Story Telling Hypnosis, use of story telling in hypnotherapy
Stories and parables are very useful in hypnotherapy. People are naturally used to becoming invested in stories, whether read or performed on television or big screen. For thousands of years performances and stories have been used to convey meaning and to send messages to the audience.
Using stories during hypnotherapy
In a state of hypnosis, which is the relaxed state used in hypnotherapy, stories can be used to illustrate issues, describe change, or give a new slant or perspective on a situation or problem. Sometimes re-framing the problem as if it is something faced by a stranger causes a completely different attitude to develop.
Sometimes re-framing causes the person to realize actually they can tackle something that was too scary or seemed to large a problem to overcome previously.
Using Story parables in hypnotherapy
Sometimes the story can be symbolic and not literal. Talking about an animal, tree or rock might seem odd, but the description can be symbolic and really refer to the client. For example talking about a tall strong tree might reflect on the hidden strengths of the person, a deep pure lake of water might be the start of a description inviting deeper personal reflection. Almost anything can be used in the right and appropriate circumstances to draw comparisons and tell a therapeutic tale.
Hypnotherapy for personal change
Story telling is often used in the sort of hypnotherapy that relates to personal change. It opens the idea of a new narrative, a new personal story that could develop. That story could relate to increased confidence, stronger personal self esteem, motivation or a more caring attitude to oneself or others.
Styles of Hypnotherapy
Milton Erickson famously used stories a lot in both explicit structure hypnotherapy sessions, and in altered state work, where he did not appear to “hypnotize” the client, but rather simply tell them a story. Other therapists have used stories with younger clients, and Sidereus is a model of hypnotherapy specifically using story and narrative.
Underpinning hypnotherapy with psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
Story creation relies on a comprehensive understanding of the client’s situation. The story has to be symbolic based on information gathered. Therefore psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, counselling or other talking therapies are usually used to gain a picture of the current situation, from which to design a “change” story.
Stuart trained in psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy from 1993-1996 (externally NVQ accredited and assessed diploma course and CNHC accreditation route via SSM), being assessed on over 200 clients (more than 1,000 client hours) with a required positive feedback rate of 80%. Since then he has studied other forms of psychotherapy and counselling and has completed CPD (continuous professional development) in a range of areas including Sidereus story telling. Other areas included eastern psychologies and meditation and a MSc in Psychology.
In the UK we have voluntary “right touch” regulation of Hypnotherapy via the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register system to ensure standards for healthcare practitioners not subject to statutory regulation. Stuart (and Denise) are registered with the CNHC, who hold a PSA AR.
Stuart practices in Edinburgh.
Key words: Hypnotherapy, Hypnosis, Trance, Self Hypnosis, Parable, Story telling, narrative, therapy, change process, visualization, meditation, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, counselling, Edinburgh, psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, counsellor, hypnotherapist, hypnotist, MCBT, CBT, CBA, IPT, NLP.
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