I am often asked to define what I do as a change worker. I generally answer something like ¨I help people make positive and lasting changes in their behaviour using advanced hypnotherapy¨.
Even though it is becoming much more mainstream these days with so many more people working wih hypnotherapists, NLP practitioners and coaches of various sorts to help them change unwanted behaviour patterns, to some people the concept of rapid and instant change in their behaviour is extremely alien (especially if they have been in traditional talk therapy). The idea that someone can guide them through processes that can rapidly change even longstanding habit patterns is sometimes met with credulity.
How does this work? Well I generally get two types of clients:
- People with ¨acute¨ problems: that is problems that are taking up the majority of their mental and physical resources at the moment. These are commonly things like getting over a relationship breakup, non-chronic physical pain issues, exam stress or being able to focus on tasks at work. Pretty straightforward stuff actually.
- The other type of client is one with certain patterns of behaviour that stem from, what I call ¨blueprint¨ issues. These are negative ways of acting in the world have been learned and programmed at the deepest level of their minds. Non-conscious strategies for dealing with life that are hurting them and those around them, but they are not actively aware of except when they surface.
For example people that are afraid of commitment in relationships often have problems committing to other things in their life. They enthusiastically start new projects or goals and soon ¨lose steam¨, opting instead to move on to the next new thing. They have big highs in life and search for new experiences, but then find it difficult to stay rooted in any situation for long enough to have a significant positive effect on their lives. Long-term job opportunities become annoyances and these people often self-sabotage with passive aggressive type behaviour, destroying professional relationships, but seemingly creating an opportunity to start the whole process again.
Some have deeply ingrained beliefs about money and wealth that stop them from being able to hold on to and grow their personal finances. Ideas such as ¨money is the root of evil¨ or perhaps that ¨money is dirty¨ form the basis of their unconscious beliefs systems and identity around wealth. A lack of genuine self-esteem (a blueprint issue around self value) might lead to believe that to feel wealthy, they have to spend money.
This is an unconscious ¨projection¨ that they have of wealthy people coming from their inner blueprint of what a wealthy person looks like. Their ego desires to appear as the happy, successful person because it gets a little boost, which feels good in the moment, but even though they might be making good money in their careers, these people find themselves spending even more than they earn on frivolous items at expense of their long-term security. This is certainly not the kind of behaviour that truly wealthy people have, by the way. Negative emotional states created by a lack of true self-esteem result in a closet full of clothes that they never wear and credit card bills that they cannot begin to pay.
Many of the deepest blueprints (such as for relationships and survival) are learned in the formative years of our lives and it’s safe to say that we all have them. We learn patterns unconsciously from our parents, peers and society in general and you can be sure that on some level it’s a good thing that we pick up on how certain things work. The unconscious mind wants to generalise experiences so we can enjoy our lives consciously and we go on ¨autopilot¨ so we don’t have to think about every single thing.
How do you identify if you have a ¨blueprint¨ issue?
Do you find yourself acting in ways that you might describe as ¨out of character¨? When you find yourself in stressful situations, do you behave in ways the others might describe as very inappropriate? Do you distract or numb yourself with alcohol, food, work or social media? Do you exhibit passive aggressive behavior in work or relationships’?
There are many ways these can show up and the problem is that they are not conscious. We do them totally unconsciously! Also when the problem behavior seems to go away and we go on autopilot again, it´s highly likely that the behaviour pattern will show up again in a new (and sometimes more destructive) way. When these come back, they often come back with force because you are not meeting these needs at the level at which they are created.
These are very difficult to change without going deep into the structures that hold them up. This is why traditional talk therapies take so long; it’s like trying to work on the engine of your car without even opening the hood!
Fortunately with hypnosis one can work directly with the level of mind that these patterns are created. The part of the mind that is beyond the conscious sense of ¨me ¨ that is experiencing your life and even beyond the cognitions just below the surface of your awareness (the many thoughts that create your experience of life). Working with a skilled hypnotherapist, you can get to those structures that come before everything else, and change your deeply held beliefs and identity around specific issues. The positive changes in behaviour naturally occur when you change your inner blueprint and these ¨feed forward¨ into your life, generalizing and becoming your new normal way of being in the world.
When you realise that you can affect profound change at this level, achieving long lasting change becomes not only an inevitable reality but also an enjoyable journey of discovery and growth.