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I would want to check if there were any hidden agendas, or secondary gains that would make treatment more difficult, and hypnosis probably unsuccessful. A hidden agenda will be their reason for maintaining a particular pattern or behavior, the secondary gain is a benefit that they may gain from maintaining that particular behavior. The problem is that most clients will not even be aware of their hidden agenda or secondary gain, when we help them realism them it will help us to treat them more effectively, and make them more self-aware.
If their secondary gain is stronger than their desire to change though, therapy will not be very successful, or change will be very short lived. An example is someone wishing to give up smoking to eave money, they may also smoke to keep their weight down, and their fear of being overweight far outweighs their desire to stop smoking or save money. What is motivating Mr. X? Mr. X may be depressed, I would check if this has been diagnosed or if he is already on medication for this as it he were I would not ethically be able to treat him, as described in the Hypnotherapy Society’s code of ethics governing ‘Good Quality of Care’.
If a person were depressed symptoms would include tiredness, lethargy and lack of energy or interest in any hobbies or interests, feeling semiotic, continually feeling sad, anxious, hollow and empty and feeling s of worthlessness. If Mr. X has problems forming relationships and maintaining them, and even communication, as he does not even know how his girlfriend feels about him or if they are properly ‘in a relationship’.
From speaking with him would hope to evaluate if I felt he was on the autism spectrum or suffers from Aspirer syndrome as these types of people are good at following routine and can function normally, buy would not active seek any change themselves as it would disrupt them and their functioning. Hypnosis for these people would have to be very literal so wording would have to be carefully looked at. People with speakers appear outwardly ‘normal’, but have difficulty expressing themselves emotionally and socially.
They find it difficult to make friends and maintain relationships, and interact in a way that we would. Sometimes they cannot imagine something that has not happened or they have not seen in a film, as their imagination can be limited to things that they know, or have experience of already. Mr. X feels safe in routine which is why he has worked in the same job for 18 years. He has a fear of rejection, has low self- esteem and feelings of low self- worth. I think these feelings have stemmed from his relationship with his mother; he says his mother picks on him, does not give him much respect or see him as successful.
This could have been brought about by his mother simply calling him stupid and telling him he would never amount to much when he was a child. If these things are constantly said they get into a person’s psyche and they end up believing them. His superiors must have faith in his ability to do the managers job as he has stood in for the manager hen he has been absent, if he were not capable and they did not trust in him they would not have done so. I would voice this to as he may have never heard this said, or even acknowledged it himself. This is positive reinforcement.
He has never had any of these negative beliefs voiced by people: that he is boring, not good enough for his girlfriend, not good enough for his mum. He has perceived them himself, if his girlfriend did not feel that he was not good enough for her she would leave him. I would ask what evidence, or beliefs he had to support these negative beliefs, has someone said something or looked t him a certain way or implied something to suggest and validate these fears in his opinion. I would ask him why he had come to these conclusions in the first instance.
What does he have to lose by not trying to move forward by taking each tiny step that he is avoiding? He could discuss marriage with his girlfriend in an indirect way asking what her thought on marriage were, and if she felt that one day they might get married. This would be a gentle way of seeing how she felt without putting any pressure on her, or risking direct rejection. If after assessment I had ascertained that we really needed to work with Mr. Ax’s self esteem, self confidence and not worrying so much what others think about him, would embark on a course of hypnotherapy treatment.
This would also be after confirming that he is not taking any prescription or recreational drugs and that he has not been diagnosed with depression or psychosis or any other contra indications. As a hypnotherapies, I am not ethically able to treat someone with depression, or taking medication for depression until I am fully qualified and they have provided me with a doctors note confirming that treatment is suitable or them.
I would start by rapport building and mirroring him as he seems like an anxious and quite nervous person, concerned with what I think about him, and appears quite fragile to any form of criticism ( that I of course do not give). After explaining how hypnotherapy works and what would happen in a session would advise him that we may be looking for a treatment time of 4 to six weekly appointments( usually at the same time and on the same day if this can be done).
He may be very suggestible and find that one session fills him with a new found inference, or it may take longer to build on his confidence and self- esteem through several sessions. This will depend on the relationship and trust between therapist and client, how good the therapist is and how suggestible the client is. Terms would be explained and verified with the client such as times for appointments, how long they would last, where to come, payment, and payment terms.
If the client could not afford six sessions, we would discuss what would be more reasonable to them and try to condense the sessions, starting with some waking hypnosis in the first session. This is where suggestions would be used in everyday conversation. Would be talking of him becoming more and more confident, and that he would soon start to have belief in his own abilities, and would look forward to hearing how he enjoyed his night out when he progresses and he asks his colleagues to go out on another night, or even joins them for a quick drink before heading off to see his mother.
I would tell him that each little step that he was making would make him feel more fulfilled, happy and content and the first important step that he made was coming to see me because he anted to make these positive changes and could see himself making these changes in the future. I would let him talk as much as he wishes about all of his issues, and how he feels he would like to progress with them, what steps he would feel comfortable making, anything he would be less comfortable with.
I feel that we need to work on issues of self- esteem, better communication, confidence and not fearing what people think of us. After each session I would like to ask Mr. X to try to do something slightly out of his comfort zone and see how it feels, this would be things like starting a conversation with people at work bout a different night out, or maybe trying to go out for an hour and visiting his mother slightly later, and seeing if this makes him feel more confident, and that he is taking more control of his own life.
If he starts making steps with his colleagues, hopefully he will start to feel liked and respected, and then have more confidence to go ahead with his application for the promotion. This should have a knock on effect with his confidence, and increase his levels of self- esteem and self- worth. I would plant lots of triggers in his hypnosis, so instead of feeling anxiety and no confidence in certain situations, he will instead take a breath in, feel calm and relaxed and realism that he is able to deal with any situation at any level.