What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy, sometimes called Clinical Hypnosis, is the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting. It is simply when hypnosis is used as a healing or life-enhancing treatment and phenomenal changes can be made in your life through hypnotherapy. With the help of a skilled hypnotherapist it is an astonishingly fast and effective way of bringing about change because as we now know from the amazing work done by British psychologists Griffin and Tyrrell the hypnotic state is related to the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) state which occurs during dreaming, and the unconscious mind is programmed in REM. Due to our up-bringing and life experiences we may have some unhelpful or redundant programmes (or patterns) running which need changed and updated. By accessing the REM state we can literally reprogramme the computer of the mind.

What to expect in a hypnotherapy session

1. Contacting Me

This is always the first and often the biggest step and sometimes people take some time to decide in their own mind to try hypnotherapy. It’s important that you contact me yourself – a spouse or a relative or friend may recommend hypnosis but ultimately it is your decision. During the initial phone call I will discuss any concerns and answer questions without any obligations then if you are happy to work with me we can book an appointment. 

2. The First Appointment

This is usually longer (one and a half hours) because a full case history will be taken. This gives you time to get comfortable with me and I get a clearer picture of your issue. It also helps me decide what sort of hypnotic induction I will use and what therapeutic suggestions to give you once you are in a deeply relaxed state. I will explain hypnosis to you and tell you what to expect. Everyone is hypnotisable provided they are willing to relax and let go and be guided into the trance state and this is why I make every effort to ensure you are comfortable about the procedure.

3. The Hypnotic Session

During this you will be guided into a state of deep relaxation where you will still be completely ‘awake’, able to listen and respond when required. Your conscious mind will operate in the background now and allow the unconscious mind to be accessed. At the end I will give instructions to bring you back gently to the room and there will be a chance for some feedback.

4. What next?

If you wish to continue with the therapy I will then discuss with you how many more sessions you may need to deal properly with the issue. Hypnotherapy is a brief therapy and success-orientated so in general people see me for between one and six sessions. Serious issues such as eating disorders and severe OCD will need longer. Smoking Cessation can often be very successful as a one-off and is usually two hours in length and the charges are higher to encourage commitment! It is important that every client is educated in and encouraged to practice self-hypnosis as a life-long skill thereafter, for which you will be given instructions and a recording. When using CBT or Life Coaching Skills in combination with hypnosis I require clients to have an A5 Therapy Book to help with achieving goals and you will be expected to practise techniques and skills in between sessions.

What does hypnotherapy treat?

People often ask me how hypnotherapy can be effective at treating so many different problems – and the answer is because first and foremost hypnosis treats stress. The root cause of all problems is stress – stress impacts on everything and it is clear that we all need to de-stress regularly. These days practising a form of meditation is often advised and I would agree with this but so many people fail at meditation simply because they are too stressed in the first place! It can often be a CATCH 22 situation. The quickest and easiest way is to learn from a hypnotist. It is a learned skill and the more hypnosis you do the better you get at it and eventually you will be able to meditate successfully and control your own stress levels.

What Hypnotherapy Does Not Treat

Hypnotherapy should not of course impinge on the territory of the doctor or the psychiatrist. It is a complementary therapy rather than an alternative, and it is a profession in its own right providing a unique set of skills for dealing with problems in a different way. There is a range of ailments where hypnotherapy is appropriate, and often highly effective, but where it should only be provided if the condition has been diagnosed and confirmed by the client’s own doctor. These include asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. Schizophrenia, bi-polar conditions, dementia, epilepsy, and serious heart conditions are contraindicated and I will not treat anyone who turns up under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. If in doubt always consult your doctor.