All of us occasionally (some more commonly than others) struggle with how to bring about lasting change. Even therapist themselves struggle not just as therapist, but also in their personal lives. At the end of the day, they too are human. Here are a few real-life stories.
The real-life stories
There is a well-known hypnotherapist who was unable to let go of his smoking habit (what a paradox). He was admitted to the hospital when he had the second heart attack. Despite the first, he failed to quit smoking. Of course like most of us who know our addictions are bad for us. He too knew. But the knowing failed to translate to action(non-action in this case).
When his doctor was on the rounds, the doctor said to him, “You have not smoked since 9 days, your smoking habit is now GONE” and that did the trick. He never smoked again. The simple suggestion as a part of a conversation, a simple encouraging word did the trick. Smoking is one of the most addictive and sticky things, difficult to get rid of. This huge change was brought about without any fancy induction, repeated script.
Let me give you another example. I have given hypnosis script for expecting women for quite some time for a smooth painless labor. When my wife was expecting I gave her the same script. We also attended prenatal classes. To counter all the beliefs she got from screaming delivery scenes in sitcoms and movies, I also showed her how animals such as elephants, giraffes, and tigers delivered their babies, without any trace of great difficulty. On the actual day of delivery what worked for her was a combination of all three. Most important thing that worked was the videos she watched. She kept affirming that she is like a tigress and will have a smooth delivery and so on.
Work with whatever triggers the desired change.
What worked in these cases? (the solution)
- How over how much – The confidence, the conviction, the genuine concern is what matters, the time spent doing the script does matter but not as much.
- Quick over the slow – our brains are lazy and too easily bored. They prefer learning faster and moving on to learning slow and doubting. Do you remember something your parents, spouse, children, friend or teacher said that stayed with you for the longest time? It was possibly said in 10 seconds, but the conviction, confidence, and trust are what made it everlasting.
- Trust – how much do you trust that the therapist has your best interest in her mind? What your teacher and your mother said worked because you believed that they have your best interest in mind.
- Law of one-upmanship – the therapist /facilitator should be seen as superior or more knowledgeable or expert or knowing his stuff by the receiver. In both the above cases, that was true.
- The right choice of medium, language, and words – in my wife’s example what worked was the audiovisual proof of what I said in form of Animal videos. For the Hypnotherapist, the cardiologists said the sentence in the form of Marathi that the Hypnotherapist speaks to himself in.
- Keep at it – while one should try to know which method works for the other person. It is not always easy to know. Besides what works can vary for different issues, time, receptivity. So keep at it and use everything you think can help. Something is sure to work. Even if it doesn’t you will know you have done your best.