Many newly qualified hypnotherapists will agree to see just about anyone, whatever their problem, even if they’ve never seen anyone with that problem before and have never studied how to help with that problem. I’ve often seen hypnotherapists on internet forums asking for “scripts” to use with clients who have some problem which the therapist has no idea how to deal with. Nevertheless they’ve made an appointment with that client and perhaps even taken payment in advance! Sometimes the therapist is even seeing the client later on that day, when they still don’t know how they would treat them! This is very bad practice.

The most competent and experienced hypnotherapists will generally specialise in certain areas of work in which they build up extensive experience, knowledge, and expertise. They will do special training in these areas, and study the available research. Obviously they will focus more on those problems which interest them- often because they’ve overcome that problem for themselves.

A good therapist is not generally a jack of all trades.

So on this page I’ll discuss a few problems which I DON’T work with.


This is a complex issue which is best dealt with by therapists who have studied the science of nutrition. In recent years scientists have discovered a great deal about why some people find it so difficult to lose weight. For instance, where you have an intense craving for chocolate, it could be the bacteria in your gut which are creating this craving, in which case the balance between different types of bacteria inside you needs to be adjusted. It’s not always a good idea to follow a diet from a book, magazine, or website, because whoever devised that diet doesn’t know your individual needs. In any case many diets are too unnatural and boring for anyone to keep to. So if this is your problem then I recommend  you to consult a holistic practitioner like Hamish Tailyour or Rory McGill (both based in Plymouth), both of whom have in-depth knowledge of nutrition and digestion.

I do see clients sometimes whose problem with eating is all about their emotional relationship with food. These people have generally been using food to distract themselves from unpleasant thoughts, memories or feelings, or even numb themselves completely. Overeating is often used to relieve anxiety.

Other people may overeat to make themselves unattractive, because they are afraid of sexual relationships. This normally results from having had very abusive relationships in the past.

Others may simply fear the physical experience of hunger, often because it recalls memories of extreme deprivation in their childhood when they didn’t even know when they would eat again.

In all these cases dieting is not enough. Hypnotherapy can help to change the way you think, feel and react so you no longer need the “drug” of excessive eating.

Hypnotherapy  can also help with building confidence, so that looking physically attractive is no longer something to be feared.


When I first started practice as a full-time hypnotherapist in 1994, about half my clients came for help with stopping smoking. A large percentage of them had been personally recommended by former clients whom I had previously helped.

In recent years, however, smoking has become very much less common in this country, down to about 15% of adults, and most of the small minority who are still smoking have no intention of stopping, despite the damage to their health. Many of them have a stubborn determination to continue smoking, and will for instance socialise in the most uncomfortable and squalid places, sitting outside in the cold and dark while non-smokers are enjoying a warm well-lit pub with comfortable seating just a few metres away!

Most people who do stop smoking do it on their own without any special help. But it’s important to prepare yourself so as to maximise your chances of success. I’ve made a video about this which you can see here.

I do not offer one-to-one sessions of hypnosis for stopping smoking. All too often, clients who seek hypnosis for stopping smoking have quite unrealistic expectations of what a single session of hypnosis can do for them. Scientific studies on hypnosis for stopping smoking generally show a maximum success rate of about one in three, when clients are followed up a year later and actually tested to see if they have really not been smoking. And this kind of success rate is generally from therapists who offer a course of sessions rather than just one session.

However, hypnosis although hypnosis for stopping smoking is nothing like so successful as many hypnotherapists claim, it is still the most effective therapy for this problem. So if you do want stop smoking hypnosis I suggest you research carefully and find a specialist who actually follows up his or her clients and can show a good LONG TERM success rate. Even if you have to travel a long distance it is surely worth the time and money, because your health is priceless.


Hypnosis is very effective for preparing women who will soon be giving birth. This is a very specialised area, and in my opinion the best people to work in this area would be women who are trained midwives, who have done specialist hypno-birthing training, and who in many cases have given birth themselves. You can find hypno-birthing practitioners by just searching online for “hypnobirthing practitioner near me.”


Extreme jealousy is not generally helped by therapy, especially where it’s the other partner who is seeking help for the jealous person. Relationships involving extreme jealousy often end in serious violence. So if your partner is abnormally jealous you would be better advised to see a solicitor rather than a therapist, or go directly to the police if there’s been actual violence. Remember that in this country a woman is far more likely to be killed by her partner than by anybody else.

DISCLAIMER Individual results may vary and unless specified, outcomes are not guaranteed.
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