How Hypnotherapy and Counselling Complement Each Other

You may be familiar with hypnotherapy and counselling as separate therapies. Both are helpful ways of working through your problems and achieving your goals. Despite their similarities in that respect, they are of course two different types of therapy.

Hypnotherapy and counselling are both talking therapies in their own right. Hypnotherapy involves being put into a trance state and your subconscious mind opening up to the positive suggestions that the therapist plants. Counselling involves discussion with your therapist to explore and work through your issues, eventually coming to your own resolutions. Hypnotherapy seeks to influence the subconscious mind, whereas counselling works with the conscious. Within counselling, there are many approaches, and indeed in hypnotherapy there are multiple methods and techniques too, but we’ll look at both therapies as a whole for now.

Despite the clear differences between hypnotherapy and counselling, the two therapies are also linked. Hypnotherapy has an element of counselling skills in its use, while many counsellors use hypnosis in their work. The Chrysalis diploma course teaches hypnotherapy in Year 1 and counselling in Year 2 and Year 3. Sometimes students question why that is and say they are more interested in counselling than hypnotherapy. That’s often because hypnotherapy is an unknown and there are so many myths and misconceptions that surround it. However, hypnotherapy is a valuable, powerful tool and, once on the course, many students embrace its benefits and understand why it’s placed in Year 1 before the focus shifts to counselling.

That is because hypnotherapy and counselling complement each other nicely. Counselling skills are used in hypnotherapy, and hypnotherapy has a part to play in counselling too with practitioners who are open to its users and clients who will benefit from the dual approach. Hypnotherapy is often about helping clients to change their behaviours, with counselling having more a focus on self-understanding, self-acceptance and resolution. By using hypnotherapy and counselling together, the two-pronged approach can help clients to break old habits, mindsets and ways of thinking, while also improving self-esteem and helping clients to be happier and mentally healthier.

So, how do hypnotherapy and counselling complement each other?

Looking at hypothetical cases, a client could be seeing a therapist due to unresolved past trauma. Counselling will benefit the client by providing a safe space for exploration and discussion of the trauma to take place. The therapist will use questioning to help the client think about the trauma and explore how it has made them feel. The client will be able to share what happened and where they would like to get to. For example, the client may wish to get to a point where they no longer have flashbacks to what happened or to a point where they no longer feel angry about what happened. Counselling can facilitate that healing process.

Hypnotherapy would play a part by using hypnosis to help the client to relax and access their subconscious mind where all of our experiences are filed away. It may be that regression would be a tool used by the therapist. That would involve the therapist using hypnosis to take the client back to the point in time when they first experienced the trauma. Questioning and suggestions can then be used to heal the trauma in the past in a way that carries through to the present day. Once the hypnosis has finished, counselling can then continue in a discussion-based way.

That’s a simplified explanation of how hypnotherapy and counselling could work together, but it certainly gives a flavour for how the two therapies complement each other.

Hypnotherapy and counselling can indeed go hand in hand. It’s a good thing to have different therapies and techniques in your therapist toolbox so that you can utilise the best form of treatment for your client.

If you're interested in learning how to become a hypnotherapist or a counsellor then see our guides on how to become a hypnotherapist and how to become a counsellor.

Here you can find the 10 key benefits of counselling.