How does cognitive therapy compare to hypnotherapy in releasing these negative thoughts?

Many people have spent thousands of hours and dollars going to therapy to try to remove their life-long, self-defeating thought patterns. If you are one of those people, perhaps you are aware of low self esteem, deep down feelings that you are not as good as others, or that you don’t really deserve to be loved or to succeed.  Or perhaps you keep running up against self-destructive patterns in your life such as procrastination, ambivalence (can’t make a decision) or perfectionism. Other people find themselves desperately needing to be in control of others or of situations in order to feel safe.

Key Point: the wounded children within us are often the core issue at hand with many psychological issues

This all may be traced back to what John Bradshaw and others brought to our collective therapeutic awareness as the wounded children within us. Through the hypnotherapy processes that we do, we have had the privilege of meeting tens of thousands of these wounded inner children parts of our clients and yes, of many therapists also. You may wonder why I use the term privilege of meeting them. Consider this for a moment.

All of these desperately frightened, very angry, hurt and even raging inner children are the result of one or many physical and/or emotional core wounds that happened to you at a very young age. None of this was of your choosing nor was it your fault. The rampant physical, emotional and sexual abuse that we as therapists have come to discover over the past forty years, appears to be the norm rather than the exception. And the total denial has been just as rampant.

We have developed a myriad of treatment methods and courses in a desperate attempt to help the millions that feel wounded inside. Thousands, maybe millions of dollars have been spent on self-esteem classes, self-help books and countless types of therapy to heal these wounded inner children.

 I like Raphael Cushnir’s idea that:

“Instead of relating to your Core Wound as a problem, consider it to be a disabled child that lives within you. Welcome it as part of your ‘family of selves’, and make special accommodations that will allow it the best chance to thrive.” (Read his blog here)

It is true, isn’t it, that if your actual family had a disabled child, you wouldn't try to get rid of him or her, or pretend that the disability didn't exist. If that child couldn't walk, you'd get him or her a wheelchair. You'd assist the child to become as mobile as possible, and to take part in every family activity. If your family had a child with a learning disability, most likely you would find the best schools and do everything in your power to educate him or her. Certainly you would prevent anyone from shaming or disrespecting your child. And yet, all the self-judgments and shaming, even condemning statements that we shower upon our inner family of children, so many times every day is overwhelmingly self-destructive.

Those of us that have been given the gift of learning how to navigate through the subconscious waters of our minds and the even deeper waters of our unconscious minds, are very familiar with the fact that trauma causes splitting and splitting causes memory loss through the physiological states of going into shock. We provide much more detail about this in our book Overcoming Shock.

Say for example, you as an adult, have a deep feeling of being unwanted, unlovable or shame-filled. This feeling seems to have plagued you throughout your life with no real explanation. With hypnotherapy, we may discover that perhaps this unworthiness goes all the way back to the womb. Your mother’s pregnancy could have been the result of unwanted sexual advances, even a rape. It could be the result of a one night stand or two teenagers having no idea that they were producing a new life during a sexual encounter. The resulting birth of this new soul could have been you, now wondering why you can’t seem to maintain a loving relationship. This deep wounding of a child part of you now does not seem to be able to attract or maintain a long lasting loving relationship. And then with each promise of a new relationship, this inner child raises its head to remind you that you were not wanted by the very people who should have wanted you the most, your birth parents.

Over the thirty years that we have used Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, we have learned how to access exactly where the early wounding took place in age regression, and therefore how to identify the early beliefs and conclusions that this inner child made. It is not rational but once these conclusions are made about self, they are deeply ingrained, embedded within. It is as if this child has been programmed to experience unworthiness all throughout this lifetime and to attract others who will affirm how unworthy of love he or she really is. This deeply embedded, unconscious pattern is stored in your nervous system and in your programming, the so-called computer within. If left to its own devices, without being re-programmed, this programming will always bring the same results. This is why cognitive therapy, changing self-talk, or other conscious mind solutions often do not last.

The Good News...

As Raphael Cushnir says, “This Core Wound takes over me like a trance.” As it does all humans who have deep wounding. The good news is that these deep wounds lead us to discover the family that lives within us. Through exploring the depths of the subconscious mind, we can uncover and discover the family of disabled children living within us, that have been running the show and undermining our self esteem for many years. Through Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, we can bring to the forefront the family of children whom we have detested and whom we have tried to annihilate. An analogy might be that these inner children have been homeless and living under a bridge. The good news is that through discovering the healing abilities of the subconscious mind, we are able to break through the self-destructive trance so that we can bring these children out from under the bridge, provide them with a real home, feed their souls and give them the love they have always needed. It would be akin to providing disabled children with prosthetics, wheelchairs and hopefully rehabilitation. The rehabilitations comes in:

  1. Recognizing that they do exist
  2. Recognizing what they need and providing that for them
  3. And to start loving them as if they truly were a disabled but healing member of our family.

Because they are!