Chapter Four - Working with words
Many therapists begin by using therapeutic scripts from books and websites. It’s a good way to tap into hypnotic language and to get ideas from more experienced therapists. Unfortunately, as we’ve said, one of the big problems is that they do not reflect your client’s world except in very general terms. Cast your mind back to our fictitious client Annie who wanted to quit smoking because she was planning a family. Few, if any, 'quit smoking' scripts include that as a motivator, because (being generic) they are forced to concentrate on what smoking clients have in common, rather than on what makes them unique.
It’s all very well to say 'adapt them', but many look complete, or have an internal flow and logic so that it’s not always easy to see how this can be done. What we’re going to look at in this chapter is a way to approach that adaptation process.
Chapter Five - Words and stories
We have been talking about suggestions: how to construct them and how to use them in your hypnotherapy sessions. In this part of the book, we are going to consider a slightly different approach.
We all love stories; as children, listening to, reading or watching stories is one of our favourite things to do. We like fairy stories, stories about our families and our parents when they were young; all kinds of things that help us relate to our social and physical environment. When you work with metaphors, you are essentially telling your clients a story. Just like stories, metaphors can draw us into them, provoking strong emotional responses, and they appeal to that part of our unconscious mind which is still childlike and enjoys learning in this way.
Chapter Six - When worlds collide
Although the chapter title is a little exaggerated, it is true that, having spent a lot of time considering your client's world, you need finally to consider the impact of your own. You do not provide therapy in a vacuum, any more than your client seeks it that way, and events in your own life will make you feel tired, happy, sad, energised, worried, excited, and so on.
Ideally, of course, these things are left outside your therapy room door when you go into 'work mode'. If you have a lot going on and think you can’t do this it’s best not to practise for a while, or at least not to see clients with issues that mirror your own. If you have recently suffered a bereavement, for example, it would almost certainly be a good idea to refer on potential clients in the same situation.
But you need to recognise that even smaller events can have an impact on your ability to get fully into your client's world and provide effective therapy. It's why looking after yourself as well as your clients is so important, and in this final chapter, we are going to have a look at a few ideas which will help you do just that.