I had a client recently who thanked me for focusing on the problem he came in to resolve. Apparently he’d been to see a New Age hypnotist in another town, who had taken him on a hypnotic guided tour of all sorts of beliefs and symbolism that didn’t resonate with him — and that he didn’t respond to. This wasted his time and money.
Hypnosis doesn’t always use guided imagery and metaphor — classic “direct suggestion” specifies the outcome without using metaphor and without specifying the means, just the end: “you are now a nonsmoker” — but when hypnosis does use metaphor or a guided hypnotic experience, the hypnotist has to use what resonates with the individual.
For example, some New Age hypnotists use past-life regression with just about everyone. Past-life regression can be extremely powerful, but some people find the concept silly or repugnant, and won’t play along enough to get any benefit. The same goes for encountering spirit guides, or kindly aliens, or Jesus.These things are effective for some people, but a total flop for others.