Changing the Pain Through Stories

By Cat Wilson

When was the last time you felt pain? How did you listen to it? (Or was it ignored?) Did you tell anyone? (Or hold it inside?) How did they listen? (Or not listen?) How did the story go from there?  (Or not go?)  Noticing pain, listening to pain, and entering a new story can lead to a higher and better experience.
Pain is what drives the client to come in for help  – physically, mentally, or spiritually. Physical pain is a signal in our body trying to get a person’s attention to take care of an issue or problem. It’s important for a client to see their physician for any pain to assure it’s not indicating a condition that needs medical attention. Once it’s cleared by the physician that they’ve done all they can, the hypnotherapist can begin.  Counselors help greatly and sometimes it’s just time to try another approach, which is when the client seeks the hypnotherapist. Spiritually we can hurt, too.
Listening to others builds good rapport and feels good to a client. In the nature of our work in using hypnotherapy we are drawn to helping people feel or think better. We care, so we listen and provide “time” to a client for deep reflection and release. Being listened to by an open and respective heart can be healing in itself.  Studies have shown that when a patient feels that their practitioner really listens to them that they feel they received better treatment.  So we listen to their old story and then we give them a structure to create a new and better story. Why? You can’t plan the future when you’re still looking at the past.
Listening to a good story can change the scene. Have you ever noticed how reading a really good novel or story gives you an escape… for a while? Your mind imagines travels to distant places, times, experiences, and offers you the vehicle to visit new worlds.  Remember back to a novel where a character travels to an exotic and wonderful place, an island or country where you’ve never been.  Did you feel like you were the character? What was it like being them in a different life? How was it going along side of your character and feeling the movement of a train, a drifting sailboat, or a bumpy ride on bicycle? Your mind travels and your heart goes, too. Character emotions become our emotions.  Good authors invite us into their dream and we accept the invitation by joining the adventure with our mind. Just as a client goes into hypnosis.
Stories offer a good experience for us to release life for a while, because that journey is a little reprieve from reality. Along the ride… have you ever noticed how time goes by quickly when you’re reading?  Then, you may feel more energized to go and work on a tough project.  A story “changes the pain” and can actually relieve or release it.  One of the helpful things about stories is that as you listen to it you are also creating it in your body to understand it. This happens unconsciously, because as we are listening to the story, we are literally creating that change and isn’t that what you want? Listening and story telling are great tools for creating a happy body.