Should I see a male or female hypnotherapist?
Individuals often wonder if they would do better with a male or female therapist. Research on therapist gender and therapy outcomes have failed to identify any relationship between the two. Factors such as warmth and empathy are much more related to outcome than the gender of the hypnotherapist.
However, the nature of your particular problem as well as your own preferences may lead you to seek out a male or female therapist. For example, a woman who was sexually abused by her father may feel more comfortable working with a female therapist.
Is hypnotherapy confidential?
Yes. Your therapist is not permitted to talk about you with others. However; they are duty bound to breach confidentiality if they believe you could cause significant harm to you or another person. Many hypnotherapists have a Supervisor and they will talk about your case without disclosing your identity. This is a similar process to your GP discussing your case with a specialist.
Can a hypnotherapist guarantee to cure me? Will hypnotherapy work for me?
No hypnotherapist can guarantee that hypnotherapy will cure you or work for you. It has helped millions of people overcome their difficulties. The hypnotherapist supplies the safe environment and tools for you to make the changes you desire. If the hypnotist has provided these correctly and you do not make the changes in your mind, then the hypnotherapy will be ineffective.  Because of that, it is important to work with your hypnotherapist to facilitate making those changes in your mind.
What happens at the first session?
It is possible that you will feel quite apprehensive about meeting your therapist for the first time – they will understand this and do their best to put you at ease. At the first session they will tell you all about the practical information you need to know and of course you will be able to tell them about your own goals for attending therapy.
What happens if I can’t relax?/What if I can’t go into a trance?
Hypnotherapists are trained to help people to relax and have their set way to achieve a trance state.
Some hypnotherapists prefer rapid induction but when someone is anxious about going into a trance they will usually use a slow and gentle progressive relaxation technique.
For a long time it was thought that some people could not be hypnotised. We now know that anybody who will allow themselves to be can be hypnotised. In other words it is the client who decides whether or not they are going to be hypnotised.
Some people may go into a hypnotic trance quickly, others take their time. It is usually found that the speed of going into a hypnotic trance increases with practice. The same applies to the depth of trance; some people go deep in their first session and others may not do so until the second or third trance or never go deep at all.
What are the risks?
There are no dangerous risks. The only ‘risk’ is that the therapeutic goal may not be achieved. This is usually due to ‘resistance’ on behalf of the client who may not actually be ready to change some aspect of their problem(s).
Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
No! You cannot get stuck in a trance; it is like being in a deep daydream and you can come out at any time – even during therapy.
Can the hypnotherapist control my mind and make me do things I don’t want to do?
No! They cannot take control of your mind and they are not able to make you do anything you would consider to be morally wrong – your mind would reject those sort of suggestions.
They work in cooperation with you to achieve a goal which has been agreed between you and them. Therefore, it is a matter of help/guidance towards your aims, not controlling you.
Is hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis the same thing?
Both use trance phenomena but in very different ways. A hypnotherapy session is private and intended to rid the client of a problem. A stage hypnosis show is public entertainment for the benefit of an audience.
Am I asleep during hypnotherapy?
You are not asleep. You will be in a dreamy altered state of consciousness. You will be aware of everything that is happening and being said the whole time, however you will be so deeply relaxed that you may find yourself drifting into different levels of awareness.
Remember, your unconscious mind is active throughout and it is this that the hypnotherapist is working with.
What does hypnosis/being in a trance feel like?
You will be sitting in a comfy ‘hypno chair’ or lying on a couch before you are taken into hypnosis. Some people may feel heaviness in their arms and legs, as though you do not wish to move them (you can move them if you need to do so). You may also have a similar feeling in your eyelids and your head. Every person is different, some feel like they are floating and experience no sense of heaviness at all.
You will feel quite happy, and euphoric emotions are very common.
Your mind will become quite focused on what the therapist is saying, initially you may find that your attention slightly wanders. However, you will soon be completing mind-changing strategies so will need to remain very focused during this work.
I am worried that I may say or do something stupid.
When you meet with your therapist for the first time do tell them about any concerns that you may have and they will be able to reassure you. Unfortunately the only thing that many people know about hypnosis is what they have seen of so called ‘stage hypnosis’ where people may indeed be encouraged to do ‘silly’ things for the entertainment of an audience. Hypnotherapy is nothing like this – your therapist is an ethical practitioner and everything that happens during your therapy is completely confidential.
How long will it last for? Will it wear off after a few days?
The intention is that any desired change should be permanent, e.g. smokers who wish to stop smoking will want to do so permanently. Hypnotherapists want you to have a happy, independent life and not remain dependent on further sessions.
However, no therapist can predict or control what happens in your life after you have completed your session(s).
Let’s use smoking as an example:
• you were born a non-smoker and you chose to start smoking
• you chose to quit using hypnosis and do stop smoking
• three years later you lose your job and feel like a failure and choose to start smoking again.
The hypnotherapy was working fine until you chose to ignore it. The hypnotherapy had not stopped working, you made the choice to become a smoker again.
Does past life regression really work/exist?
Past life regression involves taking a client back to a previous life while in a hypnotic trance. This can be for therapeutic purposes or just out of curiosity.  The life story which emerges comes from the client’s unconscious mind and may provide therapeutic benefits by revealing issues which the client may have difficulty discussing consciously. Because the client needs to know how to access their inner world the process of regression improves with practice.
How much will it cost me?
A session (normally one hour) is charged at $200.