I saw someone last month who had taken a number of knocks in recent years, faced some real challenges that he had come through but paid something of a price in motivation, enthusiasm and confidence. We did a number of things to detach him from the trauma in the past and focus his mind on the future, but there was still a feeling of not being able to engage in the here and now.
I felt that we had dealt with the cause but that there was still the current pattern that needed changing. We needed to do something to inspire his mind to change that pattern so that he could feel enthused again. My inspiration came from his love of theatre and of performing. I took my inspiration from Shakespeare’s ‘All the world’s a stage’ line because anything is fair game in hypnosis.
I said that as we play our role in life, our costume is very important for us to look the part and feel the part, but it can really take a beating as we face the challenges of our lives and if the costume is not what it should be then it is hard for us to feel the part. I asked him to describe his costume to me after his experiences and it was indeed beaten up and bedraggled, and so I told his mind to repair it so he could feel the part he is supposed to be.
As he made the repairs he found himself changing in his mind, discovered an energy that he had not experienced in a few years and physical dexterity as well. It seemed that the costume became made of light and he felt really good in it. I made some suggestions about this being a new beginning and when he opened his eyes it would be the curtain going up on the new act of his life and it is within his power to make this act what he wants. He opened his eyes feeling really good in his mind.
What this metaphor is doing is taking the perceived damage that traumatic events have made to his spirit and presenting this damage in a way that his imagination can take a hold and fix the damage in a way he could not do before. The best way to do this is to present the problem in the form of something the mind already enjoys and finds familiar. Problem solved in the long term hopefully!
Thanks to http://costumes.uconn.edu/ for the image.