History of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

The foundations of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) as a therapeutic intervention are underpinned by the approaches of several notable individuals - from an original founder of clinical hypnotherapy, Milton Erickson, to the creators of solution-orientated therapy. Many of the ideas, techniques and approaches still form the basis of modern Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) today.

Hugely influential in the development of SFH, Milton Erickson was a firm believer in finding solutions. Between the 1950s up until his death in 1980, he had continued to develop and refine his techniques in the practice of hypnosis and psychotherapy. Among his most famous techniques, the use of anecdotes, metaphors and client-centred therapy have endured as major approaches in modern therapy, and specifically for those specialising in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

Equally influential, in the 1980s the Family therapy unit in the US saw the evolution of the ‘Miracle Question’ and other solution-focused questioning techniques by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. These techniques have evolved over the years and now provide a core focus for Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. In addition to the work of Erickson, Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, research has also indicated the benefits of explaining fundamental aspects of how the brain works as part of the therapeutic process. This has led to the so-called ‘Brain-based Therapy’ (BBT) approach, where clients are involved in understanding how the brain works, how their issues can manifest themselves and how such issues can be addressed. This provides another key cornerstone in the application of modern Solution Focused Hypnotherapy techniques.

In the early 1990s, David Newton created a new approach to therapeutic hypnosis, which combined the most successful elements of the approaches outlined above, combining a solution-focused approach with hypnosis and neuroscientific understanding about the brain…and Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) was born!