South Africa stands shocked at the unfolding drama of a hero fallen and two lives destroyed. Destroyed in an instant. What led up to that moment will surely only be partly unraveled over the next few years, and we will probably never know exactly what happened between those two people on that fateful Valentine’s Day.
Without speculating at all on the case, it has raised an interesting question. Could hypnosis prevent a tragedy like this occurring?
It is no secret that hypnotists help and guide people to solutions for their problems. Most hypnotists will help a client to resolve a major issue in his/her life through regression or other methods. The main point of departure (depending on who you talk to) is that every problem we experience in our life could be traced to a root cause, which usually occurs before, during or after birth.
For instance, weight is usually caused as a protective mechanism, and the client who wishes to reduce weight will be regressed to an event which occurred during the early years of life. The theory is that by reliving the trauma to some degree and by accessing those repressed memories and dealing with them in a constructive way, leads to a cathartic experience. This in turn leads to behavioural change, as the root cause of the problem, usually a repressed emotion, is released. So the reason for being overweight is resolved and the client can start reducing the weight.
Of course there are various other techniques and approaches that could be used to let go of old, negative patterns of behaviour. Approaches vary from practitioner to practitioner, although so-called Regress to Cause (RTC) methods seem pervasive.
The problem with hypnosis, as has been pointed out before in other posts, is that it is usually a last resort, something people try when they have already tried everything else. The sad fact is that way too few people use hypnosis constructively in their daily lives. People who are absolutely desperate to find solutions to long standing problems may end up in the hypnotist’s chair, but for the majority of people it is difficult enough to admit to having a problem in the first place, never mind actually going to somebody for help. The odds of this happening are extremely slim. Imagine then the small number of people who actually end up doing hypnosis!
Is there place then for preventative hypnosis? Why wait until the problem becomes so big that it is really difficult to solve it and it turns into an unexpected tragedy? Why could we not sort out issues before they become problems?
It is my experience from seeing people daily for hypnosis, that everybody has a story (Oprah was right.) We all carry some burdens from the past with us and we need ways to resolve it. Hypnosis is an excellent tool to do that, as well as to provide helpful suggestions and ideas that could be used to further improve quality of life.
As a nation, we certainly need healing, not only from this terrible episode, but from all the other similar episodes throughout our troubled history. Things that have happened to us collectively and individually are most certainly impacting us in negative ways. Perhaps there is a need for group hypnosis to help heal the past.
The tragedy of Valentine’ss Day shocks on two levels. On the one hand is the fallen icon and the beauty lost. On the other hand it is an individual highlight of a national problem, albeit from an unexpected source.
South Africa is plagued by similar incidents, other even more horrific incidents that fail to make the news, because they have become such a daily nightmare. When do we wake up from the nightmare and decide we are desperate enough to try the last resort after we have exhausted all the other options?
When do we decide that true healing and forgiveness should start, both on a personal and a national level? Do we wait until it is too late, or do we do what is necessary to rid ourselves of old patterns that no longer serve us even before they turn into bigger problems and even tragedies? The answer seems obvious, once we acknowledge that we indeed have a tool that can bring great benefit to a nation of individuals.
Finding the inner answers are perhaps all we need to prevent ourselves from going over the edge when old, automatic patterns of negative thought and behaviour kick in. By letting go of the past on a deep, subconscious level, may be just the healing that is required of us all, so that we can live in the moment, at peace with the world and ourselves. And if there is even the remotest possibility that the process of hypnosis could be the instrument through which a tragedy is averted, then we should find ways to ensure that this benefit is made available to everybody.
Can hypnotists do the impossible and prevent every crime? Of course not. But if we dealt with our demons and dark sides in a timely fashion, we could get on with this thing called living and make the best of what we have to offer.
Perhaps hypnotists need to “come out of the closet” and help larger groups of people and more individuals, while at the same time the public need to start to understand what a helpful tool hypnosis can be and to start using it more regularly, not only when in dire need.
That we are reeling from this tragedy is not in doubt. That we are questioning ourselves because of it is inevitable. That we need solutions to the broader problem that include individual attention and group work is a desperate need.
Let each of us as hypnotists do what we are called for: To facilitate positive change. Let us hypnotists find ways to help as many people as we possibly can, in large numbers if needs be. Let the public know of the benefits and make it accessible to all. Go out of your way to include nation healing as part of your calling.
And let each of us as people of this country realise that it all starts with me. I need to sort myself out. I need to ensure all is well with me. And then to share that with everyone around me.
And hypnosis could be a key to that bright new future. Just imagine it now.