September 18

The Mask of Forgiveness

Therapeutic Forgiveness


Forgiveness Work is central to regression-to-cause hypnosis.  This is because there are people in the client’s life who need to be forgiven.  And to get a complete resolution of the presenting issue, the client must be willing to let go of the emotional charge attached to painful past events.   That’s what’s holding the problem in place.  

It’s the Pain Story.  

Often the pain is coming out of events in childhood.  The people who are responsible for causing that pain often turn out to be Mom and Dad because the Child is dependent on others to take care of its needs. And that doesn’t always happen.

The problem is that children don’t come with an owner’s manual.  Even the most well-intention parent can’t be present to the needs of the Child 100% of the time.  And when a parent or someone else is abusive toward the Child, it leaves behind unresolved trauma that can generate unwanted symptoms.

Forgiveness Work Begins Long Before the Induction

The Forgiveness Work isn't merely part of the hypnotherapeutic process.  It actually begins during the intake process. During the intake, you can conduct a little preliminary uncovering work and take a pulse on how the client feels toward the people who were prominent in their lives in childhood.

The client is not always consciously aware that there was a problem in the relationship.  But when they are, often what they’ll tell you is that they’ve already dealt with it, and there’s no need to forgive that person.  

They’ll argue that they’ve already forgiven the person who hurt them. They’ll make up excuses for them. They’ll say, “They were doing the best they could . . .”  They’ll give you all the reasons why they don’t need to forgive that person. For example, they went to counselling.  They forgave them.  It’s not a problem, anymore.  

But the moment they start talking about that person, you’ll see it. The feeling will start to bubble up to the surface.  They’ll get agitated.  Their face will change colour.  And they’ll start trying to convince you that there’s no need to go over old ground.  What they’re really saying is that they don’t want to go there.

The reason they don’t want to go there is because it’s not finished.  This is uncomfortable territory for them.  They’re trying to convince themselves (and everyone else) that they’ve been there, done that.  And they don’t believe they should have to go there.  

This is the Mask of Forgiveness.

They’re not being dishonest.  They may honestly believe that they have put the past behind them.  But the feelings are still alive.  Recognize that the forgiveness they’re talking about is head forgiveness.  

That’s not real forgiveness.  

Head forgiveness doesn’t allow the grievance to be acknowledged and released.  If anything, it just buries the hatchet deeper into the heart.  

The heart feels what it feels.  And when the head tries to reason away the feeling, it just drives the problem deeper into the psyche.

Authentic forgiveness comes from the heart. When emotions get stuffed down deep inside, or a lid gets put on top of them, those uncomfortable emotions don’t go away.  They just find another way to express – usually through symptoms.

The goal of regression-to-cause hypnotherapy is to get to the heart of the problem.  It’s to find out how the problem got started and resolve it there by healing the Pain Story attached to it. Healing the Pain Story will result in real and lasting change.  But it can take time to locate and release all of the contributing factors - especially if they have a long history with a person who caused them pain.

Healing is a by-product of releasing all the pain that got trapped inside.  And to heal it – you’ve got to feel it.  A person has to be willing to feel the truth of their feelings.  Then they can let them go. 

Forgiveness is a letting go.

Real forgiveness is a letting go.  And when a person let’s go of the problem – healing happens.  This is why Forgiveness Work is the core of the work of regression hypnosis.  It involves a process of guiding a person to the point where they’re willing to allow healing to happen by letting go of the Pain Story.

The problem is that not everyone is going to be willing to do that because letting go of the Pain Story can feel like a loss of identity.  Not everyone is going to be willing to give it up all at once because that can be perceived as a threat. This is why it can take time for healing to happen.

It's also why you need to educate your clients about what it means to forgive. It’s because you can’t do it for them.  The client must be willing to feel those uncomfortable feelings to release them.  And that’s naturally going to bring up some resistance.

But resistance is simply fear.  And you can by-pass a lot of that fear by giving the client a taste of what it means to truly forgive.

Forgiveness actually feels good.

The client's first session with you gives you the ideal opportunity to show the client that there’s no reason for fear.  It’s just that forgiveness is not what they think.  

Forgiveness based solely in reason is just head forgiveness.  That’s what most people think forgiveness is.  The problem is that the heart is screaming out to be heard.  And until somebody has the heart to listen, the mind and body will continue to suffer.

So, that's it. When a client tells you they have forgiven – don’t believe them.  That’s just their Conscious Mind speaking. Too many people believe that they should forgive.  They think forgiveness is an act of saintliness.  They even convince themselves that they have forgiven – when, in fact, they haven’t.

They’ve just buried all the pain deep inside which makes the Mind a living hell.  They just don’t realize this.  They may even truly believe that they have forgiven.  But there’s no point in trying to convince them otherwise.   Show them.

When you guide them back into events from the past, the truth will win out.  The client will be shocked and surprised to discover just how much emotion is still attached to those events and people.   You can then use this realization as an opportunity to teach them how to get real and lasting change – by forgiving from the heart.

Nice right?

About the author 

Wendie Webber

With over thirty years of experience as a healing practitioner, Wendie brings a broad range of skills to her approach to regression to cause hypnosis. She combines a gentle, yet commanding way of presenting with a thorough, clear and systematic approach to helping healing practitioners to make sense of regression hypnotherapy.