WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a natural state everyone goes into when daydreaming, watching TV, driving and many other times when we are focused on one stimulus without distractions.
WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?
Hypnotherapy is a talking therapy just like all forms of psychotherapy except for one major difference. It is specifically designed to directly communicate with the unconscious mind using an induction which helps to by-pass the conscious critical faculty and communicate with the unconscious mind.
Because the unconscious is the store of all your resources and problems, this is the reason why hypnosis is a lot quicker at getting results than other types of psychotherapy.
WHO CAN BE HYPNOTISED?
Dave Elman, one of the most famous hypnotists that ever lived, said “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” In other words, it is the client who decides whether or not they go into a trance. Some people naturally go into a hypnotic trance more quickly and more deeply than others.
It is usually found that the speed of going into a hypnotic trance increases with practice, as does the depth which can be achieved.
The main reason for not going into trance is fear of losing control, but once you learn how to use hypnosis, you actually become more in control of your unconscious mind.
The hypnotist’s job is to build trust and educate the client so that they understand what hypnosis is and what hypnosis is not. The aim of my site is to educate you, so that you can gain the most from your hypnosis sessions.
There have been many experiments conducted by various hypnotists and governments to see if hypnosis could be used for controlling people, but all evidence shows that you cannot be made to do anything which you would not normally do because your mind would reject any such suggestion.
Most people find that they actually gain control when using hypnosis, whether it is to relax, de-stress, stop a habit or resolve a phobia.
Some people worry about being told to do something that is unethical or against their beliefs while in trance. If a hypnotist could do this, he would easily be the richest man in the world. If he was unethical, he could just suggest to people that they gave him all their money. Or if he was ethical, he could work for various governments and go into prisons and stop people committing crimes. So if you think about it, it’s obvious that hypnotists cannot get anyone to do something they don’t want to do.
WHAT IF I CAN’T BE HYPNOTISED?
There are many psychology and NLP techniques that can be used instead of hypnosis, so if you do not want to be or can’t be hypnotised, you will still be able to benefit from a session. Some of the techniques that can be used are EFT, EMDR, NLP, CBT and solution focused therapy, as well as many more.
CAN HYPNOTHERAPY HELP ME? DOES IT WORK?
Hypnosis has been shown to be very effective for phobias, weight management, bad habits, addictions, peak performance, stress, childbirth, pain control, skin conditions, confidence, self-esteem and many other conditions.
WHAT DOES HYPNOSIS FEEL LIKE? HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M HYPNOTISED?
Each person is different, but most feel very relaxed due to the suggestions made by the hypnotist. Your limbs may feel heavy and your breathing slow down.
Most people hear everything that is said and remember all the suggestions after waking.
In trance, you may find you pay attention to what the hypnotist says and at other times, your mind may go blank or start to wander. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about because your unconscious mind will hear everything that’s being said.
Let me demonstrate to you what hypnosis really feels like. Close your eyes and relax each body part from your head to your toes….. it feels just like that.
To be hypnotised, you do not have to be at all relaxed and there have been experiments where people have been hypnotised while cycling on a stationary bike. A stage hypnotist often uses inductions that involve people being very active.
WILL I BE AWARE OF WHATS HAPPENING?
Yes. Most people find their senses are heightened in hypnosis, so you will probably be more aware of what is happening than normal.
CAN CHILDREN BE HYPNOTISED?
Yes. Evidence has shown that children are usually very good subjects for hypnosis, because they have active imaginations and go into a trance very easily normally without a formal induction. It also helps that they do not analyse things until they start to get older. If you tell a young child that Father Christmas can fit down the chimney, they would believe you without question.
WHAT IS HYPNO-ANALYSIS?
Hypo-analysis takes its theories from psycho-analysis but uses hypnosis to speed up the process of finding the cause of your problems. The aim of this therapy is to regress a person back to the cause of the problem that has been repressed by the conscious mind and release the old negative behaviours.
This is an advanced technique that should only be used with proper training. The main theory behind this is that every behaviour has a cause and to resolve the problem, you have to find the cause. This will allow you to change the effect it has on the present, so that the client can work on the present and future without being held back by past events.
DO I GET ANY SUPPORT BETWEEN SESSIONS?
Yes. For some clients, I will set various tasks that can be done during sessions and I offer all my clients email support after their sessions.
CAN I TALK WHILE IN TRANCE?
Yes. You can be deep in trance with your eyes open, yet able to talk and move. Stage hypnosis is probably the best example of what can be done in hypnosis.
WHAT IS AN INDUCTION AND A DEEPENER?
An induction is used to put a client into trance and a deepener is used to take the client to a good level in order to be able to work at the issue.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ATTACHED TO BEING HYPNOTISED? IS HYPNOSIS SAFE?
There is no risk when going into hypnosis but there are certain techniques that can produce false memories when not carried out properly. However, this is only a risk when using age regression or hypno-analysis with an unskilled therapist, who does not use clean language.
HOW DO STAGE HYPNOTISTS GET PEOPLE TO DO THINGS ON STAGE?
Stage hypnosis relies on group dynamics and selecting the most extroverted and suggestible people from the audience to take part. Most of the people who volunteer for stage hypnosis are extroverts and would do the majority of what hypnotists tell them, even if they were not hypnotised. Hypnosis makes them more suggestible and less able to use their analytical mind. So if you tell them they are wearing x-ray specs or that they’re a ballerina, they will believe it and act like one.
WILL I REMEMBER ANY OF THE SESSION?
Some people have amnesia for the whole session while others remember bits and pieces. When I emerge the client from hypnosis, I usually give a suggestion that their unconscious mind will allow them to remember something that may help them to learn new skills, which will be useful in the future. They can forget anything they need to until their unconscious mind allows them to remember what is relevant.
CAN I BE STUCK IN HYPNOSIS?
If the hypnotist did not give you any suggestions to emerge, you would either fall asleep or you would come out of the trance naturally. Sometimes, people do not emerge straight away because they like the feeling of being in trance, but this is very rare and just takes a little bit more experience to bring them out of trance. No one has ever been stuck in hypnosis.
WHAT IS SELF HYPNOSIS?
Self hypnosis is a process which allows you to go into a hypnotic trance on your own and can be a very useful skill to learn for many reasons, such as childbirth, accelerated learning and relaxation.
WHAT DOES THE MEDICAL PROFESSION THINK OF HYPNOSIS?
Some doctors and other professionals are sceptical about hypnosis. This is mainly because of what they have seen on TV and because of the general misconceptions that are held by the general public. Unfortunately, most of the people who condemn hypnosis have never read any books on the subject nor do they have any real knowledge of what they’re condemning.
The British Medical Association confirmed 50 years ago that hypnosis was not only valid but the treatment of choice for certain conditions. Hypnosis surprisingly has one of the largest research bases of all psychological therapies. There is evidence that it is one of the most effective forms of hypnosis therapy, along with behavioural and cognitive therapies.
There appears to be growing interest among the general public in complementary medicine and the NHS now has a Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners at www.nhsdirectory.org.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
Smoking, simple phobias and stress management can normally be resolved in one session. Other more complex issues can take up to ten sessions, with the average being six. I specifically design strategies to cut down on the number of sessions, by making sure that the preparation work has been done before we begin the hypnosis sessions and by setting homework for the client to complete between sessions.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD THERE BE BETWEEN SESSIONS?
I would suggest a week between sessions, which will give you enough time to complete any homework assignments and to notice the changes in your beliefs, values, habits, behaviours etc.
HOW CAN HYPNOTHERAPY WORK SO QUICKLY?
Because hypnosis works directly with your unconscious mind, all the resources you have within you are available to work with and overcome your problem.
CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME?
Yes. You can bring someone for support but the therapy is to be done one on one.
WILL THE THERAPIST NEED TO TOUCH ME?
The Hypnotherapist does not need to touch the client, but in certain situations it may be appropriate. For example, it may be necessary if the client is sitting on the edge of a chair or if the therapist is using rapid inductions, and some techniques require touching the forehead and wrists. The therapist should always ask before touching the client and tell the client where they will be touched.
CAN YOU HYPNOTISE SOMONE WITHOUT THEM KNOWING?
Yes. This is called covert hypnosis. It’s the type of thing Derren Brown uses in his TV shows.
DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING BEFORE I COME TO SEE YOU?
No, but you may find it useful to download some of my audio files so that you can practise going into hypnosis. You can also contact me to ask any questions you may have.
HOW LONG DOES A SESSION LAST?
Between 50 minutes and 2 hours depending on what you are seeing me for.
DOES HYPNOSIS ALWAYS WORK?
It depends on what you mean. For some people, it offers a fast and effective treatment for their problems and for others it only has a small effect. One of the things your therapist should do is to check how your problem affects you before you start therapy and what solution you would like. This will allow you to know if you’re improving between your sessions.
ARE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
The NCH and APHP have very strict rules about confidentiality which can be checked on their Code of Conduct pages. They basically state that the therapist must ensure that any client notes and records are kept secure and confidential. Confidentiality must be observed at all times unless in connection with any legal action (such as criminal or civil court cases where a court order is made demanding disclosure, including coroner’s courts). Or there may be a legal requirement to disclose; for example, under the Children’s Acts, where there is good reason to believe that non-disclosure would cause result in serious harm to the client, the therapist and / or others.
The Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP) Code of Ethics (http://www.aphp.co.uk/ethics.php)states:
(a) It is in the best interest of the client / patient to disclose any relevant information;
(b) The client / patient has given their permission to disclose;
(c) Where the law requires disclosure;
(d) When sharing information with fellow professionals. In the latter case, client anonymity must be guaranteed;
(e) In the event of a complaint being made against them, subject to the complainant providing written consent for their notes and records to be made available, members may be required to provide this information to The Association on demand.
Therapists must also comply with the Data Protection Act, 1986
WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT?
It is best not to have a complaint in the first place. So I suggest you do your research before going to see a hypnotherapist and always makes sure they are registered with a reputable hypnotherapy organisation like the UKCHO, APHP or the NCH. I recommend these three because they are run in the most professional manner and are harder to join than a general register. If the hypnotherapist is a member of one of these organisations, you should contact them and they will tell you what to do if you wish to lodge a complaint.
WHAT STYLE OF HYPNOSIS DO YOU USE?
I use techniques, skills and principles from the wide variety of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy training courses I’ve attended, and also incorporate theories from books and videos. This allows me to mix and match many techniques so that I can be more effective with my clients. I like to call this an eclectic style of hypnosis.
WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATE? DO YOU GIVE GARANTEES?
My membership of various associations does not allow me to give guarantees for any condition or problem, and success rates can only be published if they can be backed up with proof, which is very hard to establish.
It is also impossible for any hypnotherapist to state success rates because it would mean staying in contact with very single patient ever seen and then compiling the information into statistics. It also depends on what you see as success and failure.
There are a lot of Hypnotherapists who claim very high success rates for things like smoking cessation, but most are breaking the rules of their own associations and the Advertising Standards Authority.
If someone said they have a success rate of 75%, for example, they would have to tell you how many people they had treated, how long the client had stopped smoking for and keep in contact with all clients after treatment, which I’m sure you will agree is a lot of work.
Statistics can be made to mean anything you want. That’s why I don’t show any on my site.