Laughter Shrinks the Aliens
Adam is a 8-year-old boy looking for help with nightmares and fear. These had come out of nowhere a few months before, when his mother was in hospital giving birth to his sister.
As is often the case, Adam was not able to identify and describe exactly what his issue was. He simply did not know. All he could tell me was that a few hours into sleep, something was triggered.
As session began, he turned on the TV in his mind and moved to 1.5 hours into his sleep. Sure enough, two fears came up.
1. Fear that aliens would take him captive
2. Fear of being alone and unprotected (Dad working, mom away)
He goes on to describe the aliens. He sees 10 of them. They all have just one eye and two snail-like antennas. They want to kidnap him, fly away in their spaceship and make him into their slave. These aliens are lazy, Adam says.
Asked to describe his fears, Adam says the first fear is a white speech bubble in his head. The fear of being alone is a yellow square in his throat.
We worked our way up the Time Bridge to find any memories linked to his fears. Nothing was found between birth and age 7. The initial memory was discovered at 8. Adam saw himself in a forest with broken trees. A spaceship had landed and crushed some of them. He senses that the aliens are nearby.
After he disassembled the speech bubble and the yellow square we filled the empty spaces left behind with laughter and courage. Both would help him chase away the aliens. He was told that aliens absolutely hated laughter. In fact, they were allergic to it and it would even make them shrink.
It was time to chase the aliens away for good. For a few moments, Adam went completely quiet, as he got ready and waited for them to appear. Suddenly, he bursts into loud, long laughter. He later told me how the aliens kept getting smaller, made squeaking noises and were frantically trying to escape with their spaceship. Because he laughed so hard, Adam even shrunk the spaceship until it finally disappeared in one little poof. Gone. We double checked his other dreams and his room – no more aliens anywhere.
To deal with the fear of being alone, he was given an imaginary pocket TV and a remote. He could turn it on at any time to check on the people that love him most. On the screen, he could see his mom in a waiting room before giving birth. She was totally fine. And she was thinking of him. Adam said he could feel love in his stomach.
On his remote, there was a big button with a +. When pressed, it would make that love even stronger. There were also two more + buttons, one for courage and one for laughter. With this remote, he would be able to strengthen his positive feelings whenever necessary.
Before ending session, I gave him some homework. Before going to sleep, he should close his eyes and use his new remote to turn up laughter, courage and love. Adam agreed and added a fourth plus button – dad’s love.
The nightmares never returned. Adam has been able to sleep through since then.
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