Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Thursday, 20 May 2010

How Many Hypnotherapy Sessions Does It Take?

When working with my hypnotherapy clients I work to ensure that results are achieved in the minimum number of sessions. I take pride in helping clients make effective change quickly. This may not be the best way to me earning money, but it does fuel a deep satisfaction inside me, and that’s worth far more. I love my job, helping people make the changes that they want.

I tell clients just how easy and quick changes can be made. An example is with the formation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some of my military clients have had every area of their personality and behaviour changed from an instant during action, just from seeing something lit up during an explosion for example. The mind can effect changes that quick. And if it changes from good to bad, it can also change from bad to good. It just takes the right switch to be flicked – so we set out to help the client flick that switch to make the changes that they want.

Sometimes changes happen incredibly quickly. A couple of months ago I helped an RAF lad get over his fear of flying (yes, the irony!) in under three minutes from start to finish, leaving me twiddling my thumbs with time left on my hands.

Sometimes it takes several sessions. I have some clients, who have been with me over the course of six or seven sessions, with changes happening slowly, small improvements happening over time. As long as I can get movement towards what a client requires, then I am satisfied. I’m not making the changes, they are, and everyone needs to move at a pace that’s right for them. Occasionally a client is in a nice deep state of hypnosis and then the moment I start the change work starts they suddenly pop straight out of hypnosis – their unconscious isn’t letting them change and is putting up a blockage. This is sometimes resolved very quickly and the session moves forward rapidly. Sometimes a client needs to build trust in their change bit by bit, at whatever rate they are comfortable with. So the number of sessions depends on several factors such as how quick a client wants to change, and how complex the issues are.

And then there are clients who don’t need to book in and I just help on the phone. With stop smoking I tell them first if they want to stop smoking, then just stop! It actually is that easy. Normally it’s the fear of stopping smoking that keep people on the habit. When I tell them that clients I see often don’t even have the slightest bit of physical craving after they see me, and that if people realized how easy it was to stop smoking they’d just stop, now, (as well as many other ‘embedded commands’ during our chat), and that they’d be better off saving their money and just stopping – I often get a state change in that person. So I tell them to look at their reasons for smoking, and replace smoking in those situations with behaviour that’s more appropriate. And then I tell them to go and stop smoking, right now. And if they can’t, for whatever reason, then they can book in and I can help them. But I give them every opportunity to not even need my help first. I probably help one out of every four or five potential stop smoking clients stop without needing to book in for a session.

It is the client who is responsible for change in hypnotherapy, and not the hypnotherapist. More issues may arise during the course of a session (or as changes happen) than time will allow, requiring further sessions. Sometimes the client just wants to make small changes, being gently supported each step of the way. Sometimes the client is prepared to change fast, and does so.

I’m not responsible for the number of sessions – the client is. And if a client is committed to change then the required changes can be effected very fast indeed. My promise to my clients is that I will always work ethically and effectively in respect to the number of sessions required for any given issue. I will also work in congruence with you as a person, and in consideration of the wider ‘ecology’ of how you live to ensure changes are appropriate for you. And that promise I make to each and every one of you.

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