Descriptive Approach to Motivation
This approach uses self-reported perceived reasons for behaviour or change. It is a surface level approach and is thus limited in scope. All hypnotists will recognise the fact that what a client gives as the reason for change is not necessarily the real or only reason. This may be within the client’s awareness or not.
This approach, however, can give a considerable amount of information that while not necessarily “accurate”, is useful, particularly in the area of perceived barriers to success. In this context, perception is critical, and this gives great scope for working on the individual’s motivation.
For example, a 25 year old smoker may report that their motivation to quit is because they saw a government warning on television about the dangers of smoking. This is likely to be a surface level motivation as no 25 year old smoker would have been unaware of the risks before seeing the advert. The hypnotist’s job is to expand on this and drill down further to find and enhance all their inner motivations.
An example of a descriptive barrier may be the weight control client who says she cannot lose weight because she works in a school shop that sells sweets and chocolate. This gives good scope to work using the theoretical models that we will come to shortly to help her to get around this barrier.