“Bill” came to me for a few private sessions 6 years after taking a Hypnosis for Birth class with his wife before the birth of their first child. During the course of the classes, he and his wife both commented on how much more relaxed he had become about many things since he started using the CD’s at night in preparation for the upcoming birth. After the class was over and their baby born, Bill continued to use many of the techniques to help him deal with the challenges of a demanding job and a child (with a second baby born 3 years later).
Now, Bill was encountering parenting challenges that were causing him to lose his temper frequently with the children. He was feeling frustrated and sad because he didn’t really want to be yelling at his kids but he couldn’t seem to control himself. He was hoping that the hypnotherapy techniques might help.
Bill told me how overwhelmed he felt. He was someone who liked neatness and order and it was hard for him to adjust to the noise and the constant needs of his children. Intellectually he felt that he and his wife had divided the tasks well and that the house was reasonably neat considering the time they had to keep order. Emotionally it was a different experience altogether. He was angry and judgmental every time a toy was out of place and felt ready to explode when the kids’ voices rose to a loud volume. He loved his children and felt bad that so many of his interactions were negative.
At the first session, I taught Bill the Emotional Freedom Techniques, something he had not learned in the birthing class. He had an excellent response to the technique and in just ten minutes he said he felt a wave of great hopefulness and excitement come over him. He felt a wave of emotion about how much he loved his children and a hopefulness about connecting to them in much more positive ways. I recorded a simple hypnosis CD for him that described entering a peaceful, quiet room and relaxing there. In the CD, I suggested that wherever he was and whatever was going on around him, a part of his inner mind could be relaxing in this place while his outer mind could easily handle the tasks at hand. Essentially we were inviting the part of his mind that needed calm to feel a sanctuary was available even when things were a little chaotic in his surroundings. It is a natural “tuning out” process that many people learn to do in certain circumstances and Bill and I agreed that if he could tune out some of the mess and noise of his children, he could “tune IN” to his love and interest in them. Bill went home with plans to use the EFT when he got frustrated and to listen to his CD while going to sleep at night as he had done during the birth classes.
When Bill returned 2 weeks later, he was smiling broadly. He had used the CD three times and then begun to do the process on his own while falling asleep at night or waking up in the morning. He had created his own self-hypnosis routine and felt aware that he really was creating an inner sanctuary that he could access in chaotic moments. He used the EFT a number of times when he felt on edge and found that it helped him relax and find the humor in the situation.
We agreed that things were probably fine just the way they were, but he was interested in doing some interactive hypnosis about his own childhood with the thought that it might give him even more perspective about his experience as a parent. We did interactive hypnotherapy for three more sessions. Bill loved the process of returning to his own childhood in a light state of hypnosis and imagining how his “adult” self could offer calm, loving guidance to his worried child self and his judgmental and demanding parents.
He felt that these three additional sessions were instrumental in helping him “re-write” some early templates that were a part of his “automatic” parenting style.
Bill made a tremendous turn around in his parenting and said that he and his wife were both overjoyed at his newfound calmness and playfulness with the kids.