On a recent trip to Berlin I explored the Bernauer Straße area where some of the wall that once divided the city is preserved together with a memorial to its victims. For this blog we will leave to one side the elaborate ways people have to justify their cruelty and ingenuity to perpetuate an ideology. I was thinking more on this occasion about how the system of erecting one wall after another with a heavily guarded and booby-trapped no-man’s-land in between reminds me of the way our minds can be set up.

If for many years we have accepted a particular way of thinking about or doing something, it can be pretty heavily defended. We may not always be sure why and despite it no longer being helpful or appropriate, it is what we are familiar with and may have helped us to feel protected in the past.

As I looked through the gap in one of the walls I saw, across no-man’s-land, another wall. It was very moving because it spoke of the hopelessness of getting to the other side: that, just by scaling one wall and maybe even surviving the distance, there is yet another wall to stop you at the end of it.

Of course, anyone who has read any of my website or been to see me will know that these walls, these barriers in our minds are a construct of our own thinking. What happens to us or has happened to us or is done to us by others or the world does not entirely define how we feel. It is how we think about what happens to us or is done to us by others or the world that causes us to feel the way we feel.

With that in mind, imagine how much freer we are to shape those feelings and behaviours by changing the way we think about something. Imagine dismantling those barriers and walking across into a new way of being and feeling. Making new neural pathways. This also reveals another truth which is that no matter what has happened to us in the past, no matter what may happen to us in the future, we are in control of what we think about those things right now. This in turn means that our feelings and behaviours can be changed today. Hypnotherapy is very much about helping you to do just that.