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Hypnotherapy FAQ

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique.
Hypnosis is a deep state of focused relaxation.

Despite its use since the late 1700s, hypnotherapy still continues to have an air of mysticism, myth and misunderstanding surrounding it with sceptics wondering "How does it work?" and "Is it a real thing?" and so on. However the amount of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of hypnotherapy is growing and it’s becoming a more accepted and recognised form of therapy. Visit my page The Benefits of Hypnotherapy on Mental Health for more information about the different circumstances it can be used in.


You may be completely new to both the terms and the ideas of Hypnotherapy or Hypnosis and also wondering what it's all about. Well you've come to the right place to get all your questions answered and gain a better understanding of how Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis work. 

 

I've compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy for you to read through. I highly recommend you have a thorough look through these so that you can make an informed decision.

Do you have a burning question that has not been covered below? You can Get in Touch to put that question to me!

  • What is hypnosis?
    Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxation we enter into every day — while we’re reading, watching TV, falling asleep, waking up, and daydreaming. It is a state of highly focused attention. Being in hypnosis is incredibly relaxing and usually brings a sense of peace and wellbeing.
  • Is hypnosis similar to meditation?
    The state of hypnosis is essentially the same state of mind individuals often strive for during meditation. What is the difference? In meditation, one generally seeks to clear the mind of all thoughts while in the clear and focused state; whereas in hypnosis, one is generally there to use the power of that state for a specific therapeutic purpose
  • Can I be "hypnotised"?
    The word "hypnotised" tends to conjure up ideas of a person being put in to a deep trance-like state whilst having absolutely no say about it. Actually the truth is that being "hypnotised" - or more accurately, being led in to hypnosis by a trained hypnotherapist - is merely being able to go in to a deep state of focused relaxation. This is a guided process where I use verbal cues and repetition to help your mind and body relax. Almost everyone can reach this state of focused relaxation - if they are open and willing to participate in the process. See also the question "What makes for the most successful Transformational Hypnotherapy sessions?" below.
  • What makes for the most successful Transformational Hypnotherapy sessions?
    The greatest factor is you. You are not a passive receiver of hypnotherapy. You are an active participant in the whole process. I find that the clients that are the most successful share some common traits that include, but aren't limited to: - Being deeply committed to their transformation - Being courageous about facing what's not working for them in their lives - Having a deep desire to change - Feeling a desire to work on themselves and aren't looking for "quick fixes" - Being honest with themselves - Having an openness and curiosity about themselves and their lives - Being coachable/teachable and want to learn ways to live better - Wanting and committing to developing emotional flexibility - Being willing to let go of conscious ways of thinking that don't serve your highest good
  • Will I be awake and fully aware of the process or will I go into a dream like/trance state?
    Hypnosis is a spectrum with different depths. There are lighter and medium states, which is like having your eyes closed, being deeply relaxed, and being in a state of rich visualisation, but some people do go deeper. However, you are always aware of where you are and the situation and you are always in control. See also 'How deep will I go?' below.
  • What does hypnosis do?
    Hypnosis reduces or eliminates the activity of the conscious mind, calms the nervous system, and allows the benefits of a relaxed, focused state to come to the surface. In hypnosis there is an enhanced ability to: Access deep self-knowledge and wisdom Experience natural ease, well-being and grace Step out of a negative thought pattern or perspective See a more positive perspective, to embody hope, to release attachment to outcome and to forgive Revisit (but not relive) and reinterpret memories from the past in a broader, more supportive context Reveal emotions that may be associated with and causing psychosomatic illness Influence physiological processes through visualisation (medical hypnotherapy)
  • What is the conscious mind?
    The conscious mind is the name given to describe a certain set of mental functions in the waking state. Typically when we talk about the conscious mind, we are talking about the analytical part of the mind — it is the part of us that judges, analyzes, scrutinizes and filters the information and experiences we encounter. Our conscious mind is where we experience our running “stream of consciousness”, our self-talk, our fears, our doubts, and our sense of limitations. The conscious mind is rooted in what we generally think of as “reality” and generally only believes things to be possible when they make logical sense in the context of our past experiences. When the conscious mind is relaxed, and its functions subside, anything is possible. This is what happens when we dream at night — the most fantastical dreams of flying or other seemingly impossible feats and circumstances seem completely feasible and we believe them to be real. This is because the conscious mind is out of the way – dreams occur in the subconscious.
  • What is the subconscious mind?
    Our subconscious mind is the name used to describe a certain set of mental functions that occur below our level of conscious awareness. These activities occur regardless of being awake or asleep. The dream state is a great insight into the function of this so-called subconscious. The subconscious mind does not judge or filter experiences. It believes what it is told and generally holds onto those beliefs permanently. The subconscious is where all our memories and beliefs are stored, where our emotions are generated, and where our imagination lies. As children, we generally don’t have very developed conscious filters before we hit puberty, explaining why children believe much of what they are told. It is around this time that children develop what is called 'the Critical Factor' where they start to question and analyse things. Prior to this, children don’t yet have enough life experience by which to judge or filter new information as being correct or reasonable. This is why so many of our emotional challenges as adults lie in events or circumstances from our childhood. Parents who don’t show love to their children or who abuse their children verbally or otherwise can cause deep-rooted negative beliefs in the child about the self and the world. Common examples include believing that they are inadequate, undeserving, unlovable, unimportant, not valued, unappreciated, etc.
  • So what makes hypnosis so powerful?
    Hypnosis opens up the subconscious mind to the way it was when we were children – malleable and open to changes in belief. This is extremely powerful since it allows a skilled therapist to literally undo damage that was done through a person’s misinterpretation of earlier life experiences. While regular psychotherapy (talk therapy) allows a client to understand on an intellectual level how an earlier life experience affects their current psychology (and in the process provides some empowerment), hypnotherapy targets the actual experience, reframes how it is perceived and completely changes the associated emotional context and resultant belief. Working with the subconscious mind directly also allows incredible changes to occur physiologically. There exists a very strong connection between the subconscious mind and our physical body. Science is only beginning to understand the mechanisms of these connections, yet in the meantime I have found that simple hypnotic and visualisation methods can improve or eliminate a large range of stress related medical conditions.
  • How "deep" will I go?
    How "deep" you will go, depends on a variety of factors: The strength of your desire or motivation to reach your therapeutic goal: The more you really want to achieve whatever it is you are seeking hypnotherapy for, the more “on board” your whole being will be with engaging in the process. The level of comfort and trust you have with your hypnotherapist (rapport): Allowing another person to guide you through the hypnosis experience can make some people feel vulnerable, particularly if they have never experienced hypnosis before and don’t know what to expect. Naturally, allowing one’s self to go to deeper levels of relaxation and comfort requires a certain level of trust and confidence in your hypnotherapist. It is important to follow your gut instincts when choosing a hypnotherapist. If you don’t get a good feeling from them, seek someone else. Also, it helps to seek a hypnotherapist that describes a life and healing philosophy that matches your own. A hypnotherapist with a value set close to your own will act synergistically to accelerate the change you are seeking. Your previous experience with hypnosis or meditation: The ability to go into hypnosis, like meditation or any other activity in our lives, improves with practice. Individuals who experience multiple sessions of hypnosis usually experience successively deeper hypnotic states. Each session is training for the mind, and as someone has reached a certain depth in their first session, the feeling of that state is often noted in the mind as a reference point from which they can go deeper during the next session. For individuals with some apprehension of the process, this increase in depth is also likely caused by increasing levels of trust in the hypnotherapist, and a realization of how incredibly enjoyable the hypnotic state feels. Preconceived ideas about hypnosis: If you have any negative, preconceived ideas about hypnosis that you have not had resolved with your hypnotherapist in your pre-session talk (pre-talk), you may not be completely open to the experience. This resistance can cause mental distraction from the focus required to both experience deeper levels of hypnosis, and achieve your therapeutic goals. Your hypnotherapist should ask you in the pre-talk whether you have any previous experience with hypnosis, and if you have any concerns they can put to ease. If you are not asked about any previous experience concerns, make sure to ask about what you can expect during the session — it will positively impact your results. Your natural susceptibility: Individuals have a wide range of natural susceptibility. Some people go into a very deep hypnotic state during their very first experience, while others may take several sessions before getting to that point. The reasons for this variation in individuals likely depends on a number of factors, some of which incorporate some of the factors described above – personality (how trusting you are in general), ability to relax, stress level, and right brain-left brain dominance (highly creative and imaginative people often engage in the process more easily) are some of the commonly accepted factors.
  • What does being in hypnosis feel like?
    As you go into hypnosis, you will feel a deepening relaxation. A good state of hypnosis is similar to that wonderful feeling of just gaining awareness as you wake up in the morning. Your body is still very much asleep, and your conscious range of awareness is very narrow, but perhaps focused on a dream, an idea, a feeling or an image. During hypnosis, you will likely lose total awareness of your body, as your mind is completely focused on whatever is being discussed at the time. When you do turn attention to your body, you will often feel like it is extremely heavy. Your heart rate has slowed down, your breathing has slowed, and your body temperature will have dropped slightly. At the end of the session, when you emerge from the hypnotic state, you may feel reluctant to move your body for the first few moments. Your mind typically wakes up first, then your body, and you have the desire to stretch out, just as if waking up from a nap. After the session is over, you will typically feel so relaxed that it can feel like you’ve just had a full body massage. Your stress levels will be very low, you will likely feel very calm and peaceful.
  • Am I in control through the whole process?
    You can think of it like being lead through a guided visualization. There are no control dynamics because overwhelmingly you are generating the content for your own experience and transformation. I'm merely facilitating and guiding your journey using therapeutic techniques but you are ultimately in control of what happens and what you visualise. Hypnotherapy is not done to you - you are an active participant in the process and we very much work together in sessions.
  • How do I get permanent results from Transformational Hypnotherapy?
    Permanent results can be seen in just one session for some, and over several sessions for others. It varies by person. The extent of those results can vary widely as well, from marginal improvement, to a complete resolution of your issue. Sometimes a healing goal is at close reach. Many times, a more gradual and layered approach is appropriate. ​ As with any good holistic practitioner, I work with you to heal the root cause of your issue(s). When people can heal the core issue, they almost always find rapid and lasting relief from symptoms. Hypnotherapy works to identify core limiting beliefs that often date back to childhood and directly swap them out for more empowered perspectives. Guiding you to your own internal wisdom to generate these alternative perspectives is a key aspect of the work, and to generate the healing answers for yourself is also great at building self-esteem. Core beliefs are simply deep-set thoughts that are often outside of your conscious awareness. When you can bring these core issues to light for yourself, you have the power to change them. And when you heal your thinking at a core level, mental and emotional peace naturally follow. I recommend that clients plan to do at least three sessions on any issue with the knowledge that more sessions may be required. This is to ensure that you and I are being as comprehensive as possible at addressing and resolving all the root layers of your issue(s). After three sessions I can assess if any further work is required and how to proceed.
  • How much do Transformational Hypnotherapy sessions cost?
    For those serious about wanting to make positive changes to themselves, at least three sessions are recommended. I therefore offer sessions in packages of three which costs £309 online or £369 in person for three 90 minute sessions. This is longer than the average hypnotherapy session you might typically find offered elsewhere which are usually only 45 - 60 mins long. For full information go to the menu and click on my Sessions page. For Online Gut Directed Hypnotherapy for the symptoms of IBS, I offer a seven session package which costs £525. For full information on this specific type of hypnotherapy treatment, go to the menu and click on my Hypnotherapy for IBS page.
  • How many sessions will I need to have?
    I recommend that clients have at least three sessions on an issue they are working on and be prepared to possibly need to do more. This allows the time and space to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible. Everyone is individual and coming to the table with their own unique circumstances, life experiences, learning style, personality and history. There is no common or standard experience in hypnotherapy which is why it's impossible to put a figure on how many sessions each individual will need. I work with my clients to get the best results possible as quickly as possible. I support my clients to do their best work and direct their own healing trajectory. If you have any questions, request a free consultation call with me first to discuss your particular situation. Simply go to my Contact page.
  • How long is each session?
    Each Transformational Hypnotherapy session with me is ​ - Up to 90 minutes long i.e. longer than the average 45 or 50 min hypnotherapy session you'll typically find offered elsewhere. Longer sessions = getting to the root of the issue quicker, less sessions required and solutions reached sooner.​ ​ - Bespoke i.e. tailored to your individual needs. In online sessions some hypnosis parts of the sessions can be recorded so you have a free recording to take away and use again in your own time, further enhancing the work done in sessions. Sessions are offered in packages of three and the package is valid for 5 weeks from the date of the first session. Sessions should be spaced approximately 1 - 2 weeks apart. For the seven session package of Gut Directed Hypnotherapy specifically for the symptoms of IBS, please go to the menu and click on my 'Hypnotherapy for IBS' page.
  • Can I speak to you first before deciding to book sessions?
    Absolutely! Although I hope I've covered everything you might ask about hypnotherapy and hypnosis both here and in my Sessions page, I do offer a 15 minute consultation call to help you decide if hypnotherapy is right for you. No obligation and it's completely FREE! Go to the menu and click on my Contact page, fill in my contact form with some details and request a call.
  • Will everything I say be treated in confidence?
    Confidentiality is considered to be one of the foundations of the therapeutic relationship. This means that everything which is discussed during sessions is treated in the strictest confidence. In the very rare circumstance where I believed that there is a possibility of harm to yourself or to another person I would be personally obliged by a duty of care to contact the relevant authorities. Should this happen, I would always endeavour to discuss this with you before taking any such action. Suicidal feelings If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and feel that you may harm yourself or want to take your own life it is important to tell someone and get help. If your thoughts around suicide are consuming, there are a number of options for keeping safe (the following is for people living in the UK - if you live outside the UK, please consider what relevant alternatives are available wherever you are based) : - Talk to someone you trust and ask for help - Call 999 and ask for an ambulance - Go to your nearest A&E department - Talk to an advisor at the Samaritans If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts but do not feel that you will take any action I advise that you contact your GP in the first instance for further advice. Information and/or advice about immediate help can be found here (please copy and paste in to your browser): https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/behaviours/help-for-suicidal-thoughts/
  • Do any medications interfere with hypnotherapy?
    While there doesn’t seem to be any research conducted on this topic, my experience has been that clients who are on psycho-pharmaceuticals may sometimes have reduced ability to visualise and make emotional connection to memories and imagery. The success of hypnotherapy is closely tied to these two abilities, and so yes, these types of medications can sometimes interfere. But not always. I have worked successfully with many clients who were still able to achieve powerful insights and breakthroughs while on prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications. Each drug and each person are unique, so if you are concerned about this, just ask.
  • Will I cluck like a chicken? Bark like a dog?
    If you really want to...but I generally prefer that you don't. Many of us have seen a stage hypnosis show, or know someone who took part in such a show. Stage hypnosis is purely for entertainment and utilizes a very deep state of hypnosis that not everyone enters into naturally. Stage hypnosis is an excellent display of the sheer power and malleability of the subconscious mind when the function of the conscious mind is temporarily suspended. These experiences are far removed from clinical hypnosis which is a well recognized and serious therapeutic modality. Everything done in a therapeutic session is done in complete cooperation and agreement with you, the client. Hypnotherapy clients usually feel a sense of awareness throughout their sessions and are able to recall what transpired. Occasionally some individuals in deep hypnosis will experience a natural amnesia and may not remember portions of the session.
  • What is your Rescheduling and Cancellation Policy?
    I require at least 24 hours advanced notice for any changes to your appointment. If you are unable to keep any of your appointments it is essential that you inform me by email at least 24 hours in advance, upon which you will receive written confirmation from myself should you wish to change the appointment to an alternative date. ​ Failure to obtain written confirmation from me will result in a cancelled appointment charge. Being more than 15 minutes late for a session without 24 hours notice and agreement from me is considered a forfeiture of the session. In case of cancellation of a three session package before completion of the three sessions: I refund the remaining amount based on the original price of £115 (online) or £138 (in person) per session completed. For example, if you complete 2 of the 3 sessions and then cancel, you pay £115 (online) or £138 (in person) per session, deducted from the package price, allowing a refund to you of £79 (online) or £93 (in person). The package of three sessions is valid for 5 weeks from the date of your first session. In case of cancellation of a seven session Online Gut Directed Hypnotherapy package before completion of the seven sessions: I refund the remaining amount based on the original price of £95 per online session completed. For example, if you complete 4 of the 7 online sessions and then cancel, you pay £95 per online session, deducted from the package price, allowing a refund to you of £145.
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