What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy?

As the name suggests, the hypnotherapy I practice is solution-focused, meaning that all the work we do together will be goal oriented. As Erickson above suggests, we can sometimes lose touch or be unaware of our abilities, and difficult life events will often trick us in to forgetting our successes. Using hypnotherapy in a solution focused way is a powerfully effective method of bringing to mind your skills and resources which can then inform you of ways to conquer present challenges.

Hypnotherapy itself is often misunderstood and stage hypnosis has done much to fuel these misconceptions. What is rarely realised is that we go in and out of trance everyday. How often have you had the experience of being so engrossed in a book that you don’t hear your name being repeatedly called or have been on a journey and feel surprised when you reach your destination? These are examples of everyday trance, when your conscious awareness moves aside and your unconscious/subconscious mind moves into the driving seat. Daydreaming is another great example of this with the REM state being the most powerful of all our trance states; when our conscious perception goes “offline” whilst we sleep to dream.

Instincts and autonomic function are taken care of by the unconscious/subconscious mind. It is this instinctual part of us that hypnotherapy aims to work with as it can be argued that many of our problems are maintained without our conscious awareness. Consider for a moment a smoker that knows all the health risks and is desperate to stop and yet continues to smoke? Or the person with a phobia of flying desperate to go abroad and unable to board a plane? Anxiety, depression and other mood states are often maintained by largely unconscious processes and its these that hypnotherapy seeks to address.

Often people feel that hypnotherapy is about a therapist “doing something to them”. This is not completely accurate although I will use specific techniques to enable you to relax deeply which will feel different to traditional talking therapies. However the work itself is still a collaboration and you remain in control. Similar to the Dramatherapy and Human Givens therapy I practice, this specific hypnotherapy approach uses story, metaphor and an understanding of the mind/body connection to alleviate distress. Not all hypnotherapists are trained in the same way and I am happy for you to ask me questions to clarify your understanding.

What happens in a session?

I will begin by asking you what has bought you to therapy and why hypnotherapy is the particular way of working that appeals to you. It is especially important that I understand what your expectations of hypnotherapy are as there are many varied and misleading representations of it in the media.

Similar to the Human Givens approach, this uses the needs and resources framework to understand psychological and emotional well being. This is a great starting point for me to understand how things are for you, what is going on in your life, and most importantly what you want the outcome of therapy to be.

Once I have understood where you want to get to, we will work together to get you there. As this hypnotherapy approach is solution-focused, the aim is to achieve your goals in as few sessions as possible. During our work together you will also learn techniques and gain knowledge that you can use outside of the therapy room to maintain your emotional and psychological well being. Learning about yourself and how to be proactive and practical in your approach to your mental health, will have a positive impact long after the therapy itself has ended.