Focus Hypnotherapy | It’s All About Layering
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It’s All About Layering

It’s All About Layering

I go to a lot of workshops.  I’ve heard the expression “workshop junkie” used to describe me and this generates another train of thought around the debate of addictions versus habits. Perhaps a topic for another blog.

For now – back to workshops.  The latest workshop I attended was about learning to use social media.  This was a very different focus from my usual topics of therapy, trauma and neuroscience.  I was excited and a bit nervous about how much I would understand.

The workshop progresses from theoretical considerations to the practical.  This is what I came for – learning how to design evocative posts.  Our facilitator explains to us “Remember, it’s all about layering”.

And here I am, a few days post the non-therapy workshop pondering those words … it’s all about layering.

The hypnotherapist in me is curious about what my unconscious is exploring and bringing to my attention.  My inner hypnotherapist is also constantly searching for metaphors and the possibilities they inspire. So now, I am convinced that there is indeed a great metaphor here to investigate.

I am so privileged to have the experiences I do.  I have my clinical practice as a psychotherapist, and I am also a counselling educator and author who writes about counselling skills.

There is a space that each of these activities share and it is in this shared space that the concept of layering emerges.

Best practice amongst practitioners who use counselling skills involves working from an integrative approach.  An integrative approach from my perspective honours the uniqueness of each person we have the opportunity to engage with.  An integrative approach recognises that there is no one-size fits all protocol for working with people. Even if people seek assistance with issues that can broadly be identified by concepts such as anxiety, depression, weight loss or phobias, everybody is different.  Irvin Yalom, author and psychotherapist speaks about the importance of improvising therapy and says – “The good therapist must create a new therapy for each patient.”  (Yalom, 1999 p 151).

An integrative approach requires practitioners to skilfully adapt and apply methods from a range of different counselling approaches to best meet the needs of the individual person they are working with.

When I think about an integrative approach I find the layering concept of developing social media posts relevant.  The images we learnt to create at the workshop required us to choose a background, the images, the heading, sub text and logo that flowed and related with each other to create a unique image with the intention of capturing another’s attention   The awareness to each of these elements flows, depending on the person engaging with the image.

It is the smooth flow of the layering of the different therapeutic approaches that is the skill of an integrative therapist.  For me, the foundational layer of my therapeutic approach is person-centred and strength based.  The other layers drift – and always with volition – depending on the needs of my client. Those other layers may include mindfulness, hypnotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, an exploration of attachment styles or a range of other approaches.

This is an invitation for you to be curious. So I would like to leave you with a question… how have you noticed the way you layer different therapeutic approaches in your work?

Here are some links that you may find useful:





Yalom, I., Momma and the meaning of life:  Tales of Psychotherapy Piatkus, 1999