If your questions are not fully answered here, feel free to ask for any additional information during an initial interview or on the enquiry form.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of consciousness during which an individual becomes focused in their attention and absorbed in their own internal experience. It is similar, in some ways, to daydreaming or absorption perhaps in your favourite hobby . This is a natural state which we all drift in and out of during a normal day. Hypnosis is a natural extension of this everyday experience. Although you will enter into a relaxed state, during a session, you will not be asleep and will be able to hear everything the therapist says. Each individual experiences hypnosis slightly differently. Some people experience a very light trance which feels somewhat dreamlike, whilst others go into a deeper level of relaxing hypnosis. Research has shown, however, that for a positive outcome to therapy depth of hypnosis is unimportant. What is important is the participation in the therapeutic process of positive change. This hypnotic state is utilised by the hypnotherapist to enable individuals to make the changes they desire. Hypnosis is not mind control and no one can ever be forced to do anything against their will ( even though a very skilled stage hypnotist can give this impression by using stagecraft, trickery and social factors such as peer pressure).
What is hypnotherapy?
Generally, hypnotherapy is any type of therapeutic intervention to aid beneficial changes whilst an individual is within the hypnotic state. A wide variety of techniques and approaches have been developed by different schools of psychology to aid in the process. I have been trained to use a wide range of methods and approaches always with the focus on choosing what fits best for the individual client and their situation. The process of hypnotherapy is one of developing a learning environment within which positive change can be encouraged. To quote one of the founders of modern hypnotherapy, Milton Erickson, “You use hypnosis not as a cure but as a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn.”
What if I can't be hypnotised?
The hypnotic state is never achieved by a hypnotherapist actively putting an individual into a trance. This is a widely held misconception. The hypnotic state is encouraged to develop by the hypnotherapist and is accepted by the client if they consciously desire it. I will use approaches, which will be tailored to you specifically, to enable you to feel relaxed and comfortable enough to access this state so that beneficial changes to your feelings, thoughts and behaviour can be brought about. It is estimated that only 10 percent of the population do not respond strongly to hypnosis but even these individuals can learn to improve their ability with a skilled hypnotherapist.
Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
The answer to this is a definite NO. As the hypnotic state is a natural state which you will enter by your own choice, you also choose how deeply you enter this state and when to leave it. If at any time you were feeling uncomfortable you would be able to break the state at will. Most people find they become more and more proficient in entering into hypnosis as the sessions progress. At the end of the session, you will be brought back to a normal state of consciousness and this would eventually occur even if the therapist were not encouraging it.
Will I be controlled by the hypnotherapist?
This is a very common question which I am asked on a regular basis and not surprisingly considering the impression that stage hypnosis gives. However, hypnotherapy is first and foremost responsible psychological therapy designed to give you more control over the way you feel, think and behave. The aim of hypnotherapy is to empower people not take away their power.
How long is each hypnotherapy session?
The first session is mainly a time for talking and will last up to one and a half hours. During this time we will discuss all the details connected to your reasons for coming to therapy. As the process of therapy is a collaborative one, we will work together to set realistic goals and I will answer any queries or concerns you may have about hypnotherapy which I have not answered on this website. You will also experience hypnosis in this first session as a taster of what will occur once therapy has fully commenced in future sessions. Further sessions will last approximately one hour. The initial Stop Smoking sessions lasts up to 2 hours.
How many sessions will I need?
Hypnotherapy is generally classified as a brief intervention as it helps an individual access the unconscious part of their mind where rapid changes can be encouraged. Generally, for simple phobias between 3 to 6 sessions should be adequate whilst for more complex issues some additional sessions may be required. However, each of us is unique and therefore so is our progression through therapy. I will discuss with you at the onset and during the course of therapy the estimated number of sessions required.
Do you give a guarantee?
Just as a doctor cannot give you a 100 percent guarantee that a procedure or medication will be successful, I also cannot say that the therapy will definitely be effective. I will, however, endeavour to make the therapy specifically targeted to your individual circumstances and teach you tools, such as self-hypnosis, which will aid in creating the optimum conditions for a positive outcome.
Can you stop me smoking?
As previously mentioned, a hypnotherapist cannot make anyone do anything against their will. If there is enough motivation from an individual, then it is possible to help break old habits and learn new and more positive ways of functioning. This means you can become a non-smoker if you desire to be so and I can support this process to aid in an easy transition.
Does everyone respond to hypnotherapy?
According to the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH), it is estimated that 85% of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnotherapy. Believing change is possible is important and if an individual is personally motivated to change then hypnotherapy can be a useful approach.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
It is important to recognise that it is not possible to hypnotise an individual against their will. When an individual is hypnotised, they can reject any suggestion that is not beneficial to them. Hypnotherapy is, therefore, natural and safe with no harmful side effects.
In 1955 The British Medical Association endorsed the use of hypnotherapy in psychosomatic disorders and psychoneurosis as well as in pain relief in surgery, dentistry and childbirth.