How does hypnosis work?
When your body relaxes comfortably and your mind is in a calm, lightly focused state, often experienced as a bit similar to day dreaming, you are said to be in a light state of hypnotic relaxation or trance. We experience this kind of state when we are waking from sleep or falling asleep, or perhaps having a massage or even when becoming absorbed in our thoughts
In this state the unconscious (sometimes called subconscious) part of our mind is more receptive to positive suggestion and creative thought
What happens in the session?
First of all we have a long chat where I can find out about the issue you have come for. We talk about how things are now, how long they have been this way and how you would prefer to think, feel and behave instead.
Then you are helped to achieve a light state of trance akin to being half asleep, half awake through the physical comfort of a wonderful reclining chair. You are given positive suggestions for relaxing the muscles in your body and at the same time you are encouraged to feel at ease in your mind. You are then given powerful positive suggestions based on the detailed discussion beforehand which will help you to achieve your goal
I am very strong willed. What if I cant be hypnotised?
If you have a strong will, this is good news. It means that you are going to put your effort into achieving your aim. This is not a battle of wills; it is a co-operative process. Almost everybody will achieve a light state of trance if they want to do so. Many people easily achieve, and really enjoy, a deeper state of trance and relaxation; whichever you achieve will be perfect for you
Do you put me to sleep? Do I 'go under'?
You are encouraged to relax, feel at ease and a little day dreamy but you do not go to sleep and you do hear everything that is said. It may be that your attention wanders from time to time as you become more and more comfortable but that is fine. Your unconscious mind will hear and remember everything that it needs to, although, just as when you wake from a dream, you do not always consciously remember every word and every aspect. Going under is a very misleading term and comes from stage shows and films. You are always in control
What happens if I feel so tired that I do go to sleep while listening?
Hypnosis puts you into a light state of trance similar to the state you are in before going to sleep or on a hot sunny day while day dreaming and letting your thoughts wander. If, unusually, you happened to be so tired that you drifted into a light sleep, I would simply suggest that you wake up. Hypnosis is about being relaxed not asleep
Is it like stage hypnotism?
Stage hypnotism can be amusing and is performed for your entertainment. But it is not clinical hypnotherapy and it does you no favours. Clinical hypnotherapy is a way of using the state of hypnosis to help find an answer to your problems. I use a solution focused approach which helps you to look forward into the future when you will have overcome your problem and be living your life in a way which is altogether more satisfying to you
The process is collaborative; you decide what you want to achieve. We jointly make sure that your aims are realistic and not harmful to you in any way and then we use the state of hypnosis to help you achieve them
Am I in control all the time?
You remain in control all the time; should you want to stop listening you can open your eyes and come back to full conscious awareness of your surroundings. You are always in control
Can hypnotherapy force me to do something against my will?
You are always in control and can reject any suggestions which you might possibly think are inappropriate for you. Remember that the reason you are doing this is to achieve something you have chosen for yourself. As a member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis I sign a code of ethics so you may be reassured that any suggestions given are positive and directed to help you achieve your aim
Is it dangerous? Are there any side-effects?
In the hands of an expert, hypnotherapy is a completely natural and safe therapy and any side-effects are those of increased calm and confidence
Do I get any kind of support outside the session?
Normally, if it is appropriate, you are given a recording of the hypnotherapy part of one of the sessions so that you can use it at home to reinforce what we do in the treatment session
How many sessions will I need?
This depends on what the problem is but, in general, hypnotherapy is thought of as a brief strategy with lasting results and most people attend for between two and four sessions. Some issues need only one and others more. I am unable to specify in advance exactly how many sessions you will need as it will depend on your individual progress but I can give you an estimate based on general response. After each appointment, we will discuss your progress and decide how to proceed. You are never asked to come for more sessions than we jointly decide you need
How much do one-to-one sessions cost?
Please call 020 8402 1928 or email for current information
What methods of payment do you accept?
Whichever is most convenient to you; credit card, cash
How do I go about making an appointment and how long do sessions last?
Please telephone 020 8402 1928 and ask any questions you need. We are happy to help. When you and I are both satisfied that this is the way forward for you, you can make an appointment there and then. Your first session will last about one and a half hours to give plenty of time for a chat about details of the problem and what your aims of treatment are
Subsequent appointments will last about an hour, enabling us to talk about feedback since the previous session and, taking this into account, have a hypnotherapy session based on the current needs
Do I need to bring someone with me? Can they be with me during therapy?
This is not necessary although people can certainly wait for you if you prefer. Occasionally you may feel a little drowsy after the session but this disappears almost immediately. Although in rare cases people have chosen to keep a friend or family member with them in the session itself, it is not usually advisable since it is rather inhibiting and you may feel you can be less frank. However, if this is what you really prefer, of course you can have somebody stay with you
In the case of children, however, I encourage parents to stay, especially for the first session, so the child will feel more at ease. You can share your thoughts with the therapist when you come
How do I know if a therapist is reputable? How can I find a good therapist?
Always ask your therapist about their qualifications; no reputable therapist will mind. You should find someone who has completed a full course and been awarded a Diploma In Hypnosis from the London College of Clinical Hypnosis or similar body. The more experience the therapist has the better. See the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) or General Hypnotherapy Register websites for therapists in your area and check qualifications and experience
For children it is especially important not only to ensure that your practitioner is well qualified but that they also have specific experience with young children and teenagers