I often have past students call me to ask for tips when they find it tough going with a particular client. One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how to shift a client’s entrenched perspective of themselves or a situation? We have all been there! No matter how artfully you reframe, no matter what stunning metaphors you use they all bounce off like rain drops on an oily surface.
Somehow your words don’t quite have the power to penetrate the rigid walls of belief that imprison the client’s mind. So you keep trying with all you know and they still don’t budge. They stick to their views that what they did was unforgivable, that they are not worthy of deep happiness, that they deserve the bullying and so on – and oh boy that can be a heart sinker for any therapist.
What I have learnt is that in order to change the mind of someone in this fixed place you have to get them out of their mind. Now, I don’t mean bring in the gin and tonic but simply help shift their focus away from where they are right now.
Because a negative trance state is centred in the now, it’s a series of thoughts that prevents access to better feelings that are away from the feelings right there and then.
When you want to change any thought you have to change the hardwiring that causes the familiar, unwanted pattern matches. The existing neural circuits have to be disconnected to reform new nerve cell connections. And
one of the ways to shift your client’s negative beliefs is to access different times when they can associate with a beneficial resource or perspective. So I use the idea of accessing different points of a persons life to do this.Over the coming 2 week I am going to share with you a couple techniques I use to do this.
Tip 1 – ask questions to help them TRAVEL A TIME LINE so they associate themselves in another time frame and dissociate with the present viewpoint.
Here are 3 questions I use.
You can ask them during a conversation or in hypnosis, either way remember to leave time for the person to reconnect with a different version of themselves:-
1. ‘Just imagine jumping to a you in 3 years time when this problem/belief/pattern that exists today has gone/changed for the better and feels hard to recall – feel what that you feels like inside, what does she look like – how is life without that old problem? What advice would that you give you now? Take some time now…
2. I sometimes use a greater degree of time, maybe decades and talk hypnotically about the ‘sands of time flowing past………taking you to a time many, many years from now……………….looking back on that younger you and sharing the wisdom of those years. How would she view the ……situation……..problem…………how does the wisdom of those years change what patterns in the mind now?’
3. In hypnosis I talk about ‘nothing lasting forever and there is a time somewhere……………even if it is when you are sleeping, where there is a forgetting to think the same thoughts as you travel in dream. A gap between thoughts that sheds diamond reflections on other possibilities…………melting those old beliefs………………..’
Next week we will look at using what is frequently referred to as The Matrix as a great reframing tool.
I hope that this will serve you well.