These are some of the questions that people often ask about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and talking therapy.
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What does hypnosis feel like?
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, when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep. You may experience a feeling 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. However hypnosis feels for you, all you need to do is relax and see where the journey takes you.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
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 problems, some people with epilepsy, the very young or those under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.
Can hypnotherapy help with medical issues?
Hypnotherapy can be beneficial for a variety of medical conditions including migraines, tension headache and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 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 the various symptoms 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 on the internet. If you are seeking hypnotherapy for a medical, physiological or psychiatric condition, you will need to consult your doctor first in order to confirm that hypnotherapy is suitable for your situation.
Can hypnotherapy ‘make’ me overcome my problem?
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 wish to do. 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 hypnotherapy 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; you cannot be ‘made’ to do something that you do not wish to do; even in hypnosis, therefore 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.
Which type of therapy do I need?
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 is often more suited to situations where you may be experiencing difficulties in your life such as low self esteem, anxiety, relationship difficulties or bereavement.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions depends 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.
With talking therapy, again, the number of sessions required will depend on your situation along with your level of motivation and participation. 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 typically resolved in short term therapy (12 sessions or less).
How often do I need sessions?
Generally, 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. Talking therapy sessions are usually weekly, especially in the early stages.
Are therapy sessions confidential?
Everything that is discussed during your sessions, on the phone or via email remains confidential and is not discussed 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. Further information regarding confidentiality can be found in the Client Agreement here.