Choosing a Hypnotherapist | Types of Hypnotherapy

choosing a hypnotherapistAn Overview of Hypnotherapy

A client recently told me that as she searched for a Hypnotherapist in Cheltenham, she found a number of different “flavours” of hypnotherapy. Not knowing the difference between them made her choice a little confusing. Thankfully we, as practitioners of hypnosis, are more than happy to provide free initial consultations in order to explain and educate people about what we do. That said, she told me it would be more useful to have a brief overview of the popular approaches to be found in Cheltenham. Although I am a solution focused hypnotherapist, I agreed to provide such an overview.

‘Hypnotherapy’ is a general term: the combination of psychotherapy and hypnosis. The word psychotherapy is just a fancy way of saying ‘talk therapy’ and it is in psychotherapy that we find the difference in our approaches. There are varying forms of ‘talk therapy’, ranging from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychoanalytical therapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), mindfulness and my personal favourite solution focused brief therapy.

So what’s the difference between our approaches?

Cognitive Hypnotherapy

This approach is best viewed as  the complete  tool kit . Cognitive hypnotherapy draws from multiple disciplines including CBT, positive psychology and NLP (to name a few). The idea here is to find out which set of tools works best for the client, then helping apply those tools throughout there life. The aforementioned tools are often procedural, meaning that in situation X be sure to do Y. This is supported via the use of hypnosis, which effectively trains the unconscious mind to deal with problem situations that may arise.


Although not based in hypnosis, mindfulness is worth discussing as meditation and hypnosis can be very similar. Mindfulness draws from a combination of CBT and Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness in its truest form is a training program (often 8 weeks long) where participants are trained to view the world in a non-judgmental way; fostering self acceptance and love. The participants are encouraged to meditate everyday while getting a sense of what’s happening in their minds (their self talk if you will).

Hypno-analytical Therapy (or Hypno-analysis)

Hypno-analysis works on the understanding that all problem behaviours (behaviour that a person wishes to change) are caused by a significantly emotional event in ones past (sometimes called a trauma) that interferes with someone’s life (causes problems) without them knowing why. The hypno-analyst will use hypnosis to uncover the root trauma causing the problem behaviour and alter the unconscious response to whatever causes it.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

Solution focused hypnotherapy is a combination of solution focused therapy and hypnosis. The underlying principle being that the client is the expert in their life and the therapist is like a private detective you ask to help uncover the greatness within you. Using tools collected from neurological research, solution focused therapy and hypnosis; we can help you get your life to where you want it to be. The primary difference between solution focused work (as the name would suggest) is our focus helps create a better future, rather than focusing on the past. It is in fact possible the do solution focused work without even talking about problems.

Final thoughts

What you have just read is meant to educate, but not influence your choice either way. All Hypnotherapists have their strengths. This article is simply designed to give you a little more information about what’s available in the world of hypnotherapy. Ultimately though, my best advice is do what my client did and shop around. If a therapy style appeals to you then book an initial consultation and find out if that style is best suited for you. Be sure to approach one of the regulatory bodies that exist, for advice and direction when Choosing a Hypnotherapist in your local area.

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