I remember my first ever massage, back in the 90s. I was so nervous, as I didn’t know what to expect. Years later, when I trained to be a massage therapist, I never forgot how daunting that first session can be, and took steps to reassure new clients.
It can be the same with hypnotherapy, especially as the media often portray hypnosis as some kind of mind control, or talking therapists as Sigmund Freud lookalikes.
So, here’s what to expect if you attend Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH)…
First, it’s worth noting that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy isn’t something that is done to you, it’s something that you work at with guidance from your therapist. As with anything worth doing, you do have to put some effort in, in order to get the best results. The results are often life-changing.
We offer an initial consultation where we gather information about you – basic name and address stuff, information about your current lifestyle, general wellbeing and sleeping patterns, and of course the reason you are seeking help. Having gathered enough information to understand your current situation and your preferred future, we make an assessment about the most appropriate course of therapy.
We then explain how the brain works and how it can manifest a variety of emotional, behavioural or physical symptoms. We help you to understand how SFH can help you to retrain your brain to support you, rather than thwart you.
Some SFH therapists charge for the initial consultation, some offer it free. I currently provide this session free of charge, remembering how daunting reaching out for help can be. The initial consultation lasts around 30-45 minutes.
Subsequent sessions last 50 to 55 minutes and consist of a period of Solution Focused talking therapy, followed by a period of hypnotic trance to help your brain evaluate and consolidate the work we have done during the first part. Often clients think that the magic happens during hypnosis. The truth is that, with SFH, the talking element is at least as important as the trance work, and focuses on positive outcomes. We actively discourage you from discussing negative events from the past, and instead use solution focused questioning techniques to encourage you to think about positive outcomes, which of course can be quite challenging at times. The results are worth it though.
Hypnosis and trance are very powerful words. And so they should be, as the hypnotic trance is a very powerful state. Powerful, but ultimately natural. It’s very similar to daydreaming, where you are able to do something on auto-pilot, like peeling potatoes or doing the ironing, while your mind wanders, remembering past events or anticipating future possibilities. And it’s a very relaxing experience.
Some therapists use a massage couch (folding bed) for the trance work, whilst others use a reclining or comfortable chair. I prefer to use a massage couch and am lucky to have one in each of the therapy rooms where I work.
Oh, and I don’t look like Sigmund Freud.