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Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that uses the power of positive suggestion to bring about change to our subconscious thoughts, feelings, and behavior.


The process itself aims to alter our state of consciousness so as to relax the conscious mind while simultaneously stimulating and focusing the subconscious part of the mind. This heightened state of awareness, reached using skilled relaxation techniques, allows the hypnotherapist to then make appropriate suggestions.

When might hypnotherapy be useful?

Hypnotherapy is widely endorsed as a treatment for habit breaking, stress-related issues, and for a range of long-term conditions. Recently, it has been gaining steam in the medical world after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that hypnotherapy is recognized as a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Does everyone respond to hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis has the capacity to work for the majority of individuals but some are more susceptible to suggestions than others. The important thing to remember is that you must fully commit yourself to the process and feel that you can trust your therapist. Keep an open mind, as any skepticism may subconsciously dampen your susceptibility.

What training, qualifications, and experience should hypnotherapists have?

There are no guidelines in place stipulating the training and qualifications a hypnotherapist must have in order to practice. Industry guidelines recommend that individuals should have completed at least an appropriate diploma or a course involving a minimum of 450 learning hours, 120 of which must have been face-to-face.

What will happen in a hypnotherapy session?

Many hypnotherapists now offer an initial consultation, usually lasting one hour and involving several elements:

  • A discussion about your requirements/goals.
  • Gathering personal information such as sleeping patterns, lifestyle information, medical symptoms or medication, any other medical treatments from other providers.
  • An explanation of how the hypnotherapy process will work.
  • Other practical details (cost, cancellation policy, number of sessions).

During the next session, the practical application of clinical hypnosis can begin. Delivery will differ from therapist to therapist and each will explain how the process will work, but the following session structure is rather popular and should give you an idea of what to expect:

  • A welcome chat to encourage comfort and relaxation.
  • Induction: hypnotherapist will lead you into a state of deep physical and mental relaxation. 
  • Once you are relaxed, the hypnotherapist can then begin 'change work' using techniques and approaches discussed and agreed upon to help you reach your goals.
  • After the change work, the hypnotherapist will begin the transition to wakefulness, in which you are gradually brought out of your trance.
  • Time for any questions you may have, a summary of the session and any progress made thus far.

How regularly will I see my hypnotherapist?

How regularly you see your hypnotherapist will be something decided on together. You may initially decide you want to meet weekly, but depending on improvements and how you feel, you may choose to then see them more or less frequently.

How many sessions of hypnotherapy will I need?

The duration of therapy will really be dependant on your circumstances and the reason for your visit. If you need hypnosis for a one-off service such as smoking cessation, for example, many hypnotherapists will deliver the therapy in a single session up to two hours. Other issues may better suit a longer-term approach with regular weekly sessions. Your hypnotherapist will let you know how many sessions they think you will need when you start therapy and will be flexible when it comes to decreasing or extending the number of sessions to correlate with your progress and needs.

Is hypnotherapy safe for children? 

Hypnotherapy for children and young people is considered highly effective and completely safe. Children tend to respond very well to hypnosis as they are naturally quite imaginative and use their subconscious minds a much more than adults do. Hypnotherapy can help address a number of common childhood issues, including exam nerves, sleep problems, bed-wetting, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and other fears.

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