I provide counselling for those clients who need it, as well as hypnotherapy. The mix of hypnotherapy and counselling varies for different clients- all effective hypnotherapy includes a certain amount of “counselling”, whatever the therapist may choose to call it- and most “counselling” clients could also benefit from some hypnotherapy input. Any good hypnotherapist must also be a good counsellor, and any good counsellor would also make a good hypnotherapist if they undertook the necessary training. Of course, results will vary from person to person as with any therapy. In my experience the difference between success and failure is mostly down to the client’s level of motivation, which is why no therapist or doctor can ever guarantee success.
The counselling method I use is called Solution-Focused Brief Counselling, and it is rather different from the sort of counselling that many clients have previously experienced. . This approach focuses on problem-solving in the here-and-now, rather than digging into the past. Focusing intensively on bad experiences in the past can increase unhappiness without improving present-day behaviour and reactions. In any case we cannot be sure that our memories are accurate.
Solution-focused counsellors do not tell clients how to run their lives. Most clients can make wise decisions for themselves, if they can think clearly. But all of us would find problem solving difficult if our minds are flooded with powerful emotions, reducing our thinking to a basic level. Even the most highly intelligent people cannot make intelligent decisions when their minds are in emotional turmoil. Therefore, my first priority is to teach the client more control over their emotional reactions. Hypnosis is a very effective tool for this purpose.
When clients have gained more control over their emotional reactions, turning them down to a manageable level, the “thinking space” in their mind is opened up- they can imagine a wider range of possibilities, and believe that they are able to achieve them.
Many clients are also helped by imagining their problems in different ways, which enables them to find more creative solutions from within themselves, almost like in a guided dream.
Again- my job as a counsellor is to help the client find their own solution, not to tell them what to do. However, if a client is about to embark upon a course of action which I believe (based on my experience and common sense) to be potentially disastrous, then I would certainly tell them.
In my experience, most clients can get the help they need with around five sessions of solution-focused counselling, combined with hypnotherapy if necessary. Some clients require less than this, some more, but few require more than eight sessions.
There is no specific type of person who is suitable for counselling. My clients have included serving and former members of the Armed Forces, students, professional people such as doctors, solicitors and clergymen, business people, electricians and mechanics, shop assistants, care assistants, factory workers, police officers, full-time mothers, authors and musicians, as well as some more unusual occupations. Ages have ranged from 14 to 84, male and female, straight, gay, and other diverse sexualities, non-believers and members of all the main religions.