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Prince Harry - Therapist view


Harry's book SPARE gives some interesting insight into someone with mental health issues and the apparent failure of the therapy they have received.

Here is a person who was born into an unusual family influenced by protocol and tradition. The breakdown of his parents marriage would have had a negative impact. The most devastating event of course being the death of his beloved mum when he was only 12.

Despite all the therapy he has received, and you would think be from well-thought-of therapists, why is he still acting like a spoiled, hurt, traumatised teenager?

Only immature brains tend to think that causing trouble and being reckless with other peoples lives is something they don't have to bear the consequences of.

Much like the young driver who has just passed their test (so knows more about the rules of the road than most) and drives in a reckless manner with little thought for the safety of others. If they do cause a wreck their reaction is to blame others instead of seeing the truth of the situation and the whole picture.

The answer is simply that the subconscious release of his traumatic memories has not yet taken place. The horror of losing his mum has not been processed in a way to allow this. Traumatic memories are completely subjective. They are the minds account of what happened. They are skewed by how we perceive them. When any memory is connected to negative emotion it is stored in a different part of the brain where it remains easily accessible. If this causes so much anxiety and stress why does that happen? It only has one purpose - to keep us safe.

By being easily triggered and eliciting deep emotional pain, this process keeps us wary and ready to attack or defend. Even if they don't make much sense in the conscious world. They are designed to hijack our attention, much like quickly taking your hand off the hot stove top . Without needing much awareness, any similar stimulus sets off the reaction. Our response is hyper vigilance.

Hyper vigilance is a state of alertness, usually noticing negative rather than positive events or interpreting events as negative. It can then set up a feedback loop. The more you notice negativity, the more it seems to prevail.

This is the loop Harry is stuck in with regards to the press and the perceived indifference of family members.

Added to his early life trauma is that of being in the army, although I don't think that has as much effect. He said he enjoyed being in the army, and hasn't reported any major flashbacks or revivification.

Substance abuse is very common with trauma. The hyper-vigilance induces a lot of stress with the associated chemicals of adrenaline and cortisol. The unprocessed memories still have a lot of energy attached. Dulling the 'pain' or hyper-reaction with chemicals becomes a way to deal with them. There is also usually a sense of loss or something missing that drives repetitive use.

Harry will be dealing with the repercussions of that too. His memory will be distorted, information will be lost or hazy. More telling, he will be experiencing increased paranoia.

Harry obviously has not been to a hypnotherapist. Or a skilled hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapy would be able to help him. It is not just talking about problems and expecting that to solve them. It is not consciously trying to change behaviours when they are noticed. It is not writing them down and expecting that to somehow take them away.

He has been taught to use the tapping technique. This is useful in the short-term when anxiety gets worse. It does not magic them away.

Because all these are CONSCIOUS approaches.

What Harry needs is a SUBCONSCIOUS approach.

What we think the problems are are not usually correct. Hypnosis allows the conscious mind to be bypassed so subconscious changes can occur.

Harry needs inner-child work to heal the past. He needs regression to access and reprocess traumatic memories. He needs self-esteem building sessions.

These start the process of change and recovery.

Harry needs a hypnotherapist.


Disclaimer: these are my own opinions based on currently available information already in the public domain. I am not a doctor so any personal health issues should be discussed with your GP or health specialist.

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