HOW TO WRITE A CASE STUDY OF HYPNOTHERAPY
Introductory Information Case study is an exhaustive report about the case including specific information about the client and different steps taken for the treatment of the client during different sessions. It serves dual purpose of the information about the issue and steps taken to address the issue, and also skill of the therapist demonstrated while imparting treatment of the client. It is not always necessary that the issue will be treated fully. It might be referred for further specialized care or may be not having results to the desired level.
Purpose of the Handbook:
This handbook has been developed exclusively for the students of Indian Hypnosis Academy to facilitate completion of their case studies to be submitted back as a partial requirement of completion of their diploma course in clinical hypnotherapy. But it will be helpful even for the students of other institutions to develop their professional capability.
Limitation of the Handbook:
The students having thorough knowledge of the techniques and processes of clinical hypnotherapy can only use the information required under different heads of the case study. It is important that the students first develop their knowhow level about the hypnotherapy treatment before using the information given herewith.
Contents of the Handbook:
The handbook contains following information:
o Concept of case study
o Prescribed guidelines of a case study used in Indian Hypnosis Academy
o Step wise technical information required for the completion of each of the steps.
o Precautions to be considered while writing a case study
o A sample of the case study
How to use the Handbook:
It is important to understand importance of preparation of a case study for a professional hypnotherapist. Therefore, go through all of the steps carefully and the kind of information required in each of the steps. Compare the information provided in the sample case study given in the handbook. Have introspection and write in your own style. Take guidance from the handbook but use your own ways of expression and innovations. Sample case study given herewith is not the best case study; you should use your own insight to write the case study
How to Write a Case Study
Case study is written after completion of all of the essential healing sessions of the client. Some of the clients may like to leave healing after experiencing reasonable change but before completion of the treatment as hypnosis is a very effective healing modality. It is important to keep the client motivated so that complete treatment is done for the cause. People have different notions and expectations from the treatment of hypnosis. Most of us are programmed to expect use of medicines for every type of treatment. Hence, some of the clients leave their treatment in want of medicines as hypnotherapists do not prescribe any medicine. Therefore, adequate orientation on psychological healing has to given in the beginning of the first session so that they stop expecting any medicine or magical effect in the therapy. This type of unsuccessful case also provides insight about the image of the hypnosis or expectations from hypnosis. But you are to include the completed cases whether successful or otherwise.
The purpose of preparing case studies is to have understanding about the approach adopted by the student (counselor) while giving treatment to the client. It requires usage of variety of techniques and processes by the counselor and also innovative steps taken to manage healing sessions to guide towards the result envisaged. Therefore, at least five types of problems are expected to be addressed by the student to have fair understanding of healing process under hypnosis. It is a good learning process for the therapist/ counselor. Case study writing is an art of presenting all relevant aspects of the treatment done and details of the steps undertaken in minimum words. The case study contains information about the client, issue addressed and process practiced for healing.
Let us begin with details required for each of the information head of the case study.
1. Name of the Therapist: Write your name as filled in the registration form and will appear on the diploma as well.
2. Number of Sessions Held: Write number of the total sessions held in the healing process. It includes orientation and follow up session as well. In case, initial details were collected by the person known to the client or even just information was collected by the client before taking any decision about the therapy. This type of informative meeting plays important part towards decision making for the therapy but is not part of actual healing or treatment.
3. Date of First Session: This is the day when client approached the therapist in order to start actual healing process, i.e., the day when first healing session was conducted.
4. Date of Last Session: Treatment may require a number of sessions depending upon the nature of the issue being addressed. Write date of the last session held for healing. Any assistance taken verbally or through any other means is not a part of session but is part of healing. Date of last session also gives an idea of time gap given between different counseling sessions.
5. Name of the Client: Counseling is a private affair. It is better to change name of the client in the case study as confidentiality is one of the essential elements of counseling. The name of the client may be disclosed if some expert opinion is sought regarding treatment of the client.
6. Gender of the Client: Write either male or female whatever the case may be. Avoid writing boy or girl. Please don‟t change gender in the report. It has its own relevance in some of the issues and techniques. For example, issues related to wife and husband or friends of different sexes. Some techniques involving lots of touching are preferably avoided especially with the client of opposite gender.
7. Age of the Client in Completed Years: Write age of the client in completed years only avoiding further details like months and days. Age has relevance with techniques of induction and deepening. Some methods are more suitable for children while some are more suitable for adults. In case you have considered particular techniques because of some specific reason, the same can be mentioned in the case study.
8. Presenting Problem: The problem client comes with may not be the actual problem because of the reasons like; the client does not understand the actual problem or using some defensive behavior to cover up the problem or is hesitant to express because of lack of the rapport with the counselor. Don‟t let the client know in case you understand that the presenting problem is not the real problem of the client.
9. Key Questions Asked: Enlist important questions asked by you for different reasons like; to make the client comfortable for counseling; to understand the problem; to raise expectations from healing; to decide course of healing, etc. These questions form basis of treatment by developing understanding about the issue by the counselor, and developing rapport between counselor and counselee.
10.Real Problem: This is the conscious conclusion of the counselor about the actual problem, the real problem you planned to address through hypnotherapy. In some cases you will find presenting problem and real problem entirely different from each other. It is not advisable to assume real problem different from the expressed problem in every case. They are not necessarily different in each of the cases.
11.Induction Used in the First Session: Write name of technique used for inducing hypnosis to the client in first session. Write names of all of the techniques if more than one technique were used. It is important that at least one action based induction methods is used in the first session to reinforce conviction of the client, such as, finger spreading, arm raising, hand magnetism, etc.
12.Deepening Techniques Used: Deepening develops platform for the treatment. Usually more than one techniques are used for deepening the trance. Make list of all techniques used to deepen and stabilize trance. Write names of all the major techniques used during different sessions. In case there is any difference of techniques used in the first session and the subsequent sessions, explain the same. It is important to use a few different techniques in different sessions. However, some of the techniques may be used repeatedly such as progressive relaxation.
13.Describe How Therapy was Done: Therapy is not a onetime activity. It requires a strategic sequential process involving a number of sessions. The nature of process changes with the healing stage of the issue. It involves innovations done by the counselor. Explain in nutshell how did you proceed from one session to other session, and also what actually was done for therapy, i.e., suggestion, imagination, triggering, etc. Mention details of the follow up action plan suggested to the client. Explain what types of information you collected from the client when he came for second or subsequent sessions. It is very important as reaction of counselor affects the future healing of the client.
14.Any Unusual Situation Happened: A counselor deals with complex human behavior involving emotional and contextual factors. There might be occasions when client generates emotions, or have catharsis or other abreactions. Be prepared for the unexpected as well. In case, any unusual situation happens explain not only the activity but also how you did manage the situation.
15.Closing Discussion with the Client: Closing of a session is also equally important like beginning. Write important aspect of the closing discussion, it may involve follow up plan of action or scheduling of the next session or any suitable change envisaged. Closing discussion provides opportunity to the therapist to make the client feel normal before leaving the place after the session
16.Any Feedback taken from the Client: Feedback is important part of healing. It helps further improvement of strategy. It provides opportunity to further clarify doubts of the client generated during the process. It reinforces professional learning of the counselor.
17.Average Duration of the Session: The length of hypnosis sessions varies from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. First session is longer than the subsequent sessions. Calculate average time of the sessions. Average time is usually between 30 minutes to 60 minutes per session as execution of different steps of hypnosis requires reasonable time. Always do session patiently as per need of the client.
18.Any Professional Learning Took Place: Each healing session is a learning sessions. Write whatever insight developed to reinforce professional knowledge, skill or attitude while doing treatment of the client. Practice always sharpens skill to perform and manage the process.
19.Other Comments, if Any: Any important thing you want to share to highlight your professional strength should be mentioned in this category.
Case study report does not mean the success stories but the way client was handled during different sessions. The rate of success varies from failure to highly successful. Hence need not be much concerned about the so assumed success as every session is a success for different reasons. 12
Be honest with your explanation as the description given by you will help us to analyze the skill and possible inputs if required to enhance your skill to handle different kinds of cases.
The name of the client is not important for us. It is better to change the real identity of the client.
Gender and age of the client are important as all of the techniques cannot be applied to every age group or gender.
Presenting problem may not be real bbut handling the presenting problem is important as it is the only available path to handle the real problem.
Need not explain the details of the techniques used for induction ad deepening; writing names of the techniques is sufficient for the purpose.
Write all logical steps taken to complete treatment of the client with only necessary information.
Management of the unusual situation should be explained in a few sentences.
Closing of session is equally important write about post hypnotic suggestions as well.
Every session is a learning opportunity; have thorough introspection after the session and identify new learning and new areas of future learning.