You probably have lots of questions you would like to ask. This is especially true - if it's your first time to try it - or even if you've tried it before, but with a different hypnotherapist.
Please bear in mind that the answers below, are my own personal opinions. However they are based on over 30 years of successful experience with Hypnosis. I have used it as a powerful training technique for groups of senior business people - and of course also as a practising Hypnotherapist.
So just look through the list below - then click on the relevant questions, for your answers........
The Hypnotherapy process itself, is simply a non-intrusive and pleasant way to trigger profound internal changes. It really is non-intrusive inasmuch as nothing is put into you (unlike medication or surgery). All that happens is that you "re-arrange your own internal files".......in order to trigger the changes you want in your life. To get a better idea - you might like to read a recently-published article of mine ? if so - just click here.
Hypnotherapy is not a "treatment you undergo". it is rather a facility which enables you to heal yourself in a totally natural way - using your own inner resources. In other words, (in consultation with myself) you decide what you want - and the strategy you wish to use. I merely provide the "setting" which makes this possible. In a nutshell - it is simply a method for talking to your Unconscious Mind - and then asking it to bring about the changes you require!
A good question! You should also ask it next time a doctor prescribes medication or surgery for you! All I can tell you is that, for the clients who come to see me - the overall success rate is 70%. This, as you may know, is far better than results achieved by most conventional forms of medication or surgery. Please bear in mind that most of my clients have already tried more orthodox medical treatments, without success. Some have even been told that their condition is incurable.
At the same time, I must tell you that it does not always work. I should also add, that the Healing Success when it happens, is actually triggered by you, as the client - and not by me. I am merely the facilitator.
Opinions vary. A number of medical doctors refer patients to me. However....it must be admitted that many doctors are sceptical about Hypnotherapy, along with other alternative "holistic" approaches. This - despite their own use of the "Placebo-Effect". Of course, when a placebo (or harmless sugar pill) triggers healing in a patient....it is in fact hypnosis!
In fairness, I can understand how how some doctors could have doubts about hypnosis. When you are scientifically trained, you always look for "scientific" explanations. And there is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon of hypnosis. But it works anyway! It's a bit like Water-Divining....we know that it works - but we don't understand how!
There are some good signs however. Thanks mainly to the pioneering work of Doctor Milton Erickson in the States - many U.S. medical schools now include semesters on Hypnotherapy as part of their educational programme for doctors.
Now, here's a funny thing. Every doctor who has come to see me as a patient, has asked me specifically not to mention the fact to anybody afterwards.
Yes! If you can daydream - then you can go into a trance. By the way, that's all a trance is really....a sort of dozy mental state. It's no big deal. And of course, I don't put you into a trance! Your own Unconscious Mind simply takes you there.
Remember how you spent most of your time at school? There you were, down at the back of the classroom...."miles away" in your own daydream world. That's all we're talking about when it comes to a "Trance" state! You've already done it lots of times!
I'm afraid the short answer to this, is "No". Just as no doctor, hospital or pharmaceutical company gives you such a guarantee - neither do I. So - even if it does not work - I'm afraid you will still have to pay me for my time and expertise.
What I can guarantee however, is that you will get 100% of my time and expertise on the day you see me.
How does Hypnotherapy compare with other therapies?
Hypnotherapy is the least invasive of all therapies. Nothing is put into you, that isn't in there already.
The most invasive therapy of all, is of course Surgery. That's when they permanently cut something out of you - or stick something into you. And it's usually irreversible.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have Hypnotherapy. What happens in Hypnotherapy, is that you tap into your own internal resources. You then use them - to get the results or healing that you want. In a way, it's that simple ! And of course....there are no side-effects.
To give you some idea of how Hypnotherapy compares, I have written a recently-published article, comparing the various therapies in the treatment of Depression. You might like to read it, by clicking here.
Hypnotherapy is not a "constant" like Penicillin. It is an "art" rather than a "science". And because it is an art - each practitioner has a totally different style and methodology. So you could visit one hypnotherapist & get no results - then visit another & have a real breakthrough.
I suppose, in a way, it's a bit like going to different doctors..... Imagine that you suffer from a rare disease. You visit one doctor. He seems very busy & doesn't take the time to listen properly to what you have to say. He misdiagnoses your condition - and gives you a prescription. It doesn't work. And not only that...but you now suffer from the unpleasant side-effects of the medication.
You visit another doctor. He takes the time and energy to really listen to you. He totally explores all the background factors. He accurately diagnoses your condition - then prescribes a totally different medication - and it works !
They're both medical practitioners. Yet one of them is unskilled and uncaring. The other is highly skilled and effective.
I'm afraid the differences between one hypnotherapist and another, are far greater than between one doctor and another! Even though both hypnotherapists may be using the same "technology" (so to speak) - there can still be huge differences between them, in terms of methodology, skill, personality, training, talent and experience.
Clients quite often come to see me, despite a previous unsuccessful experience with another hypnotherapist. I am happy to say that, so far, to the best of my knowledge (touch wood!) every one of them has had a successful outcome!
Can Hypnotherapy trigger physical as well as mental healing?
Yes. A lot of people are surprised at this. Most ailments have a physical and mental component anyway. Because Hypnotherapy is addressed to the "Head-quarters" of the total Mind/Body system - it can be effective with an extremely wide range of illnesses.
Hypnotherapy can therefore access the underlying "programming" for virtually all ailments. In this way, your Mind can actually heal your body!
When successful - the healing process starts during the trance itself. This healing process continues afterwards (at a rate that is appropriate for you). It depends on both the individual and the condition being healed. For some people, it takes a number of days.... for others it can be weeks or months....... and for others the effect is immediate.
Why does it work for some people - and not for others?
Well firstly, let me say that it does actually work for most people who come to see me.
The variables that can affect its success, are things like....
- The attitude you bring to the session.
- The extent to which it is your decision to come to see me. The more ownership you have over this decision, the better. If you have been talked into it by someone else (no matter how well-meaning), that can be counter-productive.
-The rapport between us, as client and therapist.
- Your own physical comfort.
- The extent to which you have decided to do something about your problem - and that you really do want to see me.
- The extent to which you are willing to trust your own Unconscious Mind.
- The honesty and candour you bring to our initial discussion. Don't forget I am not a "Mind-Reader" - just a mere Hypnotherapist. I can only help you, based on the information you give me.
- Personal Integrity and mutual respect are essential. Any attempt, by either the hypnotherapist or the subject (that means you) to deceive or cheat the other party, is counter-productive. Your own Unconscious Mind has a very high moral standard in fact. It knows what's going on. So any attempt to cheat or deceive, can actually block or stop any positive outcome from the process.
- The extent to which you trust me, as your hypnotherapist.
When Hypnotherapy works - are the improvements only temporary?
Quite the opposite! The way I do it - just one (albeit long) session is all it takes. Don't forget that Hypnotherapy deals with the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms. And when it works - the effects, healing and benefits are permanent and generative.
Well.......it depends what you mean by "personality".
Lets imagine, for example, that you are suffering from Stress. So, you're not sleeping well at night. As a result - you're pretty irritable during the day & feeling depressed and exhausted. Your family and work relationships are a disaster area.
Then - after Hypnotherapy - you're sleeping like a log every night. You're full of energy by day - and in a really good humour. So has your personality now changed? Well if it has - it has certainly changed for the better !
The reality is, with Hypnotherapy, that the "real you" does not of course change. But what does change - is how you feel mentally & physically - and how you interact with the world around you.
So....if your "Personality" does change - it can only change for the better!
I prefer not to see a child, who is younger than eight years of age. The same applies for adults, who have a mental disability (where the mental age is below 8). There are two reasons why Hypnotherapy is difficult with youngsters....
1. Young children are generally quite "scatty" - and find it difficult to stay quiet or to focus, for more than a few minutes at a time. That's why it is so difficult to hypnotise them, in the first place.
2. The Subject (whether adult or child) must have a problem, which he/she wants to fix. Usually of course, the parents see the problem. But the child is actually quite happy or unconcerned. This is often the case for example, when a young boy has a stammer. He is used to it. It's "normal" for him. So that means I have no "entry point". I cannot intervene.
Later on, of course it's different. When he grows into his teens, and perhaps finds he has problems chatting up girls....then I can help him!
Unfortunately, the answer here is "No". As traditional medical opinion is divided on the effectiveness of Hypnotherapy....you can imagine how confused actuaries (the characters in insurance companies, who calculate risks) must feel about it! Another difficulty for them, is that Hypnotherapy is an Art, rather than a Science.
Hopefully however, a more enlightened age is approaching.....when insurance organisations will realise that Hypnotherapy is not only one of the most effective "treatments" of all - but also the safest, and the least expensive!
Hypnosis is any form of communication - which transmits to the Unconscious Mind. This communication can be verbal and/or non-verbal. In this sense, Hypnosis is used intuitively by gifted public speakers and gifted salespeople, for example. That is why, for example, audiences were moved to action by that famous Martin Luther King speech...."I have a dream..." Without realising it consciously at the time, he was "hypnotising" his audience!
The same "technology" is also used (but more deliberately) by stage hypnotists. But here the purpose is harmless entertainment.
Hypnotherapy is when the same sort of "technology" is used for healing. This is its most powerful and beneficial application of course.
The deeper the trance you go into, the more amnesia you tend to have afterwards. The lighter the trance, the more you remember. The actual depth you go into, is determined by your own Unconscious Mind.
However - the amount you remember and the actual depth of trance do not affect the actual results you achieve.
Is it O.K. for a 3rd party to sit in on the session?
No Im afraid this is not on. If another person sits in, as a sort of "observer", it becomes a distraction for both the Subject and the hypnotherapist.
The Subject should neither be inhibited by the presence of another, nor expected to "perform" in some way or other. The trance should be a private experience.
Unnecessary distractions are a huge hindrance for the Hypnotherapist also. The Hypnotherapist needs to concentrate & focus 100% on the Subject and his/her needs.
Trust is a prerequisite for a successful Hypnotherapy session. You must be able to trust the process itself. Trust the hypnotherapist. And of course - trust yourself! Having a 3rd party observing the session, is in itself a statement of mistrust.
The only exception to this "house rule" of mine, is where the Subject is a young child, and might actually feel more comfortable, with a parent sitting in.
Why is it that most other hypnotherapists say on their websites that they require 8 visits to cure an ailment - and you talk about just one session?
Most hypnotherapists copy the working method used by counsellors & psychotherapists. i.e. one-hour sessions, held once a week, over a period of weeks ... months .... or even years! In my own case, I find that just one intensive session produces the best results. I just find I work better this way. I can focus all my attention on just the one client, for all of that particular day.
My clients actually prefer the 1-day format, even though it can be quite intensive. At least everything can be sorted out in just the one day - rather than stringing the process out over weeks and months.
There is also the problem of geography of course. I happen to live in a rather remote part of Ireland. My clients come from all over Ireland, the U.K. and Europe. It would be a bit unreasonable of me, to expect a client from London, to visit me once a week, for an hour, over a period of many weeks!
And of course, the way I do things - it actually works out a lot cheaper for my clients in the end of the day.
English is not my mother tongue. Does this matter?
With a foreign language, the vocabulary you can understand, is always greater than the vocabulary you can use comfortably when speaking. And then of course, there are also all those English words you may have forgotten. But of course, your Unconscious Mind still "remembers" and understands every single English word you have ever heard and understood ! So to answer your question - once you can speak and understand basic English, there is no problem!
The Catholic Church does not take a position on hypnosis, one way or the other. This is true for the other main Christian denominations also. Perhaps this is because the trance state is utilised in many Christian rituals. Many people go into an altered state of consciousness (i.e. trance) when they pray - and certainly when they meditate.
The only exception is the case of "Born Again" Christians. They are generally very hostile to the idea of hypnosis. Some of them take part in a ritual, referred to as "Speaking in Tongues". In a replication of Pentecost, they believe that the "Holy Spirit" descends on and possesses them - enabling them to "speak in tongues" (just like the Apostles). In the process, they go into a trance state and babble incoherently. However, if anyone else uses trance, they seem to believe that the Devil may be in charge?
In my own practice, I have been privileged over the years, to work with priests, nuns, psychics and one (Anglican) bishop! They all found the experience beneficial. In no way did it conflict with their own beliefs or spiritual values. In fact, if anything, it enhanced their own spiritual awareness.
What about your qualifications? Are you certified by any official professional hypnotherapy institute?
No – not any more ! When starting to build my practice, many years ago, I did once sign up with one of the leading U.S. bodies. Having filled up the required forms and paid them the required fee, they duly issued me with their “certificate”, complete with embossed gold seal! Later, I found that they would only re-issue my “certificate”, if I continued to pay the annual membership fee. To me at the time, it seemed like just another money-making rip-off!
Besides, this particular outfit had not taught me anything. Their certificate had no academic credibility – it was worthless. Having said that however, it did look very impressive indeed (much more impressive in appearance, than the bachelor’s degree from U.C.D. which I earned many moons ago !)
In my own case, let me be clear about this. I am actually self-taught. Of course, I did attend the odd training course – particularly in the early years. But the particular methods I use, were developed and refined by myself over the last 25 years. They are in fact unique to me. No other hypnotherapist knows how to use my methodology. Virtually all of my clients come to me through personal referral or word-of-mouth. So I no longer need to advertise my services. What professional reputation I might have, has been built up over the years. As you can imagine – I guard it jealously!
But a word about these certifying institutions ...
They are not what they seem to be. In fact, they are all private businesses. And this is true all over the world – wherever hypnotherapy is practised.
Here is how it happens. Let’s imagine that you are a successful hypnotherapist with a busy practice. But then the idea occurs to you one day – “Hey why don’t I start to run a few public courses, to train other people to do what I do? That way, I can also add to my own income stream.”
So now you are into the training business. You have to advertise your training course – offering the promise to all-comers of a new career as a hypnotherapist + a “professional qualification”. For this to succeed, you need to dress up your business with all the trappings of a serious, academic, professional & membership organisation. Credibility is everything in this business. If it works, this business can be a nice little earner.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not against making money. And some of these organisations are excellent – providing first-class training in hypnotherapy. But others are truly appalling ! It all depends on the quality and integrity of the particular individual who sets up and runs the business. But do bear in mind, that none of the certifying diplomas or qualifications on offer, have any proper academic standing.
As a potential client, you might well like to be reassured that the hypnotherapist you visit, is professionally qualified. Unfortunately however, no proper academic professional qualifications exist! And maybe that is how it must be. Hypnotherapy is more of an art than a science.
Let’s say you want to commission an artist to paint a landscape or portrait for you. How do you check him out? You take a look at some other paintings he has done, and how much he charges. That’s your best reassurance. Whether, as a student, he has studied Art in this or that art college, does not really matter that much.
So whether your hypnotherapist has a “qualification” or not, is of little consequence. All that matters in the end, is the talent and integrity of the hypnotherapist you happen to select. So personal recommendation is probably your best guarantee.
But back to my own situation. As you might have gathered from the above – I do not actually have any need, at this stage of my career, for any such “qualification.” As well as this – I do not wish to take the risk of having my name associated with any such “certifying body.”
I am often asked – “So, as you’re so good at it, why don’t you start training other people to do what you do?” My answer is – “I am too busy doing what my clients want me to do, which is one-to-one healing sessions.”
If you would like to learn a bit more about my background, click here..
Or would you like to learn more about how I got into hypnotherapy, and how it actually works ? Then click here.