I should have know the moment I got too uppity and "Yay I'm healing!" that I was gonna get shit kicked by reality.
Today we did the fleshing out of Suggestion Therapy. It was very interesting when we discussed it and did an example where the entire class was the patient.
The way it works is first the client gives a list of physical symptoms of a problem (say common allergies symptoms). Then the hypnotherapist, through the use of stem sentence completion, uncovers the emotions behind said symptoms (like anger, sadness, guilt or fear). The Hypnotherapist then uses more stem sentence completion to dig down deep to the core beliefs in the subconscious that cause the emotions, that cause the symptoms (like weak, unworthy, unlovable, out of control). You then use more stem sentence completion to uncover the clients opposites to these words (the beliefs, emotions and symptoms) and then use these words to create meaningful suggestions to help them to nullify the erroneous beliefs.
It was all very interesting and effective.
Until you have to actually go through it.
And let me tell you, it's like poking a bear with a stick.
I used the system on my partner Eden with some success, no intense emotional outbursts but he said he enjoyed the programming so that was good.
Then we got to me.
At first it was okay, I decided to go with my chronic post nasal drip which has been bothering me for about a month and a half. I figured that would be a safe topic, that wouldn't have me walking through too many minefields. Right?
Matthew happened to come upon my session early on and quickly noticed that as we progressed into emotions, I was beginning to strain at the seems of my tenuous self control. Matthew quickly intervened and pressed hard at the dam and pretty soon all the emotions and negative opinions I've held at bay for the last 6 months or better came rushing back, and pretty soon I was just shy of sobbing. But he didn't stop at the basic techniques we were working with, he used more advanced ones, along with 12 years of experience to really try and get at the root of my emotions and I was crippled. The reality that I had discovered hints of over the past couple of weeks was painfully obvious, I had dammed up my emotions many months ago and learned to live fairly happily. I was walking around for months, thinking I was recovering from years of negative self belief and really making headway, when all I'd done was distance myself from my emotions enough that I almost forgot that I had them.
I was devastated.
Matthew quickly finished after we had extracted enough belief words (the most painful part of the process) and left to check on the other groups, though not before a quiet and implied offer of one on one treatment if I was interested.
Eden and I trudged through the creation of the Key words, a process which was on some levels as traumatizing as the original extraction of the beliefs. You try answering the Question, "Instead of feeling worthless, how would you like feel? Instead of feeling unloved, how would you like to feel?" about 5 times each, It's like getting beaten with a sledge hammer over and over again. And while a lot of my initial emotions were sadness, through the key word creation they quickly turned into red hot anger and I had to stop myself on several occasions from lashing out at Eden. It just would have been so easy to tell him to shut the fuck up about the 5th time he asked me what I'd rather feel than worthlessness. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking much during the suggestion creation, other than absorbing myself in the chance to retreat and pull back in my analytical mind, so my suggestions, while pretty, weren't very believable, and thus didn't stick when he finally put me into hypnosis.
I spent the rest of class and most of dinner afterward catatonic as I used every available energy source in an attempt to patch up my dam.
I think that what hurt more than the emotions themselves, was the fact that I'd fooled myself into thinking I was cured, that I'd outgrown those childhood beliefs. I can't believe how foolish I was.
Right after Matthew offered to help, I was overwhelmed with the idea of his helping me. However as the evening drew on I began to second guess this idea, mostly because I realized:
This was gonna hurt.
It was gonna hurt A LOT.
I was perfectly fine and not hurting when I had this all wrapped up, and while it was still there, it didn't hurt.
I feel like such a hypocrite for crowing from the rooftops about my apparent 'success' when I was just as, if not more so, fucked up as I ever was.
On a positive note though, I suppose, I talked to Margaret (one of my classmate's who's also staying at NurAllah's) and we discussed our sessions and after I talked with her and let off some emotional steam I didn't find it so hard to patch myself up and regain my composure. I also think I've decided to ask Matthew if I could take sessions with him. It'll cost a bit more, but I'm committed to becoming a Hypnotherapist, and I need to come to terms with and solve my own issues before I can hope to help others with theirs.
Damn... when I said it was gonna hurt... I didn't really mean it!