Counselling or hypnotherapy: what works?
Counselling and hypnotherapy can both have a useful impact in your life, and in major ways. But what is the difference and how can each help you tackle what are seemingly the same issues (anxiety, depression, confidence and other mental health issues)?
As we progress through life, we can often become lost. It’s not uncommon to need support at least some point in your life. If you are looking to make a change and are considering the options available to you, it’s true that counselling can be highly beneficial in self-awareness and understanding who it is you wish to become. Hypnotherapy is much more direct and can be better at changing specific habits and behaviours that may be destructive.
Counselling (first deemed “talking therapy” and now what we refer to say “psychotherapy”) was first developed in part by Freud, Jung and Rogers, and focuses on three primary disciplines:
- Psychodynamic. Freud developed his talking therapy, which was aimed at allowing a place for the patient (and he called them patients) to use free association and speak freely within a confidential environment. A lot of his work was focused on the subconscious, which was something that Freud proposed and discovered himself and predicated our behaviour was a manifestation of repressed feelings and thoughts from the past.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Inspired by the work of Carl Jung, this approach suggests behaviours are habitual and learned. We can “unlearn” habits that can be replaced by new ones by talking control of our thought patterns, emotions and therefore behaviour (and subsequent consequences).
- Humanistic (person-centred). Carl Rogers was highly influenced by the hierarchy of needs and the work of Abraham Maslow. The relationship between the client and the counsellor is focused on active listening, using three positive components that allow the client’s growth:
- Unconditional Positive Regard
Counselling offers a place in which the client is given the chance to speak confidentially about their problems, and take one of the three approaches to understanding their thoughts and actions. The purpose of counselling is to provide clarity and understanding to client and further their self-awareness, allowing them to understand why it is they feel or act in a certain way.
How is hypnotherapy different to counselling?
Hypnotherapy is the act of inducing a hypnotic state in clients to increase motivation and alter behaviour patterns. This work includes preparing clients to enter a hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis works, inducing them into a hypnotic state and using autosuggestion to replace habits in the client.
Hypnotherapy has been around for hundreds of years, though within the 21st Century it was further developed by Milton H. Erickson. “Ericksonian Hypnotherapy” and solution-focused hypnotherapy particularly have had a huge impact on how hypnosis can be used to help clients. Much more focused on altering behaviour patterns, hypnotherapy may particularly benefit those who desire and are willing to make serious changes in their lives, whereas counselling may help you to understand your thoughts and feelings more coherently.
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About Stuart Downing
Stuart Downing, DMH DHyp, DNLP, EMDR Dip, MNACP, working from clinics in Warwickshire, Birmingham and Harley Street, London.
Extensive client experience of successfully treating addictions - drug, alcohol, gambling and the associated anxiety and stress which is often present.