Do You Make These Same Mistakes With NLP & Hypnosis?
Or… “The Top 14 Hypnotherapy & NLP Mistakes”
In keeping with my recent theme (See The # 1 Mistake Hypnosis Practitioners Make–and How To Avoid It), I thought I’d go over the top mistakes I’ve seen people in the hypnosis field make (me included).
Of course, these are just my opinions. Here we go…
# 14: Using scripts
I don’t think scripts are evil, I just think they are what people do when they can’t think of anything better. An hypnosis session to me, is more like a conversation than a monologue. C’mon people. You don’t script conversations because you don’t know how the other person is going to respond! Scripts are (at best) guesses at what drives a particular issue. It is an order of magnitude more effective to find out what drives that particular individual and speak to their specific needs.
Just as an example, I’ve seen studies that indicate hypnosis CDs (in general–not a specific set of hypnosis CDs) are about 22% effective for smoking cessation. Before you scoff at that, that’s substantially better than the success rates I’ve seen for any of the nicotine replacement therapies. However, an individualized smoking cessation protocol can be 80% or more effective! If you’re reading from a canned script, how much better is it than a CD?
Although sometimes you can get an idea of how to approach a specific issue with a script, I have never used a script in a session. So why do so many hypnotherapists use scripts in their practice? It’s…
# 13: Lack of confidence
I see it over and over again. People that are scared to do hypnotherapy–even though they’ve been doing it for years! They use scripts because they’re not confident in their ability to formulate suggestions themselves. They are not confident with their inductions so they use progressive relaxation and hope the client is in hypnosis. They don’t test their work because they’re afraid it didn’t work.
What should you do if that’s you? Go to a hypnotist, of course. Pay for it! If you can’t afford it, I’ll bet you have friends in the biz that can trade with you.
#12: Being issue focused rather than process focused
Have you ever worked with someone without knowing what it is they want to change? It’s eye opening. It can go something like this…
Therapist: “So there’s a situation in which you’d like to respond differently? One where you don’t like the way you feel or act?”
Therapist: “So, in this situation, how would you like to feel?” (Therapist sees client shift and go into a more resourceful emotional state)
Therapist: “Good, as you take a deep breath, just allow that positive feeling to grow stronger.” (Client looks even more resourceful, therapist anchors the feeling).
Therapist: “What would happen, if you went through that situation with these (fires off anchor) positive feelings in your body, as a way of being?”
Client: “Wow, that’s different!”
Therapist: “Thanks for coming in.”
That’s working in process rather than content. It’s when you focus on the process the client is going through (specific situation triggers bad feeling) rather than the content (boss says the TPS reports are due and client feels anxious). Most stuff we work with can be greatly simplified if we look at it in a process way. If you look at it in a content way, you’ll be thinking “I don’t have a script for TPS anxiety. What do I do?”
Besides, when we focus on content rather than process, it can result in us…
# 11: Getting caught up in the story
Recently, in The # 1 Mistake Hypnosis Practitioners Make–and How To Avoid It, I wrote a blog post about how many hypnotists don’t take control of their sessions. I used as an example, someone who wrote me about having a problem with an induction. A lot of people seemed to think the point of the post was about inductions. That’s getting caught up in the story.
Getting caught up in the story has several drawbacks…
* It takes longer because it takes time to listen to the story
* The story the client has may be a rationalization as opposed to what’s really going on
* Your life will suck because you’re listening to horrible stories a lot
* When listening to the client’s story, it’s easy for us to find ourselves….
# 10: Going into ‘advice’ mode
Michael Bennett tells a story about an NLP training he was assisting in many years ago. The students went off to do an exercise in groups and when they returned were asked about their experiences. One group said they’d had a really good session. They were working with someone who had a problem being organized. They put their heads together and decided the ‘client’ needed to buy an organizer.
That’s advice–not NLP or hypnosis. The thing is, most people that come to us for help have tried many other things first. One way of looking at it is, they’ve tried to work at it consciously; but that’s not where patterns and habits are controlled. Probably 98% of all advice (including self-help books) is aimed at the conscious mind. By the time clients come to us, they’ve most likely already had a ton of advice thrown at them and it hasn’t worked. What makes you think your advice is any better?
So, we take a different approach. We work with the unconscious mind to work with habits and behaviors. That’s how we’re different.
Let’s look at another example. Do you know what to do to lose weight? Sure. You eat less, eat better food and increase your activity. Everybody knows that. So why doesn’t everybody do that? Because their eating habits and choices are largely unconscious.
More next time in Part II…