Looking at three common misconceptions people might have when considering using a therapist.
Both of these got me thinking about the mistakes people make when first considering going for therapy. I have started with three and I’m sure there could be more but my intention isn’t to be negative or put people down but to help them change their thinking and realise that they are indeed mistakes.
This is possibly one of the most common mistakes people make when considering therapy, especially when considering working with an hypnotherapist. Most people will be familiar with stage hypnosis where the “hypnotist” appears to get random members of the audience to do strange or even unthinkable things with no apparent thought about what they are doing.
Let’s be clear, these stage shows aren’t rigged but what you may or may not see is that the “hypnotist” selects the participants. By that I mean that he will choose those most willing and suggestable to take part in the show. I’m choosing my words carefully because often those taking part really want to be part of a “show” and are therefore willing volunteers.
The common link between stage shows and proper therapy treatments is that the participants all have a desired outcome. They also have the expectation of something happening. In the case of therapy, clients are looking to address an issue, whether that’s a phobia or something like comfort eating. Once they know that the change is what they want and not something that’s imposed on them then results soon follow.
This can be a tricky mistake to counteract. In this “instant” society we all live in, people are looking for immediate solutions, regardless of how ingrained the problem might be in their psyche. It’s true, some issues can be easy to resolve. Perhaps someone looking to stop smoking can get the result they want after one session.
However, imaging a childhood trauma, which is continuing to impose itself on someone well into adulthood can be changed in one session is perhaps unrealistic. There can be years of embedded thoughts fighting to stay in control.
An associated mistake is that the therapist is simply “milking” the situation for financial gain. The easy counter to this is that therapists live on their reputation and work to the standards laid down by their governing bodies. In my case that’s the, British Society of Clinical Hypnosis, General Hypnotherapy Register and the Institute of Brain Working Recursive Therapy. Apart from the fancy words, therapists do what they do because they want to help people.
There is a really good analogy to dispel this mistake. Imaging going into your local travel agent and discussing your holiday requirements. You start with the dates, the type of accommodation, flights, activities, the transfer from the airport, the meals to be included etc. You’ve studied the brochures and been advised what might suit you and meet all your requirements. The travel agent has helped you put all this in place for you but the bottom line is you are the one going on holiday.
You are the one experiencing it. You are the one travelling to the destination, eating the meals and taking part in the activities. Take a moment to consider the travel agent, still in their office but still available if there is a last minute change so that you enjoy your holiday.
Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word to use in the context of therapy (though it can be) but the process is similar. The therapist helps and guides you through all the milestones of your issue so that you can get to where you want to be. The important point is that the client has to be involved and do whatever “homework” is suggested to help achieve the required outcome.
So, there you have three “mistakes” and my, possible, solutions to address them. However, whether it is with me or any other therapist, the client has to feel comfortable when speaking to them. It’s for that reason I always have an initial chat, usually over the phone.
This is so they can hear my voice, I can get an understanding of their issue and I can also address any of the possible “mistakes” they might have when thinking about undertaking therapy. That understanding will help direct the type of therapy I consider will produce the best results for the client. I do understand that some people can simply not undertake face to face therapy sessions for whatever reason and I would direct them to my self help audio courses as a good alternative.