We learn habits of behavior and patterns of emotional response based upon past events. A current event triggers an old response pattern. Often the current presenting issue is being influenced by past experiences and wounds that haven't been healed. Like updating the software on your personal computer, we can reprogram the subconscious mind to provide the nurturing, support and wisdom necessary for self- empowerment and the creation of a joyful, fulfilling life.
This can include:
Carol had tried every diet there is and was feeling pretty hopeless due to the fact that she always seemed to gain back most of whatever she lost.
She felt frustrated because even though she was doing everything right for some reason she was not getting any smaller. In Carol's hypnotherapy session she discovered that due to some issues in her past, part of her didn't feel safe and was using her size for safety.
Her subconscious mind provided her with an alternative experience of safety, so now that scared part of her felt loved and safe and no longer needed her to keep her body weight up to protect her. She was finally free to lose weight without being sabotaged.
Following are two examples of sessions done with youth that are related to trauma.
Samantha had self-harming behaviors. Her mother died. “I wish my Mom was back. I love her.” In the first step of building inner resources when invited to find herself in a place that feels safe and good to her she imagines being in the mountains with deer, a stream, running water, and sees Mom. Mom tells her how much she loves and cares about her and that she’s always here for her when she needs her. Mom says: “I didn’t mean to leave you. I can help you with your fears of people leaving.” Client says: “It feels so relaxing. I feel less stress. I don’t have to worry because I know she still loves me and is OK. I feel safe and loved. I don’t have any more urge to hurt myself.”
This new resource state is anchored: “Any time you are in a situation where you have the urge to hurt yourself, you can now easily remember this feeling you have right now and know that your Mom loves you, and you can feel that urge melt away like butter as you feel so warm inside full of Mom’s love.” And to future pace it: “ Imagine being in a situation where in the past you would have felt like cutting and describe now what is happening.” She describes a situation (the thought of going to live at her aunt’s house) and says that now she feels Mom’s love and has no urge to cut. “I feel safe and loved. I know that Mom is in my heart. She didn’t leave me. She’s hugging me and it feels relaxing. I know I’m not alone.”
She continued to connect with her Mom every night before bed to build that inner resource connection, and to take time outs as needed to further build that connection and stay free of self harm urges.
Alisha has flashbacks “about sexual abuse and physical abuse from the past. It comes when I’m not doing anything.” “I feel sad and angry most of the time and I take it out on myself. I feel worthless."
When invited to find herself in a safe place that feels good to her she went to the rain forest with wolves. She felt calm. The white wolf told her “violence is not the key. I can help by standing with you and guiding you on the right path. I can hang out with you and be there for you.” Client feels good, loved, and safe.
Then accompanied by the protective wolf we visit the flashback memory. The wolf rescues her from the perpetrator. Client sees the perpetrator handcuffed by the police. She expresses her anger towards the perpetrator and then sees him being hauled off to jail where he suffers the same bad experiences she had received from him “so he knows what its like.” She imagines front-page headlines reporting what a bad person the perpetrator is. She feels a sense of power return to her. The wolf is a good substitute resource for the nurturing and protecting parental role the perpetrator didn’t fill in a healthy way.
Anchor: “Whenever you have any urges to hurt yourself or to act out in anger you can feel the love and support of your wolf and feel that same happy and loved feeling you feel right now, knowing that he’s standing with you and guiding you on the right path and is here for you in your heart always.” Future pace: “Imagine now being in school and tell me if you are having any flashbacks or what’s different now.” She says, “I am free of flashbacks. I don’t feel any urges now and I feel happy.”
She was given the homework assignment to connect with her wolf every night before bed and build that inner resource connection. She was given a small stuffed animal wolf to reinforce the experience. Later in the weeks following she continued to report that she was free of flashbacks and that the wolf was very helpful.
Jane smoked a pack a day and wanted to quit. She was given a homework assignment so that by the time she arrived at her first session she was surprised that she already had cut the number of cigarettes she smoked in a day in half.
During her session Jane discovered that part of her wanted to quit smoking because it is a health issue and another part of her relied on cigarettes to help her relax when she was stressed.
Her subconscious mind was able to provide her with an alternative to smoking- something else that would feel as good or better than those cigarettes. She loved being outdoors. If she went outside and took a deep breath of fresh air she found that it felt even more relaxing than smoking a cigarette and felt so much better because she knew it was a healthy option.
All the parts of her agreed that this new behavior felt right.
A few days later she reported with glee that she had gotten a tattoo, a stressful situation which in the past would have called for a cigarette, and that she made it through this stress without even wanting a cigarette.
Examples of Sessions
Following are some examples for you to get an idea of how this works.
For privacy, these examples have been modified.
You can benefit from hypnotherapy sessions on any number of topics, depending on what is going on in your life at any given time
By filling the underlying basic need in the subconscious mind we can find resolution.
The hypnosis process is self-empowering. It builds nurturing inner resources that you can continue to use on your own after the sessions are completed, not reliant of the therapist.
Solutions come from the wisdom within you
Deborah Spiegel MT-BC, CCHt provides individual guided imagery and hypnotherapy sessions over the telephone or Skype, or in her office in Paonia, Colorado. She uses a therapeutic process designed to assist you in discovering and working with your Inner Wisdom to change your life.
Deborah is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist as well as a Board Certified Music Therapist and has been practicing hypnotherapy for over twenty five years. Deborah has been certified with the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners since 1990. She has extensive training from the Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis in Santa Rosa, California and Turning Point Hypnotherapy Academy in Pagosa Springs, Colorado including advanced training for working with survivors of trauma and abuse.. She is also a Dialectical Behavior Therapy informed Music Therapist. more
She has helped hundreds of people like you to develop inner resources to heal yourself, break habits, to reach your goals, feel your best, empower yourself, be healthy, happy, joyful, loved, wealthy, and free of past baggage that may sabotage the above.
The process of hypnotherapy she uses incorporates techniques such as Transpersonal Psychology, Gestalt, Regression Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Psychosynthesis. It is an interactive process.
All suggestions for change come directly from your own subconscious mind.
Sessions begin with the building of inner resources for nurturing and support. Running and changing traumatic incidents begins with developing inner resources for nurturing and protection and then changing the charge in the memory bank, creating new experiences and a new outcome in the subconscious mind. This is followed up with anchoring the new physical responses to triggers and then future pacing: i.e. asking the client to imagine being in a situation which in the past would have caused them stress and to practice the newly anchored new behavior and or physical response. They learn to use visualization for managing stress and creating new responses to triggers. They also develop new resource states. The use of post hypnotic suggestions for relaxation and stress management is another use of hypnotherapy for helping people with PTSD or other trauma.
Recognition of Hypnotherapy by the AMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) has officially recognized hypnosis as a valuable and beneficial treatment as applied and used since 1958. In “Psychotherapy” magazine (Volume 7, Number 1), various types of techniques were listed and profiled in a review of relevant literature by Alfred A. Barrios, PhD. In the above quoted text, the techniques that proved to generate the greatest success in providing lasting change were the following (listed in order of success rate):
Hypnosis — 93% recovery after 6 sessions (approx. 1 1/2 months @ 1 session per week).
Behavior Therapy — 72% after 22 sessions (approx. 6 months @ 1 session per week).
Psychotherapy — 38% recovery after 600 sessions (approx. 11 1/2 yrs @ 1 session per week).