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Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)

| Therapy Information | 04/07/2012

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is a combination of cognitive, behavioural and hypnotic interventions. CBH is the abbreviation used to refer to the incorporating of clinical hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques and strategies. The combination of the two most widely researched and most effective therapeutic techniques maximises the therapeutic outcomes.

Psychological and emotional difficulties are found to emerge from negative, unhelpful and destructive cognitions. When we use the word cognition, we are referring to mental activity, which can be represented in words. This includes thoughts, attitudes, ideas, beliefs etc. To find a valuable solution for a difficulty it is essential to assess how the problem functions. The current cognitions, information-processing, problematic thinking patterns and behaviours are monitored, assessed and altered through CBH.

The emphasis in CBH is on the ‘here and now’; on the current cognitions and behavioural responses. CBH is an evidenced based approach. Therapeutic interventions, which focus on the past, looking and waiting for ‘insight’ to emerge through hours of talking through past incidents and experiences, viewed as merely an excuse for procrastination. This approach can frequently serve to disempower clients as one is constantly focusing on past reflections and negative unhealthy thoughts, with these responses becoming part of their identity accompanied by an increased chance of relapse. While CBH recognises that the past is important, it takes second place to the ‘here and now’. Symptoms and roots are viewed as thoroughly interwoven, pull one thread; we are pulling all the others.

The rationale for including hypnosis…

Hypnosis enables the focusing and sustaining of attention on suggestions. In other words, the client focuses attention on the realistic and helpful suggestions. These suggestions are alternative ways of thinking and processing circumstances and events. Suggestibility is increased in hypnosis therefore, the client is therefore, less likely to become distracted and is consequently more responsive to the CBT techniques, there in lays the central rationale for combining hypnosis with CBT. It is extraordinarily powerful.

Notably, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH), it is not emphasising the ‘power of positive thinking’. CBH acknowledges that positive thinking in itself is insufficient. CBH is a constructive approach, recognising and working on the individual’s unique version and perspective on their reality. This reality which the individual has lived with, which has gone unquestioned and has lent itself to psychological distress. The clients processing of information and biases in perception uncovered, monitored, altered to develop more productive, healthy patterns in thinking. This results in one achieving relief from symptoms (e.g. stress, anxiety, fear, anger, panic), freedom from habitual behaviours, developing psychological resilience, well – being and long term gains.

Author:

Amanda Walsh

Psychologist and Clinical Hypnotherapist
MBPsS, DHCBT, GQHP, MNCH (Lic.), GHR (Reg), DPsCP Hons O.U., BA Hons N.U.I.G

Northwest Therapy and Hypnosis,

IPI Centre,
Breaffy Road,
Castlebar,
Co. Mayo.

Phone: 083 4147013
Email: info@therapyandhypnosis.ie
Web: http://www.therapyandhypnosis.ie/

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