Tuesday, October 3, 2017

When Denial Causes Sleep Problems

(This blog was originally posted on September 13, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

Have you ever had problems sleeping after ending a romantic relationship? If so, you are not alone. According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., continuing to hold onto the former partner and unresolved grief about the ended relationship is often the cause of this problem. 

Sleeping problems can take the form of interrupted sleep or insomnia. The hypnotherapist deduced that denial of the emotional and even physical pain an individual can experience at the end of a relationship produces this sleep pattern. Indeed, this behavior may be a subconscious defense mechanism to interrupt a dream that would confirm the relationship is really over. “Denial covers up depression, and you’re really covering up depressive sleep,” Dr. Kappas explained.

Sometimes, it is only until some time has passed after a relationship has ended that a person truly realizes that it is over, the hypnotherapist explained. Continuing to “hang onto” an emotional attachment to the former partner inhibits or even prevents going through the grief and depression stages of loss that would facilitate letting go of the relationship. In this situation, the person is likely to get stuck in the denial stage of this process.

“As long as you’re in the denial stage, it’s next to impossible to replace [the lost relationship]. You have to go through the stages of loss in order to go forward and start developing another relationship,” Dr. Kappas said. To facilitate this process, he advised giving a client specific suggestions to have a venting dream that will allow the person to release, or “vent out,” unresolved feelings and work through the end of the former relationship: “You’re going to sleep soundly and deeply throughout the night, and the reason you’re going to sleep soundly and deeply is that you’re going to prepare to let something go. You’ve made a decision that you’re going to relax the denial mechanism on [the specified date].”

Dr. Kappas said it is important to include a specific date by which the client has the venting dream, such as to coincide with the next (follow-up) hypnotherapy session, to start working through the various stages of loss. This process should help reinstate the person’s normal sleeping pattern and come to terms with the end of the previous relationship, he explained.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2017