The research was carried out by the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) in the form of a survey sent to the Association’s 168 registered members. The Hypnotherapists were asked to provide statistics relating to clients they saw during a period of one week at the beginning of June 2011.
The survey was intended to provide a snapshot of what prompts people to seek Hypnotherapy.
Association Trustee, Nicola Griffiths, explains: “Whilst many people are familiar with the use of Hypnotherapy in helping clients to quit smoking or to help overcome their fear of spiders or flying, the fact that the therapy can help with a wider range of issues is less well known. We wanted to conduct the survey to demonstrate the scope of our work.”
“‘We had an excellent response and were able to analyse statistics relating to some 227 anonymous clients. As Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapists we specialise in helping clients to cope better with a range of conditions, many of which are either caused or exacerbated by anxiety, so it was interesting to see such a high percentage of clients presenting with anxiety or stress. It’s encouraging to feel our message is getting out there.”
The most common reasons for people seeking the therapists’ services were:
Anxiety or Stress (including Panic Attacks): 34%
Eating disorders or Weight Loss: 11%
Sleep Disorders: 3%
Smoking Cessation was less than 3%. Nicola explains: “This, again, is to be expected. Whilst our therapists do provide Smoking Cessation treatments, these are not the mainstay of our work. We specialise in working with clients, using a collaborative approach, to help them make changes over time in their responses to life’s ups and downs. The effort a client puts in between sessions to making changes is at least as important as the therapy sessions themselves.”
“Our Solution Focused approach is relatively modern and is based on Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), a well-researched form of psychotherapy developed in the 1980s. We encourage clients to focus on their preferred future rather than dwelling on past or current problems.”
Other reasons for seeking help included: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Sports Performance, Relationship Issues and Pain Management)
73% of clients seen during the survey week were female. Interestingly there was only a slight difference between the proportion of male or female clients seeing male or female therapists, but not enough to be significant. Clients seem to be equally comfortable seeing male or female Hypnotherapists, with only a small bias towards same gender pairings.
In terms of the age of clients:
18% were 19 to 30 years old
37% were aged 31 to 45
27% were 46 to 60 years old
11% were 61 to 70
with a handful of clients under 19 or over 70. The Association speculates: “The peak of 31 to 45 year olds could be a reflection of their life stage with children, careers and financial pressures all taking their toll.”
Nicola concludes: “The Association’s first member survey has highlighted that clients of all ages are seeking Clinical Hypnotherapy to help with a wide range of conditions.”
She adds: “AfSFH registered Hypnotherapists are highly qualified, many having gained the ‘gold standard’ Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), which has been recognised by the Open University to be the equivalent of 45 points at Undergraduate Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).”