Frequently asked questions


What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a state of focused attention combining Psychotherapy and Hypnosis, enabling the subconscious mind to make beneficial changes. Hypnotherapy enhances the effects of the solution focused, brain based elements of the session. It harnesses the positive elements of the natural occurring hypnotic state, using them to beneficial, therapeutic effect. Your mind is more responsive to suggestion in this state of deep relaxation. The suggestions given are designed to help you to change any behaviours that you wish to change or perhaps unhelpful thought patterns you wish to stop or amend. These suggestions may relate to feelings of control, or related to self-confidence, each person is individual and the sessions are tailored accordingly. You are always in control and your mind would reject anything that it feels is not in your best interest.

Hypnotic trance is perfectly natural and we all have the power within us to improve our lives and achieve our goals; it is unlocking this potential that gives Hypnotherapy its great power.

During a session we will work together using guided relaxation to help unlock your true potential. Hypnosis is a safe, powerful technique, which creates a deeply relaxed state of the body, mind and emotions. As a therapist, I will guide you into a relaxed trance by the sound of my voice. It is not, however, sleep.

Many people are surprised at how ‘normal’ hypnotherapy feels, describing a wonderful sense of calmness and relaxation.

What is the difference between clinical hypnotherapy and stage hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis in a clinical setting is very different from stage hypnosis. You are always in control, you decide when to go ahead or when to stop. You are safe and secure, and would always be treated with respect. There are no swinging pocket watches, eating onions or dancing like chickens!!

What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy simply means clinical hypnosis with a therapeutic approach. The focus is on what a person would like to achieve in their future life rather than issues or problems from the past, which have brought them to this point.

What is Trance?

Hypnotic Trance is a perfectly natural state that we drift in and out of often during our everyday lives such as, driving the car, reading a book or just sitting watching the T.V.

Trance improves our ability to respond to positive suggestion to lasting changes in physical and mental wellbeing.

It can be used as a safe, powerful tool which allows the subconscious and conscious mind to work together to make beneficial changes to our lives. Within trance we use visualisation and relaxation to achieve a very natural day dreaming state which most people describe as deep sense of relaxation, like being on auto pilot. Whilst you are in trance the brain works much harder to find solutions to your life challenges.

The Therapist will guide you into Trance using the sound of their voice, it is not sleep simply a state of deep relaxation. Although many people report feeling very relaxed afterwards as if thy have had a good sleep.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Most people can go into at least a light trance; this is sufficient for most hypnotherapeutic goals. Therefore the majority of people can benefit from Hypnotherapy to some extent.

Will I lose consciousness whilst in Hypnosis?

During Hypnotherapy the client is always fully aware and in control of everything that happens. It’s like day dreaming, so even if the therapist left the room and never returned you would come round by yourself within a few minutes.

Is it safe, is there any danger with the process?

No none at all. No one can be hypnotised against his or her will, even in trance you are fully in control of everything that happens and can stop the process at any time if you wish. It is a very enjoyable experience. You will be in a safe environment and feel beautifully relaxed

Will I reveal personal secrets?

No definitely NOT, you will always be treated with the utmost respect and confidence. You are in complete control of all you say and do.

Will I remember what happens during Hypnosis?

You will remember most things, however just like watching TV or listening to a speech there will be bits you don’t re-call but you will recall the majority of it.

What to expect?

Many people believe that they explain their issues to the therapist who then simply hypnotise their problem away, as if by magic. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a much more 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. By focussing on a solution it allows your conscious mind to find the answer.

What happens at the initial consultation?

The initial consultation varies with each client but is usually around 60 minutes. This will involve you explaining why you think have come for help. I will ask you some lifestyle background and medical questions to enable me to build a picture of you, and how you are affected, what you would prefer your life to look like in the future and what skills you may already have to help you get there.

I will then give you an explanation of how your brain works, how anxieties and depression can take over our lives and what we can do about it. We will then look at how our primitive mind frequently steps in to help us, even if we don’t want it to, it thinks it is protecting us. We then discuss how this primitive mind and our survival mechanisms have become confused with modern day living.

I will then explain how negative thinking creates anxiety and how we often are unable to manage our stress levels. We then look at the value of good quality of sleep and what happens if we don’t empty our stress buckets through our natural sleep patterns, as well as looking at the chemicals our brain triggers and the physiological effect these have on our body.

By then I should have a better idea of how to move forward, we will discuss that and what subsequent sessions will entail. Solution Focused Therapy which is based in part on the latest neuroscience, highlighting the significance of learning by repetition.

What exactly happens during hypnosis?

In the initial consultation we will discuss why you want to use solution focused hypnotherapy, I will listen and ask any questions I feel necessary to get a fuller picture of your situation. In each session after this we will discuss what has changed since our previous meeting as well as looking towards your goal.

When it is time to use hypnosis or trance, I will talk to you, using a relaxing tone of voice. I will use words, which continue to relax you at the same time guiding you into a calm and relaxed state of mind. But at the same time making sure that you feel safe and secure. When I feel that you are sufficiently relaxed I will continue talking using positive suggestions which will greatly benefit you and guide you towards your preferred goal. You cannot be hypnotised unless decide that you would like to be. You can also hypnotise yourself, which I am happy to show you how to do. Actually since you cannot be hypnotised unless you want to be, all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis.

What does a hypnotic trance feel like?

Everyone experiences trance in a different way this is something that we all do many times a day. When you are staring out a window, watching TV, driving a familiar route, all these are examples of being in trance. It is absolutely normal in every way. During trance your unconscious mind has taken over even for such a brief moment and your conscious mind is less in control, this allows you to make positive change.

What you experience will be very personal to you; you should feel relaxed, floaty and carefree. Some people go into a light trance other go into a deeper trance, the research suggests that it doe not matter which. You are able to come out of trance at any time that you feel you want to, you are always in control.

Can everybody be hypnotised?

It is thought that around 90% of people can achieve a trance state. Some people experience a light state and some much deeper but this really does not make any difference as the process of achieving trance allows us access to the unconscious mind and this is where we can make positive change.

How long will it take you to "fix" me?

I need to be very clear that I won’t be ‘fixing’ you. I remember thinking years ago that hypnotherapy would mean someone would fix me and that it wouldn’t really involve me at all. It’s really not like that at all, despite what the stage shows look like, the hypnotherapist doesn’t have this kind of control and there is no ‘magic’ involved. Only the magic of your mind.

All the changing and ‘fixing’ is done by you and I simply facilitate the process by enabling you to get in touch with your own answers and solutions. All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis.

Basically, if you are motivated to resolve what you have come for, you may make your changes quickly and the work will be straightforward. If you know there are changes you want to make but aren’t sure what they are then we can work together to find out what these changes might look like. If you feel you are motivated but can’t quite seem to make the changes you would like to, we can explore the reasons for this together. The main thing to remember about hypnotherapy is that it enables us to bypass our conscious mind and our ego’s so that we don’t get in our own way quite so much.

There are a number of ways we can work together and this will depend upon your needs. Again though, I don’t fix you. All the changes made are yours, and you can feel proud of this.

How is hypnotherapy different from what they do on TV?

On the TV it looks as though the hypnotist has control over the person he is talking to. After all, how else would they get them to eat onions and dance around? But actually they are not.

Firstly, they are usually careful to choose people who are likely to go into trance very easily and ‘test’ the audience before allowing them on stage.

Secondly, the people going on stage usually have a fair amount of natural exhibitionism and while one weekend they may say, “I ate an onion because I was hypnotised”, the next weekend they may say, “I ate an onion because I had too much to drink”.

But all participants in a stage show could choose to come out of trance any time they wanted to and say ‘thanks all the same, but I’ve already had an onion today”. They don't tend to show those bits though.

While the principles are the same in all hypnosis, hypnotherapy is very different because of the intention behind it. With hypnotherapy the intention is to assist others in making the changes they want for themselves and with appropriate training and understanding, this is done in a safe way with the therapist and client working together.

Why should I choose hypnotherapy over another kind of therapy?

If hypnotherapy doesn't feel right to you, you shouldn't. But the benefit of solution focused hypnotherapy is that focuses on the solutions to your problem. It can help you access the unconscious mind, which is the creative and resourceful part of your mind, this is often the source of our problems but more importantly it is often where we find our solutions.

If trained by a reputable body such as The Clifton Practice, hynpotherapists are trained to the highest standards.

If we liken ourselves to a garden, Hypnotherapy is like having a good understanding of what is needed to make the garden grow, and also having the tools needed to gently turn the soil so the flowers can grow faster, and the weeds are less likely to come back.

What if I don't like you when I meet you?

This is crucial to the success of your therapy. It is vital that you feel relaxed and able to trust the therapist and feel safe. If for whatever reason you do not feel this when we meet, it is important that you tell me. I can then make other recommendations to you, that hopefully you will be able to work with. I absolutely will not take this personally; your ability to be able to work with your therapist will determine the success so lets get the right person for you to be able to achieve your goals.

How will I know if it has worked?

We will discuss this and will determine your ‘goals for therapy’ so that we have something to measure things against. In subsequent sessions we will discuss your progress, people normally feel an improvement quite quickly.

Will I tell you all my secrets because I’m in trance?

No. As described before, you will be aware of your choices and aware of what is around you when in trance and you won’t say or do anything you haven’t chosen to say or do.

You may be surprised by some of the things you find out or say but this is only because your unconscious mind knows more than you do. Your unconscious mind is always protecting you and working on your behalf.

Is what I tell you confidential?

Yes absolutely. All information you share is treated as confidential and your contact details would never be passed to others.

However, as will be explained during your first session, should you tell me anything, which indicates that you are a potential harm to yourself or to another, I am legally obliged to act upon the information. This would always be discussed with you prior to any action.

Also, I may discuss your case with my clinical supervisor. You can trust that no names or contact details would be shared at any time, but clinical supervision is good practise and is necessary under the code of conduct of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists. It is intended to ensure professional conduct at all times.

What if I don't wake up?

No one has ever got 'stuck' in hypnosis; this is another “myth” of hypnosis. Hypnosis is similar to being in a daydream? Hypnosis is a completely natural state that you go in and out of many times a day, so your mind knows exactly how to deal with it.

In general at the end of the session people feel relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. You will be wide-awake, totally alert and able to continue on with your day as normal.

How long will a session last?

The first session will last 60-90 mins approximately. This allows time for us to discuss why you have come, to get to know each other a little, which will allow you to decide if we can work together, it will also give you an experience of hypnosis and to ask questions. Subsequent sessions last around 50mins to an hour.

How many appointments will I need?

Every client is different depending on the reason for you coming, how regularly you would like to attend which would depend on your particular situation and also on your finances. We will have a chat about why you have come, what your expectations are, and any goals you may have set yourself. Obviously this situation will be reassessed as we progress together.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment, or ask for more information, by emailing or by calling 07983 588104 (mobile). I am happy to have a chat about whether your situation would be helped by Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?

In order to allow me time to give the session time to another client, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice of cancellation.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

Because the session could have been given to another client, I charge a late cancellation fee of half the session cost. Enforcement of this policy may depend upon your circumstance but I would really appreciate your help and consideration in making sure appointments are met, or cancelled with a minimum of 24 hours notice.

Why do you ask me about my medical history?

If you suffer from Epilepsy or have a history of Epilepsy I will be unable to work with you using hypnotherapy and will refer you to the BACP website to find an appropriate therapeutic approach for your needs.

If you are taking any medication related to the issue you are coming with, please continue with the course of medicine as prescribed by your GP and inform your GP you are coming for hypnotherapy.


07983 588 104