There are many people who are a bit sceptical of alternative therapies. I find that people like this want information. This is why I have put so much information onto this web site. I am frequently told by colleagues that I don't need to give so much detail! To my mind, the more information the better - you don't have to read it all if you don't want to.
In this page are answers to many of the questions people ask me. It is by no means exhaustive. If there are other questions that you think should be included here, please let me know.
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NO! You are always aware of where you are and what is happening! There is no such thing as being "Under" hypnosis! Remember that hypnosis is just daydreaming and daydreaming isn't scary, and actually doesn't feel all that unusual.
When you are in hypnosis, you are actually more alert than when awake. However, most of your attention is focused inwards. You are in a deeply relaxed state where your conscious mind relaxes, allowing your unconscious mind to listen and to react.
Often you can remember past events more clearly and can also visualise things better, and in more detail.
Many people, especially in their first session, can be a bit apprehensive, and so may resist a little. Clients will usually remember every word, if they wish, and many remember "thinking" during the session. Because of this, some believe that they have not been hypnotised. In fact it is perfectly normal to be aware all through a session. You are able to remember everything that you want to remember.
Once you discover that nothing unpleasant, or untoward, is going to happen to you, you will learn to relax more deeply, and will probably find yourself daydreaming for much of the session. This is fine, too! Therapy is very effective no matter how active your mind is.
As I have said elsewhere, I don't like stage hypnotism. However, when people go into hypnosis on stage, they're not asleep or unresponsive. It wouldn't be much of a show if they were!
The main concern for some people is that the hypnotherapist will have some sort of magical power over them. It is hardly surprising when 99% of the time, if hypnosis is discussed on TV, program makers turn to stage hypnotists for "authoratative information". These people are good at making money by showing how clever they are! Also too many files/ programs will depict a "hypnotherapist" who also does shows, and who also is some sort of spiritualist".
It is true that many (actually very good) hypnotherapists truly believe in such things as past lives and the spirit world. You don't have to believe in such things for it to work! I don't believe any of it, I must say. There is no magic and the only power used is the natural power of your own mind to heal itself and your body.
The mind has evolved to be able to be hypnotised, and most people hypnotise themselves every day, e.g. when becoming absorbed in a TV thriller, or when trying to work out a problem by "thinking out of the box".
The hypnotherapist simply helps you to extend the amount of time in this state, and uses this time to make helpful suggestions to the unconscious mind.
MOST CERTAINLY NOT! You cannot be made to do anything against your wishes or moral code. You retain full control throughout the entire session. You will remember everything that you want to remember, and you would be able to terminate the session immediately, if you wished to. In practice, you will be gaining so much from your session, and enjoying the wonderful feelings of relaxation so much, that you will simply not want to stop midway through a session.
Sometimes clients ask "Will you tell me what I say?" My response is that I won't have to, because you will be aware of everything that happens. If you think about it, people wouldn't do it, if that were the case.
Here comes the complicated bit: Your mind has 3 basic components:- the Super-Ego, the Ego and the Id. The Id equates to the unconscious mind, whilst the egos are really the conscious mind.
The Super-Ego is the place you hold your morals and ethics and watches over the Ego. The Ego is the thinking part of your mind, constantly checking everything that it is receiving, and passing information on to the Id. The Id is the unconscious, "feeling", part of your mind. It therefore receives all its information pre-checked by the Ego. It has no capacity to criticise - it doesn't need it, and so believes everything it is told.
In hypnosis, the power of the Ego is diminished, allowing more access to the Id. However the Super-Ego is still firmly in control and will reject anything you believe to be wrong. When the Id, or unconscious mind, listens to the hypnotherapist withouit the usual checking of the Ego, or conscious mind, it believes it. This is why hypnotherapy is so successful.
Definitely Not! Since you retain full control whilst in hypnosis you cannot be compelled to reveal anything you wish to keep secret. We all have stuff that we wish to keep to ourselves.
It often does help, though, to have someone who will really listen to you, in absolute confidence. There is no point in telling "porkies". You can, though, I have no way of telling whether something is right or wrong.
It is, however, often these very "secrets" that are the root of your problem. I help you to deal with them at last, so that you can begin a new life no longer haunted by them. It is easier to do this if you can face up to them openly, however there are techniques where you don't need to tell me about them.
New clients often ask me "Will you tell me what I said", as if they will somehow be unaware of what has happened. There is no such thing as being UNDER hypnosis! You don't go away anywhere and you know what you are saying, as you say it.
A better name for Hypnosis is daydreaming, and so I am a "daydreamologist". (i don't advertise mtself as this bcause I wouldn't get any business.) Remember, you aren't under anyone's control when you're daydreaming.
Prior to the first session, we have an Initial Consultation (IC). This may take from 90-120 minutes, depending upon the individual. We discuss your problem and possible treatment, and then, if we both agree that hypnosis is the right course, we proceed to the first session. If you go ahead on that same day, or decide that you don't want treatment at all, there is no further charge. Note you are under no obligation to continue to a session. If you DO want treatment, but starting on a different day, then you will be charged £30 because this adds an extra day to the treatment. (You will understand that over three hours have been set aside in the expectation of a sessions.)
About one in five of the population are described as "somnambulists". These are people who are very susceptible to hypnosis and so to hypnotherapy . (Incidentally, the down side is that these people seem to me to be more prone to certain kinds of problems in the first place, simply because they are more suggestible.) If you were prone to sleepwalking, or even sleep-talking, as a child then you are likely to be in this group.
What happens next is dependent upon the nature of the problem and on the individual. However, the first session normally concentrates upon learning how to relax properly in hypnosis. We may also begin learning how to do self-hypnosis, where you can put yourself into a hypnotic sleep whenever you feel stressed, etc. Naturally, many clients feel a bit apprehensive before the first session and they tend to stay in a fairly light level of hypnosis. Some clients are desperate for relief, however there's no point in trying to do anything requiring a deep level of hypnosis in the first session, because it probably wouldn't work! There is no sense in having a client feel that somehow he or she has failed or feeling that "it doesn't work for me". I always tell clients not to expect big things from the first session - it is only the first session, after all!
You will be asked to relax in a very comfortable reclining chair. I will play some soothing background music. All you have to do is to "half listen" to my voice and allow yourself to relax. You mustn't try to make anything happen, nor try to stop anything happening. Some people do this quite naturally, whilst others struggle a bit with the idea that you're not supposed to concentrate hard on what I'm saying; rather let me drone on in the background.
Some people may feel, unconsciously, that they need to retain control, and initially resist going into deeper hypnosis. This is perfectly normal, and, once they discover that nothing unpleasant is going to happen, they simply "let go" and can then thoroughly enjoy the whole experience. For most people, this will be the most relaxed they have ever been!
You will then receive treatment over the next five or six sessions. One major aspect of the treatment involves examining moments in your life where things happened that you've been trying not to think about. These memories are normally loaded with negative emotions such as anger, hurt, sadness, etc.The idea is to finally let these emotions out. For example, if someone made you angry, I want you to get angry. If something happened that hurt you, you let the tears come. Once these emotions are released, the relief can be immense.
Very occasionally, when people feel very emotional but try to hold this emotion back instead of letting it out, they can get a headache. It's similar to the situation when you try not to cry at a funeral service, but then get a headache when you emerge into the daylight. Note that, if you do get a headache, it's nothing to worry about and it won't last too long. The benefit you will feel following completion of the course of treatment should make it all feel worth while. It is important to complete the treatment, otherwise you may be left with the memory of a previously repressed event, which has not been dealt with.
Smoker's treatment can occasionally be successful treated after only one or two sessions, if they are somnabulists. Usually though, there is a reason why they can't stop, other than simply the nicotine addiction. Scientists tell us that the addiction wears off after 21 days. When then do people start again after many months, or even years? Something else is going on the background. Beware "therapists" who guarantee to stop you smoking, etc., in a single session, or who gives you any type of guarantee of success in any treatment. If I really had a method that was guaranteed to stop people smoking - I'd be a multi-millionaire by now. (This doesn't mean that rich hypnotherapists have such a methoid either - many just claim to.)
The honest answer is I don't know. Everyone is different. Most clients benefit greatly from the use of Hypnoanalysis to deal with the root causes of their problems. There seems little point in using Suggestion Therapy alone because the client still has the underlying root cause, and so their problem is likely to recur at a later date. I make it standard practice, therefore, to deal as thoroughly as possible with these underlying issues. This means that, for most problems you should think in terms of around five or six sessions. Occasionally, there are clients who need longer.
Note that the number of sessions is greatly reduced by the use of two-hour sessions, rather than the usual one-hour sessions. In any session, there are a number of things that have to be done, both within and out with hypnosis. These all take time, which eats into the time available for therapeutic work.
My slogan is "Are you Suffering?". I feel it is very important that the client feels that he or she has been listened to. My two-hour sessions allow much more time to be available to allow us to talk and to afford the client the opportunity to explain how he or she is feeling. It also allows a very much greater amount of time to be devoted to addressing the actual problem. Many hypnotherapists plan on treatment lasting twelve to fifteen sessions.
If you have a phobia, for example, we use visualisation techniques where we gently expose you to the source of your fears. We need to do this gradually in order to build up your confidence without making it too distressing
Some clients can suffer from so much anxiety that they initially find it difficult to relax sufficiently to allow themselves to go into anything but a light level of hypnosis. It may take an extra session or so to achieve the deeper levels needed for Hypnoanalysis techniques to be effective.
For anyone who is thinking of attending any hypnotherapist, some general advice applies. Very occasionally, a session just doesn't work properly, for whatever reason, leaving a client feeling disappointed or upset that it didn't work the way they expected. Unfortunately, nobody is perfect and nothing is ever 100%.
If you feel angry, shout with rage! If you feel sad, cry!Sometimes, a client will try to hold back this emotion and, in a few cases, this can lead to a headache. The same thing can happen after a funeral, if you hold back the tears. If this does happen to you, tell the hypnotherapist, who may be able to help you there and then. If the headache comes later, take your usual headache remedy and try to get some sleep and tell your therapist at the next session.
NOTE: if you already have epilepsy, even if controlled, hypnosis could trigger a seizure. I always check with clients beforehand. Don't worry - hypnosis can't cause epilepsy.
It is also important that people who are being treated for a psychotic illness must only be treated under medical supervision, or with permission of their psychiatrist. Hypnotherapy can have such a profound effect that people who must keep taking medication to control their condition, sometimes feel so good that they suddenly stop taking their prescription. This can have serious results. As a general rule people who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (aka manic depression), etc., should not seek hypnotherapy without consulting their psychiatrist first!
Many of my clients are privately wondering, on their first visit: "Will he be able to hypnotise me?"
The answer is YES! It virtually always works as long as you want to go into hypnosis.
Everyone can enter the hypnotic state with a hypnotherapist with whom he or she feels empathy, using the right techniques, of course. It's not about being weak or unintelligent. Often, it is intelligent people who make the best hypnotic subjects: people who use their brains better, or those who are able to visualise well.
Another name for hypnosis is daydreaming. Yes, that's right - when you're daydreaming you have hypnotised yourself! Put simply, what I do is to help you relax and then give you things to daydream about. It's as simple as that.
You have two minds in your brain - the Conscious and Unconscious. They compete for resources. It's like a PC running two applications, say Excel and Word. Sometimes, Word is to the fore, at other times you are working on Excel, so it comes to the fore. When your Unconscious Mind comes to the fore, that's hypnosis. So whenever you need to do something that uses your Unconscious more, you hypnotise yourself in seconds, for example, when you're struggling to remember or visualise something.
Children are easily hypnotised and can benefit greatly. On this note, you are strongly advised to ensure that your therapist has volunteered for vetting by HM Government under the Disclosure Act. My Disclosure No. is 110100007316084. I will offer the document for scrutiny to anyone who wishes to be re-assured.
Please contact me for an assessment of the cost, as this varies according to the circumstances. However, most sessions cost £90 and may last up to 3 hours. There is a £30 non-returnable deposit for all treatments.
Note that the first time you come, we start with the Initial Consultation (IC). This may take from 90-120 minutes, depending upon the individual. We discuss your problem and possible treatment, and then, if we both agree that hypnosis is the right course, we proceed to the first session. If you do not want to go ahead at all, then you don't pay any more. So, you are under no obligation to continue to a session. It's always best to go straight in to the first session. NB If you decide that you do want to proceed with treatment, but starting on a different day, you pay £30 for the IC, to cover the 3 hours set aside, and must pay another deposit for the next appointment.
To some, the cost of hypnotherapy may seem like a lot, however a course of treatment will probably cost a lot less than the cost of, say, replacing the clutch in your car. It depends on the importance you attach to your happiness and well-being. Smokers can make up this money in only a few weeks, leaving aside the fact that it may save their lives! In cases of genuine financial hardship, say unemployed single mums, I may be able to sort something out.
It is also unethical to ask for block payments covering multiple sessions. (How can I know in advance how many sessions will be required?) You only pay for each session you book.
Note also that my sessions can last up to around two, or sometimes, three, hours.This makes it much cheaper for the client over the whole course of treatment. After all, it takes a finite time to check how things are progressing, explain today's treatment, and then to induce a suitable level of hypnosis, leaving the remaining time to do actual work. Where a session is only one hour long this means that a significant proportion of time is lost. Having more like two-hour sessions means that a course of treatment takes about five sessions, whereas a client may need twelve to fifteen one-hour sessions.
Stop Smoking Therapy: Unfortunately, my experience is that too many people make appointments to stop smoking, and then don't show up for their first appointment. I have been forced, therefore, to ask for deposit of £30 in advance for each session. I'm sorry about this because many clients DO come and it may appear that I don't trust people. (When I see a client for the first time, I really have to keep a whole morning or afternoon free for that first session. No-one could afford to lose so much time not earning.)
I can take credit or debit card bookings over the phone. Please note that I will ask for a deposit payment each time you book a session.
Note also that, as a small business, I am charged a variable amount by the banks for every card transaction, plus a significant penalty for refunds. Deposits cannot therefore be completely refunded, since the total cost of such transactions is almost £10, anyway. In any event, there are no refunds unless more than 3 working day's notice is given.
If a deposit has been paid for a session but that session is subsequently postponed indefinitely, (and the required notice has been given), then the deposit will be forfeited if a replacement session is not booked within 6 weeks of the postponed session.
Hypnotherapy is VERY safe for pregnant mums! Lots of women seek hypnotherapy to help with the pregnancy and birth. Many women are worried about the birth, or are stressed that they won't be good mums. The media often distort the reality of pregnancy - images of perfect mums-to-be looking happy and radiant. This can cause women in the real worls to feel that they are somehow failing to meet others' expectations. I often teach mums-to-be how to self-hypnotise so as to feel very relaxed during the delivery. It can even help some mums with the pain!
David Stocks SQHP, RSM
2 Crowhill Road,
Monday to Friday 9am - 7:30pm
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