“Thomas” worked in software marketing and traveled around the northeast U.S. visiting potential clients and providing educational inservices. He enjoyed the material he was presenting but found that he sometimes got so nervous while traveling to a new customer that he was both ‘tired and wired’ by the time he arrived and got set up for a presentation.
Though his reviews were mostly positive, he suffered through many of the typical physical responses that people notice when they get nervous; dry mouth, shaky voice, and sweating. Also he felt occasional dizziness and queasiness and shaking legs or hands. Thomas was dealing with a normal ‘fight or flight’ response, but at times it was intolerable and made him question his suitability for the job. Though he had used deep breathing techniques in the past to help him through tense times, they just were not enough.
After he filled me in on all of this, and told me a bit about his home life, we did some imagination warm-ups. He imagined walking his dog and in that setting, he could feel his own comfortable natural energy. He imagined talking with his brother about skiing and he could feel the ease of his own communication. He imagined talking with some friends about a concert they had seen together and he again felt how it was to talk freely and comfortably. This is the beginning of the process of ‘anchoring’ or connecting to resource states that can then be transferred to a problem area.
Thomas was readily able to imagine these things and feel the feelings associated with them, so we moved smoothly into hypnosis. As his relaxation and comfort increased, I gave him suggestions to help him ‘fill an inner reservoir’ with the qualities he needed. They would always be available to him in this reservoir. This is the sort of symbolism that is very resonant in the subconscious mind, and he received it easily.
Because Thomas was so receptive to the hypnosis process and so comfortable with it, I gave him more suggestions than I would normally give in a first session. They included trust in himself, clarity, and the value of his presentations. They also included physical suggestions such as a steady clear voice, strong steady legs and ease and natural movements as he talked.
Thomas came in for another session a few weeks later and said he had given a presentation that went really well. He felt calmer than ever before in front of a group of 25 people. He said he had done other presentations that also went well, but still felt some of the nervousness surprising him when he least expected it. This time I taught him the EFT tapping techniques which he liked. He found it helped him remember to be kind to himself instead of critical which helped reduce stress and worry. Because driving was such a big part of his job, he requested some recordings to use while driving. These were not hypnosis recordings, but reminders of how to shift his body/mind energy and perspective into the more useful tracks he was developing.
Thomas found the value in all of these tools to be significant. He became good at self-hypnosis and used it to enrich many areas of his life. He continued on for a total of 8 sessions over the course of a year, gaining confidence and comfort in speaking to all sizes of groups and getting additional benefits in other areas of his life, as well.