Firstly, let me dispel a myth about therapy and hypnotherapy; The myth that you can turn up, have a conversation with the therapist who then zaps you into hypnosis from which you awaken with your problem permanantly solved. (You didn't really think it was that easy did you?!)
Though this would be nice (one session and problem solved, money well spent) even if this were true, if would actually rob you of a number of things:
So - expect to have to put some effort into the process to get the result you desire.
My whole approach to therapy is based about you and me agreeing at the start of the process what we are setting out to achieve and then working as a team to achieve it.
I like to describe hypnosis as focussed imagination - with the subject engaged in the process to the degree where it feels involuntary and automatic. Hypnotised subjects appear to be unconscious but in fact they are very alert - it is just they appear relaxed on the outside because all their focus in on what it happening internally and what they are creating with their mind.
This heightened inner alertness dispels many of the popular misconceptions - 'you are under the control of the hypnotist' 'you are unconscious' 'you might reveal something you don't want to' 'you might get stuck' - don't apply.
At this point, when I am explaining this to people, many ask 'but what about Derren Brown' (or other stage hypnotists) who 'zap' people into hypnosis and apparently them into all sorts of entertaining activities. If this is something that concerns you (in my very early days of learning hypnosis - it concerned me!) then we can discuss this and I can put your mind at ease. Briefly - stage hypnotists are very careful to start with a selection process to find people who are very open to suggestion and willing to comply. Note - willing to comply.
Therapeutic hypnosis is a very engaging, relaxing process where the therapist is the guide on a journey you create using your imagination.
People also worry if they will be 'any good' at hypnosis or even that they can do it at all. Whilst it is true that some people are better at it that others it is also true that like many things, you improve with practice. My honest advice here based on the clients and students I have worked with - assume it will work, forget about the possibility that it won't work for you and concentrate on following the therapists instructions.
I often summarise this in two words - ALLOW and TRUST:
ALLOW your mind to have this experience by focussing on the therapists instructions and engaging your imagination
TRUST that your mind knows how to do it and the way you do it is exactly the right way for you
I am your teacher and your guide.
I have trained in and experienced many different approaches to therapy all oriented about understanding how the mind works and how to overcome obstacles. Especially where people have somehow adopted that issue as being part of their identity and sense of self (eg....'I don't think you can help me' - 'I am just one of those kinds of people'...)
I don't believe that suffering is good for the soul or making clients re-live and re-vivify traumatic experiences to 'release' emotions is in any way beneficial - so we won't being doing any of that. If we do need to look into something you find painful I have some great ways of doing this that minimise any discomfort.
I would encourage you to check out the rest of my web site and my blog, get a feel for my style and manner and decide if I am someone you would like to work with on your issue.
The truth is some things I can fix and some things I can't. The really interesting thing is that there are many things which I know how to fix which many people regard as not fixable (...I'm just that way...). So it is worth asking and doing some research. You may just lack a skill or even just an idea.
Sometimes the hypnotherapy route is just not the right route for you - depending on your issue or perhaps your attitudes and beliefs.
Before taking on a client there is an initial telephone (usually) assessment. This is for me to get an idea of your issue and perhaps even test you a little to see how you respond to some new ideas. If I don't think I can help you I will say so and if relevant and appropriate suggest some other avenues for you to explore.
This is an easy one to answer. None.
I am typical as a hypnotherapist in that I am not medically trained (there are medically trained people, doctors who also studied hypnotherapy but they are the exception).
I cannot and will not diagnose medical conditions, advise on their treatment or comment on any current treatment. This includes mental issues of a psychotic nature (meaning some loss of reality) which are outside my sphere of competence.
I can and do work on aspects or effects of medical conditions with the approval of your medical practitioner. NICE, for example, recognises the benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for treating Depression and Anxiety.
Many medical conditions can have a psychological aspect, impact or symptoms that can be helped by therapy. One that immediately comes to mind is the common digestive disorder of IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome, where there are clinically proven strategies using hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis has also been recognised as an effecting way of dealing with chronic Pain and has been used instead of anaesthetic in surgical procedures.
Other than the restrictions above or where I don't feel compentent or confident working with your particular issue; I work with all adults (so 18 and older).
My therapy room is not easily accessible to wheelchair users but I have alternate facilities within the building which are; you just need to make me aware of any such needs.
Essentially yes - but the completely honest and pedantic answer is no as there are some specific occasions where I am required to release information to third parties
Having got these out of the way - any information on you or your sessions recorded by me is held in an encrypted form. I do make handwritten notes during the session (my typing is too slow) but these are scanned and encrypted and the original shredded after the session.
Firstly, these are prohibited by the professional bodies I belong to and whose code of conduct and ethics I have agree to work within.
Secondly - changes in advertising regulations in the UK means that any such claims must be verifiable - in other words the person making the testimonial must be identifiable - which would breach confidentiality
If you do spot a photo of someone other than me on the site, this will either be a staged photo or from my work in hypnotherapy training used with the permission of the student/s or collegues.
So, you settle into the comfy chair in my therapy room. You are probably excited about the possibilities ahead and perhaps a little nervous or anxious about taking a step in the the world of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
First up we talk about what you want to achieve - whether this is changes to your behaviour, thoughts, feelings or a combination of these things. By getting clear and agreeing between us what you want, we have a significantly improved ability to achieve it. I will repeat what we decide at the start of subsequent sessions to keep us on track.
Within a therapy session I want to make sure my you get the very best use of our time together, so if I feel you are going into unnecessary details or off at a tangent I will politely stop you. I will direct you away from telling me why you do or feel the way you do (and perhaps you having to in some way justify this to me) as I am much more interested in how you do what you do. What you feel, think and what actions you take. No life stories required, I will delve deeper only when I think it is pertinent and required. That way we can make the maximum progress for you in the shortest time. I appreciate this approach isn't for everyone and there are other professions such as counsellors, who may be more suitable if this is the case for you.
I use a range of therapeutic approaches, including hypnosis. I will explain all of these to you, Anything you do not understand or are not 100% comfortable with doing we can discuss and if necessary discard. I will adapt and adjust my approach to suit you.
I've dispelled some of the common myths and concerns relating to hypnosis in the section above (What you need to know first) and we will discuss this are length before any hypnosis session. Not least because I want you to relax and enjoy the experience in addition to the therapeutic benefits.
We may also do some simple warm up 'tricks' using your imagination to assess and develop your ability to go into hypnosis. We will also demonstrate the power that you have over your mind and how it can affect your thoughts and behaviour. Some people, despite my assurances, still have a belief that they can't go into hypnosis or in some way will find it difficult despite not having tried it before or even really knowing what hypnosis is. That is a bit like deciding you can't drive having never seen a car.
If you have seen a hypnotist or hypnotherapist before and not 'felt' hypnotised then there are two possibilities. 1 - You weren't hypnotised, they used and approach that was wrong for you at that time or 2 - Your expectation of what being hypnotised feels like was wrong. Modern hypnotherapists like myself have a range of ways of leading people into hypnosis - for each individual some ways work better than others. Part of our job is to find the right way for you. We also know that hypnosis is a catalyst - that is it enhances the ability of the mind to respond positively to the therapy carried out under hypnosis - but is often not essential for a successful therapeutic outcome. For example - we are all suggestible, especially to people with some authority (like a doctor, teacher, police officer) and hypnosis increases this suggestibility. Stage Hypnotists typically select people who are already suggestible and willing to comply and then induce hypnosis to enhance this effect.
Some people think that hypnosis requires monastery like silence - in practice there is usually some signs of the outside world carrying on without you as you spend some time in hypnosis. My Hayes therapy room is on a busy shopping street with the occasional noisy shopper or delivery lorry trundling past my window. I used to work in an idyllic country setting, a business park based in an old and refurbished manor house, my room in an annex set in the landscaped grounds. Yet I still had gardeners with leaf blowers, movers and hedge cutters, low flying aircraft out of Biggin Hill and one one memorable occasion a large bird trying to crack open a snail on my skylight. The point is that one of the key skills to learn to be good at hypnosis is to accept such interruptions and pay them as little attention as possible.
Finally let me forewarn you - not all the therapy happens in the sessions with me. Depending on your particular needs you may be set tasks to do between sessions. Often this is as simple as keeping a notebook and noting specific events during the week (my sessions are usually a week apart) and sometimes you may have some actions to take.
|Single hypnotherapy session
|Significant progress can sometimes be made in a single session, or at least allow you to make an informed decision to book further sessions or not. Sessions are around an hour long, I pack a lot into my sessions so overrunning is more likely than finishing early.
|Two hypnotherapy sessions
|Typically for smoking cessation, habit reversal
|Four hypnotherapy sessions
|Typical number of sessions required for maximum effectiveness
|More than Four sessions?
|This is rare, my approach is all about teaching people the skills they need not making them dependent on therapy. After four sessions we're usually done.
|IBS Soothing Hypnotherapy Program
|For help with the symptoms and issues associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 1 initial orientation session (90 minutes) followed by 7 weekly hypnosis sessions (< 40 mins)
|Non therapeutic introduction to hypnosis, hypnotisability assessment and demonstration of hypnotic phenomena for the curious (45 mins)
|Non therapeutic deep hypnotic relaxation and stress buster(30 mins)
All clients seeking therapy are required to have a free initial assessment to discuss your goals and the suitability of my therapeutic approach before booking any sessions. This will include discussing the initial and likely number of sessions required (typically 4) that will be needed to give us the best potential for success. If you do subsequently decide that additional sessions are required then these can be purchased at the above rates. Session lengths vary depending on the content of the session and range between 45 and 90 minutes.
All fees are payable in advance of the session/s and are non-refundable. Unused sessions (because your goal was achieved in fewer sessions than anticipated) may be used for other suitable issues or discarded at your choice, but not refunded.
Please endeavour to arrive on time as you may limit our time together if you arrive late for your session.
Session can be rescheduled up to 24 hours before. If you do need to reschedule your appointment after this point there is a £20 rebooking fee or if the appointment is not rescheduled then the fee for the cancelled session is forfeited. Rebooking is subject to availability and you may incur a delay getting a new appointment. The rebooking fee covers my costs charged by the clinic for late cancellation
Should I be incapacitated in any way or unable to make an appointment for any reason then you will be notified promptly and offered a rescheduled session.
Covid-19 Exclusion: The above does not apply if the session is cancelled due to a positive Covid-19 result or Covid symptoms, the session will be rescheduled at no additional cost.