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  • Gracie Williams and Kami Nuttall

Hypnotherapy and Sexual Trauma: Taking Control of Your Experiences

When a person experiences any type of sexually inappropriate behaviours, they may find themselves dealing with sexual trauma as a result. There is no one way of expressing or feeling sexual trauma and ultimately, no one way of dealing with it either.

Sexual trauma can result in many responses, one being dissociation which is often a way to protect ourselves during and after the traumatic experience; this is often the result from a sense of loss of control over our sense of self and our body.

Dissociation is when we disconnect from our feelings, particularly in relation to the sexual trauma – it is a coping mechanism, sometimes a false and unhelpful one.

Dissociation can lead to mental health issues, breakdowns with family, friends, relationships, and workplace stress, and it can produce numbness in many other aspects of life.

Ultimately, sexual trauma can feel like a loss of control, power, and sense of self, hypnotherapy can be a route to take in order to re-gain these elements and find a way to heal.

Hypnotherapy is a type of therapy that aims to access the subconscious mind so that we can impact meaningfully how we experience the world around us.

Hypnotherapy, ultimately, is a way to take back control of you.

One significant way to look at hypnotherapy and its impact on sexual trauma is through what we call “the iceberg analogy”, a theory put forward by Freud in 1915…

The way that we view and experience the world around us is through filters, and these filters are like a lens informed by years of experience and beliefs about what we think is true in the world.

Sometimes our beliefs are not helpful to our lived experiences of the world around us, often they are beliefs informed by our early learnings about how to cope with the world around us; and they are impacted by our experiences, particularly sexual trauma.

Somehow, beliefs can be self-fulfilling in that we may think that we are not worthy, we deserved this, and/or we are un-lovable. These harmful beliefs which we may or may not be consciously aware of but can be the lens through which we view, experience the world we live in, and inform some of the decisions we make.

By under-going hypnotherapy, this helps us bypass that filter and reach our core beliefs that need changing, whether it is about anxious feelings and anxiety, about experiencing loneliness, limiting beliefs that hold us back, coping with stress, and much more.

Hypnotherapy, therefore, helps to re-access power, re-associate with emotions, re-moralise the efforts of self-protection, and provide victims with more control of our trauma.

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