Most defense mechanisms are very normal. Some common defense mechanisms are denial, rationalization and repression. The exception would be the defense mechanism of “Projection”. This defense mechanism has no healthy value or constructive use. In addition, the defense mechanism of “Projection” is the toughest defense mechanisms to break. In general defense mechanisms are used to protect the individual, we all use them. We use defense mechanisms to protect the ego from things like shame, conflict, anxiety, loss of self-esteem and various other thoughts and feelings. In hypnotherapy, the therapist has to study and observe the client well, because usually one to three defense mechanisms is being used simultaneously by the client. Once we identify what the defense mechanisms are, we as hypnotherapists need to decide whether breaking, weakening or strengthening them will be beneficial for the client. Obviously if the defense mechanism is working for the client we don’t interfere with it. However, if the defense mechanism is used too often and for too many things it becomes abnormal behavior. In regards to how and when to expose the client’s defense mechanism while in hypnosis, the therapist utilizes various techniques to expose it to the subconscious mind. Sometimes, you need to get at the root of the problem, all the way down in the murky depths of the subconscious.
Once this is done, the therapist is then able to manipulate and possibly eliminate the defense mechanism from the subconscious mind. Sometimes the therapist has to bring out the “opposite” to be able to define and expose the mechanisms. In hypnosis, a talented hypnotherapist can expose the underlining issue which has caused the problems the client has been experiencing. The hypnotherapist can then explain the findings with the client. This strategy is successful and useful because the client has no defense mechanism against corrective therapy, which is an approach I often use in my private practice.
Hypnotherapy is completely confidential with adherence to the Ethical Guidelines of the American Counseling Association regarding conduct of counseling therapists. Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.