Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Stages of Therapy

(This blog was originally posted on December 14, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

As a certified hypnotherapist, I work with clients to help them achieve their personal vocational and avocational self-improvement goals (Business and Professions Code 2908). In today’s blog I outline the (general) stages of the therapeutic process.* Please note that this description does not outline the specific number of hypnotherapy sessions each client receives or must receive to achieve the stated goal. Rather, it outlines certain behavior patterns that may be observed over time during the duration of hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is part of every hypnotherapy session.

  • Defensiveness. The client may be defensive or subconsciously resist changing the previous behavior(s).

  • Increased openness. Over time, the person becomes slightly less rigid or reluctant to address the stated goals. He or she also starts to talk more about other people and events.

  • Avoidance. The individual may talk about or refer to the self by using more objective or even detached terms and avoid discussing present events.

  • Opening up. The client begins to share or talk about deep feelings and may develop a close relationship with the therapist. As I explained in my blog titled Secondary Relationships, the hypnotherapist’s role in a client’s life is to use tools such as hypnosis and guided imagery to help the individual achieve vocational or avocational self-improvement goals. Therefore, to prevent transference and counter-transference in my hypnotherapy practice, I establish strong professional boundaries around the therapeutic relationship that I have with each client.

  • The beginning of personal growth. As the person starts to express his or her emotions, he or she starts to make decisions (behaviors) and accept responsibility for personal actions.

  • Self-Actualization. This is characterized by greater empathy and the client’s ability to deal with situations in the “here and now.” A caveat: When a person grows this way, the romantic partner will also grow and catch up with these new values or the relationship may end. For more information about Family Systems, I invite you to read my blog titled The Systems Approach in Hypnotherapy.

*Hypnosis is performed during every hypnotherapy session, throughout the therapeutic process

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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