Why hypnotherapy isn't just about counselling

Good quality hypnotherapists can't avoid using counselling and psychotherapeutic skills, in fact, some of the best ones use them well. The initial call and assessment session involve active listening, demonstrating empathy, understanding, and positive regard, using effective questioning, and pacing rather than coaching or leading clients.

Some hypnotherapists use counselling and psychotherapy very deliberately as part of the session e.g., before, during or after trance, and some therapists will provide the client with a pure counselling session with no hypnosis here and there with the client's consent, if that would appear to be most beneficial thing to do in that session.

Using counselling and/or other forms of psychotherapy whilst the client is in an induced trance state enables a client to think and feel differently about their problem, and possible solutions, due to being more receptive, disinhibited, and relaxed.

Many people attending to see a hypnotherapist may have already been to see a counsellor or psychotherapist without hypnosis training where they did or didn't gain benefit for their current issues. Counselling is generally beneficial for client's to share and offload, to talk about issues with someone who is not connected to it, or likely to pass judgment.

However, what clients often report after seeing a counsellor is that things don't move on very far or quickly enough and the laid back approach they've experienced isn't interventionist enough for some. Typically counselling is passive in its approach and prevents counsellors instigating changes since the belief is the client will change if indeed they need to change, and when they are good and ready.

Counselling no doubt has it's place especially in areas where change isn't warranted anytime soon, where clients for example are grieving, recovering from trauma and loss, dealing with unfulfillment and depression, or living with existential conflicts. It definitely has a place in a good hypnotherapists repertoire. The main points of difference are that hypnotherapy has many facets, works on many levels simultaneously, is typically a much briefer therapy where interventions create more profound changes, and involves the therapist inducing a trance state using hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy also has much wider application with clients typically attending because they have something they want to change about themselves in the present which may or may not be rooted in the past. That is, their confidence to e.g., be more confident doing a presentation, passing a driving test or exam, overcoming a phobia of getting on a plane, quitting smoking, losing weight, being more motivated to change career, or leave a relationship, all stem from something much deeper in the past.

Hypnotherapy is typically an interventionist approach where clients focus on their goals and achieving them whilst still acknowledging the barriers to change and what might be holding them back. It's also very effective with issues traditionally used with counselling e.g., where clients need more time to reflect, offload, acknowledge, explore and gain insight into their issues i.e., discovering how they came about and the reasons they are still a problem.

Hypnotherapists listen intently to the client about what they want to change and how they want to change it and also give that information back to the client in the form of hypnotic and post-hypnotic suggestions during the trance state when they are experiencing a different state of awareness, focus, and have a relaxed mind and body.

Hypnotherapists devise suggestions from the information the client has given them and deliver these in such a way that the client will be very receptive to them. These suggestions are what the client has given themselves, often over the years, but perhaps is having difficulty believing and implementing them, so hypnotherapy enables these suggestions to be accepted at a deeper level without critique, defensiveness, excuses, justifications, fears, etc.

During this time the client can still choose to not accept any suggestions that aren't aligned with their beliefs or values, so if the therapist starts to impose their own beliefs or advise anything the client isn't already on board with, the client will reject these suggestions as not being their own. This is very important for client control and empowerment.

Hypnotherapy & NLP are fascinating areas of study and practice. Whether you're looking for hypnotherapy for your own issues or interested in training to become a hypnotherapist/NLP practitioner to help others, we have a one-stop shop for all your hypnotherapy/NLP needs.
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