Well, where on earth do you begin with such a potentially broad subject matter?
I am not attempting to write everything that needs to be known in order to be a good hypnotherapist here; I doubt I could do it in a single article.
In order for anyone to be an effective hypnotherapist that gets results in hypnotherapy sessions, there is much more to learn than simply inducing hypnosis with skill.
It is my opinion and experience that a hypnotherapist have a wide ranging knowledge of current hypnotherapy literature. All the hypnotherapists I encounter that see a good number of clients and are in my opinion a successful hypnotherapist, have a breadth and depth of knowledge about the subject of hypnotherapy.
Being able to relate to the client in such a way that a beneficial therapeutic alliance is established. The therapeutic alliance where trust and belief exists. As well as this, being able to make good decisions about which interventions to employ and how to structure sessions for the clients benefit, something which tends to come from experience as well as a depth of knowledge.
Needless to say, I could go on and on about things which I deem important to be a skilled hypnotherapist, and no-one is ever likely to create a fully exhaustive account which everyone in the field of hypnotherapy will agree upon. Nonetheless, these things I have mentioned so far, require time and energy to be invested.
Additionally though, the kind of person we are also influences and affects our knowledge base and the skills that we apply within our work. often, the choices that we make in a hypnotherapy session can be influenced by our own philosophy regarding hypnotherapy, the approach that we adopt influences how we work and the directions that we want to lead a client in.
I once supervised a hypnotherapist who had attended an Emotional Freedom technique (EFT) workshop and that hypnotherapist was really taken by EFT and had experienced some personal benefits from applying it to their own life, and so was very enthusiastic about it. The following weeks, that hypnotherapist was teaching almost every client that came into those consulting rooms how to do EFT and using EFT as a major intervention.
Then there are specialist workshops or conferences about a particular disorder that the hypnotherapist starts to diagnose clients having, even though they have never heard of the disorder.
During my years as a hypnotherapist, I have been trained by and worked with many of the top hypnotherapists and seen, experienced and heard a wide variety of differing viewpoints. Each hypnotherapist in turn takes on elements of those viewpoints, just as I have done, which then influences how we apply hypnosis for therapeutic gain.
The key here is knowing enough about yourself, and subsequently applying reflective practice techniques to how you worked with individuals and examining how you made certain decisions and the rationale behind them. In theory, we do not necessarily want to think that our background and personality and interests affect how we deliver our hypnotherapy solutions to our clients, but in reality, they cannot not do so. It is our job to be aware of it and learn and develop from what we learn accordingly.
I have written before in some depth about hypnotherapists needing to be intelligent enough to see both sides of a debate, argument or philosophy. I shall not repeat that notion here, but I shall say that I think it can be a problem if the hypnotherapist does not develop, and stretch themselves and learn the usefulness of adopting other approaches and techniques that may well advance their ability to understanding and assisting the people that they work with in therapy.
Pretty much every p[resenting issue that a hypnotherapy client cites could be approached in a wide variety of ways depending on the hypnotherapist and the array of factors mentioned here today. I personally think it wise and responsible to know and understand how you are making decisions about what steps you’ll be taking as a hypnotherapist, how you are deciding upon the decisions you are making and not allowing your approach to become entrenched in a singular dogmatic, inflexible approach. Of course we like to persist with things that have worked in the past or that we have experienced success with in the past and we’ll be influenced by that, but having a measured self-understanding and awareness of the decisions we make, can help us make the best decisions for those investing in hypnotherapy services.