Hypnosis Treats Guilt And Its Discontents
One of my patients, a 36 year-old male of Irish descent, was on the treatment table for weight loss and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I was about to insert the first acupuncture pin, when he mentioned that he had recently been to an Upstate New York pool party with old friends. His ex-wife had attended it as well. While at the party he had seen his ex-wife naked (I didn’t ask/want to know how this had come about). They didn’t have sex, but despite being married to a woman whom he loved, he had begun fantasizing about the ex.
My (non-professional) response was that, so far, there were no laws against fantasizing. But the incident, and his obsessive thoughts around it, disturbed and depressed him. I’m not a talk therapist, I emphasized, even as he asked if hypnosis might ease his conflicted emotions. I told him that one session probably wouldn’t rewire 36 years worth of Catholic Guilt/Shame any more than it would do so for the Jewish version. That said, it was possible that hypnosis could ease this particular situation. We both agreed it was worth a try.
Once he was in trance I addressed his sub-conscious, asking him to identify the positive intention that feelings of guilt had afforded him. After a brief silence he replied that it had made him feel safe, a part of something larger than himself. Organized religion can do that. I acknowledged how a sense of belonging and safety would be a positive intention. I then asked his unconscious what other ways he could create to experience a sense of safety and security.
All in all, he came up with three solid substitutes. I anchored the strongest one two weeks into the future, and then again two years into the future. Once out of trance he was aware of everything we had talked about. A week later, he reported that the nagging guilt he’d experienced had abated. Whether this was due to the passage of time or if the treatment had ‘worked’, it’s impossible to say for sure.
We went back to treating his carpal tunnel and weight issues, both of which continued to improve. As for his finely honed sense of guilt, he claims it has eased in several areas, even as it remains an integral part of who he, in his mind, is.
Daniel blue phoenix wellness