Am I Under His “Spell?” – Part II

Last week we started to talk about the very REAL issue of trance in relationship with pathologicals.

Women feel ‘under his spell,’ ‘spell bound,’ ‘ mesmerized,’ ‘hypnotized,’ ‘spaced out,’ ‘not in control of their own thoughts….’ All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind-control have been happening with the pathological. And why wouldn’t it be happening? These are power-hungry people who live to exert their dominance over others.

That includes your body, mind or spirit. Mind Control techniques are used on prisoners of war, in cults, and in hostage taking. It obviously works or there wouldn’t be ‘techniques’ and bad people wouldn’t use it.

Mind control, brain washing, coercion…are all words for the same principles that are used to produce the results of reducing your own effectiveness and being emotionally overtaken by someone intent on doing so. Here are the conditions of mind control:

  • Perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the captor/perpetrator would carry out the threat.
  • Perceived small kindness from the captor/perpetrator to the captive.
  • Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor/perpetrator.
  • Perceived inability to escape.

Mind control then produces dissociation which is a form of trance states. It’s when your mind becomes overloaded and you need to ‘step outside of yourself’ to relieve the stress. Dissociation and trance happens during abuse in childhood as well or adult rape. Prolonged mind control in adults will even produce trance states where adults begin to feel like they are being controlled. And they are…

Treatment and recovery for mind control includes:

  • Breaking the Isolation – Help the client identify sources of supportive intervention; Self-help groups or group therapy (group needs to be homogeneous to needs), also hotlines, crisis centers, shelters and friends.
  • Identifying Violence – As victims in abusive relationships minimize the abuse, or are in so much denial it may be necessary to ask directly about the different types of violent behavior. Many woman (and children) are confused about what is acceptable male (parental / authority) behavior. Journal keeping, autobiographical writing, reading of first hand accounts or seeing films that deal with abuse may be helpful to clients.
  • Perceived Kindness – Encourage the client to develop alternative sources of nurturance and caring other than the captor/perpetrator.
  • Validating both Love and Terror – Helping the client integrate both disassociated ‘sides’ of the abuser, will assist her in giving up her dream-like state in how she sees him.

Next week, we’ll continue our discussion on other forms of trance states and spellbound conditions.