Have you ever argued with yourself about something? Have you looked at a delicious cookie, and had a debate with yourself over whether or not to eat it. How many times have one part of you asked yourself “why did I say that?” or “why did I do that?” We all have different parts, or aspects, to our personalities. One part might be shy, while another part feels bold or confident. Don’t worry, you don’t have multiple personalities. The debating voices are different parts of your subconscious mind.
We all have an inner child. The inner child part of us can be stubborn, rebellious, strong, creative and the list goes on. Understanding the existence of these parts can improve our chances of successfully reaching our goals and finding peace in our lives. I use the concept of “Parts Therapy” in my work with clients who are having a hard time giving up smoking, losing weight, sleeping or reaching their goals.In hypnosis we convene a “meeting of the parts” where each part presents their motives and needs in order to facilitate a compromise to overcome their conflict.
An example of this is a woman who came to me to lose weight. She tried everything but was unsuccessful. In hypnosis she realized that when she was younger and sexy looking, she got a lot of unwanted attention and was molested. Her unconscious mind was keeping her heavy to try to protect her from attracting sexual attention. There was a part of her who was afraid to lose weight. We were able to empower her adult resourceful part to assure she could protect herself.
Whenever someone comes to me to for help to quit smoking, there is a part of them that wants to continue to smoke. In hypnosis, when I communicate with the pro-smoking part, the reason they smoke is usually to relax and help cope with stress. The pro-smoking part doesn’t want cancer but believes they need to smoke in order to cope. When it negotiates with the part that wants to become a nonsmoker, alternatives are discovered that provide the same, or better results than smoking provided. Another woman that I helped quit smoking had a death wish that she was unaware of. Many people she loved died from smoking and she wanted to be with them. She had already lost a lung to cancer and couldn’t figure out why she could not stop smoking. She was able to stop smoking when the part of her that loved her husband and children prevailed.
Each of our parts has a specific role or goal. Sometimes it is to protect us and sometimes it is to punish us. Some of us feel guilty and believe we need to be punished. Often we learned this from a parent and incorporated it into our unconscious beliefs. Inner conflict is not new, but using it as an approach to find solutions to our long standing problems is very effective as one of the many tools in hypnosis.