The PunisherI have come across a few cases lately where the emotional problems that my clients have come to me with are forms of self-punishment. I would like to emphasise that this is not always the case, but I believe this is a good example of how individual emotional problems can be and therefore why it is not necessarily best to pigeonhole them for treatment.

Whether someone comes to me feeling anxious, depressed, low in motivation, disliking themselves or something else it can often be a part of their mind judging them and deciding they do not deserve to be happy, to have the life they want, to be comfortable in their own skin.

I do not always find out the reason for the punishment, when I do it is often something they did when they were very young or even in a past life. Either way I can usually get the subconscious to forgive them or give them a second chance – a chance to prove themselves. ‘How will you know when they have learned their lesson if the punishment never ends?’ I have often asked. Alternatively sometimes just asking this part of their mind to forgive them is all it takes.

In cases of past life – I am not sure that I believe in past lives. I am certainly open to this as an idea but this is not the same as believing. I am a hypnotist and I have various ways of helping people with unwanted feelings and behaviours. Many of these ways are unusual and this has taught me that what we do in hypnosis is metaphor for what is really going on. I therefore suspect that past life is a metaphor with which the mind can deal with a difficult problem with a level of detachment from the actual problem and its difficult emotions.

I learned that one client who actually disliked herself a lot of the time was being punished for murdering her husband in a previous life. In that life apparently she had lived in fear for herself and the baby so had bought a knife, stabbed him and run away with the child and never got caught. After taking her back to this, I was able to convince the subconscious that this was anew life and she was not likely to kill anyone in this life so she had learned her lesson and so it was agreed that the punishment would end.

Sometimes I discover that the punishing part of their mind is not a part of their mind but an outside force. This is unusual but it happens. This can be dealt with by guiding the part into the light, evicting it or getting the person’s subconscious to kick it out.

I have spoken to parts of clients’ minds that choose names such as ‘Fear’, ‘Shadow’ or ‘Nasty’ and sometimes just convincing that part of the mind to choose a different name can make a huge difference to how the client feels. I have also changed the role once from ‘Punisher’ to ‘Teacher’ which gave a much more positive spin on what the part of the mind was trying to achieve.

Treating a client’s anxiety as an anxiety may not get results if the subconscious reality is that their emotional problems are a form of self-punishment that their conscious mind is not aware of. Anything can happen in hypnosis which is why I like it as a solution. I have heard it said a lot when debating solutions to mental health issues “we do not have the resources to treat everyone individually” but with hypnosis as a tool, treating my clients individually is what helps them rediscover their healthy mind quickly and keeps them off the medication or from needing years of NHS resources. Treating the person not the condition is the key.

I work in London’s Harley Street and in Worthing so if you would like to talk about hypnosis or feel that your emotional problems are a form of self-punishment then please get in touch. The solution may be easier than you think.

About Alex


Alex Vrettos is The Worthing Hypnotist using direct hypnosis, metaphor, parts therapy, subconscious negotiation to change any unwanted feelings and behaviours specialising in treatment of anxiety and fear related issues. He has an informal style that is solution focused and usually gets results within the first session or two.