Childhood trauma can be responsible for a number of presenting problems in adulthood. It can manifest in everything from inability to lose weight to fear, stress, anxiety, nightmares and psychosomatic symptoms. It can show up symptoms of PTSD like anger, fear, or easily being triggered. It can create mental health issues such as disorders.

Traumatic Events

Traumatic events can be mild – such as moving to a new school and feeling like an outsider. Or it can be more traumatic life events like sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or other intensely negative events from the past.

These events can linger into adulthood with lasting effects that create suffering and mental health issues. The memories can show up as intrusive thoughts or mental movies of that event that replay over and over. This creates stress and other symptoms long after the person has had the traumas.

Hypnotherapy and Repressed Memories

Hypnosis is often thought of as a go-to to find repressed memories. A person may have tried numerous modalities including talk-therapy or medication to reduce symptoms. So the person may begin to wonder about the origin of today’s problem – did something happen to them as a child that they are not aware of?

That is often when a client will seek out hypnotherapy to reduce post-traumatic stress.

How Memory Works

It has been said that everything you have ever seen, heard, felt, smelled and tasted is stored somewhere in your unconscious mind.

When you have an experience, different aspects of it will be stored in different places in your mind. When you go to recall that memory, your mind then takes all of those pieces and puts them back together into a “thing” we call a memory. This process is called reconsolidation.

When we experience the world, we don’t get all the information. There are so many nerves and senses in the body, it would be impossible to pay attention to all of it at once. So your mind filters your experiences down to a more manageable amount of data coming in. This process is called distortion, deletion, and generalization. There is a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System that does this filtering.

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So you may not remember everything vividly. Yet, memories can be recovered or enhanced through Hypnosis. And they can be changed as well.

Hypnosis and Regression

The process of going back and finding and re-experiencing memories is called regression. Hypnotic regression can be used with memories you are aware of, or memories you are not aware of. It is often the process of starting with an issue you might have today, like anxiety, and going back in your mind to find the cause. You do not need to consciously think of it. In the hypnotic state your unconscious mind will guide you there.

One common myth is that someone needs to be in a profoundly deep trance in order to experience regression. That is not true. Regression to a childhood memory can happen in a mild, medium, or deep trance. After all, you are reading this in a waking state, and if I asked you to describe your bedroom from childhood, you could likely recall at least some details. Yet hypnosis can help enhance the process of recall.

The type of hypnotherapy treatment will depend on the client’s awareness of the traumatic memory (or not), the level of distress in recalling it, and the client’s presenting symptoms. A flexible hypnotherapist will be sensitive to the clients state of mind and emotions during the process and adjust accordingly.

How to Resolve Childhood Trauma


Knowing about trauma is not enough. Awareness can be a good start. But it may not relieve the suffering.

The next step is to neutralize the trauma. Using techniques in a hypnotherapy session, a traumatic event can changed from a memory that has a lot of charge or emotion associated with it into a neutral thought. You can still have the thought, but the charge is gone.

Once that happens, the problems of today like lack of confidence, sleepless nights, anxiety, hypervigilance, begin to subside.

Often clients report at the end of the session that “it just feels like a regular memory” – it is neutral.

What About Resistance to Change?

An additional part of the work is to address any unconscious blocks to healing. If a client has done previous healing work and it has not “stuck” – meaning the problem keeps coming back, then it is time to look for unconscious resistance. It is reasonable to expect it to be there, since we all have parts of us that work to keep us safe and secure. So we work with that part to help it recognize that this younger part of you is no longer in the traumatic situation. This is done with acceptance and compassion to alleviate any shame that might be there. Then the block can dissolve and the healing can stick for the long-term.

Why Hypnosis Works for Trauma Resolution

Sometimes talking about a problem can reinforce it rather than resolve it. With hypnosis, you will be in a relaxed state. A good hypnotherapist can give you suggestions to help you see and feel differently about that traumatic event (or multiple traumatic events) so you never think about it the same way again. While we can’t change the event, the memory itself can change. You no longer have to think about it in that traumatic way again. When that happens, presenting issues like depression, shame, triggers, numbness, anger, etc start to resolve. Even addictions can begin to fade.

What Happens After Hypnosis for Trauma?

Often people report that it is like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. The unconscious energy that was going into vigilance, fear, anxiety or other protective mechanisms is now freed up to live your life more fully.

That can mean a greater sense of safety and security in the world. More happiness, joy, freedom, and peace of mind, for example. We don’t just want to neutralize the traumatic memory.  It is about then building in positive states of mind that you desire. It is about more fully living life and strengthening connections with people who are important to you.

What is the First Step?

The first step is to decide to take action to resolve that trauma. I am a trauma relief specialist and offer a free consultation session where we can discuss your situation and come up with a plan to move past that trauma.

It starts with a decision to act and take that first step, so you can live more of the life you desire and deserve.

Call 650-417-3187 or click here to go directly to my calendar.

To learn more about how hypnosis can help you to resolve issues and reach your goals, click below to schedule a consultation session.
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