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What is Clinical Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy?

Clinical solution-focused hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, which is based on solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) focuses on the solution not the problem and as such can be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, phobias and depression, among many other issues. This is the fundamental aspect of a solution-focused approach and of paramount importance within practice. 

Within this approach the Miracle Question is used which allows time for the client to consider, verbalise and recognise what they believe would make a difference to their situation. (Insoo Kim Berg (1998), co-founder of solution focused brief therapy experimented with the question after listening to a client who was not able to respond to straight-forward questioning). The scaling question also allows clients to have a frame of reference as to where they believe they are and as such is a starting point to map progress against as the therapy progresses.

Both of these techniques offer invitations for the client to participate in the creation of the solution that is being sought. This therapy has shown itself to have solid foundations and development in research, clinical enquiry and practice and has proven successful.

Each person/client is unique and empathy and respect are integral - a human given for both the client and practitioner. Care and attention to the client’s needs and goals supports rapport and offers a secure environment in which to change to a more constructive and uplifting approach - one that is recognisably uplifting for the client and one which they can evaluate for themselves. Also clients have an inborn drive to develop and reach their maximum potential whatever that might be, and that focusing on the solution rather than reviewing the problem allows for new concepts and pathways to be taken, thus creating a constructive, positive solution-focused alternative to previous thinking. 

This framework offers the client a sense of self and greater awareness of their ability to maximise their potential by taking the opportunity to mentally reframe their thinking for optimum health. The whole approach, therefore, shows the client that they are in control and capable of setting their own goals. As they progress and move up the scale they can recognise and evaluate their own progress towards their goals which in itself can be uplifting for them.


Nelson T S, Thomas F N (Eds), 2007, Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, USA, (The Haworth Press) Routledge.

Griffin J and Tyrrell I, 2007, Human Givens A new approach to emotional health and clear thinking, Great Britain, HG Publishing

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Written by Michele Goulding MA, HPD, DHP, MBWRT® , FMBBRS,, MAPHP, NRPC & CNHC reg

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Written by Michele Goulding MA, HPD, DHP, MBWRT® , FMBBRS,, MAPHP, NRPC & CNHC reg

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