These are some of the questions that people often ask about hypnosis and talking therapy
There are no specific feelings associated with being in hypnosis because everyone experiences it differently. It’s similar to drifting off to sleep at night where you are not quite awake and not quite asleep. Some people say that it feels very similar to a deeply relaxed day dream. You may experience a sense of weightlessness or you might experience a feeling of heaviness as your muscles begin to relax, or you may not feel very different at all, just very relaxed. Everyone’s experience of hypnosis differs slightly and most people are pleasantly surprised at how calm and relaxed they feel afterwards.
Most people can go into a light hypnotic trance, providing that they want to. Hypnosis is a natural state of awareness which we all experience several times a day. However, hypnosis is not usually suitable for people who are experiencing serious mental health issues, some people with epilepsy, the very young or those under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.
Hypnotherapy can be beneficial for a variety of medical conditions including migraines, tension headaches and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) to name a few. By helping you to relax, reduce stress and anxiety and change the way you feel about a particular condition or diagnosis, hypnotherapy can have a positive effect on various symptoms that you may experience.
However, it is important to know that hypnosis and hypnotherapy cannot ‘cure’ a medical or physiological condition, despite some of the claims that are often made by other therapists and on various websites. If you are seeking hypnotherapy or talking therapy for a medical, physiological or psychiatric condition, you will need to consult your doctor first to confirm that they are happy for you to seek help from a hypnotherapist. Depending on your individual situation, I may also need to ask your permission to contact your doctor in order to discuss the suitability of hypnotherapy for you.
It’s a common misconception that a hypnotherapist will ‘put’ you into a hypnotic trance and then ‘make’ you stop smoking, lose weight, overcome a fear or other problem. Hypnosis is not a magic pill; you cannot be made to do something that you do not want to do, even in hypnosis. The only person who can make you do something, is you.
On average, it takes the subconscious mind around 10 to 14 days to take new ideas on board and to start making changes to habits and patterns of behaviour. However, everyone responds to therapy differently and so the time it takes for therapeutic suggestions to take effect will vary from person to person. Ultimately, hypnotherapy will only be successful if you want it to be and your motivation and participation are essential. A hypnotherapist is a bit like a taxi driver; they can give you directions and show you the quickest route to your destination, but you need to make the journey yourself.
The number of sessions will depend on the problem or issue, along with your level of motivation and participation. Hypnotherapy involves working on a subconscious level and so this form of therapy is often relatively rapid, with many issues requiring between 3 to 6 sessions, depending on you and your situation.
Hypnotherapy sessions are typically 2 to 3 weeks apart as this allows sufficient time for your subconscious mind to process new ideas and for you to start making changes.
There are many different ways to induce hypnosis and I will use the most appropriate method for you as an individual. Some of the most common methods include being asked to relax various muscles in your body, focusing your attention on an object or point on the wall or ceiling, or imagining relaxing scenes such as walking through a meadow or along a beach. Drifting into hypnosis as part of a hypnotherapy session is usually a very pleasant and relaxing experience.
Hypnosis is a natural and safe state of awareness which we all experience several times a day and hypnotherapy can be a very positive and beneficial experience when carried out by a properly trained and experienced hypnotherapist.
Absolutely not. This is probably one of the most common beliefs about hypnosis and usually stems from what people have seen or heard about stage hypnosis, as well as the popular portrayal on TV and in books of ‘The Hypnotist’ as a sinister character who has absolute power and control over their ‘subjects’.
During hypnotherapy, you will not be asleep and will be able to hear everything that it said. It’s a common myth that hypnosis involves some sort of magical sleep where you are unaware of what’s happening around you. Because hypnotherapy involves responding to the suggestions made by the hypnotherapist, it is important that you hear what is being said in order for you to take the suggestions on board and for therapeutic change to happen.
No, it’s not. Whilst both stage hypnotists and hypnotherapists use hypnosis, the way in which it is used is completely different. Stage hypnosis is, what it says; hypnosis carried out on a stage. It is used as a form of entertainment and is for the benefit of the audience and volunteers taking part. Those who go to a stage hypnosis show are usually well aware that the people who volunteer to go on stage will be asked to do funny and sometimes embarrassing things. Nobody has forced the people who are on stage to be there; they have volunteered themselves by choosing to follow the hypnotist’s suggestions.
There are two types of people who go to a stage hypnosis show; those who want to watch the show (and stay in the audience) and those who want to be part of the show (and be up on the stage). The hypnotist is looking for his or her volunteers from this second group – the people who want to be on stage and who want their 15 minutes of fame. The best candidates from this group are the people who are naturally outgoing, the life and soul of the party and who will do almost anything for a laugh. Combine this with some cleverly worded suggestions and showmanship from the hypnotist and it can appear that the volunteers are under some sort of control or ‘spell’.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to help people with a wide range of problems in a safe and appropriate manner which is for their benefit. You cannot be hypnotised against your will; for hypnosis to happen, you have to want it to happen.
You cannot get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. It is an altered state of awareness from which you will return to full alertness either by yourself, or when asked to by the hypnotherapist. Even if something were to happen to the hypnotherapist whilst you were hypnotised, then after a while, you would either wonder why they had stopped talking and ‘wake up’ by yourself, or if you were tired, you would simply fall asleep and then wake up as normal after a short while.
You will be aware of everything that you say during hypnosis and so you cannot be ‘made’ to discuss things that you do not want to. However, it is important to remember the reason why you are seeing a hypnotherapist. In order for you to fully benefit from hypnotherapy, the therapist needs to know about the problem or issue, including any relevant background information and contributing factors. Hypnotherapy is a two-way process and it is important that you can trust and have confidence in your therapist.
Because you are aware throughout the session, you will usually remember everything that you experience. Sometimes people do find that they can’t consciously remember it all afterwards, but your subconscious mind remembers everything. This is quite common and is similar to forgetting what someone has just said because your attention was elsewhere rather than concentrating on the conversation.
You will probably feel more relaxed than usual and slightly refreshed, but you will be fully alert and should not experience any other after-effects.
Counselling & Talking Therapy Questions
The number of sessions required depends on your situation along with your level of motivation and participation in your therapy sessions. Working with and resolving issues can often be achieved in a fairly short number of sessions and some issues may require longer term therapy. Often problems are resolved in short term therapy (12 sessions or less).
Counselling and talking therapy sessions are typically weekly, especially in the early stages. We will discuss the frequency and number of sessions during your initial consultation.
Everything that we discuss during your sessions, on the phone or via email, remains confidential and is not discussed with anyone else without your permission. There are a few exceptions to this, for example if someone was at risk of harm or where a referring healthcare professional required a progress update or report. In such cases, I would endeavour to discuss this with you first before any information was disclosed. Further information regarding confidentiality can be found in the Client Agreement here.
The deposit is payable online within 48 hours of booking your initial consultation or first appointment, in order to confirm the appointment booking. Payment can be made using a credit or debit card or a PayPal account via the fees page here.
Payment for sessions is required at the end of each session either in cash or via credit or debit card. You can also pay online via the fees page of this website. If paying online, payment is required before your appointment. Unfortunately cheques cannot be accepted.
The most appropriate type of therapy for you depends largely on your situation and the problem or issue that you would like to address. Hypnotherapy is often very helpful for addressing specific issues such as fears and phobias, panic attacks, stopping smoking and losing weight. Talking therapy and counselling are often more suited to situations where you may be experiencing difficulties in your life such as low self esteem, anxiety, relationship difficulties or bereavement. We will discuss your situation at your initial consultation and decide on the best approach for you.
I am an Accredited Member of The National Hypnotherapy Society and as such, abide by their code of ethics. The society were the first and currently only hypnotherapy organisation to hold a register which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under its Accredited Registers programme. All professional registrants must adhere to the society’s code of conduct and ethics, have undertaken appropriate training and qualifications, receive regular supervision and be fully insured as well as undertaking regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
I receive regular supervision in line with The National Hypnotherapy Society’s guidelines in order to maintain standards and promote best practice. Supervision sessions involve discussion of client work, however client confidentiality is maintained and my supervisor is also a qualified and experienced therapist, who is bound by a code of confidentiality and ethics.
As an experienced therapist, I am an approved Supervisor and provide supervision for trainee, newly qualified and experienced Hypnotherapists. In addition to this, I also sit on the Professional Development and Supervision Committee for both The National Hypnotherapy Society and The National Counselling Society.
You can read more about supervision and what it involves on the Therapy in Leeds blog here.
I have full professional indemnity insurance along with a current DBS certificate.