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Wellness Institute Blog

When talking isn’t enough: Using hypnotherapy to break through the resistance of the “trauma-self”

Posted by The Wellness Staff  Feb 23, 2022 10:43:41 AM

Many psychological conditions, ranging from mild anxiety and depression to narcissism and dissociation, often lead to the life difficulties that bring people to therapy. When we first meet clients with these complaints, it might seem as though they’re ready to do just about anything to change, so they can make their lives better.

 

We begin with talking, taking a history, carefully listening for clues that might help us make a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan. Then, once the work begins, we often hit a wall. Why can’t the client seem to remember a certain time of life? What exactly happened in that childhood home, or in the elementary school? They don’t seem to want to remember, and we discover that maybe we’ve found that one thing that they’re not ready to do.

 

The blocks that come up with clients are not really something we can blame on them. The mind often protects people from the truth of what has happened to them, particularly when the events in question were far too much for any person’s psyche to bear. It seems reasonable, then, for clients to put up a “wall” to protect themselves from revisiting memories of being severely traumatized.

 

A client’s defense: the “trauma-self”

In their 2016 article, The trauma-self and its resistances in psychotherapy , authors Erdinc Ozturk and Vedat Sar identify the trauma-self as

“...a front-line construct which hides further psychopathological contents and hinders the entrance to it (Ozturk and Sar, 2016).”

This construct, which most therapists would perceive to be a “block,” is actually a part of the client’s “wall” against the painful memories of traumatic experiences. The client tries to skip over the traumatic experience, and continue to develop and transform without processing it. This, not surprisingly, is not an effective path to growth and self-actualization.

 

This kind of separation from the actual experience often results in many of the problems clients bring to therapy, including

  • depression
  • feeling “abnormal”
  • being afraid of “going crazy”
  • becoming incapable of forming form healthy attachments
  • narcissism
  • dissociation
  • addiction and relationship problems

 

In order to overcome defensive and undesirable behaviors such as these, the client will need to go back to the traumatic memories and process them so that they can be properly overcome and appropriately integrated into the person’s life experience. This is not easy for a person to do.

 

Therapists engaging solely in talk therapy, as we mentioned, will often encounter a block that can take quite some time to overcome. It can seem to take forever for a client to At The Wellness Institute, we have found that there is a way to overcome client blocks and break through to recovery and healing.

 

Dissolve the wall of resistance with Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy

Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is capable of helping clients to dissolve the walls of resistance that create the trauma-self, and prevent them from behaving in an authentic and self-realized manner. Hypnotherapy enables the client, in a relaxed state, to regress back to the times of traumatic experiences, and process the feelings they provoked. That way, the emotions are released from the client’s body and psyche, and are no longer capable of governing the client’s way of approaching life in the present.

 

Here’s how hypnotherapy works.

  • The client is induced into a deep state of relaxation by the therapist.
  • The client is resourced so that if the session becomes too intense, the client can find a safe harbor in a comfortable state of being.
  • The therapist asks the client to identify the most recent time they experienced or indulged in the unwanted behavior.
  • The therapist encourages the client to identify the underlying emotions, and to express it fully. This can be done by yelling, crying, or even safely striking down on a surface to release the emotions from the body.
  • The client is then invited to go back in time, to the source of these emotions.
  • The client regresses back to a traumatic experience, and then repeats the procedure involved in processing the emotions.
  • At this point, the therapist asks the client to identify the conclusion that was made about the self at that point in time, and the decisions that were made about how to behave based on that conclusion.

 

The therapist most often will have the client go through a second regression so the client can go back to another time when similar feelings came up. This way, the client can perceive the pattern that developed over time, and become ready for the healing portion of the session

The corrective measures taken as the client moves into the next part of the session consist of the client taking that younger part of the self into his or her arms, and giving that inner child part the love that it missed out on due to the traumatic experience. From there, the therapist may:

  • Conduct a soul retrieval, revisiting those traumatic scenes to reclaim parts of the person’s being, such as self-esteem, or trust.
  • Use titration to demonstrate that feelings such as fear, or even destructive behaviors, can be regulated through the client’s determination to change old life patterns.

 

Without exception, the therapist will ask the client to go back to the old conclusions and decisions, and make new ones, based on the experience of loving that little child, and understanding that this part of the psyche did the best that it could do under the circumstances. This is how a client who believes “I don’t matter, so I hide and don’t bother to develop my talent or pursue my ambitions” can turn this old construct around and assert: “I DO matter, I AM important, and I take care of myself, as I offer my talents and capabilities in service to the world around me.”

 

Healing: a miracle that can happen every day

It’s fairly easy to see how, once a client can go back to a traumatic experience and disarm its potential to overpower the client’s life, that the healing process can be accelerated. Hypnotherapy helps the client to go behind that wall that has been built up, and tear it down so that the traumatic memory can be placed into context. Even more important, new ideas about self-assessment and self-control can be established through positive affirmation.

 

The relaxed state that hypnotherapy creates for the client permits clear communication between the subconscious and conscious parts of the mind. This, in turn, enables the client to make sense out of confusing and upsetting experiences, place them in context, and integrate them in a manner that allows them to discard the facade of the “trauma-self.”

 

Hypnotherapy empowers the client, and it makes it easier for the therapist to assist the client as they undergo the process of healing from trauma. Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful tool for therapists, but thankfully, it’s quite easy to learn.

 

You can learn how to use Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy in our Six-day Training and Certification Program. That’s correct. It only takes six days! Our instructors will teach you how to use this powerful tool through both didactic and experiential modes of instruction. In your training seminar, you’ll get two opportunities to experience being the observer, client, and therapist.

 

To prepare you, there will be instruction, background, and demonstration sessions offered throughout the six days. You’ll learn how hypnotherapy can help you work more effectively with codependency, addiction, sexual abuse, eating disorders, relationship addiction, and more.

 

Are you already a graduate of our Six-Day program? You can continue your own healing journey as you deepen your skills with our advanced offerings, including the Advanced Internship, PTI Leadership Training, and Mentorship Programs. The Wellness Institute also offers a cutting-edge Transpersonal Coaching Certification program as well. CEU credit is available for most of our programs, depending on the requirements of your licensure.

 

We hope you’ll join us on a journey that can make your work easier, and help your clients break through the walls they build so that they can experience healing and grow into their authentic selves.

 

Enroll in our Six-Day Training and Certification Program

or

Discover our Advanced Programs today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Ozturk, E. and Sar, V. (2016) The trauma-self and its resistances in psychotherapy. Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 6, Issue 6, pp. 4-12.

Topics: hypnotherapy certification and training