For some therapists and some clients, regression to the cause of an anxiety issue is a solution that works well. Some believe it is vital to prevent symptom substitution. I believe that it is a valid option which may or may not be appropriate at any time.
Some schools of thought look for an emotional cause of a current problem and through abreaction bring about a resolution of the problem. This may work, but it may not. Some clients may gain insight and abreact, but still retain the problem.
The technique detailed below allows for this in that it goes further and includes a more thorough process for dealing with the cause and resolving the issue both consciously and unconsciously (if necessary).
The approach I discuss here is utilising ideo-motor responses.
Many therapists when they first start out find getting information from clients to be tricky or difficult. If one adopts an authoritarian and forceful approach to elicit information from clients with conventional hypnosis, may well result in a defensive action by the subject. There may be an initial refusal to give information. This would then be followed by refusal to enter hypnosis again. The pressured subject may substitute insignificant information in the hope of escaping further discomfort. As a last resort, if pressed too hard, the subject may invent or lie about information and pretend that everything is all right.
A coercive approach to information gathering regarding a traumatic experience may lead to an outpouring of emotional distress. Some authorities believe this to be a requirement for successful therapy. However, the use of authoritarian hypnosis may lead to further entrenchment of troubled behaviour.
These difficulties can be avoided with using ideo-motor signalling. An ideo-motor response is simply when the unconscious takes an idea and turns it into an action. Usually this manifests itself in the form of a raised finger. This approach allows the client to be more of an onlooker, causing a mild dissociative state.
Many persons believed that the use of ideo-motor responses was in the realms of the old fashioned hypnotists. However, with modern thinkers like Rossi and Cheek advocating it, ideo-motor responses (IMR’s) have truly moved into the modern age and are a useful technique for today’s hypnotherapist.
A subject is just as capable of lying in an altered state as in a usual waking state. Therefore one must be certain that the responses given are accurate.
There is a three stage process for assessing validity of IMR signalling.Â Which I will discuss in tomorrow’s blog.