Our clients arrive for their first sessions, burdened with their symptoms. They willingly slap on such self-descriptive labels as “depresion,” “anxiety,” and “neurosis,” and they sincerely wish to receive help, and relief.
However, as they begin the process of therapy, they often resist working with us because they are afraid of the pain they will have to endure as they discover the reasons behind their issues. Many also get so accustomed to wearing those labels, they are reluctant to release the symptoms to become less of whatever it is they believe themselves to be.
We call this kind of behavior as resistance, and this article published by Exploring Your Mind defines it as:
“... patient attitudes, behaviors, or cognitions that may delay or avoid therapeutic change” This can take the form of anything from not showing up for appointments, or being late for them, or a general reluctance to directly address issues.”
Resistance: how it happens
It can be quite frustrating when clients resist therapy. The goal of every therapist is to help clients find relief from their distress, and discover ways to keep their symptoms from returning. Talk therapy can be successful at this, but all too often, it leaves room for clients to skate around the issues at the core of the client’s condition.
This is most likely due to the fact that most symptoms have underlying causes that lead to painful memories. It’s only human for people to avoid the experience of pain, but when a person is in therapy, it’s hoped that they will participate fully and confront the pain so it can be healed.
Clients, by and large, want to heal as much as therapists want to see them recover. It might seem as though a client is resisting because of a desire to avoid change, but there might be underlying memories that the conscious mind is either unready to confront, or would rather forget.
Bring on the breakthrough
The key to getting clients in touch with the underlying causes of their difficult symptoms is establishing communication between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. This can be difficult, if not impossible, with a resistant client. This is especially true when you’re using talk therapy alone.
How can you help clients get to their underlying issues? Hypnotherapy is capable of breaking through the blocks and setting up strong communication channels between these two parts of the mind. This is accomplished by the therapist bringing the client into a relaxed state, where the conscious mind is quieted enough to allow the client to be in contact with the subconscious mind.
In this state, it is much easier for clients to go to a recent time when their symptoms arose, and identify the feelings they were having at the time. They can then express these feelings, and then be ready to deal with the underlying emotions. At this point the therapist invites the client to regress back to the source of the feelings, at an earlier time in life where the same or similar feeling comes up.
This is where the work gets very exciting, and effective. While in this regressed state, clients will go back to experiences that are related to their symptoms. They may recall times when they were shamed, abused, or even beaten. Staying with the client at that age and time, the therapist encourages the client to describe what is happening, what feelings come up, and what the client, at that regressed age, needs to say at that moment.
By accessing this kind of material, using state-dependent memory, the client often recalls long-forgotten feelings that have been locked in the unconscious, making it difficult to function without distress. What makes these memories so powerful?
It is the implicit memory of a traumatic event in a client’s life that is responsible for perpetuating self-sabotaging behavior. Implicit memory is the erroneous message the client infers from the traumatic experience, and these messages need to be corrected so the client can get past them and heal.
An implicit message such as “I’m not good enough,” developed as the result of a traumatic episode, can lead to a lifetime of a person trying to prove his or her worth, and perhaps accepting work situations and relationships that are as even more so. The hypnotherapy session offers freedom from this cycle.
Once the unconscious mind has been activated,, usually through at least two regressions, the client has the corrective experience of expressing the emotions around traumatic experiences. From there, the client can reframe the experience. “I’m not good enough” can be reframed as “I am valuable and deserving.”
This is a general overview of what happens in a session. However, there is a lot more to Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. Inner child work, titration of negative emotions, and retrieval of lost parts such as courage, trust, and innocence are routinely incorporated into sessions. You can read more details about what a Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy session is like here.
There’s even more to love about hypnotherapy
This powerful tool and its capability to help clients heal is exciting in and of itself. When you consider how it can change your clients’ experience, and your practice, it becomes even more so. Here are some of the things hypnotherapy can do
- Reduce the amount of time it takes to get to clients’ core issues
- Help clients to change undesirable behaviors
- Encourage healing from trauma
- Make the therapy process more economical
- Provide therapists with a tool that will stimulate referrals
Therapy is a necessity for many of our clients, but in these changing economic times, it can often be put off or minimized due to financial considerations. When you learn hypnotherapy, you are able to offer a service that will get to the source of your clients’ issues in far fewer sessions than what might be required with talk therapy alone. You will be able to offer services to more people, and allow them to be able to afford a course of treatment that will lead them to full and complete healing.
Invest in your own and your clients’ future with hypnotherapy training
At The Wellness Institute, you can complete your hypnotherapy training in just six days! The course is very reasonably priced, so you can make this investment without hesitation. Here’s what you’ll experience:
- Live, online class sessions with experienced instructors
- Hands-on experience as therapist, client, and observer
- Hypnosis basics
- NLP techniques
- Hypnotherapy and how it is used in treatment
- Live and video demonstrations of hypnotherapy in action
Classes are filling up fast. Learn hypnotherapy, and if you’re eligible, earn CEUs as well! Become a better therapist and help your clients avoid the pitfalls of resistance.
Contact Desiree to get started, and bring real breakthroughs to your clients!