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hypnotize stoned

Can you hypnotize someone who is stoned?

A client asked: Can you hypnotize someone who is stoned?

Cannabis as pain relief

In this case, my  friend is a stoner [cannabis]. He suffers something akin to restless leg syndrome. The grass is not the problem. Lol. He has a condition where his muscles, especially his thighs/quads, are drum tight, permanently pumped full of anxiety and tense to the point that they are literally sore to touch 24/7.  It certainly detracts from his enjoyment of life.

He's been to doctors, osteopaths and acupuncturists, et al. However, not one of them can find anything outwardly wrong with him. I'm figuring it is psychosomatic, though that makes his 'condition' no less serious. It's a major problem. Anyway, I'm going to work with him using relaxation scripts. Getting back to the cannabis use. Is it silly to attempt to hypnotise him while he's a bit stoned? I'm figuring it's what he uses to relax and obviously I need him to relax. I mainly use progressive relaxation induction, but if you stop to think about it, he's unable to relax his muscles. I know there are other inductions, but he's still unable to relax, by and large. I figure the grass might take the edge off, so to speak.

Can he take cannabis before hypnosis?

Can you think of any reason he can't have a puff or two before our session? If a person has restless leg syndrome (which is the closest malady to the one he seems to have), then it might actually be useful to tell them to imagine they are a little stoned whenever they consciously think that they want to stop the painful sensation. Grass is obviously what he uses to remedy his pain. But he wants to cut down or even stop using. I think that my approach is a stab in the dark, but I just wanted your expert opinion. Can you think of a better script than one simply for relaxation, please? Of course, I will use metaphors and the likes, but in the end it's just about relaxing and masking pain, right?

How to hypnotize someone who is stoned

I replied: There is no problem at all in inducing trance when the client is stoned. Give it a try. I regularly induce people who are on Prozac and other prescription drugs.
 
However, I don't think a relaxation induction is the right way to go about it.
 
I would try a breathing induction. Get him to dissociate by focusing on his breathing. Just be aware of the breathing. When you have him breathing gently and rhythmically then suggest he thinks of a word. Any word will do. Or suggest a word, like 'eagle' or 'dolphin' or something he might associate with free-ness and might prompt his imagination to go into a visualization. Then tell him to silently repeat the word on every out breath. As he breathes and repeats the word he will start to go into a light trance. He should start visualizing something without you telling him to. Then tell him he is in the first stage of trance. Tell him the next stage is to welcome his own inner mind. Tell him as he breathes his mind is opening, letting go of something, and he can get in touch with that mind. Suggest he might be feeling different.
 

Self convincing in hypnosis

Then tell him that this inner mind is powerful, looks after him, controls his mind and body. Tell him to ask that mind to demonstrate its power by focussing on his eyes. Tell him that mind can take over his eye muscles, can show the power by making it impossible for him to open his eyes. That his eyes feel as if they belong to someone else and he just cannot open those eyes. Then invite him to test that his inner mind has achieved this.  When he can't open his eyes, he is in trance. Job done. No mention of relaxing; and using his own tendency to clamp down.
 
So once he is in trance what are you going to do? Just relaxing isn't enough. Presumably he does that on his own when he goes to sleep.
 
I think you should get him, in trance, to visualize his tense muscles, or the whole business of tension, how he feels it, does it. Then get him to verbalize what image comes to mind. Get him to expand and detail that image. Then get him to experience the thing changing, gradually, in subtle ways to become something else. Gently lead him by oblique suggestions to get the thing to shrink, or corrode or gradually decay and disappear via some other process.
 
Should work.
 
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Body parts therapy

Body Parts Therapy for smoking

Body Parts Therapy for smoking is an unusual but effective form of hypnosis treatment. While in trance you invite each part of the body to speak and say what it wants.

The theory is that you can separate the unconscious mind and its connections to the body, from the conscious mind. Therapists who employ this technique believe that each part of the body, each organ, has its own awareness. Each part works with every other part in order for the whole organism to function correctly. If one part is functioning badly then this affects all the other parts. This will cause dissatisfaction in all the parts that depend on it. Those parts will want to voice their disapproval.

Listen to your body

Therefore, the way to get all your parts working in harmony is to listen to them. To listen to them you have to get them to talk. And that is exactly what the therapist does. The therapist puts the person into trance and then asks the subconscious mind to allow each part to speak. This

So in the case of a smoker, for example, the lungs are being affected by the smoker's behaviour. Allowing the lungs to talk will allow them to complain about how they're being treated. And if the lungs aren't working properly then the heart isn't working properly, and other parts of the body aren't working properly either. Each of these parts has its own agenda, its own opinion, and they need to let the unconscious mind know how they feel.

How to use body parts therapy

You get the client to listen to his lungs. Then to listen to his heart. You tell the client to repeat what these organs are saying. Ask the client to listen and see if there are any other organs, or any other parts, that want to have a say about smoking. It is also quite common to have a dialogue between the various organs. Once the organs have voiced their complaints, get the client to apologize for abusing them. Tell the client to ask forgiveness of the organs. Wait until the organs have replied. Then get the client to promise that he will never abuse them again by smoking.

Once that has been negotiated tell the client to listen again to the organs. The organs will be cheering and applauding and encouraging. Use this to make the client feel good about stopping smoking. The client knows that every part of him is rejecting smoking. All of his organs are telling him that smoking is killing him.  (This is a variation on Spiegel's stop smoking method). The client now knows that every part of him is supporting his efforts to stop.

Through suggestion build up the client's belief in his own ability to succeed. And then suggest that every part of him will revolt against him if he ever starts smoking again. Tell him that his organs will make him feel sick if he even thinks about smoking.

This is usually enough to turn off even the most determined smoker.

 

 

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spontaneous hypnotic regression

Spontaneous hypnotic regression

I had an interesting client at the weekend. This man had a very powerful job in a major company. He gave presentations as part of his job. He is confident about how to do them, he has never had a problem with one, he is good at them. Yet he gets anxiety about them. He has had this anxiety for years.

Logically he knows that there is nothing that he fears about giving presentations. Logically he knows that even if it all turned out wrong he could still recover and do a good job. And yet he is struck with chronic anxiety.

Looking for the initial sensitizing event

I put him in trance and got him to focus on the anxiety. I asked him to imagine he was about to give a presentation and to allow the feeling he gets to come into his body.

He had difficulty getting a strong feeling. The feeling was there but very diffuse.

I decided to deepen him to get down to a really profound level of trance. I used a new deepener I have developed. You imagine that as you relax yourself a cloud in the sky gets thinner, and keep relaxing more deeply until the cloud has gone.
A few iterations of that process got him very deep. I told him to look for the feeling and turn it into an object. He struggled to sense anything but then became aware of a cloud. I tried to get him to develop the cloud, but it was just a cloud. And then he said, 'I sense there is something else'. I followed that idea and then said he was getting a feeling of something detaching. I encouraged him to let that happen, to just let go and allow it to progress any way it wanted. At this point, I was very careful not to pressure him or suggest anything that he might do or see or feel. I used careful clean language all the way.

Finding the initial sensitizing event

Then he got various images. He couldn't quite make then out, like a gallery of photographs. I suggested he just let them go and see what happens next.
Then he got a feeling of a picture of himself as a boy in school uniform and a cap. We allowed this to develop for a while. He couldn't determine whether it was a feeling or a picture. Then he got a memory a teacher, of being hit with a ruler by the teacher for using his left hand. He is left-handed and he remembered being hit on his left hand to encourage him to use his right hand. He then went into this memory and felt the fear of that child, the unfairness of it, the feeling of not being able to get away, or to able to do anything about it. And the anxiety. He hated going to school after that. He had a memory, or maybe it wasn't, of his parents talking to the teacher, but he could not see the teacher's face, or anything else about it, so he wasn't sure if it was a real memory or not.

Spontaneous Hypnotic Regression

He had developed spontaneous hypnotic regression. It was never suggested to him that he go back in time to find the source; this arose completely from his own mind. He had found the source of his anxiety.

He was clearly in a regressed state, so I used the standard method of dealing with it. I asked him to find some way to make it right for that child, to make the child triumph in the situation. "Find some way that the child can get out of that situation and be a winner". Again spontaneously, he put himself into the situation as an adult, helped his own child-self deal with the problem, effectively did the INNER CHILD work himself by going back and making it right.

I then added a part of leading the child out of there and growing him up the current age with that success in place and that was it. Problem fixed.

I had heard of spontaneous regression to the initial sensitizing event but I have never seen one before. This was probably how the technique was discovered originally.

Accidental links to spontaneous hypnotic regression.

This case shows that many of the problems that arise in later life are actually caused by accidental linkages back to unresolved problems earlier in life. Fear of Flying clients usually know that there is no real danger in a flight, but at some point they felt afraid in an aircraft and that linked back to an earlier unresolved fear. From then on every flight triggers, not the fear of flying itself, but the original childhood fear.

I think this client was the same with his presentations phobia. At some point in some presentation he had felt a tremor of fear, and that had triggered the school room fear, and from then every presentation linked back to the childhood fear. I believe that clearing the childhood fear will have cleared his adult fear.

 

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Recall a face

How to recall a face with Hypnosis

How to recall a face 

I have purchased your inductions and scripts but I have a client that is looking for help in remembering her fathers face. She was a child when he left the family home and she is desperate to be able to see his face.

I am not sure how to do this. Is it something you can help me with?

 

This is fairly straightforward.
Use a form of regression.
Put the client into trance using a countdown induction.
Then suggest that after the last number there is a corridor in front of her.
Along the corridor are doors.
As she drifts down the corridor she realises that behind the doors are scenes from her life.
As she goes deeper she is going back in time.
She can open each door and learn what is behind the door.
Take her back as far as she wants to go. At some point she will either find a scene with her father or not.
If so, good. Job done.

If not, then use a visualization metaphor.

Suggest she is in a warm bath, talk about relaxing, floating etc.
Then suggest she is now floating down a stream... continue with the floating and dissociation. Then suggest that she is a huge cave and away at the edges, miles away she can notice that there are aspects of her life but right here, right now, there is emptiness. But from far above something is trying to communicate. Get her to accept the communication, and suggest subtly that is is her father. He was been thinking of her always, and is now allowing her to become aware of his presence. Suggest peace, release, serenity etc. Encourage her to be open to the experience.

If she doesn't get anything then there is nothing there to find.

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Astral Travel

Astral Travel Astral Projection

I was asked about Astral Projection and how to do it. This is also known as Astral Travel, Lucid Dreaming, or Out-of-Body Experience. 

You might think it is a difficult thing to do, but anyone who can go into self hypnosis can do Astral Travel.

What is Astral Projection?

 The concept of out of body experiences is very ancient, and practiced world-wide by shamans and mystics. Astral Projection is the name given to a feeling of being able to move out of your body while in a deeply relaxed state. Some people believe that between life and death there exists an in-between state called the Astral Plane. This plane can be reached and explored by creating a special state of mind.

Astral Projection occurs when your spirit essence leaves your body and travels in that Astral Plane. You are aware of things in the astral plane because your mind is connected to your body by a kind of ethereal umbilical cord. The astral plane is said to be at place were time is an illusion. The astral traveller is simultaneously connected to the past and the future and the present. Astral travel also includes journeying deep into your own subconscious mind. Every person's experience is different.

How to do Astral Travel

To get to the right state requires you need to relax your body completely. Experts usually use a combination of Progressive Relaxation and Breathing Induction. Your body will then gradually descend into Sleep Paralysis. This is very similar to  deep meditation. Your body will be totally inert, your muscles utterly relaxed, but your mind will be crystal clear.  People report a sensation of resonating with their environment. They are totally in touch with what is going on all around them, in the room, in the street outside, high above and deep below.

Once that state is achieved, you focus your mind on one object or idea. This can be a mantra or an abstract concept such as "love" or "connect". Exclude all other thoughts that might come into your mind. At some point "things" will start to appear and disappear. These are flickers of astral contact touching your unconscious mind. You are then on the edge of the astral experience.

Then, allow your mind to dismiss your body totally, and you will enter into a state of 'no sensations'. Astral journeying should then start automatically. As you expand into the Astral Plane the powers in the astral plane will guide you. It needs no input from you, you are under the control of your Astral Guide. The guide will take you to wherever you're supposed to go.

There is a script for Astral Travel available on this site.

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smoking when drinking

Smoking when drinking with friends

Every client is different. I had a really interesting and different client for smoking today, and I thought that the approach to smoking that I came up with worth blogging. Her problem was smoking when drinking with friends

She said she had been able to give up in the past once for a year as a teenager. Then on another occasion for four years. But she started again when her ex-husband left. She said she smokes as a way to deal with stress. But her real problem is smoking when she goes out to socialize with friends.

I got her to close her eyes. Then I ask her the question: "What comes to mind when I say the phrase 'You will never smoke another cigarette again?' ".

Smoking when drinking with friends

She said she would feel a bit disappointed at not being able to socialize the way she used to. She said "when I start drinking with friends, it is like something comes over me. I start reaching for a cigarette."

I try to utilize whatever metaphors the client  uses. I asked "What is this something like? Some people feel it like a blanket, others like a teddy bear, some like a cloud. How does it seem to you?"

She said "It is more like a cloud. A dark cloud, like a foggy dark night."

I got her to develop this and she became aware that it came from the right, over her right shoulder. She said "I would like it to go away, because it makes me want to smoke." She had a clear conception of her own metaphor. I developed that.

I asked her to imagine something inside that cloud that would change it, like a lantern or fireworks or something like a pin point of light. She came up with a bright light shining through it from the bottom. A blue light that was turning it white. She said that it was just sitting there, not threatening, doing nothing. Then I got her to examine it further and she said that it was full of voices of her friends urging her to stop, encouraging her to give up.

Not Smoking when drinking with friends

I asked if she would like to move into that cloud, to try moving into that friendly cloud. She said it was like something wrapped around her supporting her.

To test whether it was working, I then got her to imagine being in a bar with friends and she said she felt protected, that she didn't need to smoke to enjoy their company. She was sitting there with her eyes closed, smiling, fully immersed in the metaphor feeling, having led herself into trance without any formal induction.

I finished with some direct suggestions. As a final test for successful change I did a finger lift. I asked her unconscious mind to signal to her by lifting a finger if she was a non smoker. One of her fingers moved. I told her that was her mind guaranteeing that she would never smoke again.

Every smoker is different: this is just another example of using what the client brings to you.

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Client won't give up control

Client won’t give up control

Client won't give up control

I had what I think must be my most difficult client the other day.

She was a young woman who came in because she has a fear of injections. However, that was only one of her multiple problems. She also has a fear that she will stop breathing when she is going to sleep. She has fear of losing control, she wants to have things remain the same, and hates change. For example rearranging the furniture at home sends her into a frenzy and she must move it back again. She is never on time and never seems to be able to get things finished on time.

All of these symptoms suggest someone with a touch of OCD. It seemed to me that these are all aspects of a collusive disorder. However, I am not a psychiatrist so I just deal with what is presented to me.

Why go to a hypnotist, if you don't want hypnosis?

She seemed very nervous, so I tried to create rapport and establish a common ground. Eventually she relaxed enough  to let down her guard and chatted in a friendly way until I brought up the idea of hypnosis. She was absolutely dead against it. She said she could never give up control and did not want to be hypnotized. I explained that hypnosis was natural and normal and that she went into hypnosis several times a day, and gave her examples of daydreaming etc. She agreed that she did all these things but still would not try formal hypnosis.

I explained what metaphor therapy was and she agreed that she could do that. So I moved her to the big comfy chair and said 'This is not hypnosis, I am just going to ask you to breathe.' This brought out an instant opposition. She was not going to focus on breathing because it would remind her of sleeping and the fear of stopping breathing. Ok, I said "just close your eyes". Again total opposition, not going to close her eyes, because it would be like losing control.

Progressing when the Client won't give up control

I then tried a simple relaxation routine. I asked her to raise her hands then then slowly let them down and feel the body relaxing as they are lowered.

Lowering her hands six inches took about five minutes. She was totally reluctant to do any thing that would make her relax because of the loss of control. So I abandoned that idea. I then asked her to imagine that her arms and legs were so tired that she couldn't move them. She said 'Oh yes, I know what that is like. I don't like it.' So that was out.

I then tried a progressive relaxation. I had her lift up her shoulders and let them slump. Then tense her arms and let go the tension. This generated lots of giggles, but eventually I persuaded her to tense and release her chest, tummy, hips etc all the way down to her feet. She was a bit less tense by the end, so I did it again. And after a third time she agreed that she did feel less tense, and would like to do the metaphor engineering to get rid of the needle phobia.

"Close your eyes." She still couldn't close her eyes. I therefore tried the oldest hypnotic trick in the book, a eye fixation induction. I told to keep relaxed in her body, but to fix her gaze on a spot somewhere. Then I did a long, gradual series of suggestions that her eyes were getting heavy and her eyelids wanted to close. This took so long that by the end,  my eyelids wanted to close! This was hard work.

How to give up control

Eventually she started flickering her eyelids. I then developed the safe place induction: imagine lying in some comfortable place etc. Her eyes finally closed and I could get on with the therapy.

I started with the therapy, and asked her to get the feeling she gets when she thinks about the needle. As might be predicted, even fully relaxed and with her eyes closed, she said could not get the feeling. More suggestions about relaxing and eventually she said that she could feel it. I was able to make some progress on the phobia and she agreed that it had been cleared.

I then gave her some general suggestions to help with the intrusive thoughts of the OCD pattern and brought her out. And the first thing she said was 'I just felt tired, that's why I had my eyes closed, it wasn't anything you did.'

I cannot recall ever having a client who was so unable to give up control.

 

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ask the expert

Ask the expert what to do

When I am working with a client, I am often not sure what to do next. Clients come to me with all sorts of problems, and expect me to know how to fix them. Quite often I don't know. Over the years I have come to realise that there are two sources you can go to for help. They both involve asking the expert. So who is this expert? Actually there are two. One is your own unconscious mind, and the other is the client.

Asking the expert - the client

Always bear in mind that the client comes to for a reason, and knows exactly what they want, even if you don't.  And the client is the expert. Nobody knows more about their problem than they do. So I ask the expert what to do.

The way I do this is to use the equivalent of the My Friend John induction as hypnotherapy.

I ask the client to tell me what they would do if they were in my seat.

I ask them 'How would you go about dealing with this problem?'. 'What would you able to try to make you feel better?'. 'How could the situation be seen differently if you took different perspectives?'

You can also ask the client the Miracle Question 'If everything you wanted happened to you overnight, what would be different when you woke up? What would see, what would you feel, how would you know that it had happened?'.

You will be surprised at how inventive your client can be. Even if they don't come up with a complete solution, they will often suggest a way forward that you haven't thought of.

Ask the expert - Your own subconscious

The other expert is you. At least the part of you that holds all your expertise and intuition. Part of hypnotherapy professional practice is being comfortable with ambiguity, and uncertainty. Therapists don't have all the answers. You sometimes have to wing it. And that is exactly what I do.

I listen to the client describe what they want, what they feel, what they have tried. Even if I'm not aware of it, my unconscious mind is thinking about this and assessing various possibilities. As the client talks, various words and phrases will strike you as being of particular interest and importance. When I consider how to go about the therapy part, I read over my notes. And I take a moment to think about those words and phrases. This primes my unconscious mind, and sets up images and associations at the unconscious level.

Then I start on the induction. I guide the client into trance, deepen, and tester make sure the client is somnambulistic. I find that by the time I put the client into trance, there is always something that occurs to me as a way forward. Something will suggest itself to me from the workings of my unconscious mind. It may be an image, and I was start describing the image. Usually this turns into a metaphor that I develop for the client. Sometimes I would just repeat the word or phrase, and again something will resonate with me and my unconscious mind will guide me in what to do.

It's always good to ask the expert in the room.

 

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After stopping smoking

What to do after stopping smoking?

After stopping smoking

Smokers who want to quit often do not really think through what they are going to do after stopping smoking. Smoking 20 a day at 5 to 8 minutes each takes up nearly two hours. That is a lot of time to fill. If you don't give them something to do after stopping smoking, they will start to think about cigarettes again.

Usually, the smoker needs to find something to substitute for the action of smoking, because the desire for a smoke is often triggered by outside circumstances. The external event can be anything. Smokers reward themselves with a cigarette when they finish something: when they get a coffee: and when they just need to get away from a situation. The substitute needs to be something that is socially acceptable, can be done almost anywhere, and takes about the same time as a smoke.

Design a substitute for after stopping smoking

They need some physical thing that can act as a substitute for a cigarette. Specifically, the smoker needs something that will give them a stimulus in their mouth, something to do with their hands, and something that lets them move physically to some other place. Their behaviour after stopping smoking needs to mimic what they did before stopping smoking.

The easiest thing to do is to get them to brush their teeth. The act of brushing their teeth means they have to put something in their mouth, and they get a tingle from the toothpaste. They also have to hold the toothbrush. This gives them something to do with their hands for a few minutes. They have to go to some place with water. This means that they are taken away from whatever trigger was reminding them to smoke.

For the more determined smoker, you can set them a challenge. Tell them that every occasion they used to smoke, what they now do is go outside and run around the block. This takes about the same length of time. This will really take their mind off it, and will remind them of why they want to stop.

You can think up other substitute activities to fit each individual smoker.

These simple techniques will help smokers get over the unfamiliarity of the first few days. And leave them fit or with lovely fresh breath as well!

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Boxes inside boxes

Boxes inside boxes: a metaphor therapy case

I had another very interesting client today. This client allowed me to get an insight into how the human mind works, and gave very clear metaphors of how she saw her problem.

 This client was a woman in late middle age who had suffered from anxiety most of her life. She came to see me because she is having trouble playing the card game Bridge. She is actually a good and skilled player. But whenever she has to partner with someone she does not know, her game falls apart. She is sure that her new bridge partner will be better than her. My client gets anxious at the thought of what the other person might think about her play. She then worries about this until by the time she gets to the card table she is a nervous wreck, and she plays terribly badly. This therefore fulfils her own prophecy and the whole cycle repeats with the next new player.

Metaphor therapy

 I decided to use metaphor therapy. I got her to take some deep breaths to calm herself. Then I asked her to think about the last bridge game she had when she felt she just could not deal with it. I got her to associate into the feeling. "Think about the shape of the feeling," I told her. "What shape is that feeling?"

She is one of those clients who fidgets a lot, and moves around in the chair. I began to wonder if this method was going to work. Then she surprised me by saying "it's ovalish.". So I asked, "How  big is it?" She guested with her hands to indicate that it was about the size of a dustbin lid. I asked some more clarifying questions and she told me "it's a big piece of coal."

I then started developing the metaphor of the "big piece of coal". She describes in detail has been black and shiny and heavy with lots of sharp angles. I then asked "can you make it a little bit bigger?" "Yes," she said. "And a little bit bigger still?" "Yes," she said. This told me that she actually had some control over it.

I then asked "can you make it a little smaller?" "And a little smaller still?" There was a period of silence until she said "no, it won't get any smaller. It is just getting more dense."

Changing the first mental block

She had now found her subconscious blockage. When a client says they cannot change a metaphor it means that there is something in their unconscious mind which is defending that. This is usually a fear of being unable to handle the change that might come afterwards.

So I changed my approach. I started to suggest to her ways that this thing could change. The idea was to keep suggesting things until I suggested something that her mind would accept. I tried suggesting hammers, drills, crushers, anything that would break up that "piece of coal".

Nothing seemed to work. She steadfastly refused to think of anything that could affect this "piece of coal". I was running out of ideas until remembered that it was actually a piece of coal. Coal burns! So I suggested it might go on fire. She immediately said "No. No, that can't happen."

I wasn't sure what to do next and just waited for her to say something else. And then she said "it could be heated, and give off gas." Somehow, this was acceptable to her mind. I told her to go ahead and heat it.

I then asked her "what is it like now?"

She said "it is grey and porous and quite weak."

I then went back to suggesting hammers, drills et cetera. And while I was going through the list of possible tools she said "It is all dust now."

And I thought to myself "Job done."

So I asked her to think back to the bridge game and the feeling she had about not being good enough for her partner. "How does that seem to you now?"

"Just the same," she said.

Changing the second mental block

Okay… I had seen this behaviour before. Her unconscious mind would not let me anywhere near the real problem. Instead it had offered me some minor metaphor and allowed her to work through that. Her unconscious mind knew that it was safe to change that.  But, it also means that her mind is now receptive to change, because it had experienced some change without any psychological kickback.

So I started the whole process again. I got her to associate back into the original problem, to imagine being in that situation where she was sure that she was going to disappoint the other person and feel embarrassed.

This time I had to work a lot harder to get past her defences. Eventually she told me "there is a big wooden box." Once again I got her to describe the object in detail. She told me that it was "very old, and very strong."

I then set about trying to find ways I could get her to destroy the box. Nothing seemed to work. I sensed that this time was up against a major piece of resistance. I suggested it might go transparent, that it might get wet and rot, it could get eaten by worms and fall apart. None of these produced any response.  

Boxes inside boxes

So I asked "what do you think might be in the box?"

After a long period she said "more boxes. There are more boxes inside."

"How many boxes?"

"There are five boxes", she said. I then got her to describe each of the boxes. She told me "the big one is made of cardboard. Then there's another one made of metal. And one made of glass. And another cardboard one. And a wooden one." It was now obvious from her demeanour, that she had gone deep into trance, and was actually experiencing these things directly.

And then she said "and there are papers, and files scattered around." I did not know quite what to make of that, so I decided to explore the five boxes.

"And what do you think is in those boxes?"

And one by one she began to tell me about the contents of each box. The wooden box contains soil. The glass box contained a red light. The small cardboard box contained a wooden puzzle. The metal box took a long time to uncover. It turned out to be in two sections. The top section has five compartments, and each compartment was filled with a liquid colour. Each colour was different. I asked, "what do you think the are for?" She said, "I don't know."

So I suggested, "perhaps you can make something out of those things?"

She said, "yes, I think I might."

She then said "those papers have all the things I have done wrong in my life written on them. They are all neatly organised into files."

Burning her old anxieties

I took a while to appreciate the startling development.

So I asked her "what would you like to have happen to those papers and files?"

She said "I suppose I could get rid of them?"

I asked her "what would you use to get rid of them?"

She said, " I could use the red light to burn them."

So I encouraged her, "and you can use the red light to burn them all up."

And a lovely smile came over her face. I asked "what's happening in that place now?"

She said, "they are all getting burned up, and I'm putting the ashes in the soil."

The time between her responses got longer and longer. And the smile on her face got broader and broader. She was clearly enjoying burning up all her old mistakes.

The time between responses got so long, that I went off and made a cup of tea.

When I came back she was sitting there with her eyes open, smiling.

She said, "I didn't want to come back. I was having such a good time playing with the red light and I can still feel it swirling around me."

I asked her, "And what about that old feeling of not being good enough?"

And she said, "well, actually I think it's gone."

 

I finished the session then. I felt that she had undergone a profound change

And on the way out she said, "I'm looking forward to finding what's in the other compartment of that metal box."

 

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