Frequently asked questions about hypnotherapy

What is hypnosis?
What is trance?
What is hypnotherapy?
Brief examples of how hypnotherapy works
What does trance feel like?
Does hypnotherapy work?
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Do the effects of hypnotherapy last?
How long is each session?
How many sessions are required?
Does health insurance cover hypnotherapy?
Is hypnosis safe?
Are there any side-effects?
Is hypnotherapy about to be regulated?

 


What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the ancient art of inducing a trance. Suggestions are offered to the client's unconscious mind while they are in a suggestible altered state of consciousness.

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What is trance?

We have all experienced a trance. The most common form is daydreaming. Anyone who has been deeply engrossed and focused on a single task e.g. a repetitive task, reading or watching a good film will recognise a similar state. Another example would be chatting with someone with whom you have good rapport and losing track of time. Hypnotherapists deliberately induce this relaxed state and then offer hypnotic suggestions.

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What is hypnotherapy?

While a client is in an altered state of consciousness their unconscious mind is available to therapy. The unconscious mind is hidden beyond our awareness. In addition to its more positive aspects, it is where impulses, habits, negative emotions and memories, and irrational thoughts reside.

In most forms of therapy. e.g. psychotherapy, the therapist makes suggestions at a conscious level. The conscious mind, whilst rational, can also be defensive, overly critical, overcome with negative thinking, and not always in the mood for change. When in a trance, the clients' conscious mind relaxes, allowing the therapist to communicate with a more receptive unconscious mind.

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Brief examples of how hypnotherapy works

Smokers are well aware (conscious) that smoking is harmful and yet find themselves compelled to smoke. For smokers, conscious awareness of health warnings, increasing social unacceptability, the cost, smell on clothes, etc. do not override the unconscious habit. Hypnotherapy and NLP tackle the unconscious desire to smoke.

People with phobias know (are conscious) that the thing they fear is not really a threat. Still, their unconscious fear rises when the stimulus is present. Hypnotherapy and NLP build confidence and can tackle the cause, such as a memory of being frightened as a child.

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What does trance feel like?

Relaxing, pleasant and peaceful. Lightness, heaviness, or tingling sensations are often reported.

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Does hypnotherapy work?

It works for most people and most problems most of the time. It is not a magic wand or miracle cure. It is a partnership with the therapist acting as a facilitator. The therapist is catalytic, empowering the client to achieve their goals. Some effort by the client is usually required. Just like medicine, and other talking therapies, it may not bring about the desired change in some people.

Hypnotherapy has a constantly growing scientific evidence base. For some issues, we have randomised controlled trials - the type of research conducted to test whether medicines work. We also have lots of qualitative research, case studies, therapist's own observations in the therapy room, feedback from clients after therapy, and clients returning to solve another issue or recommending hypnotherapy to other people.

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Can anyone be hypnotised?

Anyone who has experienced a daydream can be hypnotised. People with severe learning difficulties, cognitive problems, and very young children can be hypnotised but doing useful therapy can be limited by language and comprehension. Hypnotherapy is a talking therapy. A client can refuse or resist going into trance but this is rare as they're paying for a service! We teach you how to handle any nervousness they may have about trance, coping with an emotional issue, etc.

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Do the effects of hypnotherapy last?

A good result normally lasts and hypnotherapists aim for a sustainable result. If the client returns, the reasons for this are dealt with. We have to ensure clients are not reliant on our help to maintain the solution. The effects of therapy can then last a lifetime, such as overcoming a phobia or habit. Sometimes a more reasonable outcome is management rather than cure, such as coping with chronic pain or tinnitus.

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How long is each session?

Normally 1 hour per session. We recommend investing 1.5 hours in your clients on the first session (initial assessment) in the early days of your practice when you are possibly less efficient, and also for certain presenting issues, such as high levels of anxiety, where clients may take a while to offload, relax, and explain what's going on, and clients with more complex needs, such as presenting with multiple issues like insomnia, stress, and smoking.

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How many sessions are required?

There are many variables, such as client motivation, severity of the issue, complexity and number of presenting issues, support systems outside of therapy, etc. For most issues, you are likely to see your clients for 3 to 6 sessions.

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Does health insurance cover hypnotherapy?

Our training will enable you to apply for registration with our accrediting or approving professional associations and the National Hypnotherapists Register Australia (NRHA). Scores of health fund providers recognise these organisations as upholding standards of ethics, ensuring members are well-trained, insured, supervised and so on.

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Is hypnosis safe?

Hypnosis and trance are 100% natural and safe. We all experience trance regularly. A client cannot get 'stuck' in a hypnotic state and they always remain in control. Clients can choose to go deeper or terminate a trance at any time. They always remain aware of themselves and their surroundings and they can speak at any time. NLP is safe. Only untrained, or poorly trained, hypnotherapy and NLP practitioners can be unsafe.

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Are there any side-effects?

Of course - hypnotherapy brings many positive ones such as a client feeling more relaxed, realising their potential, problem-solving, feeling happier, less fearful, more content and/or sleeping better! A small number of people with very low blood pressure can feel a bit faint and they can lay down to alleviate this. Pins and needles and numbness can occur - not much for a someone to endure to change their life for the better and a better track record than many medications.

We hope you have found these answers helpful and we hope you attend our hypnotherapy and NLP training to find out more about this fascinating subject!

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Is hypnotherapy about to be regulated?

No. Definitely not. Indeed, regulation was tried and reversed.

Some unethical schools are putting out misinformation that regulation is around the corner. The AHA (the largest and oldest hypnotherapy association), has not been informed of anything of the sort. We have this in writing. Please ask the offending school for hard evidence, in writing.

Other schools claim that only their courses would guarantee the future of a hypnotherapist if regulation were to occur. No school could make this claim because no one knows what regulation would look like or what any new course requirements would be!

Also, in the therapeutic world, 'grandfathering' rights are often given to people who have already qualified. Alternatively, they are given time to add to their training to make up any shortfall. Again, ask the school claiming this for hard evidence, in writing, and all will become apparent.

A further untruth is that only their course will allow the student to obtain a Health Provider Number for clients to claim on their medical cover. Most validated courses lead to this status. Some claim that insurance companies won't recognise other courses. At the time of writing, according to one of our validating associations, only one insurance provider out of hundreds has any interest in particular schools or courses.

In fact, sadly, most insurance companies don't cover hypnotherapy. Of those that do, they only cover a small number of presenting issues. And of those few presenting issues, most insurance companies only pay a very small proportion of the costs anyway! The truth, then, is that this provider number means less in practice than people often think. Again, ask for hard evidence in writing.

If they do send any wild claims, please do forward it to their validating professional association and complain.

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