Is the therapy guaranteed to work?
It will work if you do your part by doing any homework tasks which we have agreed in the session. Basically you have a “comfort zone” where you’re right away from the subject of your phobia, and you also have a “horror zone” where it’s just unbearable and you have to get away no matter what. In between these zones are the situations where you’re not comfortable but you can stand it. The purpose of therapy is to enlarge your comfort zone by gradually pushing out into the “in-between” zone. The goal of therapy is for the “horror zone” to disappear completely. So for instance, if you were afraid needles, it is not necessary for you to enjoy having blood tests or injections. Our goal would rather be that you can tolerate the needle without being anxious beforehand or upset during the procedure, just seeing it as something that needs doing. Pushing out into the middle zone requires leaving your comfort zone, and hypnosis will make this much easier by helping you control your emotional reactions, thoughts, and imagination. So it does require some effort on your part.
Can everyone be hypnotised?
Almost everyone, so long as they cooperate and don’t deliberately fight it. I see many clients who have previously seen other hypnotherapists and not been hypnotised even after several sessions. Generally this is either due to poor technique by the previous hypnotists, or else the client was resisting hypnosis due to being afraid of it. If you have any fears about hypnosis we can discuss these first and set your mind at rest.
Could I get stuck in hypnosis and be unable to come out?
No this cannot happen. If you were just left in trance, you would either come out after a short while, or else pass into normal sleep and then awake. If an emergency occurred you would be able to come out of trance immediately.
Are there any dangers in hypnosis?
Not with a competent, experienced hypnotherapist. I have 28 years experience in hypnotherapy, and a degree in psychology, also I previous qualified and worked for many years as a mental health nurse, so I’m very mindful of clients’ safety. Stage hypnosis is a different matter, it is usually harmless but could trigger bad reactions if certain subjects are touched upon in an irresponsible manner.
What about stage hypnosis? Is it for real or are they just acting?
Bit of both. The stage hypnotist carefully selects his subjects after testing the whole audience for hypnotic suggestibility. And the ones who come up on stage are volunteers who know what is expected of them, so to some extent they may be acting, participating in an entertainment. Where stage hypnotists have caused harm it’s usually by touching on some underlying worry which the subject has not revealed.
Is any physical contact involved in hypnosis?
Some techniques involve my lifting your arm, by gently holding your wrist. No other physical contact is necessary. If you had a fear of being touched there’s plenty of other methods I can use.
My phobia is very embarrassing and I’m afraid you’d laugh at me.
Having had a phobia myself when younger, I never make fun of anyone who has this problem. The experience of phobia feels totally real to the person who has it, however strange it may seem to somebody else. It is no laughing matter.
What if my phobia is very unusual?
All phobias work in much the same way and the same therapy methods can be adapted to them by a competent therapist. That’s why you need to see a therapist who understands the underlying factors, rather than someone who will just recite a script which they have memorised out of a book. Even in the case of common phobias no two clients are alike. For instance, some people with emetophobia cannot bear the sound of someone being sick, but have no problem cleaning up that person afterwards. For others it would be the other way around. So every client needs a therapy programme tailored to their individual needs.
My child has a phobia but is reluctant to have therapy, shall I make them come to see you?
All therapy requires the client’s cooperation so it cannot work if they are forced to come. In fact this could make matters much worse by giving them a phobia for therapy, so they’d never want to have it in future! However, you could bring them for an initial chat, without therapy, and without charge, so I could explain to them exactly what therapy involves. Peoples’ fears are usually due to mistaken ideas about what therapy involves. No one will be forced to do anything.
How young a child can you work with?
I work a lot with teenagers down to about fifteen years old. All clients under eighteen must have a parent or guardian accompany them, who must also sign a consent form on the first session.
I have another question which is not covered in the above list.
You can contact me via the contact form on the first page of this site and I will answer your question by return email.