Sex, Lies, and Hypnosis - Monday July 16

sex, lies and hypnosis
linda and gary (3/4)

Bringing relationship hypnotherapy to the screen, this fascinating 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 her subjects’ 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 Linda and Gary, a couple from Stevenage whose once passionate relationship is falling apart.

Gary and Linda’s four-year partnership is at an alltime low. Among their numerous problems, they list sex as the most damaging: while Linda has tried many things to keep her partner interested, none have worked, and an overworked Gary sometimes falls asleep during intercourse. Gary is also a compulsive teller of white lies, such that Linda and the children feel they cannot trust him. “Gary’s got all the traits that I hate,” says Linda. But Linda has quirks of her own, and spends much of her time obsessively cleaning the house. As a last resort, Linda and Gary have come to Ursula for help.

Ursula will put her subjects through an intensive 12-week treatment course to access hidden emotions and memories that might be damaging their relationship, but they are in for a tough ride. “It does come as something of a shock that they are the ones who have to put the work in,” says Ursula, explaining that her hypnotherapy is no easy fix.

Once she has assessed their case, Ursula embarks upon the hypnosis sessions. First to be treated is Gary who hopes to regain the love and passion in his relationship, and for the arguing to stop. Gary realises that he must change, but explains that work commitments leave him too tired to meet Linda’s needs. When he is hypnotised, however, he reveals a different issue: Gary experiences intense feelings of betrayal rooted in a past relationship which ended when his partner cheated on him. After the session, an emotional Gary feels hurt and admits that he is “scared to trust anyone” after being betrayed. “Do you think it’s time to let it go?” asks Ursula.

Next to undergo treatment is Linda, but she seems more reluctant to open up while hypnotised. When she wakes up, she is very upset and is overwhelmed by a jumble of images of anger, fear and confusion. Ursula tries again and this time makes her subject confront a shocking memory: it emerges that many years ago, Linda had an abortion and has never properly dealt with the emotional consequences. “I know it doesn’t feel like it now,” says Ursula to a tearful Linda, “but you’ve taken a really big step.” It seems that before Linda can move on in her present relationship, she must grieve for the child she lost all those years ago.

The following day, Ursula brings the pair together to show them video footage of their hypnosis sessions from the previous day. Gary clearly finds it quite difficult to see Linda upset, but benefits from witnessing her confront her past. “You’re going to have the person you first met back,” he promises.

Some days later, the treatment seems to have had a positive effect, with Linda and Gary relating to one another in a totally different way. Spending more time with each other and talking properly for the first time, the pair seem to be willing to work through their difficulties. Additionally, Linda no longer cleans obsessively: her strict regime was an expression of her need for control, but she is now confident she has achieved control in other, more significant areas of her life. Halfway through the course, Ursula is pleased with the couple’s progress: “There is potential there for a very, very good relationship,” she predicts. However, with another six weeks of treatment left, the couple’s journey is far from over.

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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