Not sure what to expect from a therapy session? Wondering how Solution-Focused Therapy can help you? Then this blog series explaining the key techniques of Solution-Focused Therapy is for you! Read on to find out how we use Deep Relaxation or Hypnotherapy to help empty your stress bucket.
Haven’t read about the Breakthrough Session in part 1 or What’s Been Good & the Miracle Question in part 2 yet? Then read it before delving deeper into part 3 of this series about solution-focused techniques.
Saying the words Deep Relaxation or Hypnotherapy may conjure up images of swinging pocket watches and making you cluck like a chicken. But in solution-focused work, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
You will have read in parts 1 and part 2 of this series that a lot of work needs to be done before we even mention relaxation techniques at all. It’s the combination of all of these techniques, working in a certain sequence, that makes the whole process so efficient and powerful. This is the solution-focused formula and I tailor it to your needs so you get the best out of it.
During the Miracle Question, you will have described an image of what would make you feel good. And once you’ve reassured me that you would feel really good about that you are ready for relaxation. The subconscious is ready to get to work while your conscious mind will drift away.
Up until now you will have been sitting upright and talking. We are now going to take some time to settle you down into a comfortable relaxed position. Occasionally, my clients prefer just to lean back in their chairs. But usually, they will take their laptop or device and settle themselves by lying down on their sofa or bed. As long as I can continue to see you during the relaxation phase, I am happy.
Using this actual physical change of space indicates to the brain that we are now changing modalities. Lots of work has been done but now it’s time to relax. After only a few sessions a lot of my clients just can’t wait for this next bit!
You will need a blanket to cover yourself because as you relax, your body temperature will drop. So, even during the summer months, I will insist you use the blanket. Then, I will play some music and take you through some guided relaxation techniques.
Oh, and you remember that recording I gave you to fall asleep to as your homework? Well, it will often be similar to that so that you can truly relax. By now, it will have become so familiar that you can just relax, completely and comfortably.
Deep Relaxation or Hypnotherapy
What I want you to experience here is a state of mind where you feel in control and yet you are deeply relaxed. Your mind will wander and you will begin to daydream. My voice will continue in the background and it may feel that you drift off and begin to get distracted from what I am saying.
But that really doesn’t matter. This state of mind has been described in the past by scientists as the ‘inner rehearsal mode’ or the ‘high-performance state.’
In fact, my clients that have made the quickest progress have even fallen asleep during relaxation. Snoring and rumbling tummies are common occurrences. And I love hearing those sounds as it indicates to me that you are truly relaxed.
The words I use to guide you, or language patterns as I call them, are all very indirect suggestions to help you feel better. I begin by taking you through physical relaxation, as you pay attention to your body from head to toe. Then some relaxing visualisations, walking through a garden maybe, sailing on a lake, or floating through a rainbow.
I will then continue with positive affirmations around what you are working on. For example, confidence, feeling in control or calming your thoughts. I finish with a short story which is often a metaphor. Historically, storytelling is a really useful tool to help you relax.
A familiar state of mind
Now you will have already experienced this state of mind before: Have you ever driven somewhere and forgotten parts of the journey? Or watched a good film and not realised that 2 hours have gone by? Well, Deep Relaxation or Hypnotherapy is much like that. If there had been an emergency you would have become alert. But during that time your attention was so focused on one thing, that all peripheral things fade into the background.
So, why are we doing this? When we experience this state of mind, after doing solution-focused work, the subconscious is working really hard. As well as emptying your stress bucket, it begins to communicate with all other parts of your brain. It is coming up with ideas that are suitable to you to change the way you think, feel and behave.
So, you don’t have to hang on to every word I say while you relax. I believe that you have all the answers inside you and you will come up with the solutions. In fact, if I directly told you what to do, you would become more alert again. And that means you are not experiencing the deep state of relaxation that is so beneficial during this process.
Once we have completed this exercise, I will ask you to gently ‘wake up’ and bring your awareness back fully, open your eyes and sit up. I’ll ask you to return to your original chair if you have been lying down. You won’t feel any different, just as if you’ve had a little nap, which often is true.
We will finish our session by arranging your next one if we don’t already have it booked in. I’ll always say that I look forward to hearing about ‘all the good things’ you will tell me about next week! Can you see how I’m setting you up for success? I will also remind you to keep doing your homework of falling asleep to the recording.
Setting you up for success
Over the course of the next few sessions, I will send you relevant online resources, books and stationery to help you journal. I’ll even send you a signed copy of my book, How to Empty Your Stress Bucket. I strongly believe that if you can take a few weeks to empower yourself in this way, you will create changes that are sustainable throughout your life.
You will begin to notice changes in your week. The change that I help you create occurs during the session. But you will reap the rewards in your normal, everyday life. And, for me, there is nothing more rewarding than that.
I hope that this series has given you an insight into how I do things. Obviously, it’s very difficult to include all the details here, so please do get in touch if you have any further questions. I need you to feel comfortable and trust me. There’s nothing secretive or mysterious about my work, I encourage you to ask any questions so that you feel reassured.
If you haven’t already, check out part 1: The Breakthrough Session and part 2: What’s Been Good & the Miracle Question of this series about Solution-Focused Therapy to get the whole picture.