Belief systems and their role in Regression Therapy

Belief systems are strong energetic forces that stay with us for a lifetime and dictate our behavior, attitude, and health. Belief systems affect the way we see ourselves and the world around us – and these are most often formed in childhood!

A belief system is a decision that we make as a child in a certain state of mind due to a certain event or experience. For e.g. “I can’t run fast” is a decision a child may have made when he/she came last in the race. Or “I should always say yes” is a decision made by a child when the mom slapped her for refusing to eat her meal. When the same action/event is repeated a few times, the decision starts getting reinforced – and gathers more energy/force. Now it starts to become a lifelong belief system

Client case study:

I had a client who came to me with sleep issues. She also had difficulty expressing her thoughts and emotions to anyone. Even though she was in her present job for more than 10 yrs and her boss was her friend, she would not be able to express what she felt about the work. She could not ask a raise or share her financial problems and neither could she share her point of view on the work. She had the same issues with her colleagues and peers. And because she couldn’t speak out in the meetings, she would then keep thinking about everything she should have said that was stuffed inside her. This resulted in her having excessive thoughts before bed and poor quality of sleep.

When we started working on her she told me she was not like this as a small child. Her mother had an angry predisposition and she and her mother would always have verbal fights and often she would also beat her up. Her father was a cool and calm person and she felt close to him. One day when she was 9, sitting in the veranda with her plate of khichadi that she didn’t want to eat, she and mom starting fighting loudly. That’s when the father lost his cool and told her – “Only if one of you stayed quiet, this issue will get resolved” The girl took this suggestion and kept quiet. She observed that eventually, the mother cooled off. Now she repeated this strategy of staying quite a few more times – and lo and behold, she saw the results. She was able to avoid confrontations and fights. So the belief system got reinforced – I should stay quiet if harmony has to be maintained. As she grew up she kept quiet even when she was bullied or unfairly treated. Staying quiet became her personality or nature. Till the point, she came to see me.

Belief systems once formed only grow to become a strong force when they are reinforced and when they serve a purpose. We hold on to belief systems because they help us – either by protecting us or helping us with something. In this case, it helped her to protect herself from confrontations. But it also comes with a price. The price she paid was of feeling suppressed and low on self-confidence.

Belief systems that help us in the beginning often start becoming redundant when we grow up – but since belief systems had helped in the past and since they have such strong hold on us, we continue to live them. In her case staying quiet had helped her avoid fights with her mom and helped maintain peace in the house but eventually, she paid the price of feeling totally shut down and not being able to express even when she wanted to or had to!!

In therapy, we helped her recognize all of this, enabled her to release the energy of the belief system from her body, and replace it with a new belief system in her mind. We had to reframe her mind with a new, more empowering belief system and then allowed her to go back in time and replay all the events in her life with the new belief system – almost like overwriting the old files with a new story – this also helped her rewire her energy field with more empowering energy – and then allowed her to see herself with this new belief system “It is ok to speak up” in all situations – with the boss, peers, husband, in-laws. This helped her completely redefine her relationships with all these people, and she reported having finally been able to speak out in her meetings and put her point across!!

Below are some of the belief systems that clients have worked on, with us – which they had picked up as children:

  1. I always sow but never get to reap the fruits of my actions – (client would always bend backward to do things for others and feel hurt that her feelings and efforts are never reciprocated)
  2. I can never say no – (client was a people pleaser and would always agree to things even though he/she knew that it wouldn’t be done)
  3. I am not good enough to speak out – I will only speak out when I know everything. Elders are always right (authority figure) – (the client couldn’t speak out or express freely with anyone – esp. authority figures)
  4. I have to be strong – I can’t cry
  5. Life is hard – I always have to struggle
  6. Money is never easy to earn
  7. Marriage is painful, relationships cause pain
  8. I am fat and ugly – I don’t deserve to be loved
  9. Dad is always right
  10. Nothing works for me

What are the empowering beliefs that have helped you in life? What are the disempowering beliefs that have prevented you from being your best?
You can change it all – with awareness, mindfulness, and a bit of therapeutic help!!

Ririi G Trivedi