Hypnotherapy with Resistant ClientsResistance is exhausting; however, millions of people struggle with their own resistance on a daily basis. How do we create internal resistance? If we can think of this like a pulley, which has immense power to lift things, it is easier to understand. It is the tugging, the pulling from opposite ends that actually creates the power to lift a heavy object. However, it also takes a lot of energy in order to lift or move an object. When this pulling and tugging is going on internally, it is exhausting!

Lucille's Story

Inside of ourselves, this power also exists. What are the two opposite parts that pull against each other within us? We call these autonomous complexes or splits. These splits are often represented by small child parts of ourselves, struggling to solve problems that are way beyond their capabilities. For example, a middle aged woman named Lucille (not her real name) takes years to make decisions. She wanted to change her profession and took over 10 years to do so. She was resistant to making any of the necessary changes required to move forward on her goals. She wanted to take a training course that would move her into her new career; however, her resistance kicked in and she struggled for over four years to finally decide to take it. She took the first level and then took four more years to decide to take the second level. She used all kinds of excuses such as not enough money, when she had actually just bought a home in an exclusive neighborhood and drove an expensive car. Recently, she wanted to teach a workshop and had 20 people who were interested, but none of them actually took her class.

From Talk Therapy to Hypnotherapy

After many years of talk therapy, she finally found her way to Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. Through age regression, we were able to get down to the source of her resistance to life. In hypnotherapy, people often regress back to early childhood in their search for the core issues that cause their self-defeating behavior. She regressed back to when she was in her young mother’s womb. Her mother’s parents (Lucille’s grandparents) were furious that their young 16-year-old daughter was pregnant. They shamed her and wanted her to get an abortion. Our client’s mother then attempted a terrifying abortion from an unqualified person, back in the days when abortion was illegal. Lucille has gone through life resistant to coming into a family who never wanted her and literally tried to kill her. She was filled with shame about her very existence, but never knew why. She had spent years in talk therapy never knowing this or the reasons why she couldn’t move forward in her life. She was literally and unconsciously trying to kill herself, to fulfill her mother’s and grandparents’ wish.


Lucille is so much more aware now of her resistance to life and how it manifests. She is moving forward in her life, achieving her goals more easily and laughing at herself when she feels the resistance emerging. By using hypnotherapy, these changes are not just from her conscious mind but deeply embedded in her subconscious mind. She finds herself making new changes and choices now without even having to think about them. Lucille describes the new, wondrous feeling of freedom she experiences living life without the burden of the deep existential shame she had always carried.

Resistance to life can fall into one or more of the following categories: 

COMMITMENT  ISSUES. “I can’t really commit to that.” How do these commitment issues show up in relationships?

  1. The presenting issue of having difficulty committing to a relationship.
    1. Divorces – something is always wrong with the other person
    2. Searching on “Match” but no one seems to be “the one”
    3. Break-ups with friends, always focusing on the faults of others
    4. Changing jobs, always finding something wrong with the boss, the co-workers, the building, the salary, the location, etc.
  2. Having difficulty committing to the therapy agreement they have made with you (and themselves)
    1. Not showing up for appointments – excuses such as sickness, no money, etc.
    2. Showing up late with more excuses
    3. Always having excuses that seem real, but there is a deeper hidden motivation
  3. This can even escalate to where they get sick or have an accident just before an event in their life that they have committed to.
 AMBIVALENCE ISSUES. “I’m not sure which oneI want to do.”
  1. Consistently setting up two or more choices for themselves and then feeling stuck in the middle
  2. Debating in their minds, “Should I do this or that? Take this vacation or that one?” or “Maybe I just won’t take one this year.”
  3. “Should I take this course or that one? Or maybe I’ll just go back to school and get my degree.”
  4. “Should I apply for a job here? Well, actually, I’m thinking of moving to another state.  Perhaps California, my sister lives there. Oh, but . . .”
 RESISTANCE ISSUES. “I don’t want to be here.”
  1. Struggling much more than is necessary in their life
  2. I don’t want to be here in:
    1. This job
    2. This marriage
    3. This state or city
    4. Your office (for therapy)
    5. This house
    6. Searching for geographic solutions (“I’ll leave, I’ll move”)
    7. Their answer is often to just leave rather than solve a problem
  3. “I’m exhausted, it all seems too hard.” I’m just too tired, I can’t seem to do anything.
  4. I’m stuck!” I just can’t move.
  5. The “Yes, but” Game in which any suggestion the therapist offers for problem solving, they go into “Yes, but…”  and then list all the reasons why that or any solution won’t work.