Therapeutic Ideas for Coping
[with ET Abductions]
By John S. Carpenter, MSW, LCSW
As a hypnotherapist working with many fine people who find themselves recalling abduction experiences, it would seem helpful to share several of the techniques that are helping these people to cope better. Although not frequently stated, it should also be noted that a number of people are aware of abduction experiences who feel neither a strong need to pursue further information nor any sense of trauma which would require therapeutic relief. These people have privately found ways to cope on their own and have been able to work through any sense of victimization.
Everybody copes a little differently; not everyone needs to uncover details to feel okay and move forward. Many of these folks do not get referred for help; we hear from those who are sleepless, confused, hurting, and needing relief. It is important to remind readers of this so that it will not be assumed that all participants in this phenomenon require the following suggestions. We must respect each person’s abilities for coping and assist each one in finding a comfortable pace in which to deal with these bizarre matters.
As researchers we much remember that any eagerness for data is secondary to the necessary adjustment and healing in each human life. If a participant in this phenomenon decides to only have a session once every six months, then their request is upheld with great respect. Any need for more data from the researcher’s perspective simply must wait. For some researchers the notion that the “lab rats” can call the shots will indeed be frustrating. Let us remember that our fellow humans are asking for help. Their emotional needs shall affect our course of action until their satisfaction is met. In the excitement over the fascinating data, this can be easily forgotten.
The process of coping can be a long journey with many highs and lows emotionally. The initial clinical picture is descriptive of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: insomnia, anxiety, phobic or paranoid responses to seemingly harmless environmental cues, hypervigilance, irritability, nightmares and flashbacks. Many feel that they must be going crazy and are fearful of letting anyone know - let alone have a professional validate their supposed insanity. Others say they would actually prefer a psychiatric diagnosis because then there could be a prescribed treatment and a great likelihood for relief.
Assuming for the moment that there are no psychiatric causes for these feelings, these individuals simply need a sensitive, caring, open-minded person with whom to share their “crazy thoughts” which have a persistent, nagging quality to them. Unloading these peculiar feelings in an atmosphere of acceptance is essential. Just listen! It is best not to have a theory or any speculative “explanation” ready; they must decide for themselves what they believe. Feeding them information from outside of their experiences may color, distort, or confuse their efforts to process, understand, and cope effectively.
Many people have told me that they had held-in many of their feelings and unnerving memories for years because they simply did not know whom they could trust not to laugh at them. In a number of families it has become a “family secret” that nobody would share with each other until perhaps years later!
The final decision for when or if to use hypnotic regression for periods of “missing time” related to UFO events must remain with the client; hypnosis is most effective when the abductee is ready and wants to proceed. Often another family member, friend, or even researcher pushes for hypnosis, and it is often too soon and too frightening yet for this professional and personal intrusion. Blocking denial may occur, misleading others to believe that no experience actually occurred. Greater anxiety may develop if such a premature push creates unexpected conflict or tension within their emotions.
The hypnotherapist needs to assert some professional caution to those who view hypnosis as a “magic doorway to all answers” and are overly eager to explore any and all peculiar dreams or potentially unrelated but similar incidents in their lives. These sessions could be ripe for confabulatory data to occur, especially if there are no clinical symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia to resolve and the individual is simply curious and eager for some kind of answers. The hypnotherapist must help the client understand these cautions and facilitate wise decisions based on the considerations of each case. For example, a stranger called me last week, claiming that he had had an odd dream and wanted to schedule hypnosis with me to find out what it meant. This is clearly when an education is needed regarding the need for and uses of hypnosis.
The hypnotic sessions which tend to produce the most successful and beneficial results are those which focus either on emotionally charged memory fragments or anxiety producing blocks of memory for specific periods of time. The emotions are bubbling up to the surface in these situations and are usually easier and more beneficial to retrieve along with the specific content connected with the feelings. Participants in this bizarre UFO abduction scenario are most bothered by:
(1) a sense of unexpected, uninvited, unwanted intrusion,
(2) anxiety from being out of control,
(3) feeling helpless and powerless,
(4) bewilderment and frustration over the usual lack of explanation provided for the events, and
(5) anger over the inability to stop further intrusions.
Continue Reading Part II: Hypnotherapy, Keeping a journal and other suggestions