Dispelling the Myths:

What is Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy or Hypno-Psychotherapy is the therapeutic use of 'hypnosis' to free clients from a range of emotional and psychological problems.  It is not appropriate for all clients and is very much a matter of choice. This is something that can be discussed at an initial free consultation.

What is Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a perfectly natural altered state of consciousness, a bit like daydreaming.  In fact, we all go into a hypnotic state several times a day; on going into and coming out of sleep and when we drift off so that our attentions are directed internally. Have you ever been driving somewhere and wondered how you got there because your mind was elsewhere? This is a similar trance state that people can relate to.

There are four key states of awareness; fully conscious/awake, hypnotic state, sleep state and dream state. 

We use our conscious mind for most of our waking hours. Our conscious mind uses logic to reason (often other's logic and not necessarily our own!); it evaluates, judges and assesses in order to make moment by moment decisions. But, when needing to make life changing decisions, the conscious mind can act as a barrier to change and self-healing! It is very good at retaining self-defeating attitudes and behaviour.

Hypnotherapy uses the totally safe and natural state of hypnosis to access the 'inner you' -your subconscious.  In this wonderfully relaxed state, your conscious mind (or your 'chatterbox' as I call it) is able to take a rest for a short time and let your subconscious mind do the work without interference. The subconscious  instinctively knows what is right for you and what will enable you to grow. Healing can take place and appropriate suggestions can be made to amend dysfunctional ways of thinking and behaving.

A Hypnotherapist in rapport with his client can guide and stimulate awareness of internal events in ways which vivify memories, thoughts, feelings and mislaid abilities and talents. It is like looking at the inner you' under a microscope.   It does not create new abilities, but it allows your existing capacities to be reborn or used in different ways.  It is like getting back your power; the REAL YOU, with all the strengths and talents that might have got lost through difficult life experiences.  

For certain issues, and if so desired, it can also allow the root cause of problems to surface to enable exploration and understanding. This is therapeutic for people who have had traumatic events in their life that they want to look at, deal with and move on from.  It is also useful for getting to and understanding the root cause of fears, anxieties and phobias. BUT be assured that the subconscious mind will never reveal anything or take you anywhere that it is not ready to deal with - it is totally safe.  Your subconscious is your protector and if it is ready to deal with events and experiences it will allow you to at the pace that is right for you.

What Hypnotherapy Is Not!

  • It is not entertainment as you see in some stage and TV shows!
    When I tell people what I do, they often say, "Do you mean like Paul McKenna or Darren Brown?"; absolutely not!  These are stage Hypnotists and fascinating as their work is, their subjects have agreed beforehand to be volunteers for stage entertainment.
    Rest assured you will not act foolishly, reveal secrets or be under the control of the therapist! It is just not possible. You will remain fully in control and alert to what you are saying or doing.
    It is about positive therapeutic change which is very serious and very responsible.  Hypnotherapy is used to empower you and NOT to ridicule you.
  • You will not be unconscious or go to sleep!
    Hypnosis is a state before you reach sleep. You always pass through an hypnotic state when going to sleep and on waking.  And you are certainly not unconscious, your free will is always present whilst in hypnosis.
  • It is not dangerous and you cannot possibly remain stuck in a trance.
    Hypnotherapy is a pleasant experience and sometimes clients say that they wish they could have stayed there longer because it felt so safe and relaxing. But you are totally in control of taking yourself back to an awake state and you can NEVER get stuck in a trance state!
  • You cannot be compromised or do ANYTHING against your will.
    Interestingly your awareness is heightened whilst in hypnosis, the door to the subconscious mind is opened and memories are more readily accessed and new information stored. In this relaxed state you can choose to accept the treatment suggestions or dismiss them - your subconscious is your safety mechanism and it will not allow you to take on board any suggestions that do not resonate with you, nor allow you to do or say anything that might harm you.
  • It is not just suitable for some who are said to be weak and open to suggestion!
    If we choose we can ALL experience hypnosis. You are only open to hypnotic suggestions that are acceptable to you! Weak or strong, your subconscious will instinctively know what is good for you.  It heals, not harms.
  • You will not freeze and be unable to talk.
    You are able to converse with the therapist if you choose to. You can discuss how you feel and answer questions.  Sometimes your speech may be slightly slower and more considered as you are so relaxed.

Who Can Be Hypnotised:

It is a fallacy that only certain people can be hypnotized. Virtually everyone can experience hypnosis.  Fundamentally it is about building trust in the therapist and having the personal desire to really tackle your problems.

But it is true to say that some have a greater ability to be hypnotized than others. And for some it may take a little longer to really relax and allow the benefits of hypnosis to be experienced. Anyone who wishes to resist going into a trance can. And equally, anyone within a hypnotic trance can pull themselves back if so desired without the intervention of the therapist.  So no one could ever be in danger of getting 'stuck' or under the influence of the therapist. It is totally safe.

So, the success of hypnotherapy is no doubt assisted by the following:

  • The client's desire to truly want to tackle their problems using this therapy.
  • The client's ability to relax - but this ability does always come.
  • The trust and confidence that the client has with the therapist.
  • The knowledge that ANY depth of hypnotherapy can be beneficial .
Many just feel that they have been in a sleepy, blissful, relaxed state and have not been 'under hypnosis'.  However, the therapist will have observed the signs of hypnosis displayed by the client (such as a gentle, regular breathing pattern and fluttering eyelids for example) and the client will later confirm that they have seen the desired changes within themselves; thus proving they were in fact in a relaxing trance.

For some, the benefits of hypnotherapy can be instantaneous, but for others it may take several sessions. But clients always see beneficial changes. Clients most usually enjoy the experience and find the changes and discoveries therapeutic and insightful.

Who Can Benefit From Hypnotherapy

Almost everyone can benefit from hypnosis. It is unlikely that any of us are performing to our full potential and so hypnotherapy can assist with identifying problem areas and help us to achieve our full inner potential in the areas that we desire change in. Beneficial change is triggered by the stimulating of OUR OWN innate healing capabilities.

I state in my literature that it aids 'personal development for life transformation' and this is exactly what it is able to do; it unleashes our inner power to transform our lives for the positive.  Whether it be giving up smoking, identifying causes of anxiety, healing childhood wounds or getting back our confidence or whatever it is - it can turn around our life if that is what we desire.

See 'Treatments' to see the areas that I work in.

There are instances where the use of hypnotherapy is not recommended however and these are:

  • Those with severe depressive illness such as Bi-Polar.
  • Those who are on some drugs/medication may need to get advice from their doctor first.
  • Those with Epilepsy.
  • Those with Schizophrenia or psychotic illness.

Free Initial Consultation:

I always invite a client for an initial 20-30 minute consultation which is free of charge. This allows you to outline your problem or situation and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We can discuss the type of therapy programme that is likely to be the most beneficial for you. This session is completely without obligation because what is most important is to ensure that I am the right therapist to deal with your very specific requirements.

The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council

The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC) has been established in order to offer a facility through which the diverse field of Hypnotherapy may collectively work to the status of Professional Regulation. The Council is comprised of many Professional Hypnotherapy Organisations and Training schools who have to reach the required standards before they can be represented by GHSC.

Further information regarding the practice of Hypnotherapy can be found here.

The website for the GHSC is as follows:  www.GHSC.co.uk


The General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) is the registering agency for the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council.  It was established following Department of Health guidelines.

The website can be visited at www.general-hypnotherapy-register.com

GHR Logo

Practitioners who have fulfilled the relevant criteria and training can be found on the Therapists Directory.  I can be found under the South East/Horsham. http://www.general-hypnotherapy-register.com/Therapists/England/Sussex%20(West).htm