FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis, or trance, is an enjoyable and naturally occurring state of focused attention. It is linked to the alpha brain wave state and at more intense levels simulates the rapid eye movement phase of sleep (REM) which is a natural form of memory and learning consolidation and a highly effective tool for personal change. However, hypnosis is not sleep - you need to be awake (if a little drowsy!) to be able to follow suggestions. We experience light forms of hypnosis every day, such as when we daydream or become completely absorbed in an activity such as driving, jogging, reading or watching TV or a computer screen. You're even in a light hypnotic trance when you smoke! During hypnotherapy, this natural ability we all have is pleasantly intensified for the sole purpose of targeting specific areas for change.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy pleasantly guides you into your natural alpha brain wave state where a rapid updating or 'relearning' of unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours can occur in response to tailored positive suggestion and imagery.
How does hypnotherapy work?
Hypnosis acts as a communication bridge between the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind. It enables you to target and modify unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviours at source, thus effecting positive change with relative ease and immediacy.
Does hypnosis have any side-effects?
Hypnosis is completely harmless and free from side-effects. Furthermore, there are many recognised health benefits of spending time in deep relaxation. Hypnosis is otherwise a neutral state - it gains the ability to effect lasting changes only when combined with carefully tailored therapeutic suggestions.
What will I experience?
There is no ‘right or wrong way’ to experience hypnosis, however, it generally feels similar to the pleasant sense of drowsiness we experience just before falling asleep and immediately after waking. The majority of people enjoy the mental and physical relaxation that characterises the hypnotic state. The extent to which you absorb yourself in the experience is entirely under your control too. This is often referred to as trance ‘depth' - the degree to which you’re paying attention to your own inner experience, as opposed to the external environment. Hypnotherapy can be just as effective in both light and deeper trance states. Hypnosis isn't a sleep state, so you will be aware of everything that happens throughout your session.
How long is a session?
Your quit smoking session will usually last between 1.5 - 2 hours. The majority of our hypnotherapists offer a complete stop smoking treatment within that single session. In some circumstances such as pregnancy, a longer course of therapy may be highly beneficial.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
Hypnosis is a natural, functional human trait that we all possess, so anyone can be hypnotised as long as they make a conscious choice to follow the process. You can't be hypnotised against your will. Stage hypnotists are renowned for carefully selecting volunteers who display exhibitionist tendencies and who pass a range of preliminary suggestibility tests, so in effect they only choose those volunteers who are already willing to respond.
Will I know what to expect?
Yes - there are no surprises. Hypnotherapy aims to hand control back to you! Your therapy will be tailored to your individual needs and your hypnotherapist should discuss the session with you in advance. It’s important that you’re comfortable and relaxed with the therapy process, so your questions and feedback are always welcomed.
Is it possible to get stuck in hypnosis?
No, you'll be able to return to full conscious alertness at any time you choose simply by opening your eyes and switching your attention back to your external environment. It requires no more effort than the decision to come out of a particularly absorbing daydream to put the kettle on!
Will I lose control or reveal anything that I don’t want to?
No, you will retain full self-control. Hypnosis is not a sleep state so even though your eyes may be closed to help you focus inwardly, you’ll be aware of everything that happens throughout your session. Contrary to popular belief, while in hypnosis you can't be made to do or say anything against your will, or act in ways that conflict with your beliefs or morals. Successful hypnotherapy depends on trust, rapport and sound ethical practice, tailoring therapy to the specific needs of each client. Stage hypnotists are renowned for carefully selecting volunteers who display exhibitionist tendencies and who pass a range of preliminary suggestibility tests - so in effect they only choose those volunteers who are already willing to respond.
I’m worried I don’t have enough willpower to quit smoking - can hypnotherapy still help me?
Yes! Hypnotherapy entirely bypasses the need for willpower. All you need is a reasonable personal desire to leave smoking in the past. Willpower is the ability to control your own thoughts and the ways in which you behave. This implies needing a conscious effort to make a change. The reason willpower is often insufficient is that habits and dependencies such as smoking have been learned at a subconscious level, which keep them out of range of our conscious control. We all know someone who has appeared to quit smoking through willpower alone, however the fact is that some people are physiologically less susceptible to the effects of nicotine, hence finding it much easier to quit without help. A true subconscious change happens naturally and easily without any feeling of conscious effort.