Hypnotherapy - which type is best?

Hypnotherapy - which type is best?

So many initials, qualifications and descriptions....

If you have been looking into the possibility of having treatment, you will have noticed many different types of therapy available (for example -curative, clinical, evidenced-based, cognitive, eclectic) as well as those which diversify into other therapies (NLP, EFT, CBT or counselling for example).

When someone says they are an engineer, you know to ask more; to find out whether they may be a mechanical engineer, electrical, genetic or domestic engineer -  all very different jobs.  The same applies to hypnotherapists.  We may all use a version of hypnosis, but we utilise the tool in different ways, to differing degrees and with varying purposes.

In an attempt to help you to decide which kind of hypnotherapy interests you, so you can channel your investigation more easily,  I have divided the most common therapeutic directions into what I see to be three main categories: the what, the when and the why.

  • The what: what are you feeling, what do you want to change, in what way can these feelings be stopped? 
  • The when: when did the symptom start, when was the first time you experienced these feelings, when do they cause most difficulty for you? 
  • The why: why did you react to that event by carrying the experience with you, why have your life event(s) left these effects within you, why does it continue to affect your life, why are you suffering?

Cognitive or suggestion-based hypnotherapy, along with those that deal more with the conscious, analytical, thinking mind can provide quick results with the 'what' - the focus being more on speed of change rather than lasting effects.

Therapy which deals more on a subconscious level (often termed clinical or analytical hypnotherapy) is used to deal with the Initial Sensitising Event or trigger incident (the 'when'), perhaps helping a person to come to terms with past traumas or experiences, explain or deal with the effects of life events.

When a person knows what triggers a symptom or knows their thought patterns or behaviour are unhelpful but are still unable to change them, when it is necessary to deal with the 'why', to find out why a person reacted to their life events by developing a symptom or condition, then my preference is to use LCH (often referred to as curative hypnotherapy).  As this is the least common direction, perhaps an example may help to highlight the differences.

Let's imagine a person attends for treatment suffering with negative thoughts.  Such a way of thinking can have serious impact on their confidence, self-esteem, self-assurance and can eventually lead to depression, anhedonia, crippling anxiety or social phobia.  While some clients will respond well to the use of affirmations and positive self-talk, others find this exacerbates the negativity.  Logically, they know that the only reason they are having to use these positive messages is because there is a problem there, so such affirmations only serve to reinforce the fact that things are not as they should be.

Talking through the times in their life when they have experienced particular feelings or negative emotion  can enable them to put those individual events to rest.  Time-machines, sadly, are hard to find so going back to un-happen the past is not an option!  Some hypnotherapists may use visualisation to enable a person to re-view or reframe those memories in one way or another.   In contrast to these treatment aims, LCH aims to identify and amend the incorrect Core Beliefs which caused the individual to react to those situations so strongly - this then enables the effects of all the dozens or perhaps hundreds of reinforcing events to be automatically and swiftly neutralised.

Subsequent to that correction/reinterpretation, a person does not have to work to think positively, does not need to spend time altering their outlook or challenging their viewpoint: One does not need to correct something that is not wrong!

About the author:

Helen Lesser has been runing a successful private practice in Birmingham since qualifying in 1982.

Helen is an accredited member of the National Hypnotherapy Society, a full member of the Hypnotherapy Association and registered by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.  She is also Head Tutor for the Hypnotherapy Training College and is a registered Supervisor for the Hypnotherapy Society,

Using the experience and knowledge gained from private practice, along with the frequent interactions with other hypnotherapists and LCH practitioners to keep skills and knowledge up to date, Helen is constantly seeking ways to improve and advance both the application and the teaching of this unique therapy.

A prolific contributor to the Knowledge Base (the information resource for LCH practitioners) Helen designs and facilitates workshops, conferences, guided discussions and complete training courses for those wishing to learn and qualify as LCH practitioners, hypnotherapists seeking to extend their current skill set and for LCH therapists in continued training or advancing their professional development.


Author: Helen Lesser
Website: https://www.hypno.uk.com
Copyright © 2023 Helen Lesser. All rights reserved

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