What makes a good hypnotherapy session?

Last winter a young client arrived with her friend…apparently because of the weather! Her friend sat on the floor throughout the session. At the end she said that the friend was there for safety, because the client was going into the unknown or the perceived unknown from Neg-posinformation gleaned from the television!

We had a good session, but I’m sure we didn’t explore things as fully as we might have done had the ‘friend’ not been there. So it got me thinking ‘what makes a session good or bad and what do we expect from each other?’

There are a lot of theories written by the great and good such as Freud, Jung, Klein, Rogers, Elli and Beck covering all types of counselling and therapy modalities and yes, hypnotherapy is a therapy but it’s not pure counselling. It’s quick and effective and can change the way you think and feel about yourself or something forever. So, maybe it’s elements from all these great thinkers that go into the pot to make a good session!

Eight simple elements that can make or break the session:

  1. Trust – The client has to be at ease with the therapist
  2. Like – I think it does help if you like each other
  3. Disclosure – Although the client may wish to know about the therapist, it is the client’s session so it’s their time!
  4. Listening – The therapist needs to be present, mentally, throughout the session, actively listening to their client.
  5. Honesty – It’s a two way thing, for example – Asking the  client: ‘Do you really, really, really want to stop smoking?’…and then being honest: This really isn’t working – save your money!’
  6. Understanding – I believe it is the therapist’s duty to ensure that the client knows what is going to happen during the session
  7. Acceptance  – The therapist is not going to cure: it’s a team effort and the desire for change has to come from the client
  8. Time – time to listen, time to formulate a plan of change,  time to explore the reasons, time for hypnotherapy and time to come too and reflect upon the session