Hypnosis for Trauma
Learn more about trauma and Trauma Hypnosis to better understand where it comes from, how it can affect your life, and how it can be healed with the help of hypnotherapy.
Trauma is a huge subject one that is getting more and more recognition in both psychology and the general public as an important issue to keep in mind. The field of “trauma informed therapy” is rapidly growing, where therapists recognize that it’s important to understand the influence of trauma on a client’s current life.
At its root, trauma is simply a negative experience that we have that leaves a residual impact on our life and how we go through the world. Your body takes a lesson from the experience and attempts to adapt to prevent that experience from happening again. For example, if you had an embarrassing experience in class, you might be inclined to not speak up again in public in the future, a pattern that might continue to accompany you all the way into adulthood.
The Origins of Trauma
What makes something traumatic? The fascinating thing is this is ultimately completely subjective. Depending on your temperament, your upbringing, your culture, and many additional factors, you might experience one thing is very traumatic, and brush another off completely. Imagine two women in a support group – one is crying about her father not giving her a pony, and another about the fact that her father was a drug addict. We cannot declare that one was more traumatized than the other, since the experience is so subjective.
Some people have a more sensitive temperament, HSP or Highly Sensitive Person is a term often used to describe this. These people experience everything more deeply, as though they are walking through the world like a raw nerve. For a highly sensitive person, something that another person find trivial, they might find deeply traumatic.
Culture plays a factor too. I grew up in Israel, where people are rough and tumble and loud and there is little personal space. As a (highly sensitive) introvert who was raised with Western sensibilities around manners, I found growing up in Israel to be very traumatizing.
Almost everyone experiences some form of trauma throughout their life. It is basically inevitable. Life is full of negative experiences, whether that’s death, suffering, loneliness, or meaninglessness, and your parents can never possibly fulfill all your needs or fully protect you from the world.
How trauma gets processed though, can have a huge impact on whether you move past a negative experience, or get stuck in it.
Did you have an environment and setting where you can share what you went through? Where you can fully express the fear, sadness, anger, or other emotions that are naturally outcomes of that experience? Or were you forced to bottle it up, “suck it up” and keep things to yourself? Different environments lend themselves to a better or worse processing of a traumatic experience.
Trauma Leading to Psychological Disorders and PTSD
It is currently theorized that trauma often underlies many other psychological disorders, ranging from ADHD and Anxiety to even narcissism and borderline personality disorders.
When a traumatic experience does not get processed properly, people can develop PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. This a diagnosable psychological disorder where past trauma has an acute effect on your day-to-day life, leading to high levels of anxiety, irritability and anger, depression, and other negative experiences.
People are particularly likely to develop PTSD when they have prolonged exposure to a traumatic event and have a sense that there is nothing they can do to escape it – a sense of helplessness is a key factor in the level of negative impact the trauma has. This may be why it’s so much easier for children to get traumatized – they have less physical and emotional resources to help them address traumatic experiences.
When multiple PTSD-inducing experiences are combined, people can even develop CPTSD, or Complex PTSD, which can be thought of as a stack of multiple traumatic experiences that all influence and compound on each other, making healing an even more complex journey.
Hypnosis Trauma Release
We now have a better understanding that traumatic experiences actually get stored in the body. There is a seminal book on the subject called “ the body keeps the score”, where Bessel van der Kolk talks about the extent to which traumatic experiences can shape our body.
Your body adapts to traumatic experiences by preparing “for flight or fight”, to either run away or engage with the perceived source of danger. This is a momentary helpful biological response, which would have helped you in the jungle to run away from a snake or fight a tiger. But when you find yourself “stuck” in these patterns for years, it can have negative effects on your health and wellbeing.
Permanently elevated stress hormones like cortisol or adrenaline can prevent you from being able to relax. You might walk around with permanently clenched stomach or hunched shoulders, prepared for the next “blow” that you feel life is about to hit you with. It can affect your ability to fall asleep, or your ability to concentrate, as your mind is always “on” to protect you from danger.
When people are in the process of healing from trauma, it is fascinating to note just how physical the experience is. I often compare to an exorcism. It feels like there is pain physically being stored in the body that is being released.
Often this can actually be quite unpleasant or painful, an unfortunate realty of trauma healing is that it often involves feeling more pain on the way to healing. There is often a physical sense of “release” from trauma, often accompanied by crying or yawning, where you feel like you have more space in your body, or you can move more freely.
If you’re interested in benefiting from hypnosis for trauma and experience these feelings of hypnosis trauma release firsthand, get in touch with us today!
There are a variety of methods that are being developed to help people heal from trauma. EMDR is an empirically proven technique for healing trauma, involving moving the eyes or tapping rhythmically while recalling the negative experience, leading to a desensitization to the traumatic memory (you still remember it, but it longer carries the emotional “weight” that it did), and reprocessing of the past even in a way where you make sense of it in a better and more healthy way.
Psychedelics for trauma is a growing field of study that is showing incredible results. MDMA, Psylocibin (Magic mushrooms), LSD, and even Ketamine are being shown as helpful for people to re-experience their past traumatic memories from a healthier way, releasing the energy they have stored in their body around the experience, and making sense of it in new ways (read more about my personal experiences with healing through psychedelics here).
Hypnotherapy for trauma can also be a powerful tool in helping you healing, with the help of several techniques:
- Learning to relax – you body can get caught into permanent loops of stress after a traumatic experience. Throughout your hypnosis sessions, you’ll experience deep relaxation firsthand and practice relaxing your body in ways that might feel very new, but can be very healing.
- Strengthening your sense of self – one of the impacts of trauma, especially childhood trauma, is it can eat away at your self-esteem. It can affect your confidence, ability to trust yourself and your intuition, and make you’re alone or inferior to everyone around you. Navya’s hypnosis techniques help you reconnect to your body and your intuition, trusting your inner wisdom that you had all along but lost contact with. You can emerge stronger and more confident in your own knowledge and abilities.
- Reimagining past trauma – at times, we can incorporate regression techniques into your hypnosis experience, traveling back in time to the traumatic experience in a safe way that helps you make better sense of it and give yourself the support you needed then that you didn’t receive at the time. This can be a powerfully healing experience, which almost creates a new timeline for your past, one where the same experience happened to you but you feel as though it impacted you completely differently.
(Note that regression requires expertise to be done properly in a way that you feel safe and supported and wont’ be further traumatized by the experience. Each session is completely customized to you, and your feedback and experience is taken into account on a moment-by-moment basis)
Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for healing and change, as it taps into parts of you that you might not be utilizing when you navigate day to day life. Imagination, intuition, and connecting to your body are your best friends when it comes to healing, and when you learn to tap into these resource that you already have at your disposal, you might be surprised at just how quickly you start to feel better and see significant change in your life. Experience it for yourself today!
Cross Generational Trauma
There is a pattern, often observed in family therapy, where people pass on their own pain and traumatic coping mechanisms on to the next generation. This can be an individualized experience, like the phenomenon of children of addicts being more inclined to be addicted, or daughters of borderline mothers have a higher tendency to become borderline themselves. This makes sense – the area where your parents were most hurt is the thing they can least provide to you, result in you having the same hurt all over again.
Generational trauma can also be communal. Sometimes an entire group of people goes through a negative experience together. This is particularly true for minorities – Jews, Indigenous people, African Americans, or any other group that has been oppressed at the hands of others. It’s similarly true for groups of people that have encountered conflict together, such as Ukrainian or Serian people.
Generational trauma can be pervasive, and also hard to spot, because you’re often born into it and don’t realize there is another way. You just assume that everyone has the same anxieties around food scarcity, for example, and it can be a long process to even realize that this is not a healthy way to live.
Healing generational trauma takes great effort, but when you do it, you are effectively “breaking the cycle”, helping ensure that the people around you, especially your children, if you choose to have them, experience a more emotionally healthy environment than you or the people who came before you did.
Past-life regression for trauma can be a fascinating tool to help with healing trauma – regardless of whether you feel like you actually have a soul that can recall other lifetimes, you can think of the past-life experience as an abstraction of the pain you carry around inside you that was taught to you by those who came before you. (At Navya, we don’t typically deliberately aim for past life regressions, but welcome them as part of your subjective experience of healing when they do emerge)
Healing from trauma can be a long, multi-faceted journey, with many ups and downs and a lot of discomfort along the way. We personally believe it is worth the journey, both for your personal relief and happiness, as well as the people around you who will vicariously benefit from your healing. Get in touch today to tap into the power that trauma hypnosis can have on your own healing and growth.
Case Study: Hypnosis for Trauma
Elizabeth was a vivacious and happy young woman with a dark past. Her father had verbally abused her for years, culminating in her running away from home during her teens. Behind her cheerful personality lay a lot of mistrust, fear, and a deep need for affirmation from other people which inhibited her own independence.
During her sessions, Elizabeth created her own inner “safe places”; mindsets where she was able to reconnect to positive emotions and feelings of safety. From there, she practiced experiencing increasingly challenging situations while still maintaining inner calm.
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