Sunday, October 16, 2011 (Nightmares)

Hypnothought's question

How to offset/change nightmares from an abused childhood?

John's respsonse
This is my method/how I have worked with these type of issues. One thing to consider first is that dreams (we dream every night whether we realize it or not) are an extension of our daily life and of what we have embedded in our memory center. When a client has suffered abuse, his or her daily life may be filled with negative/depressing memories of the past -consciously or subconsciously. Anything, anyone, any experience, any word, any sound, any smell or phrase could trigger these memories (the embedded abuse) at any given time. There is no conscious control over it.

How can you offset that as a healer?

First, you must defuse his anger towards his foster mom. The anger will keep him stressed-out more than anything. Stress is a major cause of heavy dreaming/nightmares. He needs peace, balance and harmony in his life – focus on these three words in your script if you do scripts. He must accept his past even though he hates his past. Let him know that no amount of therapy can change his past. He has to live with it and accept it the same way as a person born with any bodily flaws or any type of diseases. The more he fights his past, the more the past is his puppet master. Secondly, you must build his esteem, confidence and belief in himself. Abuse destroys the person. And third, you must coach him through life or what he didn't get as a child. Unfortuantely, abuse robs an individual of his or her personal rights and privileges. And lastly, you can offset his dreams by suggesting/conditoning new dreams. Get him in a REM state and make suggestions that he is in control of his dreams. He needs to begin to feel that he has personal control of his life irrespective to what happened in his past.

Most importantly, this is not a one time thing. Many people think they can come to a hypnotist/hypnotherapist one time and they are done. They will go to a psychotherapist for years but a hypnotherapist they think they need only one or two sessions. It is really nice society has this confidence in us but we all need more than one or two sessions with the client to deliver long term change. An adult who suffered childhood abuse is one of those issues that takes time. Let him know this is a journey to build a new life, a new perspective, a new person.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

No comments: