Hypnotherapy & Psychological Barriers to Learning; My Journey
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
I was looking through some of my Hypnotherapy/Psychotherapy books for some information on a blog I wanted to write when I came across an acknowledgement to me from a tutor & colleague Jacquelyne Morrison in the front pages of one of her books for practitioners: 'Creative Analytical Hypnotherapy', it occurred to me that it was reading a book that started my journey into self awareness, resulting in further learning, change of career, my personal growth, & eventually, as I'm writing this blog today, contentment!
This is the story of my learning journey....
As a young man I was living on my own, I was single & life didn't feel as though it was going in the direction I wanted it to be, I felt lost, but at that age I didn't know what I wanted or needed in my life to help me to be happy. An older relative happened to gift me a book (I'm quite sure it was a recycled gift), about 'White Witches', it contained a variety of traditional Wicca arts, skills & mental exercises which enable the aspiring healer (reader) to discover the inner world of magic inside him/herself. I found that I enjoyed the learning & positive feelings gained from practising some of the mental exercises; the book inspired me to find out more about the meaning of life, I read other books, books about spiritual healing, books like The Alchemist (the story of a young Andalusian boy who travels to Africa to discover treasure at the Egyptian pyramids, a journey he believes to be a prophecy, the boy encounters a wise alchemist on his journey who teaches him to realise his true self (I think most young men can relate with this story). These stories of spiritual awakening gave me great comfort and got me through this challenging coming of age period of my life.
Later in my life I was suffering from depressive thoughts & anxiety, I was struggling to sleep, struggling in relationships, sometimes after driving to work I would struggle to get out of my car due to having anxiety about my anxiety. I began to have some physical symptoms as a result of my mental health; such as back aches, headaches, skin irritations and asthma; I now know my anxiety and physical symptoms were as a result of unresolved past trauma and the direction I was choosing in life as a result of the trauma was not making me happy. I felt quite desperate and knew I needed to do something about it. I decided once again to search for support in books that I took out from the library, I learnt about positive visualisation, mindfulness and walked around listening to recordings of myself reading positive affirmations. This positive learning helped to ease my anxiety & I was able to function for a period; but my anxiety eventually returned.
I then read a book about Hypnotherapy, & decided to see if this was a therapy that could work to help ease my anxiety & help me to find direction, a friend recommended a Hypnotherapist, we had our first session & it was then that I started my healing process, by uncovering my unresolved trauma & learning the truth about myself, Hypnotherapy helped me to understand why I had made the choices I had made in my life, & how to make choices that were more true to myself; my anxiety diminished & my confidence improved, although I still felt something was missing. I studied food nutrition and sports therapy, but I still yearned for fulfilment. I wasn't happy in my career and It was then that my Hypnotherapist Anne suggested to me that I would make a good Hypnotherapist, she felt that as someone who has experienced the therapeutic journey themselves I had a lot to offer in the helping of others; I thought YES, it felt as I had subconsciously been on a path of learning that had lead me here to work in this field and it felt right! but I had to challenge my conditions of worth & psychological barriers to learning to find the belief in myself to work towards transitioning from client to practitioner.
What are the Psychological Barriers to learning?
Ambivalence about success (The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow.)
Fear of risk taking (Most of us avoid doing the things that we believe will not have a good outcome. The difference between someone who is not willing to take chances and someone who is, then, appears to be a sense of confidence that we can control what is going to happen.)
Over dependence on authority figures (In the extreme case; people with 'dependent personality' may submit to the will of others in a misguided attempt to extract a promise of care and protection. They may think of themselves, or present themselves, as unable to cope with everyday life on their own. At the same time, they may fear that a show of confidence or competence will lead to rejection and abandonment.)
Tension (Mental or emotional strain. "a mind which is affected by stress or tension cannot think as clearly", emotional strain, stress, anxiety, anxiousness, pressure, worry, apprehensiveness, apprehension, agitation, nerves, nervousness, jumpiness, edginess, restlessness, suspense, uncertainty, anticipation or excitement.)
Intrusive memories of poor learning experiences (Probably our most common barrier; Intrusive Memories can be experienced in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive images. These memories lack the awareness that they are something from the past (such as trauma in school), and are instead experienced as some kind of threat in the present. the belief is that intrusive memories are not random nor are they the most traumatic memories of the survivor. Instead, intrusive memories are memories that let the person know that something bad is going to happen.)
Hypnotherapy helped me to process & explore my obstacles to learning, & not only did I become a Hypnotherapy Practitioner, I completed supervisory training and eventually completed my Hypnotherapy Practitioner Teacher & Training qualification, and I continue to do CPD courses now; who knows, I may even write my own book on Hypnotherapy one day!
So you see, learning has been invaluable on my journey, I hope this blog has inspired you to learn something new, & discover your true self!
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