How Hypnotherapy works

How hypnotherapy works.

Taking on this subject is a pretty major undertaking because in truth no one knows why hypnotherapy works—it just does. That though is a different issue than how it works, if we did not know the answer to that we would not be able to use hypnosis for therapeutic or any other use.

When a therapist meets a client there is a great deal of information gathering going on at the first meeting. Some of it will be in the form of question and answer but much more will be gathered by looking at how the client sits, stands, moves--- body language tells us so much, it shows the persons state of mind, emotional state, level of confidence and even if they are telling the truth. On top of that comes voice, the tone, volume, pitch, manner of speech quite apart from the words used give lots of clues to the whole person. Some of that unconsciously given information is valuable because many would not give some of it verbally until they got to know the therapist much better.

It is important that anyone visiting a therapist can feel at ease, safe, confident that they are going to be the focus of the therapists attention during “Their” session. It is in the therapists interest to build that rapport quickly so that they can get to the core of the clients issue and begin to help resolve it as quickly as possible. It is worth mentioning that hypnotherapy is referred to as “Brief intervention” it is not designed to go on endlessly, it has a purpose—which is established at the first meeting and then the therapies given aim to resolve the issue within 4-8 weeks. It is a very practical  therapy. This is where it differs from counselling which can go on for years  without reaching a pre-agreed conclusion.

Hypnotherapy can take many forms but there are two main routes: solution focused as described above or analytical which is for those who feel they need to know the cause of their problems, to work through the issue and to resolve things in that way.

I prefer solution focused, the past has happened, we can look at it and maybe realise that the way we reacted to an event was not appropriate or that what was done to us was inexcusable but there is a limit to the value of raking over past events. I prefer to look at the effects that past event is producing here and now then finding ways of changing that into a format that does not inhibit or distract us from getting on and having a bright future.

When clients are in hypnotic trance they are much more capable of taking on board new ideas, taking the bits that are useful to them and processing that through their subconscious to produce the outcome they want. This is where another choice is made---- and that choice is based on the information the therapist has gained in that first session—the choice is to use direct or indirect suggestion to get the client to the point they want to reach.  To explain the difference  let us think of computers, they dominate our lives and we all interact with them in some way every day.  If you buy a new programme  or game you have to install it, usually you have two options Autorun or custom install, with autorun the system takes the information it needs from the programme to enable the  game or whatever to run on your particular machine. If you choose Custom install you have to tell the machine certain things—which drive it is to install to, which folder to store it in, maybe what programme to use to open files—so it is much more diect In Hypnosis we have the same options, we can give you vague and ambiguous suggestions that might to the conscious ear sound odd and not particularly relevant, this is the equal of Autorun because your subconscious here’s all that is said, picks out the parts that are pertinent and useful to deal with the problem the client has it then processes that information to effect changes to “Repair” the dysfunctional thinking. The other option is that therapist gives clear suggestion to the subconscious to say what it should adjust, delete, open up, or modify. This equates to the custom install.

It has been found that those who in their general life are used to taking orders or who like clear cut instructions, those who will look at the handbook or instruction manual when they buy things respond better to direct suggestion—it fits with their way of doing and understanding. Meanwhile the creative thinkers,  and those who struggle with authority make better use of indirect suggestion valuing the chance to (subconsciously) make decisions about how to proceed.

All therapy is about enabling the client to do the things that are right for them and in a way that they both understand and can feel comfortable using.

You may like to  find a quiet time to sit, relax into a light trance state and let your mind show you how it likes to work—it might be images, sounds colours that tell you  about how you work—just a few clues: loud music with a rigid beat, strong colours, strong hard edged images would seem to point towards the direct route. Softer music, more emphasis on melody pastel colours, imprecise shapes could show the disposition to  indirect  thinking and processing.

There is no right or wrong, not even a preferable in this you are what you are, once you know you have additional tools to help you get where you want to be. If you get stuck or confused just email me or phone and make an appointment

© Martin Williams 2013/15/16