Bertrilla (Berty) sat slumped on my couch, tears drying on her cheeks. She had shared with me several examples of negative interactions between her and her sister, starting in childhood and continuing until last week. Her pain and depression was clear.
As I probed a little deeper to see how Berty dealt with these emotional assaults, I was saddened to hear that she was quite passive and believed that there was no other way for her to respond. I finally asked my client the “miracle question”- “If some great miracle happened when you were sleeping and you awoke to find that things between you and your sister were completely fixed, how would things be different for you? What would you notice?” Berty’s eyes grew wide, first with confusion and then wider with amazement.
Her voice rose and the words spilled out fast. “Wow! I’d be able to talk to her about the things I like and when I’m sad too. Or we could go shopping together and have fun like normal sisters do.” Berty looked like an entirely different person as she spoke. For a few minutes, her mind filled with the awesome possibilities of a changed future. Then she stopped, her expression and voice dropping as she almost whispered, “But it could never happen. She never sees things from my side.” Berty found it impossible to believe that she could make a difference in her relationships, with a sibling or anyone else. How was I going to get past her depression induced negativity and staunch belief in her own helplessness?
Depressed and anxious people almost always imagine negative experiences. Oddly, this causes the brain to change its chemistry as though a negative experience had, in fact, occurred. The brain cannot distinguish between vivid imagination and a real experience. This can perpetuate depression and anxiety or it can be used to dissipate the effects of both depression and anxiety and begin to create a positive new and healthy future.
Using hypnotic relaxation to set the stage, you can use your imagination to invent scenarios in which you interact with people, events, and circumstances in powerful, positive ways. This “hypnotic rehearsal” teaches your brain new ways to think and act, so that when you do encounter the person, event, or circumstance you have already handled it well. It is no longer strange or difficult for you.
Berty hypnotically rehearsed having a tough conversation with her sister in which she expressed the pain she felt at being criticized and put down. Fully relaxed, she asked her sister to listen carefully to her ideas and give her a chance. Before our next session Berty met with her sister and was able to have a frank discussion of their relationship. She reported to me the wonderful changes, including a weekend project where the two of them had helped their aging parents clear out and set up their basement as a student rental-Berty’s idea to help their parents through a financially tough time.
Berty’s smile sparkled as she told me of the fun the sisters had had sorting through years of stored childhood mementos. She and her sister had laughed, worked, and shared like the close sisters Berty had always wanted.
It’s true that Berty had more work to do to sort through her own negative thinking patterns, but hypnosis had given her the gift of a quick start on a whole new path. Berty fully embraced the value of the technique that opened up new understanding and a profound way to use her subconscious.
If you or someone you know feel stuck in the dark, negative thinking patterns of depression or anxiety, consider seeing a hypnotherapist. Healing the pain of the past needn’t take years or add another burden to the pain you already carry. The power of your mind is limited only by your creativity…and that of your hypnotherapist.
Learn to relax, change your beliefs to healthier ways of thinking that support your growth and happiness. Get unstuck fast, call me for an appointment now!