Terence Watts is the owner at The Essex Institute of Complementary Health and Sole Proprietor at Hypnosense. Terence has been a practising Therapist since 1989. He has lectured extensively at home and abroad, published several books, written manuals and developed training courses for Hypnotherapists that are used all over the world. Following is an article written by Terence as guidance for therapists in their use of language before and during session. It also serves to help educate clients on what to expect of a trained professional. We are very grateful to Terence for giving us permission to post his article in our website blog
Clean Language by Terence Watts
Most therapists are trained, these days, to be sure to use only ‘clean language’ during their sessions – that is, never say anything or ask any question that might put an idea into their client’s mind. For instance, if a client is remembering ‘being in the park’, asking: ‘Who else was there?’ is not as ‘clean’ as: ‘Was there anybody else there?’
What escapes many, though, is that this determinedly non-leading approach should be used from the moment the client walks through the door, not just during the session itself. Everything you say from the moment a client arrives in your office will set up a train of thoughts in their mind so you might as well make sure the thoughts are directed towards a successful therapy! Even something like: “How’s work been this week?” might distract them from where you need them to be, while: “Tell me about your week,” is perfectly acceptable. Even if ‘work’ has been an issue, they might well have been going to tell you about something else. The golden rule is never say anything that points in a particular direction or towards a particular concept.
I sometimes say something like: “Tell me about the best and worst parts of your week – the worst part first.” Because they tell us about the ‘best bit’ last, it encourages them to look for where improvement has occurred in their life, rather than to see if nothing is changing. Another way is to ask: “What good things have happened for you this week?”. The foregoing statements are definitely better than: “What sort of week have you had?”. When you ask that sort of question, the natural human tendency to focus on problems will encourage them to tell you about miserable stuff – and that can lead them to thinking the therapy isn’t working…
Yes, it can be hard work, staying that middle ground of interest without influence (the influence, of course, comes during the session with any suggestion work you are using) but it can pay great dividends!
You can find out more about Terence by visiting his websites:
People use coping mechanisms all the time to survive the challenges they are presented with on a daily basis. The coping mechanisms I refer to are sometimes called the ‘masks’ we hide behind.
Nobody deliberately puts on a mask in order to deal with someone or an experience; it is simply something we have all learned to do and is now something we do without thinking.
The masks we wear are the roles we play when we are with certain people and dealing with certain situations. We simply can’t help playing these roles which have become part of us.
We form relationships with other people who are also wearing ‘masks’. We judge people and they judge us though nobody sees further than the ‘mask’. We live our lives believing that we know ourselves and the people in our lives when what we are doing is making it all up in our heads.
The most common ‘masks’ used by people are the labels we hide behind. The labels like, son, daughter, father, mother, husband, wife are roles most people get to play but in many cases people cannot disentangle themselves from their role and they become stuck.
This can also happen when people take their jobs so seriously that they identify with their job description. This is a trap that many find very easy to fall into especially when it is their job that validates them as people deserving respect. Without the title many feel lost, without purpose and even in some cases, invisible.
Who Am I?
Psychotherapy coupled with Hypnosis is a wonderful way for people to get comfortable not wearing any ‘mask’. It is a way to find who you really are and to express yourself without the need to hide behind any artificial role, self made or imposed. Therapy is a most fulfilling journey within – a journey of self discovery!
It is not the role of the therapist to decide what is best for you as you are the highest authority in your own life. The role of the therapist in Hypno-Psychotherapist is to help each person become aware of their own personal power and ability to affect the changes they desire. Healing is spontaneous and is as a result of a change in mind. It is only by changing our minds that we correct our perception of ourselves and the world we inhabit. By dropping our masks we reconnect with our own inner source of wisdom putting us directly in charge of our own direction in life no longer influenced by forces outside of ourselves.
To find out more about the therapy we provide here at our private practice, Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic in Peel, Isle of Man visit our website www.SetantaClinic.com or call us on 01624 842938 to book a Free Initial Consultation.
Video by Xavier and Mary Nathan on Hypnotherapy and Perception
Once we form an impression of someone or something it is hard to change that impression. If you were frightened by a dog when you were young then the likelihood is that you will have formed the impression that dogs are scary. Logically you know that all dogs cannot be the same as the dog that frightened you but logic has nothing to do with feelings. It is how you feel about dogs that governs your attitude and behaviour around dogs and these feelings are as a result of the impression you formed about dogs when you first came across them.
In much the same way people have formed an impression of Hypnosis based on how it was portrayed to them when they first came across it. Most people seem to be influenced by the image of the hypnotist on the stage putting people under their spell and making them do foolish things to entertain an audience.
Once an impression like this had been formed in the mind of a person you can understand why it might then be difficult for them to see hypnosis as a tool for healing in the clinical setting. In this regard stage hypnosis had given an impression that then closes the door to the minds of many to the power to heal.
Even the word hypnosis conjures up feelings and impressions that could not be further from the truth. If you see a person slumped over and seeming to be under the control of a hypnotist on stage it is no wonder that you would then come to the conclusion that hypnosis renders you vulnerable. You might have formed the impression that in hypnosis the hypnotist can make you do anything and this is a scary prospect for most people. This is why only the volunteers who are inclined to be exhibitionists are chosen by the hypnotist and that is the first stage of the elaborate illusion created by the stage entertainer in partnership with, a more than willing to please, volunteer.
In reality, hypnosis is a state of relaxation. In the state of hypnosis you suspend the part of you that would otherwise prevent you from entertaining ideas other than the ones you hold firmly to, including your belief in your own illness. However, in hypnosis you would not accept any suggestions given to you that might go against your own moral or ethical principles. In the clinical setting you are given suggestions while in hypnosis to get you to question your belief in your own illness. It is only in changing your mind about your illness that any change can take place, and this is where hypnosis is very effective.
Simply giving people suggestions to get better is not always the most effective approach. Therapists, like Paul McKenna, who advocate this approach, give the impression that it is the therapist who is the one in control and who is seen as a kind “Miracle Worker”! When the therapist then makes claims to the effect he can cure you and you see him in this light on TV shows and newspaper articles and in books how could you not form the impression that the therapist is the one in control and once again you are like the volunteer on stage.
The kind of therapy used by Paul McKenna is Suggestion Therapy and though it can be very effective it does not always work.
Hypno-Psychotherapy or Analytical Hypnotherapy
Here at Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic in Peel, Isle of Man, Mary and I use a combination of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy which is also referred to as Hypno-Psychotherapy or Analytical Hypnotherapy to treat Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Insomnia and any condition with at an emotional root cause. When an emotional root cause is not an obvious reason for the condition, like Smoking, Phobias, some Weight Loss and working with children, we then use Suggestion Therapy.
For most conditions we have found that unless the cause of the condition is discovered and dealt with at the subconscious level the condition was not resolved. We have treated many people over the years who had been originally treated by therapists using only Suggestion Therapy and we found that though in some cases the original symptoms were alleviated or even disappeared they were almost always replaced by new and in some cases more severe symptoms.
An opportunity for personal development
If you would look upon your symptoms as opportunities for personal development then understanding the reasons behind your problems would make more sense and the journey of healing becomes a fulfilling experience, more a challenge than a chore.
First impressions can be misleading and especially when made about alternative options to heal yourself. Hypnosis with Psychotherapy is an effective option and its ethical humane approach makes it a therapy that is growing in popularity among medical doctors who no longer see long term medication as a satisfactory solution.
As Hypnotherapists in Private Practice here at Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic in Peel, Isle of Man my wife Mary and I have treated many people who have come to us for a very wide variety of problems. Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia being by far the most common conditions we have been asked to treat.
Last port of call
We found that very often the three conditions are linked in that someone who finds it difficult to sleep at night often exhibits symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Most people who come to us have tried everything and we are usually their last hope. We see this as a positive because by the time they arrive to us they have tried everything that focusses on the symptoms so when we suggest that it is time to treat the person they are more open to this.
We often use the analogy of people wanting to turn off a smoke alarm because they can’t bear the noise and we suggest that just turning off the alarm does not put out the fire. We explain that every symptom has an emotional root cause in the subconscious. If a person can’t sleep then there must a very good reason but the problem is that the reason is not available to the conscious mind. We guide people to access the subconscious to bring the underlying root cause of their problem to their conscious awareness so that they can then address the problem and in effect put out the fire. Once the fire is out the alarm goes off.
The cause of each person’s condition is unique
Every person who suffers from insomnia will unearth a different root cause for the condition. In all the years I have treated people suffering from insomnia no two have ever shared the same subconscious reason for the condition. Once the cause is discovered there is usually an emotional release called an abreaction. Someone inexperienced in dealing with abreactions could panic when it happens and this can cause further complications. That is why it is very important to seek the help of an experienced and fully qualified therapist when choosing to embark on this course of therapy.
Video Explanation of Hypnotherapy by Xavier and Mary
Links to Articles about the Hypnotherapy Xavier and Mary Provide:
The body is like a puppet in the hands of the mind, the puppeteer. The problem is that the mind is split so the puppet’s actions and conditions seem erratic.
The body reflects the state of mind so the more conflicted the mind the worse the state. This is why illness exists. All illness emanates from the puppeteer so all illness is mental illness. The mind projects itself on to its own body and the bodies of others. This has its advantages and disadvantages depending on what is being projected.
Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged
As a Hypno-Psychotherapist it does not serve me or my clients to project my illness on to those who seek my help. The only way for me not to project my own illness on to my client is for me to suspend judgement and seek agreement. By deliberately choosing not to judge and actively seeking common ground for me and my client to agree upon the ego is circumvented.
Resolving Conflict Through Agreement
Rather than attacking the client’s self concept I question the beliefs my clients hold about themselves. Questioning a belief with sincere interest will not be perceived as an attack especially if rapport exists between client and therapist. In fact the therapist affords the client the opportunity to reveal his self concept and all its defences. When eventually the client can trust the therapist enough, he will endow the therapist with the characteristics and qualities of the illness he suffers from. This will be symbolised by someone from the client’s past with whom issues still remain unresolved.
We must keep in mind here that when this stage is reached the therapist may also be doing the same to his client. Freud describes this as transference and counter transference. The client is now afforded the opportunity to work through a conflict in mind that is projected on to the therapist. Conflict can only be resolved through agreement. The therapist and client then seek a goal they can both agree upon.
Seeking the Guidance of Higher Consciousness in Therapy
For the therapist to impose his own agenda at this point would be to allow his or his client’s ego to direct the therapy. Since it is ego that created the conflict in the first instance allowing ego to direct the therapeutic process would only complicate matters and cause further conflict.
If on the other hand client and therapist seek the guidance and direction from a consciousness higher than their own, then the ego of each has no way in. Calling on this Higher Consciousness is the most important ingredient and essential for true healing free of ego.
The way I do this is to set up a triangle of light between me and my client with the Higher Consciousness at the apex. I don’t tell my clients in the beginning I am doing this until a stage is reached in the therapy when I seek their active cooperation in seeking the guidance of the Higher Consciousness. I usually devote a full session to this. The book ‘Cutting the Ties the Bind’ by Phyllis Krystal describes this process in detail.
Once the client joins the triangle and actively seeks the direction of the Higher Consciousness the therapy takes on a whole new perspective because it becomes far easier to reach agreement without the ego of either interfering.
The degree to which therapist and his client agree determines the degree of healing achieved. The goal becomes the goal set by the Higher Consciousness and normally lies outside the conscious awareness of both client and therapist.
When psychotherapy is approached in this way I have always found it to produce miraculous results.
Catharsis and the release of repressed psychic energy
The essence of repression as described by Sigmund Freud consists simply in the act of turning – and keeping – something away from the conscious. Repressed material exerts continuous pressure from the subconscious mind, where it resides, toward the conscious mind which repressed it in the first place. This continuous and constant psychic pressure from the subconscious has to be held in equilibrium by an equal and opposing constant unrelenting counter pressure. It follows then that to maintain a repression requires a constant expenditure of energy.
Freud insisted that the purpose of repression is the avoidance of what he termed unpleasure. The repression consisting of thoughts and feelings will have done its job if the negative feelings associated with it are not experienced. Therefore to release a repression those very feelings one sought to escape from must be fully experienced and the thoughts filed as experiences.
Once filed as an experience without the emotive charge the once repressed experience can now be used like any other experience to help us cope should the same or similar challenge ever face us again in the future.
Without the necessary emotional resources being available and on file in the subconscious a child experiencing a traumatic event may find the normal mental processes being suspended. This will of course occur unconsciously and the event is said to be repressed. This is a survival mechanism used by a mind overwhelmed by an experience that cannot be be dealt with at the time. The event is not forgotten but kept in a kind of ‘cold storage’ to be dealt with when the necessary mental and emotional resources have been acquired. In order to ensure that the repressed material is not forgotten or ignored forever the gap, in what was supposed to be learned from the experience, is replaced by a physical symptom somewhat like a calling card.
What happens in session
In Analytical Hypnotherapy the client is guided into a relaxed state of mind with conscious analytical mind in suspension. While in this light state of hypnosis the client is then instructed to report whatever thoughts, feelings and memories that emerge. The client is reminded to report what emerges in the order in which it is revealed and to refrain from excluding any of the associations on the grounds that they are judged too trivial, irrelevant, shameful or secret. Success of the therapy depends on the client complying with this fundamental rule to reveal everything that emerges.
It is rare for a therapist to come across a client who does not try to reserve some area for himself – a no-go area if you like. Therapy is prevented access to this area of the mind classed as off-limits. This is done subconsciously by the client in an attempt to protect the repression and is is called resistance by Freud.
Resistance is an inevitable and important part of the therapeutic process. It is disappointing to a therapist if unable to provoke these resistances and demonstrate them to the client. In fact overcoming these resistances is an essential function of therapy.
The most important ingredient in Hypno-Analysis or Analytical Hypnotherapy is rapport between client and therapist. It is this trust that encourages the transference of feelings on to the therapist and thus giving the client the opportunity to resolve emotional issues that have been repressed. The therapist takes on the qualities of the person with whom the client needs to resolve these issues and it is common for the client to see saw between admiring and loving the therapist to feeling outright hostility toward the therapist. It is by means of this phenomenon that transference becomes a powerful tool to access the the no go areas and to secure repression release.
Psychotherapy by ~briggsdj2
When a repression is located the client may report it the way a TV reporter would report from the scene of a crime. The client therefore describes the traumatic incident in the past tense and as if it had happened to someone else. The therapist would then direct the client to relive the incident in the present as if it is happening right now. The client would then regress in time and experience the incident fully this time without any interruption to the normal mental processes which occurred when it did happen all those years ago and resulted in the debilitating symptoms the client is now presenting.
The client would then be directed to experience the incident over and over again until every scrap of emotional charge is released and the client sees the incident as just another experience without any of the emotional response that once accompanied it. The first time through the incident may see the client crying uncontrollably and with each subsequent reliving of the incident the therapist will notice the client revealing more and more detail. Eventually the client will run through the incident without showing any emotion and in a bored kind of tone. This is normally the signal that all the negative emotion associated with the repression has been released and it is not uncommon to see the client let out a sigh when it is complete.
The role of the therapist
It is not therapist’s job to advise the client, offer any explanations evaluations or judgements during this process but rather allow the client to fully experience the emotions that emerge without interruption and be kept on task. The therapist must at all times recognise that the client is the supreme authority in his own world and the therapist has not authority to tell the client what anything means or how the client should or should not interpret what comes up. Any therapist that does so is not serving the client but his own ego. The therapist is like a guide on a safari. He ensures that the client is on the right path, has bullets in his rifle and is safe. When the time comes it is the client who is paying to shoot the lion not the guide. A good therapist will ensure that the client feels safe and is fully engaging in the process and not just reporting from a safe distance. Though the therapist will not be advising the client about how to view or interpret anything that emerges in session he will often question the client to clarify what is said and to cause the client to question beliefs stubbornly being held on to.
As part of my own training as a Hypno-Psychotherapist I was required to undergo the therapy before receiving my qualification. How else could you gauge the effectiveness of the treatment you intend to administer if you yourself have not experienced it? I found it a very rewarding and insightful experience during which I released a number of repressions and as a result I cured myself of a number of conditions I had suffered from all of my life.
Following are just some of the conditions my wife and I treat at our private practice in Peel, Isle of Man:
Depression, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Sleeping Difficulties, Post Traumatic Stress, Underachievement, Lack of Confidence, Fears and Phobias, Irritable Bowel, Smoking, Eating Disorders… and many more.
What Can be Treated with Hypnotherapy
My wife Mary and I run our own private Hypnotherapy Practice in Peel, Isle of Man where we employ a combination of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy to treat conditions with an emotional root cause. To see a list of some the conditions we treat please [...]
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