I have been seeing clients make wonderful positive changes using hypnotherapy in London for close to a decade. My main office is just a few minutes from Harley Street in London. In this article I will explain what hypnotherapy is, its benefits, and its uses. Along the way, I will try to address some common misconceptions too.
Several years ago, when I started practicing hypnotherapy in London, I specialised in weight loss, smoking and phobias. Over the years, clients coming for hypnotherapy to my London practice, often simply wish to feel more calm and clarity about everyday situations. They might feel anxiety or stress or have found that an addictive pattern has begun. They opt for hypnotherapy to reduce habits and patterns and just feel good again. However, as you will discover, I in fact use a number of tools and not just hypnosis, to reduce stress and anxiety. When a client comes for a session, we together look at what is really going on, the root causes of the stress, anxiety, unwanted pattern or addiction.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy, put simply, is a way to guide you into a state of relaxation and calm. It is a guided trance-like state. When you think about it, hypnotherapy is actually not so different from when you get highly engrossed in a book or TV show. We all do that sometimes! The difference is simply that I guide you to that state. It is like a form of focused concentration and as such is perfectly safe. When I give clients sessions of hypnotherapy in London, at my practice close to Harley Street, I explain fully the process. Even though you are in a trance, during hypnosis, you are aware of your surroundings and what I say. This means that if an alarm sounded or during your hypnotherapy session I said something a little strange or weird, you would notice that. You might indeed open your eyes. Since this trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even in one’s own thoughts, it is also very pleasant and relaxing. In this hypnosis state, clients can turn their attention to what needs looking at, without the chatter of their more ‘conscious’ mind jumping in. Using hypnosis, someone can find and utilise their natural resources. These might be calm, patience, determination, wisdom, confidence or whatever is found deep within themselves. It’s great to see clients who come to see me for hypnotherapy in London’s West End, discover that they already had the inner resources to cope or change. Hypnotherapy can really help someone make positive changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.
What Are the Benefits of Hypnosis?
Through being guided into a hypnotic state, my many clients for hypnotherapy in London will tell you that their minds feel more calm and open to considering different possibilities and ways to view situations. Using hypnotherapy, you can gain success in overcoming or helping reduce the impact of many conditions, including:
Hypnosis is very effective for changing outlook and lessening unhelpful thought patterns. Working in central London, close to Harley Street, I find that hypnotherapy is also helpful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.
When Is Hypnotherapy Used?
I use hypnotherapy in London as a treatment in its own right. Hypnosis can be used to accompany other treatment methods also. For example, using it together with psychotherapeutic interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. To help reduce overeating, a hypnotherapist may advise that a dietician be consulted as well.
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety, phobias, substance abuse including tobacco, alcohol, cocaine or ecstasy or for sexual dysfunction, sex addiction, undesirable spontaneous behaviours and bad habits. It can be used to help improve as well interpersonal communication and relationship issues. Hypnotherapy can aid in pain management and help resolve medical conditions such as digestive disorders. It can help calm the experience of pregnancy and treatments including chemotherapy. Indeed using hypnosis to aid giving birth, or ‘hypnobirth’, has become popular in recent years. Hypnotherapy can also be used by dentists and hypnotherapists to help patients control their fears, reduce pain, or to treat teeth grinding.
How It Works
Hypnosis, as I use it in my Harley Street London practice, is not like many other therapies that a counsellor or psychotherapist might use. Rather it is a tool or procedure that helps facilitate a greater degree of contact with your subconscious. This really helps quieten the chatter of the more conscious mind. Since a hypnotherapist needs to know how to address and communicate with the more subconscious aspects of your mind, it is important that they are well trained. I received extensive training and I am a member of the main UK hypnotherapists’ professional body, The General Hypnotherapy Register. I, of course, have full insurance and regularly receive extra training, to improve my techniques.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnosis allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories. Sometimes these memories have become filed away by the mind, hidden, ‘forgotten’ from the conscious mind. In addition, hypnosis, as used by a professional hypnotherapist, enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.
When clients come to have sessions of hypnotherapy in London, I explain that hypnosis can be used in two main ways. There are, in general, two ways of using hypnotherapy. Either as ‘suggestion therapy’ or used in a different way, as ‘patient analysis’.
Suggestion therapy: Just by closing you eyes and relaxing, you are already more able to listen more openly to ‘suggestions’. This means that once in a more deeply relaxed state, the person is better able to respond to ‘suggestions’. Therefore, hypnotherapy can help some people change certain behaviours, such as stopping smoking or nail biting. This is achieved by a more direct conversational style in which I simply talk to you and you listen. It is a straightforward technique and I use it often in my London clinic. Using suggestions during hypnotherapy can also help people change perceptions and sensations and is particularly useful in treating pain and addictions.
Analysis: This approach to hypnotherapy uses the relaxed state to explore any possible psychological root causes of what is going on. I find that clients for hypnotherapy in London find this technique useful for something a little more complex in nature. This might be something related to a phobia or a traumatic past event that a person has hidden in his or her unconscious memory. Once the trauma is revealed, it can be addressed. This technique is very safe but does require some sessions to ensure the problem is addressed in a very safe and constructive way and also the memory is ‘closed’ and put back into a safe location in the subconscious again.
What Are the Drawbacks of Hypnosis?
I hope that you will enjoy any hypnotherapy sessions you might have. However hypnosis might not be appropriate for a person who has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. Also if you have, on that day, used any drugs or alcohol, hypnosis is not advised. Hypnotherapy should be used for pain control only after a doctor has evaluated the person for any physical disorder that might require medical or surgical treatment. Hypnotherapy is powerful and so if you have any concerns about your suitability, consult your doctor first. I always ask new clients about their medical history and any mental health concerns before sessions are booked.
Is Hypnosis Dangerous?
Hypnosis is not a dangerous procedure. It is certainly not mind control or a form of brainwashing. As a therapist, I cannot make you do something embarrassing or indeed anything which, ordinarily, you would not wish to do. I often say to clients who come for hypnotherapy in London that the greatest risk is that it works! Since now you have to live with less anxiety, a reduced addictive pattern or worst of all, feeling more happiness!
What to Expect
Hypnosis can take place in different situations. We have all seen on television stage hypnotists. However, when it comes to helping people overcome challenges, clinical hypnotherapy is very different. I don’t make you ‘cluck like a chicken’! With clients for hypnotherapy in London, I ensure your hypnotherapy is carried out in a calm and therapeutic environment. After a conversation about your concerns and challenges, I will guide you into a relaxed, focused state. I may ask you to think about memories, experiences and situations in a different more empowered and positive way. The aim is to re-think things and thereby help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some more dramatic or controlling portrayals of hypnosis in films, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious or asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. Rather than be unaware, you will in fact hear all of what is said. Like in any conversation, you can listen but t is totally up to you whether or not to act on the suggestions I may give you during hypnotherapy sessions.
Here is the transcription of a very short hypnosis session
Most sessions are more in-depth than this. However, use it as a guide to some of the relaxing language and imagery you may hear in a session.
Whenever you’re ready, just go ahead and close your eyes. Make sure you’re in a very comfortable spot. Make sure your head and neck are supported with your eyes closed so you can enjoy this hypnosis experience. Feel the comfort of where your head, your hands and your feet are resting. That’s right. And then take a nice deep breath in. Wonderful and breathe out. Perfect with each and every breath. As you breathe naturally and freely, you’re beginning to tune out of the world out there. It’s okay to forget about work. Forget about the past few days and forget about the upcoming days. Forget about everything and everyone other than yourself. These minutes are completely about you.
They’re about your comfort, your peace of mind, your good health, and your ability to make a change. With each breath. Continue to relax, feel good entering this hypnotherapy trance, and let go. That’s right between my words. You’ll be aware of the music rising and falling. All outside sounds are unimportant and irrelevant and my voice only serves to guide your imagination, your feelings and your experience. That’s right. Then bring your attention to the top of your head. Become aware of how the top of your head fields and imagine that for the past 30 minutes you have been getting a nice soothing scalp massage.
That’s right. It’s okay to let go and feel good, and then imagine that the relaxation this hypnosis experience is bringing you. You feel calm at the top of your head. This feeling of relaxation is now spreading down to relax and smooth out the muscles of your forehead. That’s right, and then the relaxation spreads down to relax all the muscles around your eyebrows, the relaxation than spreads down, and it’s easy to relax the muscles of your eyelids and all the muscles around your eyes. That’s right. They can just let go completely feel the relaxation that spreads all the way down to the muscles of your cheeks. All the muscles of your mouth relax and your jar relaxes. That’s right. Let go of any tension that those muscles had held here. It’s safe to relax. It’s safe to let go, and it’s safe to feel good.
Then feel that relaxation spread down to your neck, loosening the muscles, softening them and relaxing you all the way down to your shoulders. That’s right. Imagine that for hours somebody had been gently kneading at your shoulders, releasing the tension and the stress and making you feel so good, you absolutely deserve this comfort. You deserve this relaxation spread down to the muscles of your upper arms. Those muscles can be soft and loose and comfortable, and then the relaxation spreads down, down, past your elbows, into your forearms. Feel the relaxation spread down to your wrists, your hands and your fingers.
That’s right. The muscles are so soft and so loose and so comfortable, and then the relaxation spreads from your shoulders down, your back, down all the broad muscles of your back, all the way down to your lower back. Loosen each muscle along the way. That’s right. Then the relaxation spreads down into your hips, down to your legs. The muscles of your upper legs become soft and loose, comfortable and relaxed, and it feels so good just to let go. Feel the relaxation spread down all the way down past your knees into your calves. That’s right. The muscles of your calves become soft and loose and comfortable.
Okay, and then the relaxation goes all the way down. Down past your ankles, into your feet and even your toes can be soft and loose and comfortable from head to toe. Every muscle has relaxed deeply from head to toe. You’ve let go and as your body relaxes, your mind also begins to soften and loosen and your mind relaxes even more deeply.
Imagine that now you’re going down a plush soft cloud. As you hear me count backward, you’re sinking deeper and deeper into the deepest relaxation you can go into.
20 and you’re going deeper. 19 feeling good. 18 opening your mind. 17 relaxing your body. 16 deeper and deeper. 15 allowing changes. 14 in how you think. 13 how you feel. 12 and how you react. 11 to become empowered. 10 comfortable, nice and confident. Starting here. Seven and also in the world up there. Six and as you go all the way down far, the cloud starts to slow for as you sink deeper and deeper. Five.. Four…Three all the way down. Two… At one and here you are gently relax in body and mind.
I have been a guide, but you’re the one who did this. You’re the one who achieved this relaxation and within a matter of minutes in this state, it’s easier to feel and to feel good. It’s easier to imagine and to imagine a better future. It’s easier here to believe and to believe in yourself.
After all, you’re not either an animal guided by instinct nor a robot with buttons that can be pushed. You are a conscious living thinking, deciding human being. Your decisions absolutely matter. Your thoughts matter. Your needs matter. Your goals matter. You’re the only person in this world who gets to decide what you do with your life and you have every reason to be proud of that, to take to the task wholeheartedly and to embrace your creation of your own future with each and every breath. Who you were yesterday is not who you are today. Who you will be tomorrow won’t be who you are today.
In this hypnosis relaxation trance, you have the power to change your future and you have the power to act upon the world. You will live consciously. You’ll live wholeheartedly in pursuit of your goals and your hopes and your dreams. You’ll be on the path that you have selected for yourself. You’ve chosen to live a healthy, conscious, long life. There’s only one path forward. Reclaim your freedom. Reclaim your pride, reclaim your natural born happiness. Embrace with all your heart, the power that you have to decide your future. You’re the only one to walk your path.
You’ll discover deeper relaxation as I count down to One, slowly turn your attention outward. Slowly feel energy return to you with every count up and let every part of you mind, body and heart all come together to help you and support you in the path ahead.
Five.. Become now aware of where your hands, your head, and your feet are resting and how you now become present to each breath, which is now beginning to bring energy back into your system.
Four.. Become aware of the rise and fall of the notes of the music and maybe outside sounds become present to where you are, what time of day it is and all that you have planned.
Three..After this, you are emerging with a better understanding of hypnosis based on this experience and understanding that shows you that it’s okay to relax, look inward and take on new ideas.
Two.. Then feel energy come from the bottoms of your feet in a big way, all the way up to the top of your head, making you feel energized, making you feel refreshed, making you feel wonderful in every way, knowing that you’ve made a change and ready to come back to the road on fire in the time that you need.
One.. Let your eyes open and come fully back, Wide Awake!