Hypnotherapy myths, misconceptions and some practicalities

mythsThere are lots of both myths and misconceptions about hypnosis and hypnotherapy – we can clear most of these up during an initial consultation, but let’s deal with a few of them here…

Hypnosis is mind control – or magic!

It’s neither – it has been described as a state of ‘guided daydreaming’.  Remember all the times you drove somewhere (or went on the bus) and when you arrived, realised you had no recollection of the journey, because you were thinking about other things? You will probably feel no deeper into trance than that.

I can’t be hypnotised so there’s no point

If you’re determined not to be hypnotised, you won’t be. As explained earlier, being in trance is just like daydreaming, and some people remain in a state that is more like gentle relaxation. This allows your busy conscious mind to take a rest, so that we can direct your unconscious or subconscious to the areas you want to deal with – imagine asking a car mechanic to work on your car whilst it was pelting at full speed down the motorway!

Hypnotists can overturn your free will and make you cluck like a chicken…

You can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do under hypnosis. If you have a burning desire to cluck, then feel free. I promise not to tell anyone.

If it doesn’t work straight away, it’s not going to

That’s an unrealistic expectation – some of the issues that people need help with have been developed over a lifetime of habit. They aren’t going to be sorted out in a single session – bear in mind that you’ll be doing most of the work here, and I’ll just be helping you. Give yourself a chance!  It’s best to be prepared for 3-6 sessions, though you may feel you have achieved the success you want in less time than that.

Hypnotherapists are all quacks and self-taught

Some of them might be self-taught – but I am not. I have a Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, a Certificate in NLP Skills and additional certification as a Winning Weightloss therapist. I am registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register, and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council. As a former teacher and lecturer, I have a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and have had considerable experience of teaching and training both students and professional adult educators.  In addition to my work as a hypnotherapist, I have undertaken consultancy work with a wide range of organisations and have co-authored two books, including one on Project Management for Healthcare Professionals.

What really happens – the practicalities…

An initial consultation is free and lasts about half an hour or more if necessary. This enables us both to decide if therapy is right for you – and if I am the right therapist.

If you need help with something on which I don’t have the relevant expertise, I may be able to refer you to another therapist.

For some conditions, you may need to check first with your GP that hypnotherapy is right for you.  If you are being treated for some mental health issues, for example, I would not accept you for therapy as this might compromise your treatment in some way. I cannot accept anyone with epilepsy for therapy nor someone in the first trimester of pregnancy, unless the issue is something like morning sickness.

By the end of the initial consultation, you will decide if you are going to go ahead with therapy. Then we will arrange your first session(s) or the start of your programme, as applicable.

What will happen in the first therapy session?

You’ll sit down in my consulting room in a comfortable seat, and explain to me in more detail what it is that you need to deal with and give me any additional insights you’ve had since your initial consultation. The first step is to relax you, and then focus on what it is that you want to achieve. Later on we’ll look at ways you can use self-hypnosis techniques to help yourself continue after the therapy sessions, and make sure that you can reinforce the work we’ve done together.

What about payment?

I will ask you to pay prior to, or at the start of the session, so that we can get on with the therapy and focus on that for the rest of the time.  For some programmes (such as weight loss) there are discounts for signing up for a course of therapy and the option to add some coaching or mentoring as well. A typical fee is £60 for an individual session that lasts for about an hour (£65 in the evening), or £55 per sesison if more than one session is booked after the initial consultation. I also offer discounted rates for staff in education, social services and other categories, such as charities.