One thing many people ask me is what I do as a hypnotherapist and what happens in a session. So, I thought perhaps it would be worth explaining a bit more about hypnotherapy and what you can expect from our work together. Of course, it will depend on what you are coming in for and what your goals are, but this will hopefully answer some of those questions for you.
Your first session will be an assessment session so we can get to know each other and I will ask you lots of questions about your history, the issue you would like help with and your goals for the future.
I will talk to you about hypnosis and any previous experiences you've had and answer any questions.
I often ask clients a few questions just to establish which are your preferred representational systems. It helps me to know how you generally interpret the world so I can use that during hypnosis. Some people are very visual, for example, and are great at seeing images in their mind while others prefer to get a feel for the world around them. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions and no particular way to react to the things I might ask you to do. It is purely to help me assess the way you think and feel so that I can use your dominant senses during our hypnosis sessions. This will help you to get the most out of them and make sure I am "speaking your language" if you like.
If we have time, I will end the session with a short relaxation hypnosis. I may give you tasks to carry out before our next session or ask you to listen to one of my audios to help you practise hypnosis in the comfort of your own home. Hypnosis is a skill that can be learnt and improved upon over time so I would always recommend practising between sessions.
While you are busy doing that, I will write a treatment plan so that we can gradually work towards your goals. I always recommend at least four sessions to begin to notice real changes but some people will need many more and some won't even need that many. It really depends on the issue we are dealing with, your goals and what you want to achieve, the work you put in between sessions and how well you respond to hypnosis. The treatment plan I put together is not set in stone but gives us a basic structure so we can begin to see how your goals can be achieved. It can be altered and sometimes completely changed as our work together progresses.
Session Two Onwards
The next sessions all follow a similar pattern. We will have a chat about how you did with your tasks and catch up on the progress you have made in the past week. I may talk you through some practical techniques that you can use and set tasks for the following week. We will then do some hypnosis and I will leave time at the end for any feedback or questions before we arrange our next appointment.
What Happens in Hypnosis?
I will ask you to sit comfortably with your hands in your lap and your feet on the floor and then we will begin the actual hypnosis session. I might ask you to focus your eyes on a particular spot and take some deep breaths while you begin to relax. There are many ways to help someone go into hypnosis so I try to use a variety of "induction" techniques. Eventually, I will ask you to close your eyes and begin to focus inwards.
Hypnosis feels different for everyone but many experience it as an intense daydream. You will never be unconscious and will be aware of my voice and your surroundings but focused inwards rather than on what is going on outside. You will remember everything that happens during the session and I may ask you to interact and answer questions at certain times. You will find that you can do this quite easily.
Hypnosis is a very natural state of focus that we experience many times a day. It is so familiar that clients sometimes wonder if they have been hypnotised at all as they are expecting something totally extraordinary. If you have ever been engrossed in a good film or book, that is similar to hypnosis. Have you ever been driving a familiar route but had your mind on other things and ended up at your destination before you really knew where you were? That is a form of hypnosis. Of course, you know that if you needed your full awareness at any time, you would be able to react within a moment but it is as if your awareness is split and you are in two places at once. You can't get stuck in hypnosis. The worst that could happen is that you fall asleep, which I try to prevent!
Most clients enjoy the experience very much and find it very relaxing and uplifting. I tend to use relaxation as part of my sessions but you don't need to be relaxed to be hypnotised. Many athletes describe a kind of hypnotic state they get into when they perform. They may describe it as being "in the zone" or something similar.
Often people tell me they can't be hypnotised as they like to be in control. Firstly, all I do is guide you so all hypnosis is simply self-hypnosis. If you follow my instructions, you will hypnotise yourself and take complete control. My aim is to empower you and show you how much control you have over your mind and your thoughts. If you don't want to be hypnotised then you won't be, but then you won't make the changes you desire. It is completely your choice.
The issues you come in to the session with have likely been caused by years of negative self-hypnosis so what we are really doing is waking you up from that "trance" and showing you another way of seeing the world and yourself.
I usually start the treatment plan by using positive future visualisation and suggestion therapy. However, if we find that the problem goes deeper than that and needs further work, I may suggest some age regression and inner-child work.
It's All About Working Together
Whatever we decide to do, we will discuss it beforehand and make sure that you feel totally happy and comfortable with any technique or intervention I suggest. Hypnotherapy is a collaborative form of therapy between therapist and client and we need to work well together to achieve the best outcome for you.
If you would like to meet me before you decide to have therapy, I offer a free 15-minute consultation by phone, Skype or in person. This way, you can make sure that you feel comfortable working with me and can decide if I am the right therapist for you. While we are working together I am available to call or message if you need any support between sessions.
I will do my absolute best to help you achieve your goals but it is important that you understand that I cannot do it for you and I expect 100% commitment from you.
That means that you are expected to:
Commit to the weekly sessions and turn up on time
Completely engage in the hypnosis to the best of your ability
Answer questions honestly
Complete the tasks I set for you each week
Make the behavioural changes we agree on
Practise hypnosis and listen to the recordings
If you feel ready to start taking control of your life and making some powerful and life-changing transformations, please get in touch.