FAMILY MEMBERS AS COTHERAPISTS In HYPNOTHERAPY

This was a unique workshop presented at AAMFT ’89 in Chicago. Family members can be effectively empowered by having them participate as cotherapists in multiple simultaneous inductions in a family hypnotherapy. A videotaped case example presents a mentally challenged low socio-economic family that, at the time of transfer to the clinic, has already had over 30 previous therapies for their multiple problems, including sexual abuse in 2 generations. The overwhelmed therapy team opts to deal with a previously-neglected problem, the mother’s nightmares of recurrent molestation. A family therapist operates as case manager, while her colleague is a hypnotherapist who involves the entire family as cotherapists in a trance to overcome mother’s nightmares. Within 4 sessions the nightmares are resolved and the other problems dissolve. The therapy team opts for an interesting method for case closure to further empower the family’s sustained success. Ericksonian principles of utilization are presented in a simple format for the involvement of family members as cotherapists. Guidelines are offered to cope with inadvertent family slips into previous patterns of negative induction, reframing with positive intent and patterns of possibility for the now tranceformed family.

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