FAQs – Hypnotherapy

1. I’m a bit embarrassed about the idea of having ‘therapy’. Should I be?

Deciding to seek support is a very powerful thing to do. We all need a little help in some form or other at some times in our lives. A person has usually come a long way by the time they formally consider therapy. It is a sign of real strength that deserves genuine respect.


2. People have said I just need to pull myself together but I can’t. Is it all my own fault really?

There is no fault attached to how you are feeling. Sometimes, our brain gets used to working in a particular way and obviously, takes over. You might be surprised to know that hypnotherapy can help re-set the way the brain behaves and as a result, improve how we feel and how we behave.

3. What can hypnotherapy help with?

Hypnotherapy can be helpful to overcome or manage concerns around many things. For example:

  • Note that hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy. It is not a replacement for specific medical treatment of underlying conditions but it may help how we cope with the effects of these conditions. It is recommended that you speak to your GP before starting hypnotherapy.

4. What actually is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy? 

I use Solution Focused Hypnotherapy in my work. Hypnosis (also known as trance) describes times when we experience a shift in our conscious awareness. Trance used during hypnotherapy is very different from the kind of things we might see in stage hypnosis.

In our day to day lives, we all naturally go in and out of trance states many times during the day – perhaps when we are driving, reading a good book or even washing the dishes. In this relaxed state, we experience changes in our conscious awareness – almost like being in a daydream. During this time, the unconscious mind is more aware and can focus on helpful suggestions and thoughts.

Trance is a very natural and safe state. Contrary to what you might see on the television, trance is not mind-control! When we are in a trance state we are still in control, and we process and decide whether information or suggestions are useful to us or not and will not accept or do anything against our will.

Being in a trance is a very relaxing experience – and it is something that all of us will frequently experience in our daily lives. In fact, experiencing changes in our conscious awareness is a vital part of our existence as humans – we need times where we can relax, reflect, and consolidate information, and utilise different parts of our brains for different activities.

From a scientific perspective, changes in conscious awareness can be demonstrated using Electroencephalography (EEG), which is a method of recording electrical energy in the brain. Our brain wave activity changes all the time, particularly as we enter different phases of sleep. When your therapist uses guided relaxation and mental imagery, it can encourage you to go into a trance state, which causes a natural shift in our brainwave patterns. This means that we might shift from being in a fully alert mental state (like when we’re busy working during the day that increases beta brain wave activity) into other states. As we are guided into deeper levels of relaxation, the brain demonstrates more alpha and theta wave activity, where we feel calmer and more relaxed but can also visualise images and reflect on different ideas that may be useful to us.

This is why Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can be so beneficial, because it combines powerful solution-focused discussions, followed by encouraging a relaxing trance state so that the ideas and solutions discussed can then be explored and utilised by the brain for positive benefit.

Taken from the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

5. Isn’t hypnotherapy a bit of a gimmicky type of treatment?

Hypnotherapy is rooted in neuroscience and it has been the focus of much research. Our work together addresses how different parts of the brain work together to protect us, but also to sometimes make life difficult for us – and that we can adapt how our brain works to make life more joyful and fruitful. Hypnosis has been around for centuries. It is an ancient, much-respected practice that is increasingly finding its place in a modern, therapeutic setting.

The links below can give you a taste of the work going on around hypnotherapy:

Centre for Solution Focused Research

The efficacy of hypnosis as a treatment for anxiety: a meta-analysis – PubMed

Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients

6. Is hypnotherapy regulated by professional bodies?

Hypnotherapy is not currently regulated in the UK.

Hypnotherapists can register with professional bodies such as The Complementary and Natural Health Council (CNHC) and the National Council of Hypnotherapy (NCH). I am registered with the following organisations:

The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy.

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.

In addition, the NHS page on hypnotherapy will allow you to search for practitioners who are registered with organisations that are accredited by The Professional Standards Authority. You will find my details on here.

7. Will I lose control when I’m under hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state. Because of this, you can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do. At any time, a person can decide to stop the session – though usually, people really enjoy the relaxation. Nobody can ask you to give out your bank account details, passwords, skeletons lurking in your cupboards or in fact, any information you don’t want to give! Be reassured, our work together is respectful and ethical: our focus is on your wellbeing and how you can move towards the changes you would like to experience in your life.

8. Will I be made to look silly under hypnosis?

You may well be aware of popular stage hypnosis that tends to be about people doing strange, dramatic and excessive things for entertainment purposes. Clucking like a chicken, standing on one leg with your arms glued together … hilarious perhaps, but that’s absolutely not clinical hypnotherapy. Your concerns are not a source of entertainment for anyone. Our work together is respectful, good-natured and discreet. Remember, you can’t do anything that you don’t want to do in trance.

9. What’s the difference between trance and hypnosis?

We tend to use these terms interchangeably. They are just different terms for the same thing.

10. I’ve had lots of different treatments already, such as CBT. Does this matter?

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy. It is not a replacement for specific medical treatment of underlying conditions but it may help how we cope with the effects of these conditions. It is recommended that you speak to your GP before starting hypnotherapy.


11. I have certain health issues. Does this make any difference?

Hypnotherapy can have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing. Note that hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy. It is not a replacement for specific medical treatment of underlying conditions but it may help how we cope with the effects of these conditions. It is recommended that you speak to your GP before starting hypnotherapy.


12. How many sessions will I need?

In our work together, we closely review the progress we make each session – and we don’t sneakily lump on extra appointments. You are a glorious individual, to be respected and celebrated. Therefore, the work we do together is tailored to what suits you. Our work won’t force you into having a set number of sessions; even if you book onto one of our packages, you can simply choose to have as many or as few as is helpful for you. Sessions can be booked one at a time, so you don’t have to commit to a certain number of sessions from the beginning.

13. How often will I have sessions?

To start with, we’ll have weekly sessions. After a while, we might extend these to two or three weekly, depending on how you feel.

14. If I contact you, does this commit me to starting therapy?

Absolutely not. We’ll talk things through and we can both decide if this is the right route for each of us. It matters that we are a great fit.


15. How do I know when I have had enough sessions?

We work side-by-side, together. You’ll know when things feel improved enough for you to discontinue our work together. Of course, I will be there to support you as you make your decisions.

16. Do I need to do lots of homework in between our sessions?

No. All I ask is that you are committed to our work together.


17. What if I don’t turn up?

I’ll send you a reminder a few days before; we are all busy and it’s sometimes easy to forget appointments.  I will completely respect your decision if you decide not to attend your appointment. In turn, I do ask that you respect my time and give me 24 hours’ notice. If people don’t arrive for their session without letting me know 24 hours before, I will still need to ask for payment.