Hypnosis for Family Tensions

Wow – now there’s a biggie. Hypnosis for family tensions. Can you really improve the relationships within a family, just through hypnosis? I’d love to say yes, but that wouldn’t be realistic, would it? 

Hypnosis on its own can’t turn a war zone into a peace camp. But when one or more members of a family want to improve their relationships, then we, as clinical hypnotists, can certainly help them and give them a fighting chance of seeing some improvements.

Family Issues Can Keep Clients From Moving Forward

Let’s be clear. If a family has already reached the point of complete breakdown, they need expert, specialized help (and there’s not enough of it around, but that’s another story!) But I often find that clients will come to me about one issue, often a fairly simple, straightforward one, maybe they want to manage their weight better, or stop smoking, or just generally de-stress… but before we know it, we’re discussing tensions at home that are making it difficult for the client to move forward in other areas. And often those tensions involve their relationships with their children.

Can we get involved? Offer advice or judgment on how they’re bringing up their kids? Of course not! Especially if, like me, you don’t have any kids yet. I can only imagine how any well meaning suggestions I might make would go down with the despairing mother of a difficult 15 year old, or a wild toddler!

Besides, in the therapeutic relationship between hypnotist and client, there’s no room for judgment, or telling clients what they ought to be doing with their lives.

But there is room for educating them about how their mind works, and how their child’s (or partner’s) mind works, and how with the help of hypnosis they can learn to respond rather than to react to the stressors within the family dynamics.

A Chain Reaction Happens..

So when one family member (especially a key one like Mom or Dad) starts learning how to stay calm, to express themselves clearly and firmly without losing the plot, to show that they care, even when they’re angry or disappointed, it can automatically help others in the family to feel less stressed, to feel heard, to hear and understand the parent more clearly, and to react more calmly to problems themselves.

While general calmness, relaxation and confidence hypnosis sessions can be very beneficial in themselves, in my opinion they can be profoundly enhanced when we partner them with information about how the amygdala, hypothalamus, cortisol and oxytocin all combine to work in our favor or against us, causing either a vicious or virtuous circle.

A lot of the scientific understanding about how these aspects of our brains work has only been really understood in a practical sense in the last 10 to 15 years and that understanding hasn’t spilled out into the general public yet.

Hypnotists or Scientists?

Maybe, as conscientious professionals who genuinely want to help our clients, we should be making sure we’re knowledgeable about these recent developments in neuroscience, and able to incorporate them, when appropriate, into our hypnosis sessions.

Or maybe you think I’m being over the top here. Are you thinking, “Josh, we’re hypnotists, not psychiatrists, psychologists or neuroscientists… people don’t come to us for that stuff”? You might be right.

Let me know what you think. But in case you’re unsure, or don’t know about the neuroscience I’m talking about, you might want to check back for my next post, where I’ll explain in simple terms the whole Oxytocin/ Cortisol cycle, and you can make up your own mind about whether it’s our place to educate our clients about it, or not. Hope to see you back here then!