A young woman enters my office. She tells me she’s newly married and hasn’t been sleeping because her husband snores, and can I help her sleep.
Using hypnosis and guided imagery, I ask her to allow an image to come to her mind that’s a perfect representation of the sound of snoring… My client described a very huge bear; big teeth, large paws, sharp nails. “I don’t like this bear… I don’t like this bear, I don’t like this…” she repeats several times, as I observe her fingernails digging into the upholstery.
I ask to speak directly with the bear. “Bear, how do you feel about my client?” The bear states, (in a far deeper voice than my client), “I don’t want to hurt her. She’s so small.” This I found really interesting, as my client was a heavy set woman. “Bear,” I said, “The sound of your snoring is keeping my client from getting the valuable sleep that she needs. Are you willing to transform yourself into something more soothing, so my client can get her sleep?” The bear was silent for nearly a minute, then responded. “I have observed, when I go fishing, how quiet fish are. All I hear is the swish of their tail.” And accompanying this statement, my client lifted her arm and mimicked the swishing motion. The bear continued, “I will become a fish for her, so she can get the valuable sleep she needs.” My client said the bear turned into a tiny goldfish, which she put into a water-filled glass bowl.
I wanted to be sure this would work for her. So using future paced hypnosis, we went forward 3-4 days. I suggested, “It’s nighttime, you and your husband are getting ready for bed, he falls asleep before you do… and he’s breathing heavily.” I ask, “What do you hear?” She says, “Nothing at all.”
I began the process of guiding her out of hypnosis, and mid-way through, my client takes a fast, short inhale. I continue and once out of hypnosis, I ask her what that inhale was about. She tells me she saw herself, 3-4 years old, wailing outside her parents closed bedroom door. I asked her why she was crying. She said, “I thought a bear was eating my mother.”
I stayed in touch with this client over the next 3-months. She reports she’s had no more trouble sleeping with her husband, who continues to snore.