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Why Netflix’s “You” is an important lesson in psychology.

If you’re in the small percentage of those yet to watch the latest serial killer series gripping Netflix, then don’t panic, there are no spoilers here! But for the sake of our psychology lesson, I’ll summarise. See that guy above: that’s Joe. The latest Netflix’s series “You” centers around the life of this seemingly normal, […]

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If you’re in the small percentage of those yet to watch the latest serial killer series gripping Netflix, then don’t panic, there are no spoilers here!

But for the sake of our psychology lesson, I’ll summarise.

See that guy above: that’s Joe. The latest Netflix’s series “You” centers around the life of this seemingly normal, yet obscure serial killer. He kills people when he’s trying to make things “right” for the person he loves. Sometimes it’s by accident. Not something the average person typically does. It’s not like he wants to, he just does it.

What makes this show so binge-worthy is, in my opinion, that despite Joe’s (massive) misgivings, the writers had us rooting for him. Throughout the series, you almost grow fond of, even like, his character, despite the murder tendencies. They made us get to know him. We could understand him. The running commentary of his thoughts through every episode made us feel like we were with him, alongside his daily battle between the urge to make things “right” (through violence), and his desire to be normal (and not murder people). He knew that what he did was wrong, but he couldn’t help it.

The lesson though, was in the insightful flickers into Joe’s past. In each episode, the writers weaved traumatic scenes from Joe’s past into the story allowing us to see why he was the way he was. Why did he use violence to solve problems? Question answered: because it’s what his Dad did, and he believed that it’s what he needed to do to get his way. He saw that when he was young. Why did he often objectify and obsess over women? Because his mum was always with other men, never giving him the love he wanted and needed.

It makes sense right?

The writers showed us why he was the way he was, demonstrating the crucial point that there’s always a reason behind our behaviours and thoughts. If I may, I’d suggest that Joe definitely needed some hypnotherapy and RTT.

As a practicing hypnotherapist and RTT therapist, I use this exact technique to help people understand what’s holding them back. In hypnosis, we visit scenes from the past to see how, why, where and when a client formed certain beliefs or habits. It can be a mixture of significant and insignificant events, things that you might not even recall at a conscious level. It’s amazing what the subconscious mind clings onto and how it can direct your life as an adult.

I like to think of the subconscious mind like a recording device — it turned on when we were in the womb and it’s been recording the whole time. All of the reasons why you have anxiety, or why you have a fear of swimming, why you’re violent or have a phobia of small places, they all came from something your subconscious recorded in your younger years (generally between the ages of 0–7). Before your logical mind developed, and before you were able to edit and analyse the information you absorbed.

Taking our serial killer, Joe, he saw that his parents were violent. As an adult, we can see why that’s wrong, but as a kid, you’re like “ok, got it”. In goes the recording where you learned to solve problems with violence. But what I want to convey here is that Joe didn’t need to keep living like this. When I take clients back to look at the scenes, to review and rationalise them, the client has the power to understand what happened and to change the belief attached to it. Rather than it being the recording “the day I learned that violence solves problems”, we could change it to “the day where my father couldn’t control himself” or something that feels right to the client. It’s more about taking that negative belief out of your life. Neuroplasticity is a thing. Our brains are malleable. You don’t have to live based on things you learned as a child, and the sooner we can all realise this, the sooner we can move on and live the life we want to.

We have the power to embed different beliefs, to change our thought patterns. Imagine if this were offered instead of a jail sentence? Imagine if all it took was to show you that you don’t have to act based on what’s familiar, but that you can decide, with the right help, how you want to live your life.

If there’s anything you’re struggling through, check out www.dainahazel.com for more information and get in touch, I’d love to hear from you and help you.

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