People often ask the same questions when they first enquire about hypnotherapy, so here are answers to some of them:

What is the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist?

A hypnotist is just a person who puts other people into a hypnotic trance, and the word usually brings to mind a stage hypnotist who does so for entertainment. A hypnotherapist still uses the hypnotic trance, but in a beneficial way to help their client achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Just about anyone can be hypnotised, but to different degrees. Not everyone will be able to enter a deep trance, but this does not matter as only a light trance is needed for Cognitive Hypnotherapy. If someone does not want to be hypnotised then they cannot be forced to go into a trance.

Could you make me do something I don’t want to do?

Certainly not. You will remain in control of what you say and do at all times. You can think of me as a guide, and just like a passenger in your car, who is giving you directions, if I tell you to turn left but you don’t want to, then you can continue driving straight ahead. My methodology though is more akin to telling you that there is a turn coming up that you might like to consider taking. You are in charge of where you go.

Although stage hypnotists make it look as though they are forcing people to do things against their will, in reality the people on stage know exactly what they have “let themselves in for” and are happy to go along with whatever the hypnotist suggests. If he/she were to ask them to do something they were not comfortable with then they would just refuse and come out of their “trance”.

Will I remember what happens?

There is no reason why you should not remember everything that is said whilst you are in a trance. However, in practice people often find that they don’t recall everything straight away and different bits come back to them over time. If you think about it, in normal everyday conversations do you remember every word that was said? There may be times when you are in a trance that I may want to apply a touch to your hand, or arm. I will always have asked your permission for this beforehand. You will be aware when this is happening and remember it afterwards.

What if I have a secret I don’t want to tell you about?

It remains your secret, simple as that. Even when you are in a trance you are in control of what you say, and if you don’t want to tell me about something then you don’t have to.

Could I “get stuck” in a trance?

I will always bring you gently out of a trance giving you plenty of time to readjust to being back in the present. Even if I were to walk out of the room and leave you alone, you would either fall asleep and wake up naturally, or you would get bored and open your eyes to see what was going on.

Is hypnosis safe? Are there any side effects?

Hypnosis is perfectly safe for the majority of people (there are some reasons why it might not be suitable which include epilepsy, pathological personality disorders and psychosis). The trance state that I use is a natural one which we all enter several times a day. The only side effects you will probably encounter are beneficial feelings of calm and relaxation. It is safe for you to continue with your normal day after the session.