Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

A Little Late, but TA-DA – BLOGS!

Hi, gang. It’s your friendly neighborhood clinical hypnotherapist back from ‘sabbatical.’ I’m ready to start slinging some words and hopefully, we can help each other become calmer, more focused and compassionate human beings…and if you’re not careful, may learn something about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Juvenile Justice Reform, Clinical Hypnotherapy and how to deal with life, on life’s terms without getting overwhelmed. It’s not always pretty, but it’s almost always a good ride.

Before I go on, I want to say a word about why I took the last year off from blogging. With your help, over the previous three years, we had grown the blog to a very respectable following. I mean, it wasn’t ‘angry cats’ kind of popular, but given the nature of the topics, I thought we were doing just fine. We were consistently getting a couple of thousand hits on most blogs and most got half a dozen to a dozen or more shares. Then several things happened at once.

First, I had simply run out of things to say. I was, and still am, as passionate about these topics as ever, but it seemed that I was simply rehashing the same principles again and again. Now, ordinarily, I’d clear the room, then clear my mind and give my subconscious free reign to come up with a topic and an essay outline. However, it had gotten to the point where even with deep meditation I started drawing creative blanks.

Then last July, a lifetime of abusing my body in military training, martial arts, mountain climbing, long distance running and being morbidly obese for 8 years took its toll, and my left hip simply gave out. It wasn’t a big surprise; I had experienced increasing pain in the joint over the previous year, and by the time I decided to allow them to replace it, walking was extremely painful and difficult, with stairs and hills being totally out of the question.

The last week of July 2016, I checked into one of the local hospitals and had a total, anterior, left hip replacement. Now, those of you who were around three years ago, know that surgery and I don’t mix well. The actual remove and replace operation went outstandingly well, with the joint going in easily and both legs ending up exactly the same length. However, as has also become a custom for me, I coded twice in the 24-hours after the surgery and had a pair of profound Near Death Experiences (NDE)s.

The nature of the NDEs will be the topics of several future blogs, suffice to say that I came out the other side of the experience with a deeper understanding of who I/we truly am/are, but even that took months. After I was allowed to come home to recuperate, I fell into the deepest, darkest depression of my life.

Even though I’m a trained professional and knew exactly what was happening to me…and how to overcome it, I discovered that when you’re up to your ass in quicksand and sinking, it still takes a supreme act of will to change your thinking, grab the rope and pull yourself out of the ‘pit.’

The trauma was evidentially profound as I still have near total amnesia for the months of August through the start of November.

When I had the energy to change rooms, I spent a lot of time in my home office just thinking and doing the occasional research on treating Major Depressive Episodes. Then one day, a friend from high school; someone with whom I had been in contact perhaps three times since we graduated, Facebooked me a link to a song with the message, “Came across this song this morning and I just can’t get you off my mind. I hope you like it as much as I.”

More about that particular song and the circumstance around it in future blogs, but I will say that that ‘random’ act helped me snap out of my depression and could have very well have saved my life.

Ever since returning to the Human Race, I have spent the rest of the past year working on myself. I studied and improved my Clinical Hypnotherapy skills (more exciting news about this in future blogs), I spent entire days in meditation and shifted my focus to one of being a truly calm and empathetic human being. Now, instead of ‘fixing’ the clients problem, I truly listen, and together we form the best individual treatment plan possible. While I still have ‘resting bitch-face’, I find myself smiling much more frequently and I also find it hard not to strike up conversations with strangers and try to make them smile before we’re done.

It’s unfortunate, but even as clinically based and spiritually oriented as I was, there is nothing like dying to make you quickly and seriously reassess your progress toward becoming the person you want to be, and understand how you need to readjust your life-path to continue your evolution.

These and a whole universe of other topics lie ahead in future blogs. I want to thank you for returning and reading my thoughts. If you like what you read in the coming weeks, please spread the word to your friends and feel free to share the posts of Facebook and other social media. It’s going to take some time, but I know that together, we can grow this blog even bigger than before…and help each other in the process. Win/win.

Here’s hoping you have an intentionally great day.



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