The first part of a session with a new client is all about talking. I ask some questions which open up areas of discussion about the client’s past, what has brought him or her to me, what sort of outcome they are looking for and so on. It also helps the client to relax and unwind – I appreciate it can take a lot of courage to come to see a therapist, and having time to look around the therapy room, take in the surroundings, feel comfortable is all part of the familiarisation process.
Then I explain how I work. Sometimes the client will have done their own research, going through my website, asking more questions, commenting on particular points. In either case, I talk them all through it again – it helps them to get used to my voice, and it helps their unconscious to understand what will be happening.
I allow time to talk about concepts such as past lives and spirit passengers – very often, it is the first time that clients have come up against such things, and while they are perfectly normal to me, I understand that they can be very strange to other people.
When I put people into a deep state of relaxation, I don’t use any “show-biz” type techniques or fancy footwork. For me the most important thing is that the client is comfortable and confident, ready to relax and let go.
Occasionally the client goes into a deep sleep instead of a deep state of relaxation. On the odd occasion when that happens, I will go through the basics of the first session anyway, as it serves as a briefing for the unconscious, so the whole process is more familiar to the client’s unconscious next time round. I then let them sleep for ten minutes or so – they usually need it – and bring them round again.
Falling asleep is a form of Resistance, and is part of the client’s defence mechanism. It’s as if I had asked them to jump into the deep end of a swimming pool they had never seen before. Some are happy to do just that, and will swim happily straight away. Others want to walk around the pool first, and paddle in the shallow end before going out of their depth. It is caution rather than failure, and invariably things go “swimmingly” next time round. It’s because the unconscious has received the message even though the client has been sleeping, recognises the process and feels comfortable enough to “let go” and go with the flow.
It’s usually strong-minded people who experience this, those who are used to being in control. The idea of “letting go” is anathema, and for them not being able to see what’s going on is even more scary than the idea of visiting a past life! But once the conscious and unconscious parts of the brain are comfortable with the process, all is well – and generally speaking, those with strong minds make great subjects once they’ve got over that resistance hurdle!