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Self-Reflection, Hypnosis and Gestalt: Tools for Healing and Releasing the Past
by Cheryl Canfield
The present is the only time we ever really have, and if we don't live in the present, we don't even scratch the surface of our potential. Two common negative feelings that keep us out of the present are guilt and worry. Guilt keeps us stuck in the past losing energy over something that already happened, and worry is a non-productive mulling over of some negative possibility in the future that may never happen. When we're working with a client who tends to get stuck in either of those states we can help that person switch their focus to self-reflection, hypnosis and possibly Gestalt to either heal the past or impact the future in a positive way.Paying attention to how energy is directed can be a major clue in the process of healing. Certain emotions like blame, guilt, anger or fear, for instance, that get played over and over, can literally drain the life force and leave little or nothing left over for the immune system. Unlike the burst of fear or adrenaline that temporarily fires us up to respond quickly in an emergency situation and is easily replenished, the ongoing burdens of guilt and blame over "what was" or fear of "what might be" is draining. Holding onto negative feelings is simply an exhausting expenditure of energy that can lead to emotional and physical bankruptcy.
We can guide our clients toward self-awareness by bringing focus to habit patterns, which begin with thought. Are clients generally positive in their thinking? Do they think of their cup as half full or half empty? If we or our clients view our attitude as being on the positive side, does it hold up under examination? I was having a conversation with a friend once in which I was adamant about the only course of action open to me in a particular situation. "You're pretty rigid in your thinking about this," he said to me. His comment momentarily stunned me, as I prided myself on being flexible and open in my thinking. It gave me pause for thought. Not at that moment, but in reflection later, I realized he was right. I had fallen into black and white thinking in this particular instance. We cannot change our patterns unless and until we come aware of them. Establishing a habit of self reflection - in or out of hypnosis - is an excellent way to expand awareness and work on positive change.
Unconscious or submerged issues can also drain vitality. It takes a lot of psychic energy to keep old traumas from conscious awareness and expenditures of this kind are equally exhausting and depleting. Although they may be difficult to get in touch with, possible clues that a person might be carrying around unconscious issues might be ongoing mild depression or a sense of being blocked or self-sabotage that keeps an individual from meeting certain goals. Hypnosis can help to bring the issues that a person is ready to deal with to the surface.One man who came to see me, Bill, had prostrate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. He had been struggling with this condition for five years, employing both conventional and alternative methods of treatment.
Cheryl Canfield, CCHT is a Life and Wellness Counselor and Clinical Hypnotherapist with a practice in Woodland, CA. She is a hypnotherapy instructor at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute in the San Francisco area, and author of Profound Healing: The Power of Acceptance on the Path to Wellness. www.profoundhealing.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.All materials included herein are copyright ©2011, 2016 Cheryl Canfield.