“I now feel empowered, with control and perspective … and a genuine thirst for life”
Rebuilding self-belief and self-worth with Hypnotherapy and Spiritual Healing
When I first met Dan, he was in such a high state of anxiety that he could not directly fix his eyes on me as we talked. They darted around the room constantly, and he confirmed that he found it very hard to focus and maintain concentration. He had lost his job, had not long before had been diagnosed as quite seriously Bipolar, and was taking medication to steady his mood. His long-standing tendency to feel anxious had been sent into overdrive by these two difficult events. At the same time, his wife and he had separated as a result of what was happening in his life, an additional source of pain, all leading to a complete crash.
He described having been driven by fear and panic from his early years to a point where he felt unable to cope in most areas of his life. It emerged that his childhood and adolescence had been shaped by a harsh dominating father and a disempowered, submissive mother. As the eldest, Dan from an extremely early age felt he needed to protect his mother (“I played the grown-up as a child”), and this drive to look after others at the expense of his own mental and emotional well-being transferred into his adult life. Later it became clear that his father was himself quite mentally ill, and this caused him to make unrealistic and unreasonable demands of his family. Part of Dan’s healing process was to realise the extent to which his life and sense of self had become distorted.
Previously in a high-flying job, Dan had been extremely successful and had looked after trainees who he nurtured and encouraged. So his crash was an extreme one, causing him to feel a complete loss of control over, or direction in, his life: “I feel I have lost who I was and what I represented. My position in my company and the reputation I had in the wider industry defined who I was, as opposed to being who I really am: inside, I felt a complete failure in life and totally worthless!”
Our work began with helping Dan begin to retrain his nervous system (he was in a constant ‘fight/flight/freeze’ state), so that he could learn to calm and soothe himself and thereby regain full access to his reasoning ‘intellectual’ mind, where his wisdom and solutions were to be found. A combination of breathing patterns and hypnotherapy, designed to help physical relaxation (personalised and recorded for him to use at home), started to interrupt his chronic tension and anxiety, and help him start feeling calm and good about himself (something new for Dan) and increase his ability to gain control over his feelings.
We also started using healing sessions in order to help him reconnect with himself at soul level, and to integrate the changes in understanding he was experiencing about how his childhood had shaped his life. Since it is always a child’s instinct to assume the fault lay (and still lies!) with them, Dan needed to learn at the feeling level that the pain and stress he suffered as a child was not caused by him, but caused by his parents’ inability to cope with their own issues. Gradually he was able to start building the sense of self-esteem that had never had the chance to grow when he was a child.
We also used regression to uncover, heal and release the triggers for his patterns of behaviour and the extreme way in which he drove himself which had led to his crash. We always prepare for regression with a recording (to be listened to every day for a fortnight or so before the first regression session). This addresses the unconscious mind, preparing the way for change and helping the body relax. Dan continued to find the recording useful, and over the time we worked together (around 12-18 months) we made new recordings to reflect the stage he had reached on his steady progress towards forgiving and healing himself, and allowing his own instinctive needs to be heard and prioritised as they never had been when he was a child. My recordings are highly personalised and made ‘live’ with the client present. Each one is tuned in to the individual with imagery, vocabulary and other elements the client finds empowering and healing.
I also taught Dan some brief self-hypnosis techniques to build on the skills he had acquired to help him retain (and regain, if knocked) a more balanced emotional state. With the increased access to his rational mind he became increasingly able to think his way through situations and obstacles rather than being paralysed by them. These brief techniques are easily learned and practised, and he has found them to be a great help.
When we first met, Dan was having CBT sessions, but finding it extremely hard to concentrate or follow through on using the tools it gave him. However, through our sessions he gradually reached a level of control over his feelings. He was starting to see a future in which he was much kinder to himself. When he went back to those CBT tools he found he could start to really use them effectively.
We were meeting occasionally now, and each time it was clear that Dan was naturally and instinctively making decisions in his personal and work life that prioritised his own needs and feelings – the best evidence for his growing sense of self-worth. He had lost the overpowering feeling that in any situation he needed to give much more than he expected to receive (he used, for instance, to always pay for all the drinks when out with friends or colleagues – he no longer feels driven to do that!).
I often use the Human Givens ‘Emotional Needs Audit’ (a short questionnaire) to get a full picture of the client’s areas of difficulty when we first meet. When Dan redid the Audit just over a year later, it was clear, when we compared the scores with the original questionnaire, he had shifted significantly in many areas of his life. This helped cement his belief and pride in the progress he had made.
While life still presents challenges, when we last spoke after several months’ break, Dan had moved house, had sorted out a difficult domestic situation and was starting to build his own business. He said that he could feel happy without the overtones of mania which had previously caused him so much trouble, and felt more in control of his own life than he had ever experienced before.
“When I first met Kathryn at her practice, I felt completely defeated by my circumstances. I was in free fall and self-destruct mode. Life was no longer worth living and I saw no future at all, I was totally broken. I really believed no one could help me and that I no longer had the strength of mind, body and soul to rebuild my life. The work with Kathryn proved me to be totally wrong. Utilising her expertise, she was invaluable in facilitating my recovery. The approach, methodology and techniques she uses are incredibly powerful …
… As a direct result of our working together, I am delighted to be building a new business, doing something I’ve always wanted to do, enjoying myself immensely and reaping the financial rewards with renewed self-esteem. I now feel empowered, with control and perspective, living in the moment and most importantly having self-compassion, with a genuine thirst for life and with tangible, attainable, personal and professional goals. The work we did has turned my life around completely!”
It is good to hear such positive things about my approach. But the credit really goes to him for the way he took on board all the opportunities and tools that were on offer and used them to the maximum. Dan is living proof of how a life can be completely turned around.
Recently Dan phoned to tell me the good news: he had met and fallen in love with the woman with whom he is now starting a new life in southern Europe. Based in a quiet, rural setting, they have a traditional farmhouse with land and exciting plans to start a business together. I noticed immediately how completely different Dan sounded on the phone: totally relaxed and happy. He is in the process now of healing those difficult ties to the past that he can, and cutting those that he can’t.
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