Questions about Age Regression (AR) and Forgiveness of Others Therapy (FOO) when dealing with anger.
Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH
I received a question from one of our Banyan Online Hypnotherapy Supervision meeting subscribers. Bob wanted to know a little bit more about anger and FOO. Here is his question and my answer.
My question is about FOO and anger. If I understand you correctly we do FOO to remove the anger if our client cannot do anything to "make fair" either because the person they are angry with is dead or the anger was due to a misconception etc.
But what do we do if the client can "make fair"? Do we not do the forgiveness work? Do we encourage the client to make fair then do the forgiveness work? I know the anger is good if they can "make fair" but is it my job as a hypnotherapist to encourage that?
AR is used to remove anger by identifying when anger is coming from a misperception. Then by doing the informed child work we remove such misperceptions (just like when we do a Reality Check using 1, 2, 3 from The Secret Language of Feelings). That removes the misperception of unfairness, and the erroneous anger that it has been generating for so long.
FOO can also remove this erroneous anger by shifting the perceptions through the interaction of the client with the offender. Again, this is similar to the Reality Check part of the satisfying of feelings in The Secret Language of Feelings book.
Remember in the Secret Language of Feelings book we learned that we can satisfy our feelings by going through the 1, 2, 3, process.
- Name the feeling, in this case anger.
- Determine the cause of the feeling (the perception, be it accurate or faulty).
- Satisfy the feeling:
We want to encourage the client to go through this process in their daily lives by reading and using what they learned from the book, The Secret Language of Feelings. However, in the AR and FOO processes we can actually guide them through it for the event from the past of which they still carry anger.
So again, in the AR and FOO process we determine that:
- The feeling is anger,
- What event and perceptions caused the feeling to occur, and
- Provide a satisfying response:
Reality Check, in this case by conducting an AR or FOO session, we can check with the “adult” client to to see if the early perceptions were true and/or valid. If it is then determined that perceptions were not true/valid, and the situation is then seen as being fair, then the feeling of anger is instantly removed.
If it is determined that the perceptions were accurate and what occurred was in deed, not fair, then it is reasonable for the person to take actions in the present to attempt to make fair, if it is safe and reasonable to do so. That is what the anger is for. Perhaps that is legal action or otherwise working with that individual.
But in real life, it may be unreasonable, unsafe or impossible (i.e., offender is dead) to take the actions needed in order to make fair, which will usually be the case when we are doing 5-PATH® with a client. So, in this case we help the client to free him or herself from the old residual anger and all of the negative affects that it has had over them for so long by guiding them through a forgiveness process during the FOO Phase.
So to continue to answer your question, we would be in alignment with our underlying premise that “all feelings are good when they are based in reality” and that “our feelings are there to motivate us to do the sometimes difficult things we need to do in order to satisfy our needs, wants and desires,” in this case the need, want or desire for fairness.
So to some extent, we need to look at the totality of the situation in which our client finds him or herself. We have to ask ourselves, and perhaps our client, “What is in the best interest of the client, would it be to forgive and let it all go, starting fresh and new?” Or, “Would taking action to make the situation more fair, be in his or her best interest?”
I think that the therapist would have to take all that he or she knows about the client into account to make this decision, and of course, it would only be a suggestion to the client. It is ultimately up to the client as to what he or she does in the end regarding the situation. So in some cases you may want to talk further about these options with the client after the session.