"Can hypnosis help with childhood trauma?" is a common question when people hear me talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs. Hypnosis can help heal childhood trauma by accessing the subconscious mind, where we quite literally can change the cellular memory.
Three days before my book "Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom" was published, Oprah was on 60 Minutes sharing the ACEs study. I was overjoyed, as the ACEs study is groundbreaking and revolutionary. I knew from my work that most of the issues we struggle with as adults are rooted in childhood trauma. Now I have solid proof to point to!
Done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, 17,000 adults were asked ten questions around childhood trauma. They asked about physical, emotional and sexual abuse, loss of a parent (through death, divorce or incarceration), physical abuse of mother, and so on.
The study found that 1 in 5 were sexually abused, 1 in 4 beaten by a parent to the point of marks on their body, 1 in 4 grew up with an alcoholic and 1 in 8 witnessed their mother being beaten or hit.
This is not a quiz you want to score high on, and yet, being an overachiever, I did. My own need to heal my childhood trauma is what drew me to practice hypnosis to help others heal their childhood trauma.
Childhood Trauma and the Brain
The ACEs study showed a direct correlation that the higher one scored, the more likely they were to experience physical and mental dis-ease as adults. Those with with 4 or more had a much higher likelihood of heart disease, obesity, addiction, depression and suicide attempts. That doesn't mean it is going to happen, just that it is a much greater possibility. Hypnosis can help interrupt that likelihood.
Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., in his book "The Body Keeps The Score" says "We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present...For real change to take place, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present."
Albert Einstein said, many years ago, that "problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it." That why, many times, talk therapy doesn't help heal childhood traumas. The traumas are created in the conscious mind and then we consciously talk and talk about it, and nothing changes.
Childhood Trauma Recovery
Hypnosis can help with childhood trauma.
We can rewire the neural pathways in our brain! It doesn't mean we create amnesia for the trauma we experienced, but it no longer has control of us - the charge is gone. Trauma robs us of feeling in control. Hypnosis can help us feel more in control.
Neuroscience says "neurons that wire together, fire together." When we first experience a childhood trauma (or any experience), a certain group of neurons fire off, creating a neural pathway. Every time you have that experience or similar experience (or even think about it), that same group of neurons fire off again, strengthening the neural pathway. That's great for learning to play a musical instrument or practicing any new skill, but as the ACEs study proved, it is harmful for trauma.
The good news is that for over 15 years, I have used hypnosis to help thousands break free from their childhood trauma to live a live of freedom. Not all traumas are "capital T" traumas that the ACEs study focused on. Many times we experience "small t" traumas that, on the surface, don't seem like a big deal. As as those neural pathways keep getting stronger and stronger, it becomes a big deal.
With all that is going on in our world currently, a lot of people are being triggered by their childhood traumas that caused fear, stress and anxiety. Prescription medications for anti-anxiety medications rose 34.1% in just one month from mid-February to mid-March this year, according to Express Scripts.
I've helped thousand of people overcome various fears. A 61 year old man had developed a fear of stairs, to the point that he would crawl up the stairs and go down on his bottom, like a toddler. He didn't realize that my office was on the second floor with no elevator! He was in a panic by the time he reached my waiting room. We found the root cause, healed it and I received this note from him: " I can now navigate the stairs in my home without the gripping fear I lived with so long. I should have done this years ago. I am also proud that I conquered this fear. Hypnosis and Stephanie work!! Try them.
I've helped hundreds with fear of highway driving. Almost all fears that people come to me with are rooted in childhood - those "small t" traumas. One person was in the back seat of their parents' care when their father had a panic attack and had to pull over, with the mother taking the wheel. Certain driving experiences triggered that neural pathway over and over again until they just couldn't drive on the highway anymore. I have an incredible skill at finding the root cause, healing it and sending my clients on to live rich, full and free lives. A current client just wants to be able to drive to see her elderly parents, driving on the highways for an hour instead of the 2 hours it take her via the back roads.
Whether it's "small t" or "Capital T" traumas, hypnosis helps heal childhood trauma. A local pediatrician routinely sent me her patients with needle or other phobias. One was a 14-year-old girl with a fear of dogs. You would expect that it was because of a run in with a dog earlier in her childhood. She was a high school freshman and after our first few sessions, she greatly improved as a cheerleader and earned a spot on the varsity team. Keep in mind, we were working on her fear of dogs, nothing to do with her cheerleading. When we found the root cause, it had nothing to do with dogs at all! It was a "small t" trauma of being afraid at her very first dance recital. Her mother had tears streaming down her face when she came to pick up her daughter, who was sitting next to my dog Maggie. I heard from her mother a few weeks later that she had stopped throwing up on competition days. No one had mentioned that to me and yet, healing the root cause of her fear allowed her to be free in all areas of her life.
"A picture is worth a thousand words." Take a look at this - this is the look of freedom!
Sarah had come to me with a "Crippling fear of flying" (her words.) And look at her now! Not only is she skydiving, she went on to create a very successful business as "The Five Foot Traveller." You can read more about Sarah here.
Sarah's root cause was a "small t" childhood trauma, but as you can see, "small t" or "Capital T" traumas can have debilitating effects. One of the things I love so much in using hypnosis to heal childhood traumas is how gentle the healing is! There are so many misconceptions about hypnosis - learn more here.
I had my "Danbury Hypnosis" in person practice for 10 years. I closed the business in 2015 to work virtually so I could work with people around the globe. As many people are struggling to adapt to working online, I am an old pro and would love the opportunity to help you heal and get your freedom back.
Whether you scored high on the ACEs quiz or experienced "small t" traumas that are holding you back in life, let's have a 20 minute consultation to see how we can help you get your freedom back.