The SPC program has been successfully applied in many different areas.  These include:

The main three formats used have been seminar/workshops, weekly classes, and individual sessions.  This section presents testimonials and results achieved in each of the above areas.

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College Results

Initial tests of the SPC program at East Los Angeles Community College (ELAC) with (predominantly Mexican American) students on scholastic probation have provided strong evidence of the program’s effectiveness.  Over a 1 1/2 year period, the SPC group of 105 students increased an average of 3.8 grade points (Grade Points = GPA x units completed) and had a dropout rate of only 16% compared to 89 students in the control group (that were taught learning skills but no SPC) who decreased an average of 5.45 grade points and had a dropout rate of 56%.

Similar results were achieved in later application of the program at UCLA, Southwest College and Santa Monica College.

College Testimonials

The following are some of the many positive summary reports submitted by college students taking the 8-9 week SPC class:

Larry G. (UCLA)

Fifth Week: Had two tests this week, one in biology and one in CED.  Don't know how I did on the CED but I think it went pretty well.  On the biology I got 40 out of 40.  Still using SQ3R and very comfortable with it.  I have also started to cut down on my smoking.  Didn't think it was possible but it's happening.  Finished Psycho-Cybernetics and it has helped tremendously.  I keep going back over it from time to time.  For one thing, there were courses I wanted to take, but wasn't going to because of fear of doing poorly.  Well, now I've decided to take those courses and by applying myself I think I can handle them.  At least I learn by trying.

Sixth Week: One thing I would like to say here is how amazed I am as to how fast this program has worked.  At first, I must admit, I was somewhat skeptical whether it would work or not.  Even after the first couple of times, I thought it would work, but thought it would take quite a while.  I can't believe in only six weeks so much has happened.  I almost feel like a completely new person.  And the more I believe in it, the stronger its effect.  I am starting to work on some personal areas of my life, like opening up and being more honest with people close to me.

Seventh Week: I have been using the countdown many times during the day and for various situations.  I use it to relax before going to bed and I have no trouble sleeping like I used to.  If I feel tired before a lecture, I use it just before the lecture and I feel refreshed.

The personal side of my life is improving also.  I find I can open up more and tell people my true feelings.  Had a number of close friends and relatives remark on how I've changed.  My studying habits are really good now, sometimes don't even have to count down, just go in my room and start studying and the SQ3R is working great.

Eighth Week: This is the last report before handing this in on Friday.   If someone had told me how much I would change in just two months I wouldn't have believed it.

My image of myself has done a 180o turn.  I now am positive I can succeed here as well as succeed in anything I really put my mind to.  My study habits are more than adequate at home and I also find myself studying on campus whenever I get a chance instead of wasting time.  Also, my reading speed has almost doubled and I get more out of it.

As far as relaxing in different situations, I still have some trouble at times but I'm sure if I keep working on it I'll be able to relax in almost any situation.

From the positive philosophy taught in the course I have identified my weaknesses and am starting to work on them and now when I make a mistake I don't get upset but look on it as a learning experience.

All I can say is that I've gotten a great deal out of this course so far, and I plan to get a lot more out of it throughout my lifetime.

Rob N. (Santa Monica College)

First Week: The real main objective in taking this course is 2-pronged.  One ­to learn to relax my mind and gain control over my thoughts.  Two - to achieve the highest scores possible on tests that I know I am capable of.  At the end of the first week noticeable changes have occurred.  I've been using the 20-10 countdown just prior to going to sleep.  I am completely relaxed on the 10th count and sleep soundly.  I have noticed no longer waking with a start when the alarm goes off.  Just merely waking calmly.  My ability to study has also increased.

Second Week: After only two weeks in this class I quit smoking, drinking and use of any dope of any kind.  This was after a steady use in all three areas for over 5 years.

Eighth Week: I am now experimenting with the Spiral Technique without the aid of the record.  This is helping my concentration immensely.  For my summary of the course, I would like to offer these personal results: I no longer get high on a day to day basis.  I am carrying high B, borderline A's in 3 of my 4 classes (planning on A's for the finals).  I have been accepted to UCLA and plan to begin upper division work toward a degree in my major.  There are also the positive results of being more confident in myself and more in control of my emotions.

Caroline Y. (Southwest College)

When I first enrolled in this course some of my goals that I wanted to accomplish were: Becoming more confident and more assertive.  As far as being more confident in myself it did not take but just one session (using the Pendulum Technique).  This particular technique relaxed me in such a way that programming into my mind that I would have  more  confidence  in  myself  worked instantly.  I now feel that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

Another goal was that I wanted to be more assertive. As a child and young adult, I have always felt like speaking up and expressing myself, but there was always some type of force holding me back, and as a result of this people have taken advantage of me.  Some examples of my new assertiveness are as follows:

While working in an office with several other secretaries, I found out that most of the workload was being placed on me by my supervisor.  She would always compliment me for doing such an excellent job, but being overworked was getting the best of me.  This was when I realized that I had to do something.  I talked with my supervisor and told her that I felt that I was overworked and that other secretaries were there also.  She "got the message".  The work was then divided equally.

Just recently I was designated to relieve the P.B.X. operator for her lunch hour.  I felt that since there were five other people who were experienced in operating the P.B.X. console, that a schedule should be made up, giving each person a particular day to relieve the operator.  Without hesitating, I immediately brought it to the attention of the supervisor, who thought it was a good idea.  The very next day a schedule was made up and now I only have one day per week to operate the P.B.X. console.

A goal that was not previously mentioned was trying to combat my asthma attacks. I tried once using the 20-10 countdown, but it did not work; however, I was determined that it would work.  A few days after my first try, I felt an attack coming on, so I kept telling myself over and over that "I was not going to have an attack." I repeated it over and over also counting to myself until I felt my "chest" loosening up and my breathing slowed down.  To my own amazement I did not have an attack.

This has been about one month ago and I have not had an attack since.  I used to carry my medication in my purse each day, but now I do not carry any medication at all.

Maria B. (ELAC)

Third Week: I found that I could talk to people easier when I went out last Saturday and therefore I had more fun.  I enjoyed studying for a history test more than ever before.  I also used a shortcut relaxation technique before the test - got an A on it.

Fourth Week: I am beginning to use the techniques to program in goals on a daily basis.

Fifth Week: I used to be very depressed most of the time; now I program in that I'm going to be happy every day and it's becoming a habit. I feel so much better and I find myself accomplishing much more.

Sixth Week: Last Monday I started a diet and I have not gone away from it even once, and before it was very hard for me to keep a diet.  I program in the thought that I'll keep the diet by using the Negative-Positive Method or just by using the shortcut relaxation technique daily.

Seventh Week: I used the flash cards method to study for the vocabulary quiz in this class and got 93% correct.  I feel that I'm losing some of my inhibitions; I program in every night that I'm going to be happy the next day and most of the time I am.  I'm also beginning to live in the present, not in the future or past as I used to.  I used to be very afraid when I thought about the future, but now I'm realizing the future is what you make of it.  I still have so many goals to work toward but somehow I know I'm going to make it.

Eighth Week: I used the SQ3R Method to study for a Psych test and I got an "A" on the test.  I feel more ambitious now and much more enthusiastic about life, and I feel I'm going to accomplish everything I set my mind to, whereas before I was getting to the point where I didn't see any purpose in life.

Linda J. (ELAC)

Since the very first class meeting that we've tried the different techniques, I've noticed an inner good feeling within me.

Received results from my midterms and was very happy to have gotten all "A's" and "B's".  I feel I'm really having confidence in what I do and how I feel about myself.

My study habits have improved.  The SQ3R Technique has helped with my reading.  I get a lot more out of reading now.  I especially like the Association Memory Technique.  It has helped enormously with the vocabulary words from 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary. It makes the whole process of learning new words fun.

The worst time of day for me was about from 2-6 P.M. Usually I felt tired and not willing to get to my school work during this time.  Now I can easily program myself to get with it at this time of day.  Instead of having a tired feeling, I feel alert and willing to get down and do my school work.

I had to give an oral speech recently in one of my classes.  I was nervous about the whole thing.  However, I programmed myself into not being so and I was amazed at how well I did.

I find I really have confidence in what I do.  Before when I had an important decision to make, I always asked relatives and friends on what I should do.  I worried constantly on any decision I had to make.  I now make decisions without worrying or relying on others to tell me what's right or not.  I feel much more independent.

I always felt my boss was so superior that I felt nervous talking to her.  I tried the Negative-Positive Technique, and I was able to carry a good conversation without feeling inferior.

Mary G. (Southwest College)

I have achieved a great personal sense of satisfaction.  Before taking this course I was just existing.  Not very happy with my home life.  I didn't have the inner peace one must have to survive.  When we first started this course, I had five goals to work towards.  I have obtained those five goals and a lot more.  I will tell you how I achieved some of them:

1. On weight control which I think I had the biggest success with, I started with the 20-10 Countdown.  It felt good to think about being skinny.  I saw myself not eating at lunch time.  That's what I programmed in, not to eat lunch.  Then I programmed in only to eat when hungry.  It all came very easy to me because it is something that I want to do.  I also saw myself being skinny in tight pants or tops that only skinny people wear.  I also changed the type of food I eat.  I don't fry food as much.  I stay away from pork, no candy and sweets.  I even got up early some mornings and ran ten blocks from my house and walked ten blocks back home.  To date I have lost 15 pounds of a projected 25 pound goal.

2. I never did relax at home.  There just always seemed to be something to do.  Now I can go home, take my clothes off and just sit and relax, read, listen to music.  I am presently making a knit bedspread.  I do the things I want to do.  I just seem to forget about the needs of everyone else.  If I am tired, then I relax.  I found that to keep pushing yourself is very unhealthy.  You get upset, run-down, old before your time, always worrying about everyone else.  Sometimes I play games with the kids.  Which also helps because I really wasn't spending enough time with them.  Now they even notice the change in me.  They know if they ask me to do something and I don't feel like it, they can do it themselves.  They have taken on some of the responsibilities of the house too.  The whole thing isn't on me.

3. I have learned how to speak up for what I feel is right for me.  When someone says something that I don't agree to that involves my work or something I should do, I just do the deep breath shortcut and sort of mull it over in my mind what I am going to say and then I say it in the calmest way I can.  At times I have been caught off guard and left with nothing to say.  Well twice I have gone back to people to say that I have thought it over and I don't feel that it is right.  Once in school my English teacher changed a score on my paper when I asked him why he gave that score.  I challenged him I think because I felt the score was unjust.  As a result he gave me an A - instead of a B.

4. On being sexually aggressive, I have not been totally successful.  However, I have made great strides.  At first I would never make advances towards my boyfriend.  We have been together for seven years.  We aren't strangers.  I tried every SPC method but the words just wouldn't come out.  I really didn't want to become aggressive though.  That was the whole problem.  I wouldn't open up my mind to the fact that I could do it.  Well for a while I let the problem rest.  I just programmed in.  I didn't try to make the advances, I just told myself I would.  Well one day I actually came out and said I wanted sex.  Then one night when he came home I had bought a new sexy nightgown (see through).  By the time he looked at that I didn't have to say anything.  He knew what I had in mind.  I guess one day I'll be even more aggressive, but I don't want to become too bold because I (not my boyfriend) think it is unlady-like.

I program in something every day.  One thing I can do now that I couldn't before is program in quick rest (to sleep for a short time) when I need a quick pick-me-up.  I have bought things that I thought I would never own.  I do almost anything I want now within reason.  Because if I want it I know there is a way.  People have noticed a change in my attitude.  I am more positive.  I know where I am going.  I also know how I will get there too.  I know what I have left behind, and I don't miss it.

Jose C. (Santa Monica College)

The major problems I want to work on are: (1) I tend to daydream during my classes. (2) I get very nervous in front of a group. (3) I have an inferiority complex (lack of confidence). (4) I'm very self-conscious. (5) I always seem to be worrying about small things. (6) Overeating.

First Week: By using your Pendulum Technique I am able to go into a deep stage of relaxation.  During this stage of deep relaxation I am programming myself to break down my problems.  But at this stage I have not seen any type of results yet.

Second Week: I am using both the Countdown and the Pendulum Technique to help me get into a relaxed state of mind.  When in this deep stage of relaxa­tion I clear my mind of the many little problems bothering me and I concentrate on one or two of my goals.  But at this stage I have not really seen any results although my mind is more at ease since I am not letting those little problems amount to anything.  I don't let them worry me as much.

Third Week: I have been using your techniques daily for 3 weeks now and I am noticing that my mind is more clear of little problems.  Now I don't let them get to me as they used to.

I have also noticed that I tend to be less self-conscious than I used to.  I also feel more confident in myself to a slight degree.

Fourth Week: So far I have noticed that I am losing little by little my self-consciousness and feel that I am tending not to daydream in my classes. And I am feeling more confident in myself.  I was appointed Chairman in Communications of M.E.C.H.A. today and I feel I can do a good job but I need a lot of confidence in myself in order to do a good job.

Fifth Week: This week has gone by and I have really noticed that I feel much more confident of myself.  I was appointed co-chairman of MECHA's Culture Faire, and I feel very confident that I'll pull through with "flying colors".  But there is one problem in all of this and that is that I have to talk in front of large groups and I feel very nervous to talk to a large group.

Sixth Week: By using your Light Bulb Technique I don't seem to reach the same level of relaxation as I do using the Pendulum, Spiral, or 20-10 Count­down.  But my goals are slowly being met.  I am able to speak more freely in front of people without too much fear.  I have lost some of my self-consciousness and I am more confident of myself.

Seventh Week: I have been showing your techniques to my girlfriend and she seems to be enjoying our little sessions of relaxation.  She tells me she has seen some results.

The one problem I am concentrating on now is over-eating and I notice I don't care for the foods I shouldn't eat.

Eighth Week: I have noticed a great improvement in my eating habits. And I have also improved on my self-consciousness quite a bit.  I feel very confident of myself and I really enjoy using your techniques with my girlfriend and others.

Ninth Week: Your program is wonderful, for I have met all my goals.

I feel confident of myself and feel I can try anything and do good.  As a matter of fact I am even running for MECHA Chairman for the next Fall semester.

I have lost most of my self-consciousness, for now I don't really care what other people are saying or doing for I feel that whatever I do or however I dress is right and I don't worry about it anymore.

I am able to handle one problem at a time instead of trying to handle all at once, and I do better for I concentrate on only one and I don't let the rest bother me as much.

I have really found your class fascinating and I will strongly recommend it to my friends.  I hope that you someday teach an extension to this course.

(Note: Jose did run for Chairman of MECHA and won! - indicating that SPC can also bring out leadership qualities in individuals.)

Shirley B. (UCLA)

Since my first session in class I have become aware that I have control of my environment.  I have spent more hours in study than I ever have before in my life.  My grades on all my mid-term exams have been B or better.  I am thinking more of myself.  I have less friction with a child of mine that was a constant problem last year.  When things get real bad at home I am able to listen to the SPC record and relax.

I spend more time in activities I enjoy than I do with people who tear me down.  I am able to go out to a club and feel comfortable with people.  I feel that I look better.

Last week I ran our discussion group and I did not feel ill at ease at it.  Tonight I ran and made a speech to be a member of the parent advisory committee.  It was the first time I have ever run for any office.  I think I gave the most powerful speech of any of the candidates there.  Some of whom were teachers and able to speak well in front of groups.  I even spoke to the Reverend very easily and I have always in the past been afraid to talk to him.

I am no longer ultra impressed with people.  I do not think how can a person like that be impressed with me.  What is important now is my attitude toward them.

I now talk to my professors.  My T.A. knows me by name.  I can speak out when I feel I am treated unjustly.  Even if it is a professor who is doing this.

I am more impressed with myself than I ever have been in my life.

When my sister was going to move into a new area I went out knocking on people's doors asking people what they thought of their neighborhood.  I have always in the past been afraid to talk to strangers.

I am no longer dependent on people as I have been before.  I was always called my sister's shadow.  She has teased me about this in the past; now she says she feels like she is the shadow because I exert myself now.

My friend and my sister used to put me down regularly in a teasing way.  I told them it annoyed me, but it didn't stop them.  Now they no longer put me down.  I think this is because there has been a definite change in me.

Also, I can bounce back from bad situations more easily now.  A few weeks ago I did badly on one test; instead of letting it throw me off balance like it almost did, I just got myself back together and got A's on the next two tests I took.

High School & Lower Grades

First, it should be pointed out that SPC is easy to teach at all school levels.  In support of this contention are the many glowing reports from instructors and counselors who have been taught the program at SPC workshops or who have learned it simply by working with the SPC Kit. This includes instructors at all levels of the educational system from elementary through junior high school, high school and college, as well as instructors and counselors dealing with various groups such as the hard-to-employ, U.S. Navy recruits, juvenile delinquents, drug addicts and convicts.

All report positive results in terms of greater self-efficacy, improved efficiency, a more positive outlook, less tension, etc. And some of these reports come from instructors who have not even taken an  SPC class  but have produced their results with only the help of the SPC Kit.

For instance, C. Lansing Hayes, a representative for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, wrote to tell me:

"I loaned the manual and record to a friend of mine, a teacher of  high school boys (juniors) at Joplin High School. This school is really a probation or reform school run for the Justice Department by the Orange County School Board. Apparently, he had exciting results with all of his students, primarily with hyperactive students with concentration problems."

Another instructor who has gotten equally exciting results with only the use of the kit is Dr. Christopher Baida of Chapman College. Not only was he able to help his Navy recruit students vastly improve their learning ability, but he was also able to help them eliminate such varied bad habits as excessive smoking, drinking, stuttering and bed-wetting, as well as lessening tensions and sleep problems.

Some people have wondered if SPC can be taught to young children. I have not worked with children, but I have received a number of reports from elementary school teachers indicating that children are most receptive to the techniques. A second grade teacher, for instance, reported how easy it was to teach the techniques to her students. They especially liked the calming effects of  the  Garden  technique  (p. 38)  which  they  could  visualize  down  to  the minutest detail.

A third grade teacher reports:

"I decided to teach my third grade class SPC, and set their goal as remembering to bring their homework and books to school.  I decided the easiest technique would be the garden technique.  First we discussed gardens, looked at pictures, and drew a picture of a garden.  Then I recorded your garden technique myself, but I left out the part about conflicts and fears since I felt this did not apply to them and they would not understand. They were to picture themselves picking up their homework and books before they left for school.  They were to put it in the same place every day.  They were to see clearly the table or desk and all the surrounding objects.  We practiced this every day before dismissal. Initially, there were mixed reactions.  The mature and fairly mature took it seriously.  The immature ones just laughed. It has been three weeks since we began and there has been an improvement - 75% of the class now comes to school with both books and homework.  The immature ones are changing also....One little girl, who is very immature, has just this week begun bringing in her home work every day and showing me.

"Before, this girl would never remember to bring or even do her homework.  This technique is helpful in that it quiets the kids before they go home and there is less fighting after school.  The children also enjoy this as they are eager to describe their gardens, where they put their homework, etc.  I know I will begin this with my new class in September."

Even a kindergarten teacher noted how excited the children were about the fact that they could control the Stress Card by means of the countdown. It seems to me that young children would be most receptive to these techniques, as the young tend to have the most vivid imaginations. The only age limit would be whether or not one could communicate sufficiently with the child on a verbal level. I would assume that once you go too much below five or six years of age this might become a problem.

High School teachers, too, report positive results.  They have found SPC to be especially effective for not only improving learning skills but also for improving interpersonal relations, particularly for eliminating shyness and self-consciousness. A program like SPC could do wonders for high school students who are at a critical age with regard to self-image and identity problems. And this is in addition to the many improvements in learning ability that have also been reported – including improvement in reading, test-taking, speaking out in class, and elimination of procrastination.

The effectiveness of the program with high school students and the fact that it can be taught effectively by others was brought out in the following Project USTED progress report submitted to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (Mireles, 1971):

"The results have been highly encouraging. For example, at Garfield High School, the principal, Mr. Welsh, was so impressed with the response of the students from negative to positive outlooks, that he has requested Project USTED to conduct classes as soon as possible for his instructors, students and classified personnel in addition to his parent advisory group.... The Psychology 22 (SPC) class being conducted in the heart of the barrio for Project ABC  Headstart mothers has brought the response from several parents that if they had taken this course twenty years ago, they would not have gone through a life of low self-esteem. They requested that their children not be allowed to spend valuable years of their lives repeating their own mistakes. They have asked that we set up similar courses at the elementary schools where their children attend. Dr. Barrios did not visit these classes at any time, thereby indicating that it was the course and its content, rather than the special gift of any particular instructor who was responsible for the results of the course. This, we feel, is a major breakthrough!"

Also included in this report are a number of personal comments from the high school students taking the course.  The following is typical:

"My feelings towards this class have improved considerably. At first, I thought it was just going to be another class to rap with the chicks and make fun of the teacher. In other words, a boring, outdated, unendurable class. Not so! Lately I've become very interested and those words, coming from me, should be considered excellent.

"I've improved my self-image, I am participating actively in class, I'm not afraid of speaking out. In short, it has given me a positive attitude towards life. In contrast to before, where I was pessimistic, grouchy, and rowdy. Recently, I've noticed my outlook towards life has improved greatly.

"I would recommend this class to others that follow behind. It not only improves your study habits and helps you to be at your best when you need to be, i.e., taking tests, giving oral reports, talking with somebody important and keeping an intelligent conversation, but it also lifts your spirits.

"I only wish there were an abundance of these classes, with more teachers like Mr. Paez. He really has patience, he knows how to handle and deal fairly with students. He must be some superman to have withstood this long in this class. To sum up, I know I'm in good hands.

"As for this excellent class, I cannot express my delight and my gratitude. All I know is that the federal government should really go head on and stop pussy footing around -- there is no better class that I know of in high school."

The following letters were written by the principals of two alternative High Schools where Dr. Barrios recently introduced the SPC class:

"December 9, 1998
"Dear Dr. Alfred Barrios:

"This letter is to recognize the outstanding contributions you made to assist the students of Walt Whitman High School in raising their test scores on the Stanford 9 Achievement battery of tests given last Spring (1998), and the inspirational organization you gave to the staff in rescheduling our students and our school day.

"Initially, you provided the staff with Staff Development opportunities where we each experienced the process of the mental preparation individuals need in order to perform optimally on something like the Stanford 9.  We participated in Stress Reduction Techniques, how one focuses on the immediate task at hand, (whatever that might be), the SQ3R method of discerning information from text, and how to eliminate inappropriate choices on an objective test.  You also provided the entire staff with copies of your book, Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness, which was not only motivational, but an incentive to augment our instructional delivery.

"Because of our many meetings with you, we revamped our school day and created a Core Curricular Academy, with the enthusiastic support of our parents.  Students who had been in individualized instruction were programmed together and given intensive instruction on particular skills in Reading, Language Arts and Writing, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics.  You then donated time to meet with the students in the Academy weekly for a minimum of an entire class period - often more, to assist in the continued development of their particular skills and areas of weakness, but also to increase their own self confidence and self esteem.

"It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for our improved test scores, however, the students at Whitman High School improved in every area of the Stanford 9 - whether it was because of the intensive Staff Development, your resourcefulness and assistance in reworking our scheduling and the delivery of instruction, working directly with the students of the Academy, or being a catalyst for us to think "out of the box" in dealing with our students.  But we are appreciative of your efforts and are pleased and proud to share with you the following statistics from our test results:

"(All Scores reflected in Mean Percentiles) *

1997 1998 Change
Grade 9 19 20 +1
Grade 10 17 22 +5
Grade 9 20 29 +9
Grade 10 15 21 +6
Grade 9 20 23 +3
Grade 10 17 21 +4

"Thank you, Dr. Barrios, for your inspiration, assistance, direction, and support, and we will continue to practice the methodologies that you have shared with us and with our students, in the ongoing effort on the part of us all, to improve student achievement, particularly as measured by standardized tests.

Jenny Elaine McDonald

* It should be noted that Whitman High was the only school in the Los Angeles Unified School District Fairfax/Hollywood/Los Angeles cluster to show increased percentile scores in 1998 for both grades 9 and 10.  This LAUSD cluster includes:  LA Math/Science Magnet; Hollywood Perf Art Magnet; Fairfax Visual Arts Magnet; Fairfax Senior High; Hollywood Senior High; and Los Angeles Senior High.

"January 3, 2001
"Dear Dr. Barrios,

"I am writing to personally thank you for all the help you provided the students and staff at Mount Lukens High School this past year.  I am convinced your SPC Magic of the Mind program played a considerable role in helping our students raise both their API scores and their SAT 9 NCE scores as well as their attendance rates in comparison with the previous year.  To be specific, you will note in the attached summary of results achieved:

"1)  With regards to Accountability II - Expected Gains matched SAT 9 NCE Scores, actual student gains compared to expected student gains between this and the previous year were 50% higher (2.4 vs 1.6) for Grade 9; 417% higher (6.2 vs 1.2) for Grade 10; and 492% higher (7.1 vs 1.2) for Grade 11.

" 2)  With regards to Accountability I:  API Growth Target (5%), the actual API score for the year 99-00 was 434 as compared to the previous year score of 376.  This was over three times the growth target (15.7% vs 5%) comparing the two years.

"3)  With regards to attendance, In-Seat Attendance Rate increased from 79% to 88%.

"It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it was about your presentations that helped the most.  Was it your powerful mind-opening SPC techniques that create a strong sense of belief in ones capabilities (self-efficacy) or was it the pragmatic learning-to-learn techniques or the test taking techniques or the stress management techniques.  I would venture to say it was a combination of all of the above.  Your program not only helped increase students’ sense of self-efficacy and learning & test taking skills but also in a certain sense their emotional intelligence level as well.  I might add that your sessions with the staff and me also helped - in the sense of instilling a more positive outlook on our parts as well.

"Again, I want to express my gratitude for your devotion throughout the year - coming as often as every two to three weeks - especially in light of the fact that it was all done pro bono.

Bill Leeka
Principal, Mt. Lukens High School"

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There are three major areas of medicine where the SPC program has proven to be highly effective:  The Stress Diseases including Heart Disease, Stroke and Type 2 Diabetes; the Immunodeficiency Diseases such as Cancer and AIDS; and the diseases caused by Maladaptive Habits & Addictions or Substance Abuse.  This section will present some of the many positive testimonials and results achieved with SPC in the first two areas (primarily taken from Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness).  The next section will present testimonials and positive results in the area of Substance Abuse.

The Stress Diseases


Sue McCormack came to me originally because she could not shake a fear of impending death.  Being a nurse she knew the realities of her situation and the fear was not an irrational one.  She suffered from angina pectoris caused by spasms of the heart with resulting cutting off of 30-70% of the left anterior descending coronary artery, a diagnosis verified by cardiac catherization and X-rays.  So debilitated was she by her illness that she hadn't been able to work in over a year.  But she just couldn't see herself passing the rest of her life as a semi-invalid with that ever-present fear hanging over her head that any second might be her last. So she came to me.

The change that took place in her was almost miraculous.  Within a week after seeing me she was back at work  carrying a full load and as the hospital's nursing care coordinator (all around trouble-shooter) the pressures were tremendous.  This was over 20 years ago and she is still going strong.

How did she do it?  Thanks to SPC she was able to develop a feeling of confidence, a feeling of being able to control the spasms and the pain.  This then eliminated the fear and broke the vicious circle she was in.  She now knows that should the pain start again she can cut it off immediately by means of the deep breath shortcut.  In the first few weeks after seeing me she would have an occasional beginning of an attack but the deep breath shortcut would automatically relax her and cut it off.  She also used the longer SPC techniques twice daily to unwind, using as many techniques as necessary.  Usually the Spiral was sufficient but if not, she followed it with the Garden.

Postsurgical Anxiety

So impressed was Sue with her own results that she immediately began to use the same techniques with some of her patients and produced some miraculous results of her own.  To give you an example, take the case of M.S.  This patient was brought to her in a moribund (dying) condition.  On 12/2/77 he had undergone a serious operation for removal of portions of gangrenous small bowel which had been produced by a diaphramatic hernia, but he continued on a downhill path in spite of the operation.

I saw Mr. M.S. on 12/10, he was pale, eyes sunken, dull, very apprehensive - temperature 101o.  His wife who was 5 months pregnant was also very anxious about her husband's condition.

The nurse in the Intensive Care Unit who had cared for Mr. M.S. had told me that she was fearful that Mr. M.S. would not recover as his anxiety level was so high that it was interfering with care and treatment.  I thanked her for the information and decided to use the SPC technique upon Mr. M.S.

I spent about 45 minutes at the bedside teaching him to do the 20-10 countdown and then to spend 15 minutes 4 times a day, everyday, seeing himself perfectly healthy and happy doing the things that he loved to do most.  I told him to see this just as if he were running a movie and that he must do this in order to work with us to get well.  It was emphasized to M.S. that we could help him, but that he had to help himself to recover to perfect health.  Along with the "picture technique" Mr. M.S. was also given certain exercises to do in bed and told to drink 3 pitchers of water a day and he was to get up and walk around the bed with help at least twice every 8 hours.  We rehearsed this.  He seemed to eagerly latch on to the technique; he stated some of his anxieties and we immediately started the countdown technique and the "picturing".  He eagerly explained it to his wife, who beamed and was eager to work it with him.

The next day Mr. M.S. met me walking the hall with his wife.  He was beaming, his face pink and cheerful and relaxed, his eyes clear and shining.  His wife also was happy.  He stated that he felt fine, that he had eaten solid food for the first time.

Mr. M.S. was discharged from the hospital 12/16.  There is no question in my mind that SPC was the cornerstone of recovery for this man.  It works, the patient works and recovery is not only speeded up, but assured, as once the person relaxes and becomes positive in thought and action, the natural laws of healing can work harmoniously in the individual.

The SPC approach of course can be equally effective with lessening of presurgical anxiety as well.  (see p.158 of TGFH)

Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Arthritis

    That the program can be effective with diabetes was also recently reported by one of the nurses (Ralph Mallen) in one of my all-day seminars held for medical personnel.  The following are excerpts from two letters I recently received from this very greatful person:

"Your SPC techniques helped me to cure my Hypertension, Diabetes, lose weight and control Arthritic Pain and Headaches... I just can't tell you how busy I have been telling all about what you have been doing or rather the help you gave me.  My doctor who has treated me for six years – half believes in the power of the mind.  He states 'You must be doing something right,' when I lowered my B/P in front of him and when I put the Diabetes under control and when I used to suffer with Gouty Arthritis badly in the left knee and now jog and play tennis.  Also when I used to weigh 287 lbs. and now am down to 238 and a loss of ten inches on the waist..."

The following excerpts from the second letter will give you an idea of some of the ways he worked with SPC to achieve the above results:

"I have cured my diabetes!  No more medication needed.  Dr. Register, my medical doctor was amazed but pleased with how I have done it with your technique.  I proceeded to demonstrate in his office at my regular checkup that I had also cured my hypertension or was controlling it.  The nurse took my blood pressure and it was 160/100.  I proceeded to show her and the Doctor that I could bring it down and with practice keep it down. I did the shortcut method and brought my B/P down to 130/70... I have a new tape player and so now the last thing at night I've done is to go to bed and play your Garden Technique and also started the day with it... SPC has given me a new life.  Helped me cut off all guilt, helped me to be cured of illness and to eventually pick only the good things in life."

As in the case of Sue, seeing the effectiveness of SPC on himself motivated Ralph to teach it to others, and he, too, quickly began to get equally gratifying results. (e.g. see p. 148)


Even such an ailment as acne seems to be helped by the use of SPC for stress reduction.  The following is taken from the Progress Report of one of my East Los Angeles College students:

"One thing that really gets me down is my acne.  I feel like a mess when I have a lot of pimples.  I've decided that maybe it's all caused by my worrying and frustration.  I'm being treated by a dermatologist and spend a lot of money on prescriptions and yet I'm not all that cured.  So I've decided to be a little more calm and try to  control  my emotions.  Just by doing this I already feel much better, and my face is beginning to really clear up.  I can feel it.  It feels good.  I can do anything if I really set my mind to it."

That it is possible to affect acne with SPC is not so hard to believe in light of a study by Kraus (1970) the results of which supported the commonly held clinical impression that emotional stress can exacerbate acnevulgaris.

Other Stress Diseases

Examples of how SPC can be used to deal with other stress diseases can be found throughout this book: headaches (pp. 157 & 216); asthma (p. 205); ulcers (p. 148); insomnia (pp. 167, 204 & 213); high blood pressure (pp. 130 & 214); and delayed ovulation (p. 158).


Case Histories of Five SPC Treated Cancer Patients

Case #1 John Roswick - Had been given radiation treatment for cancer of the tongue.  He refused the recommended follow up surgery.  At this point he discovered SPC.  The following letter describes his response to the SPC approach:

"August 5, 1985
"Dear Dr. Barrios:

"Almost 6 years ago on Oct 19, 1979 1 was told I had cancer of the tongue and had a year or less to live.  I hit the bottom of the pit.  I started praying.  Knew nothing of God or Jesus, never read the Bible, but I started.  I received 35 massive radiation treatments in the neck.  I said to the doctors “am I healed”.  They said we now have to do surgery.  I said What surgery?  They were going to take out half my neck.  I said no.  I contacted you in the summer of 1980.  You agreed to see me once a week for 8 or 9 weeks, instructed me on SPC techniques and other counseling on belief  and visualization.   I  used  your  garden  technique  and  visualizing myself 'well' on a mountain top.  During my first visit with you, you gave me your book 'Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness.' You said: you now have two good books (meaning yours and the Bible) and told me to read them both.  I thank God for you and your book, you strengthened my belief in what Jesus said in Mark ll:23 ['Believe and all things are possible.'].

"Dr. Barrios, in my opinion your program is bridging the gap between the mind, and the spirit then the body.  Your program SPC was the beginning in my healing, reinforcing my belief in Jesus teachings, ridding myself of all pent up fear, especially fear, guilt, doubts, anger, unforgivness, and a  bringing together of the Mind, Spirit and Body.

"My saliva returned to me during my sessions with you, my voice, and I forgot to mention, MY TASTER. [After radiation] I couldn't taste anything.  The doctors said my saliva would never be the same, that my taster, taste buds, would be about 50 to 75% returned.  Well today I enjoy full saliva, and full tasting abilities I had before radiation.”

"It is sad to note that medical doctors don't, or won't advise patients  on positive principles laid down in your book or the bible.  I would urge anyone who has an illness of any nature to seek out the SPC program.  It works.  It puts you in tune with the real you, the spirit.  It has for me and I know it will for others.  I firmly believe you are an instrument of God's.  And I thank him for you.  I am not the same person you first met, frightened, confused, oh yes confused!  My condition is healed.  Your holistic approach is a blessing."

Case #2 Adele Buchanan - At the time I first saw her, Adele, age 45, was suffering from a rather fast-moving cancer of the spine, lymph glands, rib cage and base of the brain - a metastasis from an original cancer of the breast.  At this time she had been placed on a low dosage of chemotherapy because of her very negative reaction to her initial dosage.  I saw her over an eight-week period once a week while she was on this low dosage regimen.

As usual, my initial approach was to establish a strong belief in the body’s ability to heal itself with the help of the power of the mind.  In Adele’s case heavy focus was also placed on helping her to become a more assertive person, especially with regards to her husband whose utter domination throughout her marriage had led to a state of extreme hopelessness.  Her resultant breaking  free of this domination I  feel was the key factor in her recovery.  Within six months of the time I started working with her, the cancer had disappeared in all four areas and three years later when last contacted, she was still very much alive.  The following excerpt is from a letter written by her surgeon at the City of Hope praising the work I had done and recommending that she be allowed to have similar psychological support when she returned to Canada:

"When I first met Mrs. Buchanan, she was very negative about her therapy, and her situation in general.  However, in the interim she has begun to see a psychiatrist [sic] on her own accord, and I have found that this has made a great difference in her outlook towards her cancer and life in general.  I feel this therapy is very beneficial to her and recommend that it be continued and that the Manitoba Health Services continue sponsoring it."

Case #3 Michelle Hollingsworth - Rather than undergo a recommended mastectomy for breast cancer, she chose a combination of radiation and  SPC.  The  following two letters, tell her story:

"May 18, 1982
"Dear Dr. Barrios:

"Enjoyed speaking with you the other day and relating to you my experiences with SPC.

"Was told in May of 1980 that I had breast cancer and should have an immediate mastectomy followed by extensive radiation.  Much to the physician's dismay, I refused the mastectomy, but agreed to the radiation.  I knew then that I had a lot of work to do for myself.

"It was with that thought that I took your class on SPC.  Am now two years down the line, and am still using several of the techniques learned at that seminar.  'Imagery' was of tremendous value during the radiation treatment.  I imaged the radiation as little 'critters' gobbling up the cancer cells which I imaged as oatmeal.  Alternately I used the 'garden technique' feeling I needed this as well to put my body in the most receptive mood to receive the radiation.

"I carry my little biofeedback card in my wallet.  If I feel myself getting tense or stressful, usually employ the '20-10 countdown' method to get into control.  Then I check to see how I've done with my feedback  card.

"Have checkups every three months and my oncologist (who was really quite supportive of my decision) is delighted to find there is no sign of any malignant activity.

"Thank you again for the help.

Michele Hollingsworth"

"April 27, 1984
"Dear Dr. Barrios:

"When my wallet was stolen recently, they took my money and my biofeedback card! (got back the wallet, pictures and credit cards!)  Am really lost without the card.  I still use it regularly and would like another.  Still use so many of the techniques I learned in your class and still feel it was one of the most valuable classes I've ever taken.  Am enclosing a copy of a letter I wrote you in 1982 as a reminder. Incidentally, am still cancer free and going into my 5th year."

Case #4 – Jolee Marshal – At the time I saw her, Jolee had been given two weeks to live as a result of an inoperable cancerous tumor that was blocking her intestines.  I worked with her a total of four hours introducing her to the SPC-PNI approach.  The miraculous results are best described by Jolee herself in a letter she wrote to Norman Cousins four months after I saw her:

"January 7, 1990
"Dear Norman Cousins:

"... I had a blockage across my abdomen about one inch and a half wide & 8 to 10 inches long (across) and it was hard.  Dr. Barrios had heard about me & came to the hospital.  He worked on me from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM.  We worked on a mental process (to 'gobble' up the cancer cells).  Dr. Weiner [her main doctor] came in the next AM & out of habit started feeling around the abdomen.  I just laid there with a rather smug smile on my face.  He started feeling - looked a little flabbergasted, felt deeper and deeper, looked at me and stuttered 'what happened?' [as he realized the blockage was gone].  I briefly told him about the night before.  His hands still probing,  he  could hardly get the words out.  'It's a miracle!' His next very slow words were 'Maybe there's something to this stuff after all!'

"I have since then gone from 89 lbs to 118.  Energy all over the place & more than ever show in person how strong the mind energy really is."

Case #5 Pam Roth – When I first started working on Pam’s case she had just gone through chemotherapy and radiation for metastic breast cancer.  She was also having great difficulty breaking free of a 30 year two pack a day cigarette habit.  The following letter she wrote tells her story:

"June  14, 1996
"To Whom It May Concern:

"As CEO of P.J. Roth & Associates and President of The Public Service News Bureau, I have had the honor of knowing Dr. Barrios and observing his work since 1983.

"Through his SPC approach, Dr. Barrios has developed a program that has allowed people worldwide to tap into their own personal power to change their health, their happiness and their lives for the better!  He has made the mind/body link accessible and understandable to the world.

"Over the years, I observed the extraordinary development of the clinical applications of his pioneering theories, and his enormous influence on the American public.  At the same time, I felt it had little to do with me on a personal level.  That is until 1992, when I was diagnosed with metastasis breast cancer.  It was then that Dr. Barrios made the mind/body link accessible and understandable to me in the most profound way possible!

"In light of my particular case and my prognosis, my physicians encouraged me to undergo the most strenuous chemotherapy and radiation; which I did.

"At the same time, even faced with my own mortality, I could not summon up the resources to make necessary changes in my personal lifestyle.  In many ways this was not surprising, after all, I had previously spent years of therapy unsuccessfully attempting to deal with the underlying lack of self worth that showed itself in an aggressive disregard of and for my own physical and emotional well being.

"Years of therapy, will power and even cancer seemed to make little difference to ending my two pack a day habit and a 30 year addiction to nicotine.  None of these could change the stress attached to my particular career choice or the fact that I had never developed necessary care and consideration for my physical “self”.  I was in trouble and I knew it.  I had tried everything including traditional hypnosis but nothing seemed to work.

"I was depressed, anxious about the cancer that I was sure was still with me, debilitated by my treatment and more out of touch than ever with the body that had betrayed me.  It was then that Dr. Barrios stepped back into my life bringing all the benefits of his years of clinical experience in mind-body health.

"Within two sessions, I made the remarkable breakthroughs that years of therapy and prior hypnosis were unable to achieve!  And it was all so easy.  Dr. Barrios’ approach not only convinced me that I had the power to tap into my own subconscious – it showed me how to use and apply that power to achieve deep seated change.

"Within weeks, through applying these powerful hypnotic and visualization techniques to my cancer and my personal “mind/body” split – I not only stopped smoking once and for all, I was transformed into a person in touch with and caring for her own physical and emotional needs.

"Today, I am a committed ex-smoker, who exercises, eats well and takes care of herself in every way possible.  I am also, according to all tests, 'cancer free' [still 'free' as of August, 2000].  More importantly, I intend to give myself every opportunity to stay that way by continuing to practice the SPC techniques that have made the difference in my recovery!"

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The SPC program for combating bad habits and addictions was initially tested and researched in at least four different college and universities.

The results achieved at East Los Angeles College, UCLA, Santa Monica College and Southwest College will give you some idea of how effective this program can be for habits of excess.  An anonymous questionnaire given to a total of 313 students at the completion of the SPC class asked the students to (a) list those areas they had been excessive in prior to the class and (b) indicate which of these areas they had overcome as a result of the class.  The following are the tabulated results of the percentages of students overcoming their excesses:

Food 78% (100 of 129)
Cigarettes 73% (52 of 71)
Alcohol 92% (59 of 64)
Television 86% (120 of 140)
Marijuana 72% (31 of 43)
Other Drugs 83% (16 of 19)

Positive results have also been reported in SPC's application at Aliviane, a Texas-based hard core drug program.  Here, the SPC techniques were used mainly as an adjunct to their prevailing method of treatment.  It served the very useful purpose of getting the clients into a more relaxed, positive and constructive mood prior to group therapy and they were consequently able to get more out of their sessions.

A more direct use of SPC with drug addicts and alcoholics was its application at Bridgeback and the House of Uhuru in the predominately African American area of Los Angeles.  Both are rehabilitative centers for hard-core drug and alcoholic offenders many of whom had been sent to prison for drug-related crimes.  The type of results achieved are best illustrated in the following two letters:

The first was written by a resident at Bridgeback and addressed to whom-it­may-concern:

"For many years (since 1959) 1 had been a drug addict.  Now I'm a resident at Bridgeback.

"For a long time I thought there was no hope.  I had been told that once a dope fiend always a dope fiend.  Not having too much on the ball, as far as a future, I let this saying make a nest in my subconscious.  Because of this I would not deal with anything.  Through the years I tried several times to break the habit but each time would go back.  Well, I finally gave up and said it's time to get help.  I signed up for the Bridgeback Drug Program.  There I thought that I could get help by just grouping [note: this is a form of encounter group therapy and has been a main form of therapy currently used by many drug rehabilitative programs] but I couldn't.  So along came Dr. A.A. Barrios.  He had a very unique program called SPC (self-programmed control).

"At first I just sat in class and didn't get involved, then he started saying things that sounded good.  He said he could change a person's entire life if they got involved.  I didn't believe it at first.  So, I said what can I lose.

"I started out by using the Spiral Mind Technique.  I began getting so involved, I purchased a kit.  Every morning I would use it.  Then it started taking effect.  The next thing I know I had no desire whatsoever to use or even be around dope.

"Then I had this Mural to paint, 75 feet long and 25 feet high.  I just knew I wouldn't finish it.  So I programmed in that I would complete the Mural, and now it's one of the best in the city of L.A. and I'm always getting recognition for it.

"Now, still using Dr. A. A. Barrios' SPC  program, I'm enjoying life in a much more rewarding way.  I attend L.A. Business College where I'm studying accounting.  Upon completion, I hope to become an accounting clerk.  Next, I applied for a job for the State of California as a claim's examiner's assistant.  My application was accepted.  I took the test and I found it was so easy, it was as if I had taken it before.  It's really something to see how these techniques work.  I just know I did well on it because I got under the Spiral that morning.

"Oh yes, let me include this in this short story of my changed life style.  My grades in high school were C's and D's; now they are, believe it or not, A's and Bs.

"I'm going to close with these last few words.  There was this young lady that came to the program.  I saw where I could help her with this new program.  She was like me at first, skeptical; now she's getting involved and she's really doing fine now."

The following letter was written to the Director of the House of Uhuru by one of the peer counselors who had taken part in the pilot SPC study there:

"I am writing concerning a program I feel would be of great interest to you and which I highly recommend for incorporation into the House of Uhuru.  First of all Mr. Anderson, allow me to state that this program, Self-Programmed Control (SPC), works!  It is a truth, in that by means of it one can be in control of his life and destiny.

"Unhealthy habits, such as over-eating, excessive smoking and drinking, drug taking and abuse and countless others can be minimized and eventually alleviated by applying the techniques acquired and practiced until they become second nature by believing you can do it.  I know this is possible because I've seen the program work not only with me but many others as well, thanks to being in the SPC class Dr. Barrios taught here this past semester.

"At the beginning of the class we were asked if there was anything that we wanted to focus upon within ourselves.  One of the goals I set was to become adept at tension control.  Before utilizing the SPC techniques I experienced headaches often, lost my temper at the drop of a hat, and underwent mood changes quite frequently (depression, despondency, self-pity, etc.). Now, as I'm sure you are aware of, my temper and mood variations have displayed positive movement toward a more balanced equilibrium, and my headaches are almost nonexistent.

"In March of this year my husband was incarcerated, and would be away for 18 months.  As a result of this occurrence, I felt afraid and completely alone.  I started drinking alcohol everyday.  I'd get off from work, stop at a liquor store and after getting home, would drink myself into a stupor.  During this time I had forgotten about SPC and just about everything else.

"Then one evening after I had taken my first drink, I remembered the SPC 20 to 10 Countdown Technique for relaxation.  I went through the technique twice, programmed in the goal of not having to drink to deal with my fears, insecurities, and poured the pint of bourbon down the kitchen drain.  I felt and continue to feel good about myself!

"With the continued usage of the techniques learned through SPC, and reading excerpts from the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, I became more confident and aware of my abilities to change and control my life as I deem fit.

"In regards to Self-Programmed Control being incorporated and implemented as an ongoing therapeutic phase of the Uhuru's philosophy, I am strongly in favor of the idea.  Not only have I seen the positive effects of the class on myself and the others taking it, but I have also seen that we ourselves could very easily teach it to others in turn.

"During the last four classes ten clients participated who were from the residential component.  These ten clients were taught SPC by us without Dr. Barrios.  We, the class, introduced to them a few of the SPC techniques that were ideal for tension control and relaxation.  At the end of the very first session, all of the residential clients were very enthused and expressed a desire to attend and learn more from additional sessions.

"At the conclusion of the fourth session, clients were relating to me how they had used the Deep Breathing Technique to relax and had as a result stopped taking sinnequans, a tranquilizing medication.  Also while participating in the regular intensive grouping sessions, by using the 20 to 10 Countdown Technique the clients were able to control their tempers and display a more positive attitude and behavior pattern.  Many of the clients also reported that they were now able to go to sleep at night without the aid of medication simply by using the techniques learned in SPC.  One client especially stated she had gotten so upset one day that her blood pressure went up high enough for our doctor to feel medication was necessary to restore it to normal.  At this time the client went through the techniques learned in SPC, and as a result her blood pressure returned to normal without her having to be administered medication. Each day SPC is being heralded by these ten residents who were fortunate enough to be included in the SPC class, and they themselves are now teaching the techniques of SPC to new residents. These ar some of the incidents that lend credence to the benefits that can be acquired through SPC."

The above letter illustrates once again a major advantage of the SPC program – how easy it is to teach.  Please also note the chain reaction effect.  The students I taught in turn taught the program to ten other residents who in turn started teaching the program to others.  Again this is all in keeping with the "demystification" approach of Ivey and Alshuler (1973) that says we don't have to be Ph.Ds or so called experts in order to help others.  I believe strongly that we need this chain reaction effect if we are going to help turn this world around in time.  As I alluded to in the beginning of this book, we are currently in a life or death race, "... for at the phenomenally fast rate at which technology has advanced during the past century, man now has the means to totally destroy himself, and will unless we can get to him first."

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One can also see the possibilities of SPC in industry as a great deal of inefficiency and absenteeism would be eliminated.  Work morale would be higher, there would be a definite lessening of friction among personnel, and absenteeism due to illness, including alcoholism, would be much less.  That such results are possible with SPC was borne out in a study done at Rockwell International and reported in the Journal of Employee Recreation, Health and Education. (Barrios, 1975)

The SPC class at Rockwell had a total of 11 participants – 3 women and 8 men – from all levels, including management, and met once a week for two hours for a total of six weeks.  Three simple measures were used to get some idea of the effectiveness of the program: (1) The Willoughby Test (p. 224 of TGFH) before and after, (2) A before and after self-rating of the goals chosen to be worked on by each participant (how they felt about the possibility of achieving each goal), using a scale of 0 to 10, and (3)  Each participant's own summary of his progress written at the end of the class.

The results of the Willoughby test indicated an overall improvement of from the 75th to the 47th percentile.  With regards to the changes in rating of goal reachability, the average self rating went up from 3.36 to 6.80, (see pp. 52-53 of TGFH) with each person working on an average of five to six of the following goals (self-confidence being the most common one chosen):

    Positive Thinking Excessive Drinking Exercise
    Self-Confidence Smoking Eternal Youth
    Learning Ability Health Headaches
    Creativity Fears Physical Attractiveness
    Weight Control Emotions Leadership Ability
    Tension Control Sex Procrastination

Reading through the following summaries of progress (all 11 are included including the one apparent failure – "L.P.") will give you a better feel for the type of results achieved.  In each case, after the initials of the participant, I have included the before (B) and after (A) Willoughby percentile. (The lower the percentile the better.)

J.B.   B62 —> A53

"Procrastination - Have done one or two extra chores every night instead of putting it off until there is no time left.  This includes paying bills, letters, etc.

"Diet & Health - Started doing exercises at home.  Have also done pretty well with my meals.  Have already lost a few pounds.

"Smoking - Have cut down considerably.  Have gone without one as much as four hours at a time at work where the pressure is the greatest.

"Work - Work running more smoothly now.  Not as many redo's from frustration or  aggravation and the time element is no longer creating excessive tension.

"I am convinced the program works.  For years I've read books oriented along these lines, but this course seemed to show how to accomplish your goals."

E.B.   B60 —> A5

"This course has been helpful in many ways toward improving my self-image.  My confidence and positive thoughts have strengthened a great amount.

"My life is a much happier one which gives off a glow of warm vibrations to others around me.  I'm able to concentrate on a positive thought whenever I desire.  Problems, large or small, at work or at home, no longer pose a threat of failure because I am assured I can solve any.

"Since my self-image has improved, I find that I like myself even more and am able to do much more than I've done in the past.  Now that I realize I have the ability, I know I will be successful most of the time.  I am confident I will accomplish my goals, both short and long range.  Without this course, I wonder where would I be today?"

R.G.   B30 —> A12

"I have greatly reduced tension.  My sex life has improved considerably and I feel I have a more positive attitude toward the future.  My memory and reading comprehension have improved.  And I am able to shut out outside interference when thinking.

"While my problems were not as great as many people, I can see where everyone could benefit from this course.  I feel it was worth the time and money."

A.P.   B89 —> A57

"I have learned the techniques, I have the tools - now the rest is up to me.  The class has definitely helped me.  For instance, no one could have hated a job more than I did; I despised going to work in the mornings.  Now, I really enjoy my job - I don't mind getting up and going to work.  I really like the people I work with now.  I just changed my attitude (after I started the class and started reading Psycho-Cybernetics) and everything just seemed to shape up.

"Also, I have lost 7 lbs.  I have started and am continuing an exercise program every day at noon.  Have been running a mile at noon instead of eating lunch.  I have something light at dinner - absolutely no sweets, and sweets were my weakness.

"So, I will have to say the class has been a success for me.  My weight and work problems seem to be going okay now so I think I'll start trying for self-confidence (that will be a tough one but I know I'll be able to make it)."

D.P.   B85 —> A52

"This has opened my eyes to a lot of little things that are really big.  Find myself thinking clearly again and normal.  Also, I've noticed that more done lately in shorter time and with less effort.  I find that I'm now able to get vivid blue on the Stress Card more and more frequently.  I'm definitely going to continue work­ing with this program."

L.P.   B88 —> A96*

"I do not feel that SPC has helped me a great deal, but who knows what seeds have been planted."

*According to the Willoughby Test, this is the one failure in the group.

R.P.   B81 —> A41

"I am convinced now I have made relaxation a habit.

"I am confident, too, that my new positive, winning attitude can accomplish the results I need to meet all my realistic goals.  This is true even though my age [around 65] is such that it is easy to have serious doubts if I were to allow them to develop.

"At work SPC has helped by teaching me to take a more deliberate and analytical approach and therefore achieve more reasonable solutions to my problems.

"I think an SPC program is absolutely essential in a corporate organization in order to develop maximum performance and output among its members.

"Corporation work programs such as North American Rockwell have impos­sible schedules, almost impossible goal requirements and a need for maximum cooperation between all members.  Almost all workers in such a situation will develop an extremely tense personality where their creative output reaches minimum because of the impossible schedules and goals.  SPC will develop a calmness in these individuals so that their efficiency is increased tremendously and their awareness of the other person's point of view and his requirements are greatly enhanced to the point where cooperation and efficiency of the overall program results in a much better end result."

B.R.   B98 —> A93

"In the past, under pressure, I'd run.  Now I don't.  Example - In a night class I am taking I have noticed a complete change of attitude.  Before I would easily become discouraged and be quick to give up and drop the class.  Now I find myself sticking to it and no longer so afraid of the teacher.

"I find that SPC has also helped with my job - because I can keep calm long enough to learn it.  Previously I would be so upset during the learning period it took twice as long.  I use the quick count-down when I get in a tight spot and it seems to help quite a bit.  Also, there is an annoying person whom I work with - I can for the most part, with the countdown, keep my feelings in control so as not to upset the entire office."

R.R.   B86 —> A63

"I feel that I have learned the tools to help myself over the past six weeks.  I probably would not have read Psycho-Cybernetics at all.  Now that I started the book I feel I will complete the book within the month.

"Before the course I rated myself low in self-confidence and positive thinking.  Now I find myself catching myself as soon as I become aware of the situation and program in that I am confident in my abilities.  When I think negatively I immediately disregard the thought and think of a positive thought.  I think I have reversed my negative pattern.

"As far as habits are concerned, I am working on one that has grown since childhood.  I recently have had success in controlling this habit for the first time in approximately 30 years - three successes in a row.  This has helped my ego and my confidence to a great degree.

"Also, I had trouble sleeping at times.  Now when I go to bed I go through a complete programming input and relax much more than before, thereby getting to sleep earlier and more relaxed.  As a result I am on time for work and more relaxed during the day.  And my mind is not as cluttered up with negative thoughts and fears during the day.  Therefore I am able to get more work accomplished.

"I look forward to working hard on all areas with the tools learned in the class."

P.S.   B68 —> A12

"Have achieved positive results from the 6 week program; feel that this is only the beginning.  This course gave me the tools, now I must continue to use them to continue the progress.

"I was particularly impressed with my ability to remember names.  This was always a weak point with me.  I find that I am also starting to gain confidence in my handling of situations at work that bugged me before and am much more relaxed when making presentations to a group of people.

"I was quite pleased with the 'before' and 'after' results of the Willoughby test.

"I really 'dig' the 'positive thought' technique.  I use this every day.  This is the basis of Maltz' book but I didn't really get it until this class.  This is the biggest thing I have learned to date.  I now try to concentrate on my successes as much as possible."

A.S.   B82 —> A40

"I thought the course was well presented.  I have obtained positive results in my blood pressure reduction goal and find I am more relaxed now.  I have also made some slight progress in my weight reduction goal.

"Thanks to the shortcut techniques I can automatically relax when problems come up at work and find I can deal with others more easily."

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A 12-hour pilot SPC program for WIN enrollees (WIN is a work incentive program aimed at getting people off welfare and back to work) pro­duced the following results outlined in a letter from Chuck Oliver, the then acting supervisor of WIN orientation at the East Los Angeles office, extolling the virtues of SPC:

  1. A more verbally open class and free exchange of ideas.
  2. A higher score of two grade levels on the standard achievement test compared to
    previous classes held without the benefit of Self-Programmed Control.
  3. Follow-up in the work incentive program has since shown that the demonstration
    class of enrollees has had a significantly lower drop­out rate and several have
    already secured jobs. [To be more exact, 16 out of 18 secured jobs as compared
    to an average of 5 out of 18 for previous similar groups.]

Another interesting report comes from an instructor who took part in my class for instructors at Cal State University Los Angeles: Maria-Luisa Lopez, at the time, chairman of the Multi-Clerical Department at the East Los Angeles Skill Center. This instructor of the difficult-to-employ in the CETA Manpower Training program stated that after much searching she had at last found a means of dealing with the all-important attitudes and fears of her students that had continued to plague her ability to really  get  through  to  them. One  of  the  first indications that she now had something that could work was when she found that by having the students use the countdown prior to typing tests she was able to decrease the number of errors by an average of 6-7 per minute. Since then, she has found even more profound changes, especially with regard to self-image:

"In the past (prior to my SPC exposure) many of our trainees who were sent out on interviews by the staff Job Developer would not even show up, or if they did, they projected a negative or insecure attitude and were rejected in many instances.

"Since SPC exposure, all have acquired a more positive, self confident attitude which has helped them  during the interviews and subsequently while learning their duties as new employees. Of the 18 trainees I had in my class when I started using SPC, all have found jobs, ten of them completely on their own - something unheard of before as in the past those who have found work found it as a result of the Job Developer's efforts.

"Needless to say, I am completely sold on the SPC concept."

Such results tend to support a theory I have regarding welfare recipients.  Many feel that people on welfare are just plain lazy malingerers and don't really want to work.  I don't believe this.  It's my theory that these people remain on welfare not because they want to but because their low self-image makes them feel incapable of anything else.

The essence of what the program can do for these people was captured very nicely in a letter written by Suzanne Bourg, CETA counselor, to Lloyd E. Thornhill, Career Services Administrator regarding a class I held for CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) trainees in Pasadena:

"As educational counselor to Pasadena City College CETA stu­dents, I have been privileged to attend a series of 18 lectures by Dr. Alfred Barrios on 'Motivation Through Self-Program Control'.  The ultimate purpose of the lectures is to increase the number of job placements of our CETA trainees.  These students of economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are taught simple but profound techniques which free an individual from his negative self-image, attitudes and emotions.  His vitality and energy is then redirected towards a more positive and productive philosophy of life.

"Dr. Barrios' course emphasizes relaxation techniques which the student learns to apply in anxiety-arousing situations such as job interviews and test-taking.  These methods combined with auto-suggestion enable a person to 'program' himself to be happy, produc­tive, get to work on time, not let life get him down, to picture success in one's mind and eventually achieve it.  Most importantly, it teaches a person to rebound quickly from mistakes or failures and try harder the second or third time.

"After seeing the response of the students and hearing examples of their applications of Dr. Barrios' concepts and techniques, I feel strongly that this is an important part of job training that has never been previously recognized.  CETA can train a person to obtain job skills but if he has no self confidence, no sense of control over his own destiny, no previous pattern of success, he has great difficulty getting and holding down a job.  It is this strategic area of Dr. Barrios' course which applies so directly to our CETA trainees."

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