Using Hypnotherapy to transform unhealthy relationship patterns.
One-to-one relationships affect our clients, and ourselves, deeply and profoundly. A happy relationship can bring a person out of a “funk” and into a happier place. Bad relationships, on the other hand, damage self-esteem, and can make a person feel more lonely and isolated than ever.
Anyone who has anything to do with therapy knows how much of a priority clients place on their relationship status. Therapists also get a close-up view of patterns in relationships. Clients ask, “Why do I always choose partners who abandon me?” or “It happened again. The person I thought I could trust was cheating on me all along.”
Many of these people believe their repetitive experiences in relationships are coincidental, or a reflection of “bad luck,” or “a curse.” In truth, however, when a person continually has the same kind of relationship experience, time after time, there is usually something else going on. Unconscious messages “tell” the individual what to look for in relationships, and they can lead to happiness, or trouble.
When these unconscious messages encourage a search for a partner who complements and supports the person, a rewarding and fulfilling relationship can result. But, when the messages involve unconscious material that relates to destructive relationships that may have occurred in the past, the person is probably going to repeatedly be found among Cupid’s casualties.
Trauma bonding: repeat performances of bad dramas
When a client complains that “all my relationships end in disaster,” it’s time to look at what is at the source of these experiences. The most common cause for destructive relationship patterns is trauma bonding. This phenomenon results from confusion on the part of the client between support and abuse, stemming from a traumatic and/or dysfunctional relationship that took place in the past.
According to Ingrid Clayton, Ph.D., trauma bonding lives in the nervous system. She writes in her September, 2021 post on Psychology Today that trauma bonding results in a person continually choosing abusive or unavailable partners. She adds that trauma bonding has the following characteristics:
- It is rooted in the nervous system, as a result of the brain making a connection between “love” and abusive or negligent “”
- Hormones are partially responsible for trauma bonding, based on the experience of being repeatedly abused, and then occasionally being “”
- Trauma-bonding emerges in adulthood as a response to childhood trauma.
Hypnotherapy: Re-frame the past, build a healthier present and future
Prodding patients to get in touch with and talk about the unconscious is always possible, but it isn’t easy. However, it’s necessary for a person to become aware of past patterns of abuse and neglect, and how they may have unconsciously confused them with love.
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy allows patients to become aware of their patterns quickly, and opens them to new ways of healing themselves, so they can have healthy relationships. It accomplishes this by allowing them to regress to earlier times where they can safely release repressed emotions. From there, they can reframe their experiences. It becomes possible to take “Everyone always abandons me” and transform it to “I am worthy of a partner who will stay with me.”
How does this happen?
Hypnotherapy helps to heal the nervous system
As Dr. Clayton said in her post, trauma bonding lives in the nervous system. The messages that are sent from traumatic experiences rooted in the past are hormonal in nature. While it’s possible for the rational mind to comprehend the need to change the messages, it is difficult to accomplish the transformation with talking and thinking alone.
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy addresses the needs of the nervous system adversely affected by trauma. When clients regress back in time to a traumatic event, it becomes possible for them to be in the experience. Often, when a person is being traumatized, the mind, body, soul, and heart all go into shock.
According to Wellness Institute founders Diane Zimberoff and David Hartman, when this happens, it is the body’s way of saying, “I can’t deal with this right now and I need a moment to collect myself.” Shock is a physiological reaction to a traumatic event. The condition of being in trauma and shock “freezes” in the client’s nervous system, at least until it can be revisited and freed up.
When the client regresses to that traumatic moment in hypnotherapy, the shock can be treated in the present moment. The hypnotherapist might invite the client to apply heat or cold to the body to bring it back into equilibrium, or ask the client to open their eyes.
After the shock is treated, the client can proceed to release sadness, anger, fear, jealousy, loneliness, abandonment, or other core emotions in safe ways. Then, the client can examine the message that was received at that time. One such message for a person with relationship issues might be, “I must be bad because my mother abandoned me.”
Then, the client can identify the behavior that resulted from the conclusion of being “bad.” It might be something like “I am attracted to people who abandon me because that must be what I deserve.”
Even in this simplified example, it’s obvious that these early and extremely powerful messages are destructive to any client’s potential for having a productive relationship. That’s why, in hypnotherapy, the client is instructed to make new conclusions and identify new behaviors, such as: “I am a good person, and I deserve to have people stay with me.” and “I choose relationship partners who will not abandon me, because I deserve their loyalty and love.”
Toward a happier future
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is a potent tool that can be used to help clients modify their relationship behavior, and overcome the painful cycle created by trauma bonding. Hypnotherapy sessions can be used exclusively to address this issue, or they can be interwoven into a program of CBT, DBT, or other therapeutic modalities.
Hypnotherapy accelerates the client’s progress, and helps to heal those hard-wired, faulty messages that get installed when a client experiences trauma. Having this skill at one’s disposal certainly extends and deepens the therapist’s ability to assist in the healing of clients who come into your office as one of Cupid’s casualties.
Despite its intricacies, learning Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is easy. Simply enroll in the Six-Day Training and Certification Program offered by The Wellness Institute. That’s right! You can acquire this incisive and essential skill in just six days!
You can also earn CEUs by taking this course, and by continuing your journey through the other programs that comprise the full curriculum of The Wellness Institute. These include the Advanced Internship, Personal Transformation Intensive Leadership, and our training program for teachers, Mentorship.
Whether you’re a Six-Day graduate or a veteran of one of our other programs, or if you’re new to us, and ready to take the plunge into the Six-Day Training and Certification Program, this is the perfect time to enroll. All our classes are offered via Zoom, keeping costs to a minimum, while offering you the maximum in terms of high-quality, experiential training. Classes are filling up fast, so don’t wait. Enroll now!