Let’s face it: beyond a point, “talking therapy” – where you spill your guts once a week to a well-meaning, avuncular therapist – simply doesn’t work. Yes, it relieves the immediate pressure, and you do get an understanding of what some of the underlying issues are. But to understand something is not the same thing as to shift it. In fact, the opposite is often the case: the more some people understand what their problems are, the less able they are to shift them. The more analytically astute the chain of cause and effect they come up with, the more “inevitable” their problems seem to be – and the more difficult it is to change patterns of behaviour.
Given that most of the problems that people take to therapists originate in the unconscious, there is little point dispensing therapy through conversation – which of course tends largely to be restricted to the conscious mind. A far more effective way of locating and eliminating the cause of a client's distress is to use regression (going back in time to past events) under light hypnosis. The use of hypnosis enables the client to access the unconscious mind directly. The unconscious mind not only remembers everything that ever took place but is immune to the conscious mind's tendency to push any elephants under the carpet. Once "trigger events" are located, there are subtle but effective ways of processing them so that the complex is released. The mind emerges with a clear sense that the pain belongs to the past, something that, the client acknowledges, is conclusively over and done with.
However, eliminating the cause of a client's distress is only half the story. What one then has to do is to fill the void (that this process sometimes leaves) with a positive sense of purpose, direction and meaning. Far too many regression therapists focus exclusively on shifting the bad stuff. But it is just as vital to give hope as it is to shift despair. In my experience the best source of positive energy is yoga which allows us to access still, calm states of being in which it becomes possible to act effectively and with confidence. Some of the work I have done over the last fifteen years has been to translate the wisdom of the ancient Indian yoga teachers into modern, practical and user-friendly exercises that allow clients to experience (rather than merely discuss) the states of being that make for effective action.
By merging Indian meditation techniques with modern western hypnotherapy skills, I have been able to create my own special alchemical mix, Yogic Hypnotherapy. I believe it is because I use such a wide range of skills – that take in the timeless guidance of Eastern traditions with the expeditious agility of Western modalities - that I have had so much success with everything from addictions to anorexia, depression, rage, marriage breakdowns and grief. As one client put it recently, “I have never experienced anything so powerful so quickly.”
As Yogic Hypnotherapy not only shifts trauma but builds confidence, hope and success, many of my clients continue to do sessions well after they are “well”. The focus shifts from "healing" to "transcendence": life no longer consists of doing daily battle against bewildering and inexplicable forces, but turns instead into a way of exploring ever more profound, ever more powerful, ever more compelling views of what it is to be human. The benefits are quite practical: businessman turn in greater profits, out of work actresses find work, unpublished authors suddenly become famous. It is as if they have found a switch deep within themselves that they didn’t know existed, and have now learnt how to turn it on. They experience a reality within themselves that is immeasurably greater than anything they’ve encountered before. As Hamlet says, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” That is precisely what many of my clients learn through the course our work together.
Dr. Mitter is one of the leading hypnotherapists on Harley Street. He also teaches at the European College of Hypnotherapy and conducts workshops for therapists the world over. For more information, visit www.hypnotherapyonharleystreet.com.