Many schools of psychology and even hypnotherapy do not understand how to integrate the mind, the body, and the spirit with the clinical treatment of clients using hypnotherapy. In a Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy model, people often discover emotions that they never knew they had or that they did not have an ability to express. Using hypnotherapy, we can teach the client to identify their emotions and then to put the appropriate label on these feelings. The most effective way for clients to have absolutely certain that an emotion is in fact present, is to bring their awareness down into their body and notice what is happening.
Many try to simply “think about” what they are feeling. The problem with this attitude is that these feelings are not located in their head, nor are they located in the conscious mind. These emotions are located in the subconscious part of the mind and physically in the body. Hypnotherapy is most effective for mind-body work because every emotion that we experience has a corresponding reaction in the body.
Hypnotherapy Can Address The Mind/Body Relationship
For example, when you begin to feel sadness, your eyes may start to tear up; you may have a slight pressure in the center of your chest, the heart center. The heart center is not your physical heart; it is your emotional heart. When you experience joy, you may feel like laughing or smiling (a physical reaction) and you may feel a warm feeling in your chest. Some people experience anger in their chest with a pounding sensation, rapid breathing and tightness, perhaps in the stomach. Fear often expresses as tightness or burning in the stomach or chest. Shame or embarrassment usually causes the person to put their hand over their eyes or cover their face.
The body never lies and is the most consistent reporter of our current emotional status at any given time. In Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, we always ask the client to bring their awareness into their body to find the place where the feeling or emotion is located. Then we use the Gestalt Therapy approach taught by Dr. Fritz Perls of “giving that part of the body a voice” and letting it express to us our deeper emotions of which we are usually unaware.
Many people hold their emotions inside their bodies, which is what some of us were taught to do as children. When this holding-in of powerful emotions has become a lifelong pattern, it can certainly lead to disease and chronic pain or illness. With the Heart-Centered types of therapies, the stressed person can learn to identify and release these powerful emotions in a healthy way so that the internalized stress does not lead them to a fatal illness such as cancer or heart attacks.
When a client is in a hypnotherapy session, they have much more direct access to their emotions because they are in the subconscious mind. The client in the trance state is much more aware of their body and can be easily directed to notice and express in a healthy way, the feelings that have been stored within the body. This release of emotions is like opening or loosening the valve of a pressure cooker. The steam can slowly be released without exploding. This is how hypnotherapy heals the mind and the body, through the information revealed, expressed and released from the client’s energy field. This is also the reason why hypnotherapy can be so successfully used by psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and school counselors as well as by doctors in the field of integrative medicine.
Hypnotherapy and the Spirit
Now how does spirit fit in? While the person is in the hypnotherapeutic trance state, clients often experience warmth or a light sensation near the end of their session. This phenomenon occurs with such frequency during the hypnotherapy experience that we have not been able to ignore it. We have learned after more than forty years of experience that many people are longing for some type of spiritual connection. This connection is available through the hypnotherapy process and can be used to help the client reclaim what may have been missing in their lives since they were children: the deepest and highest parts of themselves.