What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH)?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a form of ‘talking therapy’, which combines psychotherapy with hypnosis. Hypnosis or ‘trance’ is a very natural, relaxing state. This is encouraged by using guided relaxation, where the mind can relax and then focus on thoughts and suggestions that are positive and useful. As a modern psychotherapeutic approach, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses practical, structured, and clinically researched strategies to enable people to make significant, positive changes in their lives, within a relatively short period of time. Crucially, therapists in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy look at what the client wants to achieve (the solution), rather than concentrating on whatever prompted them to seek help (the problem).

What is hypnosis? Is it safe?

Hypnosis, or trance describes times when we experience a change or shift in our conscious awareness. Trance used during clinical hypnotherapy is very different from what one may see in ‘stage hypnosis’.

We all naturally go in and out of trance states many times in our day to day lives – perhaps when we are reading a good book, driving, watching a film or even washing the dishes. When in this relaxed state, we experience changes in our conscious awareness – almost like being in a daydream. At this time, our unconscious minds are more aware, and can focus on helpful suggestions and thoughts.

How does Solution Focused Hypnotherapy differ to other types of hypnotherapy?

Unlike other forms of Hypnotherapy, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses a specific structure. This incorporates several aspects of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), clinical understanding of how the brain works and combining these using trance.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy also differs as it doesn’t require the therapist to ‘dig into’ or dissect a person’s past. This is not necessary to help the person produce plans and formulate best hopes for how they wish to move forward in their future lives.

How can Solution Focused Hypnotherapy help?

At its heart, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) focuses on the present and future, not on the past. A Solution Focused Hypnotherapist will ask clients to consider and envisage their preferred future, for instance by asking solution-orientated questions such as: “What would be better if the problem improves?” or “What would change?”. This enables possible solutions to  client’s problems to become more obvious, and gives the client tangible goals to work towards.

Hypnosis itself reduces anxiety. This is done very simply through relaxation and visualisation, allowing the client to focus on all the positive aspects of their life, which encourages a shift in perspective.

By working with the client in a collaborative way, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help individuals experiencing confidence and self-esteem issues. It can also help to address symptoms of stress, low mood, sadness, depression, anxiety (including panic attacks). It can also help people to cope better with physical issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and chronic pain conditions. Specific phobias, such as fear of flying, spiders, water, and public speaking can also be minimised, along with painful memories and traumatic experiences.

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