What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis allows a person to experience a deep sense of relaxation which results in a trance like condition. The hypnotherapist can then make appropriate suggestions for positive change.

What is a trance?

We all experience a trance in everyday life………sometimes we naturally slip into a trance:
when we are enjoying a film or book and the outside world is shut off
when we slip into a daydream and time drifts a little
when we’re listening to a speaker and our concentration drifts as our eyes become unfocused.
when we’re doing a spot of gardening and become lost in thought

In hypnotherapy we simply help to bring about a similar state of relaxation.

What happens in hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy has been described as accessing the unconscious mind to provide new ways of dealing with problems or behaviours that are not very useful. The terms conscious and unconscious are useful shorthand ways to help us understand how the human mind works. In Hypnotherapy our conscious mind is understood to be the rational thinking brain; it helps us to understand the world around us and make decisions logically. The unconscious mind is sometimes described as the truthful brain. It is also the part of the brain that contains our good and bad habits and irrational thoughts.

A doctor may tell a patient to give up smoking. The patient responds positively to the doctor and agrees to stop smoking. However, later that day the patient decides to smoke a cigarette. This is because the conscious mind has given in to pestering by the unconscious mind.

Hypnotherapy bypasses the conscious mind and ‘speaks’ to the unconscious mind where the real reason for smoking is hidden away. It achieves this remarkable feat by distracting the conscious mind. The hypnotherapist then replaces an old unhelpful thought about smoking with a new positive thought about stopping smoking.

How hypnotherapy works

Hypnotherapy works by presenting suggestions to the unconscious mind. The unconscious is generally more receptive to new ideas, different ways of doing things and open to change. Many other forms of therapy speak to the conscious mind which is often more resistant to new ideas, wanting to hold on to what it knows. If a suggestion offered to the unconscious mind is welcomed, it is far more likely to be acted upon to cement new ways of doing things or break unhelpful habits such as smoking.

Somebody who smokes cigarettes will be aware that smoking is unhealthy and costly yet feel certain that they can’t stop easily. Hypnotherapy goes straight to the person’s unconscious mind where those desires to carry on smoking are undermining any attempt to stop. In your own life you may have gone ‘straight to the top’ to get something done. In the same way, hypnotherapy goes straight to the unconscious to get the message across.

Somebody who wants to lose weight may have been on many diets throughout their lives. They may have wondered why the diets don’t work despite tremendous willpower. Hypnotherapy bypasses the well-meaning conscious mind to speak directly to the unconscious. Hidden from view, the unconscious mind has been the pester power behind all those good intentions. Pestering the dieter with a gnawing need to eat more or eat unhealthily. Hypnotherapy effectively reprogrammes those unhelpful thoughts with positive suggestions to break unhealthy eating patterns.

Some people are scared of spiders even though they consciously know that spiders can’t harm them. The fear is in the unconscious part of the mind. The conscious mind doesn’t know where the fear comes from but nevertheless it is a real fear. It might be the case that an earlier experience is at the root of the problem.

Hypnotherapy is more and more used by dentists to provide an alternative to anaesthesia for pain control. Furthermore it is now understood to be a leading method of dealing with conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What happens next?

To offer the most effective treatment to suit your needs we do an initial assessment. This involves completing a straightforward questionnaire.

Hypnotherapy does not involve the client going to sleep. Rather, you are fully aware at all times and in total control. You cannot be made to do something you would find unacceptable. You can choose not to accept suggestions. You are fully aware of your surroundings at all times.

How many sessions are needed.

Sessions vary depending on the issue. A therapeutic treatment plan which includes NLP techniques, Third Wave CBT Mindfulness Techniques and/or Hypnotherapy would usually require between 4 and 12 hourly sessions depending on the issue and on your needs.

Can you provide testimonials?

Some hypnotherapists give guarantees or testimonials
The Advertising Standards Authority states that any testimonials should be signed and dated so that they can be checked by interested clients. This would break our pledge of confidentiality to all of our clients. This pledge of confidentiality applies even if a client is happy for a hypnotherapist to use their favourable remarks for advertising.

Doctors, hypnotherapists and psychotherapists can never offer guarantees or absolute cures because therapy will vary from client to client.

My conduct is governed by a strict code of ethics. For further information please visit

National Council of Hypnotherapy

Always consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment before seeking help with complementary or alternative therapies.