04. Fear of The Dark

Ten year old Prateek was so afraid

of the dark that each day after sundown he would hesitate to go from one room to another in his house unless he was accompanied by someone. For sometime his parents overlooked this behavior pattern thinking it was  normal for a young child to be scared, but given his otherwise fearless attitude, his father was unable to comprehend why he was afflicted by this fear.

When they came to me,

a  fair amount of time was  spent talking to Prateek and establishing a playful comfort and sense of trust before proceeding with therapy. He was then relaxed into a gentle trance state which he seemed to enjoy. After sufficient deepening of trance he curled up on the recliner and the source of his fear was unearthed through a dialogue with his subconscious mind.

What emerged was that a few months ago

in school, one of his closest friends had told him a ghost story about Bloody Mary. The friend had taken him to the school toilet and pointing to the mirror on the wall, asked him to repeat the words Bloody Mary three times with his eyes closed. Upon saying this he said that the ghost of Bloody Mary would arrive and shatter the mirror.

Prateek followed the instructions and

upon opening his eyes, believed that there was indeed a crack in the mirror. In all probability it had always been there and gone unnoticed, but now his innocent mind accepted the association. Since that day he dreaded the dark and imagined all sorts of paranormal occurrences. On coming out of trance he  also mentioned that he was most fearful of visiting the toilet at night because it had a big glass mirror in there.

The fear was healed, courage incorporated

and belief in the divine protection of the God that he prayed to was reinforced. This new feeling of inner power was then strengthened through appropriate suggestions and visualisations.  Simple affirmations were practiced that he could do each night before he slept and he was made to visualize that he was always accompanied by his masters and spiritual guides.

The belief was reinforced that he was indeed

a blessed child of God who was loved very much and on whom God always kept a close watch on .

Prateek was advised to go back to school,

talk to his friend and convince him that only the weak minded believed in ghosts and that all children who prayed regularly to God had divine protection just as he did. This conversation was rehearsed with him so that he felt confident and could withstand any counter arguments powerfully. He called back two days later later to say that he had spoken to his friend who said he had only been joking with him and that he hadn’t meant it seriously.

His parents were advised to monitor

the kinds of television programs that Prateek watched and to ensure that he did not see disturbing or violent images. For the first few days following the session they were also asked to keep one light on in each room in the house after dark so that Prateek could practice his new found courage and overcome the feeling of being unsafe because of any kind of paranormal presence.

Prateek is now no longer fearful of the dark

and wanders around his house freely at any time of day and night.

Children are very vulnerable to suggestion

and imagery and parents are urged to try their best to control the exposure to TV and unsupervised playtime with friends as much as possible. However if you do find your child suffering from any unresolved fears, use of  hypnotic techniques and other forms of art therapy can be beneficial in unearthing and healing these issues.

Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality


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