Why is Counselling helpful to Hypnosis?

At the College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy we believe that teaching counselling skills are an important component of becoming a proficient hypnotherapist; we also believe the combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Hypnosis is a potent one. All psychotherapy is based in good counselling skills so CBT employs counselling skills as does the psychoanalytical/dynamic schools of psychotherapy. So it is fair to say that basic counselling skills are an integral part of all “talking therapies” including hypnotherapy.

Counselling and Hypnotherapy

Counselling is helpful to hypnosis

It could be said that Hypnotherapy, is a special case. Most effective hypnosis is based on well- developed levels of rapport.  It is unlikely that effective altered state of consciousness or relaxation will occur if you are in the least bit anxious; most hypnosis, but not all, asks clients to have their eyes closed and relax, often on a first appointment!  Without rapport what is the likelihood of this happening, how many of us feel comfortable enough to close our eyes and zizz off for a few moments unless we are amongst close friends or family?

Milton Erickson, a leading figure in the world of hypnosis is stated as saying 90% of all hypnosis is rapport. So I think we can safely say rapport is pretty fundamental to gaining a state of hypnosis.  Maintaining rapport throughout a therapy session is essential for effective therapy.  So what is rapport?

Rapport is the mainstay of therapy and is a relationship which has mutual trust and emotional affinity at its core.  Rapport is a fundamental counselling skill that has specific components that can be clearly identified and learnt, practised and refined. To gain rapport, two important components are Attention and Active Listening.

Giving and showing attention to clients can be carried out in a number of ways.  Counsellors communicate to clients and show their empathy and compassion by choosing their words, voices and body language.  Listening Actively is an activity. It is NOT, Non listening, Partial listening, or Tape-recorder listening

It is, in the words of Carl Rogers (1980)

“entering into the private perceptual world of the other and become thoroughly at home in it. It involves being sensitive, moment by moment to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or whatever he or she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in the other’s life”.

When we actively listen we can Hear what is being said, as well as the music behind the words. This skill is important within hypnosis, as we give suggestions or enable a client to visualise a concept, by using client language accurately we are able to feedback suggestions in their own language which are more impactful than if created by a “third party script”.  Suggestions that are congruent with a client’s world are more effective and are more readily accepted than language which is not.  To be able use client language hypnotically to the greatest effect awareness and knowledge of basic counselling skills are of great benefit.

Because use of language is the key tool for the hypnotherapist using words and language to its greatest effect for the clients benefit is important.   To do this being able to listen and empathise with constancy and accuracy during any session is vital to becoming successful as a hypnotherapist. Basic counselling skills when well taught give a strong structural foundation to hypnotherapeutic work as well as learning how to refine language skills to become the “persuasive communicator” that Michael Yapko describes in his book Trancework.

It takes years to become proficient at counselling .  Successful counselling is a process made up of stages and elements that can be identified.  The counsellor is required to learn specific skills to apply the counselling process.  The counsellor listens and responds in ways which accept the feelings of the client and uses questions to allow the client to say whatever is on his mind.  The purpose is to help the client explore and clarify his own feelings, perceptions and beliefs and later take goal oriented actions. The counsellor demonstrates acceptance and a non- judgemental attitude to help the client to freely explore his issues and feelings.

At CCBH we aim to combine both basic counselling skills and hypnosis on our Foundation course so students learn how to integrate both skills in the most effective manner from the very beginning of their training.

The Foundation course aims to:

1.  Increase your understanding of the counselling process and the skills needed including ethics.

2.  Practice and improve basic skills, such as, open ended questions, active listening, empathy, boundaries and signposting.

3. Understand the hypnotic process and learn basic hypnotic skills.

4. Acquire observation skills for counselling and hypnosis

4. Integrate counselling and hypnotic skills.

5. Practise reflection and reflective thinking skills.
If you have any queries call us on 0207 034 7051. You can find out more on our Foundation course on our website.

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