What sort of therapy do you do?
Oh right. I had CBT a while back, it’s good isn’t it
It isn’t CBT. It’s Cognitive Hypnotherapy.
This is how the conversation often goes. CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can see why there is the confusion can’t you?
I am no expert on CBT, but as I understand it the key to the approach is to examine your patterns of thinking (Cognitive) and look at the Behaviours you exhibit and over time work with you to change your thinking and those behaviours. It is a very practical approach, focussing mostly on those thoughts and behaviours that you are exhibiting now rather than childhood events. It works on conscious thought, requiring a lot of effort from you as the client and as a result CBT can take a long time. It requires you to be able to change your thinking and often involves ‘homework’ in between sessions to be aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. CBT is very effective for some problems such as OCD where there are a specific set of symptoms. It may not work as well for more general issues. Although not as unrestricted as something like Person Centred Counselling, it is still a ‘talking’ therapy.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an approach that utilises a conversational channel with the subconscious via hypnotherapy to address pretty much any issue that someone is facing. This conversation is structured to use the best of a whole bunch of techniques from other disciplines.It essentially combines a lot of scientific theory on how the brain works with the best of many approaches and applies them using hypnotherapy to have the biggest impact. As with CBT it is very practical. Unlike CBT it focuses predominantly on the subconscious and doesn’t attempt to diagnose but rather look at what the client says they want and work with their model of the world, their reality. The label is irrelevant. Because of this, a Cognitive Hypnotherapist tends to be very non-judgemental. It is not relevant for us to need to have experienced what you have to help you, because we all interpret things in such a different way. It would be counter productive for us to use our model of the world to help you change yours. We are merely guides – helping you to look in the right places.
It is also not really a talking therapy. In fact, although the results may not be as effective, it is technically possible to have a Cognitive Hypnotherapy session where you don’t tell your therapist any of the “why” behind what’s going on and just follow their guidance silently. As our subconscious has spent the formative early years of our lives learning and storing lessons, it also means that often the most effective way of getting the change a client wants is to address the past and use our adult experience to reframe significant events. All through that dialogue with the subconscious. As this approach is so effective, there are very few sessions required to see huge changes (I am proof of that!).
In between sessions you are given a track to listen to that continues to reinforce with your subconscious the work you have done. The main homework you have to do is to be extra aware of any changes you may notice.
To me, Cognitive Hypnotherapy is like magic.
I guess if it was hundreds of years ago I might have been called a witch for doing this stuff!