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Gail Petrowsky

THE DAILY CAMPUS

The last of a series of seminars, entitled Stress Reduction and Well Being Enhancement sponsored by the Women's Center, took place Monday night in front of an audience of approximately 30 women. The two-hour seminar/discussion entitled "A women's Wellness Evening with Gail Petrowsky" was facilitated by Gail Petrowsky, a holistic counselor and neuro-linguistic programming therapist. Petrowsky, a vibrant and self described "informal" speaker, held the interest of her audience for the full two hours by involving the audience, addressing women in the audience, and encouraging individuals to share their problems and feelings. She demonstrated a stress-reduction exercise which relaxed both the mind and body. At the conclusion of her session, she took individual cases and performed this therapy in front of her audience.

"Our well being is powerfully affected by the link between our emotions and our bio-chemical response; the words you speak create a positive or negative response" Petrowsky said Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of how the nervous system can react to words you speak. Petrowsky has been studying the interaction between the mind and body and this therapy for 20 years. NLP is based on the Eriksonian-style of therapy, which is based in the unconscious and applied when one is in a totally relaxed state of mind. NLP focuses on taking the complexities of life and making them simple in order to handle them. It emphasizes the necessity to take negative thoughts and situations and turn them into positive challenges. This technique is compounded with the reality that one must allow oneself to feel what one needs to feel. For instance, in sadness, one must allow oneself to experience the emotion while setting a time line to limit how long the emotion will be allowed to remain, Petrowsky said. One can create self esteem or deteriorate it. NLP, by focusing on positive thoughts and devaluing negative ones, can aid in creating self esteem.

Petrowsky pointed out several signs of low self esteem. They include physical ailments, fear of others, lack of trust in oneself and others, righteousness, being stuck in old beliefs, and fear of taking risks or being vulnerable. Self esteem levels affect the way in which one reacts to everyday life situations. What must be understood is that external circumstances of one's life cannot be controlled. However, reactions can be, she said. One way to do this is by forgiving yourself and others, and reaffirming oneself with positive words. By doing this, one can generate self-love and self-acceptance, which radically alters one's outlook on life. NLP can heal on all levels: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Petrowsky also emphasized the role of stress reduction, namely through four methods: reframing a situation as a challenge rather than a threat, changing self talk from negative to positive, breathing to produce inner tranquility and meditation. NLP can aid in cultivating relationships, she said. When one has a healthy self image, love can be given and received, primarily because one feels that they deserve that love, furthermore, one can change the stimuli to change the response of another, which helps with achieving goals in a relationship. Petrowsky described women as "spiritual people who, when they connect with themselves, can actually heal another." and as people who "put off addressing our own needs in order to take care of others." NLP is especially beneficial for women because of this nature.

By Lynda Rizzo, The Daily Campus

THE DOOR OPENER

NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming

WHAT IS NLP?

NLP is a very gentle form of therapy. It is based on the belief that there is a very strong connection between our minds and our bodies. NLP helps people alter old, negative patterns that affect them, either in an emotional or physical way, and keeps them from being productive or from accomplishing their goals. NLP is useful in enabling people to create change in their lives and is used to help them overcome many different barriers. Through NLP a person can lose weight, stop smoking, or work on physical problems such as hair loss or allergies. It is also useful when one wants to work on emotional issues including relationship work, situations of abuse or phobias. The approach is relatively new, having been developed in the 1970's and is very powerful. NLP helps people tap into their own inner power and inner strength to create change in their lives.

NLP therapy is usually short-term. People will see change almost immediately, from the very first session, but the work is long lasting and is not a quick fix. Because NLP gives people the tools they can use to create change within their own lives, they are the ones creating the change. The therapist's role is to teach the patient techniques that will work, and to guide the patient in the direction that enables change to happen.

NLP is based on the belief that our well being is powerfully affected by the link between our emotional and biochemical responses. The words you speak and thoughts you think, create either a positive or negative response. What's more, our Mind/Body connection attitudes have a powerful effect on the immune system. Learning how to completely relax your mind and body allows you to open yourself to the healing process

Relaxation techniques are basic tools that Gail Petrowsky uses in her work. Once an individual is relaxed, healing can take place and change can happen. From her work with patients, she has developed a series of CDs for stress reduction, weight loss, and to help people stop smoking. Her work has been recognized by chiropractors and physicians who use her stress reduction CD as an integral part of their healing work. Once the patient is relaxed muscles can be aligned more easily and a chiropractor's work is more effective. Relaxation techniques have also proven to be useful with heart patients. What's more, these techniques have become part of the treatment used with many cancer patients who incorporate relaxation, visualization and other lifestyle changes as part of their therapy.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is based on the work of Milton Erickson who looked beyond the conscious content of an individual's responses into the deeper unconscious mind. For example, if you asked a person what was going on in their mind when they did a given activity like brushing their teeth, they would say, "I don't know, it just happened." NLP is a way of analyzing the creative process.

The field of NLP developed out of the modeling of human thinking skills. The NLP modeling process involves finding out how the brain (neuro) operates by analyzing language patterns (linguistic) and non-verbal communication. The result of this analysis is then put into a step by step strategy or program that supports people in overcoming what ever it is that they have set as their goal.

Gail Petrowsky, a counselor and the former director and founder of Insight in Connecticut, discovered NLP when she was confronted with some serious physical problems. She started looking for alternative methods of healing and discovered NLP. Once she learned the techniques, Gail started incorporating them into her own life.

"NLP worked for me" explains Petrowsky. "I found these techniques so helpful that I became certified in NLP and internationally certified in Ericksonian therapy and started using these techniques in my work. Each person who comes through my door is unique and I treat each person using a variety of skills. But, to date, I haven't found one person who hasn't been helped by NLP."

"I like NLP because it is an innovative, thorough and productive way for people to enhance their lives without feeling immobilized while they are in therapy" comments Petrowsky. "They experience movement from the very first session. It puts the ownership back on the individual, which is very empowering. The client gains the realization and confidence of knowing that they are creating their own destiny and their own path."

Gail combines NLP therapy with Ericksonian techniques. Through NLP an individual can learn to reprogram their behavior to initiate change into their lives. This is then reinforced through Ericksonian work which acts like the cement that makes the change long lasting. Gail has worked for over twenty years with hundreds of clients through seminars, individual and group work to help them break though the barriers that are blocking their development, enabling them to reach their full potential.

The Door Opener

NORTHEAST RECOVERY NETWORKER

Psycho-neuron-immunology:
The Science of Mind/Body Connection for Healing


"Physician heal thyself" is good advice taken seriously by Gail Petrowsky, MSW, of Manchester, CT. After successfully dissolving tumors she had developed in 1984, Gail went to work teaching others what she had learned about psycho-neuro-immunology; the science of mind/body connection for healing. As a professional workshop and retreat facilitator, Gail teaches a simplified way to get through the blockage and fear that keep people from their goals and true desires. "That's what life is all about," she shrugs, smiling, "It all comes down to belief in yourself and knowing that cells can change. The words we speak and think create the physical and mental reality we experience."

Gail Petrowsky, MSW, is a Holistic Counselor, certified internationally as an Eriksonian Hypnotherapist and practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Her experiential seminars incorporate her expertise in these techniques as well as others. Seminars focusing on topics and issues such as Healing the Inner Child, Stress management, Abundance, and Women's Retreats, are attended by approximately 70% recovery program participants.

She admits that she slipped with her own boundaries and self-care again a few years later when she was diagnosed with Lupus. Over the course of three months, however, she also defeated this disease by once again refocusing her attention on "bringing myself present to handle and cope with things better. I had to keep myself aware and conscious because I started giving too much…"

Explaining that giving is important and healthy, she clarified that giving more than you can reasonably manage soon translates into illness. " I need to stay in touch with my needs too, and provide for them. It's like going shopping every week - you have to restock your fridge on a regular basis or else you will not get the proper nourishment! And if I feed the whole neighborhood the day after I shop, because I feel sorry for the neighbors, then I am doing myself and them a disservice. I will go hungry (or at least blow my budget) unnecessarily. Because my neighbors don't need me to feed them, and by doing so I am assuming they can't take care of themselves. Therefore I disempowered us both."

Participants believe it is Gail's deep rooted confidence and understanding of their needs and abilities to heal and the tremendous sense of respect and caring, that makes the experience uniquely powerful.

Kim Prario, Northeast Recovery Networker

AMERICAN SALON MAGAZINE

Women's Wellness Seminars


In its year end issue, Entrepreneur magazine predicted that day spas would be one of the fifteen hottest business for 1996. "Day spas are becoming more of an alternative health arenas," said our senior editor, Lorraine Korman, who was not only quoted in the article, but also suggested that the real growth is in wellness programs that help clients relieve stress and may help prevent future medical problems.

Famous destination spa, Canyon Ranch, offers special programs for health education and awareness, such as "Life Enhancement Program," which addresses personal goals such as smoking cessation and weight management.

Last fall I was invited to a "Women's Wellness Weekend" that literally change my life at Noelle's Day Spa in Stamford. Gail Petrowsky, a holistic counselor and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) therapist, hosted the event, which was attended by about two dozen women.

NLP is a gentle form of therapy that helps people alter negative patterns that affect them in either an emotional or a physical way and keep them form realizing their goals. While people see change almost immediately, the work is long lasting because it gives people the tools they need to create change within their own lives. While Petrowsky does not claim that NLP is a "magic bullet," she is convinced that women have the power to heal themselves, The problem is they're so busy nurturing everyone else that they've forgotten how to take care of themselves.

The seminar is designed as a peaceful and powerful opportunity to heal old patterns and wounds with non-judgmental support, learn mind-body techniques to recreate wellness, enhance relationships with both men and women, and discover that it's never too late to create happiness in our lives.

I recommend any of Petrowsky's seminars, including "Healing the Child Within" and "Creating Successful Relationships." If you'd like to participate in one of them or wish to book a seminar at your salon or day spa, call 860-836-4346. Before you know it, you'll be adding yoga classes and a juice bar. Think of it as a whole new take on total beauty.

 

By Marianne Dougherty, American Salon Magazine