What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that uses the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
The process aims to alter our state on consciousness in a way that allows us to relax the conscious part of our minds whilst simultaneously stimulating and focussing the subconscious part. In this heightened state of awareness allows the therapist to make appropriate suggestions. You are conscious throughout the entire process.
Why might hypnotherapy be useful?
Hypnotherapy is widely endorsed as a treatment for breaking of habits, stress related issues and a wide range of long-term conditions such as depression and pain. In recent years, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recognised hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS.
The different types of hypnotherapy
There are several types of hypnotherapy and it is important to understand the differences as certain techniques will benefit certain situations rather than others.
Traditional/suggestion hypnotherapy involves the therapist imparting a series of suggestions to the subconscious mind with the aim of positively influencing thoughts. This technique is often used when the person does not know the root cause of their problem or for a short-term basis to foster changes in a limited time.
Hypno-psychotherapy differs from a hypnotherapist in that they must undertake training in psychotherapy.
This integrative approach utilises techniques to help with deeper problems that hypnotherapy alone may not address such as abuse or trauma. It allows the therapist to use their training and skills to provide a supportive and empathetic relationship.
Analytical hypnotherapy/hypnoanalysis draws upon concepts and techniques of psychotherapy in a bit to discover and treat longer-standing concerns. The aim of this type of therapy is to find and remove the root cause. Therefore, this type of therapy takes longer than hypnotherapy.
Clinical hypnotherapy is where a person receives treatment from a hypnotherapist with a healthcare background. It is not vital that all hypnotherapists undergo this type of training to be a hypnotherapist but a clinical hypnotherapy must and most are licenced and regulated by CNHC.
Cognitive/behavioural hypnotherapy is a modern and scientific approach to therapy that uses CBT and hypnosis to positively influence symptomatic change.
This branch differs significantly from the traditional schools of hypnotherapy by drawing influence from a range of theories including positive psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and NLP. Drawing from these the therapist can tailor approach each client.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) explores the relationship between behaviour, language and excellence. It draws from all accepts to create a recipe for excellence.
An NLP practitioner will look at your attitude, language and your use of it, how you understand relationships, build rapport, and the best physical and emotional states to accomplish the task.
Many who train in NLP do so to help themselves communicate more effectively with their clients.
Time Line Therapy™ is a hypnotic approach that derives from NLP. Based on the concept that our unconscious mind stores memories in a linear pattern which is essentially a mental photo album. Sessions are used to release clients of negative emotions and limiting beliefs that are linked to the past so that they can transform and better their mind/body health. It is particularly good in treating depression, anxiety and stress.
Does everyone respond to hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis works for most people although some are more susceptible to suggestion than others. It is important to be fully committed and to have trust in your therapist. Also, it is important to keep an open mind to the process as any doubt will dampen your success.
Are hypnotherapists regulated?
Hypnotherapy is independently regulated by the Complementary and Natural Health Care Council or CNHC. Hypnotherapists are qualified, insured and are committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional competence.
Being registered and accredited with a professional body shows that the hypnotherapist has undertaken professional training and is experienced.
What qualifications and training experience should a hypnotherapist have?
Industry guidelines recommend that individuals should have completed at least a diploma course involving 450 hours learning to include 120 face-to-face.
What will happen during my hypnotherapy session?
Most hypnotherapists offer a free consultation, generally lasting about an hour.
It involves several elements:
- Discussing your goals and requirements
- Gathering of personal information-sleeping patterns, lifestyle, medical, medication, other treatments and your symptoms
- An explanation of how the process works
- Practical details; costs and sessions required
- A welcome chat to encourage comfort and relaxation
- Induction. You will be lead into a state of physical and mental relaxation
- Once relaxed the hypnotherapist will use techniques and approaches previously discussed to help you towards your goal.
- Once this work is complete, your hypnotherapist will transition you to wakefulness.
- At the end of the session, you will summarise, discuss progress and share any questions you may have.
How regular will my appointments be?
This is something that you will decide together as one size does not fit all. You can change how frequently you see your therapist depending on your progress or any new concerns you may have.
How many sessions will I need?
The duration of your treatment will entirely depend on your circumstances. Some treatments may take less time (smoking cessation for example) whereas other issues may require a longer period to treat. Your therapist will be able to tell you how many sessions they think you require. It is still up to you how many sessions and how spaced you would like them.
How long are hypnotherapy sessions?
This is dependent on your therapist. Sessions are generally an hour in length. Some therapists do two-hour sessions for smoking cessation or gastric band hypnotherapy.
How much does hypnotherapy cost and can I get it for free?
Access to hypnotherapy on the NHS is very limited and whilst you can bring this up with your doctor most practitioners are private.
Initial consolations are generally free of charge.
Each practitioner has their own pricing terms which differ relating to which type of treatment you require. Packages tend to cost more (smoking cessation for example), but generally, an hours hypnotherapy will cost between £45 and £60.
Is hypnotherapy safe for children?
Yes, and it is considered highly effective. Children tend to respond very well to hypnosis as they are still quite imaginative. Hypnotherapy can help with issues such as exam nerves, sleep problems, fears, low self-esteem, eating disorders and bedwetting.
Do hypnotherapists offer workshops and courses?
In addition to one-to-one sessions, many offer workshops, short courses and some offer the full diploma course.