What is hypnosis?
It's a completely natural state that we all enter into many times a day e.g. when watching tv; driving our usual routes to work or school; or going for a run. In hypnotherapy, hypnosis is used to release stress and to create and consolidate change. It is very relaxing and pleasant, but it is actually a very focused state where the brain gets the space to reorganise patterns of behaviour, feelings and thoughts so they are more in line with what you actually want.
To reassure anyone who has seen stage shows where participants are hypnotised into doing silly things - no-one can hypnotise you to do anything against your will. Those people that impersonate Elvis or transform into dancing chickens are at a some level very happy to entertain the audience and therefore agree to be hypnotised into doing this. And good for them - I can enjoy watching it, but it’s got nothing to do with hypnotherapy.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a combination of hypnosis and therapy. The therapy in itself is extremely beneficial and its effects are enhanced by the hypnosis, which enables the subconscious mind to make beneficial changes. I use Solution Focused therapy, which helps people overcome stress and instead move towards the outcomes they would like.
Hypnotherapy is not something that is “done” to you - a therapist cannot simply hypnotise problems away, as if by magic. I will work with you and give you the tools you need to be in control. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a very collaborative process and it is important to understand that change happens because you want it to and because you are prepared to take the necessary steps to allow it to happen. If this sounds like work, yes it can be but it is a lovely freeing process that you will enjoy.
What is different about Solution Focused (SF) Hypnotherapy?
SF Hypnotherapy is based on the latest neuroscience research and Solution Focused Brief Therapy and uses proven and safe methods. It is designed to reduce anxiety and stress which inhibit our ability to think clearly and stick to our decisions. As the name suggests, it focuses on solutions for the future, rather than analysing past problems. If you have experienced unpleasant events, we acknowledge they happened and then help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis along with exploring and defining your goals and learning how the brain functions, to ensure lasting changes. We will go through why the brain creates different issues and symptoms, so we can also understand how to make necessary changes and learn not to fall into the stress trap so easily again. Defining new goals, reducing stress and using hypnosis lead to that you will eliminate the cause so it doesn't trip up your new ways of feeling, thinking and behaving.
How can SF Hypnotherapy help so many varied issues?
One big reason is that when we are stressed, anxious, depressed, angry etc., we don't function from the part of the brain which is constructive, makes rational decisions or come up with new ideas. By releasing that stress with hypnosis and learning how to use our minds, we get the control we need to achieve our goals without being hijacked by stubborn, unhelpful habits.
Long term stress also has many damaging effects on your body which worsens IBS, chronic pain, inflammation, headaches and many more ailments, which is one reason SF hypnotherapy helps with many diseases. It also focuses on positive and constructive goals, helping clients cope better.
Because SF Hypnotherapy works by addressing the anxiety and stress that is at the root of most problems and replacing old, unhelpful patterns with what the client desires, the issues are unlikely to return or crop up as something else.
I don't think I can be hypnotised.
We all go into this natural state lots of times every day, so everyone knows how to do this. It doesn’t make a difference to the effectiveness of the therapy if you are lightly or deeply hypnotised. Sometimes you can see research around suggestibility and depth of hypnosis; this is useful for research and stage shows etc but in terms of practical, therapeutic use it’s not directly applicable. We know that there are beneficial brainwave changes and which parts of the brain that are activated during the different stages of the type of hypnosis I use and this is not directly dependent on depth or suggestibility. When you're deeply hypnotised you may not consciously remember everything I say, but your subconscious still stays very aware and will take what it needs from it. Saying that, a deeper level of hypnosis can be very pleasant and as always with practice you will find the process faster.
What are the sessions like and how many will I need?
The sessions are 1 hour long
Apart from the Quit Smoking session which takes 1.5-2 hours
I do hypnotherapy both as One-to-One and via Zoom (or Skype)
Zoom is useful if if you live too far away or have problems getting to me
The initial consultation is free
It gives you time to explain your issue and what you would like to achieve and we will go through how the brain functions with regards to your issue (this is not complicated and will help you in many other situations as well). It also gives you the chance to meet me so you will feel completely comfortable with the process knowing this is the right way forward for you. You will also receive my complimentary hypnosis download to use at home which really helps the therapy process.
These include talking about how the brain functions so you will know how to work with your brain to achieve your goal. We will define your goals - small steps that lead to your overall goal, and lastly you will get to enjoy the hypnosis. I also incorporate some NLP (Neuro Linguistic Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques where appropriate.
Number of sessions
Help to cope in a stressful situation can be fast. Sometimes you just need another way of thinking about things together with knowledge of how to release stress and anxiety.
Some stubborn habits/issues can require 8-12 sessions because the brain needs time to hardwire your new ways and make that neural path strong, so there is a necessary element of repetition. It still makes SF Hypnotherapy fast.
Phobia treatment: 4 sessions (incl. Initial Consultation)
Quit Smoking: 1 session
Initial Consultation is free
Per session: £65
Quit Smoking is a 1.5-2 hours, one-off session: £180
I mainly work in Bourne End, SL8 5TH
Occasionally I also work in Oxford with Tony Kaye, PhD, Clinical Hypnotherapist, helping students manage stress; increase resilience; cope with exam stress and generally improve performance.