Therapy and you
There are many different styles of personal therapy, not any one of them being universally suited to all ailments. In this paper, we are going to have a look at some of the methods in popular use; this is certainly not to say that any other methods are not worth considering.
The five we will look at, in order, are:
- Meridian Therapies
Psychotherapy is becoming increasingly popular as people begin to realise that there is no longer any need to 'just put up with' emotional and psychological difficulties.
Whether it is given as a face-to-face consultation or in an online or telephone setting (both of which can be astonishingly effective and are becoming more widely available) psychotherapy is, literally, therapy for the psyche. To an extent, it is true that any constructive work that is designed to help you feel better about part of your life can be considered as psychotherapy. Most of the time, the work is 'client-centred' - that is, the work that is done and the way it is done takes account of how your particular personality works in your world and the outcome that you desire. It does not involve somebody seeking to impress upon you a set of 'rules' or ideas that they themselves consider to be correct or seeking to make you do something you don't want to do.
It is considered to be a 'talking cure', since it relies on interaction between therapist and client and the more forthcoming the client is, the less intervention the therapist will need to make. The more information the therapist has, the faster and more effectively can relief from the presenting problem or difficulty be found.
A lot of the time, online psychotherapy is every bit as effective as a 'live' session; not only that, it has the advantage of being easier to access and some people will find it more comfortable to discuss intimate issues without having to 'look someone in in the eye'. There are undoubtedly, though, some situations where face-to-face consultation is strongly indicated if the best results are to be found. A professional therapist would be able to advise you within a few moments of beginning to discuss your difficulty.
It is important to remember that a good psychotherapist is completely non-judgemental and will seek only to help you achieve that which you wish to achieve, or perhaps act as a 'mentor' or guide to help you find a solution to your difficulties.
There are many styles of working, or 'disciplines', and most therapists use a mix of several, some of which are especially well suited to online psychotherapy sessions. Although some may disagree, the work can be said to embody such methods as, among others:
- Behavioural therapy
- 'Inner Child' work
- Gestalt therapy
- Drama therapy
- Analytical therapy
- PARTS Therapy
- NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
There are also other less well-known styles such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming), interactive guided imagery, and Creative Visualisation.
Of the above, PARTS therapy is particularly suitable for working by E-therapy or other forms of online psychotherapy, such as telephone consultation. PARTS revolves around the fact that, much of the time when we have a problem, one Part of is wants to do one thing, while another Part wants to do something different. Here are a few examples:
- One part wants a new car; the other wants to save money
- One part wants a new job; the other fears loss of security
- One part wants to eat 'junk' food; the other worries about weight
- One part wants to sit and watch TV; the other wants to exercise to get fit
- One part wants to work towards success; the other wants to enjoy more leisure time
The resultant conflict so often results in stress and discomfort without the 'owner' of the conflict having the vaguest idea why he or she feels so uncomfortable - it simply shows as a stress reaction that doesn't seem connected to anything. In PARTS therapy, we seek to discover the conflict and find a workable solution that both parts will agree to.
Each of the styles shown here has its own place and its own strengths and one of the skills of the professional therapist is to ensure that the best discipline is employed for the presenting problem or difficulty. The following two points are important, perhaps:
- A qualified therapist should belong to a registering body that you can contact to check his/her credentials (and you should do so)
- A qualified therapist will be able to ensure that you receive the sort of therapy that is most likely to provide relief from your presenting difficulty
This paper does not set out to provide an exhaustive look at each style of therapy, rather to provide an overview to allow the reader to research more effectively to find what he or she needs.
One of the most effective styles of therapy for many ills, hypnotherapy is fast, drugs free, safe, and without unwelcome side effects. Essentially, the therapist will guide the client into a relaxed and extremely focussed state of mind (usually using his/her voice) then talk to the subconscious mind, seeking to make that which was unachievable achievable, with as little effort as possible.
There is nothing magical or mysterious about it; in fact what happens is generally totally predictable and reliable. The hypnotherapist does not have to possess some special skill, nor is there a need to be a special person or personality. In fact, most hypnotherapists are totally unassuming and throughly ;normal'!
There are many myths that surround this style of working, the vast majority, if not all, being totally unfounded. For instance, you cannot 'get stuck' or 'lose your mind'; you do not become unconscious or under the control of the hypnotherapist (although even some doctors believe this to be the case); you are totally aware at all times (often more aware than usual); you do not 'blurt out all your secrets' or engage in any behaviour that you would normally do.
Now, you might be raising an eyebrow at this point, wondering about those stage shows you have seen... well, those people are volunteers who know exactly what they are letting themselves in for and are more than willing to 'play the game'.
Here is a section from the 'Hypnosense' website, one of the largest hypnotherapy resource sites on the Internet:
"... speculation as to hypnotic effects, amnesia in hypnosis, people doing what they wouldn't normally do, etc. overlooks a very important point; we only have the hypnotised individual's word for what they do or do not feel. There is nothing magical about hypnosis; some people can achieve an apparently coma-like condition in minutes, some only the lightest of trances after an induction of an hour or more. And I'm talking about the person being hypnotised, not the hypnotist, because that is where the ability for depth of trance lies, though too many hypnotists believe the 'power' lies with them.
A subject will generally feel what they expect to feel. The hypnotist's skill is unimportant - it is the subject's belief system that matters. If the 'best hypnotist in the world' were to go on stage to hypnotise an entire audience, the entire audience might well go into hypnosis IF they knew he was 'the best hypnotist in the world'. If, on the other hand, they believed he was a just a truck driver acting the part of a hypnotist for fun, they simply would not go into any form of trance at all. Or would not believe they had.
Too many hypnotists and hypnotherapists believe their own publicity, and imagine that they have some sort of control over their subjects and the ability to 'make' them do things they wouldn't normally do.
But you simply cannot know whether or not an individual would like to be able to perform a particular act in a normal waking state. Hypnosis lowers the critical faculties - that is well established. It is deinhibiting. So an individual may then feel able to behave in some extrovert or outrageous way that s/he would normally find 'impossible'. But they are not being MADE to do anything - they are being ALLOWED to do something.
The confused belief arise out of the fact that people may well do things they would not, or could not, normally do - but they will not do things that they genuinely would not WANT to do. For it is the moral code, the true underlying belief of what is wrong and what is right that cannot be breached by hypnosis. It might be breached by convincing the subject in some way that the proposed action actually fitted in with their moral belief, but that would not be hypnosis, it would be NLP reframing. A simple command given under hypnosis could not do it, however skilled the hypnotist.
Dont Believe All You See
Stage hypnosis can have you believing all sorts of silly things. But those individuals have been selected by the stage hypnotist for their particular nature and their suggestibility. And when, on stage, they are told to 'sleep now' there are not a lot of people who have the nerve, in front of an audience, to say: "Sorry! It hasn't worked!" So they sleep. Now they've done it! They have tacitly accepted that they are hypnotised, and because every body knows they are hypnotised, they will have to do whatever they are asked to do - within reason. They can always disown it after the show, by saying: "Well, I don't remember. After all, I was hypnotised, wasn't I?"
I have carried out literally thousands of inductions, mostly for clinical and therapeutic reasons, but a few for experiment. With few exceptions, people have reported that they felt exactly as they were led to believe they would feel. Or said they did.
I have also spoken to a large number of individuals who have participated in stage hypnosis shows. When asked how they felt, most said that 'they hadn't gone under' but had had to pretend they had, out of embarrassment. Most of those that insisted they were 'well gone' changed their mind as soon as I told them I was a professional in the field and that I know that there is actually no such thing as a 'hypnotised feeling'. Anywhere between a complete retraction and a mild qualifying statement - "Oh, well, of course I did ham it up a bit... but only a bit, really." One or two insisted that whatever, they were truly 'out of it'. Hmm. Only got their word for that, of course. If they were, how do they know that they were?" END OF QUOTE
Essentially, hypnotherapy is a fast alternative to psychotherapy and can often be every bit as effective.
It comes into its own in circumstances like:
- Exam Fears
- Habit control (smoking, nail biting, etc.)
- Pain Relief
- Stress Management
- Some social discomforts
- Confidence issues
- Social Phobia
And a whole lot more besides.
Hypno-analysis is one of the forms of investigative hypnotherapy in which the aim is to find the root cause of the presenting difficulty and it is useful for the more profound 'illnesses' like phobias, panic attacks, some depressions, failure syndrome, jealousy, psycho-sexual difficulties, self-worth issues, and some medical conditions such as IBS, asthma, excema, migraine headache, prolonged stress, and so on.
In this style of working, the client does most of the talking, within the relaxed state of hypnosis - and is, of course, totally aware at the time and afterwards of what is being talked about. Various 'models' are used, one of which seeks to back track from the present day to the moment in time when the symptom was created, usually, but not exclusively, during the formative years of childhood. The most important thing here, from the client's point of view, is to always tell the therapist everything that comes to mind as soon as it comes to mind.
In the sense that the psyche is being thoroughly investigated, this style of working can seem more intrusive that 'standard' hypnotherapy, but as a vehicle to set an individual free from quite profound and life-damaging symptoms, many would say that it has no equal. It is fair to say that most clients find themselves talking quite confidently and easily about things that they have never discussed with another living soul; it is also fair to say that those same clients find relief that they never would have believed possible.
Read more about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
These are some of the more modern therapies and though the might seem a little strange at first, they can be rapidly effective with a wide range of problems.
The two most popular are EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and TFT (Thought Field Therapy). Of the two, EFT is the more well-known but they can both be astonishingly effective. They employ pressure or fingertip tapping on the meridian points defined in ancient Chinese medicine and which have been in use in acupuncture and acupressure techniques in the Western world for some considerable time now.
The therapies are actually similar to each other in that both involve tapping or pressing on the meridian points around the body; usually the client does the tapping with guidance from the therapist, while using verbal phrases that are designed to access the destructive energy in the psyche. The theory behind them is that the tapping interrupts the way that energy travels around the body, and both methods have produced astonishingly fast and effective results for many diverse situations and difficulties.
The major difference between them is that in EFT therapy, the tapping is done on several meridian points consecutively, while in TFT it is usually one one or two points that need stimulating in this way.
Phobias and Fears, particularly, respond extraordinarily well to both these techniques and they can be carried out entirely by telephone consultation - you do the tapping/pressing of EFT therapy under instruction from the therapist.
Probably one of the oldest of therapies, counselling retains popularity and respect. It is most effective when working with what might be termed 'everyday life' situations that are resistant to change or which are all but impossible to alter without massive upheaval.
It can provide insight and release, though it is often not the briefest of therapies; employed in situations for which it is not really suited, it can be ineffective. In general, it works best for situations in which the client knows exactly where the source of the anxiety or behaviour pattern lies but is apparently unable to do anything about it. It is not very effective for situations like habit control, pain management, exam fears, weight control and so on. This is not to say that it won't work for these things, only that it is not the most effective style of working.
It is related very strongly to psychotherapy and in fact most modern psychotherapists will work in counselling mode and most modern counsellors will work in psychotherapeutic mode when the need arises.
The major difference between the two disciplines is that in 'pure' counselling, the counsellor says very little, encouraging the client to do all the talking, whereas psychotherapy is more interactive.
That concludes this overview of personal therapy but should you need more advice, then please contact us (via our 'contact' page) with your specific question(s). We will answer as soon as possible.