One of my hypnosis clients, a man in his 50’s, was having an issue with drinking. He would come home at night and drink several glasses of wine, and it was adding on inches to his waistline. He was drinking the wine as a way of winding down after a hectic day.
The problem was he didn’t feel like he was in control. The drinking was on autopilot, and there were frequent regrets the next morning when he awakened tired with bleary eyes and a fuzzy mind.
The first approach we tried was to make wine less attractive. It was a simple NLP technique that caused him to associate wine with an unpleasant substance, like hair from the barbershop floor. And, that worked for a while.
However, he kept going back to over indulging in wine as a way to celebrate, or to wind down, or to socialize with friends at a restaurant. Apparently, there was more to the drinking than simple pleasures.
So, as any good hypnotherapist would, I started asking more questions about his drinking to unearth any hidden benefits that he was getting from the drinking. Questions like, “What does drinking wine mean to you?”, and “Who would you be if you no longer drank wine?”
Unconscious minds are purposeful, not logical, and it turned out that there was a purpose beyond simple pleasure involved. This particular client had grown up with rigidly religious parents who never drank alcohol. And, my client started drinking as a way to distance himself from his father. If he drank, he was different from his father in some important ways.
I asked him how much he had to drink to completely realize that he was not his father. And, my client then mentally shifted gears and got very still and quiet, just like people in hypnosis do, and thought about the question for a while.
He then told me that he did not need to drink to prove to himself, or anyone else, that he is his own man. At that moment he knew for himself that he is someone who is much more flexible in his outlook and behaviors than his father.
Since that time, my client has been in control of his drinking. He may or may not have the occasional glass of wine, but it is with full conscious choice and intention. So, the drinking is no longer a problem.
It only took a few moments of deep thinking in hypnosis to finally resolve the drinking problem. However, all the other work we had done up to that point helped bring him to the point of having full conscious choice. And, he really knows that he no longer needs to prove to himself that he is not like his father.