There are so many different types of hypnotherapy treatment – how do you decide which would be best for you?

3 Basic Types of Hypnotherapy

If you have been looking into the possibility of having treatment, you will have noticed many different types of hypnotherapy available (for example; curative, clinical, evidenced-based, cognitive, eclectic) as well as those which diversify into or include other therapies (NLP, EFT, CBT or counselling for example).

When someone says they are an engineer, you know to ask more; to find out whether they may be a mechanical engineer, electrical, genetic or domestic engineer – all very different jobs. The same applies to hypnotherapists. We may all use a version of hypnosis, but we utilise the tool in various ways, to differing degrees and with different aims or purposes.

In an attempt to help you to decide which kind of hypnotherapy interests you, so you can channel your investigation more easily, I have divided the most common therapeutic directions into what I see to be three main categories – the what, the when and the why:


Treatment that focuses on

  • what you are feeling – the symptom you currently experience,
  • what you want to change,
  • what ways these feelings can be managed or dealt with when they arise.


Treatment that focuses on

  • when the symptom or condition started,
  • when was the first time you experienced these feelings,
  • when they cause most difficulty for you and ways of managing these situations


Treatment that focuses on

  • why situations cause you to react differently from most other people,
  • why you reacted to past events by carrying the experience with you,
  • why life event(s) have left these effects within you,
  • why feelings, situations, memories or events continue to affect your life.

Cognitive or suggestion-based hypnotherapy, along with those that deal more with the conscious, analytical, thinking mind can provide quick results with the ‘what‘ – the focus being more on speed of change rather than lasting effects.

Therapy which deals more on a subconscious level (often termed clinical or analytical hypnotherapy) is used to deal with the ‘Initial Sensitising Event’ or trigger incident (the ‘when‘), perhaps helping a person to come to terms with past traumas or experiences; to gain a different perspective, to understand or deal with the effects of certain life events.

When a person knows what triggers a symptom or knows their thought patterns or behaviour are unhelpful but are still unable to change them or the symptom occurs so frequently that managing each episode is simply too exhausting, then it may be more efficient to deal with the ‘why‘, to find out why a person reacted to certain life events by developing a symptom or condition.  This is Curative Hypnotherapy or LCH.

Differences Explained

To try to explain the differences between the effects of these hypnotherapy modalities, let’s use just one symptom as an example. Let’s imagine a person attends for treatment suffering with negative thoughts.  Such a way of thinking can have serious impact on their confidence, self-esteem, self-assurance and can eventually lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia or social phobia. While some clients will respond well to the use of affirmations and positive self-talk, others find this exacerbates the negativity. Logically, they know that the only reason they are having to use these positive messages is because there is a problem there, so such affirmations only serve to reinforce the fact that things are not as they should be.

Talking through the times in their life when they have experienced particular feelings or negative emotion can enable them to put those particular events to rest, so that the effects of those individual situations have less effect on the present.  Some hypnotherapists may use visualisation (creative imagination) to enable a person to revisit, review or ‘reframe’ those memories in one way or another, to reduce the effect it has been having.

In contrast, LCH treatment focuses on identifying and reinterpreting the incorrect Core Beliefs which caused the individual to react to those situations so strongly, and so enables the effects of all the dozens or perhaps hundreds of reinforcing events to be automatically and swiftly neutralised.

Subsequent to that correction/reinterpretation, a person does not have to work to think positively, does not need to spend time altering their outlook or challenging their viewpoint.  One does not need to correct something that is not wrong, so without negative thoughts being created by the subconscious, there is no need to work at thinking positively – they are free to effortlessly get on with the contented, peaceful life they deserve.

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