• Unrecognised beneficial side effects of healing activities.

    Typically, people come to a therapist to resolve a particular issue such as anxiety, phobia, depression, relationship and self-esteem problems or to change a behaviour such as smoking or unhealthy eating. Well trained, experienced therapists will assist such people properly towards these goals.  However, it is surprising how often unintended benefits materialise as the therapeutic process unfolds.
    Sometimes these unintended benefits turn out to be far more significant and beneficial than the resolving of the presenting problem. In some cases, the benefit is seen in a third party, not involved in therapy, but who is connected in some way to the client.
    I believe these “unintended clearings” happen because the healing environment created during good therapy creates the space and security that allow often-unacknowledged issues to come forth to be addressed.  I would also say that deeper healing environments allow more profound issues to emerge, with more beneficial results. Truly deep healing engages with the collective unconscious and can directly operate on someone not directly involved in the therapy.
    Some of these experiences emerge and resolve spontaneously, while others simply come to the surface, in which case the client can choose whether to address them or not.  Except in the case of spontaneous resolution, it is the client’s conscious choice whether or not to pursue the opportunity that arises.
    Below are just a few examples of such unexpected healings.  While the sense of these stories is accurate, they have been generalised, with details changed to anonymise them.

  • An Old Family Feud

    I had been working with Mary for a few sessions to help her resolve issues around self-confidence.  We were nearing the end of the process, and she very much had the sense that it had all gone very well and she was experiencing a new comfort level about and belief in herself.  Towards the end of the second last session we were chatting prior to finishing up when she happened to mention one of her great regrets. 
    The regret was that she had had a falling out with her sister and had not spoken to her in 20 years.  I asked her if she would like to work on it.  At first, she was unsure, but then decided “why not; what harm can it do”.  Given the limited time before the arrival of my next client we didn’t go into any detail. 
    I had her access whatever feelings were there around the issue with her sister and to open up to them while holding an Energy Psychology pose that can be effective in these situations.  After a few moments she opened her eyes and reported that a feeling of peace had come over her.   Due to time constraints we left it at that.
    When she came for her final session, she bounced into the room, very excited as she said to me “You won’t believe what happened.”
    I looked at her.
    “The phone rang two nights after I was here.  It was my sister.  I can’t believe it!”
    She went on to say that they had a long chat, and had even spoken about the row which had separated them.  They were now arranging to meet up.
    While such an occurrence could be put down to coincidence, this kind of thing has happened often enough for me to believe that something more profound is happening.  My sense is that people are deeply and unconsciously interconnected.  When one person changes in relation to another, even when separated by years and thousands of miles, the change can have a direct if subtle effect on the other.   

  • A smoker learns why he couldn’t kick the habit

    For someone like myself, working with people who want to quit smoking tends to be very straightforward, almost always successful and pleasant for both me and the client.  Cian was one of those exceptions that prove the rule.  Within a few days of his stop smoking session he called me to tell me he was finding it difficult not to smoke.  Following my normal procedure, I invited him to return for a complimentary backup session. 
    Normally, on the rare occasions when they are needed, complimentary backup sessions are very straightforward.  In Cian’s case it was clear that the hold cigarettes had on him was stronger than for most clients.  In fact, the feelings he was describing seemed very similar to those of strong anxiety.
    Before doing the normal hypnosis session I opted to first use an energy psychology technique to try to loosen the grip cigarettes had on him.  The particular process I used had a step which involved allowing and focussing on the physical feelings that went with avoiding cigarettes, and the suggestion that the origins or reasons that drive his smoking be healed.
    Immediately I could see a change in him and he reported being back in his childhood, being beaten up by a bigger boy who lived on the same street as him.  In addition to the beating, this boy, who was a bully, told him that every time he sees him on the street he will give him another beating.  Indeed, several times afterward Cian had been hit by this boy. 
    It quickly transpired that Cian had spent quite a while in his formative years in a state of anxiety, constantly trying to avoid the bully. Over time and through repetition, anxiety became embedded in his system, and at the age of 15, the advent of cigarettes seemed to give him an (unconscious) means of shielding or distracting the anxiety.  Cian expressed the desire to be clear of this.
    As the healing process continued, he reported that the feelings just “drained away”, and he felt so much lighter in himself. Although it was almost certainly not necessary, to complete things I then did a typical hypnosis backup session.
    In this case, Cian had shown up with the idea of resolving an unhealthy habit, but found that the habit had a driver which was at least if not more debilitating.  To resolve it was a big step forward in his life.
    While helping someone to stop smoking rarely requires this type of approach, it is a good example of an unexpected “bonus healing”.

  • A woman vulnerable to poor relationships discovers she is more powerful than she thought

    Mairead came to my clinic with a long history of entering into relationships with men who were not good for her.  She recognised the problem was at least in part down to her own choices.
    Her most recent relationship was with a man she felt was basically good, but he was beset with issues around commitment.  The constant uncertainty became too much for her, and experiencing much pain and regret she had ended the relationship.
    Working with her, it became clear that her adult vulnerability stemmed from a childhood in which she had been disempowered, and often (unintentionally) undermined by family members.
    As we worked to clear the negative effects of this she reported seeing clearly how the events in her life were all connected.  She felt different.  She was kind of stunned when she had clarity on how she had been disrespecting herself.
    This in itself was a great result, but strangely, a while later, her ex-partner contacted her to tell her that he had had a bit of a moment himself, realising how infantile and needy he had been and recognising the hurt he had caused.  He said he was ready to fully commit to her and asked her to consider re-establishing the relationship. 
    Mairead had loved him, and still did, so after some discussion, negotiation and soul searching she agreed to give it a try.  The difference this time was that Mairead went into it eyes wide open, empowered, a lady who would not be trifled with.  I believe the relationship is ongoing, positive and strong.
    While again, the change in Mairead’s partner could be put down to coincidence, or something less positive, this type of situation occurs often enough to at least raise the possibility that a change in one person in a system causes changes in others in the same system, even when they are not in contact. This does not happen in the majority of cases, but it does happen.
    In addition to clearing disempowering traits from her life, Mairead got the additional, and unexpected benefit of being able to re-establish a broken relationship on a much stronger and sounder footing.

  • A weight loss induction facilitates a woman in reconnecting with a loved and lost parent.

    This last story is altogether simpler and involves a kind of spontaneous healing.  Eva was a client who came for some help to lose weight.  Given the type of help she needed, the most appropriate approach was hypnosis.
    Hypnotherapists, and indeed people who do guided meditation often use visualisation to help people into a suitably relaxed state.  One of the visualisations I routinely use involves strolling through a beautiful garden.  I wold add that the hypnotic trance state is a very healing one.
    I noticed when doing this with Eva that a few tears ran down her cheeks. This occasionally happens, especially when people are moving powerfully towards change. However, in Eva’s case it was something different.
    After the session she informed me that the garden she had visualised was her mothers garden, at a time when Eva had been young, and very happy.  Her life circumstances were less happy now.  Eva’s mother had died some years earlier, and Eva missed her greatly.  She also carried guilt that she had not been there for her mother’s death.
    In the garden visualisation Eva’s mother appeared, smiling lovingly at her.  Eva’s words were to the effect that her mother had communicated love to her, and let her know that she was with her, that there was no need to feel guilt at all and that the difficulties she had been experiencing would pass.
    Eva was beaming after the session, and expressed the belief that she had gained far more than the weight loss help she had come for.

  • Benefits of healing therapy
    People come to therapists such as myself with all sorts or problems.  By and large we help them to resolve what needs to be resolved, change what needs to be changed and move forward in their lives.  When something extra happens, often of more value than the consulting problem, healing work becomes very uplifting.
  • You can contact James Jameson on 086 2835758 / 1800924864 or jamesonwicklow@gmail.com

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