Hypnotherapy FAQs

Updated: Jul 4

There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding hypnotherapy, so I thought it would be helpful to create this article to separate the truth from the fiction! I always allow plenty of time for you to ask me any questions you may have during your Initial Consultation. Until then, I find that these are the most common questions that friends and clients ask me, so I hope you find this blog useful!





"How Does Hypnotherapy Work?"


When you are in a hypnotised state, you are often able to reach a place of utter relaxation, focus, and introspection that you can rarely reach whilst in a conscious or 'waking' state. Hypnotherapy is so effective because it often allows you the space, time, and concentration needed to reach new levels of insight about yourself, your life, and your past, present, and future.


Sounds a bit trippy? It's not really.... whilst you are hypnotised, you and I can communicate directly with your unconscious mind, that huge storehouse of thoughts, feelings, and memories that are so often the cause of self-limiting beliefs, self-defeating behaviours, fears, phobias habits, and negative emotions. Communicating directly with your unconscious mind allows us to bypass any kick-back we might encounter from your conscious critical faculty (CCF) and your conscious mind. This makes it easier to make the changes that you want to make at a base level, kind of fine-tuning and reprogramming your mind.... in a really good way!



"What Does the Process of Hypnotherapy Entail?"




Lapsing into a hypnotic state is natural and it is something that we all do several times, every single day. Think about the last time you were driving or walking to somewhere familiar and you arrived at your destination without even knowing how you'd got there. This is because you were in a hypnotic state, daydreaming, and fully allowing your unconscious mind to take over.

During your sessions, all I do is gently assist you to relax and simply allow yourself to fall into this same state.


All hypnotherapeutic sessions begin with an induction. This is usually a simple relaxation procedure that gradually relaxes all of the muscles throughout your entire body and assists you to let your conscious and unconscious mind wander, wherever they want to go.


The next step is a deepener. This allows you to completely relax your mind as well as your body and prepares you for the ’treatment‘ section of your session, during which time, you will listen to a multi-approach hypnotherapeutic script which is tailored only to you and the changes that you wish to make in your life.


After the ’treatment‘ section is completed, you will gently be re-orientated to the room around you and after a brief chat, and once we're both sure you're safe to leave the session, then it'll be time to go about your day or evening as normal.



"How Long Does a Hypnotherapy Session Last?"


You should allow fifteen minutes for your initial consultation which can be conducted via telephone, Zoom, or Google Meet. All further sessions (apart from week three of a Hypno Gastric Band programme or a Smoking Cessation session) will last for around an hour and a half.


As children generally don't like to sit still for too long, their sessions are usually kept to around an hour.



"Will I Fall Asleep During Hypnotherapy?"




Sometimes people become so relaxed during their hypnotherapy sessions that they do fall asleep. I've had it happen many, many times! It's often the first time that people have truly taken some time out for themselves and experienced such a tranquil state that I feel slightly guilty that I have to wake them up a little!

Hypnotherapy is optimally effective during the Alpha and Theta brain wave states. The brainwaves slow down and the unconscious mind becomes more open to suggestion and becomes more focused, creative, and imaginative.


Beta states, or being alert or engaged in an activity such as reading this blog don't allow the conscious mind and the CCF to be bypassed, whilst sleep, or the Delta wave state is often too deep for some people for post-hypnotic suggestions to be fully understood and absorbed by the unconscious mind.


If you do fall asleep, good for you! You will still be able to hear what I'm saying and you will still absorb the positive words and suggestions that I'm making to you, but I will try to gently wake you so that you remain in an Alpha or Theta state so that you experience the maximum benefits on offer during your session.


"How Does it Feel When you are Under Hypnosis?"


The experience differs for everyone. Personally I always feel extremely relaxed, focused, and calm, pretty much how I (mostly) do just before I fall asleep. Other people experience sensations such as tingling fingers and toes, lightness or heaviness in their limbs, and others report feeling sensations that are suggested to them, such as feeling cold, cool, or actually feeling the warmth of the sun on their face.


You are able to access thoughts, feelings, and emotions in more depth and if someone has found something particularly profound, happy or sad, then I have experienced people emoting as such, laughing or crying depending on the memories or thoughts they are examining at the time.



"Can Everyone Have Hypnotherapy?"



Anyone over the age of 5 years can safely experience a hypnotic state and since qualifying, I have undergone further training to be able to work with children too.


The vast majority of people (including children) are moderately easy to hypnotise, fewer are easily hypnotisable, and very, very few will not be able to enter a hypnotic state at all.


Hypnotherapy is effective for most people and becomes easier with practice. There are no side-effects, it is cost effective, and its multiple benefits can improve your life drastically. There are however a small group of people who cannot receive hypnotherapy such as:

  • Those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness with a psychotic component such as Schizophrenia, or Bipolar Personality Disorder.

  • Those who suffer with a panic disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a complex phobia, such as agoraphobia, or have been diagnosed with severe depression. Hypnotherapy can be very beneficial to help in combatting these conditions, but it should be used as an adjunct to ongoing multidisciplinary mental health care and will always require you or myself to gain the permission of your GP or other health care professional in order for you to begin a hypnotherapeutic treatment program.

  • Those who have a source of pain that they wish to control, or a chronic illness that has not firstly been investigated and diagnosed by a medical professional. Hypnotherapy can help greatly with these conditions, but GP or Consultant permission will often be needed in order for you to start a treatment program with Actualise.



"How Many Hypnotherapy Sessions Will I Need?"


This really depends on the issue that you need help with. For smoking cessation you will only require an initial consultation and one further session which will last for around one and a half to two hours.


For those wishing to manage their weight, I like to conduct six sessions with you so that we cover all elements and you get the full benefit from your hypnotherapeutic programme.


For those wishing to lose weight using the Hypno-Gastric Band method, or wishing to learn Hypnobirthing, four sessions are required.


More directly health related issues such as chronic disease or pain management, fertility, intimate relationships, and emotional disturbances may require between four to six sessions, or maybe more.


For those who wish to eliminate a fear or phobia, or need help with public speaking, stage fright, procrastination, motivation, driving test, or exam anxiety, these issues can usually be resolved within three to five sessions.


If you should become stuck and regression techniques are required to get to the bottom of your presenting issue, then a few more sessions will be required to safely do so. Those wishing to explore complex issues that are arising from their past (I do not practice past-life regression) may require anywhere from six to twelve sessions.


Everyone is different, and treatment takes different lengths of time for different people and different issues. I am an incredibly ethical practitioner and will never advise that you have more sessions than you need. Please feel assured that I've always got your best interests at heart.



"Will I Lose Control of Myself During Hypnosis?"




If I'm honest, this is probably the most common question I get asked. People seem to think that hypnotherapists can go into people's minds and extract their deepest secrets, or they see what happens during stage hypnosis and think that their mind can be completely controlled, that they can be made to cluck like a chicken or to bark like a dog.

Most hypnotherapists are dismayed at what they see during stage hypnosis and it often feels to us as though they are making a mockery of such a wonderful profession. The important difference between us and them is, that ninety-nine per cent of the time, a hypnotist or mentalist has had no training in psychology or psychotherapy and uses hypnosis purely for the entertainment of an audience.


A hypnotherapist (such as myself) is a formally, psychologically trained therapist who uses the process of hypnosis to calm and focus someone whilst applying psychologically-based techniques that can assist you in changing the programming of your unconscious mind. There are no pocket watches, no metronomes, no swirling circles, just relaxation, positive words, and music playing in the background, if that is something that you would like to have.


The most important thing that needs answering here is no, you cannot be made to do anything that you don't want to do and your unconscious mind will protect you (and your secrets) at all times. Even if you are completely relaxed and in a deep state of trance, you are always in control. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, something you allow yourself to experience with the guidance of another person. You will never get stuck in a hypnotic state and you can leave your hypnotic state whenever you wish to.


This is why it is so important that you really do want the changes that you are hoping for and I ask for a moderate to high level of motivation from you before I will commit to offering hypnotherapy for any presenting issue. If you don't truly wish to change, then most likely, your unconscious mind will just reject all of the positive work we are trying to achieve together. You are always in control of the goals you wish to achieve and what direction your treatment programme takes.


So, will you cluck like a chicken whilst hypnotised? Only if you want to! 😜😂





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