Why You Get Triggered

You may notice yourself being triggered by experiences you encounter or by things people do. You will know this effects you because you will find yourself feeling angry, fearful, frustrated, irritable or anxious. If you pay attention long enough, you might even begin to notice a pattern amongst what it is that causes you to feel this way. These are not random occurrences. What triggers you is going to be different from what triggers your neighbor, friend or another family member. Personal triggers are a result of unresolved emotion.


When you experience a situation as an adult that emotionally reminds you how you felt sometime in the past, and that past emotion remained unresolved, this will trigger you to feel and respond in much the same way you did at that earlier time. Various defense mechanisms will surface as a result to protect you. You might project your feelings onto others, misinterpret communication, become defensive in behavior, become passive aggressive, or even chronically avoid environments or situations that you might otherwise wish you felt more comfortable in. Emotions in need of resolution bring you into a fight or flight state.

Perceptions Matter

For example, if another child made a comment to little Jim in the school cafeteria that embarrassed Jim, this emotion was likely held onto and carried in the subconscious. The subconscious mind holds onto all of the memories you experience in your lifetime, while the conscious mind only filters what you most need to know in this current moment. However, the subconscious is like a cup. Once that cup is full of liquid, it will find a way to seep out. When your internal bucket of unresolved emotion is full, emotions will pour out into other areas of your life through behavior. If as an adult, Jim has to present in front of others for work and finds himself feeling flushed and nervous, to the point of physically feeling sick or finding ways to avoid presenting, it is likely that his current adult feelings relate to past experience(s) that remain emotionally unresolved. In a hypnosis session, the memory of the cafeteria may arise and Jim suddenly remembers how embarrassed he felt at the time, and how embarrassing it is to feel himself being watched now while giving presentations. His past self, as a child, needed something in that moment that was not achieved and so the emotion became stored and held onto.   It is very important to know that how you as an adult assess a past situation from your current conscious mind state has little to no bearing on the effect it has on you. Adult Jim may feel in his conscious mind that the cafeteria incident was “no big deal”. However, to little Jim as a child, his perception at the time was that of embarrassment and it mattered. The situation itself is less important than the perception of the situation at the time of its occurrence.


Other examples I have seen are:

  • Death of a loved one early on resulting in feelings of abandonment and resulting in avoidance of intimate relationships
  • Feeling of loss of control earlier in life resulting in a fear of flying in airplanes
  • Feelings of unworthiness earlier in life resulting in a fear of public speaking
  • Past hurts resulting in a distrust and avoidance of establishing friendships and meaningful relationships
  • Irritability and impatience with self or others caused by the need for an inner critic earlier in life
  • Lack of self confidence resulting in avoidance of desired goals 


I have seen this over and over again in my practice. When I talk to clients about how emotions work, I often hear how it makes sense to them, but that they cannot remember anything that would relate to what they currently experience. However, it is not about the specific situation experienced. When looking at various life experiences, we might not find the commonality between them that would drive human behavior but that is because what drives it cannot be seen by the eye.  It is all about the underlying emotional connection those experiences hold. How you feel now subconsciously reminds you of how you felt at a time earlier in your life and sometimes, multiple times that must all be processed.

You Can Thrive!


Once experienced in a hypnotherapy session, clients are frequently shocked at the realization of how much impact a prior event had on them. They very often are also surprised at how once that event is processed and the underlying emotion resolved, the fear or other strong emotional reactions to current events and undesired behaviors (reacting or avoiding) disappears.  This is where true freedom lies. Events that would have once triggered a strong emotional reaction and resulting behavior now become neutral and individuals find themselves moving from a place of existing to one of thriving. You can thrive too.


Jennifer Catlin, M.S., C.Ht, C.I

Jennifer holds her Master’s Degree in School Psychology and is a certified hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy certification instructor. She believes that all individuals hold the answers to achieve inner peace and freedom within. She holds sessions in her Cary, NC office and also virtually for clients around the world.  For more information and to contact Jennifer, please visit: 



How Client-Centered Hypnotherapy Can Help You

Hypnosis offers a multitude of benefits to help you achieve your goals in life. These benefits are widespread and ripple outward in unexpected, positive ways. The benefits of client-centered, transpersonal hypnotherapy are even more expansive because this type of hypnosis allows you to access the root cause of behaviors through an interactive, personalized program that meets you exactly where you are. You are considered to be the authority of your life and inner world and you hold the answers within. A client-centered hypnotherapist can enable you to connect with your inner voice in ways that help you to create outward change.

When you discover hypnotherapy and transform into the very best version of you, these are some of the benefits you might notice:



How Client-Centered Hypnotherapy Helps You Shift and Live Your Best Life



Despite your external experiences, you find more joy, contentment and ease of living in the present moment. There is a sense of being able to ride the waves of life rather than drowning in them.


 You notice a positive change in behavior. What used to hold you back now only motivates you forward. Unresolved emotions that were held in the subconscious process and in turn, allow you to shift out of old coping mechanisms into behaviors that fully serve you in your life.

You might find yourself engaging in activities you once avoided out of irrational fear, or stepping into positions of leadership because you feel confident in who you are now. You might develop a different relationship with food and eliminate binge eating or connect with others in a deeper way. Whatever behavior it is you want to change, client-centered hypnotherapy offers a useful, effective tool to allow you to achieve that goal.


      You become more connected to yourself. I frequently hear clients describing it feel like they came home to themselves and finally feel comfortable in their own skin. There is no greater sense of freedom than that of feeling comfortable existing in your body!


      You feel a sense of personal empowerment. This is not to be confused with ego power, but rather living your truth in an open-hearted, authentic way. You continue to feel compassion for others, have the ability to speak your truth and also maintain healthy boundaries for yourself.


    You begin to care for yourself in a healthy way. The relationship with “you” changes and moves in a direction that includes alignment with who you are at your core. Making friends with yourself means self care naturally becomes an integral part of your life. Liking who you are is a game changer in all aspects of your being.


Give it a try! You are here to shine and the world needs you at your best. You are the authority on your life and inner world. If you would like assistance in connecting to the wisdom that resides within you, moving through stuck emotions from the past, and creating behavioral shifts that align you with your best self,  you can contact me by emailing:  [email protected]   OR  call: (919) 455-1987. Local and long distance appts. are available.

About Me: I am a client-centered transpersonal hypnotherapist and perfectly imperfect human being living life as best I can. I am learning in this journey with other perfectly imperfect humans. I have my Master’s degree in School Psychology and am trained in mindfulness instruction. I utilize a combination of client-centered hypnosis and mindfulness in my practice and work with others in a nonjudgemental, compassionate way. I enjoy time with family, reading, hiking, kayaking, animals, herbal tea, farmer’s markets and all things nature. Most of all, I love emotions and working with emotional energy. It was through hypnotherapy and mindfulness that I developed a deeper relationship with myself, moved through the identification with a strong inner critic, and found freedom and joy in this crazy, beautiful existence. It is my passion to share what I learned with others and my wish for you is that you also find the freedom you seek.