A woman I know approached me the other day and asked me what I thought about entity possession. When I asked her why, she mentioned that a hypnotherapist had suggested to her she might be possessed by one.
It turns out she (the client) was feeling a little vulnerable and according to her, the first thing the hypnotherapist said was “Maybe you’re possessed by an entity.”
Now, I wasn’t there so I don’t know what actually happened. But here are my thoughts on the matter…
What Parts Therapy Teaches Us
If you’ve studied NLP much, you know about Parts Therapy. Sometimes we have internal conflict. Maybe we want to quit biting our nails, but it helps relax us. Maybe we want to stop smoking, but on some subconscious level, we think it’s cool. Maybe we get angrier than we should but on some level we feel threatened and the anger helps us feel stronger.
In short, an individual can have conflicting motivations happening in the same context.
It’s easy to label the part of us that wants to smoke, bite our nails or react in anger as “bad.” But it’s only the behavior we object to–we don’t have anything against the intention behind the behavior (relaxing, feeling cool or feeling strong). It’s much easier to bring about change when we involve that motivation into our change-work. Those who don’t are simply trying to repress a part of a client’s personality. That’s dumb.
Those motivations that are driving the behavior we want to stop are the most powerful allies in actually stopping the behavior….
… Once we include them in the process.
What Unconscious Responses Teach Us
If you’ve ever watched anyone in hypnosis have their arm float up (or experienced it yourself), it’s kind of creepy at first. If you’ve ever felt an ideomotor response such as a finger twitching in response to a question, it doesn’t seem like it’s you. It is you though. It’s the same you that takes care of all of the other unconscious things we do–like breathe all day without thinking about it. Like blink whenever something comes at our eyes unexpectedly. So, we have these responses that we generate and that seem to come from outside ourselves.
What Are Symptoms?
Symptoms, ladies and gentlemen, are our friends. Symptoms are communications. Symptoms let us know when we are on the right track and when we aren’t. Symptoms are often parts of a person that are out of rapport with other parts of a person. Looked at another way, they can be a sign of internal conflict. Get to the root of the conflict, resolve it–and symptoms often disappear.
The Thing About Parts, Unconscious Responses & Symptoms
Parts, unconscious responses and symptoms are all things that are easy to misunderstand. It’s easy to dislike a part of us that drives a behavior we don’t like. It’s easy to want a symptom to disappear (even though it may have valuable information for us). It is easy to think unconscious responses are driven from some outside force. But the more we disavow parts of ourselves, the further away we are from healing. You don’t heal by hating part of yourself, ripping it out, stomping on it and throwing it away.
That’s what happened (and worse) in the dark ages. Many unexplained things were thought to be of the devil.
Some People Are Still In The Dark Ages
Unfortunately, some people still live in the dark ages. And in the land of faeries, leprechauns and daemons, it’s easier for muddled thinkers to attribute a part, symptom or unconscious response to an entity. “Hey, I’ve got an idea… Let’s take a valid part of someone’s personality, demonize it, call it names and cast it out of the body!”
In my opinion, that’s damaging to a person in most cases. Not good.