Is Hypnosis The Answer To Everything?

The other day I was catching up with an old friend from a long time back, who was raving about Transactional Analysis (TA. He’d just recently trained in it and he didn’t know how deeply involved with hypnosis I am (that’s how old a friend he is!).

Every time I mentioned any kind of problem, or even anything about members of my family or friends, out it would come. “Ah!” he’d say knowingly. “They were in parent mode, rather than adult mode you see…” and off he’d go again.

Now I find the theory behind Transactional Analysis as interesting as the next person, maybe more so because I’m fascinated by any approach to human psychology, how our brains work, and anything that tries to explain the human condition. But the problem for me was that he was saying TA was the answer to absolutely everything.

No other form of psychology or therapy or philosophy was given the time of day, and would have been regarded as inferior by him anyway. He was so over the top about it that I started to use my “relax and stay calm” anchor to prevent me from actually throwing him out the nearest window! (OK, that’s an exaggeration – but you get the idea!)

Hypnosis Isn’t The Only Game In Town

In my experience it’s a common problem though. Many therapists train in a particular discipline. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s particularly popular today and well regarded in medical circles. But there are all sorts of other mind-therapies too, most of them perfectly respectable and extremely useful; Jungian psycho-analysis; Rogerian therapy; NLP; Time Line Therapy; Gestalt therapy; Life Coaching; even Freud’s psychodynamic therapy still has its place… I could go on, and on.

My point is that people who train in each of these therapies often come to the conclusion that their particular therapy is the be all and end all – the answer to everything. But the human race is made up of individuals. What if you go and see a Gestalt therapist, and it just doesn’t seem to work for you?

Or maybe you just don’t like the philosophy and approach? You probably just don’t go back. Or if you’re determined to sort something out, maybe you’ll go and find a different therapist.

Personally I think the best therapists I’ve seen in action are those that have trained in several different disciplines and can offer a range of approaches. They should be able to gauge what will most likely work for you, and use a mixture of approaches and techniques tailored to you as an individual.

I know there’s still a place for specialists who have trained for years and become real experts in a particular field, to a level that a “Jack of all trades” couldn’t hope to master. And a good all round therapist should be able to recognize when a client could do with that level of specialism and refer them on. That’s what I think anyway. I know there’ll be some of you out there that probably disagree with me on this – hey it’s a free world.

But where does hypnosis fit in with this? Are we hypnotists just as bad, declaring that hypnosis is the way forward for absolutely everyone? Maybe some of us are. I know I’m sometimes guilty of evangelizing about hypnosis to the point of boring the pants off someone if I’m not careful, but the way I see it, there’s one big difference between hypnosis and a lot of the therapy approaches available out there. And that’s the fact that hypnosis isn’t a philosophy or a mode of thought, or an approach to the human condition – IT’S A TOOL within your toolbox!

That’s all. It’s a mighty powerful tool, but it’s still just a tool. And what’s fantastic is that it’s such a versatile tool it can be used to enhance virtually every therapeutic process out there. It can make so many psychotherapies much more powerful, more effective and work so much faster.

Enhancing Other Modalities with Hypnosis

So in a way, maybe I am saying hypnosis is the answer to everything! I firmly believe that if all therapists (dare I say all health professionals?) were trained to use hypnosis effectively, every single form of therapy would be hugely enhanced, to say nothing of much better value for money!

Hey – maybe I’m just as bad as that old friend of mine. Am I annoying you yet? The difference (I hope) is that I’m not saying that hypnosis is better than other forms of therapy. I respect most kinds of therapy on offer out there, and I think there’s a whole army of people doing a great job.

I’d just love them all to be able to do it even better with this amazing tool that we call hypnosis. And to be fair, as hypnotists I think we could probably all benefit from some training in some carefully selected psycho-therapeutic approaches, allowing us to offer a deeper level of support and understanding to our clients when it’s appropriate.

So maybe what I’m saying is “Hypnosis – not the answer to everything, but part of the answer to everything!” What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.