CBT CBH - Using evidenced based methods for treating anxiety
A little bit of history....
James Braid (1795-1860) coined the term hypnotism and is the founder of modern hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He defined hypnotism as 'essentially a state of mental concentration'.
Interestingly the word hypnotism is an abbreviation of 'neuro- hypnotism', meaning the sleep of the nervous system. He later regretted using the term 'sleep' as it was misinterpreted by people who took it to be a passive process and an unconscious state, something that Braid was very much against. Indeed, Braid wanted his clients to be conscious, aware and actively involved in their process so he later developed a mind body related model he call 'monoideo-dynamic'.
Not surprisingly the term 'monoideo-dynamism' never caught on, but Braid used it to refer to the automatic reflex (dynamic) power of focused attention on a single (mono) train of thought and dominant cognition (idea) to influence a range of physical and behavioural responses.
So Braid concluded that hypnotism was primarily 'the result of selective focused attention on an expectant dominant idea and that this could be induced and influenced by imagination
expectation, imitation, physical/verbal cues and suggestions...'
Or to put it another way: the power of the mind over the body.
The popular tendency to confuse modern hypnotherapy with magic and passivity probably comes from its confusion with mesmerism. Mesmer used magnetic energies to magnetise and mesmerise his subjects casting his 'influence' of power upon them to demonstrate interesting and entertaining effects.
Braidism or hypnotism originated in opposition to mesmer and when key misconception are cleared away, the nature of the relationship of hypnotism with progressive modern cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) becomes apparent.
So for instance when treating emotional disorders like anxiety or a phobia, evidenced based methods of CBT has the therapist work with clients collaboratively to look at negative images and thoughts that 'pop' or 'flash' into the mind.
Clients are often unaware of these automatic thoughts and their existence afterwards, when no longer anxious. But clients focus instead on reporting their subsequent responses, so clients report 'just feeling nervous' for example, without being able to identify the thoughts and images that accompany their feelings.
To stop these thinking errors clients engage in a choice of interventions and thought stopping protocols including: cognitive disputation, mindfulness distancing, rehearsal exposure and self-instruction training (or self-hypnosis).
This is why the careful self-monitoring of thoughts is so important to Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis (the founders of CBT).
Beck and Ellis never used hypnosis, but there is an obvious complementary overlap in CBT methods and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy because CBT is the only properly evidenced based psychotherapy, practitioners of evidenced based cognitive behavioural therapies are standing on firm ground - not just playing with untested concepts and 'fanciful whimsies'.
About the author
Colin Jones is a fully qualified hypnotherapist and counsellor with 20 years experience of helping people be healthier, happier and quit unwanted thoughts, habits and feelings. Colin's life prior to training in the helping profession was as an as actor and this serves him well when helping people that are looking to be confident, relaxed and free.
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