Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) has its roots in Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) which originated in the USA in the 1970s. Solution-focused hypnotherapy seeks to help people achieve positive change in their lives by focusing on how the client can find solutions to achieve their goals. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are always exceptions and that small changes can lead to big change. By focusing on exceptions, the client can begin to see that their actions, or inactions, directly affect their outcome. This understanding builds feelings of self-efficacy.
Most traditional forms of therapy look backward analysing problems of the past, believing that the answers lie there. SFH acknowledges past hurts and traumas but is underpinned by the belief that you get what you focus on; if a person focuses on what they don’t want they are likely to feel a lot worse than if they focus on what they want. Solution-focused hypnotherapy can help clients uncover skills and resources within themselves that will help move them away from their problem state.
Solution-focused therapy is goal and action-oriented; the client is encouraged to set clear, measurable and realistic goals and given support to start working towards meeting them. It is a client-led approach and questions like “what do you like doing?” and “what are you good at?” are used to help the client to change their focus. By switching their attention from their problem and towards activities that bring them pleasure and a sense of fulfilment the answer to the problem might be revealed.
One of the most common questions used in solution-focused hypnotherapy is the ‘miracle question’ which encourages the client to imagine a time in the future when their problem has gone and asks them to think about what would be different, who would notice and how would they notice? By inviting a client to imagine this ideal future they can start to believe that their desired changes are possible. Encouraging them to create this future allows them to move into a state where they are more resourceful and this can be reinforced in hypnosis. Simply being in hypnosis reduces stress and anxiety and a hypnotherapist can invite the client to explore their inner world and tap into their internal resources. The client can begin to focus on the positive aspects of their life, encouraging a shift in perspective.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process between client and therapist. Change happens because the client wants it and consciously works towards it with the support of the therapist. Because SFH focuses on action, positive changes are usually noticed quickly; we learn and reinforce skills by doing. This, in turn, builds confidence and self-esteem and helps move the client into an ever more positive, resourceful state.
Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy forms part of the London Hypnotherapy Academy diploma course but is also open to counsellors and coaches as a stand-alone training module.