When you start therapy, you want it to succeed. That is why you made the effort to attend therapy, and are willing to discuss how your situation can improve.
Therapists also want therapy to succeed – that is why they work as therapists. It is wonderful to be told by a former client that their issue is now resolved, and they may even provide one or two referrals as well. It’s good for business to help clients succeed.
However, some factors can make it more likely that the therapy may fail, or not succeed as well as it it could. The good news is that they are all within your control.
Factors that help therapy succeed (or fail)
Therapy (whether it is hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, or life coaching) works best when you get involved with the process. Think and consider the answers to any questions that the therapist asks you. They can prompt you to uncover aspects that you may not have realised before. You are the expert in your own life, and the expert in what you want from it. The therapist will help as much as they can, but you are a partner in the process!
Related to the point above, be willing to talk about your feelings and thoughts. Be honest, and say it like it is, not as you believe you should think and feel. This requires you to trust your therapist, and feel comfortable with them. Many therapists offer a free phone conversation to find out if their approach suits you, and you can use this to check that you can relate to them and work with them.
Be willing to change
Change can be scary, but a good therapist will help you work out what you want, and help you create a plan for change – a roadmap – to get you where you want to be in life. They will also support, encourage, and challenge you when required.
Be prepared for homework or tasks between sessions, as therapists often ask you to do this. It could be as simple as listening to a hypnotherapy recording between appointments. There can also be other tasks between appointments, which would have been discussed with your therapist. As an example, if you are seeking help for social anxiety, you might agree with your therapist that you are going to speak to one new person per day until your next appointment.
It will probably take more than one session
Realise that it will probably take more than one session for the full results to be seen. Typically, hypnotherapy can take 3 to 6 sessions to show full results (sometimes more, sometimes fewer). However, very importantly, you should notice a positive change after each session. Be aware of the shiny allure of the ‘single session cure’, and also aware that if an issue has taken years to develop, it will probably take more than an hour to fully resolve.
Therapy is to empower you
Be aware that therapy has an end. The aim is to empower you to act differently in specific situations, realise that you do not need a substance to which you were addicted, change a habit, etc.
The therapist should be able to provide a plan of what will be covered in therapy, and agree with you the point at which therapy will stop. This could be (e.g.) when you can feel confident giving a presentation at work, when you have stopped smoking, when you can sleep through the night, or when you can relax when stressful events happen in your life.
Lisa Billingham is a qualified hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and NLP Practitioner. She is an HCA Registered Hypnotherapist and Member of the Australian Hypnotherapists Association. She works from offices in North Beach and Joondalup, Western Australia.
If you would like to discuss if a hypnotherapy session could help you, or simply wish to find out more information, please phone or email her on 0403 932311 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All with no obligation.