Question: What is Hypnosis?
Answer: Hypnosis is a totally natural state of mind that we experience every day of our lives. The state of Hypnosis is a mid-way point between being awake and being asleep and can be readily identified when having a 'lie in' on a Sunday morning, it is that very pleasant dreamy-drowsy state of mind in which you can just allow yourself to 'drift' while feeling deeply relaxed. It is also very similar to the feeling you have when soaking in a warm bath or lying on a beach in the sun, where you may feel detached and dreamy, knowing that you could open your eyes at any time but feeling just too comfortable to bother. Hypnosis is a state of mind that is conducive to deep physical and mental relaxation and unlike drugs is not addictive or habit forming. Hypnosis can be induced in quite a number of different ways but the most popular method in Hypnotherapy is the 'Progressive relaxation' technique which basically allows you to relax all the major muscle groups in your body before, under the guidance of your Hypnotherapist, going on to relax your mind and then drifting comfortably into the Hypnotic state.

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Question: What is Hypnotherapy?
Answer: Hypnotherapy is a process of applying, while in Hypnosis, therapeutic suggestion to replace those negative elements that are 'driving' the particular unwanted behaviour or problem and therefore allowing a more beneficial positive outcome to emerge. In the state of Hypnosis the 'Conscious' mind recedes, allowing the 'Subconscious' mind to come to the fore and in this deeply relaxed state, therapeutic suggestion is greatly amplified.

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Question: What does it feel like?
Answer: Each person tends to experience hypnosis in their own way - on two people are the same - but the Hypnotic state is actually not some peculiar ‘out-there’ experience - but it is often recognised as a natural, deeply relaxed and comfortable feeling. Its a bit like when you’re driving along a motorway and all the mechanics of driving are totally automatic - so automatic in fact that you may find yourself realising that you’ve been driving for the past 20 minutes without really concentrating on where you are! Others say its rather like the feeling you get when you’re on holiday and you’ve just arrived at the hotel/apartment. You dash out to the beach and just lie there - sounds around you are distant and of no concern to you - you just feel totally relaxed and switched off mentally - the chatter of the mind actually dies down for a while leaving you feeling refreshed and peaceful. Others again say its a bit like daydreaming - you feel as if you’re miles away and involved in your own imagination.

Let me emphasise - YOU ARE NOT ASLEEP. Although the words Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis originated from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ which does mean sleep - it really is a completely inappropriate name for this mental state. You will find that you are actually more AWARE and awake mentally - with your attention turned inwards with the help of a skilled guide - the Hypnotherapist. I’m a bit like a navigator helping you - the pilot reach the destination of your choice. You are always in control of the session.

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Question: In the Hypnotic state are you aware of what is being said?
Answer: Yes, you are always aware of what is being said and what is happening, you are not be asleep or unconscious.

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Question: Is how deeply I go into trance an indicator of the success of the therapy?
Answer: No, some people maintain a lighter state of trance whilst others go very deeply – in my experience the success of the therapy is rarely dependent on this factor. It is natural for the conscious mind to want to hang around and listen to what is being said, especially at the first session – but often as trust builds with each session letting go becomes a new learned habit!

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Question: Can 'anybody' be Hypnotized?
Answer: Yes most people can be, providing.....

  • (a) They wish to be Hypnotized.
  • (b) They understand the instructions given.

It’s often said that there will always be some people who can’t be hypnotised. I personally dispute this but agree that if you don’t want to be hypnotised then no-one can make you! This is not a battle of wills and the Hypnotherapist does not have some kind of mysterious influence over you - contrary to the outdated public image of Hypnosis on TV and in films. Neither can you be made to do something that goes against your beliefs or values - the mind would simply ignore the request or if it was totally outrageous - you would just wake up and tell them where to get off!

It often happens that people who feel uncomfortable with their Hypnotherapist will find it difficult to relax and therefore may not gain much from a session - this is mainly due to a deficiency on the part of the Hypnotherapist and not a shortcoming of the clients. A good Hypnotherapist will always explain in detail what he or she will be doing and ensure that the client is perfectly happy before beginning Hypnosis.

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Question: Is Hypnosis dangerous?
Answer: No, providing you are working with an experienced Qualified Professional. As with anything you should always check credentials – although my studies took nearly 18 months with a full and rigorous examination at the end there are still people out there who have done a six week correspondence course and set themselves up as a Hypnotherapist… of course if they are no good they are unlikely to have a busy client list…

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Question: Can I be made to do anything against my will?
Answer: No, Hypnosis is very much a 'consent' state and if suggestions were made to you that did not conform to your personal code then you would 'not' comply with the suggestions and would probably spontaneously come out of the Hypnotic state.

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Question: Can I remain or become 'stuck' in Hypnosis?
Answer: No, after a very short while if all suggestion had ceased you would wake normally, or if you were tired would drift into a normal ordinary sleep, waking a little later as normal, this would be especially true if you were listening to a hypnotic audiotape and for some reason it stopped playing.

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Question: What is a psychosomatic problem?
Answer: A psychosomatic problem is a problem that is associated with the mind which will usually adversely affect the body. There are literally hundreds of psychosomatic problems and all can be successfully treated with Hypnotherapy. The nature of a psychosomatic problem is such that it is a problem that the sufferer can rationalize is 'silly' or even 'bizarre' but feels unable to do anything about, this is because the underlying cause of the problem has become embedded as 'negative' suggestion in the subconscious mind where reason and logic do not exist and with any internal conflict the 'emotive force' of the subconscious mind will always override the reason and logic of the conscious mind. For example : - If you had a fear of spiders your conscious mind would probably tell you that it is 'silly' to be afraid, but the fear is not in your 'conscious' mind where reason and logic can dispel it, the fear has become embedded in your 'subconscious' mind. overriding all reason and logic, presenting the symptom. Most problems are usually greatly aggravated by Stress.

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Question: What’s the difference between a stage hypnotist and a Clinical Hypnotherapist?
Answer: A stage hypnotist is an entertainer whereas a hypnotherapist is a healer. The stage hypnotist uses very slick methods to hypnotise highly suggestible people who have been hand-picked from the audience. There is some doubt as to whether they are actually hypnotised at all - but just comply with the hypnotist for the performance. They are often people who are quiet on the outside but have an extrovert hidden inside them - who is just itching to get out and perform. The clinical hypnotherapist is there to help people contact their powerful inner resources in order to resolve a problem. The changes are always beneficial, effective and long-term.

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Question: What conditions and problems can be helped by hypnotherapy?
Answer: See link to uses of hypnosis

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Question: What happens at a treatment session?
Answer: As I have said, everyone is different and the actual techniques used will vary from person to person according to need. Some people respond best to a body relaxation programme, others to breathing techniques, others to imagining a favourite relaxing place and others to a numerical (counting down) approach. I tailor it to peoples needs at the time. Once the client is in a deeply relaxed state I will address the problem using carefully worded suggested words and metaphors - using material that the client has presented to me. That’s my chance to get creative! After this I will bring the client back to normal consciousness. Quite often the session may be tape recorded so the client can listen to it again at home on a daily basis which accelerates the process of change. I also make a point of teaching many of my clients self-hypnosis as I believe that this is a wonderful tool for change that can be used at any time.

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