Hypnotherapy is my hobby.
I recently shared on social media that I have been participating in hypnotherapy for the past 5 months, and it seems like most everyone wanted to know more about it. While this was a pretty personal endeavor, I coach my clients how to become more vulnerable - so I suppose this is going to be a blog post all about me being vulnerable with you and practicing what I preach.
In order to fully explain my experience with hypnotherapy, I feel like I need to give you some back story, so bare with me.
To start - I am a HUGE believer in goal setting (as most of you already know). This past January I sat down and worked on my goals for the year, and what I noticed was that I was actively working towards all of my career goals - but none of my personal goals. I willingly admit that I am a bit of a work-a-holic. I’ve always been very driven to grow, but for some reason I’ve neglected my personal goals, or maybe I thought I would work on those later.
My personal goals included being a better friend, making more time for family, allowing myself to date (yes, I said it), and also diving into whatever it was that I was hiding from. That may sound strange, but as someone who is very in-tune with my thoughts, emotions, and body - I’ve known for a while that there was something deep inside that I was hiding from. You see, I work on pulling these deep twisted secrets out of my clients everyday - but it was time I pull them out of myself.
As I worked through my goals and sat with them for several weeks - I knew I needed something more drastic than my regular counseling sessions to help me work through these. Because to me, this was scary. To be a better friend meant giving up time from work to engage with friends. To make more time for family meant giving away even more time from work to truly be present with family members. To put myself out there to date meant giving away even MORE time from work and to open myself up to new people. And to figure out what this deep avoidance feeling was inside of me was just plain intimidating, because all I knew is it was going to be painful.
However, above the fear, I knew I was ready to face my avoidance head on. I knew that in order to become a better coach and to grow into the mentor and business woman I hope to become - I needed to work on me.
So, this is where Hypnotherapy comes in.
I had heard of hypnotherapy before, but it kind of weirded me out. Don’t get me wrong, I am very open minded, but it seemed a little too voo-doo(ish). I LOVE counseling, I’ve been actively working with a counselor for 5 years. I also love my medium who I work with 1-2 times a year. But… hypnotherapy? I wasn't too sure.
So, before committing myself to something I didn't believe in, I found a hypnotherapist in Michigan who I could work with virtually, which I really liked the thought of. I scheduled a phone call with her so I could learn more about her practice, how it worked, and if I felt like it was something I could get behind.
Much to my surprise, I was all in. It made complete sense to me, and we connected instantly.
You see, hypnotherapy is NOT the voo-doo swinging of a pendulum in-front of your face and putting you in a trance as I had expected. It is a deep meditative practice that allows your memory to connect with your subconscious mind. Meditation alone can do this, but perhaps not as easily. The memories that live in your subconscious mind are likely memories that once caused you pain, so the mind put them away where they can’t hurt you anymore. The funny thing is that they still can. In my case, memories that I had tucked away in my subconcious were memories that caused a lot of pain in my childhood, and memories that were still affecting my decisions as an adult, even though I wouldn’t have ever remembered them a few months ago. Hypnotherapy allowed me to recall these memories, heal the memory, and change my perspective.
My first session was all about creating a safe haven. This safe haven would be used in future sessions, and it’s the place I would take my inner child to heal. (This may sound crazy - but it works.)
My second session was painful, eye opening, and game-changing. It was my first real time to travel to my subconscious. My therapist used prompts to trigger memories in the areas I was hoping to target. It was a memory of me as an 8-year old kid. It was the first time in my life that I learned that I was not enough as I was. That I was inadequate. This was the first time I ever felt body-shame. I was deep in the memory, reliving every word. She “woke me up” in the middle - and I was shocked to find myself covered in tears. She did this so I could feel those feelings in my conscious mind, and so I could choose to let them go. As I went back into my subconscious, she guided me in telling that little girl that she was enough, and that she was perfect just as she was. I took her to the safe haven that I had created in my first session and changed the story. THIS was magic. After the session I felt lighter, energized, and like I had just let go of something I had been carrying around without even knowing it.
While I would be happy to keep sharing the sessions that followed this one - this blog would quickly turn into a novel. So I will say this - this second session was just the beginning. Every week something dark and twisted came to my memory - and I chose to change the story. It was messy. I mean really messy. I didn’t feel like myself for several weeks. I was emotional, I was wounded, I was healing.
I can honestly say that what I continue to experience with hypnotherapy is slowly changing my current reality. I am becoming a better friend. I have made more time (still not enough) for family. I have allowed myself to date. And I am facing the things that I had been avoiding for so long. Hypnotherapy may not be something for everyone - in fact it most certainly isn’t, but it was the right thing for me with my goals.
To reiterate, from my experience, hypnotherapy is all about healing the subconscious mind. This can come in several different forms and target all types of memories or struggles. You don’t have to have childhood trauma to benefit from hypnotherapy - that was just one example. You don’t get hypnotized and start chanting weird things or repeating anyone else’s words. It truly is a form of therapy.
So, if you’re a client and you’re reading this - now you know that when I say “It’s going to get messy before it gets better,” you know I’m not lying. Healing takes time, and we’re all healing and growing together. Life is like an onion, we peel back one layer at a time.
If you want to know more or feel like you want to try it for yourself, let me know and I’m happy to pass along tips and information.
Cheers to being vulnerable, friends :)
On a side note, if you haven’t watched “A Call to Courage” on Netflix yet, I highly suggest you do!