Instilling Confidence for Clients
There are several ways that we can help clients who present with low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. In most, if not all cases, low self-esteem and lack of confidence stem from earlier issues in a client’s life.
A few examples are:
- Lack of support and encouragement at school, home or from friends
- Being bullied at school or work, feeling alienated or excluded in parts of life
- Sibling rivalry
- Every day life struggles that build up
- Physical, mental, emotional or sexual abuse (this is only in a few cases)
Of course, every client is different and their whole life experiences depend upon their personal circumstances and how they feel that they fit into the world. An understanding and empathic therapist will help a client to understand the psycho-dynamics of how and why they feel lacking or inferior and empower the client with a new and healthier set of perspectives.
Our first step when dealing with this issue is to explore the client’s background; the position in the family, who they felt closest to, how supported they felt, if parents divorced, which one did they live with? Was there any history of family violence? How did they interact with teachers and peers at school or later with their work colleagues? Each set of questions will depend upon the answers given to previous questions; our main concern is to understand where our client is coming from.
Then we will establish, in what circumstances does the client feel uncomfortable? Some people are fine with family and close friends but not with a group or with people they believe to be superior to them. Every little piece of information that you gather is important in order to see the whole picture. If a client has absolutely no idea why they feel this way then we would suggest regression to cause, but not usually in the first session, unless they’ve been before for some other issue and we know that they are a good hypnotic subject.
It’s also important to ascertain the client will know that they are feeling more confident in the future – what single thing will tell them that they are progressing? So, the first session will be a gathering of information, followed by a gentle hypnotic induction and suggestions of calm, relaxation and confidence, together with a post-hypnotic suggestion (usually an anchor/key word to trigger off positive feelings when necessary).
Mental rehearsal is used to allow the subject to see themselves behaving in a more positive way. Mental rehearsal lays down neural-pathways in the brain which allows a client to feel that they have already experienced this positive feeling or situation, making it easier for when they physically experience it (in a non-hypnosis situation).