Updated: Mar 17
Each of us is unique, yet we have a great deal in common too. These similarities enable psychologists to develop therapies that work for almost anyone. The skill lies in applying the therapy to suit individual needs.
Hypnotherapy deals with the intricacies of your psychology – of who YOU are, your mind, and your emotions. Yet, like all therapies, it is based on principles that are true for everyone. Understanding some of these ideas is a fantastic way to prepare yourself before embarking on hypnotherapy.
My approach to hypnotherapy and life coaching is based on the Five Ericksonian Principles. Find out more about my services here.
Who was the Grandfather of Hypnotherapy and Solution Focused Therapy?
Dr Milton Erickson was an American psychiatrist and psychologist who specialised in medical hypnosis through the late 1900s. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and is well known for his work with the subconscious mind.
Erickson's healing abilities were world famous, and he was widely regarded as a wonder-worker. He understood the potential of the subconscious to be creative, and its ability to come up with solutions that the conscious mind can't.
His brilliant work lay the foundation for neurolinguistic programming, as well as solution-focused brief therapy, which concentrates more on current goals than on past experience.
The Five Key Principles of Solution Focused Therapy
Read my explanation of each one of Erickson's principles to understand the foundation of our sessions together. Ask yourself how each of these is true for you and your situation.
1. Everyone is OK: Human beings everywhere are basically OK!
You do not need fixing because you are not broken. You are a whole, capable and worthwhile human being.
If you feel inadequate, helpless or emotional, it's likely because of the beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. We often carry our behaviour or beliefs from the past into the future. But remember that something that was useful in the past might no longer be useful now. In every new situation you have the option to do something different. You are always free to start afresh, with new thoughts, beliefs and purpose.
2. Everyone has real resources: You have many more resources than you know!
The subconscious mind is intelligent and has all the information you need. You have already developed skills that you can apply in new situations. Perhaps you just haven't tapped into the possibilities yet.
3. Everyone has a positive intention: Even if a positive intention is hidden, it can quickly be found.
Every behaviour and every feeling is meaningful, and there can be good reasons behind a negative habit or behaviour. For example, smoking could be about belonging: the smoker wants to enjoy a positive social experience with a good friend who also smokes. So the positive intention is to fulfil a fundamental need. If a behaviour no longer serves you, I can help you find a better way to fulfil your needs.
4. Everyone does their best: You make your best choices each day with what you know about life so far.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing! With the wisdom of today, we often look back with regret, wishing we had made different choices. This is because we have gained wisdom by making ‘mistakes’, even though they seemed like the right decisions at the time. We only do our best each day with what we know about life so far.
5. Change is inevitable: No matter how difficult, we learn, we grow, and we change. In this way, our acorn becomes an oak tree.
The past is not the same as the future. You are not the same person you were yesterday. Nothing stays the same. Everything is always changing. While some changes are brought upon us, others we create ourselves.
These principles form a sound basis for change towards a happier, healthier life. If they resonate with you, get in touch with me for a free Q&A consultation. We will talk about your current situation and the role that hypnotherapy can play as you seek to transform your life.