Hypnosis is a very natural state of mind, and an important part of everyday life. Whenever our mind wanders, we daydream, or are deeply focused on some activity like watching a sports event, reading a book, crafting, driving a familiar route, watching a film, we are in a state of hypnosis. Contrary to what many people believe, hypnosis is not always a trance state or a sleep state, even though a person in hypnosis may appear to be sleeping, they are generally in fact, in a deep state of focused attention upon their inner world.
Hypnotherapy can be rapid and effective, and can change your patterns of behaviour and perceptions, overcoming irrational fears, phobias, habits, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions. It can be applied to a wide range of issues be them medical, emotional or psychological. Areas of application include anxiety and stress conditions, weight control, addictive behaviours (including smoking, alcohol and substance misuse) and confidence issues. Hypnotherapy is also used to enhance performance in several areas such as sport and public speaking.
The British Medical Association approved hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment in 1955 and the American Medical Association followed in 1958.
In collaboration with your hypnotherapist, and by following their instruction to reach this focused state, using many different therapeutic techniques, suggestions can be made to your subconscious mind to change any limiting or unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about yourself, your world and yourself in your world to effect positive change in your life.
Brain scans on people who are in hypnosis state show that brain wave activity moves from a Beta state to an Alpha state, and sometimes a Theta state. This is not dissimilar to the pattern of brain activity during meditation.
It is not possible for me as a therapist to make you do something you don’t want to do. Ultimately, you will always have the choice to act or not act upon any suggestion I, or anyone else for that matter, may give you. I can only be as successful with you as you allow yourself to be with me as the therapist. You will always have the power of choice to follow or not follow any instruction given and therefore, the power and agency to emerge from the hypnotic state if you wish. Whatever or whomever hypnotizes you, you always have the power to resist.
You are always in control during a hypnotherapy session and you cannot be made to do anything you don’t want to do. It is important to trust the therapist you work with. I always believe that any change needs to have its source in the individual thus empowering and equipping them to effect change for themselves once they have moved on from the therapeutic alliance we form whilst working. It’s a joint effort and this includes ensuring you feel enabled and totally comfortable throughout your sessions with me. Consequently, you cannot get stuck in trance. You are able to bring yourself out of trance whenever you wish, although generally clients feel so comfortable with the process, they remain listening to my voice until the change they require has occurred.
It’s very empowering to realise that you are the one in control. You decide how deeply into hypnosis you wish to go. As your hypnotherapist, it’s my job to guide, support, and help you on this journey, but the change can only be made by you.
Often this realization that it’s you in control, and you making this change in yourself happen is very empowering. You’ll find that the more often you go into hypnosis, aware that you are doing it, the more you realize how easy it is to let go, and collaborate with your hypnotherapist, secure in the knowledge that you can always stop a session if you feel uncomfortable.
Some hypnotherapists work on the basis that we are always in some state of hypnosis – that we’ve hypnotised ourselves into our own limiting thinking by believing it and making it true about us. Sometimes, a session with one of this type of hypnotherapist might look like an everyday conversation. It’s highly likely they’ll be altering their language patterns, and using suggestions relating to your goal and the changes you wish to make in this ‘conversation’, without taking you into a ‘trance state’ at all.
A trance is something we all experience at some point naturally, and often on a daily basis – think about the last time you found yourself so absorbed in a book or film or in daydreaming such that you lost track of time….? Hypnotherapeutic techniques simply allow you to go into this state of internal awareness more easily so that day to day distractions can be ignored allowing your subconscious mind to listen to suggestions given by the hypnotherapist making room for the change you wish to happen. A natural state of absorbed concentration combined with heightened awareness.
Since hypnosis is a natural state of mind, people are often surprised to discover that no matter how deeply hypnotised they can feel, they can still be aware of everything happening around them, they just prefer to remain focused on what is happening within themselves rather than be distracted. They are surprised to realise that they can feel so deeply relaxed and focused, and yet know that they get up and walk out of the room at any moment. Unless you enter a deeper state, you may not seem any different, just very relaxed.
We’re trying to achieve that state between knowing you’re awake and being asleep so it’s similar to drifting off to sleep at night, when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep. This may be accompanied with a sense of weightlessness or heaviness as all your muscles relax, and you may experience a sense of time slowing down. Everyone experiences it differently, and your therapist will be able to reassure you and help you relax and enjoy the experience.
Most people are surprised at just how relaxing it is.
Nearly everyone can benefit in some way from hypnotherapy and NLP, whether you want to change a habit, rid yourself of a phobia or some other emotional problem, or even improve a skill you already have, hypnosis and NLP can help treat a wide range of issues such as:
- Negative thinking
- Fears and phobias
- Physical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, skin conditions and migraines
- Anxiety and stress
- Panic attacks
- Lack of confidence
- Trauma recovery
- Relationship troubles
It can also be used as a tool to:
- Manage pain
- Improve performance at work or in sport
- Improve birth outcomes
Your hypnotherapist will spend some time gathering information about what you’re experiencing and what brings you to hypnotherapy. This is necessary to ensure a full understanding of where you’re at, and may involve some questions of a personal nature. Please be assured that all information is confidential, will be stored in line with the Data Protection Act and will be used to properly assess which approach is best suited to your needs. The initial assessment is free (usually conducted over the phone, or an informal coffee), but thereafter consultation fees are paid in advance of, or at each session by cash or bank transfer. Credit card facilities are currently being investigated.
After taking a detailed history, and establishing what you wish to achieve from hypnotherapy, what you’d like to see or how you’d like to feel that will show you’ve had success, your hypnotherapist will use a range of different techniques and interventions to move you towards achieving your goal.
After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and very relaxed. Often change is very subtle, as your hypnotherapist will be working with your subconscious mind, and you may just notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling as generative change gathers momentum.
Session lengths vary by therapist, with DōChange Hypnotherapy London, ordinary sessions last between 90 and 120 minutes. Beware of any therapist who tells you exactly how many sessions you may need since each person is unique with unique symptoms and behaviours, which vary in complexity. I can say that on average 6 – 8 sessions are required to tackle most problems, however, this is sometimes longer for the more complex issues.
A note about the phrase ‘rapid change’. It’s worth noting that many clients come to me having experienced their challenge for a long time, 1000’s of hours of their life. You might need 5, 6 or a few more sessions with me, but in reality this equates to only 10, 12 or more hours to free yourself from your long-standing issue. This is rapid change.
It is absolutely essential that you feel comfortable with your therapist. A good therapist will respect this. I offer an Initial Consultation/Assessment Session, which usually lasts 30-45 minutes. This gives us the chance to discuss your issue more fully and gives you the chance to think things over, if you wish, before deciding to go ahead with hypnotherapy with me. It also gives me the chance to determine whether I am the best person for your needs. If I believe my experience is appropriate for you… excellent. If your issue requires expertise I don’t yet have, I will not waste your time, and may refer you on to someone with more relevant experience.
Working with me is a team effort, and success is strongly influenced by the endeavours of BOTH client and therapist. No therapist, doctor, dentist or alternative practitioner can ever guarantee success when success requires active participation of the client. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and it is not considered professional nor ethical to offer one. There are many factors in your life outside my awareness and influence, which can affect the results.
However, I can guarantee that as a professional therapist I will bring all my skills, knowledge, experience and ongoing training in bringing you lasting change in the area you want. It is important to realise that hypnotherapy is not a magic wand that ‘zaps’ the problems away: it is a relationship in which we both apply ourselves in getting you the results you want. Therefore the more involved and committed to the treatment you are, generally the better the results will be.
My conduct is strictly governed by the General Hypnotherapy Code of Ethics outlined at the National Council for Hypnotherapy.
You could think of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) as an owner’s manual for the brain. Its methods recognise the internal and external language patterns the client uses that strongly influence how they interpret life events, their expectations of life’s outcomes, and their own capabilities/beliefs in effecting this. This ‘coding’ affects all communication and behavior and how we master or use this affects how you learn and how you perceive the world around you. It is a key to reaching goals and achieving excellence.
NLP can help you develop greater self-awareness, become empowered by having mastery and choice over your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to achieve your goals, improve relationships and communication, control your own internal mental states, create powerful new internal states, align your internal resources for maximum enjoyment, and communicate quickly and effectively.
In short, you will find it easier to achieve your personal and professional goals, because you’ll gain greater access to your inner resources as well as have more fun while doing it.
Yes. I want to be the best therapist I can be and so, whilst it is not necessary at this stage of my experience, I still choose to continue my sessions with a fully qualified supervisor. During these sessions, cases and other professional issues are discussed in a structured way. The purpose is to ensure good service to clients and assist in my own continued professional development.
No identifying information is shared with my Supervisor – Client confidentiality remains.
I believe strongly in continuing professional development, which keeps my skills fresh and cutting edge… and my professional body membership requires me to keep developing continuously.
I am covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance and am bound by a strict Code of Ethics and Practice set out by my governing bodies, the NCH http://www.hypnotherapists.org.uk/about-nch/code-of-ethics/and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council www.general–hypnotherapy–register.com/code-of-ethics/.