(This blog was originally posted on January 19, 2015)
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
If something causes you to lose your self-confidence, isn’t it great to have someone around to remind and reassure you of all the talents and abilities you possess, encouraging every positive step you take to rebuild that confidence? Similarly, when you lose your keys or your wallet it is wonderful to have support as you look for and set about retrieving that object.
However, it is not always or necessarily a good idea to “find” what we have lost when it comes to a relationship that has ended.
Often, at the end of a romantic relationship one partner feels like he or she has “lost” the other person either to a romantic rival or various life circumstances. Of course the emotional distress we experience at this time can be incredibly painful and is sometimes traumatic. Even amicable separations often induce some soul-searching and melancholy: What went wrong? What will happen to me now? Where will I go? What will I do without ____ in my life? And so on.
Sometimes during a relationship people ignore or even devalue our hobbies or goals in deference to their partner’s expectations and interests. Perhaps they naturally lost interest in or even outgrew (over-rode) their previous interests or beliefs (subconscious life script) during the course of the previous relationship. Alternatively, they may have subconsciously deferred their interests and career goals to benefit those of their partner. Now that the relationship is over, they may want to take this opportunity to reintegrate that behavior in his or her life. On the other hand, they may decide it is time to start completely fresh and create new behaviors and beliefs (subconscious mental script) that are more consistent with their current life situation with no ties to the past relationship.
Therefore, it is important to reframe this client’s goal from “I want to get over so-and-so/the relationship I lost” into a more positive-action goal. I want the person to override the subconscious message that the “lost” relationship must be found. To accomplish this, I will help the person rephrase the goal to one of creating a new life that is full of exciting possibilities for personal and professional growth based on the client’s own terms. For example: “I am working through the issues/feelings I am carrying from this relationship and continue leading a productive and fulfilling life whether I am on my own or in another, mutually nurturing relationship in the future.”
When I work with clients in this situation one of the first things I work on is to help increase their self-confidence and self-esteem so they can enjoy their own interests and pursue personal goals. While the person is in hypnosis I use therapeutic guided imagery to enable him or her explore these different options and possible strategies the individual can use to realize these new goals. Guided imagery and visualization techniques let the person metaphorically see and even experience, in their imagination, how these new behaviors can positively impact and improve his or her new life. Since the subconscious mind does not know the difference between fantasy and reality, the client can draw on those positive messages and images to enact change and individual self-growth in the real world. If appropriate or necessary, I may also take the person through the five stages of loss so the individual can experience and ultimately resolve the grief and sadness that he or she feels about the end of the relationship.
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/.