020 3369 3360020 3369 3360

What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Feb 25, 2018

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.

Could re-training as a hypnotherapist offer the control you need?

Dec 04, 2017

It is more than a year since the world woke to the shock of Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States. For many in the US, UK, and Europe this was scary news and followed the earlier shock of Britain voting to leave the EU. A sense of fear and uncertainty prevailed for many as these elections threatened to shake up the world as we know it. Things will change, there is no doubt about it, but how they will be, no-one can be sure.

Fretting and unsettling speculation about the future has a cost that goes far beyond the nation’s financial health though. Continuous stress is harmful to our minds and bodies. Negative or provocative posts on social media only exacerbate anxiety amongst those who are worried about the future, especially as Trump takes an increasingly warrior-like stance against North Korea. Long-term, continuous stress takes a toll on us and its impact on the body and mind is not inconsequential.

Uncertainty causes low-level stress; the sense of insecurity and perceived lack of control negatively affecting those for whom a feeling of control is important. Control is a perception though; in truth, we have little control over anything except the simplest of things in our life. We can control when we go to bed, what we eat and how we dress, but most things from the weather to the value of the pound, are outside of our influence. For some, having a job offers a sense of security, while for others, self-employment provides a better sense of protection from the impact of others' decisions. Starting a business could be considered scary, but it also exciting and offers the prospect of working flexibly without the threat of age discrimination.

If you are one of an increasing number of individuals who considers the challenge of Brexit as an opportunity to grow, re-training may be an attractive option. Self-employment and the ‘gig’ economy is becoming more and more popular, either because of a lack of attractive vacancies or the appeal of flexible working. Traditionally home-working has been poorly paid, but setting up a therapy practice from your house or flat can be rewarding both financially and in job satisfaction terms.

Just as for happiness in life, as a self-employed therapist, you will need to be resilient, resourceful and have a positive mindset, but if the idea of running your own business is more appealing than the alternative, why not re-train? Few of us have any influence on the world economy or politics, but we can make choices about what we do and where we focus on our energy. 

Coaching and therapy

Oct 13, 2017

A Hand up?

There are lots of misunderstandings about coaching and what it is. Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between training, mentoring and coaching, especially in the workplace. Coaching isn’t about teaching or supervising and doesn’t involve ‘telling’ a person what to do or giving them advice. It is about finding direction, developing potential, creating a vision, and planning steps to reach a goal.

So who has coaching? Potentially anyone. Coaching involves a series of focused conversations between a coach and their client or a team. Whether it involves a group of individuals or one ‘coachee’ the process and purpose is similar and is intended to help them to progress in the future. It is a future-focused approach and is about setting objectives to reach goals that the individual or team wants to achieve and helps them to improve their performance or develop skills or expertise.

In the corporate world coaching is commonplace and is used to help improve an individual’s performance. It can also help teams of employees work more effectively to increase productivity or morale. It is (or should be) an empowering experience which helps people to reach their potential individually or as part of a team. Coaching doesn’t focus on problems and isn’t counselling, therapy or training; it is developmental.

Everyone in an organisation can benefit from coaching, from management teams to apprentices. When a company invests time and money into the workforce, personnel are generally happier and more fulfilled, productivity often improves and staff retention increases. Coaching improves communication and helps staff feel valued and improves self-belief and aspiration.

Outside of the corporate environment, it is becoming increasingly popular for individuals to seek the help of a coach. This may be to help them to achieve fitness or health goals, to get a better work/ life balance or to find direction in their life or career. Couples may seek the assistance of a coach to improve their relationship or communication style. Coaching is becoming more and more mainstream and appeals to people who want to make changes, but don’t feel they have a problem that needs therapy or counselling.

Whilst coaching definitely isn’t a form of therapy, it can be combined with therapies such as hypnotherapy, to support a client who wants to make changes in their health, well-being or fitness. By helping a client to set goals and plan steps to change, a therapist with coaching skills can encourage commitment to a process and personal responsibility.

Overcoming fear to pursue your dream career

Aug 17, 2017

Are you unhappy or dissatisfied in your current job? Maybe you’ve wanted to make a change for a while, but something has stopped you. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for the right time, or for redundancy to take the decision to quit a boring or stressful job out of your hands? Well, the bad news and good news is that there is no ‘right time’, there is only now. True, you might wait until you receive an anticipated tax refund to provide some funds for training or you may put your plans on hold until your little one goes to school. If you are waiting for something non-specific to indicate that now is the time for change, you could be talking about changing direction this time next year or the year after. If you’ve heard yourself saying ‘oh my gosh, where has the time gone, I can’t believe it’s June, July, August or whenever’ you are likely to remain where you are for some time to come.

If you recognise that you have been stalling or putting obstacles in your own way, you might want to explore why you have been procrastinating or delaying putting your plans into action. If you can’t work out why you are staying stuck and putting things off, a coach may be able to help you get some clarity on what is holding you back. Fear of failure is a common reason for procrastination in many scenarios, perhaps this resonates with you. Is worrying about what the outcome of the change might be, keeping you in an unrewarding role or a career that doesn’t fit with your values? If you find yourself focusing on all the things that could go wrong, instead of visualising what will be so good about your new career or business, you may be catastrophising. When you catastrophise, you magnify any risks, and dismiss the positives, or the most likely outcome. This anxiety about what could go wrong (the ‘what ifs’) could result in you avoiding or pursuing opportunities. If you recognise that fear of failure or fear of change is holding you back or keeping you in a rut, you could seek the help of a hypnotherapist or coach to help you to overcome your self-doubt and fear. I have a sign on my wall that says ‘What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’ and that’s an interesting question. So, what would you do?

Can I earn a living as a hypnotherapist? Part 1: How is your relationship with money?

Jul 02, 2017

A question I’m often asked by prospective students is “Can I earn a decent living as a hypnotherapist?” The answer to that depends on a few simple things: your skill, your marketing and your relationship with money. In this article, we’re going to look at the last of these points.

We often talk about our relationship with food or alcohol, but how often do we think about our relationship with money? If you explore your attitude to money, how would you describe it? Are you comfortable with money or is it a dirty word? Our feelings about money are often formed early in life. Some of us are brought up to believe that discussing money is impolite, whilst others are comfortable to talk about it openly. It’s an interesting fact that long-term relationships often break down when each individual’s core beliefs about money are diametrically opposed. It is especially difficult if this topic wasn’t discussed before couples moved in together or got married.

Putting personal finances aside, when it comes to running your business, how does your attitude to cash affect what you charge your clients? Do you strive to make money from your therapy work or do you feel uncomfortable charging the ‘going rate’? Do you admire therapists who charge a lot more or do you feel antipathy towards them? Lack of confidence in your ability or doubts about your level of experience or results can lead to a failure to recognise the value of what you do.

Whether it is cash or plastic, currency is something that we can’t do without. In our business, we do have some control over how much money comes into our account. We can’t force clients to come to our practice, of course, but we can set a fee structure that is commensurate with the service we provide. An attitude to money that prevents us from earning a good living from our work is likely to de-motivate and discourage us and engender a sense of scarcity.

What we can do is to review our relationship with money. Could it be that wealth or the pursuance of it is what is troubling or exciting, rather than money itself? Naturally, our pricing needs to be in line with our values, but if we learned at an early age that having a lot of money makes you a bad person or that caring people are always poor (think Mother Theresa) then we might want to reappraise our position and its origins. If earning money from your enterprise is as exciting as helping people to make changes in their life, is that a problem? I would say not.

If you are concerned about charging ‘too much’ for your services, why not do a little audit... Add up the cost of your training, books, journals, CPD and include the fees for professional membership, insurance, room hire, website, marketing, etc. When you have tallied up all your costs (and don’t forget what you didn’t earn while you were training or your time investment) ask yourself if what you are charging clients, or planning to charge them, is excessive. Who knows, you might even decide that you should raise your fee!