Your first session lasts for 1.5 hours, so there is plenty of time for me to get to know you and find out why you are coming. I will ask lots of questions and you can say as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. Whether or not we use hypnosis in the first session will depend on why you are coming. I often find it is more beneficial to spend the time getting a good understanding of the issue.
Often a big part of feeling better is forgiving ourselves for having 'the problem' which is often easier when we know more about how our minds work. And remember that your therapy is a team effort with two people working as equals to help you make the changes you want.
I should also say that we won't use hypnosis in every session, primarily hypnotherapy is psychotherapy, utilising hypnosis where it is of benefit.
Please note you will be asked to sign a General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) prior to your first session.
What does hypnosis feel like?
You can probably answer this yourself as we all tend to go in and out of trances all the time. Have you ever driven home and been so lost in your thoughts that you couldn’t remember the journey? Have you ever daydreamed? What about that dozey feeling in the morning, or going to sleep, when you know what is going on around you but drift in and out of dreamy images and feelings? All of these are experiences of trance and during all of them, your conscious mind has calmed and become less dominant for a short while.
When in an hypnotherapeutic trance, you will be able to hear all I am saying and remember the process. You are not 'switched off'. Although you may be deeply relaxed you will always be aware of what is going on and you will be able to relate to what I am saying. You can talk (if you choose to), move and even come out of the hypnotic trance if you want to. You are in control at all times.
Is it the same as it looks on TV?
On the TV it looks as though the hypnotist has control over the person he/she is talking to. After all, how else would they get them to eat onions and dance around? But actually they are not. What they need for a good show is to find the people who achieve a very deep trance very quickly, known as somnambulists, and who are willing to participate in the show.
But all participants in a stage show could choose to come out of trance any time they wanted to and say ‘thanks all the same, but I’ve already had an onion today”. They don't tend to show those bits though.
While the principles are the same in all hypnosis, hypnotherapy is very different because of the intention behind it. Here the intention is to assist others in making the changes they want for themselves and with appropriate training and understanding, this is done in a safe way with the therapist and client working together.
Can everyone be hypnotised?
It is understood that about 90% of people can achieve a light trance state. If you are able to imagine someone’s face, or if you ever find yourself daydreaming or have ever been lost in a book or movie, then you can be hypnotised.
However, everybody’s experience of trance is different. Some people feel very drifty and relaxed and others will feel quite alert and very aware. And neither is the ‘right’ way to feel. How deeply into trance we go can depend upon many things and may differ each time we use hypnosis. This doesn't really matter though as most therapeutic work only needs a light trance and your unconscious mind is always listening anyway. Your experience will be your own and is therefore the right one for you for now.
How fast can you 'fix' me?
I’m glad you have asked this as I need to be very clear that I won’t be ‘fixing’ you. I remember thinking years ago that hypnotherapy would mean someone would switch me off, ‘go in, do the job’, and come out again and that it wouldn’t really involve me at all. And it’s really not like that as despite what the stageshows look like, the hypnotherapist doesn’t have this kind of control and there is no ‘magic’ involved.
All the changing and ‘fixing’ is done by you and I simply facilitate the process by enabling you to get in touch with your own answers and solutions using psychotherapy and hypnosis, where necessary.
Basically, if you are motivated to resolve what you have come for, you may make your changes quickly and the work will be straightforward. If you know there are changes you want to make but aren’t sure what they are then we can work together to find out what you need. And, importantly, if you feel you are motivated but can’t quite seem to make the changes you want, we can explore the reasons for this together. There are a number of ways we can work together and this will depend upon your needs. All the changes made are yours, and you can feel proud of this.
Can I check your qualifications?
Yes you can, and you should. I am a member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) and you can search for my name on their website by clicking on the Hypnotherapist database.
My qualifications are:
Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (PNLP);
Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis with the LCCH (pre-requisite to Diploma);
Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis with the LCCH (DHyp);
Practitioner Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis with the LCCH (PDHyp);
Practitioner Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy with the LCCH (PDCBH); and
Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing®
As a member of the BSCH I am fully insured and am willingly bound by their Code of Ethics which can also be found on their website. The Code of Ethics is designed to ensure both your safety and mine and by following the code, I will always act with the best interests of my clients in mind.
If hypnotherapy doesn't feel right for you, you should choose a different type of therapy. But the benefit of hypnotherapy is that it can help you get more directly to the creative and resourceful part of your mind, which is often the source of our problems and our solutions.
If trained by a reputable body, hypnotherapists are trained in the psychological and psychotherapeutic theories upon which many other therapy styles are based. But with hypnosis we have a very effective tool with which to bypass our 'ego’s' and to apply those theories.
Noting again that I don't use hypnosis all the time, only when it will be beneficial. However, if we liken our minds to a garden, psychological understanding is like having a good understanding of what is needed to make the garden grow, and hypnotherapy is like having the tools needed to gently turn the soil so the flowers can grow faster, and the weeds are less likely to come back.
What if I don't like you?
This is a really good question as no matter what kind of therapy you decide to go for, the most important thing is that you trust the therapist and feel safe.
While this is less of an issue for one session treatments like stopping smoking, it is probably the most important consideration for longer term work. Having had therapy myself, I know how important the trust is and that this can take a little time to build.
During your first session, we will spend quite a while talking and this will give you the chance to check me out. If you don’t feel a good sense of comfort, you can either express your concerns to me which I will fully understand and we can chat about, or you can choose not to return. Either is ok.
How will I know if it has worked?
This depends on what you wanted therapy for. If you have come for help to stop smoking or to lose weight, it will be very obvious when it works.
If you have come with something deeper e.g. for help with low self-esteem, anxiety or depression, it is less black and white and so it is not as easy to measure when it is working.
To help us out with this, we will get clear on your ‘goals for therapy’ so that we have something to measure things against. Then we will chat about your progress as we go. I can say however, if you do not feel some improvement after 3 sessions, sack me!
Will I tell you all my secrets?
No. As described before, when we use hypnosis you will be aware of your choices and aware of what is around you when in trance and you won’t say or do anything you haven’t chosen to say or do.
You may be surprised by some of the things you find out or say but this is only because your unconscious mind knows more than you do. Your unconscious mind is always protecting you and working on your behalf.
Is what I tell you confidential?
Absolutely. All information you share is treated as confidential and your contact details are never passed to others, leased or sold to any canvassing companies in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
However, as will be explained during your first session, should you tell me anything which indicates that you are a potential harm to yourself or to another, I am legally obliged to act upon the information. This would always be discussed with you prior to any action.
Also, if you are coming for more than one session, I may discuss your case with my clinical supervisor or co-counsellor. You can trust that no names or contact details would be shared at any time, but clinical supervision is good practise and is intended to ensure professional conduct at all times.
Finally, while your contact details are never passed to another, I will ask you if you would like to put on my email list as I also deliver courses which may be interest to you. You are of course welcome to say no this invitation.
What if I don't wake up?
This can’t happen. No-one has ever got 'stuck' in hypnosis. Have you ever been properly stuck in a daydream? Hypnosis is a natural state that you go into every day and so your mind knows how to deal with it. When you leave the session you will be bright and alert able to drive and carry on with your day.
How long will sessions last?
The first session lasts for 1.5 hours. This allows time for us to discuss why you have come and to get to know each other a little. After this, sessions usually last for 1 hour but can be longer if we agree that this would be beneficial.
If you are coming for a one session treatment e.g. to stop smoking, the session typically takes 1.5 hours and past life regression sessions may last for up to 2.5 hours.
How often will I need to come?
This depends on what you’re coming for and also on your finances. If you are coming to stop smoking, you should need only one session. Otherwise, we will chat about your reasons for coming and this may make it possible to estimate how many sessions may be needed. Please also look at the 'Why Come?' page above.
Can I have a Skype session?
Yes. If you would like to come for therapy but have too far to travel, we can do therapy over Skype. However, I am not comfortable carrying out hypnosis over Skype as I prefer to have more control over the environment you are in e.g. it's tricky if the dog is jumping all over you. Therefore it would be talking therapy only. If you are specifically keen on hypnotherapy, I would advise finding a practitioner closer to you. You can look on the BSCH website and do a postcode search, or the General Hypnotherapy Register to find people near you.
What if I can't afford you?
This is a fair question and can be a worry if you want to come for therapy but can't yet afford it.
I offer a sliding scale whereby sessions can be slightly reduced in cost, or where a payment schedule can be agreed. I consider it to work in a 'pay it forward' kind of way so do please ask me if you are concerned.