What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy? And what isn’t it?

I’ve put together some information here for anybody who is considering hypnotherapy, or just interested to find out more about what it actually is, using some common questions I’m asked when I tell somebody I’m a hypnotherapist.

Solution focused hypnotherapy is all about, as the name suggests, looking for solutions. Working together, we look at where you are now, where you want to be, and how to get there, one step at a time.

Using psychotherapy techniques and easy to understand explanations of how the brain works – why you think, feel & behave the way you do – we can start to look at the next steps to move towards your ultimate goal, whatever that might be.

Baby steps lead to big changes

So what is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy uses relaxation and guided visualisation to embed everything from our session. It replicates your dreaming stage of sleep, which plays a role in finding new solutions to any problems you might be facing in your life.

For people who have never experienced hypnosis before, I describe it as like having a bedtime story told to you as a child. Your imagination comes alive and you are transported into the story. It feels inspiring and comforting at the same time.

Using metaphor (our brains love stories & metaphors to make sense of the world), your brain will pick up on parts that it feels are relevant at that particular time, and search for solutions to move past a problem, or towards a desired outcome.

We actually go into a hypnotic state naturally all the time. When you’re driving a familiar route and suddenly find you’re at your destination without having noticed all the roads you’ve driven down. Or when you’re watching TV but you realise you don’t actually know what’s happened in the last 10 minutes. Daydreaming/trance/being away with the fairies, whatever you like to call it, it’s a perfectly natural state that we all go into every single day. There’s nothing mystical or magical about it.

Everybody has their own personal experience with hypnosis. I have some clients who fall asleep almost instantly, (this is perfectly ok because the message is still going through to the subconscious brain), and some who say they feel alert throughout but pick up on a different aspect each time depending on what’s going on in their life. Many people say they feel lighter & energised afterwards, as if their brain has just had a massage. This feedback led to me creating my half hour “mind massage” sessions as tasters if you’re not sure what to expect, or just as a therapy in itself, similar to going for a physical massage or facial to relax and have some me-time.

What can hypnotherapy be used for?

Hypnotherapy is commonly used for help with:

  • reducing anxiety
  • sleep-related issues
  • weight management
  • increasing self-confidence & motivation
  • smoking cessation
  • overcoming phobias
  • pain management
  • fertility issues
  • calmer childbirth
  • Irrititable Bowel Syndrome

I believe that everybody could benefit from the principles of solution focused hypnotherapy, as a preventative approach to overall wellbeing. So if there is something troubling you, even if it isn’t listed here, I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

Will I be clucking like a chicken?

Only if you want to!

Stage hypnotists have created a certain stigma around hypnosis, however all is not as it seems. Participants in stage hypnosis have usually gone through a vetting system to check that they are likely to join in with whatever is thrown at them. And there’s a certain amount of pressure once you’re up on a stage to go along with the show, avoiding embarrassment for yourself & your host. The effect may feel real to the participant at the time, but it is ultimately their choice to be part of it.

The truth is that you do not lose any control during hypnosis. You are as alert as you wish to be, and cannot be made to do anything you are not comfortable with. In solution focused hypnotherapy, I encourage clients to come up with their own solutions since they are then more likely to be meaningful and useful to them, so I don’t use any direct suggestions.

Do you have a magic wand?

Unfortunately not!

It would be misleading to say that hypnosis is a “miracle cure” for anything, although to some clients it can feel that way. It is a partnership between the client & the therapist, and does involve work on the client’s part too. The therapist is there to inform and guide you along your journey, similar to visiting a personal trainer to improve your physical fitness. I can help you understand how best to use your brain to your advantage and be your support, but if you’re not committed & willing to put some effort in then, as with anything, you can’t expect to see results. The good news is that, as with any form of exercise or new skill, it does get easier and the benefits can be life-changing. I love watching my clients’ progress, and realise that the magic is actually within them.

I hope this has been a useful brief guide to hypnotherapy. If you have any further questions and/or would like to book an initial consultation, please get in touch.

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