Oct 06 2012

Getting the whole picture

Vol. 52, May 2007

Recently I had a client call in because she could not understand why it was that she was eating herself to death. Here she was in her late 40’s fairly healthy and with two sons who were grown and in college. She and her husband were at home with only her beloved dogs taking any time and energy away. In the past it was easy for her to go out running every day. She had been doing so ever since she was in the military to keep in shape. Yet, all of a sudden there was no interest in running. There was only interest in eating sweets seemingly compulsively and spending money she did not have at the mall. What was going on here and could I help her with hypnosis?

Upon talking with her a bit more I found out that she had just lost her father to lung cancer. How could that be, she wondered since he was so healthy and vibrant, never having smoked a cigarette. It just wasn’t fair and she was angry at losing him so early. Not long before she lost her mother as well, so now she didn’t have any parents and felt alone. With this bit of history it was easy to understand what was going on here. This woman was grieving the losses of her parents and needed to deal with that, but on top of that she needed to let go of the anger she had held specifically due to the loss of her father to the lung cancer that seemingly came from no where. I also thought some addictions work would be helpful because she said she was compulsively eating and was spending money that they did not have with the two boys in college.

This woman came in and we did Time Line Therapy ® to clear her negative emotions: anger, sadness, fear, and guilt with extra emphasis on letting go of the anger. After that we did some hypnotic chair therapy where she could tell her parents one at a time how much she loved them and missed them and was able to see them happily in the other world. This gave her closure on the grieving and left her feeling good about the situation at hand. I made a tape for her to help her to both eat appropriate amounts of food and to exercise (based on what she told me she wanted to accomplish at a safe pace) and did the first part of the addictions work.

She came in for the second session where we did the second part of four, of the addictions work and put off doing the rest of the work for a couple of weeks. In the interim she called to say that she was doing great on all counts and did not feel she had any compulsive behaviors and that she thought it would be okay if she stopped coming in to see me. I felt it would be better to finish the treatment, but allowed her to make her own decision.  Money was an issue and she was doing fine so far. She told me she would send in before and after pictures when she hit her goal weight feeling very good about all the clearing that was accomplished in the first session. She told me that she thought it was really about losing her parents, especially her father and that the first session seemed to make the difference for her. So far she seems to be doing well.

It is very important to understand the whole situation when a person calls for assistance. What is appropriate for one client is not necessarily true for another. Not all weight loss clients are the same and each need to be treated according to their own history. Some do know how to modify their behaviors with out weeks of hypnotic intervention, while others definitely require that sort of intervention.

When you call for a hypnosis appointment make sure that you are being treated as the individual you are and that the hypnotist understands that you may not fit into the classic scenario that they have in place. As far as I am concerned each case is different even if the presenting problem seems to be similar.

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Do I have an Eating Disorder? Now What?
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