Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is made up of talking therapy combined with hypnosis. The techniques are based on Solution Focused Brief Therapy which was developed by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer in Milwaukee, USA.
In Solution Focused (SF) work, the client and therapist work together to bring about change through carefully constructed questioning. The work focuses on addressing what the client wants to achieve by focusing on the present and the future. It is very much a collaborative approach with the client identifying small steps they can make to achieve that preferred future, guided by the careful questioning of the therapist.
There are a number of basic tenets that are followed in Solution Focused work:
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
This means that if the client does not report something as being a problem, then the therapist will not make it a problem. The therapeutic conversation will only focus on what the client says that the problem is, nothing else.
If it works, do more of it !
SF work encourages the client to identify what it is already working in their lives and to do more of it. This helps the client to maintain desired changes.
If it’s not working, do something different.
No matter how good a solution may seem, if it’s not working, then it is not a solution. People tend to try to solve problems by repeating the same behaviour, even if that didn’t work in the past.
Small steps can lead to big changes.
A solution can be constructed of a series of changes, achieved via manageable steps. SF work helps the client to identify achievable change. Once a small change is made, this can lead to a series of further changes – and therefore creating a positive momentum towards the preferred future.
The solution is not necessarily directly related to the problem.
In SF, the client and therapist discuss what will be different when the problem is resolved – not the nature of the problem itself. The focus is on the present and on the future, not on the problem or on the past. It is theoretically possible for a SF therapist to work with a client content free of the problem. In reality clients will describe their problems, and may want to talk in detail about the problem. The skilled SF therapist will manage to keep the structure of the session constructive.
No problem happens all the time: there are always exceptions that can be utilised.
There are always exceptions to when the problem is happening. In the SF session, the therapist will help the client to identify these exceptions. This creates an opportunity for the client to think creatively about managing change going forward.
The future is both created and negotiable.
This suggests that people are not locked into a set of behaviours – that the future is a hopeful place where people can take control and decide their own destiny.
Would you like to train as a solution focused hypnotherapist? Contact us today at www.cphtsheffield.co.uk or apply online. We look forward to hearing from you !
This blog post was written by Jane Fox, Senior Lecturer at CPHT Sheffield.