It’s simply logical.
I discovered hypnotherapy a few years ago when I was dealing with the loss of both my parents within a three-month time span. I had tried the traditional therapy route and felt exhausted sharing my feelings over and over again, but still felt stuck. My hypnotherapist said that this modality was effective because I have a logical brain, which is often very open to hypnosis and hypnotherapy. She then shared something that surprised me. Sixty-five percent of her clients are men and they are in turn, are the largest referral source for other men, because hypnotherapy makes sense. Most men it seems have logical brains too.
This made me wonder what issues are unique to men. I was curious to find out how else I was alike or different from men who seek hypnotherapy and this is what Rene Brent, RN CCHT shared with me.
Many men don’t like to talk about their problems, but they do like solutions. And hypnotherapy provides logical results because it is science-based reasoning. Rene offered that some men come in worried that they will somehow be controlled. But hypnosis is only a natural change in a brain wave, similar to falling asleep. Clients are always aware of their true self and could never be controlled. Once they know the mind will never take them someplace they don’t want to go, then they get very comfortable and excited about the experience.
The average age of her male clients is in their early 50s. Men have the same fears and doubts, but aren’t always as clear as to what is going on for them, and don’t usually come in with a specific thing to work on. They know something is not working but are not sure what. Sometimes a significant other or loved one tells them they need some help. They are often stressed and can’t sleep at night. Occasionally a client wants to stop smoking.
But as they start talking, what often comes out is fear of failure or a belief that ‘I AM’ a failure. It might be job-related, head of a household, (or no longer head of a household), communication or relationship issues. They might be divorced and in a new relationship.
Another issue that often surfaces is guilt and worry attached to parenting. Rene shares that many men are often unknowingly dealing with the ghost of their own childhood, perhaps a father that yelled too much and was not emotionally available. Her client deeply wants to be a better father and have a better relationship with his kids, but doesn’t necessarily have an idea how to do that or how to stop the internal battle from within. Guilt she says is self-judgment and worry is a waste of imagination.
Of the five major emotions: guilt, fear, sadness, hurt, and anger, men sometimes have difficulty acknowledging sadness and hurt. Women however, tend to go to those emotions more easily. Generally, men tend to label these emotions as something else. Quite often they are angry or guilty, or angry about feeling guilty, pushing the sadness and hurt inside. Men can be very good about shoving things away because they feel it is not ‘manly’ to be vulnerable. They don’t have time to examine these feelings. Their conscious mind tells them to get over it. However, when emotions or physical reactions to emotions are ignored, they can manifest into physical ailments including back pain, high blood pressure, weight gain, and more. Although women may experience similar symptoms, they approach their issues differently.
Rene Brent says that childhood wounds present or show up a bit differently in men. Their dads were raised in a different era and were often tougher on their sons. The intention of the father often was to ride them hard so they would grow up to be a good man and provider. Someone yelling at them (boss, spouse, etc.) can bring the angry or hurt inner child to the surface. Her male clients are often confused by their reactions. They don’t understand why they can’t just deal with it or get over it. Rene tells her clients that the adult man is NOT the one having the reaction, it is that hurt boy within, causing them to carry a false believe they will never be good enough. When they begin to heal the inner child, thus changing the false belief, the reactions and symptoms change as well.
Many of the men that come to see Rene have patterns in their lives that they want to change; things that just aren’t working for them anymore. They know they want and deserve more. That little boy behavior, the hurt inner child that wants attention, may seek it as an adult by eating or drinking too much or even having affairs, all to get the attention they didn’t get when they were younger. Most human beings just want to be seen and understood. Hypnotherapy gives them the opportunity to hit the refresh button, find the answers and change the program from within.
A hypnotherapist doesn’t tell them how to feel so there is no judgment. Instead, hypnotherapy helps them unlock the door to find the solutions that are inside.
“Hypnotherapy works for both sexes,” says Rene, “because when you are open and not fighting the analytical mind, you are able to hear your own solutions. It is very powerful and the awareness a client discovers is amazing.”
Sounds logical to me too.
Previously published on Talking About Men’s Health