Sex, Lies, and Hypnosis - Monday July 9

sex, lies and hypnosis
darren and antoinette (2/4)

Bringing relationship hypnotherapy to the screen, this new series features warring couples who are in the midst of relationship crises. The couples undergo therapy with top UK hypnotherapist Ursula James, who uses her skills to unlock the couples’ deepest secrets and reveal the raw truth about their feelings for one another. The process forces them to confront the issues they have been repressing, with sometimes explosive results. Tonight’s programme focuses on Darren and Antoinette, a couple trying to save their marriage before it has even taken place.

Drama teacher Antoinette and project manager Darren are due to marry in just four months, but they constantly bicker. A past incident the two dare not discuss has severely damaged their relationship, and they now find themselves at breaking point. They turn to Ursula for help, hoping that in the next 12 weeks, she can help them turn their relationship around. Their journey, however, is going to be something of a rollercoaster ride.

Antoinette tends to blame herself for most of the couple’s relationship problems, saying that they always argue because she keeps pushing Darren and trying to control him. She does not take criticism well and has very low self-esteem, convincing herself that her partner is only marrying her because he is afraid of being alone.

Darren also seems to blame their relationship difficulties on Antoinette. “She can be quite controlling,” he explains, but adds: “I don’t think she knows she’s doing it.” A simple trip to the shops to buy wedding rings lasts five hours, but ends in failure, with the pair deciding to look for the rings separately. “These two do not look like a couple,” says Ursula on watching video footage of the couple’s interaction. “She doesn’t trust Darren to do anything”. For this couple, communication is the greatest stumbling block and Ursula is determined to get to the bottom of the problem.

Treating both parties separately to allow them to talk freely, Ursula first goes in search of unresolved events in Antoinette’s past which might have a connection with her current behaviour. While under hypnosis, Antoinette describes being alone in the dark as a child – leading Ursula to surmise that this particular feeling may be responsible for her lack of self-confidence today.

In Darren’s first session, Ursula unearths deeprooted feelings of frustration, vulnerability and loneliness. These emotions occur frequently in his relationship with Antoinette, and are associated with his strong sense of justice.

After their sessions, Antoinette and Darren feel very raw from their hypnosis and experience a communication breakdown that lasts several days. “Neither is willing to break the stalemate because then it becomes about power,” Ursula explains. In order to find the root of their problems and get the couple talking again, Ursula sets up further sessions in which she intends to go deeper into their pasts. During Antoinette’s hypnosis, Ursula unearths an incident that occurred two years previously and hangs like a dark cloud over the couple’s relationship.

Ursula suspects that the only way the couple can move forward in their relationship is if they look back to the past and openly discuss the traumatic event –for the very first time. Will confronting it bring them closer? And will Antoinette be able to finally believe in the depth of Darren’s feelings for her? “I love her enough to want to sort this out,” says an emotional Darren.

About the author

    Congratulations on your show Sex, Lies and Hypnotherapy.

    Ursula James is obviously a very caring and accomplished Analytical therapist working in this rather specialised field of relationship problems.

    Many Hypnotherapists use Analytical therapy to bring out, and help neutralise trapped emotions from the past which are causing problems in the present day. However it is unusual for the public to be able to witness this kind of Hypnotherapy in progress.

    I run a Register and Discussion Group for Hypnotherapists, which covers the whole of the UK and Ireland, and one or two of our members are a little concerned that although this kind of Hypnotherapy can be extremely beneficial where deep rooted emotional problems are involved, some of your viewers may be a little alarmed and possibly ‘put off’ Hypnotherapy by seeing only the more dramatic phases of the Analytical process, when repressed emotions are eventually released.

    Therefore perhaps it might be useful to point out that there are many different disciplines of Hypnotherapy, and the methods depicted on your programme are not always used for every problem.
    Hypnotherapy is generally very gentle, and often uses only deep relaxation and positive suggestion in order to gain beneficial results. The skilled Hypnotherapist will adjust the kind of Hypnotherapy used to the needs of their client.

    However, I would like to thank you for bringing this fascinating programme to our screens, and thereby raising awareness of the benefits of Hypnotherapy.

    Cliff Cowin

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