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Studying &
   Learning Anxiety

Anxiety exams and study Script

<< Metaphor Therapy

Exam anxiety Regression

This hypnotic script shows how an overwhelming anxiety about Learning and Studying was removed using the hypnotic regression technique. This consists of inducing the feeling of anxiety and then going back to find a memory of the first time the client experienced that problem.

The client had enrolled in university six times without completing any courses. He would go to the first lecture and then get sick for two to three weeks. This happened every year. And every year he could not settle down to study, procrastinated about the assignments, was too shy to speak up in tutorials. He then left disgusted with his own behavior. He was now experiencing the same thing in a professional training course, and wanted it to stop.

Regression script

 

Target
induction SECTION
  Technique
  Now you don't really need to be in hypnosis for this to work. I  
  Take a couple of deep breaths.... that's good.... now I want you to count from one to ten... and I want you to imagine that the numbers are strung out along a line a rope or chain or something... and the distance from two to three is double the distance between one and two.... and each number is twice as far along the line as the one before.... just imagine the numbers spreading out into the distance   Double the numbers induction
  And in your mind imagine saying the number... then slowly say the next... and the time between each number is twice the time of the previous number.... V  
  And as you say each number in your mind.... just allow yourself to relax more and more.... and continue to count, increasing the times, as you go along that line... and get more and more relaxed.... just drifting away.... deeper and deeper..... just count silently until you get to ten....   Does not have to be deep for regression
  [pause]    
 
Regression therapy section
   
Memory and as you are relaxing now.... I want you to allow your mind to go back in time... allow your mind to roam back over the years in your life...    
Memory Think about the years when you were three and four and five and six.... think of the times when you were seven, eight, nine, ten.... think about eleven, twelve, thirteen... becoming a teenager.... and then fourteen, fifteen.... and sixteen, seventeen.... eighteen, nineteen.... becoming a young man, and think about how you felt at that time..... and you are going to university and you want to be a success....   allow the mind time to progress slowly over how they came to be in this state
Memory and always that feeling of anxiety was there.... that stopped you... I want you to think about that feeling.... I want you to think about the times when you had that feeling...   Beginning of the AFFECT BRIDGE
Memory and then allow you mind to drift back... eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen... fourteen, thirteen, twelve.... ten, nine, eight... seven, six.... five... four.... allow your mind to drift back and remember a time when you first felt that feeling... the very first time you felt that anxiety....   Find the memory
Memory and when you have that memory I want you to describe what was going on... be back in that place at that time... and something will just open... and you will be back in the very first time you felt that way....   Initial sensitising event (ISE)
  The lady who had been looking after me, had been yelling at me... and... locked me in a small room... the curtains were drawn and it was quite dark....   Memory Found
  So the lady is yelling at you... and you are locked in a small room... the curtains are drawn and it is quite dark ...   Clean language restatement
  And how were you feeling then?   Developing
  Frightened.    
  You were feeling frightened...   Clean language
  ... and unsafe....    
  .... and unsafe.... And feeling frightened and unsafe... What age are you then?   Is it ISE?
  How old am I?    
  Yes.    
  Maybe two or three.    
  Two or three.... And just think about that... think about that little boy... What is he doing in that room?   Developing
  He is crying and he is trying to open the door.    
  He is crying and he is trying to open the door.... and the door won't open... Just think about how the little boy feels... and he is crying and he wants to open the door... he wants out... doesn't he... he wants to loved, doesn't he... he wants his mother... doesn't he?   Developing
  Yeah.    
  He doesn't want to be there.... does he.   Developing
  No.    
  And he is frightened. Can you feel that fear? Can you feel that anxiety?   Check for emotion
  Yeah    
  And just feel that fear and anxiety, and ask that little boy to come away from the door....   Develop the situation
  What is he doing now?   Check
  Walking away from the door.    
  Walking away from the door...    
  Get him to sit down or do something like that...   Immobilise the symbol
  What is he doing now?   Check
  He is sitting on the floor.    
  That's right... he is sitting on the floor... and he is still feeling that way, isn't he?   Check
  Yeah.    
  Still frightened and anxious, and he wants out... and he is trapped.... What do you think that little boy needs?   Establish success criteria
  He needs to be with his family.    
  He needs to be with his family. And he needs to leave that room. And if was to leave that room, he would be happy.   Success condition defined
  Yeah.    
  That's right. And I want you [ClientName], the adult [ClientName], I want you to go back... into that room, and be there with that little boy.... in whatever way makes sense to you... I want you to go back into that room and let the little boy know that you are there.... Tell him who you are.... Look at his little face... look at how he is sitting... look at how he is dressed...   INNER CHILD technique
  And I want you... in whatever way makes sense to you... to get down on the floor with him... put your arms around him... hug him to you... feel his head against your chest... feel yourself holding and cradling that child... feel his tears... feel his fear... his anxiety...   Empathise with the inner child
  Like a little frightened bird he doesn't know what to do.... M thing he can help
  Hold him... rock him... tell him it's OK.... that it ends... tell him that he will be able to get out of the room... that that bad lady goes away... that he didn't do anything wrong...   Reassurance
  that she is shouting at him because she has a problem... and she doesn't know how to deal with her problem.... It's not his fault... it's not his problem... D Reframe - her problem
  Hold him... kiss him.... use whatever words you need to explain to him... that it will pass... that he grows up... that he grows up to be a big strong boy.... who can take on anything... who can deal with anything... I Let the client supply the right words
Memory Talk to him... make him understand... love him... give him the love that he needs... give him that love now...   attach to own feelings
  The way you would hold a puppy... stroke him... M thing he knows how to help
  Let him know that he is loved... he is not alone... I  
  And when he is ready...ask him to take your hand... and the two of you can stand up, and you can hold his hand...   Develop the situation
  and maybe he is so little that he just holds on to your finger...   Minimise requirements
  And now he is with you... you can walk to the door with him... lead him out of that place....   Developing
  Open the door... open the door and walk outside... into the corridor or whatever it is... lead him along that... and open... open the door to the outside...   Solution - get out side the room
  Does he want to go outside [ClientName]?   Check
  Uhuh.    
  Can you take him outside?   Check
  Yeah.   Confirmed
  Take him outside now... and you go outside... as you take him through that door... he begins to change.... he begins to get older... to get bigger... and as you start walking away from that door... he gets bigger.. and he begins to get tall and taller... he begins to mature... in his body... in his mind...   Developing - grow the inner child
  And at some point you can ask him to turn round and look back at that house... to see it for what it is... a place of unhappy people... where he got stuck for a while... it wasn't his fault... and he can leave there... V Reframing
  and as he looks back at that house... you can tell him to watch the house shrinking... fading... watch it going far, far away.... until it is tiny... V Metaphor transformation
  Tell him he can change the color of the house...if he wants... he can move it to somewhere else... It can't hold him now. V Metaphor transformation
  Ask him how he feels about that house now. What does he say?   Check transformation
  It's not as bad.   Confirmed
  That's right... it's not as bad...    
 
Transform the PROBLEM SYMBOLS
   
  Get rid of the Lady symbol    
Memory Ask him to think about that horrible woman. The lady who looked after him.... Ask him to imagine she is standing there.... yelling... threatening.... V Transform the woman
  Now make a change... see her changing in some way.... see her changing so she looks smaller... see her changing in a way that looks ridiculous.... she waves her arms around... and her voice... her jaw goes up and down and her lips move... but nothing comes out... and her eyes cross... and see her head exploding... and see her doing cartwheels round the room.. and crashing into the walls... and falling over... see her sitting there like a rag doll .... getting smaller and smaller... having no idea what is going on... V Metaphor transformation technique
  And get that little boy to go up and poke her with a finger... and she moves away.. she is frightened... she runs away... like a little stupid rag doll... with an empty head... and she runs off and hides in the corner... V Mastery of the situation
  How does that boy feel about her now?   Check
  He's laughing at her.   Confirmed
  That's right, he's laughing at her.    
  Get him to poke again.. make her run somewhere else.... really enjoy it... What's happening now?   Increase his power
  [Laughs] He is kicking her around.    
  That's right... he is kicking her around.... she is of no value... no interest... That's better... and keep doing that till he is laughing out loud... and it feels good doesn't it? She is so ridiculously stupid, and then get him to open the back door and throw her out.... How does that feel?   Restatement
  Pretty good.   Success
  That's right.... she just skulks away somewhere.... back to wherever the hell she came from... Gone.   Symbol removed
       
  Get rid of the house symbol....    
  And now bring that boy back to the front door... and outside... look at that house... and now just imagine a big yellow machine... comes along and starts to wreck the house... and maybe there's a ball or maybe there's a bulldozer... and just smash that house to pieces... V  
  What's happening now?   Check
  The house is being bulldozed down...   Confirmed
  That's right it's bulldozed until there is nothing but rubble there... and bulldoze it all away until there is nothing left... but foundations... and how does that feel? V Get rid of all of it
  Pretty good.    
  That's right... now just stand back... on the other side of the fence or wherever... and look at where it used to be.... What would you like to have growing there instead?   Replace the symbol
  A playground.   Great!
  A playground. That would be fitting, wouldn't it? A playground... and put something in the playground...   Develop the new symbol
  My mum and dad there...   Nice!
Memory That's right ... and that little boy... just imagine having a wonderful time... and there can be swings... and roundabouts...and see-saws.... things to climb on.. and things to slide down... and just imagine that little boy the way it should have been... running around laughing... shrieking... playing with friends... having a good time... while the family looks on and smiles and nods... and picks him up when he falls over.... Just imagine an adult coming along... holding him by the waist... holding him up... right above the head.... and laughing... how good would that be? V Metaphor for 'going up' and succeeding
Memory And then feel yourself being brought down and hugged... being held close to the chest... cheek to cheek... feeling the warmth... the warmth that was always there... feel that going into your body now... that warmth ... that feeling...   Anchor feelings of security
 
Transfer the feelings
   
  And now you can allow that boy to continue to grow... as he grows through... thirteen... fourteen... fifteen.... Sixteen, seventeen... and eighteen. Think of how he was at seventeen and eighteen... How does that feeling transform that now?   Transform the problem situations
  Better.    
  Transform the university feelings    
  That's right.... Now think of going to university.... how does that feeling transform that first day of term?   Reframe University
  Should be fun... as opposed to...    
  And should be fun.... And just imagine being in the quad at uni.... and the four corners there... and looking in the corners... is that rag doll there? M  
  No.    
  That's right... just look around carefully...   Test
  No.    
  That's right... she's gone... you're free.    
  and just look at what is there... there are students... lecturers.... people selling hot dogs... people juggling... music playing... It can be fun... can't it? V Re-assign feelings uni = fun
  Yeah    
  Transform the feelings about studying in general    
Behaviour And the library.. how do you feel about the library? It's a place to study.. you can go in there... and you can imagine sitting down... and I don't know... nine o'clock... getting the books out... getting started on your assignment... reading a bit... writing a bit... reading a bit... writing a bit... scoring it out... starting again... drawing... reading some more... V Reframe Study
  and before you know it... two hours have passed... and the assignment is well on the way...   Amnesia
Behaviour and you go and have a coffee or something... spend some time with your mates... talk about the girls and stuff... and then it is back to the library... reading a bit... writing a bit... and it's lunchtime and it is nearly finished and you have got the first draft... and you look at it... hold it in your hands... V  
Capability and it's great... and it is easy.... and you can do this... D  
  How does that make you feel?   Test
  Pretty good.   Confirmed
Behaviour That's right... and you go and have lunch and have a good time... with the rest of the students... go to a lecture maybe... and then back to the library... and suddenly it is all there for you... you can see the answer... clear in your mind... and you know you just need a few more references.... pad this bit out... cut that bit down.... V  
  then another two hours pass...   Amnesia
Capability Easy, simple.. it is not going to be perfect... but is good enough... better than everyone else's... D Avoid perfection anxiety
Capability And just imagine how surprised the lecture is, when you hand it in, long before anyone else.... And how good is that? V  
  Very good.    
Capability That's right... You can do that. D  
  And you can enjoy that time... D Reframing
  Transform the feelings about the current course    
Identity And think about this latest course.... the Training Institute.... think about being in the classroom there... learning... studying... think about going home and opening the books... and this time you have a real clear vision of where you want to be, what you want to do... and you can see yourself getting that certificate, the diploma, whatever it is.... V visualize success
Behaviour And see yourself sit down... and you begin to read the material and you stop and test yourself after every paragraph.... and you test after two pages... and you go back and you are learning and it is all falling into line... V Visualize learning
Behaviour and you look at the material... the assignments and the questions and it becomes fun... to find out what the answers are ... to start discovering it... it is like a puzzle... something you can enjoy...   Reframing
Capability And when you think of study... what you think of is that fun, that sense of accomplishment... How you can get on and do things... how you are free to do it... And that's good, isn't it? D Reframing
Identity And you know you are smart, you know you are dedicated... you know you can do things... you know you can be as good as anyone.... you can be better than most of them... You can be better than all of them.... D Incrementalism
Capability and you can flash through this stuff... getting up early... reading... wanting to learn.... staying up late... doing the exercises... working it through... becoming the best.... D  
 
Anchor the change section
   
  and when you do that... somewhere inside you ... that little boy is chortling with glee.... that little boy is running around and waving his arms and shouting... happy... free.... and you can scoop him up in your arms and lift him up and say 'Isn't life great!'. Little [ClientName] smiles... and there's the expression on that face.... I wonder what the right word for that is? M associate feeling good with study
  Joy.   Force him to name the feeling, define it, makes it more real
  That's right. Joy.    
identity And that's what you feel. You are free to feel that joy. To get on with life. To just take it with both hands... to enjoy it... D  
  Those things have all gone now... haven't they?   Test
  Nods   Confirmation
  That' right.... I would like you to take a deep breath now... just Haaaa.... and take another deep breath and allow your mind to clear.... And I want you to look around your body... and see if there is any tension left... anxiety... anything you need to deal with... or is it all clear?   Final somatic test
  It's all clear.   Confirmation
Capability That's good... that is telling you that your body has taken away all that tension... all that anxiety... all that little boy's worries.... Now you see them for what you are... Now you realize it wasn't that little boy's problem... was it? Someone did horrible things to him.... and you have led him out of there... D Restatement
Memory and whenever you think of that childhood... all you think of is a grassy space... a playground... and children laughing... and that's the way it should have been, shouldn't it? V Reframing
  Yeah.    
Identity And you can enjoy that feeling now... that feeling of release.... D  
  And now there is just one more thing to do...   Signal end of session...
 
Self convincer section
   
Memory I would like you to send a message to your own mind... a message of gratitude.... of gratitude for that change... really send a feeling of caring, and loving and wanting.... just fill your mind with that... and just say 'Thank you... thank you... It's over at last'.   Fill the mind with good feelings... Reinforce it all again
  And you might get a response... you might find a finger or thumb wants to lift... or maybe you just get a feeling... and your mind will respond somehow.... M allow for every possible option
  [Finger moves]   Self convincer
  That's right... that's very good. That's your guarantee that it is all over. >  
 
Reorientation section
   
  So just take a deep breath now... Haaaa.... and one last deep breath and allow your mind to clear....   signal soon finish
Identity And now in a moment I would like you to count from three up to one... to yourself .... when you are ready... and when you get to one... you will be back in the present.. feeling really good about yourself.... and knowing that something wonderful has happened.... something old has gone forever.... and you are free... So start counting whenever you want.   Restate changes and link to self count - inevitability

 

 

Several months later the client reported that he was doing well at college and had no further issues with studying.