How can Solution Focused Therapy be used in a normal hypnosis session?
The essence of Solution Focused Therapy is the idea that it is the client who is the expert, not the therapist. All forms of psychotherapy involve talking. Hypnotherapy is unusual in that a lot of the time the talking is one sided. Hypnosis is not a conversation; the therapist is talking, but a client in trance only responds when prompted.
However, the hypnotherapist needs to know what to talk about. So a session typically consists of first finding out what the client wants. Finding out exactly what the client needs is one of the key skills of hypnosis.
There are many different techniques that can be used to extract what the client's real needs quickly and accurately. One of the most useful is Solution Focused Therapy.
Solution Focused Therapy
SFT focuses on identifying the best solution for the client. It does not ask about past problems, or how the client got into the situation they are in. SFT focuses on what the client wants to have happen, how they want to feel. SFT examines what can be done now, not what happened in the past. It is about what is possible given the client's present situation.
It is based on the principle that whatever the client can do that helps in some way should be noted and encouraged. Therapy is based on the idea that it is the client's current behavior that is causing or maintaining the problem, so keeping on doing more of the same is wrong. Therefore anything different, any change, is success.
Anything that leads away from the present unhelpful behavior is useful. The therapist's job is identify what can be changed and to help the client make that change.
Therefore, the first thing to do is to identify exactly what the client would consider a success. Then to identify what successes, of any kind, the client has had in the past and what the client can find as possible new behaviors in the present.
On this basis the hypnotherapy can incorporate things that will lead to the goal of the client. Visualization can be done featuring the client in their ideal situation, doing the things they want to do, and having the life they want to live. The therapy can also use examples of past successes to remind the client that they are resourceful, that they can succeed. That way they can zoom in on what they want to change. And then the hypnotist can use standard techniques to help the client identify key new behaviors.
That way the therapist can use the principles of SFT to make the hypnotherapy more effective.
What do you think?
How do you use Solution Focused Therapy? Is it even possible?
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.
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