• Home
  • >Articles
  • >Simple as ABC - Hypnotherapy with CBT and a Givens twist!

Simple as ABC - Hypnotherapy with CBT and a Givens twist!

Hypnotherapy is a gentle way of using the human’s natural instinct to learn and change by using the everyday phenomenon called the trance state (see article 1). It is in this everyday trance state that most of our automatic responses (patterns and behaviours) are honed and developed. Some of those patterns, such as safely driving a car whilst listening to the radio, can be positive and effective in our lives. Others, such as depression, anxiety and unhelpful habits are negative and draining.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is equally as simple and natural in its approach. Cognitive refers to the human thinking processes and Behaviour relates to the patterns or actions we take in response to our thoughts. The key concept is that ‘how we think about events will have a powerful influence on how we then feel and behave’.   

This is explained as the ABC model in that:

A - Activating event (something happens), which results in our

B - Beliefs and thoughts being applied to the event and a response is given which results in

C - Consequences, the outcomes, which for those suffering emotional distress normally report as having a ‘negative’ impact on their lives.

Take, for example a person wishing to ask another for a date (this is the activating event - A). They may have a set of beliefs (B) that follow a line of thought that ‘the other person is too attractive’ and ‘they will say “No”, so ‘I will look foolish and be disliked’. The consequences (C) are both emotional (anxiety) and behavioural (withdrawal from asking the date and possibly from other social situations).

Whilst some of our beliefs can be fluid, so that what we thought and did as a young person are now very different to the belief we have now, some beliefs can become very ingrained and may have arisen without conscious knowledge. Because they are subconscious thoughts and the subconscious is a power regulator on our responses to activating events, we can often respond in the ‘same old ways’ without even knowing ‘why we did that’. Very often we will then go through a post event rationalisation of why we did it and post-allocate our thoughts to that event. However, real subconscious events are not always truly apparent in the moment when we respond to the event (see article 2)

To explain this the Human Givens ‘APET’ model (and here comes the Givens twist) takes the ABC model a step further, demonstrating that the activating event (A) is followed by an automatic and unconscious, instantaneous response called a pattern (P), which is the brain and physiology matching to the ways of doing things that we ‘have always done’. This leads to the emotion (E) which in the example given is anxiety and is followed by the thoughts (T) and the consequences and behaviours are social withdrawal.

The good news is that an HG Therapist or Hypnotherapist can use gentle and clarifying counselling skills to help the sufferer uncover the automatic pattern matches that result in negative responses. The counselling can also help in building more healthy responses. Once these are understood there are then hypnotherapeutic techniques that can be applied, using your subconscious mind to rewind the ineffective pattern and then to mentally rehearse the new pattern. Once rehearsed (and this is one of the advantages of CBT) the therapist will help you practice the new response so that you can be more sure it becomes your new pattern.

Like all turning points, the twist is the point where the plot need not be lost, but can be an opportunity to set off down those new positive ways.  


1              http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/hypnotherapist-articles/focussing-attention-in-normal-everyday-life.

2              http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/hypnotherapist-articles/how-the-mind-works-with-trance).

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

Share this article with a friend

Written by Keith Abrahams - Positive Ways

My passion is supporting people and their change. Hypnotherapy is an effective, fast and practical approach and through reading the pages on this site will enable you to understand both that and the full range of emotional and therapeutic issues that this approach to healing can resolve. It is both a modern form of effective healing and a very ancient established one at the same time. I work effec… Read more

Written by Keith Abrahams - Positive Ways

Show comments

Find the right hypnotherapist for you

All therapists are verified professionals.