These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding how we work

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural, everyday state, characterised by a narrowing and fixing of attention and an increased focus and concentration. Reading a book intently and becoming absorbed in driving share similarities with hypnosis, because during these activities the mind filters out unnecessary distractions, allowing for a heightened focus on the task.

What is clinical hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis is the method and techniques by which conscious attention is deliberately and purposely narrowed and fixed in a therapeutic setting, with the aim of increasing the mind's focus and concentration on psychotherapeutic treatments.

What is clinical hypnotherapy?

Clinical hypnotherapy combines the use of clinical hypnosis with the use of established psychotherapies, for the purpose of bringing about powerful, positive and lasting improvements in health and wellbeing.

What does hypnotherapy feel like?

It's perfectly normal and commonplace for the words spoken by me to remain audible and clear to you for the entire time that you are in hypnosis. At times it may seem as if your mind is 'drifting' and 'floating', in a similar way to day dreaming, or in the moments before waking up and falling asleep. Occasionally, the words spoken by me may seem less distinct, and appear to trail off into the distance, before coming back into focus again. If you are receiving relaxation therapy as part of your treatment, very pleasant feelings of deep calmness and tranquillity will accompany the therapeutic suggestions given. Just as we are all unique in our individuality, it's true to say that there is no single, definitive, hypnotherapeutic experience: the nature of a session can be influenced by a number of factors, including: your individual characteristics; how you are feeling before and during the session; the nature of the issue (s) being dealt with; the techniques being used, and your personal responses to them.

Is hypnotherapy recommended for everyone?

It is not normally recommended for people with psychosis, bi-polar disorder, certain types of epilepsy and personality disorders to take a course of hypnotherapy.

Is hypnotherapy mind control?

The purpose of clinical hypnotherapy is to give you back control over issues that you are feeling stuck with by improving your sense of health and well-being and by empowering you to live your life in the way that you want to. During a session of clinical hypnotherapy you remain aware of what is being said and fully in control, and you cannot be made to do anything that doesn't accord with your goals for therapy. Clinical hypnotherapists are professional, complementary healthcare specialists, and are a world apart from stage hypnotists who use hypnosis for entertainment purposes.

What evidence is there that hypnotherapy works?

There is a large and growing body of empirical enquiry and research highlighting the effectiveness of clinical hypnotherapy. In the last ten years, hypnotherapy has gained status as a recommended treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, based on the research of a leading medical professional, and during the 1990's, the New Scientist magazine reported that 'hypnotherapy was the most effective way of giving up smoking'. Conclusions like these offer official validation to the personal accounts of the many people who have and continue to be helped by clinical hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy as a recommended treatment for IBS

“Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking”, The New Scientist, 1992

How are sessions structured?

A hypnotherapy session will usually begin with a short chat about the issue in question, your goals and progress, and then a hypnotic induction followed by a deepening of the trance. A hypnotic induction is simply me talking to you in a calm voice, to focus your attention, and increase your concentration, and a deepener is an extension of this process. Therapeutic approaches are then used that have been carefully chosen to address your issue and reflect your choices and goals. Therapy is often initially given in the form of direct suggestions, for example,'that you will feel calm or relaxed', or that 'you will stop smoking'. Where relevant and appropriate it may be beneficial to use other approaches such as parts therapy and regression. Towards the end of a session you will be brought out of hypnosis in a carefully controlled way, and you will normally feel calm and relaxed. Before the session closes, a short discussion is usually held about strategies for further progress.

Does hypnotherapy work in every case?

As effective as hypnotherapy is, as with all therapies, treatment cannot be guaranteed 100% of the time in all circumstances. Individuals differ in their responses to hypnosis and no hypnotherapist can guarantee a successful outcome in every single instance.

How long will therapy take?

Smoking cessation treatment is delivered in a single session and many other issues can be treated in just a few more. The duration of therapy however will depend upon your presenting condition and individual circumstances.