Hypnotherapy and hypnoanalysis: how it really works
29. March 2018
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23. August 2019

Hypnotherapy and why the problem is always a solution

Hypnotherapy works. The experience of numerous therapists and coaches proves this, more and more scientific studies also show the high effectiveness of hypnotherapeutic treatment. Nevertheless, unfortunately, hypnotherapy still does not belong to the standard in the field of classical pschychotherapy. The good news is that, fortunately, there are nevertheless more and more doctors, psychotherapists, alternative practitioners and coaches who work with hypnotherapy.

People often ask why hypnotherapy is actually so much more effective than conventional psychotherapy (e.g. talk therapy and the like). This is because not only is the success rate of hypnotherapy demonstrably higher than that of conventional psychotherapy methods, but hypnotherapy also usually requires significantly fewer sessions and is therefore more cost-effective than conventional forms of therapy.

One of the reasons for the impressive success of all hypnotherapeutic approaches, is the basis of any good hypnotherapy:
Knowing that every problem is actually a solution.
This sounds strange at first, but it is a profound insight without which no real and lasting change is possible. Because this realization forces us to deal in depth with what actually is the meaning of the symptom, instead of just wanting to get rid of the symptom with all our might. Without looking at the reasons why.

This is also where good hypnosis therapy differs from inadequate (because superficial) application of hypnosis in therapy and coaching: many providers of hypnosis therapy and hypnosis coaching limit themselves to purely suggestive therapy, in which – simply put – the client is led into a trance in order to then describe the positive goal over and over again in beautifully formulated texts. Of course, this feels good at the moment and may even be a little helpful in very simple cases. In the end, however, it doesn’t really get to the root of the problem and therefore usually can’t provide lasting change.

These forms of treatment mask the symptom rather than actually trying to resolve it. Similar to hitting the fuel gauge in your car with a hammer as soon as it lights up. Yes, of course – the fuel gauge does not light up afterwards, so the problem seems to be solved. However, this ignores the fact that the fuel light is not the real problem, but only an indicator for it. And if you don’t take care of the real problem (that is, no more gas in the tank), then sooner or later the car will just stop.

That’s why good therapy needs to take a closer look.

So if a client reacts to something in life (a situation, a person, a life circumstance, an event) in a negative way (with fear, anger, depression or physical symptoms) and not the way he actually wants to on a conscious level, then the goal of any therapy or coaching must always be to support the client in doing this to be able to respond to these things in a different, better way.

So, for example, if the client reacts fearfully to certain situations or people without understanding on a conscious level what triggers this fear, the goal of hypnotherapy is, of course, first and foremost to dissolve this fear so that the corresponding situation can be dealt with in an adult and developed way.

In order to do this effectively, however, it is first important to understand why the client is reacting in this way in the first place, which is after all quite obviously not what they want on a conscious level. So in our example, we first need to understand what actually triggers this fear of the situation, even though he knows perfectly well on a conscious level that this fear is actually unfounded?

These reasons are almost always anchored in our subconscious. The very fact that in such cases it is not possible for us to control our reactions and behaviors through the conscious mind proves this to us. So we are talking about something that is in the subconscious and therefore we cannot exercise conscious control over it. So there is something in our subconscious that is responsible for things we do or feel without us understanding why that is.

But how does something like this come about?

A good example of this is the movie “Forrest Gump.” At the beginning of the film, the little boy Forrest, who has to wear leg braces due to a spinal condition, is chased by a horde of other children and he is pelted with stones. He is therefore naturally in a very emotional, agitated state, fully focused on what is happening, while at the same time blocking out everything else at the moment – in short, he is in a hypnotic trance and does not know what to do next.

The little girl who is his friend calls out to him “Run, Forrest, run!”.
And Forrest does: he runs and thus escapes this threatening situation.

This traumatic experience has a deep impact on Forrest, it acts as an imprint deeply anchored in the subconscious from now on: Forrest has found an unconscious solution to a problem and whenever he is confronted with a stressful situation from now on, he just starts running. He can’t help himself.

In the original situation, this was actually good advice and a good and effective response. But after that, this reaction was no longer helpful. So the subconscious mind has generalized a very specific solution to a very specific situation and applied it to all future situations that are in some way similar to the triggering situation. Without taking into account that other situations may require other solutions.

So what started out as a solution ended up being a symptom and later in the film you see Forrest running all over the U.S. and just being exhausted.
He needs better solutions.

And the sentence of Milton Erickson (US psychotherapist, who significantly developed and shaped modern hypnotherapy), which I already mentioned above, fits to this: “The problem is a solution. “. But it is just a solution to something that happened a long time ago and that solution is no longer appropriate for the present problem. In other words, the symptom is no longer a viable solution.

So if we want to resolve or overcome a symptom in therapy and coaching, we first have to find out for which problem this symptom was originally supposed to be a solution and under which circumstances it originally arose.

Since in hypnotherapy we are able to communicate with the subconscious mind, this is also very possible.
But not only that.
We are then also able to alert the subconscious that this solution was once appropriate and helpful, but that this is no longer the case.
We can make it clear to the subconscious that we have evolved, that we have grown up, that circumstances have changed – in short, that the present reality is quite different from when the symptom – the original solution – arose.

Then the way is clear for new possible solutions. Now new behaviors and reactions to the corresponding situation can be developed. Reactions that also correspond to the present life, the present desires and requirements.

Now real change is possible.