by Elronn Ferguson
Welcome back to the second installment of this three part series. In the last section we explored some important tips for instilling confidence, creating anticipation for the first session and of course, getting them to choose you.
The first interview can be a critical time to set the stage for future success with this client. In this article we are going to highlight certain things you can do to help your client have the correct mindset for moving on.
To start things off, we are going to assume that you have already booked the client and are having your first session. The following points are a set of principles to integrate into the first session.
The First Session
Listen and validate their feelings. Many times you may have someone who is feeling bad for feeling bad. It’s this relationship that is causing them often more discomfort than the actual pain of the loss. You may find the client coming to you with feelings of shame about even feeling heart broken in the first place. Simply saying, “Anyone who’s been through what you’ve been through, would be feeling the same way… I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with you.” – can help to drastically lift the burden and make them feel not so alone.
A whole article could be written on how to do active listening, which is something I strongly recommend researching on your own. That said, just listening is a great help, and is especially powerful when you can paraphrase what your client just said back to them. When listening is done correctly, it creates the trust and rapport that will enable you to do better work.
Establish rules for moving on:
Ask if your client is still in contact with their ex. If moving on is important, then going “no contact” and making a clean break is best. Even if there was a friendship present before relationship turned romantic, having ongoing contact will only cause your client to become wounded over and over again. There myriad of excuses to stay in contact, but your client will only truly move one when they separate mentally, physically, and psychologically.
Closure has to come from the inside, and we can help them find that with hypnosis. However, aside from what goes on in the chair, boundaries and willful actions to move forward are just as important as subconscious reprogramming.
I tell my clients flat out that if they want to move on and feel better, they have to stop all contact for a while. No texting, no drunk dialing, and definitely NO social media.
Imagine someone going to the doctor; saying, “My leg hurts”. The doctor says, “Keep off of it”. The patient leaves, only to hop up and down on that one leg all week long. This is what your client does when they stay in contact with their ex.
Give them permission to feel grief:
This can be healing all by itself. Working through grief means letting the feeling in, facing it, and growing stronger from it. Trying to not feel these feelings will result in a festering wound, and can stand as a roadblock to future relationships if left unresolved. The most important thing about working through grief, is that it creates resilience. Once you are not afraid of grief, you make better choices, and have happier relationships with healthier people.
I tell my clients that what is happening to them is normal, and to simply allow themselves to feel these emotions and work through them, while resisting the urge to fill the void with other things, or run away from it.
The next section will help with this process and make all the difference. The feelings of sadness from this loss will motivate them to replace this need with something better and more fulfilling in the future.
Encourage self care:
Your client is probably not taking very good care of themselves at this point. They may be losing sleep, eating poorly and caving into bad habits. Sometimes they may have the perception that “nothing else matters”, and have deleted all the other parts of their life that are working just fine. Setting a few tasks for them to do can be a tremendous signal to the subconscious mind that there is life beyond their lost relationship.
Your client usually knows what they could do to nurture themselves, and you can find something that can be agreed upon as a reasonable action step in this area. Things such as writing out goals, affirmations, taking themselves out to dinner, planning a trip, journaling, and any healthy physical activity are all good ideas. If they have a reliable support group of like minded friends, then being involved will also help them to differentiate and feel whole again.
Set them with the task of monitoring and just observing their own negative self talk. Being an “observer” will create inquiry into their daily emotional state, rather than being overly wrapped up in it. Feelings come and go, and working with this frame will cultivate your clients ability to hold difficult feelings, making them stronger.
In all of this, one of the major goals is to bring the focus back on themselves and not on the other person. Ultimately, your client has been given a fantastic opportunity for personal growth, and everything is going to be fuel for this fire as we move forward.
In the next article, we will discuss recommended hypnotic techniques, exercises to overcome obsession, more action steps and tasks, as well as suggested reading for your clients.