The Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

The Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

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What is Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy?

Overview of a Solution-Focused approach to therapy and the issues that may be addressed.



Clinical Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy is based on the philosophy of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and, as the title suggests, is concerned with addressing the solution rather than the problem. It can be very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, phobias and depression as well as many other issues.


The approach uses the Miracle Question which encourages the client to contemplate, verbalise and consider what would be different to their present situation.  Insoo Kim Berg (1998) co-founder of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and her team experimented with the Miracle Question after listening to a client struggling to respond to straight-forward questioning. The Miracle Question enables the client to imagine what would be different for them on waking if a miracle had happened in relation to the problem while they had been sleeping.


As well as the Miracle Question, Clinical Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy also uses scaling, which allows the client to consider where they believe they are at that point in time with their issue, so providing both the client and the therapist with a ‘frame of reference’ which can be worked with to establish movement forward or backward and to map progress as the therapy progresses.


Clinical Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy recognises that each person is unique and the care and attention provided is, therefore, specific to the client’s needs. The goals set and the support offered is tailored to deliver help to the client to enable them to achieve their solution. The therapy offers the client a secure environment and is delivered in a positive and constructive way so as to encourage and help facilitate change, which the client can then evaluate the effectiveness of for themselves. 


We all have an inborn drive to develop and reach our maximum potential, whatever that might be, and Clinical Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy addresses the solution to help the client reach their potential by working with them on positive outcomes rather than reviewing the problem. Focusing on the solution helps the client follow different and new thinking pathways that create a more constructive and positive solution-focused alternative to previous thinking. 


This new thinking framework offers the client a sense of self and greater awareness of the ability to maximise their potential by taking the opportunity to mentally reframe their thinking to attain optimum health and wellbeing.  During the therapy sessions the client is in control and fully involved in setting their own goals.  As they progress and move up the scale they can recognise, acknowledge and assess their own progress towards their goals, which helps to motivate and uplift them.


The key to Clinical Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy is that it involves and encourages the client to participate firstly by identifying where they feel they are with the problem or issue and then by working with the therapist to find their own solution so that they, the client, can move on with life.




Nelson T S, Thomas F N (Eds), 2007, Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, USA, (The Haworth Press) Routledge.


Griffin J and Tyrrell I, 2007, Human Givens A new approach to emotional health and clear thinking, Great Britain, HG Publishing



Posted: Friday 2nd February 2018

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