Sometimes I receive calls from potential clients who are active in their religious community (primarily, but not exclusively, of the Christian and, to a lesser extent, Muslim persuasions). The main question these people had for me related to the fact that they wanted to know if God would approve of hypnotherapy.
They would go on to tell me about all of the negative things they had heard about hypnosis from the church… things such as: it is associated with devil worshipping or witchcraft and if you allow someone to “play” with your mind, you may be inviting demons to reside inside you. They would also say that their pastors would not approve of hypnosis or that hypnosis is not mentioned in the Bible.
I even had some clients come and tell me that they visited their pastors before contacting me and talked to him about it. I was amazed, just as much as the clients themselves, at the response they received. When they would tell their pastor that they were considering hypnotherapy for their personal issues, they either received a reaction of laughter, a near chastisement, or a berating of hypnosis. One response none of my clients received from their pastors is something like: “How can this hypnotist help you overcome your problems? What did he say he could do for you?” So even though the pastor warned them against hypnosis, he didn’t provide any solutions. And here’s the way all of this sounded to me: it was like watching a person have a heart attack on the street, and simply standing there, watching, without making a move to call an ambulance.
Yes, there may be many myths about hypnosis and how it has sometimes the practice of it has been abused (e.g., the antics of stage hypnosis, a Svengali type of hypnosis as portrayed in movies and NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming in television commercials). These are actions you or I may not approve of, but one cannot defame hypnosis and, for example, ignore the mishaps of members of other professions. Our news is full of stories of doctors charged with malpractice for giving the wrong medication and/or ordering the wrong procedure; teachers abusing their students, corrupt police officers who were sworn in to serve and protect the community and instead indulge in corruption, brutality and abuse of power; and pastors and priests accused of defrauding their flock, or committing infidelity and/or pedophilia. Does this mean that we should condemn all of the members of these professions because of a few bad apples?
I don’t profess to have a direct phone line to God or pretend to know all of the answers in regards to what he wants us to do every minute of every day – but I can say that after analyzing some of his creations, such as humanity in the form of man and woman, I have formed my own conclusions.
Since man has been (and is) walking around with a piece of high tech equipment (his brain) on his shoulders that is great enough to build computers, cars, airplanes, large skyscrapers, furniture, iron and concrete bridges, and the very churches and mosques in which Christians and Muslims pray, I would suspect that God would want us to understand his creation much more than we actually do.
Without understanding the capabilities of the brain and the nature of emotions, our prisons, drug rehabilitation centers and mental institutions will continue to fill up with destructive, fragile and confused men and women. As I said before, I am not an expert on God’s thinking but I would suspect that he wouldn’t want to see his creations go to waste with negative thinking and poisonous emotions. Yes, praying is a blessing which would certainly help a person in need. But to paraphrase an old biblical saying: “You can give a man a fish and he will eat for one day but if you teach him how to fish (in this case, teach him how his mind and emotions work), he will eat for a lifetime.” Also: “God will help you if you help yourself”. Any of this sounds familiar?
These clients who sought help from their pastors first and were denied came to me for hypnotherapy sessions in the end and they told me afterwards they were happy they did. My method involved the simultaneous use of multiple techniques, such as behavior modification, coaching/mentoring, career and personal advice for the conscious mind and hypnosis for the subconscious mind to affect both sides of the brain – the left, which represents logic, and the right, which is the seat of emotions. I help my clients move themselves out of their own way which is often their biggest issue.
Hypnotherapy is not here to replace the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, the pastor or priest, or to take away anyone’s self control. It is designed to allow a man or a woman to take charge of their life by embracing logic, balancing life, and accepting who they are; thus, getting in control of their “self” instead of letting the mind and emotions control their life. In my humble opinion, this will allow any person to appreciate God’s gifts to them!
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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