Case Study 1: The War Was Still Present
We came to know “Bob” because his girlfriend started calling our office in a 911 fashion. She wanted to know the soonest they could get in. She was concerned about Bob and some of the behaviors he was exhibiting. One afternoon the four of us met. My husband, Monte is a Licensed Counselor and both of us knew he needed to evaluate Bob and make sure hypnosis was appropriate and safe.
Bob had served in Afghanistan. He was in a leadership role and had to make very tough decisions, like who went on missions with an understanding they may not come back. He had friends die in front of him. He showed us pictures of his bullet-ridden vehicle, the bullet proof glass the reason he is still alive. He believed in leadership by example, which meant he sometimes went on these missions himself.
Bob was extremely anxious. When driving on the interstate, if he saw a box on the opposite side of the road, he was swerving trying to miss it. He was having the same reoccurring nightmare. And they both wanted to know if hypnosis could help. After an evaluation and determining he could undergo hypnosis, we did an educational time about hypnosis. And I asked him to come back the next morning for a full session.
The next morning they both arrived and again the four of us were present. Bob went deeply into trance and we began the clearing of his trauma. He released the trauma and then we discovered the meaning of the nightmare. His subconscious wanted him to always remember and honor his fallen brothers. We reached an agreement with his subconscious that if Bob always remembered and honored them, his dreams would be pleasant. When Bob came out of hypnosis, he sat in my chair and cried for about 15 minutes. He explained he couldn’t grieve while there, as it would have put him and the men in danger.
I asked Bob to return in 2 days to check back in. Two days later, Bob and his girlfriend came in and he had a big smile on his face! Bob reported that when they left my office they went to the park and he cried and remembered his fallen brothers for a while. He then reported how different he was. He was calmer, their relationship had gone to a new level and he was able to “do life.” Now, when he remembers his fallen friends, it is the happy memories, of them doing life together. And his dreams were pleasant! I haven’t had much interaction with Bob but the last interaction we had, he told me yes, you can tell my story, no problem!