Open post
smoking block

Smoking Block stopping stopping

I had an interesting session today. My client was an Indian IT guy, recently arrived in this country. He came from a traditional Indian family. There is a lot of pressure to conform. They don't like him smoking.

He wants to stop smoking but can't. He stopped for two years but then started again due to stress in his marriage. Says he smokes because it is always the easy way out of stress. He feels that he's got some sort of mental block. He doesn't want to smoke but keeps doing it. The block was mentioned several times in his description of the problem.

Targeting the block

Because he mentioned the block so often I decided to use that as my starting point. I asked him to think about going to work, walking up the steps, with his cup of coffee. Not wanting to smoke but feeling that block that stops him stopping. I developed the idea and he then began to talk about the block.

He said it was shapeless and limitless. I got him to describe what it looked like and eventually he said it just looks like smoke. I got him to talk about how he felt about that smoke. He said he felt that it was like smoke under a glass jar. It kept changing. I asked him what he wanted to have happen to the smoke. He said he wanted to disappear. I asked "And if that disappears what would that mean for you?".  "I would be able to see through it." "And what could you do then?". "I could manage it, I could get away from that black smoke, and manage to stop."

This confirmed the link between "disappearing" and "manage to stop".

Clearing the smoking block

I then said "and what would have to happen for that smoke to disappear". He hesitated for a long time. I said to him "look around you and see what else is there in that place." To my surprise he said "there is a painting."

I developed the painting.  He said "it has flowers. It is beautiful." I suggested to him "this is the source of power for you." "You can use this to get rid of that smoke." I used that resource until he agreed that the smoke had disappeared.

When the smoke had disappeared, I deepened him to a deeper level of trance. To be sure, I did an eye catalepsy test. He could not open his eyes.  Then I did the DRAIN metaphor therapy. This had him clear the block so that it drained out the soles of his shoes.

Organ talking

I then used the TALK TO THE PARTS method. I got him to talk to his lungs and listen to what they said. I got him to talk to his heart and listen to what that said. Then I suggested that he listen to all the other parts of him that are being affected by smoking. He said there were all complaining about his smoking. I got him to apologize to those parts for having betrayed them by smoking.  Then I got him then to ask for their forgiveness. He negotiated all this internally.

Then I used direct suggestion and him that he would never smoke again. I told him that he owed it to his organs to live for a long time. It was his job to keep himself healthy. He owed it to those parts to live for a long time.

Reinforcing the message

I tried for a hand ideomotor signal. I am not sure that I got one. But I suggested that this was his unconscious mind signaling to him. Then I told him to thank his unconscious mind for having made this change and making him a non-smoker. I suggested that he might get a message back of some sort. I am not sure what he got. His fingers did not move as I expected.

I then counted out and back to the present. He was clearly still partly in trance. I explained what had happened in terms that he would understand using a metaphor about operating systems. He could barely remember what had happened, except when I prompted him.

I was interested to see if his cultural background would have suggested something unusual in terms of his unconscious mind communicating something to him. Apparently not.

Interesting session.


Open post
public speaking fear

Public speaking fear treatment

Is it really about public speaking?

My client said that she had an issue with public speaking. Whenever she has to speak with people who are above her or in a senior role she blushes and stammers and feels very uncomfortable. Even when she is in a meeting with people she knows. When they go round the table and ask everyone to introduce themselves she dreads it as the turn comes towards her. She always feels as though she's being put on the spot. Someone might ask a question and she won't know the answer. She hates the feeling of being in the spotlight.

Rather than being an issue of public speaking, it seemed to be more about the fear that people will think her less knowledgeable than they are.

Public Speaking and issues from childhood

I discussed this with her and she revealed that she had felt this way for a long time. This suggested to me that the problem came from childhood. A problem from childhood needs regression therapy or metaphor replacement therapy.

She told me that it is quite likely that this came from her childhood. She was one of a pair of non-identical twins. Her sister is currently being treated for anorexia. Her sister has a history of behavior difficulties. When they were growing up, of the two twins my client always felt that she was the favourite, and that her sister was discriminated against. My client was blonde and bubbly, and her sister was dark and sullen. Whether this was cause or effect she could not say. She could not remember anything in particular about her childhood that had to do with public speaking issues with people in authority. But she was quite willing to go ahead with the therapy.

Metaphor Replacement therapy - defining the object

I explained to her that the fastest way was metaphor replacement therapy. For that she would have to be able to get the feeling right there in the chair. If she was  not able to get the feeling then we would do regression and try to find the childhood incident that caused it all.

It took quite a while for her to get the feeling. I then said to her "and where in your body are you feeling it?" She said "in my heart". I said to her "what thing does that most resemble? Think about its color, its shape, its size, think about what it be like if you were to reach out and hold it." She took a very long time to respond. I began to think that she was not able to get the feeling and we would have to go to regression.

But eventually she whispered "it's like a ball". I asked her to start describing it. She said it's sort of transparent, with red and black going through it. It is warm". Further probing elicited that there was about the size of her hand, it felt soft, it was like a marble with colors going through it. It was smooth. When I asked "what else do you know about it?". She said "it is a part of me".

Developing the metaphor for fear of public speaking

I then said "and what would you like to have happen to it?" She said "I would like it be gone". I then tried to create the link between this thing being gone and her behavior. So I asked "and if it is gone, would that mean for you?". She said "There would be a hole".

And I said "and what could you do then?". She said "I can fill the hole". I wasn't sure whether she had actually got rid of the object already or whether she just didn't understand what I was asking. So I sent her what would it mean to you if that thing was gone completely from your body. And she said "freedom". I tried to finish the link. I said "and with freedom what can you do then?" She said "I would be lighter".

Not Destroying the metaphor object

I thought the session was going off track. So I asked her "can you make that feeling a little bit bigger?" She took a very long time to answer. And then she said "yes." And I said "can you make it a little bit bigger still". She started to get very emotional at this point. I was worried that she was going to have a catharsis. Or some sort of abreaction. Her mouth was twisting, her chin was wobbling up and down, she looked deeply distressed. Under her eyelids her eyes were moving as if searching for something.

I reassured her "nothing in your own mind can ever harm you". Next, I encouraged her to change that ball. I asked "can you make it a little bit smaller?". And to my surprise she immediately said "yes". I then got her to progressively make it smaller and smaller. From time to time I asked "and what is going on in that place now?". She said it is very small". Then she said it has changed colour. It is now blue. It is not a problem anymore."

Keeping her new resource

The standard part of the process is to destroy the object. But in this case she insisted "it is not bad". It appeared that she wanted to keep this thing. So I got her to take the thing out from where it was. I suggested that she might find someplace and nobody wish you could keep it. Where it would be an asset to be useful to her.

Then I told her to think about the place where that marble had been. I told her to find some pleasant helpful thing that she could put in there. I suggested that there was something she could put in that would fill the place completely and overfill it and fill the rest of her body. "What have you found to put in there?" She said "positive feelings". I asked "and what colour are those positive feelings?". She said "yellow". So I use that to suggest that that dark hole had been filled with yellow and the whole of her body was filled with that lovely yellow feeling and tied it into things like daylight and days at the beach and other good memories.

Coming back from trance

I then got her to take two deep breaths and to count from one up to 3. I suggested it when she got to 3 she will be back in the present. And she was.

I tested to make sure that the feeling was gone. And she said "you know I'm thinking about it. I am thinking about the meeting with my bosses. And I just can't believe that that feeling is completely gone. Totally not there."

Lessons from the session

In this case whatever was causing her public speaking issue was very strong and very personal. But it also contains some element that she wanted to keep. Which was why she did not want to get rid of it completely. Fortunately I recognised this and allowed her to convert into some thing that she would find useful.

She ended the session still amazed that she could find no trace of that feeling.

Open post
sexual dysfunction

Sexual Dysfunction is not always about sex

Sexual Dysfunction is not always about sex

My client came to see me because of sexual dysfunction. He is a fit young man living with a woman he loves. She is keen on sex and so is he, but he keeps losing his erection during the process. She is understandably annoyed and is threatening to end the relationship.

My client told of a disastrous first attempt at sex that left both of them unhappy. He had been at a Christian camp and the object of his desire was also inexperienced. When the two of them met at night in an empty room it was in secrecy and under constant danger of being discovered. He said the whole thing was an embarrassment, nobody got anything out of it. He blamed it on inexperience and the threat of exposure. It was a classic case of a first attempt at sex that goes wrong, and plants the seed of worry that expands and ruins the rest of his life.

Sexual Dysfunction and Regression

Before he came to me he had been to see a different hypnotherapist three times. That therapist asked the usual questions and tried regression, but it did not have the right effect. He is now in a relationship with a woman who he thinks could be 'the one' so he is putting extra pressure on himself and his girlfriend is putting on even more pressure. I couldn't see what I could do that would be different from the regression and general NLP advice that he already got.

And then I got to thinking about that first encounter. A young man, a teenager, should have no problem getting it up. That's what young men are designed for. So I asked a bit more deeply about what went on that night, and particularly about what went on just before his assignation. He revealed that he was worried about what might happen before he even got there, and that everything turned out wrong just as he feared it would.

So I started thinking about why a young lover would be fearful even before the attempt. There must have been some reason why it even crossed his mind that it could go wrong. I tested for anxiety/depression. He has a bit of Introversion and a bit of anxiety thinking, but not full depression. His father had depression. He told of a childhood where his parents divorced when he was ten and he heard them arguing all the time. I concluded that he has hyper vigilance.

Sexual Dysfunction anxiety

I think that he had childhood anxiety and that it was the existing anxiety that made the first sex go wrong, not the bad sex that caused the sexual anxiety. He has underlying anxiety that is making him catastrophize over his past sexual failure. And because he sees this particular woman as his chance at a life partner, he is putting intense pressure on himself because this one must work, or he will miss out for life. This is causing more catastrophizing thoughts, more anxiety, and she is putting more pressure on him to perform, which causes more anxiety and so on.

The interesting thing about this case is that it is not the first sexual encounter that was the Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE) and therefore regression is the wrong treatment. There was no ISE. What was there was chronic anxiety from childhood, that happens to be expressing itself as sexual performance problems.

The solution therefore is to treat the anxiety. And that's what I did.

Open post
smoking weight gain

Smoking Weight Gain

Smoking weight gain

I had an unusual client yesterday. She was very insistent that when she stopped smoking, she does not want to start eating instead. She is very afraid of putting on weight. And of something much deeper.

When we were talking about the reasons for her smoking, she hinted at various dark things in her childhood. But she was also adamant that she was not going there. She told me that she wanted me to stop her smoking. That was her number one priority. And when she has successfully done that she might look into dealing with the other things in her past. She had stopped smoking for four days when she was taken into hospital to have a stent put into her heart after having had a heart attack. In the hospital she felt great. She could clearly feel the benefits of not stopping. But as soon as she got into the car on the way home it smelled of smoke and her husband was smoking.  She immediately said "give me one of those." And has been smoking continuously since then.

Reasons for smoking

We talked at length about why she smokes. She smokes whenever she is agitated, whenever she is unsure what to do, whenever she is getting stressed. Basically smoking is an avoidance mechanism. She is using cigarettes as a way of putting off dealing with whatever it is that she has to deal with. I spoke at length about finding out what it is that is driving her to smoke, what is that is making her nervous and unsure. I asked her for examples. She said "when I'm giving a presentation, when explaining things to a client". I said that after 30 years surely she should have gotten over that. I said that "this is just a clear example of the way that something is making you uncertain and unsure of yourself".

I said that we really should try to deal with the deeper issues. But she absolutely refused. I told her that I could stop anyone smoking, and I didn't want her coming back in a few weeks. If  she was in a smoking household the pressure is so much stronger. Her husband smokes around her, he smokes indoors, she needs to put some pressure on him to be more supportive. He needs to recognize the danger he is posing to her. We left it at that.

Hypnosis for smoking

I suspected that she needed some willpower, some strength, some belief in her own ability to get through this. So I hypnotised her and took her to a bridge. On the bridge there was a powerful figure waiting for her to give her the strength that was missing.  The figure got her to realize that she was carrying something around with her. The figure said that these were stones. She dropped the stones off the bridge. And in return the figure gave her a magic talisman. 

I then reconnected her to the feeling she had in hospital, of being a non-smoker. After she had experienced what it was like to be a non-smoker, I did a metaphor of draining all the doubt out of her mind. This removed her belief that she could not give up smoking.

When she came back from trance she said that one of the stones was white and the second one was black. She said that she knew what they represented. She told me that the talisman was just a light. She went away convinced that she could stop smoking.

But I still wonder what deep secret she is holding.

Open post
Past life regression case results

Past Life Regression Case Results

Past life regression is a fascinating part of hypnosis

This client wanted to do a past life regression simply out of curiosity. She felt that there was more to life than appeared on the surface. I explained the procedure for past life regression to her and in particular about using Clean Language so as not to lead her.

I used a progressive muscle relaxation induction and tested several times to make sure that she was in trance. Then I deepened her so that she was relaxing in some safe place. "In that place you can forget about your body, you can forget about who you are, you can forget about everything."

The next stage was to suggest that she was floating in a cloud. I then told her "that cloud is thinning and clearing. As the mist clears you find yourself back in a place before you were born".

Past Life 1

She said that she was looking through a hole, like in a wall. Everything was purple. There were people on the outside looking in at her. She wasn't sure what was going on. I tried to get her to explore her surroundings, but she couldn't get anything else. She told me afterwards that this was a dream that she had quite often.

Past life 2

The second regression started with her saying "I feel I am underwater. I can't see anything". Then she found herself at ground level looking at horses. She was aware that there was a war and she was helping one side against the other. But the people they were going to fight were not people. They actually were monsters , they were very big, like dragons. "I have no idea what I'm doing here. I have no idea how I'm going to help anyone else."  And then she said, almost laughing, "I am a blade of grass. I can see it all but I am a blade of grass".

Past life 3

The third regression took to her to a place in Dakota. She was a man. She was some sort of shaman or medicine man. I asked her how she was dressed. She said "I am all dressed up in ceremonial gear. I'm wearing feathers over my usual clothes. A full Indian headdress." "And what is going on in that place?" "I am leading my people in a ceremony. We are begging for rain. The land is dying".  I asked her "and how does that make you feel?". She said "lonely". Then she she said, "I know that everyone else is going to die. I am the only one who will survive. And that makes me sad".

Past life 4

The fourth regression took her to a place that she described as "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful". She seemed filled with wonder at being in this place. She sat in the chair and her head was moving with her eyes closed, as if she was looking around someplace that she was in. I asked her to describe it. "It is a temple filled with gold. I am dancing in the temple. I am sad because there is a man going away. A man I love. I cannot love him. I am not allowed to love him". And she said, "I am too old to do magic. I cannot prevent this. I want to be with him but I have to stay in the temple." She went on to describe the temple "it's a beautiful place, a wonderful place. And I will be forever dancing in the temple. Because I am trapped here now".


Open post
Everything makes me nervous

Everything makes me nervous

Everything makes me nervous

I had a first today with a client. The client was a tiny woman but grossly obese.  She seemed to be almost as broad as she was tall. She was also excessively nervous and fidgety.   And that was the problem she wanted to deal with: anxiety. Anxiety makes her overeat. She said she had been anxious for as long as she could remember. I asked her "what make you anxious?" She said, "Everything". I assume that this was a joke, but she told me she was deadly serious. "Everything makes me nervous."

So I started to look for the reason for the anxiety and the overeating. I expected that there would be something in her childhood. So I got her to tell me about situations where she feels nervous generally, and any specific situations where she felt nervous today. She couldn't find any. She just said "everything makes me nervous."

I started to talk about her overeating and what she might do to prevent anxiety. I outlined some situations where this or that might happen. As she thought about these, she began to get visibly anxious.  

Not how to deal with anxiety

She reached down the side of the chair to get her handbag and put it on her lap. Then she opened it up and said to me 'Do you mind if I eat?' I thought I had misheard. I asked her to repeat what she had just said. To my surprise, she took out a packet of cookies. Apparently she carries around a bag of butter cookies everywhere she goes. She nibbles on one every time she feels anxious. My questions were making her feeling anxious right now, so she wanted to start eating a cookie while lying in the chair talking about overeating!

Open post
Gambling addiction

Hypnosis for gambling addiction

I had a client today for gambling addiction. She told me that she binges on the slot machines, and has done for years.
She described a pattern of behaviour in which about once a week she just could not resist going to the slot machines (called pokey machines in this country) and spending hours on it. Once she has started she feels unable to stop. When she runs out of money she would just go and get some more. She has spent up to $2000 in one night.
She has no interest in horseracing or any other kind of gambling. At other times she has actually no interest in it, and feels no pull towards it. It's just that something happens and she has to go and use the pokey machines.

Is gambling addiction the wrong diagnosis?

This sounded exactly to me like a black and white thinking. I got her to look at the symptoms of dysthymia, laid out in a grid that I use. She looked at it and said "I am all over this. Just about everything listed here applies to me. "
I explained that she was self-medicating by going to the pokies. Every time she felt overwhelmed by all the other things in her life she went to the pokies. The noise, the lights, the music, the focus attention – all of this took her away from her problems. It made her forget all about her issues. She agreed that that was exactly what she was doing.

We spent the rest of the session talking about dysthymia. She seemed very open to it, and very relieved to finally find an answer. She said that she had been to another hypnotherapist. After a few sessions she sensed that that other therapist was getting annoyed with her because she could not find anything in childhood which explained her gambling addiction.

After she had gone, I thought about the foolishness of that other therapist continuing to press for a reason when there is no reason. There is the famous quote that "to the man who has only a hammer, everything looks like a nail."  I think that it is a problem for hypnotherapists who think that everything must be dealt with by hypnosis. There are many things that we are presented with, that do not come from childhood and cannot be reached by regression. I believe that in many cases what is called "gambling addiction" in fact is a part of a wider depressive illness. With this client I'm going to deal with the causes of the depressive thinking, and deal with the gambling problem that way.

In our next session I'm going to teach her self hypnosis so that she can learn to cope with her anxieties. Then I will teach her some thinking exercises so that she can learn to deal with the destructive thoughts. And finally I will show her how to deal with the childhood issues she came from the fact that her mother also had black and white thinking and took it out on the children.

Open post
external distractions

Stay calm and ignore external distractions

I had a client today who must count as one of the strangest inductions I have ever done.

The client came in and stood there looking at me. When I invited her to sit in the chair she immediately said 'No, I can't sit in a chair". I asked her what she meant. She told me that she had a bad back and could not bend to sit down. 'No problem' I said. 'The chair extends almost flat, you can lie down'. No, she said, 'I can only stand or lie flat on my back or on my stomach'.

Now this woman had come to a hypnosis session knowing full well that she would be asked to sit, but made no provision for her own special needs at all. I finally found a cushion she could use for her head and she lay down on the floor.

The interview

I then started interviewing her to find out what she wanted. So there I was asking questions of someone lying flat on her back on the floor. I finally found out what she wanted, she was afraid of retirement (!). She was seventy years old and had been forcibly retired by her employer. She was partly deaf and couldn't really describe what it was that she was afraid of.

Ignore external distractions

Anyway, I formulated a plan to deal with her issues and I began the induction. As luck would have it, a few minutes into the induction a tremendous rainstorm hit. The sound of the rain on the roof and windows made conversation almost impossible. I found myself  with a half deaf client lying on the floor with the biggest rain storm in years raging outside.

I ended up bellowing at her lying there on the floor shouting 'RELAX! LET YOUR MIND FIND SOME QUIET PLACE!' etc., while the pounding of the storm made it hard to hear myself, never mind get through to her.

She did eventually go into trance successfully, but I won't forget this session in a hurry.

I guess the lesson I take from this is to carry on no matter what the external distractions.

Open post
lack of confidence

Lack of confidence treated with hypnosis

The client today was a man in his late twenties with lack of confidence. He lacks the confidence to assert himself. His wife says he always gives in too easily. It is costing him salary and promotion. He just cannot stand up for himself.

In the interview I learned that he will do anything to avoid aggression. He feels he has to keep people happy and never put forward his own views in case he causes aggression. He has to tell people what he thinks they want to hear. It was obvious that he was afraid of confrontation but I couldn't find anything in his life that caused him to want to avoid aggression.

Lack of Confidence behaviour

Like many people he feared rejection and wants to be liked. But I noticed that every time I asked him about how he feels, he tells me what he thinks. This is the typical behaviour of the over-analytical person. One probing further I found that he has many symptoms of hypervigilance.

Hypervigilance starts when a child feels that their environment is unpredictable and they become afraid of what is happening to them. The child then withdraws and puts up barriers to intimacy. The child's reasoning is that they don't feel anything they can't be hurt. This client confirmed that he has no real feelings about anyone.

The client said he felt that he had a shell around him. For most clients this would be the cue to start using a metaphor technique, but when I started with this client he could not get any emotion, he kept talking about what he thought of it.

Hypervigilant clients are hard to hypnotise

Hypervigilant clients are hard to hypnotise because they analyse everything you say to them. Instead of reacting to your suggestions, they analyse the structure of the sentences and wonder about why you used that particular word. They are so busy analysing that you can't get through their defences.

I explained how this usually works and told him that if I couldn't hypnotise him in my office I may have to give him CDs for private study. This technique always works eventually, and often is the only way to get them into trance in any reasonable time.

I thought that he would be hard to hypnotize and he agreed.
So I started the session with a rapid induction, he started smiling, and the impression I got was that he was feeling the induction but refusing to follow what his body was telling him.

Using a kinesthetic induction 

I then did a breathing induction and to my surprise his head started to nod, an indication of trance. I then did a deepener with a staircase induction, and he was in trance. This fast induction surprised me greatly. I tested with an eye catalepsy. Worked.

So I learned that this hypervigilant client, at least, could be hypnotised. I think the key to it was using a kinesthetic induction to get him to focus on a feeling he had never before noticed, the feeling of the air inside his head as he breathed in.

A therapy for lack of confidence

Did the standard RIVERWALK therapy with embelishments.
When he was looking at the town he saw someone like him at a table with friends doing all the things he wanted to do.
Had people following along the other bank.
Had him and his wife walking towards the town. Started with everything around stale and tired.
Then the little bridge where he says aloud what his problem is.

I felt this turned out to be a good session. What I learned from this is that even a therapy I have used hundreds of times can still surprise me. My own unconscious mind came up with a new twist to suit this particular client.

So what I ended up with is a new way of treating lack of confidence.

It never ceases to amaze me how ingenious the unconscious mind can be.

Open post
inappropriate behavior patterns

Stopping inappropriate behavior patterns

High expectations is often what drives inappropriate behaviour patterns. I had a client yesterday who is a successful businesswoman. She came to see me because she has become aware that she is getting trapped into a pattern of behaviour that she doesn't like, doesn't want, and that is threatening her marriage.
What she has is a pattern of sudden aggression towards others. She runs a successful hairdressing salon and manages 10 staff. Over the years she has learned to control her aggression with respect to customers and staff. But her problem now is that she's being aggressive towards her husband over real or imagined incidents.

The origin of the problem

Her mother had married a very argumentative man. They separated when my client was four years old. My client remembers even at four years old asking mommy "when is that bad man leaving?" Her mother then remarried, this time to a man who was physically abusive, as well as being verbally abusive. My client grew up in this dysfunctional household and remembers many occasions when she had to intervene between her stepfather and her mother. Her mother was passive and always tried to calm the situation down, but usually was not successful.

My client described an incident that was typical of her behaviour. One day she came home to find that her husband had thrown out some spring onions. She had been expecting to use these for some diet that she was on, and now could not.
This triggered an immediate rage. She accused him of trying to sabotage her, of having no concern for her feelings or her needs, of being totally selfish. But strangely enough, even while she was going through her rant, part of her mind was saying "why are you doing this?"

Indication of inappropriate behavior patterns

This "split attention" indicates an inappropriate behaviour pattern in action. All behaviour is designed to keep you safe. The sudden aggression is designed to back off danger and keep the person safe. My client learned in childhood that the only way to be safe, to keep the threat away, was to go full at it.

My client's stepfather was manipulative, abusive and constantly trying to put others down. Over several years she had learned to recognize the signs of a dangerous situation before it even happened. She discovered that what worked to stop it was to unleash her own aggression. Over time, this became her default behavior.

What is happening now is that she is identifying or imagining situations in her current life which matched the threat that came from her stepfather. And that then causes her to fire off her own defence mechanism. Unfortunately, it is now being directed at people who are completely innocent. And of course these people resent it deeply because they don't understand where it's coming from. In particular it is affecting her marriage. Her husband is quite baffled as to why she suddenly flies into a rage and then five minutes later acts as if nothing had happened.

Therapy to get rid of inappropriate behavior patterns

NLP pattern interrupts depend on being able to recognize and stop the behavior. The problem is that very often the damage is done by the time the pattern is recognized. What I try to do is isolate and destroy the trigger first. And then substitute a different behavior.

In this case I got the client to put itself back into the feelings that she had with the spring onions incident. What we were looking for was the initial feeling, and not the reaction to that feeling. I then used metaphor replacement to allow her to deal with that feeling.

After considerable prompting, she said that the feeling was like a red square with grey smoke coming out of it. I then explored all the different aspects of that red square. For example where the sides straight? Were the corners sharp? How thick is it? And so on. She quite rapidly transformed the square into an outline. Then she successfully made the outline disappear.

The next stage then was to remove the inappropriate behaviour pattern. I took into a fairly deep trance and told her that she was in charge of her inner mind. I got her inner mind to search for the thing that was causing that aggressive behaviour. Eventually her mind found it, and with my prompting, she was able to take it out of that place. It appeared to her as a wooden ball. This ball shattered and released all of its contents as a liquid. I got this liquid to drain down her body and then run out through the soles of her feet.

The final stage was to go back to the place where that wooden bowl had been, and fill it with something else. I asked her to think of something good that she could put in that place was represented a different feeling. This meant that if the feeling was ever triggered again the inappropriate behaviour pattern would be replaced by a different feeling.

Posts navigation

1 2 3
Scroll to top