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Little problems, big problems

By on January 1, 2015
Image courtesy of vectorolie and

As a hypnotist you may have asked yourself the same question we often ask: how is that that one client can come in with a life threatening issue such as a chronic disease, another with an existential issue such as the loss of a loved one, and a third with a minor fear, perhaps speaking in public. And yet for each of them their own issue seems equally serious.

There is actually a well researched answer, based around a phenomena called the region-beta paradox. This paradox essentially says that any journey is likely to take a similar amount of time, no matter how long it may be. Why? Because we choose a mode of travel that is commensurate with the length of the journey. So that if I am traveling a mile or so I might walk, if I am going ten miles I might drive, a hundred miles I might take the train, five hundred miles I might take a plane, and so on. The further the journey, the faster the means of transportation I choose.

So it is with our clients and their problems. If someone has a humungous, gargantuan issue, then their unconscious mind might find some way of coping with that issue. Perhaps they will come to view it as a defining moment in their life, and by viewing it in this way access resources that would normally not be available to them.

For example if a client comes to see you because they have found out their spouse has a life threatening disease, and they are not sure they can cope, they might respond well to the suggestion that the two of them will get through this and come out stronger.

Such an approach wouldn’t perhaps work so well with a client who has a less serious, less existential, issue. If your client comes to see you because they feel a little shy at parties, the suggestion that they can get through the issue stronger than before may sound like overkill. Instead, a more light-hearted approach may be more appropriate.

Choosing methods and metaphors that are appropriate for the scale of the issue in the client’s life is like choosing the most appropriate method of transportation. Don’t try to go across the Atlantic on a bicycle, but don’t catch a jet to go down to the grocery store.

To learn more about the region beta paradox, click the link below.

The region-beta paradox denotes the phenomenon that people can sometimes recover more quickly from more intense emotions or pain than from less distressing experiences. See more…

Image courtesy of vectorolie and

Cafehypno Editorial team Sarah Carson, Jess Marion and Shawn Carson

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