Can everyone be hypnotised?
Yes absolutely anybody can be hypnotised. I think it’s one of the things that people are apprehensive about when they come for hypnotherapy, will it work for them and I can confidently say that I have never not been able to hypnotise somebody.
Will I remember the session or will I fall asleep?
When you think about it would you really pay somebody to put you into a state of deep sleep, you probably wouldnít, and the whole thing is that hypnotherapy is actually so wonderful a state of hypnosis because it is a relaxed kind of awareness in which your subconscious mind can float solutions to the surface. You are in control you are aware of everything thatís happening and you remember everything afterwards and that is what is so fantastic about hypnotherapy
Can you make me do things I donít want to do?
You mean will I make you walk like a chicken? No, of course not I mean it’s great fun when you watch people like Derren Brown on TV, he does some amazing things and slightly strange things as well but of course, this is totally different from hypnotherapy. The stage hypnotist uses hypnosis in a completely different way and of course you have to remember that the people who are there participating in those shows are up for it completely, they want to enter into it, they want to have fun.
In hypnotherapy we work with hypnosis in a very different way because its all about guiding you through a process which is going to be beneficial to you.
How long is a hypnotherapy session?
Well I tend to work with people for about an hour and a half at a time, a standard session is about 90 minutes. I believe thatís about the minimum amount of time I need to work with you in a session to help you enter that nice relaxed state and really work around it. So a hypnotherapy session needs to be a little bit longer than say a counselling session.
How many sessions will I need?
This is of course something that everybody wants to know at the beginning of a series of treatments but unfortunately it’s not something I can really give you a good idea of until I’ve met with you, talked a little bit about the history of your problem, the particular challenge youíre facing, what your goals are. So I tend to spend the first session really getting that clear and in fact often before the first session Iíll talk to somebody on the phone and make sure we have a good idea where it is you want to go then that gives me a good idea how long that might take. Of course everybody is different.
What is EFT?
EFT is Emotional Freedom Technique. Itís a relatively new form of therapy and its been described as emotional acupuncture. Basically it uses acupressure points say for example this one here (under the eyes) and this one here (taps chestbone) and consists of a series of tapping and saying some affirmations which we work out together during the course of the session. Its fun.
Tell me about your work with people who want to lose weight?
What Iíve found really interesting about working with people on body image, on achieving the kind of weight and shape that they want, you know I avoid that term weight loss because it suggests youíre losing something, losing a part of yourself dieting I think that the wrong approach. We know that diets donít work so I really enjoy working with people in this area because, very often, the reason we might have a difficult relationship with food is because food has begun to symbolise something for us in some way because for everybody food is symbolic in one way or another.
And the culture that we live in now, it’s tough, there are all kinds of pressures on us to look a certain way and to present a certain image. So I really like to work with people on the root causes of their relationship with food, whether it’s overeating or a very serious problem like anorexia or bulimia. Or whether it’s quite simply that theyíve never felt quite comfortable in their own skin. Theyíve never felt really good about themselves. And it’s such a pleasure to do this work because it can be life changing for somebody and having achieved this change in that area of their life the clients that I work with on achieving the weight and change they want go on to do some fantastic things. They go on to feel totally empowered and feeling that having changed their body shape and now feeling really good about themselves they go on to do exciting things and thatís a real privilege.
What will a hypnotherapy session be like?
Of course everybody is different and my job is to work with an individual person so I will spend some time talking with you before we even meet to try and understand what it is we need to look at and the kinds of specific goals we need to set and that to a certain extent influence the session. But on the other hand I can say that most sessions do follow a certain framework or structure.
For example after weíve talked about what the problem or challenge youíre having, how youíre getting on with it from the last session to this session for example we will then begin the hypnosis and the way that that starts is, by now of course you are sitting in my very comfortable hypnotherapy chair and you might have your feet up on a footrest or firmly on the floor and it could be that weíll use some nice relaxing music in the background, some people find that useful.
It could be that we do the session in headphones because that helps people feel nice and enclosed or could be you prefer to work without the headphones just with my voice and the sounds and the images you are creating within your own body.
How can hypnotherapy help me stop smoking?
If youíve tried in the past, it may be that youíve tried going cold turkey as they say, just with your willpower alone or youíve tried nicotine patches or gum. The way hypnotherapy works can help you stop smoking much more effectively than these methods that I’ve mentioned is the following, when you think about using nicotine patches, gum or sprays all these are really doing is prolonging your physical addiction to nicotine in fact you probably get the same effect by just cutting down on cigarettes and only just smoking two or three a day because your body can’t notice the difference between two or three cigarettes and twenty five cigarettes as a physical addiction.
But the other thing is that we now know that, and there’s very strong evidence for this, that nicotine and all the other harmful chemicals in cigarettes are completely out of you system once you go cold turkey after round about 5 days. So the difficulty most people struggle with when they are trying to stop smoking is not the physical addiction from the nicotine and the chemicals in the cigarette it’s all psychological, it’s all about the associations youíve made with cigarettes, it’s all about the things youíve told yourself in all your years of smoking about why you need those cigarettes and why theyíre helpful to you.
So, in a hypnotherapy session I will work with someone to find out what are their particular triggers, their personal associations and the things that are going on in their minds and in their bodies that have set up and established this pattern and craving and thatís why it’s so effective because hypnotherapy works with the real crux of the problem which is your mind/body connection.
What is hypnotic journalling?
This grew out of a particular passion of mine which is the connection between writing and health and well being. I began researching this whole area many years ago and Iíve used it with all different kinds of people. When I decided to be a hypnotherapist I decided to bring these two things together because I realised that when I write I’m actually going into a state of self-hypnosis.
If youíve ever found yourself immersed in an activity which you really love gardening, running, painting you actually find youíre in that state of relaxed awareness, in a zone of creative flow and you donít realise how much time has passed and all kinds of possibilities can happen for you when youíre in that state which is what we talk about when we talk about self hypnosis so my hypnotic journalling programme is a 5 day introduction to using Journalling techniques and self-hypnosis techniques together