One of the more frustrating aspects for beginners in the field of hypnosis is that sometimes a client asks you to help them with something and then fight you every step of the way. It’s called “resistance.” How do you deal with resistance?
Recently, I was sitting on a panel of hypnotists, next to a friend of mine. A man in the audience asked us to tell about failures we’ve had with our clients. My friend was the last to answer and his answer taught me something about discharging resistance….
One of the more frustrating aspects for beginners in the field of hypnosis is that sometimes a client asks you to help them with something and then fight you every step of the way. It’s called “resistance.” So, how do you deal with resistance? You give them something to resist! Something that doesn’t interfere with the goals of the session.
Back to my friend…
“I’ve had several clients call me up the day after a smoking cessation session and tell me they’d smoked a cigarette immediately afterward.
After that cigarette, they stopped smoking completely. So, I allowed the clients to ‘defeat’ me, while still helping them.”
You know, many people resent being told what to do. These particular clients were able to express that resentment by smoking a single cigarette. It was a “you can’t tell me what to do gesture.”
The resistance was discharged and the clients were able to get, in the end, what they wanted–to stop smoking.
Now think for just a minute. Why did the man in the audience ask about our failures?
The members of the panel had spoken about their many successes. Perhaps he was resisting the idea that any treatment modality could be so wonderful and perfect. Maybe he was a hypnotherapist who wanted to know how to deal with clients. My friend, in telling the story of his “failure” with clients, was helping the man in the audience meet his needs, while still moving the goals of the event forward–to present the positive aspects and accomplishments of hypnosis.