Hypnotherapy is very satisfying work, most of the time, because the vast majority of people are easy to work with and respond positively. This usually happens straight away, but there will always be a number of clients whose success is delayed because their Subconscious mind has a problem with the proposed change that we are requesting, so it doesn't immediately comply. This is not a major problem because it can usually be talked round. Hypnotherapy is always a process of negotiation.
Positive responses come from the heart, and although it's very nice to be given all the credit for it and be frequently called a "miracle worker", it is not really a miracle and the truth is that I didn't really do the crucial part, which is the ACCEPTANCE of the proposed change. My job is to get the attention of the Subconscious mind and present the case for change. When people respond positively, the response comes from them - I can't accept the case for them. It is what they wanted: what they have Subconsciously accepted.
So what happens when they don't? Well, they call me up and say: "I'm still drinking!", or "I'm still scared of postboxes" or whatever, and I say "Come on back, there'll be a reason for this and I'm sure I can fix it." And then they come back, and I investigate. Negative responses to the first session are unusual and infrequent, and are usually down to a particular detail, so it's a complication rather than a failure. Nothing to worry about, easily fixed.
Just occasionally, though - about once every two years, on average - the sticking-point turns out to be the client's general negativity and bad attitude. There's an unwritten rule in the therapy business that you NEVER blame the client... not out loud, anyway... for a poor outcome and there's a lot to be said for that principle... except when there isn't. But as I say, this comes up so rarely that it almost doesn't matter at all.
I think that the real reason this hardly ever comes up in practice is that people who are generally negative and have a bad attitude almost never choose to have private therapy in the first place. Think about it: I'm sure you have known someone like this. Would they ever ring a hypnotherapist, or any kind of therapist? No, because they are convinced that the problem isn't THEM, it is always somebody else.
Anyone, in fact. Except them.
Now, if a new client were to be open about their negative, bitter or suspicious temperament, this isn't going to be a problem but they hardly ever are. Just recently, though, I met a guy that was. In fact the first thing he said to me after 'hello' was: "So how's this hypnotherapy supposed to work then?" but without even bothering to conceal the withering cynicism in his tone, as if I had claimed I could predict next week's winning lottery numbers or something. "Hm! That's a tad impolite!" I thought, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt before informing him, some twenty minutes later, that I wasn't prepared to proceed with the session because he wasn't going to respond positively. No charge, of course.
This is something I hardly ever need to do. In fact I didn't NEED to do it then, I just preferred to because I didn't like the guy. That's also something we're not supposed to say, but it's true, he was giving off more negative vibes than a traffic accident and I didn't want him around, especially as he was regarding me the way you might regard a person who was trying to cheat you out of your life savings.
He was not best pleased. But then he was not best pleased before he arrived so that was nothing to do with me. And rather like the last person I dismissed in this way, many years before, he seemed extra annoyed about the fact that, now, he wouldn't get to ring up later and complain, call me a fraud, demand his money back and write a nasty review - just as he had already planned if the result was as negative as he expected it to be.
Trouble is, negative people with a bad attitude aren't usually that open about it when you first meet them. They pretend to be normal, and act like they've just come to stop smoking or lose weight, and never mention the fact that since Dave slept with the babysitter, they've been properly insane and would still somehow manage to be suspicious and pissed off if you gave them a fifty pound note. Then, when they don't respond positively at all to the same process that nearly everybody else responds positively to, they ring up and angrily complain, refuse the offer of a free session to put things right - a dead giveaway - then demand their money back, saying they "feel cheated", but without acknowledging the fact that they've actually felt cheated ever since Dave slept with the babysitter, and then, whether you decide to refund them or not - so, don't - write a nasty review anyway, where their negativity and bad attitude sticks out like a sore thumb because it's the exact opposite of what everybody else is saying about the same therapist.
They also describe their experience of the second half of the session in a way that proves that they weren't listening to what I told them in the first half.
So if you are a person who already feels cheated by life, is angry at the world or so bitter that even a HGV loaded with honey would not be enough to sweeten you, please don't ring me - UNLESS you want to have therapy over what Dave did, because if we don't sort that out first, we might encounter a hitch with the other thing.
The Subconscious mind, you see, has its own agenda, and top of that agenda is what matters to you most in your heart of hearts. Stopping smoking or losing weight are issues that might well matter to that person, but on an emotional (Subconscious) level, nowhere near as much as what Dave did with the babysitter. So if the REAL issue is something I don't even know about, there's a chance that my proposal about a lesser issue will simply be ignored, because the Subconscious is so busy being angry about Dave that it just doesn't feel like being positive about ANYTHING!
Now, this doesn't mean that such a client cannot use hypnotherapy to stop smoking. They just can't use it to stop smoking first. They need the Big Thing fixing first, that's all. We can take care of the smoking later. In theory. In practice, by the time I've sussed out that the Big Thing isn't smoking, they've already written the bad review! Hey ho.
Normal people who just want rid of a habit: ring this number: 0161 474 8120 (Office Hours) , or call/text any time, any day on 07748 838 644.
Consultant hypnotherapist Chris Holmes is Director of Central Hypnotherapy Stockport, South Manchester and has been helping all but a tiny few of the people of Stockport, Cheshire, Manchester and Tameside to respond positively to hypnotherapy since August 2000.