Some might say it is due to the high amount of poor quality training in the field of hypnotherapy, others may suggest that it is the massive amount of hypnosis script books that are available, others may well think it is the sheer lack of belief hypnotherapists have in their own skills… Whatever the reason or cause, the truth remains that the field of hypnotherapy has far, far too many scripnotists.

What is scriptnonsis? What is a scriptnotist?

It is whereby the hypnotherapist simply reads a script to their client.

Let me explain why I personally have issues with this:

Firstly, if you are reading a script, you are not fully engaged and connected with your client. You miss tiny nuanaces and reactions when you read. More importantly though, it is surely your responsibility (as a hypnotherapist) to ensure the client has your highest regard and you are being respectful and attentive enough to observe what is going on.

Secondly, anyone could read to another person. Where is the skill and understanding in just reading your intervention to a client? They are paying for this. Often a lot of money too. They could pay anyone to read to them!

I mean if someone is going to read a script, they may as well just play an audio recording for the client to listen to and go and have a cup of tea. In fact, to save the client the effort of even coming to your office, why not just tell them to buy one of my audio programmes?The vast majority of the script books out there do not explain the rationale behind the process in the script, in fact the vast majority of them are just plain direct suggestion… And if you are not able to do that for yourself, then when does that say about you as a hypnotherapist? In any other profession, do you think people deserve to succeed if they cannot do the basics of their job?

The reason that clients invest time and money in coming to see a professional hypnotherapist is because they want the personal attention, they want the expertise, they want the depth of skill, the relationship with that professional… They do not seriously want someone to read to them!

As a hypnotherapist, what do you think it says about you if you just read to your clients? I can understand having a list of things you want to ensure you remember to include in the session. I get that. But surely, someone who has taken the time to understand the techniques and strategies they employ in their therapy rooms, then weave in their language patterns if they really feel it is necessary (though there is no evidence to suggest that endless streams of indirect hypnosis language patterns derive better therapeutic results at all).

Why not learn to trust yourself? The more you practice doing things without the script, the more confident you’ll feel. And if there is the odd wobbly moment, you’ll learn from it and be in a position to offer a far more professional service in the future.

Every single person on my own hypnotherapy training courses is taught to learn the structure of a therapeutic intervention. Really learn it, and demonstrate an understanding of the process, the rationale behind it. Then to adopt their own style in the way that intervention is delivered and used with the client. A scripted version of a technique can help a hypnotherapist to see it in the therapy context in the first instance, but that should be it.

There are a couple of good books filled with scripts that are a useful resource for the hypnotherapist. The Corydon Hammond (editor) big red book of suggestions and metaphors (not its actual title) also contains much resource in other forms for the hypnotherapist.  They should be used as a reference, a guide, and NOT as something you grab hold of throughout hypnotherapy sessions and come to rely on like a comfort blanket! There are so many authors of books and websites offering scripts that hypnotherapists use to read directly to the client in a hypnotherapy session, and I think it is a real shame.

It is a shame for the client that pays for that sort of treatment and it is a shame for the hypnotherapist, that they feel unable to use the fundamental and rudimentary skills central to their own profession. It is also a shame for the field of hypnotherapy… That so many schools are churning out ill-equipped hypnotherapists.

Burn those script books! Like the suffragette movement did with their bras (although I think the bra was far more useful to a woman than a script is to a hypnotherapist) burn those script books. Build a bonfire, cast the script books on there, and toast your marshmallows accordingly.

That’s is it from me this week… I am signing off for the week a tad early and taking today off. I have not had a day off for 3 weeks due to training courses and being so busy here (I know, get your violins out!), so I am having a long weekend and going to spend it all with my darling wife. I’ll be back next week folks 🙂