Clients often tell me that they combat past experiences with positive self talk. Yet here they are, in my clinic, seeking help. Positive self-talk is good practice, however healing trauma requires an emotional healing at its core. It is the feelings which need to be cleared and changed first, before the positive self-talk can maintain the momentum. Emotional trauma is a shock to the nervous system, just as physical trauma is a shock to the body.

In healing trauma, we need to use the ‘same language’ that your unconscious mind uses in order to effect change. The language of the unconscious mind is emotion, not logic. Having said that, repetition is extremely powerful in hypnosis. If the message is simple and clear, and compounded through repetition, such as with hypnotic suggestion, it will get through. But with something like trauma, you need to believe it on a neurological level – you need to feel the change. Instilling a positive mindset is a strategy I will use in conjunction with the emotional release. It is the combination of the two which makes the difference.

A client told me that he has combated feelings of low self worth based on an abusive upbringing, with positive self talk. He was seeing me due to an eating disorder. While he had logically reasoned that he is as good as anyone else, his eating habits were expressing an altogether different story. He was in fact punishing himself because on a neurological level, he still felt the impact of his upbringing, and on an emotional level, he still believed that he was not good enough.

There are some excellent examples of changing belief systems through a logical approach. This is more involved that positive self-talk as it relies on a process of thought. This can work extremely well for many people, unless the emotional trauma is entrenched. In these cases, we need to speak with the unconscious mind through the body, feeling the source of the trauma and transforming it within. Then we can compound the healing with belief work and positive self-talk.

Healing trauma is a complex process and it will vary from client to client. You have got to ask yourself, how many more years are you going to hang onto that pain, and wouldn’t it be great to start a fresh chapter? The approach to your healing will depend on where you are at now, how it all started and what you best respond to. Everyone is different, but we all want the same thing.