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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clinical Hypnosis: Learning to Nurture Your Inner Child

Many clients come to therapy because they feel unloved or unworthy of love in their adult lives.  Most of the time, these feelings stem from feeling unloved, neglected or abused as a child.  Clinical hypnosis offers an opportunity to work through this trauma and to also learn to nurture your inner child.  


What is clinical hypnosis?
See my article: What Is Clinical Hypnosis?

We know we can't undo the past
You might wish you had a childhood that was more loving and nurturing, but we know that wishing won't make it so.  But clinical hypnosis (also known as hypnotherapy) offers an opportunity to access that younger part of yourself, as well as your adult self, so that you can nurture yourself now.

Even though we're adults, we still have access to the younger aspects of ourselves
We're aware of this, at times, in our daily lives when we become triggered, as adults, by hurtful situations that we experience now.

For instance, if someone hurts your feelings by saying something unkind to you, it can trigger old, unresolved emotional wounds from when you were a child.  Often, in these situations, you realize that your reaction to these unkind words seems out of proportion to what's been said.  You might even feel overwhelmed by your emotional reaction and wonder, "What's going on?  Why am I having such a strong reaction?"  Often (although not always), this is an indicator that there might be old, unresolved issues that are getting triggered in you.

We can shift our emotional states
We don't always realize it, but we shift our emotional states many times during the course of a normal day.  During the course of any given day, we might shift between feeling like confident adults to rebellious teenagers to vulnerable children.  Now, I'm not talking about multiple personalities.  What I'm referring to is often much more subtle.  It's more than just a shifting mood.  It's an actual shift in our self state.  It's not something we do intentionally most of the time.  We often experience it as "it just happened."

How a skilled hypnotherapist can help
To work through these old, unresolved emotional wounds, a skilled hypnotherapist can help you to access the various self states that are already a part of who you are---including your current "adult self" and your "younger self" in a clinical hypnosis session.  By shifting between these different states, you can experience yourself as an adult nurturing the child part of yourself.  This can be a very healing experience that, with practice, can have long lasting effects.

The child aspect of yourself can still be very much alive and active.  This is true even if you had the best childhood.  The child aspect doesn't only surface because of neglect and abuse.  It also surfaces as the playful and creative part of you.  In fact, I often help people who are stuck creatively to access that part of themselves in hypnotherapy so they can get unstuck.

There's a big difference between hypnotherapists and hypnotists
As I've mentioned many times before, there's a big difference between people who call themselves hypnotists and people who are hypnotherapists.  The hypnotist often learns various hypnotic techniques, but s/he is not a skilled clinician.

If you're considering hypnosis, make sure you see a licensed mental health professional who is a therapist trained in hypnotherapy.

To find out more about clinical hypnosis, visit the ASCH professional clinical hypnosis website:  ASCH - American Society for Clinical Hypnosis

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples, and I have helped many clients to learn to nurturing themselves so they can heal and lead more fulfilling lives.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  
Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

Photo Credit: Photo Pin