A users guide to solution focused hypnotherapy

by | | Hypnotherapy and you

Welcome to the user guide for solution focused hypnotherapy! My goal is to provide you with essential information about this approach so that you can make an informed decision regarding its suitability for your individual needs.

What is Solution focused hypnotherapy?

Solution focused hypnotherapy combines talking therapy with hypnosis. It works on both the conscious and unconscious mind in order to create the desired change you are seeking.  It is a remarkably quick form of therapy with most clients achieving their desired outcome in just 6 to 10 sessions.

Rather than focusing on the reason why you are looking to start therapy (the problem), our talk focuses on the outcome that you want to achieve (the solution). This makes it particularly effective for trauma clients who don’t want to relive their negative experiences and for anyone else who wants to move forward with their life.

You can think of it like a taxi ride. When you summon a taxi the driver has no need to know where you have come from, they only need to know your final destination. With solution focused hypnotherapy there is never a need to analyse the problem. We only need to establish the outcome you wish to achieve.

This is usually established in the very first question – what are your best hopes for us working together? This then gives us a focus and direction for our questions.

A woman thinking with her brain represented as cogs

You have everything you need to solve your problem

My underlying belief is that you are the expert in your own life and have everything that you need in order to reach your desired outcome. The strength and resources you possess are highlighted and then used to help you to move forwards with your life.

How does Solution focused hypnotherapy work?

Solution focused hypnotherapy is based on neuroscience. Our brains have an amazing ability to adapt and change, a process called neuroplasticity. If we repeatedly think or act in a certain way, we build up neural pathways in our brains.

Take riding a bike for example. The first time you ride a bike it feels remarkably complicated. You have to be able to both balance and have high levels of coordination. However, with practice and repetition over many months, it becomes second nature, neural pathways have built up in your brain and it becomes easy. Once this pathway has been established then it stays etched in your brain unless you make a conscious effort to change it.

a woman with a light bulb symbolising a change in mindset

Changing your mindset

Many people come to therapy feeling quite negative. Through repetition, they have built up neural pathways which will mean that they often view the end result as being bleak. The main problem with this is that negative thoughts create anxiety. The more we think negatively then the more anxiety we create and we become trapped in a negative downward spiral. It’s then easy to judge all things by what will go wrong.

Solution focused hypnotherapy encourages you to focus on the more positive aspects of your life. By doing so you will begin the process of building up new pathways in different areas of your brain. Rather than thinking from the emotional, depressed and obsessional parts you spend more time thinking from the intellectual, analytical and positive parts.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural daydream-like state that we go into many times during our day. Perhaps you can recall a time when you tried to remember the name of an actor, film, or book title. While you were consciously thinking about it, the name eluded you. It was only later when you were relaxed the name popped into your head. Your brain went into a trance state to recall the information. So hypnosis can be thought of as a natural problem-solving state.

A woman listening to a hypnosis track

What happens to our brain during hypnosis?

During hypnosis, your brain waves change. As you relax your brain waves alter and rather than beta waves being more prominent your brain produces more alpha and then theta waves. As this happens the parts of your brain that create stress hormones become less prominent, this allows other parts of your brain to become more active.

During this daydream-like state, your brain becomes more focused and is able to visualise and problem-solve. It’s very similar to what happens during your REM sleep stage (this is when you dream). This is the reason why we are told to ‘sleep on it’ before making a big decision. It’s when you sleep your brain is able to problem-solve, which is why you are able to make a more informed decision the next morning.

What happens during a solution focused hypnotherapy session?

Solution focused hypnotherapy uses a well-researched and evidence-based structure.

The session begins by talking about some of the little positive things that have been happening in your life. You will then learn more about how your brain works, so you understand why you feel the way you do.

Next, we will direct our talk to the outcome you want to achieve using questioning. Examples of solution focused questions are:

What are your best hopes for your session today?

What difference would this make?

What’s been better this week?

On a scale of 1-10 how close are you to achieving your best hopes?

Why are you not lower on the scale?

What’s going well?

How have you managed that?

What would you notice if you were a step closer to your best hopes?

At the end of the session, you lie back and are guided into a state of relaxation. It’s during this relaxed state that your brain begins to make sense of the conversation and build the neural pathways to help you achieve your desired outcome.

A diagram of a brain duisplaying neuroplasticity

What can Solution focused hypnotherapy help with?

It is especially effective to help people overcome any anxiety-related condition including; general anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, performance anxiety, phobias, OCD, IBS and PTSD.

It can also be used to help people increase their confidence and self-esteem, overcome anger issues, break free from insomnia and stop smoking.

Do I need to visit a clinic/ therapy room?

The beauty of solution focused hypnotherapy is that you don’t need to leave your home. Everything can be conducted online. As long as you have a stable internet connection then you can receive all the benefits that you would during face-to-face therapy.

How do I find out more?

If you would like to have an informal chat to find out more about solution focused hypnotherapy please call me on 07855 759533.

Perhaps you might be interested in reading some other articles in my ‘Hypnotherapy and you’ series including:

What happens during an initial consultation?

What happens during my first solution focused hypnotherapy session?

Is solution focused hypnotherapy right for me?