Review of the Personal Ecology Hypno-Peripheral Processing Program
  • I first heard about Hypno-Peripheral Processing (HPP) from a friend who was trying it out. To me, the name sounds like yet another pseudoscientific cash-in following in the footsteps of neurolinguistic programming, like "neurohypnotic repatterning." But I noticed that the creator, Lloyd Glauberman, is a practicing psychologist with a Ph.D. from a reputable school, and the spirit of the explorer kicked in.

    I looked through Dr. Glauberman's selection of programs and picked out Personal Ecology because I've had a really tough year with a lot of setbacks, and my self-image has taken a big hit. I'd been feeling stressed out and depressed, and was under a lot of pressure with school and work. Personal Ecology promises to help the user "become calm and centered, avoid self-sabotage, and tap into your inner personal power" by "creating and reinforcing a healthy and positive self image."

    The program consists of 4 tracks that are each about 25 minutes long. Each track is a part of a very metered, slow, trancy story. The story splits off into two, so that each ear is listening to a different story, neither of which makes sense. As you can imagine, it's pretty much impossible to continue paying conscious attention, and your mind wanders off. Occasionally, something will draw you back in to the sound of Dr. Glauberman's voice. At times, the two sides line back up to create sequential messages.

    I started listening to the program one night two or three weeks ago and was surprised to find myself feeling quite irritated and not relaxed at all. I may have nodded off a bit because the second track started playing at some point, so I listen straight through the first half of the program. At the end of this I felt a little unsettled and kind of disappointed.

    However, the next morning I had an urge to listen to the third track on the bus to work. And then the fourth on the bus back. The more I listened, the more the trance-logic seemed to make sense in a subconscious kind of way. By the time I was through listening to the set for a second time, an odd calm would come over me whenever I started listening.

    I had also started to notice certain changes in my emotional reactivity. Unexpectedly, I noticed that I was becoming less reflexive in my response to others. I was caring less about what people thought about me. Even walking on the street, I was feeling less interested in monitoring people's expressions as they saw me.

    At that time I was also working on writing a set of essays as a part of my applications for clinical internships. These essays had been a real struggle for me to write, because the intended audience is unclear (they could be read by anyone on any intern search committee), so I was stuck trying to figure out a way to please everyone. It's impossible to say the degree to which the HPP program affected my final mental turnaround on this issue, but within a week or two I found that I had written my essays in a way that was straightforward, succinct, and unapologetic.

    Shortly thereafter, I flew off to a conference where I had to give massive scientific and didactic presentations, many of a type that I had never given before. It was a huge responsibility with potential positive or negative ramifications for my career. Somehow, when the time came, even though I expected to be really nervous, I just wasn't. I performed smoothly, and never really gave a thought to what anyone might think about it.

    After I returned, I let a week pass and started listening to the program again. The same unusual, dreamy feeling of calm came over me.

    Real-life setbacks continue, but I seem to be managing them all relatively smoothly. I haven't been losing my temper, or trying to appease people. I've been staying right on that assertive middle-line.

    Again, the effects are so general that I can't possibly attribute them all to the HPP Personal Ecology program. But my sense is that the program is having a real settling effect on me. It really does seem to be improving my confidence.

    I feel strongly enough that the program is having a positive effect that I'm going to continue listening to it, and have even suggested to my wife that she give it a try. I'd love to hear some other impressions to see if others get similar results, and at $35 I'd say this program is definitely worth a try.

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