By Dr John Butler
As a hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy trainer, a common myth I hear is that hypnotherapy is merely mechanical-type programming, as though the marvelously complex, individual human brain is a simple machine. So, often people who have experienced individual psychotherapy or counselling, either as clients or therapists, think of the detailed individual listening and fine-tuning that occurs in that setting, and believe that hypnotherapy would be a much-reduced experience.
Hypnotherapy, in reality, actually increases fine-tuning and individual listening. By training in hypnotherapy, you increase, rather than reduce, your capacity for rapport and building the “therapeutic relationship”, the most vital ingredient in psychotherapy and all psychological therapies. In a comprehensive hypnotherapy training, you learn to:
- Recognize and understand at a deep level where clients are starting from
- Listen intensively to what they say about where they want to move to
- Give them specific feedback from your knowledge and experience about steps you can help them with, that will start them in the direction they want to go, taking into account where they’re starting from
- Listen to and observe carefully their response and input to your ideas
- Agree a draft plan of therapeutic actions, to be reviewed and revised regularly in the light of feedback on the results they achieve
- Carry out this plan effectively, closely monitoring their responses not only on a conscious but also on a subconscious level
- Use the powerful techniques of hypnotherapy to highly mobilise your clients’ mental and emotional resources at both conscious and subconscious levels
- Support and communicate effectively throughout the therapeutic process, using the range of techniques of hypnotherapy to do this at a highly-tuned, individual level.
Another common misconception is that the role of the hypnotherapist is crudely authoritarian. The fact is, that a person is completely free, truly themselves, when deep in a hypnotic trance. It is a mentally, emotionally and spiritually liberating experience where the person is in touch with their creative inner power and therefore more strong and more aware. The fact that it can be achieved much more easily than similar meditative states, for instance, through using the amazing human faculty for partnership and communication that is achieved in clinical hypnosis, is a bonus. This faculty can also be extended to a group, and a properly trained hypnotherapist can conduct a group self-hypnosis training session, for instance, and find both a strong group atmosphere, and completely individual responses in all the participants.
Due to these popular misunderstandings of hypnotherapy, numerous hypnotherapy ‘trainings’ are offered on a very superficial level. So I find many of my students come to my courses to add to, or in some cases to correct, the very limited methods that they have been taught, and I like to spread the message as to the true range of hypnotherapy, wherever I can.
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