Hypnosis and Mindfulness

September 29th, 2011

“This is the only way…for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of namely, the Four Arousings of Mindfulness.”
Satipatthana Sutta

Mindfulness is becoming ever more popular. Techniques associated with mindfulness are being incorporated into psychotherapy, most notably into cognitive behavioural psychotherapy but also into psychoanalysis and various other types of therapy and counselling. Read the rest of this entry »

Hypnosis and Photographic Memory.

September 22nd, 2011

Hypnotherapists see themselves essentially as problem solvers or issue resolvers. This is understandable. Potential clients seek hypnotherapy in order to help them with some problem or issue, such as smoking cessation, weight control, stress, confidence, and so on. Hypnotherapists very often come to view hypnosis as a tool, or method, by which problems are resolved. A typical practitioner will find some method of hypnotic induction – either by modifying one of the traditional taught methods, researching some of the more idiosyncratic Ericksonian techniques or, if they are really adventurous, devising some unique method, or methods, of their own – and will usually stick to that preferred method through thick and thin, employing it in most if not all cases.

But the relationship between the practitioner and his or her preferred method of induction can become rather stale. The very act of hypnotic induction can become rather repetitive, boring, or even arduous. Hypnotherapists will often turn to methods drawn from other branches of psychotherapy, such as CBT, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis etc, not necessarily because such methods are more effective but because the implementation of such methods tends to involve a dialogue, the active participation of the client, rather than the lengthy recital of an induction protocol to a relaxing, and usually thoroughly passive, client.

If hypnotherapy is to progress and develop then this needs to change. Read the rest of this entry »

Article written for the NRHP quarterly newsletter:

I had to write this article. Three things compelled me.

Firstly, an article was published in the Independent (6th June 2011) entitled Cowboys Hamper Use of Hypnotherapy to Treat NHS Patients – reprinted in the Summer 2011 Newsletter. The good news is that the NHS at last appears to be waking up to the practical applications of hypnotherapy. But the article confirms what some of us already know; that hypnotherapy is a great therapy with a terrible image.

The second thing which prompted me was an article in the Summer 2011 edition of the UKCPs Psychotherapist magazine: Fighting for Professional Survival by Hilary Platt. This rather alarming article highlights the extent to which (non-CBT) psychotherapists and counsellors are being supplanted within the NHS by high-intensity therapists with BABCP accreditation. According to Platt, UKCP or BACP registration is increasingly regarded as irrelevant within the NHS. Read the rest of this entry »

Hypnosis and Meditation

September 20th, 2011

There is clearly some link between meditation and hypnosis, but this overlap is rarely discussed by those involved with either practice. Most hypnotherapists know little about the practice of meditation. Some are dismissive of meditation because they see it as essentially aimless – not directed at any specific goal nor aimed at the solution of any specific problem. But over the years I have come to realize that meditation and hypnosis are intimately related. To understand one is to understand the other.

Having said that, I have to confess that my own experience of meditation is somewhat limited. I took up meditation in my late teens / early 20s and I did so with a specific aim in mind – to improve my concentration. Read the rest of this entry »

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