1. Does Hypnotherapy Really Work?
  2. Can anyone be hypnotised?
  3. Can I be made to do anything against my will during hypnosis?
  4. Is hypnosis just for hippies?
  5. How many sessions will I need?
  6. Will everything we discuss remain confidential?
  7. I want to resolve my symptoms, but I do not want to re-live (n)or consciously remember the painful experiences that caused them. Is this possible?
  8. I can not describe what I am suffering from, but I just do not feel good. Can you work with me?
  9. How do I know you're a good hypnotherapist?
  10. Why do therapists charge quite a considerable amount per session?
  11. Can I meet you without paying a fee?
  12. Do you believe in past lives?
  13. In your list of symptoms, 'search for enlightenment' is included. That sounds rather vague and esoteric, not at all clinical.
  14. Why is 'letting go' such a popular theme in therapy?

Q: Does Hypnotherapy Really Work?

A: Absolutely. Results booked by hypnotherapy are backed up by scientific research. An example where Hypnotherapy is compared to Psychoanalysis and Behavioural Therapy (Source: Dr. Alfred Barrios, Clinical Psychologist BS Caltech, Ph.D. UCLA -- American Health Magazine):

Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
Behaviour therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
Hypnotherapy 93% recovery after 6 sessions

It has also been scientifically proven that the combination CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Hypnotherapy is much more effective than CBT alone. Really, you should see for yourself.
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Q: Can anyone be hypnotised?

A: Almost everybody can, providing they wish to be hypnotised and have faith in their hypnotherapist. Although, drinking seven espresso's before a session may impair your ability to relax. If you suffer from epilepsy, schizophrenia or clinical depression, you should consult your GP before approaching a hypnotherapist.
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Q: Can I be made to do anything against my will during hypnosis?

A: No, absolutely not. You attain the hypnotic trance state because you choose to, and, even in a deep trance state, your will not accept any suggestions that conflict with your personal ethics, beliefs and desires.
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Q: Is hypnosis just for hippies?

A: No, it has been scientifically proven that hypnosis is a healthy and naturally occurring state of mind which can benefit both hippies and those of a more conventional disposition.
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Q: How many sessions will I need?

A: This depends on factors such as your symptom, your level of motivation, whether you do your homework diligently (yes, I will give you homework) and so on.

Here are some guidelines;
Phobias: between 3 - 8 sessions
Depression: 6 - 12 sessions
Stop smoking: 1 or 2 sessions
Insomnia: 3 - 8 sessions
Panic Disorder: 3 - 8 sessions
Increase confidence: between 2 - 5 sessions

The numbers above are standard treatment time. When a patient comes in for smoking cessation, but started smoking aged 60 on the day a loved one died, chances are that these two are related and a few more sessions are required to process grief as well as stop the smoking habit.
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Q: Will everything we discuss remain confidential?

A: The rules and regulations of patient-therapist confidentiality apply to hypnotherapy, so the answer is 'yes', however, there are a few exceptions; terrorism, child safety and lethal harm to self and others, where I am required to alert either your GP to prevent yourself from harming yourself, or the authorities, to prevent you from harming others. Any other issues, such as crime and drug use all fall within the patient-therapist confidentiality. Also, remember that thoughts alone are not automatic indicators of actions, e.g.: if you have unwanted thoughts concerning criminal activity and harming yourself or others this may well be a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is important not to immediately assume the worst.
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Q: I want to resolve my symptoms, but I do not want to re-live (n)or consciously remember the painful experiences that caused them. Is this possible?

A: Absolutely. In case of trauma, such as for example abuse, people have spent most of their lives trying to bury the painful memories and the associated emotions and physical feelings. Bringing up these memories can be unpleasant and even lead to re-traumatisation. Clinical Hypnotherapy is one of the few therapies where you can healthily process and move on from traumatic events, without having to consciously remember the events. There is no need to spend hours trying to recover memories of something very unpleasant that you have managed to successfully forget, unless you are curious and would prefer to know the origin(s) of your symptoms.
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Q: I can not describe what I am suffering from, but I just do not feel good. Can you work with me?

A: Absolutely. Many people come to me with a vague description or simply a piece of paper with a few key-words or a list of everything they feel bad about in some way. Treatment can start as long as we can formulate a goal to work towards.
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Q: How do I know you're a good hypnotherapist?

A: Good question, as hypnotherapy is not regulated yet in the UK (although us qualified hypnotherapists are lobbying hard to achieve this). A good hypnotherapist will be accredited by a good training institute. After obtaining my BA Hons degree, I chose to train and qualify at the London College of Clinical Hypnosis. My training is accredited by the Open University, Greenwich University, RCN and TVU, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. The obtaining of my Certification in Clinical Hypnosis, allowed me membership of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis. I further topped up my training by completing the London College of Clinical Hypnosis Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy. I expanded my practice by successfully incorporating patients presenting with complex symptomatology.

Because I believe in continuous personal and professional development, I decided to embark upon a Post Graduate Cert. in Clinical Hypnosis. I adhere to the strict demands of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis, regarding professional practice, education and code of ethics. In 2009, I started working for the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, as part of a small group of hypnotherapists with a wide variety of specialisations. Being part of this group, whilst working on the frontier of academic developments in clinical hypnosis in Britain, exchanging knowledge and ideas on a weekly basis, allows me unique insights and a platform for professional and personal growth. In 2009 I obtained the first invitation from the NHS to put forward clinical recommendations for future NHS health policies.

I can't stress enough the importance of good quality training. When contacting a hypnotherapist, ask questions about the hours of official training and the period of time this is spread over (the longer, the better). Avoid hypnotherapists who have followed a single masterclass which entitles them legally to refer to themselves as trained hypnotherapists; although they are likely to charge less per session, this is your physical and mental health and happiness at stake, so take no chances. Lastly, all good therapists take regular clinical supervision, where they discuss cases with other established hypnotherapists, ideally with different specialisations, to obtain an alternative point of view and as part of continuous personal and professional development. Lastly, ask if this is their full-time and only profession.
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Q: Why do therapists charge quite a considerable amount per session?

A: Visiting a good, e.g.. qualified, certified and registered therapist, means that apart from the 1.5 hour session a week, they invest hours a week preparing for treatment of your particular symptom(s), in order to give you tailor-made treatment. Although standard techniques are employed, there is no such thing as 'standard, one-size-fits-all' therapy.
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Q: Can I meet you without paying a fee?

A: Certainly. I regularly give talks at a variety of organisations in London (free admission). Call me and I will inform you of the next one. If you have no time to lose, for instance you must go on a flight tomorrow and today you realise that you can no longer suppress your fear of flying, take the plunge and come and see me as soon as possible. I keep one 90 min.-slot a day open for emergency appointments.
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Q: Do you conduct past life regressions?

A: If my patient wishes to explore one of more past lives for their own reasons and if it is safe and beneficial for them, I will conduct past-life regressions. Perhaps we do live life after life, or perhaps the past-life experience is simply a way for the patient to deal with certain issues, or to attain a more objective view of their problem. For therapy-purposes, it does not matter whether past-life regression is 'real' or not, as long as it helps to process information in a safe, appropriate and healthy manner and leads to the desired results, regression is an option.
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Q: In your list of symptoms, 'search for enlightenment' is included. That sounds rather vague and esoteric, not at all clinical.

A: This all depends on how you see enlightenment. Depending on your beliefs, religious or otherwise, enlightenment could be the end of suffering, spiritual growth, functioning at your highest moral level, learning to 'let go' and so on. Hypnosis can bring you internal calm, peace, tranquility and stillness. It can help you to 'let go'. In this mental state, when worries and the constant stream of thoughts have temporarily quietened down, you will be pleasantly surprised with the resources you have within. Whether you label discovering your potential, inner strength and achieving positive changes as 'spiritual development' or 'psychotherapy', is irrelevant; hypnotherapy can help you achieve your goals, according to your own beliefs.

The applications of hypnosis are endless, for instance, hypnosis can help with your meditation-practice. The hypnotic trance state and meditative state are very similar.
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Q: Why is 'letting go' such a popular theme in therapy?

A: The harder you fight something, the stronger it becomes.
When you are fighting something, you are giving it attention. This takes up 'brain-space', producing more of the same unwanted thoughts, worries, images and so on as you focus on the very thing you are fighting or trying to escape. Generally, anything you pay attention to, grows. This becomes a vicious circle that simply absorbs energy, eroding your strengths, making you feel worse over time. For instance, think of people suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The more they focus on trying not to think or do something, the more difficult it becomes to resist that urge.

'Letting something go' is often the first step towards healing, both physically and mentally. 'Letting go' can re-direct a person's focus from a negative goal (for example; "I must sleep or else I will feel tired tomorrow and then... " for insomnia), to a positive goal. The ability to let go is one of the most difficult skills to acquire, but, in my opinion, it is the most useful skill you will ever learn. It is related to acceptance, forgiveness, confidence, the ability to move on in life, let the past be the past and focus on the present, and paradoxically, self-control. Letting go relaxes the body and mind, making room for constructive thoughts and actions, saving your energy, leading you to make decisions for your own benefit, instead of wasting precious time on decisions and actions that are based on for example, revenge or guilt, or the desire to prove your self-worth to others.
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