What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a special way of using naturally-occurring psychological and physiological states. It’s a collaborative process in which you allow yourself to follow the guidance of the therapist by using your imagination to evoke positive emotions and rehearse behavioural change.
Hypnotic suggestion is about experiencing certain helpful ideas at a level profound enough to directly influence your emotions and behaviour. Psychological and emotional problems can be seen as a result of negative thinking, whereas hypnotherapy aims to encourage (to “suggest”) positive ideas which lead to improvement.
Hypnosis is definitely not a state of sleep or unconsciousness. Roughly 90% of clients report being aware of everything that happens, although slipping deeper into hypnosis at moments may give you the sense you drifted out.
You can speak to answer questions I may ask you, and if at any moment you wish to end being in hypnosis, it suffices to simply open your eyes and say so.
Hypnosis is such a natural state you may feel you are simply closing your eyes and relaxing a bit in the first session or two – that nothing bizarre or so different is happening. However, over the course of treatment, clients get better at recognising and going into hypnosis.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been tested a lot since the 1970s; as of today, there are over 500 studies showing it is indeed effective for a wide range of psychological disorders and problems. CBT is a brief therapy (generally 2 to 12 sessions max), focused on the present and very practically oriented toward solving the client’s current problems.
Treatment is about the understanding that our negative thoughts arouse negative emotions, which in turn cause problem behaviours. CBT teaches the client how to change these unhelpful thoughts into more positive ones, thereby changing how they feel and then how they act.
Results are astonishingly rapid and complete, as the research shows and the psychological profession attests. It is the most listed therapy on the American Psychological Association list of Empirically Validated Treatments, and it is the most recommended psychotherapy by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK.
What can I expect from an appointment?
You can learn more about appointments and what they involve here.
The first session is an evaluation session that helps inform your subsequent sessions and treatment. We will also discuss my role as a therapist and yours as a client, discussing practical details and setting specific goals.
Right from the beginning, you are active in the therapeutic process and we will always refer back to your first assessments to chart your progress. Appointments are usually scheduled weekly with tasks for you to do between sessions to help speed your progress along.
When the agreed-upon goals for your treatment have been met, we will have a final session to evaluate your progress and otherwise conclude.
How many sessions will I need?
Hypnotherapy, although it is one of the briefest forms of psychotherapy, usually requires more than one session – often four to five, although with more complex issues this can go to more. I will tell you from the start how many sessions I believe will be necessary, and then we will see as we proceed if more or fewer will be needed for your particular case.
Please note that the success of your treatment will be in direct proportion to what you put into it; contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapy is not something that is “done” to the client. Your active participation, and especially your real efforts at the exercises and assignments I will be likely to give you to work on between sessions, will all contribute to making the treatment plan work faster and more lastingly.
Where do sessions take place?
All sessions can take place at my office in St Goustan in Auray, France, or online via Zoom call.
What are the advantages of hypnotherapy compared to other therapies?
Hypnosis has certain advantages in research as compared with other psychotherapies:
Hypnosis can produce immediately observable results, such as changed performance on tasks, motor movement or autonomic changes that can be measured and studied under controlled laboratory conditions.
Technology can measure the immediate effects of hypnosis, such as heart rate or neurological alterations, making detailed, objective analysis possible to a degree not as easily reached with other psychotherapies.
Hypnotherapy was originally considered an orthodox treatment within general medicine; it has therefore been tested and proven helpful for a wide range of general medication conditions not normally considered treatable by other types of psychotherapy (dental anaesthesia, treating warts).
Hypnotherapy is essentially a cluster of techniques, not a theory, whereas other therapies tend to be developed around a school of thought; this means hypnotherapy can be more easily defined for designing research and offers a wide range of testable actions.
Scientific investigation of hypnosis has meant that more and more, hypnotherapy has been grounded in mainstream psychology and neuroscience. There is now a true body of academic literature on the evidence of hypnotic procedures' effectiveness in treating a wide range of psychological and medical problems and conditions.
Learn more about the advantages of hypnotherapy here:
Am I capable of being hypnotised?
Everyone can, in principle, be hypnotized, to greater and lesser degrees. Having an open mind, wanting to be hypnotized and not being too self-conscious are all helpful contributing factors.
Bear in mind too that hypnosis is a skill, that is learnable and that we get better at with practice.
Will I be under your control?
This is a major misconception created by the entertainment industry!
Hypnosis is not a state of mind control. You cannot be made to do anything against your will, and in fact, research conducted to deliberately try to make hypnosis clients act abnormally failed!
On the contrary, normally you must want to accept the suggested ideas and actively imagine responding to experience their effects.
If you do not agree with any suggested idea, in any way, you need simply ignore, as you would outside of the hypnotic state.
If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you need only open your eyes and end the hypnosis session. You are entirely in control – my presence is simply to guide you in the use of your imagination while you are in this quiet, focused state.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
Hypnosis is completely safe when used in a responsible and professional manner, and nobody has ever remained “stuck” in hypnosis. There is no strange thing I can do secretly to your mind that you will not be able to undo later. I will only make positive suggestions that you will have the full power to choose to accept or reject.
In the UK, where I am certified, hypnotherapy is a highly professional and regulated profession.
To be licensed to practice, I first completed over 162 hours of theoretical and practical training, followed by approximately 120 hours of academic research and writing submitted to the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council accreditation board.
Upon my work meeting their requirements, I was awarded the General Qualification in Hypnotherapy Practice, which permits me to put the letters GQHP after my name.
I am required to maintain a log of all my hypnotherapy activity as at the time of annual re-registration I may be audited and asked to show suitable evidence of the previous 12 months supervision by a qualified GHR senior hypnotherapist. I am required to have a minimum of two hours of supervision in any three months of a one-year period.
The GHR also has a policy of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This is to ensure that its hypnotherapy professionals ensure they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice. This requirement ensures I am up-to-date with new developments and techniques within the field. In the case of an audit, I will also be required to show that I have met a requirement of 25 annual hours of CPD.
I adhere to the code of ethics set down by the GHR.
Is there a cancellation fee?
You can cancel your appointment at any time up to 48 hours before the scheduled time. For cancellations made after this 48-hour mark, the full appointment fee is due.