A year ago I was chatting with a friend who opened up about her experience with a hypnotherapist and how it helped her to overcome years of childhood trauma and got her moving on her path again. I was so intrigued by her story. For a long time I felt stuck in a void and as if I was stuck on my healing journey, and I needed helping hand that would pull me out of that.
My friend passed me the email address of the therapist and I messaged her as soon as I got home. Soon we set up an appointment to discuss further details.
The first thing I had to do was a fill out a little questionnaire before my appointment. It asked some basic questions, some questions about what I most wanted to focus on, some background/childhood questions and what I had been experiencing so far in regards to my areas of concern. I was both excited and a little nervous for my appointment. I had some ideas on what to expect but I still wondered what hypnosis felt like, if it would actually work and what kind of things would come up when I was in this state.
I arrived for my first appointment with an open mind and ready for what was to come. We sat down, chatted a little bit, she explained what is going to happen next. At first we tried a little trick to see how my brain works. I had to close my eyes and hold my arms out in front of me. Then I had to imagine a magnet in my palms that are pulling my hands toward each other, and voilá! My palms suddenly filled with magnetic energy and got strongly pulled towards each other. It was such a weird feeling. Then she started to work to get me into a hypnotic state. I was totally aware of what was going on yet I felt like I was in an extremely deep meditation and also my body was responding on its own to what she was telling me to do without me having to think about it. I allowed myself to be guided through the session as we explored my mind-space, together, as observers.
My goal with hypnotherapy was to gain momentum again on my healing journey. I was recovering from the trauma of a narcissistic partner and I was doing really well with my healing journey until I felt like I was unable to move forward with it. I knew I needed someone’s helping hand to pull me out of the rut. This relationship had left me feel completely drained, like my soul was stolen, or rather, like my ex-partner took the bare essence of me and walked away with it. So on the first session we focused on getting me back to my childhood to see why I keep attracting narcissistic partners into my life. Tons of childhood memories came up to the surface from some deep, dark corner of my mind where they were hidden and covered with dust and cobwebs. I would otherwise never remember them. She took me back to 3 different stages of my life—one before I was born, one when I was about 2–3 years old and another from about age 7. We had a long chat after hypnosis about my memories and how I resonated with them, what my own takeaways were and how I felt about them. Suddenly everything made sense. We agreed to end the session there and the I left with a journaling exercise. I had to write about the new version of me—Imola 2.0.
I procrastinated for a few days but one morning after my meditation session, I sat down at my desk with a pen and paper and wrote down everything I knew about this new version of me, who she is, how she lives, how she feels, thinks, talks and walks and what her dreams are.
Then, based on the hypnosis session and my vision of the new version of me, my hypnotherapist created and recorded the hypnosis portion so that I could have the recording to listen to before bed each day. She wanted me to listen to it at least once a day, preferably every night to start to retrain my subconscious. It talked a lot about realizing how there is nothing wrong with me, my ability to leave the past behind and gain my personal power back and focusing on positive self-talk and affirmations around the new version of me.
To be honest I was super diligent with listening to it. I was desperate to get away from that state where I was and heal. The timing was perfect, divine to be exact. I started the therapy just a few days before I went on a thousand-kilometers-long pilgrimage. I listened to the recording every day while I was walking, then later in bed, before I fell asleep.
I noticed changes right after the first session, before even starting the therapy. I felt like I walked more confidently with a straight posture, my voice got stronger and louder as I talked with others and my overall mood elevated. I noticed people staring at me as I walked down the street, or they got out of my way; whereas before, people used to bump into me if I didn’t move aside on the street. My sister even mentioned that I changed, and she had no idea about my therapy.
I felt transformed within a few days of listening to the recording. I felt empowered, capable of everything, confident, and worthy. But then there was a period when I just didn’t feel any better. It felt like no matter how many times I listen to the recording, nothing changed. In fact, it felt like I went back to 0. But I didn’t give up and kept listening to the recording twice a day. I was supposed to listen to it every day for a month but I extended it to two months, for the entire duration of my pilgrimage. I was far from everything and everyone from my life, so I felt like I had to take advantage of the situation. After a while, I noticed small signs of changes in me and my world again. I found myself in similar situations as before the therapy and I could naturally react in a different, more empowered way that comes from a place of self-love.
I successfully changed my thought patterns and self-talk to positive statements. One of the biggest issues to work on was that I grew up raising my sisters and cousins since I was in kindergarten and taking care of my caregivers’ needs instead of them taking care of mine, so I never learned to put myself first. I learned that I was not important and I couldn’t be loved unless I did things… Healing this was a huge step for me. I actually celebrated myself with a treat when I realized my first decision that came from a place where I put myself first, thinking of my own needs and what’s good for me, instead of what would be good for the other that would make them love me more, while losing myself in the process. It was an amazing feeling. I also got to understand that nobody stole my essence, it was me who locked it away in order to protect my Soul. So slowly I had to break down the walls and explore the safety of the new world I created for myself in which I am able to let this essence free and flow with its natural glow and power.
I was SO happy and also very proud of myself. It showed me that I am in control, that I have the ability to create my own life and helped me to love and accept myself for who I was and who I was becoming. This gave me such a sense of relief and excitement that I can start to have my life back.
I am now a HUGE believer in the power of hypnotherapy and the ability to retrain our thoughts on a subconscious level. If you are constantly telling yourself negative statements or having unsupportive thoughts, then that is what your brain is going to listen to. But if you actively tell yourself you have the power, that you are in control, then your mind will listen to that. I am beyond grateful for my therapist and her work. She has truly changed the quality of my life and is helping me to gain back control.
I am also fully aware that this is not a magic fix, that I no longer have to do any work and I will be all better forever. I am still consistent with listening to hypnosis recordings and I tell myself positive affirmations throughout the day. I still have times where the negative thoughts and emotions pop up but I quickly use my anchor point and guide myself back to a more relaxed state. And yes, sometimes even that doesn’t work and I have an off-day, but that is okay. I actually had a couple of bad days recently when I felt like a loser and a failure, but the difference now is that I didn’t beat myself up about these days. I know healing is not linear and this will pass and I will come out from the storm better as I entered it. I accepted the situation and let myself be okay with it. I am more comfortable with being uncomfortable now.
Also by Imola: How Farming Healed Me More Than Years Of Therapy
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Photo: Wes Hicks via Unsplash