I receive a referral from an oncologist treating a woman in her 60’s, for breast cancer. She’s mid-way through her chemotherapy and suffers from two treatment related side effects: nausea and insomnia. During our consultation, my client states she’s always been a sound sleeper, yet now she’s having difficulty falling and remaining asleep, especially on the days leading up to and after her chemo treatments. When asked if she has a lot of mental chatter, she replied, “Oh, there’s that…” When asked to elaborate about the nausea, she said it seems to be food specific. She continued, “The nausea I can live with. It’s this not sleeping business that’s killing me.” There was this silent pause, then we both laughed.
Over the next hour, I taught my client how to do self-hypnosis. Initially, I guided her in and out, which led to a cooperative effort, which led to her demonstrating self mastery by the end of our session. “That was really nice,” she said, “ I really had a silent mind! I didn’t sleep well last night and I feel like I just had a wonderful nap.”
I saw my client the following week, and she reports the self-hypnosis helps her to relax. She said it silences her over-active mind, and it has helped with her sleeping issue. I continued seeing this client over the course of her treatments, addressing her needs as they presented themselves.