“… and when you hear the number ‘zero’, you will open your eyes and wake up, feeling refreshed.”
I was using my softest voice, speaking slowly and deliberately as I rounded off the session with my daughter. I had been working with her on and off for months, spending time in the evenings before she went to bed.
“Three… you feel the energy coming back to your arms and legs…”
When I started adding hypnotherapy to my practice, it hadn’t been with this in mind. I had intended to expand my customer base, not use it on my own family.
“Two… you’re beginning to feel lighter, coming out of your sleep…”
Little did I know it was going to be the best career move of my life. The self-improvement market had really taken off over the past few years; instead of reading self-help books, people contacted therapists like me to help them with their problems. My income more than doubled as a result.
“One… you are beginning to wake up, becoming more and more alert…
I say ‘problems’… what I mean is ‘insecurities’. Hypnotherapy had become mainstream now. People didn’t just use it to deal with trauma or anxiety, they came to me for all sorts of things: dealing with stress, trying to stop smoking or biting their fingernails, gaining confidence… That’s what we were doing here. Alisha wanted to become more confident.
She slowly opened her eyes. Those lovely brown eyes of hers. And she had such a beautiful face. I was glad she hadn’t gone down the route so many of her friends had done, using fake eyelashes, lip fillers and that kind of crap. My daughter was gorgeous. And that wasn’t just fatherly love talking; she had inherited her mother’s natural beauty and hardly even needed makeup to look good. Lying there on the couch in the dimly lit living room, she was so beautiful, I’d get all teary-eyed if I started thinking too much about it.
“How do you feel, honey?”
“Mmmm… so relaxed… Thank you, Dad…”
“You’re welcome. Now you should get ready for bed.”
I stood up and went to the kitchen to get her a glass of water while she took a minute. When I returned, she was sitting on the couch, stretching and yawning. Man, was she pretty. Supple and graceful, neither too fat nor too skinny; slight, youthful curves around the hips and chest…
At first, I hadn’t believed her when she told me a couple of years ago that she hadn’t started dating yet. A girl like that, I would have thought I’d have to beat the boys away with a stick. Apparently, though, she did that perfectly well on her own. Whenever someone had asked her out, she had said no – not because she didn’t want to, but because she was nervous.
This is actually pretty common. People who come to me for treatment would have meltdowns at the very idea of speaking in public, breaking out in cold sweats if somebody asked them a question in meetings. Some had such low self-esteem that they didn’t see themselves as viable partners, thinking that if somebody showed an interest in them, it would have to be some kind of prank.
Hypnotherapy could actually help. I’d had a great deal of success so far, and most of the job is actually done by the patients themselves. Mostly, it’s not that they don’t know how to talk in public – it’s not that they actually are unattractive or unable to perform a certain task, it’s just that they think they are. Once they get rid of that little monster on their back who says: “You’re useless, you can’t do this.”, it gets a lot easier.
Your boss asks you to tell your colleagues what you’ve been working on for the past three weeks? Easy. You’ve done the work, so you know the stuff, now it’s just a matter of saying it out loud to the group. That attractive woman next door drops hints that she’d love to go out some time? And you’d like that too? Okay, well, then simply ask if she’d like to have dinner with you this weekend. Easy. In theory.
Alisha had always felt awkward as a teen. Gangly. Weird. Limbs all out of proportion. And sure, for a little while that might have seemed to be the case. Her pelvis took time to widen, of course it did. And her breasts didn’t immediately turn from nonexistent to full-fledged hooters, that doesn’t happen to anybody.