Cover Learn how to unlock old beliefs with Sonia Samtani (Photo: Jocelyn Tam for Tatler Hong Kong)

According to hypnotherapist Sonia Samtani, deep emotional healing begins with a journey into your subconscious. Here’s how she can take you there

A registered hypnotherapist and founder of Hong Kong’s All About You wellness clinic, Sonia Samtani has spent the past 15 years helping patients work through crippling phobias, substance abuse, eating disorders and other personal traumas or blocks. “People only change when staying the same is too painful,” she says. “That’s when we begin to look inwards.”

By using hypnotherapy to tap into her clients’ subconscious, Samtani works with them to provide a safe space where they can access and address defining moments in their life that have led to long-term behavioural patterns or distress. Many people see hypnosis as a form of entertainment, but it can be a life-changing therapy, one with practical applications when you look at the underlying principles of seeking out the roots of our behaviour.

“We go into the subconscious mind with hypnotherapy to understand where, when and why a particular issue was created, and give you an opportunity to release the beliefs and emotions you’ve stored. This gives you the chance to reinterpret the same event with acceptance,” Samtani explains, adding that every one of us experiences life through our own unique filter, one shaped by our personal experiences and beliefs about ourselves and of the world around us.

“When we experience a situation, especially when we are children, we respond by creating an interpretation of that experience. That interpretation then becomes a belief.”

For example, a seven-year-old boy gets up in front of his class to make a presentation. He gets nervous, freezes up and other students begin to chuckle. In that moment, he interprets speaking in front of others as unsafe, and forms a belief that he is a terrible public speaker, or that people don’t care what he has to say, which he carries into adulthood. This could manifest itself as a lack of confidence or an inability to connect and communicate with others.

“These beliefs become an energy, and while energy can’t be created or destroyed, it can be transformed,” says Samtani. In a session, Samtani acts as a kind of chaperone as you meet the figurative ghosts of your past; the moments and traumas that spark seemingly illogical psychological blocks that continue to haunt us; the ones we are desperate to dissolve.

“If you want to be a confident public speaker, but your subconscious mind tells you ‘you can’t do it, people won’t like you; they’ll reject you; you might fail and go blank,’ that subconscious thought is 6,000 times louder than what you want, because your conscious mind is only about 10 per cent of the brain while the other 90 per cent is subconscious,” Samtani explains.

“Oftentimes, the only reason you can’t get what you want is because your subconscious mind is saying something different from your conscious mind. As hypnotherapists, we look at aligning your conscious goals and desires, to your subconscious mind. Once you do this, all other parts of you begin to change and the adult of today is now different, because you are now able to look at the past through a different filter.”

See also: How To Be Kinder To Yourself, According To Yoga And Meditation Teacher Natalie Söderström

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