Black Hole Healing
One of the most challenging moments that I experience as a counsellor and as a mediator is when a client comes to an impasse in their psyche, which defies all the different modalities of therapy and conflict resolution. Sometimes the client sees this “blind spot” but more often than not I see it and they become very defensive about it. Sometimes it takes great courage on my part to lovingly address this issue. At this challenging moment I commit myself to sharing and reflecting what I am experiencing in a calm, compassionate, non-projective and non-judgmental fashion. I attempt to utilize a “best-fit projection” of what I am experiencing. I extend complete latitude to them to partially or fully accept or reject my projection.
When a client completely or mostly accepts my best-fit projection, I then let them know that, in my view, we are dealing with what I call a “black hole”. A black hole is a cluster or complex in a person’s psyche which usurps and/or sucks away tremendous amounts of energy that is then not available to the person for maintaining a conscious, healthy attitude and life-style. I gently invite the client to explore further into this black hole, after checking with them to see if their trust in our relationship is strong enough to allow them to relax into their abyss without undue fear and trauma.
I reassure my client that I am not inviting them to engage in exorcism which is so closely associated with the Catholic faith and/or religious superstition that it can impede the psyche-logical process that we are about to embark upon. I share with them that the understanding and psychic healing that can take place is quite scientific and at the cellular consciousness level.
Basically, we are re-pairing the open and/or short circuits in the client’s dysfunctional psyche. I indicate that my role is to be a guide and travelling companion into the dark side (or, in the case of enhancement counselling, the unexplored bright side) of their personality. I reassure them that I am not going to desert them at any point in this process.
Trust is perhaps the single most significant ingredient in the counselling relationship. In the hypnosis counselling relationship, it is absolutely imperative. To build a very high level of trust it is essential for the hypnotist to be very courageous and radically honest. Hypnotherapy clients are allowing themselves to be in a very vulnerable position and thus they require and deserve a safe crucible in which to explore their feelings and issues.
Once the crucible of trust or sacred space has been created and the client is in a relaxed state of consciousness it is possible to travel deeper into their black hole and locate the dysfunction. When a client has dis-identified with their persona and commences assimilating their “shadow” self, incredible healing and significant change becomes possible. Step by step the hypnotherapist encourages the client to move beyond the familiar into his or her own unknown. In Buddhist psychology this is called “facing into the fire”. In existentialist psychology it is called “the encounter with nothingness”.
My task as a hypnotherapist is to empower my clients to “make friends with their fears”. I also act as a mediator between their inner conflicts. I urge them to distinguish between their rational and irrational fears. I make suggestions to them that might support them in navigating and negotiating their way through their psyche.
I encourage my clients to avoid bypassing scary and distasteful issues. I remind them that “dissolving is resolving” and that they do not have to solve an issue all at once.
I continually remind my clients that it is literally impossible to exorcise or totally get rid of any one bad memory or negative part of themselves. I suggest to them that they radically accept and transcend these distasteful entities and issues. Transcendence is a process in which the client rises above the entity or issue and incorporates it, in diminished amounts, into their cellular memory. I suggest the image of relegating the matter to a locked dead file down in the back corner of the basement of their psyche. This is similar to the concept of granting a pardon…forgiving but not forgetting.
C. G. Jung in his psychology of archetypes indicates that we all contain, to some degree, all the traits of human nature. He claims that any attempt to eliminate any one of these archetypes in ourselves will cause that archetype to expand and become an obsession. He urges that we accept a small tidbit of all the archetypes as necessary ingredients in enabling us to become balanced and compassionate individuals. In black hole healing, I frequently suggest to my client that they imagine breathing in all the blackness and grossness and evil in the whole cosmos…and then…to imagine just breathing it out. This is the ultimate assimilation of the shadow. From this pitch-black place I also suggest to my client that they watch for and follow any small light that appears until they reach their place of empowerment or en-lightenment.