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What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis describes an interaction between a therapist and you, the client. The therapist attempts to influence your perceptions, feelings, thinking and behaviour by asking you to concentrate on ideas and images that may evoke the intended effect.

 What is involved?

At an initial meeting to establish what you hope to achieve, the therapist will explain the process, gain consent, and set goals for the duration of the therapy.

You are then guided into a state of deep relaxation. Communication is maintained and specific suggestions geared to your presenting concerns are made.

You can choose to come out of the hypnotic state very quickly, at any time during a treatment if you feel uncomfortable.

The therapist applies solution – focused brief therapy, which emphasises your strengths and abilities, helping you to tap into your own resources and find solutions that best suit you.

You are brought out of the hypnotic state gradually and will be fully awake and alert by the end of the session.

 What can it help with?

Hypnotherapy can help to –

  • Reduce stress
  • Release anxiety
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Help to manage pain
  • Help you prepare for treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery.


Hypnotherapy is not advisable if you have certain mental conditions or health problems or epilepsy, because you may have an unpredictable response.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?

For the purposes of hypnotherapy, the brain is viewed as being divided into conscious and sub-conscious. Hypnotherapy enables communication with the subconscious, making use of the mind’s heightened awareness and susceptibility to beneficial suggestions during trance in order to make changes. However, the suggestions have to accord with the individual’s own beliefs and goals.

These changes could include overcoming phobias, reducing anxiety or simply getting a good night’s sleep.

How many sessions are needed?

For phobias, generally three sessions of 45 minutes duration are required in addition to the initial consultation. For other issues such as anxiety, more sessions may be negotiated.

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Last updated - 09 August 2018
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