A Basic Structure for Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis, Conversational Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy are all inclusive of trance sessions that should and will take on whatever form is necessary for producing the results you and your clients are trying to reach.  There is not a certain way everything in hypnosis needs to happen.  It is true that there are principals and concepts to follow as you have been learning but once trance is achieved the natural progression of that trance should be allowed and commended.

The best guide you can have is that of a basic structure for hypnotherapy, this is not a thing that is set in stone it is simply a guideline.  If things vary a bit and are still producing the trance and results you have set out to obtain then you should let things happen naturally as they are.

This basic structure for hypnotherapy is all based on eight concepts which you will read about as we continue.  The eight concepts are therapeutic preparation, interviews, identify work, induce trance, change work patterns, test and future pacing, ending trance and setting tasks and dismissal. 

The first concept of therapeutic preparation is a variety of things you as a hypnotist need to practice, keep fresh and prepare for in, before and after each of your therapeutic sessions.  The first thing you need to do in this step is to prepare yourself for the sessions and work to be done.  Make sure that you are up for the task that the problems the client wishes to solve are within your realm and reach to solve. 

You also need to keep yourself clean and sharp for all your processes.  In this I mean that you should be practicing your skills to keep them in the best shape they can be in as well as breaking your trances each time sessions end.  If you don’t you will be taking that trance and all it entails into others and your own life after the session is over. 

You are trying to rid your clients of problems not create new ones for yourself!  In great seriousness if you do not clear your mind and keep your skills honed you can start to lead yourself into an unhealthy way of living. 

Yet another aspect of this step is to be able to leave your work behind, store away the problems of your clients when the session is over and you are not working on that case.  If you are over analyzing your practice you will soon tire of it.  It is good to keep in mind the mistakes you make and the things you learn from them but dwelling is not healthy.  The bottom line is to live outside your therapy practice.

The second step in this basic structure is to interview your clients.  The first part of this is a meet and greet in which you will build rapport, comfort with one another and trust.  This basic meeting will give you a chance to converse out of trance and will initiate a general relationship built on warmth and comfort, inspiring confidence your ability to help one another.  In this way you are also making an impact on the person with your credentials and experience as well as your general demeanor.

The next phase of this step is to conduct a formal type of interview with the client.  In this interview your objectives will be to gather information, identify the problem, investigate the resources you have to help and challenge the patterns and presuppositions that are causing limits in the resolution of the problem.  You will do all this through six different specific steps of interviewing.

The first is to calibrate, which is to open yourself and be aware of the person’s responses you are getting.  In this you will have to be aware to also test both the conscious and unconscious minds.

The second step is that of rapport, which will build naturally as the interview takes place, be aware of it and help it to form.

The next step in this process is that of investigation, this is to investigate the problem, all aspect of it.  This includes when, where, why, how and all the surrounding circumstances the person can give you. 

After that you will move on to step four which is to challenge the problem.  This is simply raising questions and doubts about the problem the client is encountering.  In doing this you will challenge the beliefs and realities that the client has that surround the problem as well as seed some doubt about how concrete the problem truly is.

The fifth step in this process is to formulate an outcome.  This will entail getting to the heart of what the client really wants to get from your sessions as well as setting goals.  You can use any goals setting procedure you like a great one to use is the SMART goal to set an outline of what is to be resolved.

Finally the last step in this interview process will be to investigate the resources available for solving the problem.  This can include experiences of the client that will be helpful, as well as a complete picture of the life of the client including beliefs, values, commitments and support systems. 

These topics will provide clues in how to solve the problem your client is faced with.  Clues that you can use in hypnosis that they have not been able to connect with the dilemma they are facing.   

Now you are ready to move on to step three of the basic structure in hypnotherapy.  In this step you will be identifying the areas in which you will be doing your work.  You will use the information that you were given in the interview process to identify the areas in which you can provide assistance with given the amount of time you have to work within.  Part of this will be to make a judgment on what you believe your client can accomplish and work though in the given period of time you have.

In step four you will start with trance inductions.  This is where your hypnotherapy or hypnosis will take place; you can do this either informally or formally. 

Step five is to involve change work patterns; these are methods such as changing frames, stories and other interventions.  These are only a few options you have.  You should constantly keep your mind open to new developments in this area as well as find the change work patterns that will work for you; these may be from other people or invented yourself. 

Step six in basic structure is to test and future pace.  First testing is always going to be an important part of your hypnosis structure.  It is important to test the progress you are making so you know what is working and what has potential of failure or falling apart.  If your therapy is going to fall apart you will be better off discover this while in session than to realize it happened when you were not around to patch things up.  Test thoroughly and often so you are aware of where you stand with your clients.

Future pacing is a rehearsal of future situations that the client’s problem would have appeared in, in the past.  In this you will want the situation to naturally trigger the solutions you are helping your client to find.  The language you use here will also help your client to move toward change.

Now that you have worked your way through the first six steps in the basic structure of hypnotherapy you are ready to move on to step seven which is to end the trance.  As you start to end your trance keep in mind that this is the most suggestible part of trance and you should use it to that advantage.  Make positive suggestions and self esteem building tools here as you bring your client out of trance. 

After you end the trance you will also want to avoid suggesting any problems occurred as well as distract their attention with a random set of comments.  This will likely cause some amnesia to set in to they will only remember the end conversation of your session.

The final step in this structure is to task and dismiss the client.  The objective here is to assign tasks to the client that will aid in the processes you have used in the hypnosis.  After that your session is ended and the person is dismissed, only do this once you are sure the trance has been broken for reasons of safety and proper function in the world outside of your office.  And that is your simple basic structure for hypnotherapy.

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