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.
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!