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The Marriage of Hypnosis and CBT

Exploring what it’s like for a therapist to combine CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and hypnosis…

My name is Michelle… it’s been months since I’ve blogged. I think I need a support group. “Bloggers who organize their sock drawers and look for dust bunnies under the couch to avoid blogging”. Or simply “Bloggers who procrastinate and the critical role their enablers play in keeping them from blogging”. Ah ha! Now I just need to find an enabler. Ok, enough messing around. On to CBT and Hypnosis

I want to explore what it is like for a therapist to combine CBT with hypnosis. This may seem like a dry topic at first but I assure you that before you doze off, you’ll gain something valuable and informative. Hypnosis taps into a normally hidden part of a person’s psyche using deep relaxation and treatment specific suggestion in the form of metaphor and story telling. Essentially, I am weaving a tapestry that captures the attention of the subconscious mind and helps a person to change their negative beliefs into positive ones. The results are often powerful and life changing.

In my practice, I find that hypnosis has a greater effect if I also teach skills that reinforce and support what will be suggested during hypnosis. Specific training that puts the power of healing and change directly into the hands of the person I’m working with. This is where I find cognitive behaviour therapy (or CBT) to be invaluable. Warning: you may become bored or sleepy while reading this next part. CBT is an active, directive, structured approach used to treat a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, sabotaging behaviours such as negative self talk, and many other problems. I find that every person who comes to me has some degree of anxiety underlying their issues, therefore providing CBT is an important part of their treatment. CBT is based on the premise that how a person feels and behaves is greatly determined by the way he or she see’s the world and his or her place in it. Basically, when I am wearing my CBT hat, I am training people to replace maladaptive ways of thinking with helpful thinking patterns and also teaching them new behavioural coping skills.

I have observed that these two therapeutic tools, hypnosis and CBT, greatly complement each other and are more effective when used together. As a result, clients work through their issues deeply and quickly allowing them to feel good about themselves and optimistic that they can handle anything that life throws at them. If you have never tried hypnosis or cognitive behavioural therapy, perhaps this blog has peaked your curiosity or at the very least, lulled you into a sleepy, highly suggestible state. If you fall into the latter category then right now you are feeling a strong pull to contact me and book a session of CBT and Hypnosis.


Written by

Michelle Chaytors, B.Sc., M.A. Clinical Counsellor, Adlerian Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Certified EMDR Practitioner.

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