Clinical Hypnotherapy / Integrative and Holistic therapy / Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic therapies / Cognitive therapy / Behavior therapy /Humanistic therapy
Psychotherapy is a practice designed to support the mental health of individuals by applying different approaches and techniques dependent on each client's uniqueness. Psychotherapy approaches, methods and techniques have been altered and expanded over the years. Dr Schoeman's approach to psychotherapy can be defined as Integrative or eclectic where she makes use of different techniques and perspectives in order to support the mental and emotional health and general well-being of her clients.
Psychologists generally draw on one or more theories of psychotherapy. A theory of psychotherapy acts as a GPS for psychologists: It guides them through the process of understanding clients and their problems and assist them in developing effective and appropriate solutions. Dr Schoeman usually uses modern and traditional clinical hypnotherapy in conjunction with one or more of the following five approaches to psychotherapy, namely Integrative and Holistic therapy, Psycho-analytic and Psychodynamic therapies, Cognitive therapy, Behavior therapy and Humanistic therapy.
MODERN AND TRADITIONAL CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY
This is the model most people associate with hypnotherapy. It is based on psycho-analytical (Freudian) principles and incorporates all other forms of psychotherapy. It is based on the principle of the client entering his subconscious mind to explore past experiences hidden there and then to discover, analyse and resolve the trauma. This is done by using age-regressions, dream analysis, free association, etc. in order to discover the traumatic experience(s) that created the problem. This is achieved by establishing negative emotional connections in the subconscious mind. Having discovered the traumatic experience, the power of the client's own subconscious is then utilized to break the negative connections and to create and establish desirable connections. Symptoms are relieved and subsequently disappear and healing takes place during the process.
Traditional Clinical Hypnosis is a multi-model, holistic, eclectic and integrative approach to hypnotherapy. The model provides the therapist with a holistic understanding of development, growth and pathology. Furthermore, it assists the therapist to develop a flexible and individual therapeutic philosophy, which includes a whole range of hypnotherapeutic techniques, including spiritual, analytical, direct and indirect techniques.
The therapist places strong emphasis on the importance of spiritual and psychological growth and wellness as an integral part of therapy. Even though there are various approaches that can be utilized in the application of Clinical Hypnotherapy, the following 4 are the most prominent and are used in this practice:
Medical Hypno-analysis where specialized psychological techniques are used to analyse both the conscious and subconscious mind to discover the underlying cause of the patient's problem by making use of inter alia age regressions and the Word Association Test to explore e.g. subconscious conflicts, fears and needs.
Psychodynamic and psycho-analytical approaches involve the application of free association, specific transpersonal approaches, dream analysis and the analysis of transference and resistance.
Direct suggestions to bring about cognitive restructuring. This approach involves giving the client some direct suggestions in order to restructure or reorganize their thought processes, i.e. their cognitive behaviour.
Indirect suggestions, e.g. using metaphors and images. This method uses indirect hypnotic suggestions and metaphors. In this way hypnosis becomes the art of obtaining a client’s attention and then effectively communicating ideas that develop and enhance motivation and change perceptions.
IN A NUTSHELL
Hypnotherapy enables communication between the conscious and subconscious minds. Besides being responsible for survival and protection, the subconscious mind is also responsible for storing traumatic events and emotions. Therefore, if some memories are too painful it cannot be accessed by the conscious mind, only by the subconscious. In order to access these memories the hypnotherapist facilitates the communication process between the subconscious and conscious minds. The hypnotherapist guides the client, like a trainer of an athlete guides the athlete through his training programme, into his own subconscious mind to discover both the mentioned trauma as well as the inner resources stored there. Only the client can delve into his own subconscious mind. No one else can access it. Due to the fact that the client is in control, he decides whether or not to disclose what he discovers. The client is then guided by the hypnotherapist in various ways to resolve and overcome his trauma or problem, in a safe and secure way.
The five approaches to psychotherapy beneath are described by the American Psychological Association and is quoted here with recognition of the APA as source (http://www.apa.org/topics/therapy/psychotherapy-approaches.aspx):
"HOLISTIC AND INTEGRATIVE THERAPY
Many therapists don't tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client's needs.
PSYCHOANALYTIC AND PSYCHODYNAMIC THERAPIES
This approach focuses on changing problematic behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their subconscious meanings and motivations. Psychoanalytically oriented therapies are characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and client. Clients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship. While psychoanalysis is closely identified with Sigmund Freud, it has been extended and modified since his early formulations.
Cognitive therapy emphasizes what people think rather than what they do.
Cognitive therapists believe that it's dysfunctional thinking that leads to dysfunctional emotions or behaviors. By changing their thoughts, people can change how they feel and what they do.
Major figures in cognitive therapy include Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck.
This approach focuses on learning's role in developing both normal and abnormal behaviors:
Ivan Pavlov made important contributions to behavior therapy by discovering classical conditioning, or associative learning. Pavlov's famous dogs, for example, began drooling when they heard their dinner bell, because they associated the sound with food.
"Desensitizing" is classical conditioning in action: A therapist might help a client with a phobia through repeated exposure to whatever it is that causes anxiety.
Another important thinker was E.L. Thorndike, who discovered operant conditioning. This type of learning relies on rewards and punishments to shape people's behavior.
Several variations have developed since behavior therapy's emergence in the 1950s. One variation is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on both thoughts and behaviors.
This approach emphasizes people's capacity to make rational choices and develop to their maximum potential. Concern and respect for others are also important themes.
Humanistic philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Buber and Søren Kierkegaard influenced this type of therapy.
Three types of humanistic therapy are especially influential. Client-centered therapy rejects the idea of therapists as authorities on their clients' inner experiences. Instead, therapists help clients change by emphasizing their concern, care and interest.
Gestalt therapy emphasizes what it calls "organismic holism," the importance of being aware of the here and now and accepting responsibility for yourself.
Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination and the search for meaning."