Lisa is an Aussie in her mid-sixties, with a grayish, curly hair and a big, captivating smile…she radiates with warmth, joy and and positivity. She reminded me of my grandmother when she was that age, so I liked her instantly. Energetic…bossy in a charming way…always busy… managing a family restaurant and taking care of her large family – husband, 4 adult kids and their spouses, 7 grand-kids, elderly father and 3 dogs. She said she grew up in a big family herself…she was the eldest of 6 children… thus wanted a big family on her own. She showed me a photo from her son’s wedding, there was probably 70 people only in the closest family, no kidding. Lisa is one of those strong and stable people who are always “in charge”, and who you can rely on at any time. Definitely not a type of person you would ever expect to go see a psychotherapist. Well…. “I’ve heard you do wonders with people in pain” she said straightforwardly. ”I have this frozen shoulder for about 12 years. No injury….just woke up in pain one day and it’s still here. I’ve tried everything to get rid of it, nothing worked. I was unresponsive to treatments. I can’t exercise, I can’t reach things on high shelves and on bad days I can’t even put my arm in the sweater….It hurts as hell…and I hate asking people for help.” Her voice trembled noticeably here. “Anyway, I’m fed up with medication so I though to try that hypnotherapy of yours. When we can start?” 

I was enchanted by her energy, but I had to quickly put my therapist’s hat on, and do what she requested…do my best to free her from pain. 

I asked her what happened 12 years ago, before her shoulder “froze”. Typical question for a psychologists, but it seemed that no one had asked her that before. “Well…let me think…nothing bad, really… all the good things. Me and my hubby lived in Florida for seven years, because of his work. We had so much fun there… I worked as a Qigong instructor… we came back to Australia around that time, 12 years ago. Three of our grand-kids were already born, and one was on the way, so we wanted to live close to them, to help with the kids, and my dad also, who was then 79. Only that, nothing traumatic, if that’s what you meant”. “OK”, I said, “let’ s do the session and see what comes out”. 

She resisted somewhat, as she was used to a busy mode, but relaxed eventually. 

In RTT, which is a type of advanced hypnotherapy, we use regression as one of the tools to gather information about the client’s emotional history. In hypnotic state, which is similar to a deep relaxation, the brainwaves slow down, and the conscious and logical mind “goes to sleep”, so we have direct access to the vastness of emotional and childlike subconscious mind. We believe that answers for many questions and problems are there, waiting to be discovered. 

So, we dived into Lisa’s subconscious….The first memory that showed up was when she was a young mom of 3 preschool boys… At that time, her husband had a job in a different city, so she lived alone with the kids… she felt like a single mom…staying strong… but feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. One of the boys got ill…and she was feeling scared… she had no one to ask for help… all responsibilities were on her. Another memory brought up exactly the same feelings…she was 14…her parents went to a funeral in another city, and left her alone to take care of five young siblings, ages 3 to 12. She got used to taking care of kids, and loved being “in charge”, but this time it was for two whole days… she was overwhelmed…she was terrified to stay alone overnight in a big house alone with kids…she couldn’t sleep all night…she was angry at her parents for putting so much responsibility on her…she was still just a child. 

I asked Lisa what was the link between those memories and the pain in her shoulder… and she connected it marvelously…she said “I know! My body is telling me that I should stop taking so many responsibilities on my self. I have to learn how to say “no” to all the demands. I have to learn how to ask for help! There is just too much on my shoulders”. 

Seven years she spent in Florida with her husband was the only period in her life when she didn’t have to take care of anybody else… Her children were grown ups, living back home…and she had all the time in the world for her self and her husband…she listened to her heart’s desires and did what pleased her…they traveled, played sports, enjoyed care-free life.. When the grandchildren were born she was thrilled, of course… she was over the moon with joy… but, when they decided to move back to help with the kids…she froze…her mind got conflicted…and quietly, but firmly protested….”you’re gonna get overwhelmed again…you’re gonna take on too much and lose yourself again…” …and soon enough, the pain in the shoulder appeared… to protect her….from “shouldering” too many responsibilities.

Human mind’s primary purpose is our safety and survival…and the mind’s ways are not logical, but are powerful. It listens to our words and takes them all seriously, even if we don’t…and if it senses danger, it comes to our rescue…whether we want it or not… sometimes in strangest of ways. 

I checked in with Lisa recently, almost 6 months after our session. She said “I’m feeling great, Mira. Hubby and me were preparing for the badminton tournament, but this pandemics disrupted our plans. So, I’m back to Qigong again. Pain? What pain?” she laughed. “That’s not me anymore. It’s just a dim, distant memory,exactly as you said it would be. I’m so grateful. Oh, yes… do you remember when I said how I hate asking for help? Well, that didn’t change….So, I HIRED help. I am still bossing around and getting things done. That’s still me. ”

**This story is shared with the client’s permission. The name of the client and some personal details are changed to protect client’s privacy.