FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HYPNOTHERAPY
What is hypnotherapy?
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the client is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist's voice. In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed.
The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.
The practise of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy. As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy aims to reprogram patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome.
As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.
How does it work?
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.
The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken. Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the patient's behaviour and physical state to alter.
For example, a patient who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror and prevents the patient from succeeding.
Progress can only be made by reprogramming the subconscious so that deep seated instincts and beliefs are abolished or altered.
When might hypnotherapy be useful?
Hypnotherapy is widely endorsed as a treatment for habit breaking, stress-related issues and for a range of long-term conditions, and in recent years has been gaining steam in the medical world after a recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recognised hypnotherapy as a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Can everyone be hypnotised?
Yes... Everyone enters a hypnotic state every day, by watching TV, reading, playing video games and even driving. In this state you’re up to 200 times more suggestible than when you are fully awake (Beta). Hypnosis is a natural state which everyone moves in and out of throughout each day. If you want to be hypnotised, as long as you allow your subconscious mind to open to new suggestions and new ideas, there is no reason for it not to work, no matter how light the hypnosis state you were in.
What makes a person a good candidate?
Anyone who wants to make a change in his or her life is a good candidate.
Are women more hypnotisable than men?
Research has conclusively shown that, on the average, there is no difference between men and women in their susceptibility to hypnosis
Is hypnosis appropriate for everyone? Are there any drawbacks?
Hypnosis is appropriate for most people. There is controversy over the use of hypnosis for people with epilepsy or who have schizophrenia. There are no drawbacks to hypnosis if you do not have these disorders.
Is hypnotherapy for children safe?
Hypnotherapy for children and young people is considered highly effective and is completely safe. Children tend to respond very well to hypnosis as they are naturally quite imaginative and use their subconscious minds a great deal more than adults do. Hypnotherapy can help to address a number of issues commonly experienced in childhood, including exam nerves, sleep problems, bed-wetting, fears, eating disorders and low self-esteem.
Is there any problem that you can’t handle with hypnotherapy?
The list is limitless what can be treated with hypnotherapy, anxiety, smoking, sleep, weight gain, confidence, fears and phobias to name a few. However, if a client is on medicines for depression, they should speak with their doctor first before having hypnotherapy.
How can I motivate myself to get in the mood, if I’m not?
Like making any change in your life, you have to stick with the program to see results. Reaching a hypnotic state does not take motivation, it takes an open mind.
What if I believe I’m too old to change? Is that a stumbling block?
Your subconscious mind does not have an age and this is what hypnosis target. Hypnosis can help you change no matter what your age
What exactly is hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is a state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. In reality, it is more like daydreaming, or the feeling of “losing yourself” in a good book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought.
How long will hypnotherapy sessions last?
Again this is really dependant on both your hypnotherapist and your circumstances. One-off services such as smoking cessation or gastric band hypnotherapy can last around two hours, while a general hypnotherapy session will usually take 60-90 minutes.
How much does hypnotherapy cost?
Services such as smoking cessation and gastric band hypnotherapy may come at a slighter higher premium because they are often provided as a one-off service. When it comes to general private hypnotherapy sessions - the NHS has estimated a cost of between £60 and £90, though do be mindful that this will differ from practitioner to practitioner
What exactly can it do for me?
Research is constantly being conducted to answer this question on a variety of topics. Hypnotherapy can help you make changes in your life. It allows you to focus your attention on a particular goal and you are more likely to follow the suggestions during a hypnotic state. Hypnosis has medical, therapeutic, physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
What’s the difference between daydreaming and hypnotherapy?
The two states are essentially the same. There are however two differences. One, in hypnotherapy you are being guided into the state as opposed to daydreaming in which you drift there by yourself. Secondly, while in hypnotherapy you are given positive suggestions for change.
Is daydreaming a form of relaxation?
Yes, if you are daydreaming about something positive. Daydreaming allows you to divert focus and you have a tendency to “lose yourself” in the daydream.
What exactly does relaxation mean?
Relaxation is achieved when there is less activity in specific areas of the brain. Your thoughts and emotions are neutral or positive, allowing you to eliminate negative thoughts and emotions. You will feel calm and at ease.
What if I can’t relax? What can I do about it?
If you are finding it difficult to relax during the relaxing part of the hypnosis session, then you may need to change a few things. You may want to lie down and clear your mind for a little while before you start the session. You will want to create a relaxing place where you will not be interrupted. Be aware of any thoughts that are distracting you and turn your attention away from them while practising hypnosis.
What if I fall asleep during the hypnosis session?
Your subconscious mind will do all the listening. You may be in a deep state of hypnosis, but you will not be asleep, you may remember some of the suggestions or none at all from your conscious mind, but your subconscious mind will remember all suggestions, emotions and ideas.
Will I have free will?
Yes, you will always have free will. You will be less aware of your surroundings because you will be focused on suggestions, but you will be able to exit the hypnotic state at any moment.
Can I engage in other forms of therapy while I’m doing this?
Yes, however, you should focus on only one hypnosis recording topic at a time to see the best results. You can also use other forms of therapy such as relaxation techniques, meditation, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioural therapy, etc.
Will there be any negative after-effects?
You will be in a relaxed state of consciousness under hypnosis. Some people do end up falling asleep and this is okay because your subconscious mind will still hear the suggestions.
If I’m in a state of hypnosis, will I be aware of my surroundings?
It’s not that you won’t be aware of your surroundings; you will experience a heightened state of concentration on suggestions, instead.
What are the signs, once I’m under hypnosis?
Most people experience slower breathing, slower heart rate, sleepiness, and in rare instances, people report a spinning or floating sensation. All of these signs are normal and are considered part of the responses to the hypnotherapy
Can I reject anything that I feel goes against my beliefs?
Beliefs are formed with your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind will take in the suggestions as fact. This is why hypnosis is very beneficial in initiating change.
Will I lose control?
No, you will always be in control.
Will there be any negative after-effects?
Are sessions confidential?
All sessions are confidential and only if you provide written consent, do we contact anyone on your behalf.
Can I use this instead of seeing a doctor?
You should always seek the advice of a medical doctor before making a major change in your life.
Can I get hypnotherapy on the NHS?
Access to hypnotherapy on the NHS is incredibly limited and while you can discuss the option with your healthcare provider, it is not widely available and the majority of practitioners work privately
Are medications needed or used?
Medications are not needed to enter a state of hypnosis. You should always seek the advice of a medical doctor if you wish to stop using medication.