Ericksonian Hypnotherapy has influenced and led to the development of various internationally known psychotherapeutic approaches. It utilises indirect suggestions, metaphors and storytelling to access the patient’s own resources, which resources can then be used to help clients to heal themselves. The hypnotic technique differs substantially from the popular conception of hypnosis. The Ericksonian Therapist uses indirect commands to bring the client into a state of trance and self hypnosis, allowing them to still be in control of the situation. Most people find themselves in a trance on a daily basis, and therefore recognise the phenomenon immediately once explained to them. While the patient is in this state of hypnotic trance it is possible for the therapist to access the subconscious mind and use the client’s own resources to bring about changes and insight into their own problems.
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Ego State Therapy
Ego State Therapy was developed by Prof John G. Watkins (Ph.D) and Mrs. Helen H. Watkins (MA). This approach is based on the premise that human personality is composed of separate parts (so-called Ego States), rather than being a monolithic entity. These different parts of the self, develop naturally to cope with life and developmental challenges and crises in all individuals and provide diversity to self-experience. Parts can also develop as a result of trauma or impactful life experiences contributing to divisions in the self. Ego state therapy focuses on understanding and treating the different aspects or dimensions of the self by respecting the unique self-individuation of each person. The goal of ego state therapy is to elicit the ego states, to work with them therapeutically, to attain peace amongst them and to integrate them into a family of self.
Text courtesy of the Milton Erickson Institute of South Africa MEISA.
Somatic Experiencing is a naturalistic approach to the understanding and healing of trauma developed by Peter A. Levine over the past 40 years and taught throughout the world. SE is a clinical methodology based upon an appreciation of why animals in the wild are not traumatised by routine threats to their lives while humans, on the other hand, are readily overwhelmed and traumatised. Fortunately, the very same instincts (and related survival based brain systems) that are involved in the formation of trauma symptoms can be enlisted in the transformation and healing of trauma. Therapeutically, this “instinct to heal” and self-regulate is engaged through the awareness of body sensations that contradict those of paralysis and helplessness, and which restore resilience, equilibrium and wholeness. Because human responses to potential threat vary so greatly, it is difficult to identify or classify sources of trauma. Most people associate trauma with events like war, violence, extremes of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, crippling accidents, or natural disasters. However, many ”ordinary” or seemingly benign events can also be traumatic. For example, so-called minor automobile “whiplash” accidents frequently lead to bewildering and debilitating physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Common invasive medical procedures and surgeries (particularly those performed on frightened children who are restrained while being anaesthetised), can be profoundly traumatising. Somatic Experiencing utilises basic tools (and “building blocks”) but also works differentially with various sources of trauma.
Text courtesy of the Milton Erickson Foundation of South Africa MEISA.