Cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy adheres to the tenet that hypnosis is an increased susceptibility to suggestion, i.e. hyper suggestibility, but this does not necessarily correspond to any particular neurological condition. A hypnotic reaction occurs due to a combination of natural psychological functions and physiological processes. Suggestibility is a cognitive state, in which a positive attitude is crucial for success. The success of hypnotherapy depends to a large extent on factors such as trust, expectations and motivation, which help to foster a good rapport between the hypnotist and the client. Therefore, each client must find a specialist whom they can trust. This is one of the main conditions for successful therapy.
After just a few sessions of hypnosis and therapeutic conversations, I came to understand that my allergic reaction was directly related to my thoughts. I began to apply some techniques and strategies which helped me to control these thoughts. Now, for the first time in many years, I have no breathing difficulties in the presence of dogs or cats.”
Cognitive anxiety therapy is based on a “cognitive model,” which states that our thoughts and beliefs determine our emotional responses to dangerous situations. Cognitive therapy is usually short term. It focuses on the here and now, the current situation and patterns of the client’s thinking. Sure, the past is important, but it is secondary to the client’s current situation.
Behavioural therapy uses methods that allow you to rehearse healthier behaviour at a session and then try to implement this behaviour in life. The combination of cognitive and behavioural therapy led to the development of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). The core principle of CBT is that our thinking largely determines how we react to things. CBT is based on an active-policy common sense approach. This means that the therapist will seek to intervene by giving ‘homework’ to the client or giving instructions, and not simply interpret or reflect on things in a “non-directive” manner. Psychotherapists working in CBT argue that understanding usually occurs as a result of changes in behaviour, and not vice versa. If the client waits for some deep insights before they change their behaviour, they might as well just wait forever.
Common sense suggests that it is easier to understand our problems when we have moved forward and created some emotional distance from them; not while we are still close to them, when our view is often clouded by our own negative emotions. Many people spend their lives dwelling on the painful experience of their problems and compulsively trying to understand their inner meaning; for these individuals, reflection is actually a form of avoidance behaviour that does not allow them to take the practical steps necessary to make things better.
Cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) is a combination of cognitive-behavioural therapy and hypnosis. Meta-analysis of various studies has shown a 70% improvement in the outcome of CBT when combined with the use of hypnosis. This area involves self-help client training. This may be self-hypnosis, relaxation techniques, thought stopping or other behavioural tasks. Hypnosis is not magic: some problems are solved quickly; some require regular effort on the client’s part. For example, to remove chronic muscle cramps that have accumulated over the years, sometimes you need to do relaxation exercises regularly and for a certain period of time. The main goal of cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy is to replace the influences of negative and unproductive self-advice with effective and positive ones, using various combinations of hypnotic, cognitive and behavioural strategies.