How trauma therapy and treatment can make you whole again
Every now and then, someone arrives at their appointment with a goal that seems fairly simple. They feel like they’re overeating, for example. Or they feel afraid to get on an aeroplane, and they need to next week. When I ask the questions on my standard initial consultation form, the real problem becomes apparent. The problems on the surface of your life generally have a deeper issue supporting them. When this issue is trauma-based, therapy - including hypnotherapy - can help you feel whole again.
What is trauma?
When you have an experience that makes you feel out of control, trapped, or fear death, you might feel trauma later. Trauma is the emotional response to such an event, which happens after the event has occurred - sometimes immediately after, and other times, days, weeks, months, or even years later. You might find yourself living differently to compensate for the difficult feelings. Trauma therapy can help you process the traumatic event/s so you can live your full life.
Hypnotherapy for trauma
When processing a traumatic event, it is important to work with someone experienced in trauma to avoid worsening the feelings. It is also paramount to take things slowly. Some people believe hypnotherapy is a quick-fix treatment. For some problems, it is. However, when working with traumatic experiences, you should manage your expectations with an awareness that it might take longer than you would like. You may even find that you deal with it in short bursts, taking time out between sessions for a break or to focus on surface-level problems, giving the work from trauma therapy time to settle.
Some people believe you experience trauma when you block your natural emotions. Sometimes this is a biological reaction that your brain uses to protect you. You might consciously shut down any emotion in the future, because of fear or other reasons. Your therapist will help you feel safe enough in the therapy room to permit your emotions. This new feeling - physical and emotional - is different and frightening. The therapy room is the right place to begin the journey but in small steps.
There are many therapeutic modalities that will help you come to terms with a traumatic event, processing, then experiencing, and filing it in the best place for you to stop it from impeding your life. Therapies such as EMDR, somatic experiencing, yoga, drama therapy, and sensorimotor psychotherapy are all examples of different therapeutic modalities that people use to release and relieve trauma. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are both useful modalities in the treatment of trauma.
Hypnotherapists work in different ways, and there is no specific process. Treatment is personal to the individual. However, there are some main facets of hypnosis that play a part in all trauma treatment.
The mind and body
Hypnosis is a similar, if not the same, state of mind and body as the meditative state. Your body is in the calm, default state in which you feel in control. Your mind is at ease, and you can focus fully on yourself. You have the power to remain present and in control. This gives you a comfortable place to revisit experiences if necessary, to permit feelings that can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable when you don’t feel fully in control, and to focus on your thoughts clearly without interruption from the anxious thinking that sometimes comes with daily life.
Your hypnotherapist will teach you techniques that you can use daily to help you feel in control of your mind and body. In your hypnotherapy session, your therapist will guide you into the hypnotic state. They can teach you how to use self-hypnosis, so you can benefit from this at home too. They can also give you other tools to use alongside or independently of hypnosis. These tools will help you manage the feelings of trauma daily, so that you start to feel more comfortable every day, whilst taking your time with the trauma therapy.
Ideally, you will feel comfortable and secure enough with your therapist, in their environment, to speak about your feelings and experiences without needing to use hypnosis. However, hypnosis can sometimes make it easier. Many people feel deep within their own magical world when they enter the hypnotic state of mind. This helps you feel safe and protected from the world outside, so any shame or other discomfort you feel does not stop you from speaking openly.
Your healing journey begins when you share your feelings, including allowing yourself to feel any feelings, with your safe person. If hypnosis helps you feel comfortable sharing, it will aid your healing experience.
If you'd like to give hypnotherapy a try to help you process a traumatic event, contact me via my profile below.