The Jealousy Hypnotist
Can hypnosis really help tame the
Elle’s Claire Sacre finds out.
I am not a bunny boiler. But I have suffered from pangs of jealousy since my lovely but testosterone-fuelled boyfriend landed a job in a female dominated office. He tells me there are 10 twentysomething women to every man and if that’s not enough to rouse the green-eyed monster, I don’t know what is.
As it turns out, I’m not alone. According to Steve Tromans, a Neuro-linguistic programming practitioner who combines NLP methods with hypnosis, an increasing number of clients are asking him to help cure their jealousy. NLP focuses on how thoughts create emotions, asserting that if you alter the way you think, your emotional response will change too. Steve says he can re-program me in one session.
So, settled into an armchair in Steve’s Harley Street office in London, we discuss how my jealousy physically manifests itself. My stomach hurts, my chest tightens. How vivid is my imagination? Wide-screen, surround sound (a common trait in jealous types). I blush as I relay my tantrums – like the time I threw my boyfriend’s mobile out of the window when a blonde from his office called for the second time that week.
Closing my eyes, I’m terrified of losing control. But Steve assures me I’ll remain conscious throughout the session. He talks at a fast, rhythmic pace and tells me to imagine a sandy beach. Soon I’m visualising dolphins, parrots, Daniel Craig in Speedos… Then I have to take off in a helicopter until the beach is a faraway dot. This is my first lesson in disassociation.
Next we work through jealousy inducing scenarios such as the over-familiar hugs from my boyfriend’s ex, the female predators at the bar, the girls from work signing off e-mails with endless kisses… Then there are his imagine indiscretions that pop into my mind, like a sordid tryst with his secretary. Steve tells me to freeze-frame each scene in my mind and catapult them into the distance until I feel indifferent. Once each scene is a dot on the horizon, I’m told to turn them into a bright white light which I must then link to my memories of falling in love. I feel gooey, overwhelmed and tearful. My body feels heavy and I’m more than a little spooked.
Still hypnotised, Steve takes me through more brain-training exercises to help me think rationally. First, I indulge my inner bitch by dressing rivals up in dodgy shell suits, with shaggy perms and red boils. Fun! Second, he gives me an exercise to practice at home. ‘If you start having menacing thoughts about your rivals’, he says, imagine the voice in your head spluttering like Daffy Duck.’ This makes me laugh, which, Steve says, is the point. An hour and a half later, I open my eyes as Steve counts me back to reality. I feel floppy and it’s hard to speak. Steve asks me to think back to my jealous emotions, but I can’t recall ever having any – it’s like they’ve been wiped from my memory.
The next day my boyfriend and I chat about my former paranoia. He’s both impressed and relieved to see how in control I am. Two weeks on, I’m hanging out with his workmates – yes, even the blonde – without the former post-pub aggro, and have even invited his ex round to dinner. Why not? I’ve got nothing to fear. Things that used to send me into a spin simply don’t register anymore.
A speedy way to banish paranoia. I no longer let my imagination run wild. Steve says I don’t need a follow up, but I’ll practice the mind tricks to keep the jealousy at bay.
Note from Steve Tromans
Claire won’t need to practice controlling her imagination for very long, the mind soon automates the new responses. Hypnosis and NLP are very effective in helping get rid of jealous feelings, to banish jealousy for good.
Elle (UK) August 2007. Elle’s website is www.elleuk.com