Training in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

The Importance of Repetition 

 

The nature of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is to assist the client to find their own solutions to problems. The key to solution focused therapy is to do this without focusing on the problem itself.

We use the same unique session structure irrespective of the client problem. This means that we can use the same template of therapy for clients with multiple anxiety issues and mild to moderate depression. We can include weight management insomnia and OCD. There is a long list of client issues that work well within this method. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this. We use a different structure to help clients with phobias and for smoking cessation.

Advantages of session structure

There are significant advantages to having this general therapy session structure. Donald Hebb introduced ‘Hebb’s Rule’ in his book of 1949. The Rule is summarised as “Cells that fire together wire together” meaning that neural pathways get stronger the more they are used. Therefore, because of more repetition, the stronger the connection and the deeper the learning. Repetition is implemented to strengthen the potential for change.

Anxiety is formed from within the primitive emotional brain, which does not like change, so by using repetition we are able to keep the client relaxed and comfortable because they know what to expect. The certainty is reassuring and calming. Clients with anxiety, stress and overwhelm find that this standardised approach helps to provide order, because life can feel chaotic under stress.

Repetition creates an expectancy within the client. They know what they need to do in collaborating with the therapist to bring about change. While they may need to put effort into working with the therapist during a session, there are no unsettling and stressful surprises for the client.

The session begins with inconsequential language, or ‘problem free’ talk to relax the client. This problem-free talk encourages the client to operate in a positive intellectual part of the brain.

Next steps toward a preferred future

Towards the end of the session, careful questioning by the therapist helps the client to identify the next positive step that would take them towards their preferred future.

Before trance work, the client therefore develops an achievable ‘picture’ toward their desired goals. Trance then allows the brain some space to consider change and look at solving problems or finding solutions.

In this way the client begins to move forward in life, towards their preferred future.

Get in Touch

Get in touch to organise a chat about your career in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. You can find our contact details at www.cphtsheffield.co.uk or call on 07724 855395.

Jane Fox, Senior Lecturer at CPHT Sheffield.

 

 

 

‘Re-training the Brain’ Hypnotherapy Training

It used to be thought that, once we got to be adult, the brain lost it’s ability to change – but thanks to neuroscience, we now know that many of the aspects of the brain can be altered through adulthood.  This ability of the brain to change is termed ‘neuroplasticity’.  Neuroplasticity is often described as “the ability to make adaptive changes related to the structure and function of the nervous system.”

This ability to make changes in the brain means that we can continuously learn and adapt and there is lots of evidence to support this.  For example, the brains of a group of London taxi drivers were examined while they were acquiring ‘the knowledge’ of London’s road layout.  The results showed that there were changes in the brains of these taxi drivers associated with learning that were not seen in the control group not taking ‘the knowledge’.

When we learn a new task or skill, new connections and pathways are made in the brain that enable the information to stick. At first it may be difficult (think of learning to drive a car), but in time the skill becomes second nature and we can do it without thinking.  The neural pathways, with constant use, become ‘hard wired’ in the brain.

Studies in people recovering from stroke also provided support for neuroplasticity.  With a stroke, there can be whole regions of the brain destroyed and it has been found that the unaffected regions of the brain that remained healthy could sometimes take over, at least in part, and perform the functions of the area that had been destroyed.

We can even make changes to the brain by thinking in a certain way.  It has been shown that imagining playing a piece on the piano has the same effect on changing the activity of the brain as imagining practicing the same piece on the piano. Indicating that the brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary.

Some very ambitious claims have been made by neuroscientists regarding neuroplasticity; that brain exercises may be as useful as drugs to treat diseases as severe as schizophrenia; that plasticity exists from the cradle to the grave; and that radical improvements in how we learn, think, perceive, and remember are possible even in the elderly.  Research continues in this area.

In our role as Solution Focused Hypnotherapists, we can assist our clients in using this remarkable ability of the brain to change, this neuroplasticity, to ‘retrain their brains’.  We can use this to help with lots of different issues Who can Hypnotherapists help?

Our clients often repeat patterns of behaviour that are unhelpful and damaging but in normal circumstances they find these patterns difficult to break.   But by using Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, we can help our clients to focus on how they want things to be, not on how they don’t want things to be.  We help them to use their imagination to visualise their preferred future.  In this way, they are able to identify the small achievable steps towards leaving old habits behind and developing new, helpful patterns of behaviour.

Fore more information on our Hypnotherapy Training courses in Sheffield see www.cphtsheffield.co.uk

With thanks to the author of this post, Jane Fox, Senior Lecturer at CPHT Sheffield Hypnotherapy Training.

 

Hypnotherapy Training on Zoom !

Hypnotherapy Training in Sheffield

Since the last blog in February 2020, a lot has changed. The world has been taken over by the Coronavirus pandemic and the UK Government put the country in lockdown on 23rd March. It’s been a scary and worrying time for a lot of people. We have all had to adapt, and luckily for us, we are an adaptable bunch. Maybe it is because we are Solution Focused Hypnotherapists !

We have temporarily moved the teaching to online using Zoom until we can get back into the classroom again. Zoom  video conferencing is the next-best method for delivering our live training, and for keeping in touch with the students.

On our last teaching weekend by Zoom, each day seemed to fly by. We included, as always, lots of individual and group support and discussion of how students are getting on with their volunteers. An important part of the course structure is the way we support practical work outside of the teaching weekends. We believe this is how our students become confident hypnotherapy practitioners.

Last month, in-between teaching weekends, the lecturers of CPHT Sheffield held online teaching sessions on how to use Zoom for hypnotherapy.

The students were guided through how to use the technology, the legalities, and ethics, as well as the practicalities, so they felt confident to continue to see volunteers online.

As you would expect, there are always challenges when learning new ways of doing things, including online working. So, we were really pleased to hear that students had been trying out Zoom for their practical work, and in fact, some reported back that they felt it not so dissimilar to being ‘face to face’. We heard some very encouraging success stories of their experience.

Lecturer presentations this month included research on the efficacy of hypnotherapy in medicine, and looking at how this fast-paced world we live in means we don’t get chance for our brains to have enough downtime, with a discussion of how we can help our clients with these issues.

A major module we covered was how to help clients who come for our help to manage pain. After some detailed pain theory including types of pain, how pain is created, and how pain is transmitted in the body, the students then were able to pair into virtual rooms in Zoom to role-play being the ‘therapist’ and the ‘client’.

All in all, we enjoyed our weekend of teaching on Zoom. Whilst of course, we are looking forward to getting back to the classroom, we are in the meantime, looking forward to the next Zoom weekend of solution focused hypnotherapy training in June.

Our next hypnotherapy training course in Sheffield starts in September 2020. If you are interested in joining us for this fun and lively 10 month course (one weekend per month) please get in touch for a chat, or you can see more on the website at www.cphtsheffield.co.uk

Stay safe and well everybody.

Doing Solution Focused Hypnotherapy for Real !

A Practical Hypnotherapy Training Course

The great thing about CPHT Sheffield, is that it is such a practical course. We combine theory and practical together, so by the end of the course, you are a confident solution focused hypnotherapist. Solution focused hypnotherapy combines elements of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), NLP, and neuroscience, with hypnosis.

Students practice with family and friends doing simple relaxation on the couch after the first weekend of the course. They are given all the materials they need to do this, including practical demonstrations, and practice sessions between themselves on the couch on the very first weekend.

It’s always lovely in feedback during the 2nd month weekend to hear how their volunteers have noticed progress happening already. Most notable reported by the students about their volunteer family and friends are usually improvements in sleep, feeling more positive, and their volunteers reported feeling more in control of their emotions.

After the third month…

After the third month, and subject to lecturers approval, students are given permission to find more volunteers. Often they are people outside family and friends, and often, family and friends have referred them once they have experienced how effective the approach is, and indeed, how relaxing and pleasant.

At this point, students know enough to run an initial consultation and how to offer full sessions. Sessions include so much more than getting on the couch ! We include talking therapy too. We believe in giving the client autonomy, to make decisions about how they want to move their life forward. It’s in this way the students work collaboratively with clients, it’s very much working as a team to help the client to get to where they want to be.

Students are provided with full support between weekends for any help they need, as well as group supervision on each monthly weekend to include each individual student.

Self Improvement in Confidence

The other benefit we have noticed that students experience after a while, and when they start to ‘get it’ is how much they develop themselves, and how they use  the everyday ‘solution focused’ approach on themselves. Students can blossom in their own confidence, not just with their hypnotherapy training and their clients, but in other areas of life too.

The training includes learning how the brain works to create anger, anxiety and depression. And, as we explain to the clients, it’s not just about change for today. It’s about change that is long lasting.

Experience the Positivity

We are only at month 3, and students are already reporting subtle changes within their volunteer clients. By the time they get to month 10 for the course completion, they will be confident, practising solution focused hypnotherapists and experiencing the positivity of helping others every day. They can choose their own hours in their own practice, working around family or other work commitments.

We educate our clients on how positivity helps to empty their stress bucket. We are helping clients to make real positive changes in their life. This is such a positive therapy, that it’s energising for the therapist too !

Interested? You don’t need any previous experience to train with us. We teach you all you need to know. Contact us to find out about the next course running in September 2020. Registrations are already being taken. www.cphtsheffield.co.uk

 

Hypnotherapy Training in Sheffield

We are very pleased to have brought hypnotherapy training to the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) started it’s history in Bristol, almost 25 years ago, and now has over 20 locations. CPHT was founded by David Newton http://cphtdavidnewton.co.uk

We believe that the style of the hypnotherapy training offered at CPHT Sheffield is of the highest standard you can find. We combine evidence based therapies along with neuroscience and hypnosis to offer a really positive and effective therapy to our clients.

We offer a structure of how to work with clients that is unique to CPHT schools. It’s a structure that is easy to follow and yet very effective. We can say with integrity that we know the effectiveness as a result of research based practice. One of the research programs we have conducted is CORP https://www.corp-outcomes.com

CORP stands for Clifton Practice Outcome Research Programme. It enables our graduates to measure their client’s outcomes from the therapy room. The client measures 7 areas of wellbeing after each session and this gives a clear outcome measure of their progress.

We now have, at the time of writing, over 30,000 outcome measures, and one of the important indicators this tells us is that clients come to hypnotherapy for anxiety more than for any other reason.

This ties in nicely, with the CPHT training content, in that we understand that most problems are rooted in anxiety for our clients. That’s why we cover neuroscience too.

It is well known that one of the first elements of gaining back control is for people to understand what is going on. Our graduates are able to educate their clients on how anxiety, anger and depression are formed in the brain, the causes, the origins, and most importantly, what we can do about it !

Come and find out about our next intake by checking out the website www.cphtsheffield.co.uk it could be the start of a new career for you. You could choose to help people either full time or part-time, working the hours you want to, and that fit around any other commitments.

We also enjoy ourselves on the weekend teaching courses. We’re a friendly bunch.

Debbie Daltrey & Jane Fox

Senior Lecturers, CPHT Sheffield.

 

 

Training to become the best solution focused hypnotherapist

One of the questions we frequently hear is “Does hypnotherapy work?”

Of course, as Solution Focused Hypnotherapists that have seen numerous clients make enormous changes in their lives, we would feel confident answering with a very short and simple “yes!”. But stories and anecdotal evidence are not considered to be solid evidence that the therapy works.

There is a huge amount of very good quality evidence already out there about the effectiveness of solution focused therapy and the benefits of hypnosis. This is also supported by the latest understanding in neuroscience. But it can take some time for this evidence to become mainstream and to be widely accepted by the public and the medical fraternity. That should not be an excuse to sit and wait though.

At CPHT Sheffield, we encourage all our hypnotherapy students to participate in our large-scale research programme. This has already demonstrated the effectiveness of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

The Research Programme:

By definition, solution focused therapy focuses on solutions rather than problems. This presents challenges when trying to measure its effectiveness. The moment you start asking questions about symptoms (which some research programmes encourage in order to identify improvements or otherwise) you are focusing the client on problems. Generally, our clients are already well practised at looking at their problems and this is something we want to change in order to see improvement in their wellbeing. However, CORP (Clifton Practice Outcome Rating Programme) has been designed to measure effectiveness whilst remaining positive and solution focused.

We train our students to use the software in a very simple way that fits seamlessly into therapy sessions and benefits both the student and client. Students ask their customers to rate themselves against the following 7 scales during the initial consultation and at the end of each session thereafter.

1/ How positive have your thoughts been?
2/ How interactive have you been with others?
3/ How would you rate your level of activity?
4/ How would you rate your confidence?
5/ How well are you utilising your strengths and resources?
6/ How much have you achieved?
7/ How would you rate your level of happiness?

The client allocates a score out of 10 for each answer and the changes are measured over the period of therapy and the scores illustrated in graph form. Now both student and client can easily see what has changed over time.

The programme is introduced to students in module 6 of the 10-month course. It gives them the opportunity to gain a firm understanding of how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works and to get some practice under their belt before becoming fully qualified. Once they start using the software their outcomes will feed into the overall research programme and compare their results against their peers.

The Benefits:

Students quickly realise the power of being part of this exciting research programme. They benefit as practitioners (being able to compare their results to the global results of the other participating hypnotherapists), and also their clients benefit from being able to see their own progress. The clients then have an expectation of the progress they can potentially make from seeing past global results. They are also reminded of the areas they should focus on to maximise their improvements. The students also have this wonderful resource to show to those that do not believe the stories and anecdotes!

A Focus On The Future: Why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Works

There’s a range of different therapies out there. The therapy we teach on the Sheffield hypnotherapy course and use in our own practices is called Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

The reason I prefer this approach is that, as the name suggests, it has a positive focus on the future, and gives clients real strategies to make lasting change.

This future focus is the main difference between Solution Focused and conventional psychotherapy. The latter looks more at past issues and how they affect the present. This is invaluable when it comes to understanding an individual’s mental and emotional health, and can be used in cases where a diagnosis and future treatment is needed.

SF acknowledges that there may be issues in a client’s past. Anxiety, stress and addiction all stem from somewhere; and when possible, it helps us gain a better understanding of our client if we know about their relevant history. However, as SF practitioners, we are here to help with our clients’ futures, it is not necessary to unpick their pasts in order to help with positivity moving forward.

Modern SFBT comes from the work of psychotherapists Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in Milwaukee in the 70s and 80s. In summary, they switched from looking at problems to looking at solutions. It was a revolutionary approach. Based on the simple premise that it’s easier to achieve a goal if you know clearly what that goal is, de Shazer and Berg empowered their clients to imagine a future where their problem was under control. They could then work on step-by-step strategies towards reaching this goal.

This was not to abandon the past, and the SF practitioner will always discuss and acknowledge their clients’ experiences. However, one of the first things you’ll learn about the SF approach is that the solution is not necessarily always related to the problem !

As solution-focused therapists, our role is therefore to help the client picture their preferred future and identify ‘baby steps’ or agree goals towards it. We are very much in a non-directive role, gently guiding our clients using psychotherapy approaches including active listening and specific questioning styles. For example, De Shazer and Berg identified what they termed as “exceptions”. These are the times when the problem does not exist. What is different about these times? These can be used to elicit the clients strengths and resources which can be developed and aid confidence in all sorts of situations.

The SF approach is simply ‘focused’, and individual, helping our clients to overcome problems and get to where they want to be. If you’d like to know more about this modern approach in hypnotherapy as a future hypnotherapy student, and to get a kick start to your therapy career by becoming a solution focused hypnotherapist, please get in touch with me, Debbie, or my co-tutor Jane.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

I am often asked the question ‘What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?’

Well, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a model of excellence that uses interventions that are effective. It will use the very best procedures that science and research prescribe. In reality though its core philosophy is very much based on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the basic tenets of SFBT.

Hypnotherapy, and SFH is no exception, has a history of being associated with many forms of therapeutic practice. Often, but not always, this can be a force for good. What follows could be described as the foundation philosophies on which SFH is built. Dr James Braid (1795-1860), who could be thought of as the inventor of modern hypnotism, successfully created a blueprint that could be described as the original hypnotherapy model.

“He was best known in the medical world from his theory and practice of hypnotism, as distinguished from Mesmerism, a system of treatment he applied in certain diseases with great effect.” (Obituary. The Lancet 1860)

Braid’s influence and success was very much a result of his empirical and scientific approach. In effect he said that the clinical progress should be verified by research and related to the latest understanding of psychology. He attributed the success of trance to ordinary psychological or physiological factors such as focused attention, expectation, motivation and endeavour. SFH is very much based on Braid’s basic premise that mental focus on imagery and language mediates the physical and psychological effects of dominant ideas.

It would have appeared sensible to consolidate the work done by Braid and to capitalise on what worked. This was not to be the case. In late Victorian and post Victorian times ‘wackiness’ once more sabotaged the credible scientific clinical practice. Even worse, in the late 19th and most of the 20th Century the pseudo-scientific ‘hi-jacked’ hypnotherapy and kept it in a state, often a delusional state of stagnation.

Fortunately, as Robertson says in the ‘Complete Writings of James Braid “The Father of Hypnotherapy in the 21st Century”, “Braid’s ‘Common Sense’ and empirical orientation have become fashionable once again”‘.

Hypnotherapy was partially rescued from post-Victorian ‘quackery’ and later from Freudian ‘analytical’ theory by psychiatrist, Milton H Erickson. He practised as a hypnotherapist from the 1940’s until his death in the early 1980’s. Erickson’s ideas reached far beyond hypnotic technique. He posed radical ideas regarding the role of therapist and the competency of clients. Milton Erickson was convinced that everyone has a reservoir of wisdom and competency and emphasised the importance of accessing client’s resources and strengths. Major interest in his work gathered momentum in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Erickson’s success and creativity spawned a variety of approaches. There was in particular great interest in one of his primary approaches entailing first learning the problem pattern and then prescribing a small change in the pattern.

Steve de Shazer’s first contact with psychotherapy happened when he read ‘Strategies of Psychotherapy’, the ideas and work of Erickson by Jay Haley. It has been said that this book coupled with the work of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Paolo Alto, formed the foundations for what would later be called Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).

The basic tenets of SFBT are well known and are different in many ways from traditional forms of treatment. It is a competency based model and the focus is on the clients’ desired future rather than on past problems or current conflicts. It assumes that no problems happen all the time, there are exceptions and that small changes can lead to large increments of change. The setting of specific, concrete and realistic goals is an important component. In SFBT it is the client that sets the goals. Once formulated the therapist will use a number of specific responding and questioning techniques to assist the client construct the steps that may be required to reach the ‘preferred future’. Solution Focused Hypnotherapists note Steve de Shazer’s often repeated assertion that solution work is “the same whatever problem the client brings”.

In the 1990’s modern technology led to what some have referred to as a sequel of the Copernican revolution. MRI, PET and CAT scans can photograph the brain. Electronic microscopes, the nuclear tagging of living human molecules and other biochemical investigative techniques, enable scientists to have an ever increasing understanding of how the brain works. With at least 500 therapeutic methods, all proffering special theories, techniques and philosophies, psychotherapy could be described as bordering on dysfunctional. The neuroscientific revolution beginning in the 1990’s and progressing with ever increasing vigour into the 21st Century has begun to give the field uncharacteristic coherence. Certainly the days when therapists could make things up have gone.

“For future generations of therapists training will certainly change” says Mary Sykes Wylie and Richard Simon, (Discoveries from Black Box 2002), “Curricula will have to face the accumulation of knowledge coming from neuroscientists… having an understanding of such clinical relevant areas of knowledge as neural networks and brain structures”.