by Elronn Ferguson
From time to time I run across different materials that suggest delving into the repressed negative emotions held in a person's history, is not as fast or effective as "nicer" hypnotic techniques,including many NLP processes.
There seems to be a common thread of popular self help that advocates the avoidance of talking about one’s "story," harboring the view point that doing so is just focusing on the problem, rather than the solution. Multiple schools of thought that support this premise share the same foundation- that "results don't lie," so who cares?
What if there was a way to help someone learn from their past, thus deepening their character, and providing the tools for them to transform self defeating patterns to life affirming ones, from a place of self understanding? Hasn't it been said, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it?"How many times has a person had to tell themselves that "the past over",or "I'm over that" or, "I won't go there"? A feeling of empowerment may arise in these statements, but as a means for long term functionality, these phrases will leave one with diminished energy to keep an empowered, integrated state alive. This way of thinking reveals a weakness within a person's psyche to sit with negative feelings.
Specializing in Age Regression and Forgiveness Works has made me biased toward the position that the most reliable way to free someone from the chains of their past, is to roll up your sleeves and deal withit. I question the long term success of anything that is not insight oriented. It's the ability to see things from a different perspective at the subconscious level that allows permanent change in the way a person authentically feels. One could say that it's possible to see things from a different perspective at anytime, but that's only conscious level self talk. It's the emotional resonance cascading into the moment that needs to be eliminated, because logic won't calm you down in the middle of a panic attack.
The place where clients are trying to feel good is the place where the negative emotion "lives." Making them feel good is fantastic, but without the use of uncovering techniques, the causal relationship will remain in place, and the symptom will persist, usually manifesting in a different domain. For example, people who have quit smoking often gain weight.
Over the past few months I have had some clients who were given what could be called a "band-aid" approach, from other practitioners. They had a few sessions, experienced some relief, and were able to be functional for a little while. Few of them had been exposed to techniques that dealt directly with the emotional content associated with the issue. Often, people don't want to feel uncomfortable emotions, or be exposed to them, if they have the choice. I think it's this preference that makes some practitioners focus on selective research and avoid processes like Age Regression and other insight based works.
While clients have a preference for an experience that is "positive" or "fun," it's important to keep in mind that positive saturation theory can only go so far. There is a reason that a person has a difficult time feeling joy, a reason it might be hard to remember ones past, a reason it might take too long to let someone go, or a reason one can't stop doing something that is maladaptive or harmful to oneself. If all feelings are really initiated at the subconscious level, and the subconscious mind is the storehouse of everything that has ever happened to you, why do so many practitioners hesitate to go directly to the source of infection and neutralize it? What if you could take someone to a place that gives them a sense of having nothing to be afraid of when even thinking about things that have bothered them for years?
It's not the experience in the office that the client isafter, it is how they are going to feel, afterthey leave that makes the difference.
So what is the best approach? Do we want to dig into the client's emotional past or not? Do we just use an array of pattern interrupts, post-hypnotic suggestions and guided imagery to get the same result as insight oriented techniques?I will argue that there is a difference between having resolution, via Forgiveness Work as in 5-PATH®, versus the kind of resolution derived from having the client hallucinate circus music to the event that caused the anger, or having them blow it all into a red balloon and watch it float away. Pattern interrupts treat the symptom, but don't remove the cause of the problem. If entrenched cognition's are not removed, the problem will often return with a vengeance, when enough stressors coalesce upon the person. I fully advocate the use of any and all tools to move your client toward healing, but some techniques need to take the role of adjunct instead of primary approach. Guided visualization, or reading a script correctly, are amateur techniques that most people can learn in a weekend.
Wisdom gained is never lost. It's the shift in mindset from the inside out that develops the client's maturity. Insight oriented techniques teach the subconscious mind a model of intra-communication, thus giving the client literacy with their own evolution.
People come to us to become more functional, but there is so much more available within that package, if we know how to offer it. Helping someone to look their issues in the face and emerge stronger as a result, is an experience that can't be duplicated by using techniques that manipulate the structure until they just "feel good". There is a reservoir of character development that takes place in coming full circle and alleviating misperceptions from the inside out. Within sight oriented techniques the client can experience organic healing that happens from the bottom up, so they don't have to manipulate their "state", but can be free to experience the true strength of their being.
It takes courage to walk the trenches with your client's deepest vulnerabilities and wounds. If you have the focus and discipline to act as the guide, even the most difficult issues can be released, forgiven and transmuted.