What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy attempts to address an individual’s subconscious mind, using the power of suggestion for beneficial change. A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to give relevant, positive beneficial suggestions to help an individual bring about the change they desire. Although hypnosis is not the same as sleep (the individual will still have awareness and control), hypnotherapists require the individual to be in a deeply relaxed state to enable them to use their imagination fully. For this reason, it’s imperative that the individual feels completely comfortable with their hypnotherapist.

Hypnosis is a different state of consciousness from being awake or asleep, and many people compare the deep, relaxed state of hypnosis to daydreaming. The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted. Hypnosis aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.

It’s important for an individual to consult their GP before approaching a hypnotherapist if they suffer from clinical depression, epilepsy or schizophrenia

Frequently asked questions about Hypnotherapy

What form might the treatment take?

Firstly, any misconceptions a potential patient may have about hypnosis will be dispelled by the therapist. The technique does not involve the patient being put into a deep sleep, and the patient cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do. They remain fully aware of their surroundings and situation, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the therapist. The important thing is that the patient wants to change some behavioural habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so. They must want the treatment to work.

Several sessions may be required to achieve meaningful results. However, the patient can learn the technique of self-hypnosis which can be practiced at home, to reinforce the usefulness of formal sessions with the therapist. This can help counter distress and anxiety-related conditions.

How can hypnosis help YOU?

Hypnosis can be applied to many psychological, emotional and physical disorders. It is used to relieve pain in surgery and dentistry and has proved to be of benefit in obstetrics. It can shorten the delivery stage of labour and reduce the need for painkillers.

It can ease the suffering of the disabled and those facing terminal illness, and it has been shown to help people to overcome addictions such as smoking and alcoholism, and to help with bulimia. Children are generally easy to hypnotise and can be helped with nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) and chronic asthma, whilst teenagers can conquer stammering or blushing problems which can otherwise make their lives miserable.
Phobias of all kinds lend themselves well to hypnosis, and anyone suffering from panic attacks or obsessional compulsive behaviour, and stress-related problems like insomnia, may benefit. Conditions exacerbated by tension, such as irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and eczema, and excessive sweating, respond well, and even tinnitus and clicky jaws (tempero-mandibular joint dysfunction) can be treated by these techniques.

Stress Sleep Disorders Pain Addictions—Smoking, drinking, drugs etc Anger Management Anxiety Fears and Phobias—Spiders, flying etc IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Fertility Issues Hypno-birthing Confidence—Blushing, public speaking etc Weight Loss Post-Natal Issues Eating Disorders Menopause Issues.

These are just a few ………… if you feel you have a problem, hypnosis can help.

Does everyone respond to hypnosis?

According to the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH), it is estimated that 85% of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnosis. Some individuals are more likely to respond to hypnosis than others and having confidence in the technique helps. Believing change from hypnosis is possible is important and if an individual is personally motivated to change, hypnosis is often more likely than if the individual relies completely on their hypnotherapist and doubts whether they can access their subconscious and make changes happen.

It is important to recognise that it is not possible to hypnotise an individual against their will, and even if an individual is hypnotised, they can reject any suggestion that is not beneficial to them. Hypnosis is therefore natural and safe, with no harmful side effects.

What qualifications and experience should hypnotherapists have?

There are currently no laws in the UK about the training and registration of hypnotherapists. However, when choosing a hypnotherapist, it can be reassuring to know they work to certain levels of good practice. Hypnotherapists can register with a professional body with its own code of ethics and those who are members of a professional body will have met certain eligibility requirements


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Below are some of the professional bodies for hypnosis in the UK.