I was in Westerham last week talking to a friend of a friend and when she asked me what I did for a living she told me that she was terrified of being hypnotised as she was scared of what she might find.
It’s not an uncommon reaction and it reminded me of when I was a child and thought that there were monsters living under my bed. My fear was so real and my belief so strong that I started to think that they would follow me where ever I went. They followed me on holiday and I worried that when I was invited for a sleep-over I would bring my monsters to my friends house.
I carried that belief for probably 3 or 4 years until one day I confided in my friend that the reason I didn’t want to stay at her house was because I was worried that my monsters would find out where she lived and hide under her bed too. Instead of accepting my belief as true she challenged me to stay with her so that we could hunt and capture the monsters so that they would not bother me again.
Armed with torches, empty boxes to catch the monsters in and biscuits – well you need biscuits on a monster hunt, we lay in wait for the monsters to appear. We spent several hours hanging over the sides of the beds shining our torches in the spaces beneath. No matter what we did or how long we looked we could not find them. With my courage boosted I went home the next day with my borrowed torch and repeated the hunt. All I found under my own bed was an old jigsaw and a long forgotten teddy bear.
Often our fear is the thing that stops us from discovering that monsters under our bed don’t exist and it’s that same fear that stops us from discovering that monsters inside our head don’t exist either. When we use hypnosis as part of therapy it’s just like using the torch. It shines a light to illuminate the darker spaces that you are scared to look in.
Once you’ve discovered the old jigsaw or the forgotten teddy there’s nothing left to be scared of and you can be free to move on without the monsters following you wherever you go.
‘If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?’ W.Somerset Maugham