Resolving Trauma Without Painful Reliving
By John Plester
I was doing some supervision work with a newly qualified hypnotherapist this morning who was talking through a complex case study that had involved hypnotic regression to the initial sensitizing event in order to reprocess past trauma, and he was expressing the difficulties encountered with the client who was reluctant and guarded in going back to the initial traumatic event. This reminded me of the old days pre TFT, when this kind of method was the most effective way to work with such events. I felt a sense of relief that this exhaustive and sometimes complex methodology was something I rarely had to do anymore.
I was reminded of a client I did some intensive work with before Christmas. This was a complex case with multiple layers of trauma and abuse spanning over 40 years.
In particular, she reported a possible sexual abuse event, that she had an instinct that it had occurred, but had no memory of the event. She did report a strong negative emotion whenever she was in the company of men with pony tails but had no idea why she had such a dislike. There was no negative memory consciously of any event occurring with a character with a pony tail.
In the old hypnotherapy way of working, we would have had to induce deep trance to regress back to any initial event, that if found would have been most disturbing. It would also be questionable whether the unconscious would have permitted such access to a memory, because after all, if there was an event the unconscious mind was clearly protecting her from it.
Furthermore, false memory syndrome could have created an event, that might not have actually happened and there has been much reported cases such as this in the media in recent years. Finally, if there was an event and it was identified through hypnotic regression, then there would be a lot of work required to reprocess this event in such a way as to ensure it was dealt with.
Fortunately, TFT came to the rescue, in particular diagnostic TFT. All that was required was to tune into the thought field around the possible abuse and the whole men with pony tail feeling, sure enough diagnostic TFT revealed that there were perturbations in those thought fields and revealed a number of sequences, unsurprising beginning of the eyebrow for trauma and Index finger for guilt and under eye for fear appeared in the sequence.
TFT enabled me to deal with this completely within 30 minutes with no need to go back and uncover any traumatic past events.
Needless to say the client was amazed at the speed and the fact we could do the work without detailed knowledge of the event. A couple of weeks after our session, I received a call from her partner who thanked me for the work I had done and told me how much she had changed. Truly transformational work that as TFT therapist, I often take for granted, as this is expected. However this case reminded me of the true gift of diagnostic TFT to surprise and amaze when working with some of the most complex cases.
I am eternally grateful to Paul McKenna who originally introduced me to TFT when I used to assist him on his NLP training courses in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and of course both Roger and Joanne whom I had the good fortune to have been able to train extensively with over the years. TFT truly transformed my therapy practice when I introduced it into my interventions back then, now I have the privilege of being able to share my experiences and learning when I train the TFT Boot Camps in the UK for other therapists to help their clients in a similar way.