hypnosis coaching

I say hypnosis, you say….? Change? Transformation? Or rather voodoo, manipulation, humbug? Hypnosis tends to have a very bad reputation. People are usually hesitant when it comes to trying it out. They immediately think about what we call “stage hypnotherapy”: someone waves with a pendulum and people suddenly do crazy stuff. And who would like to cluck like a hen? Let alone bring such “crazy stuff” to business surroundings!

But hypnosis is not only a proven method in psychotherapy. It offers levers in people development and leadership training as well.

Here are a few thoughts to help you decide if hypnosis coaching is for you and your people.

What is hypnosis coaching?

Coaching hypnosis or hypnocoaching is the conscious use of hypnosis approaches, strategies, and questions in order to help people help themselves. Which in turn is the essence of coaching. It’s a powerful combination, helping people deal with fear and other uncomfortable emotions linked to situations at the workplace.

Do what you can’t do

Quick check: Are there areas in your job life where you know what you want to do but still don’t do it? Speaking up, for example, sharing your ideas or finally showing that confidence?

To be honest, we’ve never met someone who doesn’t. Because the fascinating minds of us humans can also stand in our way big time.

As you know, the mind consists of different parts: The conscious part, where we learn things and where training and coaching usually happen. And the subconscious part. It’s active when you drive a car or open a door. We’ve accustomed ourselves to doing many things “automatically”, without thinking about them. Which comes in handy. But the very same part of the mind is responsible for us NOT doing things, even if we want to. Like losing weight. Or saying something although we fear a negative reaction from our surroundings.

Something is holding us back that we can’t really grasp. And this is where coaching, and especially hypnocoaching come in. It’s a way to approach the root cause of an issue. Which is often not what we think it is. I had a coaching client once who wasn’t able to lose weight. On the surface, it would be easy to think: Lazy. Low assertiveness. During hypnocoaching it turned out that he was attacked by a dog when 4 or 5 years old. And with 50 years, has still been using the weight for protection. He still had the connection.

So, with hypnosis, we can break the connection we don’t want to have. And once they are open, we can do all the coaching and mindset work.

How does coaching hypnosis look in practice?

A hypnocoaching session does look just like the coaching session you already know. A 60- to 90-minute session, you and your coach, face-2-face or virtual. You start with a conversation and see what’s at the table. And then the dive-in: Breathing, eyes closing, guided mental journeys. Supported by methods like RTT (Rapid Transformation Therapy by Marisa Peer), NLP and psychotherapy elements.

A sample process for you or a person in your team can look like the following:

  • Pre-coaching conversation to evaluate if there’s a fit (personal as well as concerning the method)
  • Short intro video before the hypnocoaching session
  • Fill out an intake form (what do people work on and are there clinical conditions speaking against hypnosis)
  • Hypnocoaching session itself
    • Talk about the intake form
    • Clarification of any open questions
    • Quick info about hypnosis and what’s going to happen
    • Hypnosis
    • Debriefing, open questions
  • Coachee gets a recording of the session which is similar to a meditation

Key occasions for hypnosis in leadership coaching

Getting unstuck and getting going with what we want to achieve, that’s the biggest trait of hypnosis. So hypnocoaching in a business environment can help with any “I’d like to but….” issues. And thus, is strongly linked to self-leadership. Speaking up, making time for what matters, showing up the way we want to, be the person we want to be. Inner beliefs play a huge role here. And hypnosis is a good way to get in touch with them, especially if unconscious, and slightly transform them, opening them up in the direction we want.

In addition, it can help with stress management and resilience.

At the same time, we need to know when not to use coaching hypnosis or what it can’t do for us. First and foremost: There is a difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy! This is very important. As a responsible coach, I have certain criteria to work with people because I am not a medical professional and therefore can’t offer medical help with trauma or other clinical issues. So, a thorough pe-coaching conversation is important. When I talk to them upfront, I look for certain health conditions and medication or if people have schizophrenia or bipolar diseases, for example. If yes, it’s a big no for hypnocoaching.

Creating a safe space – for both coach and coachee – is important as well. For several reasons, I only work online when I do hypnotherapeutic coaching. This way I protect myself and my client. I make sure the person is not on their own with some subject. This way I want to ensure that things are under control.

Hypnosis-infused leadership training

by Christl Bubik

I also use a very light and intuitive hypnotherapy approach in some leadership training. I do a hybrid training session, partly in group and partly 1-to-1. In the 1-to-1 and if the client likes it I use hypnotherapy in the 3rd or 4th session when we’ve gained trust. We call them Deep Mindfulness sessions. If you asked me when I use it and when not I’d say: If someone only wants to solve a superficial problem it is not useful. But if people want to go into a transformational process, I like to use it. And I see it works.

Open your mind and give it a try!

Hypnotherapy has a lot to offer for any kind of development. Also in business and leadership development. If you’re thinking of giving it a try, let’s have a chat!

This article is the result of a co-creation session with our valued Think Beyond Impact Partners. The main contributor who actually works with hypnosis in coaching is RTT Therapist and Life Coach Anke Docherty. The mini-case, in the end, is from leadership coach and trainer Christl Bubik. About 20 more Impact Partners contributed in the form of feedback, questions, and impulse. Thank you for that!

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