Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is the utilisation of various unfamiliar (or trance) mental states for the purpose of healing. It is common for all of us to sequence through hundreds of different mental states each day, some of these are helpful and some, not so much. On the whole they are all very familiar, like the trance we enter when driving a car home and our mind wonders and then we realise we arrive home without remembering doing any of the driving. Our unconscious or habitual mental processes just take over. This is nothing to worry about as long as those mental processes don’t scare or worry us unnecessarily (like fear of flying) or leave us feeling exhausted or worthless. Identifying the unhelpful habitual mental processes and replacing them with more useful ones is the aim of hypnosis. This is usually done by relaxing the client, accessing and interrupting the unhelpful processes and training the brain to look for better ways of working.
The relaxing hypnotic process seems to put the brain into ‘maintenance’ or ‘REM’ mode which makes changes easier to achieve in a short period of time. Essentially we are using the brain’s own method of consolidating new material in the hypnotic session, in the same way it would consolidate new information from the day as one naturally sleeps and dreams.
In many ways we are aiming to ‘de-hypnotise’ the client from habitual mental process that no longer serve them, giving them back their freedom to act and be rewarded for behaviour that they have consciously chosen, e.g. to stop smoking now.
Hypnosis has been well documented for many thousands of years but was brought up to date by legends such as Milton Erickson and Richard Bandler. Together with modern tools such as brain imaging and more rigorous study, we’ve been able to improve our understanding of how unconscious processes operate and how to make quick changes become permanent and painless.
What does hypnosis feel like?
Most people experience hypnosis as being similar daydreaming. Cognitive Hypnotherapy rarely uses deep trances where the client is deeply asleep, so you will still be in control at all times. The process tends to be both relaxing and refreshing especially for people that find it difficult to relax.
Is hypnosis safe?
Hypnosis is 100% safe because it taps into our natural mind states, you can rouse yourself from a hypnotic state at anytime. Hypnosis has been approved by the British Medical Council for nearly 60 years, since 1955.
Hypnosis is not usually recommended for anybody with a history of epilepsy since the process of relaxation can be a trigger for this condition.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Yes, anyone can be hypnotised, provided that they want to be. If you are determined not to be hypnotised and not follow simple instructions such as ‘close your eyes and pay attention to movement of your chest as you take a deep breath in … ‘ then the session will be a waste of your time and money. By following simple instructions you will be taken through a sequencing of mental states designed to help you quickly enter the hypnotic state and gain freedom from the thoughts, feelings and behaviour that having become problematic.
What’s the difference between hypnosis and Cognitive Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis is fairly ill-defined and you rarely get two hypnotists using the same method to create change. There are skilled and unskilled hypnotherapists. Many of the unskilled ones just use simple scripts that can be purchased on-line; this fails to address the specific problems of the client and can often miss the mark. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a style of modern, evidence based, hypnosis within a systematic structure. It tends to use light trances together with Word Weaving (a structure for ensuring the aim and application of the session meet the particular client’s needs). Cognitive Hypnotherapy is the only system of hypnosis that has been subject to published peer-reviewed study.
How many sessions will I need?
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a very ‘brief therapy’. Most simple problems can be resolved in a few sessions or even one. For complex problems, those with many parts or layers, it may take longer but very rarely as many as ten. Typically sessions are a week or two apart so that improvements can be measured and the next treatment tailored to the new situation. In most cases you should be able to notice significant improvement after ever sessions so you should never be left wondering if the sessions are working for you.
Is hypnosis suitable for everybody?
Nearly everybody can benefit from hypnosis. Unfortunately, the process is not recommended for people that suffer from epilepsy since the process can trigger fitting. We do not treat psychotic disorders or bi-polar disorders. He process can be adapted for working with children in certain circumstances.
What should I do next?
If you have any questions or want to book a session, call or email me. I’m happy to answer any questions you have if you’re not sure that you want to book hypnosis now. Leave a message if I am not available and I will call you back.