I usually work over three sessions per issue, because each session opens your unconscious mind up to change the more you engage in hypnotherapy, and the more that you focus on that issue in this way. Three sessions for weight loss for example will usually be more effective than one super-long sessions. This is due to repetition, and increased focus. So when clients come in with multiple problems, say – smoking, weight loss, drinking and anxiety – and they want to tackle it all at once, what we can achieve in three sessions becomes a little more limited.

Having said that, occasionally things will domino and knock out most of the other problems too, if we tackle that underlying issue as the key, and if they are all related. The problem is, I can only go by the information you give me to work out if they are all related. Now I’m pretty good at reading between the lines but my mind reading skills are still a little sketchy

Jane’s Addictions and Multiple Problems

Jane had an issue with binge eating, binge drinking, smoking and anxiety. After some investigation, we identified low self-esteem as the cause of her addictive behaviour, so you see Jane has multiple problems, the four listed – binge eating and drinking, smoking and anxiety, plus one – low self esteem.

We started by looking at Jane’s self-esteem as an underlying thread having explored Jane’s patterns of behaviour. After week one she had stopped drinking. I would call that a WOW! One session! That’s unusual. After session two her anxiety had improved dramatically to acceptable levels (still a bit to do there). Good work! But Jane was still not satisfied. In week three she told me that she smoked in order to curb her appetite. Silly me, I thought her smoking was tied in with her anxiety!

You understand that this work can get a little complex, and that’s why I love it. But I need my clients to help me by revealing that sort of ‘secondary gain’, if they are aware of it.  That is crucial information. With so many things going on, her low self-esteem and her anxiety (which are both related) could have been fuelling her smoking and her binge eating. Jane really needed six sessions, if not more, but walked away only half satisfied after three.

Be fair people. One session – drinking issue resolved. Two sessions – anxiety under control. Three sessions – well in that last session I really hammered the weight issue because it was perpetuating the smoking. If we can get weight under control, the smoking will fall away. I haven’t heard back from Jane to find out how we went, but she said that she now felt that she could quit the snacking and reach her ideal weight. That would be amazing.

You see Jane’s smoking was to curb her eating, and her eating was a result of her low self-esteem, which we started with, but which needed a more direct approach also. So much to do, so little time!

Being Realistic

It is not realistic to treat such multiple problems in only three sessions. Three sessions for anxiety alone is wonderful, compared to most other therapies, which is why I am such an advocate of hypnotherapy – it is fast! But it is not magic. That’s another post!

I ask clients to prioritise if they have multiple problems, and Jane did this at the start, but I needed to remind her of it in that last session. I expect that Jane will either come back to complete the work and really target the weight issue, or she will keep smoking. I hope she chooses to stay motivated. After all, she had made such outstanding progress in so little time. But unfortunately that is not my decision.

If you have singular or multiple problems you would like to resolve, let us help. Just be aware that prioritising is important. If it is psychologically caused, hypnotherapy can help.