How does Hypnotherapy work?
In sessions we work together, using Solution Focused Brief Psychotherapy, to devise solutions to the issues bothering you, coming up with ‘preferred futures’ and practical ways of reaching them. I then guide you through a relaxing session of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a completely natural state of deep relaxation; often referred to as ‘trance’, where your subconscious mind is in a state of heightened awareness and focused attention. When we relax the mind in this way it is easier to take on new information and new patterns of positive thinking. With each session, the brain becomes more responsive to these new patterns, and the patient also learns to self-hypnotise in order to calm anxiety and implement those positive changes. There are many different hypnosis techniques, and levels of trance to go into, but it is perfectly safe and you will remain in control at all time, and I will be monitoring and guiding you at all times. For clients coming for an extended course of sessions; techniques such as mindfulness, Human Givens psychology and CBT may also be used to help implement positive and lasting changes. You’ll be given CDs (or MP3s), support material and homework where appropriate.
What can Hypnotherapy help with?
Hypnotherapy can effectively be used to treat a plethora of conditions and is not limited in its effectiveness. Commonly it is used to help people overcome depression, anxiety, phobias and stress; and all the physical and emotional symptoms associated with those, such as insomnia, panic attacks, IBS, nail biting, blushing, stammering, stress headaches and compulsive or destructive behaviours. “Research shows that there is more scientific evidence for Clinical Hypnotherapy than any other Complementary Therapy…By using hypnosis, people can perform prodigious feats of will-power and self-healing!” (The Health Education Authority / NHS NICE) Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is also an excellent way to make positive changes in your life, such as giving up smoking, losing weight, motivation to complete a task, or to gain confidence. It is fantastic for helping prepare for upcoming changes or events, such as an exam, job interview, driving test or even a trip to the dentist! In cases of physical conditions, hypnotherapy can help with pain relief and management, as well as helping you mentally cope with surgery or long-term treatment. It is a fantastic therapy for people preparing to have a family, both in aiding with fertility issues, through to having the most enjoyable and relaxed pregnancy and labour. I am also trained in working with children and young people and am fully CRB and DSB checked.
Can everyone be hypnotised?
Practically everyone can be hypnotised! Everyone goes into different levels of trance, especially at first, but all levels can be useful and effective, over time most people find they are able to go into, or even put themselves into, a deep state of hypnosis. That being said, hypnosis is not suitable for those with diagnosed schizophrenia or psychosis and for those under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I am happy to children from the age of six. Depending on the techniques I use, I may keep you in a lighter trance, or help you into a deeper trance. I teach all my clients self-hypnosis as well.
Is it safe?
Yes. The fears most people have is that somehow they will get ‘stuck’ or that they will bring up painful memories from the past, or that outside the clinic they will somehow get triggered into abnormal behaviours. Most of these myths have been fuelled by TV and film portrayals of hypnotists, but there is no real truth in them. You will remain in control at all times when under hypnosis, and will be able to come out of it whenever you want to. I rarely use regressive hypnosis, so there is no danger of bringing back bad memories or false memories, and once the patient has left the clinic the only affect left on them will be one of wellbeing! Hypnosis is actually a very enjoyable and relaxing treatment, and most patients find that sessions leave them feeling calm and energised.
How long does it take?
At the initial consultation we will discuss what you want help with and then I can give you a better idea of treatment time. In most cases I can get people back on track within eight to ten weeks; for a straightforward phobia, or event anxiety I would usually see someone for three sessions, and smoking cessation sessions are one session only! I always take my lead from the patient; they can come for as many or few sessions as they would like. Sessions can take place at my home clinic in Southville, Bristol; at Alma Vale Hypnotherapy or over Skype. On average, sessions take 55 minutes.
How much does it cost?
Consultations are £40, then after that sessions are £65. Phobia treatments are £200 for three sessions; and a one-off smoking session costs £150. A standard five-session package for pregnancy and childbirth is £400. All prices include free CDs, support material and where appropriate, phone support.