Hypnotherapists are often given a bad reputation because people assume that we are able to make people do things we want, magically. In some cases, people do respond very well to therapy producing rapid results, but the majority of clients need to undergo a series of sessions to work through all of their issues. Weight loss for example is one of those issues that needs more than a few sessions. The belief people hold that their desire for unhealthy foods or their cravings can be hypnotized away isn’t always true. In some cases, where a person doesn’t have underlying issues, this can be done. Most cases however are much more complex.
As a professional, I avoid promising my clients that I will be able to address and cure their issues in one session. In good faith, I can’t offer that kind of hope without understanding the root cause of their problems. Every person is different, every mind is complex, and emotions that affect behavior can be triggered by any number of outside factors that must be explored prior to making a true assessment. When I see my clients initially, I ask them these three simple questions:
- Are you ready to make a change to your negative behaviors?
- What is the state of your personal relationships?
- Do you have the inner wherewithal to make the changes you need to get healthy?
Regardless of the behaviors they want to change, such as smoking, overeating, or drinking, understanding what it is in your life that adds to your stress is the most important part of getting things under control. One of the things I do with my clients is putting their personal relationships under the microscope. In most cases, if there is a problem there, it will have a detrimental effect on the rest of their lives. When one element that takes up a lot of mental space isn’t working, chances are other parts of a persons life will also fall into disarray.
One example we can use is one of my clients “Angel”. She was in a relationship with an emotionally abusive partner. Without knowing it, she was spending a lot of her energy simply maintaining her presence with this person which led to an increase in her weight over time. No matter what she did, the weight just wouldn’t come off. After digging deeper into her issues, we discovered that the bulk of her time was spent on power struggles between her and her husband instead of focusing on her well being.
That affected her ability to lose weight since she felt she didn’t have time or motivation to worry about her weight when she had to spend so much of her mental energy on her toxic relationship. Eating was one of the few things she found solace in since it provided her temporary respite from the problems in her relationship. When analyzing your own life, think about how you interact with the people you spend the most time with. Is that time spent in fear? In conflict? Fighting? If you are surrounded by negativity, losing weight can be highly difficult. Take the time to look inside yourself to find out what needs to be changed and make it happen. For her, she was able to change her life by learning to become assertive during conflicts and identify herself as a person who deserves to be happy. Find out what it is for you.
No matter what your negative habit is, be it overeating, smoking, drinking, or even needless shopping, the underlying factor typically isn’t lack of desire to change. Make the effort to mend your relationships and remove the things in your life that are bringing you down. This doesn’t always mean leaving your partner; sometimes it just means changing the way you react to their influence. We are responsible for teaching others how we want to be treated and vice versa.