by Dr. John Butler
Hypnotherapy is essentially a partnership of minds, where through the means of hypnosis, the mind of the therapist and the mind of the client can work together in a powerful, effective alliance. This happens through consent, and cooperation. The power lies with the client, who has the choice of consenting to whatever methods the therapist may offer and of cooperating with them. Let’s take an example, of a route using hypnosis for a client to reach peace of mind.
Patti was a client who had felt anxious since being involved as a passenger in a car accident a year before. Although recovered from the bruises she had sustained, she still felt very anxious about being in a car, and had begun to feel fearful not only about being driven, but about driving herself, and being around traffic in general. She had noticed that she had begun avoiding even non-driving situations where road traffic might be present, and didn’t want her life to become increasingly restricted in this way.
First I demonstrated to Patti, with simple exercises, that her subconscious mind could influence her body directly, through her imagination, and that these bodily feelings were causing her anxiety to spiral – she would subconsciously anticipate danger when thinking about traffic, or driving, and then her body would respond by producing anxiety symptoms – fluttering feeling in stomach, heartbeat accelerating etc. From this demonstration, she realised that if she changed what she imagined and anticipated, her bodily sensations would also change, for the better, and this would reverse the anxiety process. Using my guidance in hypnosis, she then had the experience of creating a powerful feeling of well-being and deep relaxation, entirely through allowing her imagination to follow a chain of ideas which I provided, specifically geared to create those feelings.
The next stage, still in hypnosis, was to guide Patti through understanding that she now knew, from her own experience, that there was some risk to driving and traffic that she hadn’t appreciated in the same way before. She worked out, with my guidance in hypnosis, a “new deal” with herself. She forgave herself for not realising previously how acute traffic danger was; she agreed to learn from her experience by being more alert and aware when driving and being in traffic, and not to be a passenger unless she believed the driver was also alert and aware. She was now taking her safety seriously, and had learned a new appreciation of her value – listening to her survival instinct and working with it. And she was committed to working with her new-found power of conscious imagining, for her own benefit in future.