When clients come for resolution of feelings of low self worth, or any condition involving negative emotions, there is often an emotional purging that takes place when we clear the feelings and beliefs holding them back. Sometimes clients will comment that they didn’t expect to get upset because they felt that they had dealt with the issue already. But hypnotherapy goes deep, and it can be a healthy release to go through an emotional purging.
Emotional purging is usually in the form of tears. Clients often apologise for crying in session. There is nothing wrong with crying in session, in fact it is quite common. I go through a lot of boxes of tissues! Most clients understand that this is an emotional release taking place, but with one in 100, the client will feel very unsettled about their reaction. “Is this normal?” or, “I have a meeting to get to and I didn’t expect to be crying!”
Dr. Paul Goodwin explains emotional purging in his book, Foundation Theory and likens negative emotions to ‘black bags’ which can be measured along the person’s neuro pathways. These black bags are emotional blockages in a person’s electrical brain flow. By measuring electrical impulses in the brain, these black bags show up within the nervous system. When I work with a client on emotionally based issues, I run into these black bags.
Negative emotions such as jealousy, anger, fear et cetera may have been useful at the time, but holding onto them is not healthy. They need to go because they can harm you emotionally, physically and mentally. Emotional purging of these emotions is merely a readjustment and is nothing to fear.
How to deal with emotional purging
Hypnotherapy is not superficial. It is intended to release the person from their limiting behaviours and beliefs, and sometimes the shift is dramatic. Other times it is very subtle. If you experience a dramatic shift the best way to manage it is this:
Spend a bit of quiet time following the session, allowing yourself space for any perceptions or reflections that come up. It is not important to act on these, but just to watch them pass or potentially, notate them for the next session if they don’t seem to shift.
If you need to get back to work straight away, you might feel a little sensitive or a little ‘flat’. On rare occasion, a person may experience a slight headache or bad dreams following hypnosis, as the mind rearranges its sense of reality. Trust that this is temporary.
The most important thing to remember with emotional purging is that is is a form of cleansing. It does not last long and when you come out the other side, you are already well on the way to cleaning up your mind, and your life.
Like the layers of an onion, hypnosis can peel away the negative emotions or memories, revealing another, more crucial experience underneath. I can usually compete the process with a client within three sessions, but everyone is different.
If you are dealing with emotional baggage, do not be surprised if you experience emotional purging when we finally address it, and let it go. Acknowledge this as a blessing and a sign of progress.