HypnoTalks Questions & Answers with Axel Hombach & Dr John Butler – Episode 19

The Hypnotic Journey comes to the end

The work a hypnotist and client do together can be described as a journey that they undertake together. As all journeys it has various stages or phases in which different aspects happen and are important.

Die Hypnotische Reise kommt zum Ende

Die Arbeit, die ein Hypnotiseur und ein Klient gemeinsam leisten, kann als eine Reise beschrieben werden, die sie gemeinsam unternehmen. Wie alle Reisen hat sie verschiedene Abschnitte, Phasen, in denen verschiedene Aspekte auftreten und wichtig sind.

In this fifth and last episode of the mini series on The Hypnotic Journey, Dr John Butler and Axel Hombach explore how the hypnotist and the client end the journey together. They explore the most important steps to make sure the client is sound and save before they end the journey or session.

They explore what’s also known as Transference, Homework, Emerging and the Posthypnotic Interview. As always, Dr John Butler points out little known facts that make the Hypnotic Journey a more complete experience for the benefit of our clients.

In dieser fünften und letzten Episode der Miniserie zu The Hypnotic Journey untersuchen Dr. John Butler und Axel Hombach, wie der Hypnotiseur und der Klient die gemeinsame Reise beenden. Sie erforschen die wichtigsten Schritte, um sicherzustellen, dass der Klient gesund und sicher ist, bevor sie die Reise oder Sitzung beenden.

Sie erkunden, was auch als Übertragung bekannt ist, Hausaufgaben, Emerging und das posthypnotische Interview. Wie immer weist Dr. John Butler auf wenig bekannte Fakten hin, die die hypnotische Reise zum Nutzen unserer Klienten zu einer ganzheitlicheren Erfahrung machen.

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Axel Hombach

When we have worked with our client, be it a session or several sessions, now we come to an end. How do we close the session or the work? What do we do best that our client benefits most from the work we have done with him?

I’m Axel Hombach, I’m a hypnotist in Cologne a the trainer for self hypnosis. I’m sitting here in London currently with Dr John Butler, the director of the HTI the Hypnotherapy Training International.

Hello John!

Dr John Butler

Hello Axel, hello to our listeners!

Axel Hombach

So, we have worked with our client. How do we make sure that he gets most out of the work with him?

Dr John Butler

Okay. Now, that post hypnotic interview stage – and I’m assuming of course we’ve ended the session with good positive programming – and we’re going to count them out in the careful, appropriate manner, giving them lots of positive affirmations, affirmation suggestions and so on so that we minimize any residual hangover from negative experiences they’ve had. Because even though they’ve processed it all, I mean, it’s a lot that has been stirred up, Axel, sometimes, and we want to put them into the most positive state they can achieve with positive looking forward to the future. So, good programming, a good programming for follow-up work that they may need, so they’re looking forward to it with enthusiasm.

Now, as you come towards the end, before you count them out, we’ll often ask them „Who do I remind you of?“ It’s a question from Gil Boyne that surprisingly hypnotherapists say „Why does he ask him that?“ Well, of course it is to check out subconscious identifications. In the old Freudian and pre Freudian literature, they talked about projections, and it is a form of projection that we’re checking out. Are they projecting things onto us that are not healthy for the therapeutic process? They might project, well, „You remind me of my uncle.“ And I will always say: „What qualities do I share with your uncle?“ „None,“ they will say, „Well, he was a strong character. He was a forceful character“ All right. Now let’s assume, for the moment, let’s just imagine at least, that this chap, this uncle was somebody who’d abused them and yet they made that connection with us. Well, we don’t have to, and subconscious will make many links, sometimes inappropriately. Anyway, we’ll then ask them: „In what way am I different? What qualities separate me from your uncle?“ „Well, you’re kind. You’re understanding. And you would never do anything abusive like he did.“ From that we can be pretty happy that they’re making at this stage a good separation which will get better as we go along. But if there was something hanging in there that was confused in their mind, they were finding it difficult to separate both of us in their mind. We would need to look at that carefully.

As you know, in Freudianism it’s transference, countertransference and counter- countertransference. And that whole process of separation and taking back projection can go on forever, or at least a long time in the therapy and actually create more problems than it helps, because the client has been left too long processing that with not enough interventions in the therapy. Where from a hypnotherapy point of view, to a great extent, apart from the positive connections they’ve made, we want to break the connection as soon as possible: „I am NOT your uncle and get that out of your mind, really, so you can go forward“ and the therapy can go forward without that contamination.

So that’s one thing to check on. We also asked them what homework…

Axel Hombach

There is a video with Gil Boyne, the case of Bud, where Bud the client identifies Gil with his father who was very abusive.

Dr John Butler

Yes!

Axel Hombach

And there you can see how elegantly he resolves the situation.

Dr John Butler

Absolutely. From that there’s education, not only the separation. Breaking the connection. The client owning, taking back the projection. But positive thing, I mean, there were positive things in the father. With Gil, you see, he was linking those because, I think, in Bud’s mind the father was very capable and he was also quite forceful. And Gil had those qualities. So Bud says, well, here’s another person who’s like that. But of course the father had negative effects on Bud which we don’t want to be associated with Gil. So Gil, as you say, used it very skillfully. the people have a lot of homework, usually things like for example: Now that I see my father more clearly and a lot of what he did to me, he felt was for my good. He was pushy, he was critical, he wanted me to get on in the world, to take advantage of opportunities, maybe he never had. Yet, so I know that he was misguided when he bullied me, mistreated me, so, I can begin to forgive him. On the other hand, well, sometimes he was negative and critical for no good reason other than his own anger and, you know, hostility to himself and other people. Okay, well, I can begin to forgive him. But, I’m gonna now take in all those positives that I now see he felt towards me. I begin to feel his love. I get out of being a bottomless pit. I begin to redevelop the relation with the parents, maybe be living or dead. There may be several aspects to that by the way, that are important. We often do Gestalt Prayers, as it’s called, you know which goes on to this, you know, at the end of the day I am I and you are you.

Axel Hombach

Yeah, a very powerful and useful tool!

Dr John Butler

Absolutely! That’s a part of really getting maturity and separation, to get us out of that „oh I’m still waiting for my father to fix me, to correct the mistakes he made, the damage he’s done me“. Because many of our clients at least, they’re very much stuck, at least in the area of the problem they’re very stuck in a childish position. A victim position rather than the strong adult role that they need to take in, and having them take that role. So, they’re saying goodbye to several other things. They usually happen earlier, but even at the very end there may be a need to look at something where they are a little bit stuck. Usually, again, you’ll have dealt with the impasse. In the case of Bud there was an impasse. Even though he’d seen the positives now from the therapy with Gil and the previous session, in the session he was now working in, the second session, he do is a part of his mind still staying stuck, wanting the father to love him, before he would learn to love others or love himself. And as Gil pointed out that impasse and said: „You need to face it. You need to essentially grow up and start becoming self loving.“

Anyway, as you’re about to count them out of the therapy, and bring that session to an end with good positive suggestions for feeling good, and good suggestions based around what they’ve revealed, you really are setting the scene for the future and getting commitment. Homework is part of that commitment to change. That’s where I say, you may be into the sense there’s a bit of a block. Maybe if I say to them „Well now, now that you’re learning about self-love, you’re learning to empower yourself, tell me one thing, or two things, you’re going to do, different from what you’ve been doing to yourself in terms of undermining yourself and not giving yourself the best of the life. Tell me one thing you’re going to do.“

And then they may reveal „Well, I can’t think of anything.“ Now, that may be that they just need a bit of prompting, bit of education, or they’re still, part of their mind, holding back and needs a push. It’s more rare for that to happen and doesn’t mean therapy hasn’t been very effective and successful. Remember that’s just different parts of the mind here, and this part is the negative part maybe, or just very childish. „Oh, I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to take a risk and go out in a date, go out and meet people. You know, I’ve been all holding myself back these years and now I’ve seen where I’ve been blocked. You’ve helped me and I begin now to love myself.“ But to get to do the whole work it’s another little step. Clients need little pushes.

Axel Hombach

When you work with homework, do you suggest homework that is related to what came up in the session, or do you bring your client to the point to suggest homework him or herself?

Dr John Butler

Well, you see, I’ve asked them to suggest it in the first session.

Axel Hombach

Yeah, you mentioned that, but I thought when they don’t know what to do.

Dr John Butler

Oh yes, yes! You can give them some prompting. I say: „Well, are you prepared to now take time out of your work life because you’re working yourself to the bone, yeah, to death here practically? Are you prepared to give time for your own hobbies, special interests, spend time for your relationships, which are suffering?“ or „Do you play your favorite music?“ Or, as I’ve often said to people, or some form of artistic enjoyment, creativity they need to do for themselves, to reverse the negative way they treat themselves. So, we can make suggestions, give some guidance there. Preferably things come from them and we check out the commitment, when we suggest to them aloud „Does this make sense? How about from now on you’re going to take time for a round of golf, or playing your favorite music every day? Is that agreeable to you now? Are you committing to that, so that we next week we can check up on how you’re doing?“ Because you’re getting commitment.

Now, if their body language, if their nonverbal expression, shows a bit of lack of commitment, than you push on to that and say: „All right. Now, let’s look at how you’re inhibiting your response here, how you’re holding yourself back from taking power and responsibility, making change happen for yourself.“ And sometimes it’s more minor. It’s not that they really are determined to avoid change and stay in their secondary gains, which can be very self-destructive ones. Maybe they just need a little bit of assistance, encouragement, a few more suggestions about confidence to go out on the date. Or, say, be assertive with their boss or wife or husband. So, this is part of setting homework. Getting commitment.

Axel Hombach

Yeah. Do you call it homework?

Dr John Butler

Yes! Very much so. It’s a good word to use. We like it because for the client it means „okay, there’s things I can do for myself, there’s things that are beneficial. This therapist is interested in me, he or she’s thinking about things that I could do that’ll be helpful, so I’m grateful for that“ as in another part of the mind they don’t like it totally it says „Oh god, it’s like school, homework, I hate homework, I do not want to have homework. I just want to wait for everything to change by itself“. No, so they are in sometimes in mixed minds. But I’ve often said at the very beginning of this, well, the clients, and we say it in our training, in hypnotherapy – compared to most forms of talk therapy, standard psychotherapy – there’s a lot more homework. And that’s very empowering. There are things you’re doing. You’re seeing the benefits, feeling the benefits of it. You’re playing your recording all the time. You read certain books. We give them books to read, recommend them get certain books which relate to the problems they’ve been having. That’s called bibliotherapy. And we teach them that life is therapy. To go out and connect with life in a much more vibrant, fuller way. So, that commitment to life, participation in life, living life to the full, it’s very much a part of what hypnotherapy empowers people to do.

So, that’s what you’re doing as you’re concluding the session: Really getting the commitment for that kind of work, clarifying any last questions or confusion that might be in their mind. Check it out: „Is that clear to you now? Are you okay with that? Are you ready to make that commitment?“ And so on. And make sure you get yes yes yes.

Axel Hombach

Okay, in this case it’s more closed questions than open questions.

Dr John Butler

Absolutely. Closed questions are very important in therapy in helping the client in managing the session.

Axel Hombach

The way it came across it’s also that you exert some pressure on the client.

Dr John Butler

Which they need to help them when they’re doubting and maybe wouldn’t put that appropriate motivation level into themselves. You’re holding up a mirror for what they need to do and at the end of the day may not always be liked in every case that you’re doing that.

Axel Hombach

Well, we’re not there to be liked.

Dr John Butler

We’re there to get the job done.

Axel Hombach

Yeah.

Dr John Butler

And another part of their mind though likes the fact that they’re in the process, you’re gonna check up when they come back to next time and it won’t be sort of a talk therapy question like „how has your week been?“ You know, it’s nothing like that. We say: „How can I help you today?“ meaning, from last week, what was happening and „Is there a new goal or do you want more help with what you came up with, the first goal you came up with here?“ And then you’re into „How are you getting on with your recording?“ And you’re checking up, Axel, on all the homework you gave them.

Axel Hombach

Yeah. Well, my experience is that when I give them a recording, in 95 percent people say „I didn’t find time to listen to it“.

Dr John Butler

Well, now we dealing with follow-up sessions mostly. But, yeah, well, you didn’t find time. Well, you can’t lose time or make time or kill time!

Axel Hombach

Yeah. Where did you look for it?

Dr John Butler

Yes exactly. The fact is, it’s your prioritization. You gave your time to other things if you want to see it that way. You can only do things while what … time passes. Time is one directional as Einstein and everybody else has observed. Unlike many phenomena in physics, you know, time only moves one direction. And then, that’s what you have to deal with.

Axel Hombach

Interestingly, when I give them a book to read – usually I give them the book and they have to bring it the next time – they read it. But recordings seem to have something to it…

Dr John Butler

Axel, it’s often part of their self-sabotage and you educate them about that’s the part of your mind that wants to ruin you, that doesn’t want you to move forward. They are negative, self destructive parts. Remember that positive and negative polarity in nature, in hot and cold, and positive negative and electricity, and so on. In the mind, love and hate, self love, self hate, will to fail, will to succeed, will to live, will to die. The client must learn to choose and take responsibility for their choices. That’s what their life is composed of is their choices.

Axel Hombach

Yeah, I like to tell them: „Ah, you’ve met the Beast“.

Dr John Butler

Yes.

Axel Hombach

That closing that you described, is that also what you call the posthypnotic interview or is that a different stage?

Dr John Butler

No, we’re really just about now to count to five, so you do a lot beforehand. Getting commitment to change and so on. In the trance, checking out the subconscious identification, count them out to five and now you get this „Now tell me about that experience“ and say „Well, that was amazing, I never realized this affected me so much. When we did regression, I was sure I would go back and be critical with my father, but it was my mother“. That is where I say „Well, that’s what your subconscious selected at this time. Whenever we work with regression with you next time maybe your father, maybe somebody else. So, you did the good work, now tell me anything about that, anything very specific about your learning here,“ Well, and then they tell you what they tell you. And you can add to that or clarify some things for them. As you’re really about to send them away now, in a very positive way positive expectations, knowing what they learned and what their homework are.

This whole idea that life is about learning. So they’re going out there to empower themselves, to become really their own therapist. This is what you’re doing in hypnotherapy so that they go out then, out of your office to get on with life and go out there and meet their needs in an appropriate adult manner, to leave the past behind, to live in the present more and more. You’ve been giving them a whole lot of understanding, helping them gain understanding, helping them take responsibility, and see a direction forward in life. They’re beginning to see where the progress needs to happen, and seeing how they’re going to get on with it. And then in the next session you follow up with that. So, you brought good closure to that session.

Axel Hombach

Okay. Thank you very much, John. Our time has already come again to an end. If you summarize it in two to three sentences, the trance termination, homework, posthypnotic interview.

Dr John Butler

Okay. Well, to put in quick context, you’ve done the regression, you’ve uncovered, you’ve reeducated the subconscious, reprogrammed it, added in all that new perspectives, you brought in integration. That’s where they’re at. Now you want to finish up this session, clearing up and subconscious identifications that are not healthy. You want to get them to make commitments for their therapy based on what’s been uncovered. That’s their own process becoming their own therapist. You’re giving them the good new suggestions which the mind would not have been able to accept before. Okay, you’re then doing your final stage of bringing them out of trance. Again, with good, positive suggestions, but really looking forward to their progress and even to another session, which they may need with you. And then you are telling them, when they’re out of the trance: „Tell me all that you learn from that“ And this is helping them, again, reflect consciously. Again, another kind of integration going on there.

Axel Hombach

Yeah.

Dr John Butler

So, that’s great. You’ve done a very thorough job.

Axel Hombach

Thank you very much, John, for your very thorough job.

Dr John Butler

Thank you.

Axel Hombach

Let’s then continue with something else in the next podcasts.

Dr John Butler

I’m looking forward to that. Thank You Axel, and thanks to our listeners.

Axel Hombach

And to all of our listeners, if you have liked this episode, please give us a like a friendly comment, subscribe to our channels and share this episode via email and on social media. And make sure to follow up with the next episodes. Please check out our home pages. You’ll find them linked on the home page of this podcast. With that said, I’m Axel Hombach, online with Dr John Butler.

Have a great time. Until next time.