Why Is the Initial Consultation Important

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Why is the initial consultation so important?
What factors will an ethical therapist cover at this time?

In this essay I intend to discuss why an initial consultation is so important, before delivering any hypnotherapy to a new client. I also will look at the ethical factors a therapist should cover at the time of the initial consultation. Prior to any course of hypnotherapy with a new client a reputable therapist would want to learn more about the person that has presented before them. This would be done with an initial consultation. It could be said that this initial consultation would be free of charge and last around half an hour. Some however, would say that you are giving half an hour of your time free of charge. Although my thoughts are that it would make clearer sense to not charge as a client would not feel that their time with a therapist was being wasted by a therapist just asking questions. (Although how this was advertised should be looked into very carefully as stated in (module 3 worksheet), the words “free consultations?” could be open to misinterpretation were the words “free initial consultation!” is clearer and states exactly what is offered). There are a number of aims of the initial consultation. The most obvious reason for this would be to give the chance to meet a client face to face. Also a therapist would at this time be able to ensure that the client would benefit from hypnotherapy and indeed that hypnotherapy is the right course of action for that individual case. Also this gives the opportunity to gather as much information as possible about the prospective clients and the reason they have decided to undertake hypnotherapy. It is important that the reasons they are there are fully understood for example someone that wishes to stop smoking must have an incentive to why they are seeking hypnotherapy to help them quit. This should be investigated fully! are they there because people are nagging them to stop? Are they there because they themselves have reasons to want to stop? Perhaps they see smoking as unhealthy for them and those around them partner, children etc. The therapist should always dig deeper perhaps find out if there are anytime’s that they smoke more cigarettes. It could be that when that person gets stressed for a particular reason they smoke more as a way of dealing with it. This will influence the hypnotic suggestion during the therapy. “A suggestion is a communication by the hypnotist to the subject and, as with any communication; it is intended to alter the recipient’s feelings, thoughts and behaviour in a specified way.”(Pg 3, Heap & Dryden.) During this the therapist can also discover the reason why the client has thought that hypnotherapy will help them. In addition the therapist is also establishing if they themselves have the skills to help the client. A therapist would also have the opportunity during this consultation to gather other information such as medications? Are they on medication if so what and what is it for. Perhaps they suffer from depression! With such a condition it would be prudent if this has not already been sought to gain the permission of their doctor before a course of treatment commences. (This of course depends upon the skills and experience of the therapist. There are some mental illnesses that should not be treated by hypnotherapy such as Bi-polar disorders etc(Heap and Dryden) There are other conditions and illnesses that could also present an issue with using hypnotherapy as a treatment and again would probably need permission from a Dr before any commencement of treatment. Modality an individual’s modality can also be assessed at this time this would help with the selection of an appropriate style of screed for any treatment. There are many other avenues of questioning during this initial consultation. However, I would like us to assume that we have followed all lines of question that we feel appropriate...
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