Hypnotherapy for Changing Times- 3 Keys

Hypnotherapy for Changing Times- 3 Keys

    Hypnotherapy for Changing Times- 3 Keys


    The Germans have a wonderful word that’s especially important right now.  The word is weltschmerz, meaning ‘world-pain’ or ‘world-weariness’. It describes the sense that many people I work with have right now, of being profoundly affected by world events- of a mismatch between their inner knowing of what the world could be, with how it is.


    After 9/11/11, I checked with clients about how the attacks on the World Trade Center had affected them.  Most of them responded with momentary shock and grief, followed by some version of, “It can’t happen to me”, and they went on with their lives.


    This season, clients are having a different response to what’s happening in the world.  They feel deeply impacted by politics in this country and abroad.  They sense that things are changing, and often report that loved ones are going through very difficult times. Many report grief, anger, anxiety, nightmares, and feelings of helplessness.


    Clients are bringing those concerns into session, and asking for help. They aren’t just asking to feel better.  They’re asking how they can be of help and support, to themselves and others.  People are experiencing a stronger sense of community- of being a part of a larger whole.


    Moving through challenging times means having the capacity to stay centered and compassionate in the midst of difficulties.  It means creating strong inner and outer support systems.  It means responding to, rather than reacting from grief, anger fear and uncertainty.


    So, how can we hypnotherapists help?


    Key #1

    Validate. All of the intense feelings and anxious thoughts that people are experiencing now are natural under the circumstances.  Problems arise when they react in non-helpful ways, ruminating and feeling continually caught in the undertow of emotion.


    This is a moment for great self-compassion. In Session: A brief self- hypnosis exercise: “When you notice that there is suffering present, take a moment to acknowledge it.Taking 3 full… deep breaths… Placing a hand on the heart… allowing compassion to flow in from an infinite source, offering yourself kind words…a loving, connected, presence … and staying here as long as you’d like… and… when you’re ready… slowly returning to the outside world… carrying with you the compassion resting in your heart.”


    Key #2

    Responding to, rather than reacting from. There is a part of ourselves that feels very young and helpless.  Sometimes, that part of us is what’s running the show.  When that happens, we react as a child would when faced with something that’s too much for them- with fear and helplessness.


    In difficult moments, that childlike part needs to be protected and cared for, making space for our wisest, most mature self to emerge.  Then, we can effectively respond to whatever is present.


    In session,after deepening, you can ask your client what age they feel in a particular stressful moment. You’ll find that it’s often young. Suggest that they see that little one, and begin to speak to her/him.  They can offer words of care, like, “I’ll protect you.” By doing that, they are stepping out of that position, and relating to it instead of from it. They are now identified with their wise adult self.


    Key #3

    Affirm what’s deeper than grief, deeper than fear or anger. At the root of our painful feelings is our desire for a world filled with peace, where all beings are safe and free to be their best, most authentic selves,  where the earth is cared for, and nature flourishes.


    In Session: When you help your clients to get in touch with their breath, to settle their bodies, and to allow their minds to quiet as they focus within on the still, quiet place inside, beneath and beyond the waves of intense emotion, you are giving them somewhere to rest- somewhere from which they can meet their challenges with equanimity and peace.








    Author Info

    Rochelle Jaffe