Hypnosis – The Last Resort?

  • Lately, I’ve been receiving more and more enquiries where the prospective client has already accepted that hypnosis may have a great deal of efficacy in treating their issue.  They have picked up the phone to me before investigating some other interventions.  Only the other day, a prospective client rang me having received a serious clinical diagnosis.  He stated that together with his clinicians he was putting a treatment plan together himself and that hypnosis was very near the top of the list!

    Frankly, this is a breath of fresh air for the hypnotherapist!  I remember when I first started out in this field, 99% of clients would tell me that I was the last resort.  I became very used to phrases like “I so hope you can help me… you are the last resort” or “I don’t know what I’ll do if this doesn’t work… I’ve tried everything else”.  Certainly, phrases like this have an implied negative that comes with them.  An expectation that hypnosis won’t work because nothing else has.  So it was always a pleasure to see a client who had uttered such words move from a negative to a positive state having successfully addressed their issues.  To see the realisation dawn in their eyes that a natural intervention such as hypnosis has value.  I’ve even had clients apologise to me that they didn’t investigate hypnosis a lot earlier!

    Of course, the term “hypnosis” will for many years conjure up the pictures of stage trickery and being made to act the fool.  Stage hypnosis is, after all, what has kept hypnosis in the public arena whilst the therapist battles in the background to gain credibility.  In that sense, the stage hypnotist and the hypnotherapist make uneasy bed-fellows, but bed-fellows nonetheless.  Clearly, some of what the stage hypnotist would have you believe is not only inaccurate but also does nothing to further the respectability of the hypnotherapeutic profession and in that sense is rather unhelpful.  I must say though, there have been and are some stage hypnotists who manage to tread the very thin and difficult line in that they advertise the power of the mind using the stage art.  They actually ask the question “if your mind is powerful enough to have you doing (whatever) on stage, what do you think your mind can do for you therapeutically?”  Stage hypnotists that have mastered treading this fine line are very few and far between in my opinion.  I could certainly count them on one hand and one of those is, alas, no longer with us.

    But I digress.  Hypnosis seems to be becoming less and less “The last resort”.  Recent positive moves forward in regulation may have a bearing on this, but there also seems to be a shift in thinking and more of a willing acceptance by conventional medicine.  Of course, hypnotherapy still has a long way to go.  It will still be many years before you see a hypnotherapist in every GP Surgery for example.  This is why I am such an advocate of any reputable hypnotherapist promoting the profession in the public eye in any way they know how.

    Hypnosis need not be the last resort.  If we all slip in and out of hypnosis quite naturally many times a day, would it not make sense to utilise this and make hypnosis one of your FIRST considerations?



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  • Cairns

    April 29, 2011

    that wouldn’t work in south africa

    • April 29, 2011

      That’s quite an absolute statement whilst at the same time being rather vague. Milton Erikson would be proud of such a statement. I’d be interested to know exactly what you think wouldn’t work and why your geographical position in South Africa has any bearing on this.

      Perhaps if you could elaborate, I could offer a more considered opinion on you statement.

      Best wishes