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So what is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a modern talking therapy designed primarily by a man called David Newton. David began his career as an analytical hypnotherapist before realising that he could help more people by using more modern methods of talking therapy. Over his 30,000+ clinical hours, David developed a new form of talking therapy taking the very best tools and ideas from other models and combining them with his own. The resulting approach takes lessons learnt from positive psychology, neuroscience, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and of course it also utilises the power of hypnosis.

What Happens in a Typical Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Session?

Following an Initial Consultation, a Solution Focused Hypnotherapy practitioner will usually start each new session by encouraging a client to identify what has been good in the previous week or so. This sounds like simple exercise and it is simple, although it’s not necessarily easy. In my experience if you ask someone who is NOT struggling from anxiety or depression to find something that’s been good, or something that they are pleased has happened in the last week, they may well struggle. Add anxiety, depression, grief, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or any other of the myriad of anxiety related (or exacerbated) conditions out there and things get harder. Include in the mix the expectation that at least ten good things will be found and the challenge really does ramp up!

 The interesting thing is that this exercise alone can be enormously powerful in improving someone’s mood as one good thing begins to roll out after another. Naturally, with a bit of practice over a number of weeks this simple exercise becomes just exactly that, even for those that have been given a diagnosis of depression by their GP.

Following this, a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist will want to make sure their client is reminded of how the brain works. They might want to remind their clients about the different areas of the brain, and/or the primitive opt out clauses of anxiety, depression and anger, and the other characteristics of the primitive mind that can cause so much discomfort. They might go on to explain the ‘stress bucket’ (a metaphor for accumulated stress) and its implications for problem creation/focus, as well as discussing the importance of sleep. Finally, they may want to reiterate the importance of the holy grail of skills: Positive Thinking, Positive Action and Positive Interaction.

A Solution Focused Hypnotherapist will not typically advise a client on what they should or should not do, on the basis that the only expert of the client’s life is the client. However, they are particularly adept at helping the client identify for themselves what next small step they can take in order to help themselves empty the ‘stress bucket’’. And this is the next step in the process - identifying what small step, or steps, can be taken to move the client towards where they want to be. We know when the ‘stress bucket’ is emptied we can cope so much better with life, and this in turn helps people to cope better so problems appear, become less intrusive and eventually disappear.

Finally, a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist will want to move the client into a wonderful state of relaxed awareness. They will usually create the state of hypnosis through the use of positive visualisations. The feeling of this kind of hypnosis is unique to the individual. Some people describe the feeling as similar to lying on their bed and getting absorbed in their favourite music, others report a deep state of relaxation - heaviness of limbs etc. What we do know is that hypnosis is an enormously powerful tool and can be extremely useful, especially when used following the previously described steps, in creating change in the way people think of the world around them and of themselves. 

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