I reciently used Ego-State Hypnotherapy for a 49 year old female patient I have seen her intermitently for depression and anxiety for several years. She also has difficulties with poor self-esteem, being raised by violent and alcoholic parents.
She reciently requested treatment for severe and decades-old migrane headaches. Being a devout "born again" Christian, she was reluctant to use hypnotic interventions. I did not encourage it other than to educate her to treatment options.
Later, however, she asked for hypnosis.
In the ego-state paradigm (Watkins & WAtkins) I met several sub-personalities involved in her pain which reflected her urges to punish herself (the source of her pain), her wishes to forgive herself (a weaker part), and a part that was spiritual. Initial interventions for these parts to act more cooperatively were successful and the headaches felt dramaticially better.
However, several treatments later she had a recourance of her severe headaches, this time created by the spiritual part! She was less involved in her church in these weeks. In the following session she was in more pain. Hypnotic uncovering revealed a "new" part emerging that the patient experienced a the "Devil", who wished her to die.
We overcame that crisis and she refuses to continue hypnotic interventions. I agree. She has since seen her Minister and, after a "confession" about using hypnosis (considered a sin by SOME of her fellow clergy) she felt much better.
I am asking if other therapists have encountered these conflicts or dilemmas working with very spiritual and conflicted patients, where their religion and pathology become expressed in the hypnotic format. I would be interested in any comments.
Due to brevity, please understand that this treatment is presented in its most simplistic and concrete way.
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