“Talking gives you great insight, but experiencing gives you great healing.” These words came to me as I prepared to experience Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy for the first time as a client.
Over the past few years as a therapist, I have longed to go deeper with my clients. I have longed to help them heal their deepest wounds and inner self, yet while I have received excellent results from EMDR and other therapies, I felt there might be something else that would get them to a deeper understanding of their authentic self.
But before I go farther, I need to admit something to my readers…I was scared when it came time for my own sessions. I was asking myself, “What will I learn about my sub-conscious?” “How much healing do I still need in spite of years of my own talk therapy?” “Do I really want to know more about myself?” “What if I feel worse afterwards?” After all, I feel healthy and happy just the way I am. But then, a peace came over me and I felt God gently tell me that I can’t ask my clients to do something I was not willing to do myself. That’s when, I went for it, throwing myself on the couch, feeling the fear and doing it anyway!
But before I tell you about my own experience, let me lay to rest a few myths about clinical hypnotherapy. Clinical Hypnotherapy is NOT like stage hypnosis. The myth that someone can control your mind is erroneous. The people chosen for stage hypnosis and asked to “cluck like a chicken” are simply folks that will go along with simple suggestions. They are not doing anything against their will.
The type of hypnotherapy I practice in my office would best be described as intense healing therapy performed while the client is in a subconscious relaxed state of mind. Our feelings and emotions, along with intuition lie in the subconscious part of the brain. The conscious brain only makes up about 10% of our mind and the other 90% is the subconscious. Previously, my clients and I talked through an issue repeatedly, which often led to great insight, but did not necessarily result in healing the inner wounded part.
In spite of all of my research and excitement about this therapy, I still had a few of my colleagues that tried to discourage me by explaining that there is something “dark” about hypnosis. I’m sorry, but that is just not correct about clinical hypnotherapy. The truth is that all of us spend time in a subconscious state every day. An example of this is praying or meditating. Another example is fixating on the road while driving or just focusing our attention on something and not listening to what someone is saying to us. Sound familiar? None of these things are scary or have anything negative associated with them. It is important to note, at anytime you are receiving clinical hypnotherapy, you are able to snap back or “unrelax” yourself at any given moment. Any “suggestions” that might be given to you in a relaxed state can easily be rejected; besides, in clinical hypnotherapy, if suggestions are given, they are client driven.
So, back to my personal clinical hypnotherapy—First, the short version is…I received healing. Secondly, “experiencing the emotions” and not just talking about them, drove the healing process. Finally, the most important aspect is the “heart centered” approach of the therapy.
Without the heart-centered approach to hypnotherapy, you risk opening up your emotions and feelings, being left raw and re-traumatized. This is where therapy gets derailed. A client experiences what we therapists call an “abreaction” which is a fancy way of saying that you feel the same emotions as if the old trauma is happening again. The sad part is, often the client is sent home in this raw emotional state left to sort things out for themselves and feeling abandoned once again.
The gift of Heart Centered Hypnotherapy is that the risk of re-traumatization is mitigated by addressing the abreaction and teaching the client how to be the nurturing person (in that moment) that they so needed at the time of their old trauma.
During my experience, I have witnessed people that have been through severe trauma and after receiving Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy emerge with insight, restoration and unconditional love. While the process is much more detailed than can be explained in a blog, I can tell you one thing; this therapy is life changing for many people, including me.
While this blog has been dedicated to the discussion of trauma, Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy has been proven to help many other distressing symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, unresolved guilt and grief.