Hypnosis can help with anxiety

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Frequently asked questions

Hypnotherapy can seem a little daunting at first. Unfortunately it is an area that is plagued with misconceptions and myths about what it can and can’t do, and many people often wonder what the whole process is even about.

Please find in this section a set of frequently asked questions regarding Hypnosis.

If you can’t find anything that answers your question directly, please contact me via email and I’ll be happy to respond to your query.

Who can Hypnotherapy help?

Anyone, really! Amanda has successfully helped clients both young and old. Within the last year Amanda helped a 6 year old to stop bed wetting, and helped a person in their 80′s to overcome a flight phobia, enabling them to visit their son in Australia!

Who responds best?

Anyone who has a genuine desire to change and who is prepared to be honest and open about their feelings and their problem.

Why does Hypnotherapy work better for some people than others?

It may be to do with the skill of the Hypnotherapist! However, the biggest single factor in the success of hypnotherapy is the client’s desire to change or get well. In addition to therapy, this may involve appropriate lifestyle/behavioural changes, which hypnotherapy will of course help with. A commitment to ongoing therapy may also be required. (See How Many Sessions will I need?)

Quick fixes do happen, but sometimes there are underlying causes of the presenting problem which may need to be addressed first. Belief in hypnotherapy is not essential in order to achieve success but the desire to change is.

Aren’t there some people who can’t be Hypnotised?

No. Anyone can be hypnotised if they want to be. If you want to change, the depth of trance is not important to the success of the therapy. (See What is Hypnotherapy? for further information). What is important is to just allow yourself to give it a go. Usually, with practice the depth of trance will increase, but to repeat, this is not necessary for therapy to be successful.

What if I don’t know what’s caused my problem, or I don’t want to tell you about the cause because it hurts too much?

It is the Hypnotherapist’s job to work out what is behind your difficulty. Most clients really don’t know what caused their problems, and that’s fine. The more honest you can be about how the problem affects you now, the more helpful it is.

It is possible to do "content free" hypnotherapy if the client cannot give any information, but it tends not to work as quickly and specifically. There are additional techniques Amanda is trained to use which may be useful in these instances.

In 15 years full time practice Amanda has had a vast experience of people’s problems, and there are probably very few problems that she hasn’t been asked to help with. Confidentiality is assured, and Amanda says that she’s "pretty un-shockable"!

What can Hypnotherapy treat?

Hypnotherapy can be used to treat so many different things, so for ease of reference they are divided into categories.

If you don’t see your particular problem or requirement listed, please feel free to contact Amanda and she will be more than happy to answer your queries.

Although it is very hard to divide problems into different categories, (for example, if you have chronic pain, it is likely you will become depressed), please see the headings below as a very general guide.

Physical Problems

Allergies, asthma, auto-immune conditions, back pain, blushing, Crohns disease, colitis, eczema, IBS, migraines, nose-bleeds, pain control, psoriasis, scoliosis, shy bladder (paruresis), sleeping disorders

Emotional Problems

Anger, anxiety, bed-wetting, bullying, confidence, depression, eating disorders, grief, hair-pulling, jealousy, nail biting, nightmares, panic attacks, phobias and fears, post traumatic stress disorder, previous therapeutic abuse, relationship difficulties, self esteem, self harm, stress

Personal Performance

Driving test nerves, effective studying, interview and exam performance, memory improvement, motivation, public speaking and presentations, sports, stage and musical performance (to International and professional level)

Addictions

Alcohol, drug use and flash-backs from old drug misuse, gambling, sexual, smoking

Miscellaneous

Decision making, difficulties coming to terms with sexual orientation, erectile problems, lack of libido, painful sex (vaginismus), premature ejaculation, preparation for childbirth, recovering from past sexual abuse, stress management

What happens in a session?

The first part of the hour will be taken up with the client telling Amanda about their problem. All sessions are completely confidential. It is important you know that what you say to Amanda will go no further, because the more open you can be with her, the easier it is for her to tailor-make the session to fit your exact needs, and that means faster and more effective results.

Amanda will also be able to answer any questions about the process of hypnosis. In the vast majority of situations Amanda will then do the ‘hypnosis’ part of the therapy. If you want to know what hypnosis feels like, go to What is Hypnotherapy

Very occasionally, you may feel more reassured if you use the first session to tell Amanda more about the problem if it’s very complex or very highly emotional before moving onto hypnotherapy. Also, it may be important for Amanda to create a relationship and establish trust with a client such as a young child before moving onto hypnotherapy. (There are a few other situations where hypnotherapy may not be immediately indicated or appropriate. See Brief Counselling)

A CD of the ‘hypnosis’ part of the session is made so you can practice at home. Practicing cuts down the number of sessions with Amanda that you’ll need, and reinforces the work that you will have done. If you have a voice-recording MP3 player, the hypnosis part of the session can be put onto that rather than a CD.

Each session lasts for about an hour. Immediately after the session you may feel rested and very relaxed and you’ll be fine if you want to drive after the session!

How many sessions will I need?

Smoking is generally a one session treatment. Other treatments may require more than one session, although Amanda does her best to help you to resolve your problem and achieve your aim quickly as possible. She considers it unethical to string people along and people who are helped quickly and effectively make good adverts!

It is unethical to dupe people into having more sessions than necessary, moreover, clients who are helped quickly and effectively make good adverts! It is hard to say, but the average number of sessions a client will need to address a problem (apart from smoking) is about 3.

Each ‘hypnosis’ part of the session is put on CD (or your MP3 player) in order for you to practice at home in between sessions. This cuts down the total number of appointments you will need with Amanda.

Hypnotherapy is probably one of the quickest forms of therapy – much quicker than counselling or psychotherapy. Amanda has seen clients who have had years of counselling or psychotherapy and as a result have an excellent awareness of themselves and their problems, but have still been left with the core problem which hasn’t really changed. This is because the subconscious mind is still holding onto ‘old information’ which hypnotherapy can easily address, thereby helping the ‘gut reaction’ to catch up with the intellectual understanding.

Some people are naturally more responsive to hypnosis than others and for them the process is quicker. Others have to “learn” to be good subjects and it can take time and practice to attain the same results.

Hypnotherapy addresses one situation at a time. If a client has a fear of driving, as well as compulsively biting their nails, each problem would be dealt with at a different time. However, often one problem may spontaneously resolve itself as the other is resolved, but sometimes there is no connection and it needs to be addressed separately.

How long do the effects of hypnotherapy last?

Hypnotherapy doesn’t 'wear off' over time - quite the opposite. The more you deal with the difficult situation, the stronger you will become. Your new-found success in dealing with difficult things will remind your sub-conscious mind that things have changed.

For example, each time someone with an old phobia of using a lift does so, the new skills they have learnt to overcome an inappropriate panic reaction will become stronger. The person will thus gain confidence that the skills are there to stay, that a new healthy pattern will become established, and that their success will re-enforce the understanding that panicking in a lift is a thing of the past. Being calm is now the way of the future.

Like all things, the more you do it, the better you become at it.

How much does it cost?

Stopping smoking costs £90. All other sessions are £50 (Prices correct as of January 2008). Please check with Amanda at the time of discussion to make sure that the pricing is up to date and correct at the time of call.

What is NLP?

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. It is an amazingly effective technique which can be used alongside or separately from hypnosis to bring about change.

Everybody thinks in different ways. For example, some people think in pictures, some in words, and some people feel things through. Therefore, if asked to think about their front door, some people will see the door, some will describe it with words in their mind, and some people will feel the sensation of being at their front door. Most of us will use two of these systems but will find the third more difficult. NLP works by accessing those particular systems that the client uses to think.

Desirable changes are then encouraged by using the resources which are drawn from the client’s way of thinking about the world; their past experiences will have created pictures, words, feelings, sounds, smells and taste. It does not matter if the client isn’t aware of these resources – it is the therapist’s job to identify the skills the client has. Then, using those resources, the therapist gets the client to transfer the skills and successes from their past to enable them to use those same skills to succeed in the area where the client has a problem.

NLP is extremely effective because the client is drawing upon their own undiscovered or unused abilities – they are not trying to draw on the therapist’s idea of how they could be more effective. Nor are they trying to see the world the way the therapist sees it – rather the therapist makes sure that language is used that matches the way the client sees the world.

One method used by NLP practitioners is to ‘borrow’ resources from the client’s past experience and to put them to use in solving present problems. An example where it could work very effectively (without the need for hypnosis) could be with a small child who is frightened of wasps. Amanda would first get to know the child, and built up a relationship where they could talk and play together comfortably. Amanda might ask the girl if she could think of anyone who was terribly brave – and the child names a cartoon character. The girl would then be asked how the character would deal with wasps, and Amanda would then get the girl to imagine that she had the all the attributes of her chosen character. Drawing on the child’s thinking system Amanda would then give her a trick to help her to switch on these magical wasp-resistant resources.

In just one very similar session to the one described above, a child who had difficulty going outside overcame her phobia of wasps with the use of NLP. And it works on grown-ups too!

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a relaxed state of mind that feels rather like day-dreaming, or the feeling just before falling asleep. There is no loss of control and you cannot be made to do anything that you don’t want to do (please see Myths and Misunderstandings for further information).

During hypnosis, some people feel heavy or sleepy, and some feel light and floaty. Some have tingling sensations, some see colours (a bit like looking into a lava lamp). For these people hypnosis may be a powerful, fantastic, moving, exciting or other-worldly experience.

However, some people feel as if they have just had their eyes closed, and that nothing much has happened. They may be completely aware of their surroundings (eg. you may hear traffic outside the room), and can think their own thoughts during a session (eg. “what am I going to have for tea tonight”).

How you feel has absolutely no bearing on the results. What is important is that the client relaxes to the level where they feel comfortable. Then they will be able to be open enough in order for changes take place. If they are pushed to a place where they are fearful they will be out of control it will not be therapeutic – positive changes will not take place.

Depth of trance is not important for the therapy to be effective. However, many people can ‘learn’ to relax more deeply into hypnosis by practicing, so the process becomes more enjoyable. However, hypnotherapy is just as effective if you think your own thoughts when using a CD of your hypnotherapy session!

Therapy

The hypnosis part of Hypnotherapy simply opens up the subconscious mind to make it more receptive. The subconscious is a part of the mind which is a bit like an intelligent 4 year old. It has no capacity to be logical, and processes information at a ‘feeling’ level. It’s purpose is to help and support you. Problems occur when the subconscious is acting on ‘old’ information, and is getting in the way of the client moving forward in life. The therapy part of Hypnotherapy helps the subconscious mind to ‘update’ the old information.

For example, it could be that someone who is excellent at their job is asked knowledgeable on the subject, they are terrified of public speaking. Their subconscious mind (feeling) knows that they just can’t do it.

It is possible that this client was humiliated at school when asked to speak in front of the class, and in order to protect him or herself from further humiliation, decided that keeping back and staying quiet in front of the class was the safest thing to do. By accessing the subconscious mind, we can inform the intelligent 4 year old that we are no longer dealing with an unhelpful teacher or a hostile class, and remind it of successes, achievements, transferable skills, and a general change in circumstances!

The tools of Hypnotherapy are NLP, (Neuro Linguistic Programming See What is NLP) Eriksonian Hypnotherapy (the use of metaphor), E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement De-sensitization Reprocessing) and direct suggestion. Amanda is trained and experienced in the use of all these tools, and will use the ones she feels will be most useful for you. Repetition is also important, and in order for you to get the most out of each session, she puts the hypnosis part of each session on CD for you to practice at home. (If you have a voice recording MP3 player, Amanda is happy to put the session on that for you.) The more the client practices, the fewer sessions they will need.