Grace (not her real name) came to see me again last week. Her self -esteem had been almost non-existent when she had originally come to see me. She told me that a nasty divorce, her grown-up children leaving home, and redundancy in the last fourteen months had left her feeling directionless and stuck in a rut at the age of forty-eight. She had been confident and outgoing but the last fourteen months had left her without her previous confidence and assertiveness.
The first thing I did was to help Grace see that a lot of how she felt about these things was because of the way she thought about them. I helped her to recognise that a lot of her thinking was dwelling on the negative, and that seeing the positive wasn’t about wearing rose-tinted glasses or being unrealistic. I also helped her to understand the difference between assertiveness and aggression, and how assertiveness is linked to positive self-esteem.
Using hypnotherapy with Grace allowed her to relax and escape from her stressful and unwanted thoughts. She had to practice but soon she was telling me how she was recognising, and dismissing, the thoughts that she used to have about herself – that she wasn’t good enough, and that she had let herself and other people down.
Her new outlook on life led to her feeling more confident, and happy to use her new assertiveness to make other changes as well – changing jobs to something she really enjoyed, making new friends, enjoying social life, and even having the confidence to start dating again.
Grace doesn’t need my help any more, and that is why I do what I do – because of the tremendous sense of achievement when people walk out of the door having changed their lives for the better.
Grace’s name and some details have been changed to protect her anonymity, and she is happy to share her story.