Words can get therapists into a lot of trouble these days. A client can be insulted or alienated by your implying there is something about them that you don’t quite understand or accept, simply by the language you use. It can be like walking a tightrope without a safety net.
Beyond the surface sheepishness, with the political spectrum having become a polarized morass of monochrome thinking, it’s hard to engage in an objective discussion without being accused of taking the “wrong” side. Race, religion, sexuality, gender identification, and philosophical differences present additional bases upon which our clients might decide that we are rejecting who they are and what they believe.
The APA offers guidelines for working with those who identify as transgender, learning how to coordinate parenting efforts for the greater benefit of children, and how to recognize the roles we and our clients play in the areas of race and ethnicity.
It’s true that many of the personal issues and social ills just mentioned can be found at the root of the problems our clients bring to us. Clients may not even be cognizant of how or why their feelings about being set apart from the rest of society are rooted in the difficulties they experience, simply through being who they are.
It would be easier if we could adhere to the once-prevailing social rule about not discussing sex, politics, or religion with people we don’t know all that well. However, when it comes to our clients, and helping them to heal, we must face these issues head-on and encourage free expression. We must also be current, conscious, and aware of how we can best apply sound principles and fairness to the problems clients bring to us.
We can learn about the right words to use and become more conscious about what our clients need in order to feel supported. We also need to listen, and help them to understand their personal emotional mandala, if you will. They can see how it has been shaped and formed, and how it can be re-formed to better fit their needs, but when there are too many words, communication often breaks down.
Getting beyond the words
Indeed, once we get entangled in the web of words clients might use to describe their feelings, our ability to assist them is hindered. Words keep both the therapist and the client in the realm of the concrete, and often mechanistic, mind. When the client enters the relaxed state of light trance that facilitates communication between the unconscious and conscious minds, the mental exercise of putting words together takes pause, and the wall of social preconceptions breaks down.
Clients get to their true feelings, including those that make them feel “less than” for being the way they are. Regardless of the side they might be on in today’s polarized arena of opinion, they can begin to re-focus on themselves, and how they can change their previous perceptions of themselves by reaching new and affirming conclusions about their self-appraisal and their decisions about behavior moving forward.
Hypnotherapy can also heal rifts between parents and children, couples, and even employers and team members through Heart-Centered techniques such as the Clearing Process and Dual Inductions. In these types of sessions, the clients gain a greater understanding of a person with whom there might be great conflict as a result of a lack of appreciation or unwillingness to accept a difference of opinion, orientation, or belief. They find that their initial reactions are rooted in old memories that need to be revisited, and their hurts healed.
Hypnotherapy’s capacity to help clients get to the source of the issues that are troubling them can assist in placing new perspectives on the view they take of themselves, and the people with whom they interact, including society at large. Healing on the deepest levels brings clients newfound strength with which they can pursue living their lives fully and authentically.
A hypno-tip for keeping feelings at the forefront
Diane Zimberoff, co-founder of The Wellness Institute, often coaches students engaged in learning Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. She advises them, while engaging with clients who have been regressed to a different time in their lives, to avoid asking questions. Instead, it’s better to encourage the client to go to different situations and describe them. Prompts such as “Tell me how old you are”, “Describe what you see around you”, and “Tell me who is with you” are far more effective than questions asking for the same information.
Why is this? Diane explains that when a client hears a question, it’s normal for the client to snap back to the conscious mind to provide the answer. This makes it harder for them to become immersed in the experience that needs to be addressed and healed. Using as few questions as possible in the process of guiding clients through hypnotherapy sessions will help you, as a therapist, facilitate the client’s deep connection with unconscious material.
When clients heal, they bring clarity and a healthy outlook to all their relationships. As a Heart-Centered Hypnotherapist, you serve as a catalyst for the kind of healing that is so desperately needed in our chaotic and conflicted world.
Learn hypnotherapy - or get back on the Wellness path with advanced training
You can learn hypnotherapy in a very short period of time with The Wellness Institute’s Six-Day Training and Certification Program. Discover how to lead clients through a journey to the source of their issues. Help them effect lasting change and freedom from addiction, codependency, and eating disorders. Help them recover from sexual abuse and learn how to build healthy relationships.
Through a dynamic combination of didactic material and experiential training, you’ll get all the knowledge you need, and two opportunities to be therapist, client, and observer in closely supervised breakout sessions. Not only will you be able to add hypnotherapy to your therapeutic toolbox; you’ll become part of a network of people who share your passion for deeply healing their clients through personal transformation.
Have you already completed your Six-Day? Then it’s time to develop your skills and dive more deeply into your own healing with The Advanced Internship. We’re enrolling students now for an upcoming class.
Graduates of the Internship choose to move on to become PTI Leaders. You can read this article to learn more about how holding Personal Transformation Intensives can help you build your practice and extend your healing reach into the community. Enroll now to learn PTI Leadership directly from David Hartman and Diane Zimberoff, co-founders of The Wellness Institute.
Bring the power of deep healing and transformation to your clients, and make a difference in your community and the world. Join us for training at The Wellness Institute.
Gender guidelines: https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/transgender.pdf
Parenting guidelines: https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/parenting-coordination
Race and ethnicity: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-race-ethnicity.pdf
Dealing with parents when working with a child: