How do Counselling & Psychotherapy Differ ?

            How are they used in conjunction with Hypnotherapy ?

The next page summarises the many types of physical and psychological problems which are amenable to treatment. This page describes how I have used a combination of approaches over 35 yrs in Clapham. You will see I have a wide range of experience and have met most sorts of difficulty. I describe the approaches in which I am competent and how I use them in my Clapham Practice.



With many difficulties Counselling is the process of choice. It provides  sympathetic and genuine understanding and needed support.  It offers a regular visit to a quiet place - the safety and security of a sympathetic hearing, objective comment and constructive encouragement. For ordinary problems counselling is all that is required to enable people to work things through for themselves.



Relationship or couples counselling  generally moves into more complicated territory.   People in a relationship can interact in very complex ways. This takes a lot of skill to disentangle - particularly where the issues are highly charged emotionally. Often one is headed toward some elements of couple therapy and couple psychotherapy.  In my practice I also engage in some brief separate psychotherapy for each member of a couple where really intense or elusive patterns need to be identified.

Where psychotherapy is necessary, the relationship may have become one of the vehicles through which more intense individual difficulties are being played out. Of course you don’t have to be in a relationship to experience these !



Hypnosis is effective with many physical problems - like allergic skin conditions, asthma insomnia and sexual conditions. Though treatment may be speedy - these are not ‘band-aid’ solutions or quick fixes. Whatever the label - the way a condition presents is specific to each individual. It is only through skilful diagnosis and using the right patterns of suggestion - respecting the uniqueness of each individual - that long-lasting and effective solutions can be achieved.

Hypnosis - and particularly  Ericksonian hypnotherapy are even more useful where problems are complex or cause extreme distress. Skilfully used these procedures not only derail problem processes but release the mind into more peaceful and productive spaces open to new solutions.



Psychotherapy is likely to be necessary where an individual’s problems generate difficult emotional responses which threaten to destabilise a person’s identity or sense of themselves.  These reactions may confuse present situations with past perceptions, feelings and experiences.

This may give rise to unhelpful thought patterns and out-of-control behaviours - like addictions - which powerfully undermine and restrict our lives. These may be damaging to ourselves or others in social or emotional ways. In more extreme forms they may lead to obsessive or destructive impulses - even to violence or self self-harm.

The techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Analysis are useful in identifying detailed thought patterns. These may be interrupted and modified through exercises and disciplines developed to change awareness.

Where a defective, uncertain or negative sense of ourselves is involved we come into the core realm of psychotherapy.  Here we deal with deeper processes and the possibly shaky foundations laid down by early experience. Often these patterns operate in ways that people find hard to analyse or describe to themselves - let alone others.

In recent years there has been a productive linking of non-routine and high-level Cognitive Behavioural work ( Schema Therapy ) with inner process techniques like Ericksonian psychotherapy combined with hypnotherapy ( which we call hypno-psychotherapy ).  These combined methods used in an appropriately modified way over a period - with active input from the client - can address and transform the most difficult problems. Well-documented work already demonstrates effectiveness with the VERY deep difficulties encountered with some personality disorders.

One also encounters processes associated with life crises and trauma.  These require particularly careful analysis to ensure that no destabilising material is accidentally triggered and that change is effected in a safe and deliberate way. This requires high levels of competence in the application of hypnosis and EMDR.

( Too often clients tell me of insufficiently trained hypnotherapists who consider the problem pretty well solved once the disturbing material from which the mind has been shielding itself has been uncovered. This is incompetent and irresponsible. It risks re-traumatising the sufferer and can also make the problem far more difficult to treat later. One needs to be sure that one is in safe and competent hands. This is particularly  important in hypnotherapy with children - especially for conditions like anxiety, phobias and nightmares )

Ericksonian methods are usually indirect - using ways which do not provoke internal defences and resistances. Often the process is extremely relaxed and amusing. Acute perception is required to spot where the problem is accessible, how it may be de-constructed - seamlessly and ‘on the hoof’. Originality and creative thought is required to achieve this in the flow of normal conversation.

Whether one is addressing Physical and Behaviour Problems - Problem Feelings & Thought Patterns or Social, Emotional and Relationship Difficulties, problems differ in emphasis rather than being entirely unrelated.

I resort to an experienced professional colleague network for wider consultation and support should it be needed.

Ericksonians often receive clients who have tried many other therapies with little or no benefit. We are well used to succeeding with really tricky cases. So take heart! We have some really subtle yet powerful tools - and we love cracking tough nuts !

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