Here are a few answers to questions you may have about hypnosis and hypnotherapy. If you need any further information then call me for a (no obligation) chat on 07866 360 359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is the process of inducing a trance-like state, a safe, natural, day-dreamy, relaxed state, during which you are able to focus and concentrate more easily and your subconscious mind becomes more open to positive ideas for change.
We all experience this trance-like state regularly, for example when we are daydreaming on the bus on the way to work, or engrossed in a great book, or sitting watching flames in an open fire (I’m sure you have many examples of your own!). We become so engrossed in what we’re doing that we lose track of time but at the same time we are aware of things going on around us.
Everyone’s experience of hypnosis is different. Some experience mild tingling sensations, some feel lighter or heavier, most feel extremely relaxed, often so relaxed that they don’t want to come back out of it! Of course you can come out of it at any time you wish as you are in control at all times. You are not asleep and you can never be made to do anything that you do not want to do.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the use, by qualified practitioners, of therapy combined with hypnosis to create lasting change. In hypnosis our conscious, often negative, critical, defensive or cynical mind is totally relaxed and our more receptive subconscious mind becomes more focused and open to changing our old ways of behaving or thinking, our emotions, or our reactions to memories.
Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process between the practitioner and the client. It is not something that is ‘done’ to the client but rather a safe, drug-free* and effective therapy.
It can be used with children as well as adults and can be an effective therapy for all sorts of issues, even medical issues, where the illness or pain may have a psychological or emotional aspect to it.
*If you are currently taking any medication do not stop without consultation with your GP.
Can you give me some examples of how hypnotherapy works?
People who are overweight often consciously know that they need to control their weight and yet they still feel drawn to eating unhealthily or eating too much. This is because their unconscious mind thinks differently, has learned this behaviour and keeps them doing what they’ve always done. Hypnotherapy deals with the unconscious mind and makes suggestions for healthy, lasting change.
Similarly, smokers often consciously want to stop smoking because of the health risks etc, yet they keep on smoking and just can’t seem to stop. This is because their more powerful, unconscious mind is in charge and continuing their old habits. Hypnotherapy tackles this unconscious behaviour.
People with phobias can often consciously think that they should not be afraid, yet whenever they are faced with the object of their phobia their unconscious fear kicks in and they react. Hypnotherapy deals with the causes of the fear as well as the symptoms and gradually builds confidence.
Hypnotherapy can also help with medical conditions where the illness or pain often has a psychological or emotional aspect to it. The mind and body are inextricably linked and our thoughts, behaviours, memories and emotions can have a direct effect on our body. Dealing with stress and anxiety can effectively help with healing and can reduce pain. Hypnotherapy is complementary to medicine and all medical conditions should be checked by a qualified medical practitioner before coming to a hypnotherapist. Do not stop taking any medication without consultation with your GP and do not self-diagnose.
What is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is an effective therapeutic approach that can be used in or out of trance. It looks at patterns of language and how those patterns can be changed to reframe old ways of thinking, to resolve stuck or conflicting thoughts and habits or the way we unconsciously communicate with others. I can teach you NLP skills to take away with you and use in your own time. It has many applications, for example I regularly use it for confidence building, performance issues, public speaking and phobias.
What is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and is a powerful and generally fast-working meridian energy therapy, created by personal development coach, Gary Craig. It involves focusing on your problem whilst tapping with your fingertips on various meridian energy points on the body (just like acupuncture but without the needles) in order to release negative emotions and beliefs. I incorporate some of these techniques in my therapy and can teach you EFT techniques to take away with you and use in your own time and on other issues. It has many applications and is regularly used on issues such as trauma, phobias, anger and grief.
How many sessions will I need?
Compared to some other therapies, hypnotherapy is a much faster approach. The number of sessions required very much depends on the person and the complexity of the issue and whether there are any underlying issues preventing you from reaching your goals. It’s important to me that you get the result you want rather than set a number of sessions and that we have the flexibility to change the number of sessions as we work together.
The average number of sessions is between 4 and 6, with some issues (e.g. stopping smoking) taking less, others taking more. I am bound by my Professional Bodies’ ethical guidelines and can reassure you that I will stop therapy at the earliest moment appropriate, taking into account your good care and welfare. You are, of course, free to finish therapy at any time you choose.
How much does it cost?
My fees are charged by the hour and are paid by cash or cheque at the end of each session or in advance by bank transfer. Please call me for a no-obligation chat so that I have a better understanding of your personal needs and can let you know how many sessions it is likely to take and how much it will cost.
Do you offer guarantees?
Be wary of therapists offering 100% guarantees. Hypnotherapy is not a ‘miracle cure’ and all therapy, including medicine, does not work for all people in all circumstances. The hypnotherapist does not have some kind of magical power. Hypnotherapy is a partnership between client and therapist which, with the help of the hypnotherapist, empowers you, the client, to achieve the change you want. What I can guarantee is that I will have your best interests at heart and will bring all of my skills, knowledge and experience to your issue and ask in turn that you are committed too.
First of all I offer a free consultation of up to 30 minutes (either in person or by phone) so that I can get an idea of your issue and we can discuss hypnotherapy and whether it is the right course of action for you.
If you decide to go ahead then we would arrange an appointment for an initial assessment session. This would last for up to an hour and a half and would be an information gathering session, so that I have a full understanding of your issue and needs and we can establish your main goal. I can then tailor an individual plan for your subsequent sessions. I do not usually do hypnosis during this first session.
All subsequent sessions would typically last 1 hour. They would be a mixture of you talking about your issue, me asking questions and guiding you gently into hypnosis where I can propose hypnotic suggestions or use other therapeutic approaches in line with your goal.
Children’s sessions will depend on their age and attention span.
Sometimes you will be given an easily manageable assignment in-between sessions (maybe keeping a diary or doing some self-hypnosis) to either help you with your goal directly or to provide me with further understanding where necessary.
Will I lose control?
No, you remain in control at all times and are free to come out of hypnosis at any point. Hypnosis is neither magic nor a truth pill and hypnotherapy is not like stage hypnosis. It is a gentle, safe, respectful process. Some problems, however, because of their nature, may involve revisiting memories or thinking about things you are afraid of, in order to treat them. You can stop any technique at any time; we will go at your pace, with you in control.
Are there any side effects?
Although sometimes for some clients hypnotherapy can be emotional at some stages of the therapy, the only side effects tend to be positive ones, for example feeling more relaxed or content or confident, being less afraid, more in control and less stressed. You should come away from the sessions feeling very relaxed and sometimes tired if you have been dealing with something difficult.
What do I need to do before the session?
The main thing I ask is that you are committed to change and come to the sessions with an open mind. In order to relax more you may want to:
- Avoid taking any caffeine before the session (such as tea, coffee, cola) or any stimulants such as alcohol or drugs, unless you are on prescribed medication. (Do please let me know if you are taking any medication and do not stop taking it without consulting your GP).
- Wear comfortable clothes and remove hard contact lenses if you think they may be uncomfortable.
You may have many other questions, so if you need any more information about your own particular issue I am here to help.
Please call me on 07866 360 359 or email email@example.com for a no-obligation chat to find out if hypnotherapy is the right choice for you.