From the Blogosphere: The Pancake Guy admits he was wrong about CTRN

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From the Blogosphere: The Pancake Guy admits he was wrong about CTRN

Jamis H Macniven runs Bucks – a famous restaurant in Woodside, CA – right in the heart of Silicon Valley. One day he wrote a really lousy blog entry about CTRN, based on nothing other than thinking some of the phobias we help sound kind of crazy. (Some do, of course, unless you have them).

Anyway, we got in touch and he was gracious enough to write a mea culpa – but only after checking into the truth about what we do. Here’s what he wrote:

Jamis H MacnivenA few weeks ago I rounded up some stray Web sites and shot holes in them like a herd of cattle suspected of mad cow disease.

Well, when you do that you kill the good with the bad and this is what happened to one cow.

It turns out that I was wrong about CTRN, and I was wrong about Seymour Segnit.

Much to my surprise I actually know Seymour. He now lives in New York but he used to be a local guy with a lot of good ideas back in the dotcom days. I once sat in on a presentation he made about mass transportation solutions that made very good sense.

Now Seymour heads a small group that aims to reduce the very real phobias people endure every day. Because it so easy to include the many names of phobias, the comical-sounding phobias, like hellenologophobia (fear of using Greek words for scientific expressions) and Harry Potter Audition Phobia, end up on the list. But Seymour clued me in that most phobias are derived from the common top five, which have at the top fear of flying and fear of public speaking.

The reason he includes the full list—and full it is—is that he is occasionally contacted by people who are afraid of rather obscure things like marionettes or traffic and they have found him by looking up the scientific term. But even Seymour has to admit that if you include the entire list there are some pretty far out and even self-canceling phobias like hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of long words.

And it was this complete list that grabbed my attention. I frankly thought that the site was more scam then substance. I don’t believe that any more, after speaking at length with Seymour. He puts it better than I can:

“The human nervous system is clearly capable of VERY FAST change—otherwise no one would feel bad years after a traumatic event (which may only have lasted a few minutes). We typically work in person with clients for two to five hours and give them homework to do. The 24-hour part is just a guarantee we offer most clients (not those with a long history of failure or highly complex problems) that if they invest that amount of focused time on the issue, they will resolve it.

Why not let readers check us out for themselves? We offer a CD product called Vanquish Fear & Anxiety in just 24 Hours — and we work with folks one-on-one.”

So I looked up one of those people who have given CTRN a testimonial. It turns out that she is very real and very happy with her experience. Let’s face it, couch-talking endless psychiatric sessions which go nowhere for years are soooo 20th century. Today people appreciate having effective tools to meet the rigors of life and I was clearly derelict in not studying CTRN before including it in my tirade.