Research has shown that 95% of most adult problems i.e. socially and/or legally negative behaviours, physical and emotional issues, began in early childhood. Early childhood for our purpose is defined as between birth and seven years of age. During that time, a child’s subconscious mind (SCM) is in ‘Super Learning’ mode and is also free of any critical judgement. A child’s SCM is a learning sponge and will accept anything it is told whether good or bad, as true. The SCM is also the protective or survival mind. Whenever a person’s SCM feels threatened, its job is to switch on whatever coping (survival) mechanism it deems necessary for survival. That could be physical violence, substance abuse, spontaneous illness, emotional submission etc. A child of three has a tantrum and it’s mother, already dealing with her own issues tells the child; “I don’t love you when you’re angry. If you don’t stop I’ll take you to the home for bad children and leave you there.” The threat of abandonment for a child is terrifying. The child gets the message – “Anger is bad, bad children aren’t loved, unloved children are abandoned, abandoned children don’t survive.”
The terrified three year old SCM decides on a coping mechanism that will ensure survival (mother’s love) which in the example case could mean suppression of anger. Imagine the problem when an adult in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and so on continues to suppress their anger; when expressing acceptable anger would be more appropriate. Where does that anger go? Suppressed anger is the cause of many physical and emotional issues in adulthood. The question arises; how does an adult update or remove a negative coping mechanism? Therapeutic hypnosis is a method of communicating with the SCM for the purpose of updating a troublesome coping mechanism.
One technique is called “The Informed Child” technique. If you have ever said or thought; “Boy, if only I’d know then what I know now, things would be different.”; then you already know the foundation of this technique. The idea is that whilst in a hypnotic state a person can mentally travel back in time (regress) to the first experience that prompted their SCM to install the problem coping mechanism. In that hypnotic state, the adult or grown up client; prompted by the hypnotist regresses to meet her younger child-self and give her the information that would have made a positive difference during the initial experience. Specifically; that her child-self survives the experience and gets to grow up to be her adult-self. The key to success is that the child-self (the client’s SCM) accepts the fact that she is safe; and, because she is safe there is no longer a need for the negative coping mechanism. The child-self accepts this truth because she and her adult-self are two parts of the same whole-self – you cannot lie to yourself without knowing it. Once the SCM agrees that a coping mechanism is no longer needed and is willing to remove it, the negative behaviour can be removed permanently OR changed to a positive behaviour. There is a lot of creative imagery and dialogue happening during this technique.