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Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Modern hypnotherapy has become the most dramatically effective short-term therapy developed to date.
Traditional forms of hypno-analysis and psychotherapy can be a long, painful and expensive process. With Analytical therapies there is a presumption that the problem stems back to a ‘defining moment’ in a person’s life. Finding this ‘defining moment’ can take considerable time, and even if it is found, it may not necessarily lead to any solid conclusions or mean that a solution can be found. Even worse, if the ‘defining moment’ is not correctly identified then the therapy may be misguided and actually cause more problems than it solves.
In addition to the above, therapy of more than limited duration is often counterproductive as it promotes a reliance on the therapist, it delays & avoids coping with real life problems and can be financially exploitative.
At the clinic I specialise in brief, solution-focused hypnotherapy which is quite different to the above. This approach to changing your life is not analytical and does not involve weeks or months of talking about the past, counselling, or analysis. Instead we focus on solving the problem and your future, and use hypnosis to help you get it. This means that the therapy will always have a well-defined goal.
Solution-focussed therapy started with the work of Milton Erickson and the mental research institute in the United States where in the 60’s, therapists started to look at analytical practices and realised that they had limitations. Rather than trying to fit clients and their problems into an existing model, Erickson tailored his work around the needs of the individual. This meant that the therapy moved more towards using the client’s own internal resources than was previously the case.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy perceives the unconscious as essentially a storehouse that is simultaneously storing everything that is helpful, beneficial and useful as a resource, as well as habits, patterns and emotions that may no longer serve the individual. The foundation of this approach, therefore, is that every individual at some level of awareness knows everything they need to know about their problem and difficulties. They also know everything they need to know to change those things perceived as problems. This is based upon how the brain works. Research has shown that the part of the brain that comes up with these positive solutions is the left hand prefrontal cortex, and the aim of solution focused hypnotherapy is to utilise the natural functioning of the brain and give us tools to overcome future problems.
By focusing on what we want instead of what we don't want, we are much more capable of finding a solution. An example might be ‘I don't want to feel lonely’, so by concentrating on what would be happening if you were not feeling lonely, this prompts you to find activities you might enjoy where you get the opportunity to meet people. This may appear common sense, but often people focus on the negative when they find themselves in such a situation.
The solution-focussed approach is now used within the National Health Service (NHS) as part of their management strategy. It is also recognised by the Department of Health as a benchmark of good practice. It can be seen, therefore that not only can a solution-focussed approach be used individually, it can also be used as a business model, helping companies make changes when they have problems they are struggling to solve.
Solution-focussed therapy is the most effective short-term intervention to produce behavioural change and has been proven to be effective in achieving rapid & elegant behavioural changes that are both lasting & empowering to the individual.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the developers of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), closely studied Dr. Erickson's approach to hypnotising & therapy and modelled the methods he used to achieve the outstanding successes that he had. This study of Erickson's work helped form the basis of NLP. Subsequently, Ernest Rossi, a student of Erickson, documented Erickson's work and has since gone further.
A basic assumption of solution-focussed hypnotherapy is that we have a conscious mind and an unconscious mind, the ‘conscious’ being the few things we are aware of in any given moment and the ‘unconscious’ being everything else.
We have put together some further information which you might find interesting and of use. Click on the links below for details. (Links open in a new page).