Common Questions About Hypnotherapy

What is hypnotherapy really?

Answer: Hypnotherapy is nothing more than your brainwaves moving from beta (the normal state) to alpha (light to medium relaxation state). The mind operates at different wavelengths. Beta state means the brain operates between 18 and 30 vibrations per second as measured on an EEG. In hypnotherapy, I work in the mid-alpha state where brainwaves vary between 7 and 14 vibrations per second. In this state you can hear and answer questions. Thus, at all times, you are perfectly aware of what is going on.


Is deeper hypnosis better than shallow hypnosis?

Answer: The answer is “no”! In the delta state (sleep state) it is almost impossible to work with people. Theta state is a deeper level than the alpha state of relaxation and more information can be revealed in this state.

Can the hypnotherapist make me do anything that he/she wants me to do?Answer: The hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything that is against your values or for which you have not given subconscious permission.  

Can I be helped in one session?
Answer: This depends on how quickly the mind shift can take place, as we need to break the barrier between the conscious and the subconscious. It is not a magical process, but rather like planting a seed that then grows with the necessary water and sun. It is important to clarify the work that the client should do.

Will the change be permanent?
Answer: Yes, the change is effective and lasting. It takes approximately six weeks for a new habit to be captured in the emotional brain. It is quite similar to the physical body. Once you’ve decided to get fit, you need to exercise regularly. Your muscles will hurt if you don’t. The more regularly you exercise, the greater your success will be.
Give your brain a chance to exercise by deciding on something you wish to attract to yourself. For example: you decide to lose weight. Think about all the stumbling blocks you’ll have to remove. The immediate task is to get rid of everything you regularly nibble on – fatty and sugary foods. The ongoing task is to ensure that there’s always something non-fattening, like carrots, celery, cauliflower, etc., in the fridge to snack on. You must practise regularly to cut out or to eat less of certain food groups every day. Healthy eating then becomes a lifestyle, and your goal becomes a reality.
People seeking therapy must be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

What can hypnosis help with?
Answer: Hypnosis is good for emotional blocks, things that are preventing you from gaining your full potential, as well as any obsessive-compulsive disorders like smoking, over-cleaning, perfectionism, etc. It is quite often used for spiritual growth and development and breaking the glass ceiling. Please see the FAQs.

Can hypnosis be negative?
Answer: Yes. Remember hypnosis works with the subconscious mind and whatever you put into the subconscious mind, be it negative or positive, can show up in your life. It is important to realise that thought, imagination and the things you say to yourself can be either positive and helpful or negative and counter-productive.

Can my mind affect my body?
Answer: Care of the mind, which in turn generates our emotions, is the missing link when it comes to taking care of the body. When we feel bad – overwhelmed by anxiety, uncertainty, depression, and stress – most of us act in the most human way possible. We try to comfort ourselves. It’s easier to numb ourselves by watching television, hunting for happiness in cyberspace, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, or eating something full of fat, sugar or salt that is instantly satisfying.
Our bodies never lie. They demonstrate, in strange ways, what the subconscious is struggling with. By changing how, when and where a message is registered in the brain, a better result can be achieved. For example: the message “I am useless” registers in your brain. The cortex (the thinking brain), sends this message to the limbic cortex (the emotional brain). The emotional brain gives an instruction to the body to produce cortisol instead of serotonin (serotonin is the “feel-good” chemical, while cortisol is the “feel-bad” chemical).

Is therapy right for me?
Answer: Seeking therapy is an individual choice.  There are many reasons why people come to therapy.  Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression.  Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life, such as a divorce or work transition.  Many seek the advice of a counsellor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth.  Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenge.  Therapy can help address many issues – see the FAQs.  Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change.

Do I really need therapy?   I can usually handle my problems myself.
Answer: Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have navigated successfully through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking extra support when you need it.  In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realise they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired.  You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change.  Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can therapy help me?
Answer: Participating in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy has a number of benefits.  Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks.  Many people also find that counsellors can be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.  Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.  Read more about  The Benefits of Hypnotherapy.

What is therapy like?
Answer: Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals.  It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions.  Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.  There may be times when you are asked to do things outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviours.  For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.  People seeking therapy need to be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Answer: In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.  Working with your medical doctor, you can determine what’s best for you.  It is well established that solving mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause in the long term cannot be achieved solely by medication.  Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behaviour patterns that curb your progress.  You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with a qualified therapist.

Is the therapy confidential?
Answer: In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and hypnotherapist/ psychotherapist.  No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.  However, there are some exceptions to this rule required by law.  They are:

  • Suspected child abuse, or dependent adult or elder abuse.  The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If the client intends to harm himself/ herself.  

The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety.  However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.