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The Building of Rapport Is Often Considered one of the Most Important Aspects of a Hypnotherapists Work

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The building of rapport is often considered one of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapists work, discuss.

In this essay I will explain why building rapport is often considered one of the most important aspects of a hypnotherapists work. It will be important to consider why building rapport is important, to do this I will first give some background to hypnosis and then analyse some of the historical use of hypnotherapy and the effect this may have had on the perception of the field. It will also be important to look at the ways in which to build rapport whilst discussing why such methods are considered useful. It will also be essential to look at other key factors involved in hypnotherapy so we can then make a firm assessment of just how important rapport building is in this type of therapy. It may be worthwhile to also consider if successful hypnotherapy could be carried out without the use of rapport and if so, to look at whether rapport is at all necessary.

Hypnosis can be used to improve your general functioning (Hadley and Staudacher 1996). Research shows that hypnotherapy can be a useful form of treatment to deal with many issues like achieving weight loss, quitting a habit such as smoking, as well as helping to reduce stress and treating phobias. Hadley and Staudacher (1996) explain that hypnosis is in no way harmful, however it is understandable that people new to hypnosis have some reservations. Why is this?

Historically some lay and professional people have considered hypnosis almost a magical means of influencing others, mystical, bordering on the supernatural (Orne, 1961). Davis (2015, p. 2) supports this claim stating that hypnotherapy has historically been associated with witchcraft and hysteria, its credibility suffering at the hands of stage hypnotists. During stage hynposis ‘’Persons in a perfectly wakeful state, of well-known character and standing in society, who come forward voluntarily from among the audience, will be experimented upon. They will be deprived of the power of speech, hearing, sight… their memory taken away so that they will forget basic information like their own name and that of their most intimate friends (Braid, 1851, p. 512). Modern stage performers refer to their techniques as hypnosis, however this is disputed. Cathcart and Wilkie (1994) contend that such a referral is a misconception about hypnotism and these shows are more to do with entertainment and a willingness of the participant to show off.

The important thing to consider here is the apparent effect this potential misconception has had on wider public opinion. Tebbetts (1987) claimed that the average preconceived ideas about hypnotism are ridiculous with very few people realising the benefits because of superstition or fear. Due to the coercive nature of stage hypnosis and the momentary loss of control of the senses of the audience volunteers, we can see how a perception of fear and distrust may be associated with modern day practicing hypnotherapists. Hadley and Staudacher (1996) refer to questions most frequently asked of hypnotherapists which relate to the hypnotherapist making a person do something embarrassing, shocking or irreversible. It is therefore not uncommon then that the hypnotherapist has to battle with and overcome these seeming misconceptions.

Understanding the historical use of hypnotherapy and its potential mainstream misuse, we can see there are barriers in place for the hypnotherapist’s work before it even begins. This is not to say that everybody would have a negative opinion of hypnotherapy, just that there understanding may be influenced by popular culture and may also not be helped that hypnotherapy is not accessible on the NHS in the UK, therefore many people are not aware of its potential use for good. An effective technique and response to any negative existing opinion or uncertainty can be found in rapport building.

3.1

Hunter (2010) asserted that rapport begins at the first point contact. Hunter (2005) states that author Charles Tebbett’s saw rapport building rather like making friends with the client whereby the client becomes more comfortable and responsive to therapy. If we take this statement to be true being a good friend to someone involves having trust and confidence in that person, someone who can be relied and depended on. In this way hypnotherapy can be rather like a confidential meeting with a friend in the sense that it is a one to one therapy, whereby being open and honest is essential for effective free flowing and worthwhile conversation. When there is trust in place, then you are able to feel safe and secure in the relationship.

3.2

A starting point for many therapists can be the use of the notation form. The notation form presents the opportunity to get an overview of the clients personality and character before even speaking to or meeting them. It is used to ascertain information such as current job role, reasons for undertaking hypnotherapy as well such detail as current work, family, financial issues etc. The form can be a useful document in building rapport because it can be referred back to at any point by the therapist, whilst being added too, and also they can be reminded of why the client started out in the first place using it to remind the client of what they're ultimately trying to achieve, such continual dialogue and understanding can be key to overall success. On the other hand the notation form can prove to be a barrier and prevent any rapport building taking place. The form is also recommended to be used to gain an understanding of a client's previous and current medical history. The client may reveal that they're taking medication for a specific condition and therefore this may affect the therapists decision to accept them for therapy. Not only on medical grounds, the therapist may decide it may not be suitable to work with the client due to personal beliefs which may conflict with the therapist.

The first impressions individuals give to others could greatly influence how they are treated and viewed in many contexts of everyday life (Guadagno and Cialdini 2007). It is therefore vital that the hypnotherapist creates and maintains a good impression as people make assumptions about others based on appearance, speech pattern and body language before they even try to get to know you. However how can this be achieved?

A good starting point for a therapist and an effective way to build rapport is by offering a free initial

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