Updated: May 8
Overcoming Intimacy Issues with Hypnosis - a Case Study
In all case studies, specific details may be slightly altered or omitted to protect client privacy.
A few years ago, I had a gentleman come in for hypnosis to resolve a fear of intimacy. He was healthy. He was successful. He was well-known and respected in his community. He had everything... but his love life sucked. Every time he got into an intimate relationship, things blew up… and he was lonely.
"What happens when you try to get close to someone?" I asked him.
Intimacy Issues: Sabotaging Relationships
He explained that, when push came to shove, he just couldn’t let go. He couldn’t bond; couldn’t allow anyone inside the walls of his heart. He’d been like that his entire life—as long as he could remember.
Consciously he could crave intimacy and want to be close with someone, but the fear made him keep them at arm's length. His fear of intimacy had sabotaged relationship after relationship & he didn’t know why. Every good intention to open up, to allow himself to trust, and to let someone in never made any headway. It was like his heart was frozen and he wanted it to stop.
Finding the Root Cause of a Fear of Intimacy
Somewhere in his life, a seed of belief had been planted that created a fear of intimacy: that he had to be alone and that he couldn’t trust anyone to love him. Consciously he wanted a trusting, intimate relationship and to overcome his intimacy issues, but was being held back. All the best intentions and rational thoughts in the world won't overcome a fear of intimacy if the root cause of the issue isn't addressed. Together we had to find that seed and get rid of it.
After a few more questions, we began the hypnotic process. I took him into a state of deep relaxation and induced a hypnotic sleep. Once he was fully under and we were able to access his entire mind, I suggested a scenario where he could go back in time to where and when the issue with intimacy in relationships first began.
I watched the play of emotion across his face: Confusion. Longing. Sorrow.
Tears began to trickle down his cheeks.
‘Where are you?’ I asked.
‘In the hospital’ he replied. ‘I want my mom, but she’s not here. Where is she? Why isn’t she here? Why am I alone?’
“Look around. What do you see?”
I watched his head crane on his neck as he looked around.
“It’s a cage!” he exclaimed. “Some kind of cage. And I’m locked in! My mom left me alone and they locked me in!”
He began to sob. Wail, actually. And here’s where things got really, really interesting! You know the sound of a newborn’s cry? That distinctive sound they make that isn’t like any other cry? THAT was the sound I was hearing—a newborn wailing!! And, wow, was it weird!!-- hearing that sound coming from the throat of a 30+ year old man! Imagine watching an adult body cry in the voice of a baby! And not a two or three month old baby. A newborn!
What on Earth was going on???!!
With a little gentle probing, the whole story came out.
Uncovering the Root Cause
The gentleman had been born premature. Because his tiny body was so weak and vulnerable, he was immediately taken from his mother and put into an incubator. That was the ‘cage’ that he described. Because he was so small and weak, he had needed the extra support that the machine provided, but his baby 'ID-brain' didn’t quite understand.
That emotionally charged, reactive, non-logical ID-brain part of his mind thought he’d been abandoned. It thought that there was something wrong with him, that his mother didn't love him and that he couldn't trust anyone. The 'ID-brain' thought he HAD to be alone.
AHA!! Here was the seed from which the entire issue had grown!! A tiny baby, alone and afraid, had found a way to cope that had negatively affected this man's entire life.
Overcoming Fear of Intimacy: a Hypnosis Success Story
The good news was, now we could move forward. Together, he and I had identified the problem and because we understood what it was, and how it had come about, we could solve it. From there, by allowing the conscious and subconscious parts of his mind to communicate, we were able to resolve the issue. He no longer had to be alone.
Within a short period of time, he was finally able to find the love of his life, cherish her and be cherished in return.
That's what I call a success story! :)
Janet Nahirniak, BEd., MSc.
Certified Master Hypnotherapist