Can You Treat Trauma With Hypnotherapy & NLP?
Perhaps the best way to show how Hypnotherapy in combination with NLP can be effective in the treatment of Trauma, is to share an illustrative case study.
But first ... we'll cover a few important facts.
Today I have many tools in my therapeutic tool chest. I will also use highly effective treatments like EMDR and Havening to treat trauma.
In the beginning when I first opened my practice in the late 90s, I did indeed successfully treat Trauma with only Analytical Hypnotherapy and NLP to the tune of hundreds of clients!
Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that can have a lasting impact on a person's life. It can be caused by a variety of events, including significant confrontation, abuse, neglect, accidents and natural disasters. Trauma can lead to a number of physical and psychological symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and difficulty trusting others.
Hypnotherapy and NLP
Hypnotherapy and NLP are two complementary therapies that can be used to treat trauma. Hypnotherapy is a state of deep relaxation in which the mind is more open to suggestion.
Analytical Hypnotherapy uses the state of inward focus whilst external distractions and any conflicting 'thoughts' are avoided. Combining Psychotherapeutic models with Hypnosis provides a wonderfully powerful method of discovering the roots of any problem, negative belief or behaviour.
It is possible to rewrite the story that sits within the deep mind, therefore releasing the negative emotions connecting to that and provide the space for positive new life enhancing beliefs to develop.
There are many things I do when working with someone using these techniques, NLP provides additional resources that make the work more effective and in many instances, give the client tools to use after the sessions.
NLP is a technique that uses language and patterns of behavior to help people change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are too many parts to NLP to describe here but some of the techniques might include: Timeline work to observe the historical root experience, Positive Hallucination to create a new mind and body persona who can change the existing memory, Dissociation techniques to separate the experience from the emotional response, Anchoring to build positive states to change the historical event and to boost belief in the new mental structures.
Here's the illustrative case study showing how trauma is treated with Hypnotherapy & NLP
Occupation: Software Engineer
Presenting Issue: Kieran came to see me for hypnotherapy to deal with the memories of his childhood trauma. He had been having flashbacks of being locked in a cupboard by his alcoholic father when he was a child. These flashbacks had become worse since he had been under a lot of stress at work.
[Note: stressors in life can exacerbate and trigger the effects of a historical trauma]
History: Kierans' father was an alcoholic who would often become abusive when he was drunk. He would even lock Kieran in a cupboard when his mother went to work. James' mother was unaware of what was happening. James reported when he had tried to tell her there were problems: her first response was to remind him she "needed to work ..."
The response was designed to stop Kieran was completing the explanation and to 'just deal with it'. Sadly parents sometimes do this to children when they believe their desperation financially or sometimes if emotionally dependent, is something they are powerless to change.
Treatment: I used Analytical Hypnotherapy in combination with NLP techniques to help Kieran to first of all, dissociate from the traumatic experience. This allowed him to recall the event without being overwhelmed by the emotions associated with it.
We were then able to create strong persona's to help him change the memory so he could build in new beliefs that suited what he wanted in life.
As an example of the negative disempowering beliefs he had created as a result of the trauma. These included:
- I am unloved.
- I am unloveable.
- I don't deserve love.
- My father detests me.
- My mother must know, so she doesn't love me.
- I am powerless.
- I am vulnerable.
- I am weak.
- My family are dysfunctional so I will be too.
Progress: Over a series of sessions, Kieran began to change these beliefs. He imagined himself able to take control, become immensely strong and stop his father in his tracks. He was able to release the emotions he had held for most of his life.
He created unique new 'memories' to overlap the old memories and develop a sense of firstly 'relief' and secondly strength.
I have often said that the child within us never stops wishing for the rescue or love or whatever we felt was missing.
Kieran began to see where in life these early experiences and the related beliefs had affected him. He began to see where he had been bullied, put up with friends who took advantage and more.
In our therapy sessions, we fulfill the wish! We get to create the life we want by changing the life we had.
[Note: whilst it is considered counterproductive to wait for a rescuer, you will already notice that the person doing the rescuing is oneself. That's a very different and very positive powerful way to embed a new way of thinking, being, feeling and doing.]
Outcome: After a couple of months of therapy sessions, the flashbacks had stopped, quite early on actually. Kieran also reported feeling more confident and in control of his life. He was able to work without letting stressors or other people get him down or overwhelm him.
Reflection: This case study illustrates the effectiveness of Analytical Hypnotherapy with NLP in treating historical trauma. By helping Kieran to dissociate from the traumatic experience and to identify and change the beliefs that he had created as a result, I was able to help him to heal and to move on with his life.
Additional Information: Kieran had been afraid of having children and within our sessions he recognised he had avoided relationships that might lead to his partner wanting children.
However, a year after the therapy, he contacted me to let me know he was engaged and his fiance was pregnant. He came for a couple of follow up sessions to reconfirm his confidence that he would be a good father and remain in control of his moods. He reported feeling excited and nervous about becoming a father, but he was confident that he was ready for the challenge.
I am happy to report that Kieran and his wife became proud parents of a healthy baby boy. Kieran is a loving and attentive father, and he has successfully overcome his fears of parenthood. He is a testament to the power of Hypnotherapy with NLP and the healing power of the mind.