Hypno-psychotherapy is an extension of hypnotherapy into the realms of psychotherapy, based on integrative theories.
It is utilised for deeper problems than would be addressed by someone purely qualified in hypnotherapy. Examples include depression and dealing with trauma or abuse.
A brief history
Unlike most comparable therapies, hypnotherapy measures its history not in years or decades but in centuries. The usually acknowledged forerunner of modem hypnotherapy, Franz Mesmer (1734- 1815), believed in the existence of a universal fluid, an imbalance of which caused illness. However, Mesmer’s contemporaries attributed his undoubted successes to his manipulation of a patient’s imagination. During the 19th century, this theme was followed by several doctors who used hypnosis successfully, not only to treat psychological illness but also as an anaesthetic for surgical operations.
Hypno-psychotherapy and hypnotherapy
Although the development of chemical anaesthetics displaced the use of hypnosis in surgery, and Freud’s use of psycho-analysis began to displace it in psychotherapy, the benefits and uses of hypnotherapy are such that it remains a popular and adaptive form of therapy. Hypnotherapy may be used on its own, as simple relaxation therapy, or it may be integrated with any of the great schools of psychological thought. This integrative approach, termed hypno-psychotherapy, has very wide therapeutic applications. If only simple relaxation therapy is required, then someone with a basic hypnotherapy training should be able to help. However, more complex emotional, psychological or physical problems require the help of a fully qualified hypno- psychotherapist who will have the skills to recognise and treat a wide range of disorders and conditions. Please note that on completion of the NCHP course you will be entitled to refer to yourself both as a hypnotherapist (to attract a certain market, e.g. those wishing to stop smoking), and a hypno-psychotherapist (to attract more complex cases)
The uses of hypno-psychotherapy
In addition to treating disorders of mood, thought or feeling, hypno-psychotherapy can help with a wide range of psychological problems including habit disorders, social difficulties such as lack of confidence, exam/driving test nerves, phobias, panic attacks and depression. It is also widely used for enhancing sporting performance, creativity, memory and concentration. Hypno-psychotherapy also has other clinical and medical applications including pre/post-operative treatments, anaesthesia and pain relief strategies. Many stress-related physical problems such as skin disorders, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome, also respond well to hypno-psychotherapy. Only a small selection of the many problems posed by our society and the way we live are mentioned here. There are many others which may be alleviated by hypnotherapy and they can be discussed with a qualified hypno-psychotherapy tutor.
A safe form of therapy
In the right hands, hypnotherapy is a safe and beneficial therapy. The NCHP will teach students how to take a client’s full medical, emotional and social history before deciding on a treatment strategy. There are some instances where the use of hypnosis is not recommended, or where it should only be used with care. A competent hypno- psychotherapist will be aware of such contra-indications and may recommend an alternative form of psychotherapy or modify their technique.
What the public are looking for
These days, the general public is ever more aware of what should be expected from a complementary medicine or psychotherapy practitioner. When they are looking for a reputable hypno-psychotherapist people will, increasingly, need to be assured that the practitioner has completed an accredited training and belongs to a recognised professional association which requires members to adhere to a Code of Ethics and carry appropriate insurance. The informed potential client will know that a well-regulated professional body should have a complaints procedure and will require members to be in ongoing supervision/peer supervision.
The trainings available
There is, currently, a wide range of hypnotherapy trainings available. These vary from correspondence courses, at one end of the continuum, through hypnotherapy trainings (of varying standards) through to thorough, integrated trainings in hypno-psychotherapy, with comprehensive coverage of the fundamentals of hypnotherapeutic techniques and various types of psychological approach such as Adlerian, Behaviourism, Ericksonian, Freudian, Gestalt, Rogerian and their modern equivalents. A good quality training will be externally accredited and recognised by one of the major independent bodies. The NCHP provides training which falls within this latter category and was, also, the first such college to be externally accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education. Other accreditations include the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the Institute for Complementary Medicine and the European Association for Hypno Psychotherapy.