a situation and a belief that they will only be happy if it is school holidays.
Q. What happens if my child is fine except for nail-biting?
A. There are a number of issues needing to be addressed here. Is the nail-biting just a habit, a learned behaviour, or a symptom of anxiety? A detailed discussion might be required to establish the possible cause of the nail-biting. You need to be very careful not to remove the actual biting of the nail without trying to determine, or at least becoming aware of the possible cause.
Removing the effect of nail-biting without dealing with the cause may result in the child to developing another symptom. However the basic concrete Foundation belief of “I’m okay, I’m loved. I can handle this” will address the cause, whether it is anxiety, distress, a poor self-image, or something else, and as a consequence, the reaction will be reduced.
The nail-biting, may have been there because they didn’t feel “okay” about themselves. Now they do, and as a result the effect or the habit is changed and the nail-biting will just become a learned behaviour pattern. If this is the case, the Specific Suggestion after the Foundation SleepTalk®process will support that change of behaviour. It’s as simple as that.
Q. Can you work with multiple issues at the same time?
A. The first priority is to establish acceptance of the Foundation Statements and consolidate the feelings and belief of being loved and secure. Once you receive positive feedback that the Foundation Statements (which create the basic beliefs) have been accepted, then identify the primary area of need and develop the Specific Suggestions, but only one at a time. Don’t demand too much of the unconscious mind, further explanation needs Level 2 training.
Q. Is there a specific “Primary Area of Need” suggestion you would use if there was a general anxiety or conflict or concern about going to school?
A. Yes, there is. Concerns about going to school indicate a lack of confidence and a very anxious state of mind. Which statement you use depends on the individual child and circumstances. However it’s important to develop suggestions that address the possible CAUSE. This is a Level 2 area of expertise – further knowledge is required to address this question completely.
Q. How would you describe the child who awakens very easily, has difficulty going to sleep, or is often awake throughout the night?
A. Very anxious. SleepTalk® should be able to help but it may be difficult the first week or so to actually access the deep unconscious mind. If you persist in your SleepTalk® process the child will gain a sense of confidence. The anxiety will be reduced each time you use the SleepTalk® process because you will be reinforcing their basic self-image and a belief that “it’s okay” – and hopefully get a good night’s sleep eventually! A quiet and anxiety-free state of mind will develop and gradually they will become more and more able to accept the suggestions. Remember, you can never eliminate a memory, but you can add to it, alter or change the energy of that memory. As you persist with a positive suggestion it will compound and eventually become more powerful than the negative effect of the “I’m not okay” belief structure.
Q. If a child has a basic negative structure and a feeling of “I’m not okay, I can’t do something”, or “I’m not as good as someone else”, won’t the SleepTalk® process create confusion?
A: Possibly yes, it might cause confusion and possibly also some degree of abreaction (healing crisis), however, that won’t last too long. Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics, states that it takes up to 21 days for new thought to be accepted by the unconscious mind. SleepTalk® is very similar. Over a period of time, the new process of thinking starts to build against the “I’m not okay”.
The information accepted into the computer (the unconscious mind) will initially be stored as fact alongside the negative belief. So if we place the positive suggestion “I’m okay. Mummy loves me. Daddy loves me, it will be a happy day today” alongside the negative “I’m not okay” in the child’s belief structure, and it is going straight in without conscious critical analysis, without negative analysis, without any alterations, then the belief structure within that child will start to change. Yes, the new suggestions may cause initial confusion but gradually they become the primary beliefs.
The “Top Hat” (conscious brain) is now put to one side and the positive suggestions lodged within the unconscious mind can only express themselves as positive thoughts into consciousness. Remember, when you press a button on a computer and it sends a message to the screen, it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, the computer will still relay that message word for word. The process of acceptance into the unconscious mind is no different. With SleepTalk® we don’t deny a belief; we simply work alongside negative beliefs until the positive one has been accepted.
Keep the positive suggestions going each night and you get a compounding effect. It’s like putting money into a bank. One dollar adds onto the next dollar and before long accumulates into something worthwhile, much like compound interest. The positive suggestions will eventually take over and have more power than the (previously accepted) negative beliefs.