So who comes to see a hypnotherapist, I hear you ask? What is the typical hypnotherapy client profile? You might imagine that a typical client might be someone alternative in style and philosophy, or else someone gullible or easily led, or perhaps you might think that the typical hypnosis subject is someone who likes being told what to do.
The fact is that my clients range, dramatically. Some of the clients I have had the privilege of helping have included medical doctors, psychologists, medical academics, other academics, nurses, carers, teachers, stay at home mums and dads, school students, school principals, scientists, artists, builders, escorts, electricians, plumbers, farmers, IT experts, CEOs, waitresses, small business owners, tax agents and everyone else in between. In other words, there is no ‘typical’ hypnotherapy client profile.
So What Makes a Good Hypnotherapy Client?
A good hypnotherapy client is someone who is:
- Ready for change
- Collaborative and cooperative in the change process, and listens to instructions
- Honest about what’s going on, and specifically their part in the problem scenario
- Happy to leave their self criticisms at the door
- Happy to explore the processes, without criticism
- Happy to drop resistance and see what happens
- And more…
What are Some Examples of a Not so Great Hypnotherapy Client?
Picture this: Scenario 1
Hypnotherapist: Get yourself comfortable and allow your eyes to close
Client: I don’t want to close my eyes
Comments: OK so hypnotherapy can also be done conversationally where the client does not need to close their eyes, that is true. However they have booked an appointment for hypnosis, and before we even begin they are resisting the process.
Picture this: Scenario 2
Hypnotherapist: When you have completed that task, allow the fingers on your right hand to move, so that I know where you are up to.
Client: (no response)
Hypnotherapist: (2 minutes mater) What’s happening?
Client: (no response)
Hypnotherapist: (2 minutes later) You are going to have to tell me what’s going on
Client: I don’t know
Comment: Among other reasons, this might happen if clients simply do not follow the process and use the time to nap instead of following along. Clients need to engage in the process.
Picture this: Scenario 3
Hypnotherapist: So how has the binge eating been this last week?
Client: Not good
Hypnotherapist: Have you done the exercise I gave you?
Hypnotherapist: You know if only takes 2 minutes
Client: I know
Comment: This might happen if the person really is not ready to make a permanent change as they resist a fast and simple activity to help cement the new behaviour. It also happens if a person comes to hypnosis expecting the ‘magic pill’ without contributing to the process. Alert: There is no magic pill
Picture this: Scenario 4
Hypnotherapist: Now I want you to think of a time when you’ve felt relaxed
Client: I’ve never felt relaxed
Hypnotherapist: What about after a deep sleep, or just lying in the sun?
Client: i don’t sleep deeply
Hypnotherapist: Ok, what about when you’ve taken a hot bath or have gone for a swim?
Client: I can’t remember
Comment: When a person has suffered severe trauma it can be very difficult to recall a time when they have felt calm, but the fact is that there have been times, even simple occasions such as sitting with the sun on their face or taking a hot shower. And even if they cannot ‘remember the event, they can imagine what it would have been like, because it has in fact happened to them. It has happened to all of us. We have all experienced moments of relaxation, despite the trauma.
It is a choice – what we choose to focus on. For hypnotherapy to work, the hypnotherapy client needs to be ready to change. That includes choosing to imagine something good, despite the bad. If a client cannot meet this requirement, the therapy will be longer and harder, but still possible. If their trauma is too deep in order to allow the imagination, will first have to get their unconscious mind to be better equipped to choose something positive, and we would do this using eye accessing cues, a physiological technique that we would employ in order to encourage a focus on the future, rather than the past. That’s all fine, we can do that if need be, but most clients are capable of making this choice, they are simply resistant to it. It could be that their resistance is a safety net – that is usually the reason. Then we first need to help their unconscious mind feel safe in a new way, so that they can start to let the old stuff go.
Different Styles for Different Clients
Some people are naturally more suggestible than others which means that they would respond better to direct suggestion hypnosis, while others are better candidates for mind training techniques. There are many approaches within hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming that I use, depending on the person. Some people are more visual while others are more kinaesthetic, or feeling based, for example.
You can imagine, from the broad range of client types listed above, with varying levels of academic intelligence, emotional intelligence, experience with mind training techniques and willingness to experience something new, I need to be fairly quick on my feet, so to speak, to match the person to the best approach. This is where communication is key. I am fairly good at reading minds but I could be better 😉
Hypnotherapy is suitable for most people, for most psychologically caused problems. The caveats around this are mostly medical. Many of my clients have seen psychologists to no avail, and they have tried hypnosis as a last resort. And most of them resolve their issues in three sessions. The power of hypnotherapy is huge, and varied. You only need to allow it to work for you.
If you require assistance with reaching your weight loss goals, quitting smoking/ binge drinking/ other habits, beating anxiety or depression, resolving trauma, recovering memories, breaking a cycle of mental torment and worry, building confidence and self-esteem, building motivation, accessing your own inner guidance, pain management, sleep issues, phobias and more, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast