Jason Demant has worked as hypnotherapist in London for ten years.
Jason, can you explain more about what a hypnotherapist in London does?
Well, as a hypnotherapist in London, I see people for a whole range of different concerns. People might come to me for general anxiety issues, also addictions. So I will see people, in particular, for quitting smoking, also overeating, under eating and other food relationship concerns. I also help people with other addictions, for example, drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography. Indeed anything else that feels a little bit out of control or addictive. You can define an addiction as any behaviour or habit that you feel a little bit out of control about or it is negatively impacting on your life in some way. I also now help people with digestive issues, in particular IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. I now have a number of relationships with gastroenterologists and I receive referrals, seeing people to help reduce bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and the pain associated with IBS or other functional gut problems.
It’s really a real joy to do the work that I do. And often people might just be coming because they feel down or depressed or stuck in a rut. They’re not quite sure where to turn. So I’m always happy to help people and there’s often going to be people that I can’t help and they require more in depth psychological help. They may need to see a psychotherapist, psychologist or if they’re in quite serious unhappiness or distress, the first stop would probably be seeing their GP and they may even need medication.
Unlike a psychotherapist or counsellor, people don’t often come to me for a long period of time. So, for example, a psychotherapist may have clients who come to see them for months or even years. However, as a hypnotherapist, clients normally come for maybe one or two sessions. Though I do have some clients that will come for a few months. It really depends on the goals that we work on together. I also provide life coaching and other counselling services, so that can also be a more open ended counselling relationship.
Why did you choose to become a hypnotherapist here in London?
My background started in informal education, youth work and teaching. Over the past years I have also worked in three hospices, supporting people facing the end of life. Palliative care is something I am very passionate about. Some patients were living with cancer though many were also battling other life limiting conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure.
Early in my career I taught in a secondary school and I also did a lot of informal education and I really enjoyed that. And then it just so happened that I was living abroad. I happened to be living in Israel and I stumbled into doing work on a counselling hotline. It was a bit like the Samaritans and was aimed at university age students. And I really enjoyed this work and even though some of the calls were at times quite distressing, I loved the work and I really felt that I wanted to move my career in a more therapy direction. And that was about 13 or 14 years ago. And so I thought about taking various counselling courses and I took a course in life coaching and a course in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). And I enjoyed these immensely and I started seeing clients. At that time I noticed already that I was gravitating towards seeing people with addictive issues. Addictions have become a real specialty for me now, as a hypnotherapist working daily in London.
I saw a lot of people with overeating or food relationship concerns or people who simply wanted to lose weight. It just felt right that the next step for me was to then train in hypnotherapy. So, when I came back to England, which was about 12 years ago, I trained to become a hypnotherapist in a small college in central London. And since then I have been working as a hypnotherapist, at times part time, but now full time, seeing clients in central and north London. I’m very pleased that I chose to train to become a hypnotherapist in London as I really love what I do. It suits me very well since I really enjoy analyzing and helping people, delving into the various reasons and underlying patterns for their behaviour. I simply enjoy seeing people improve their lives and move in a positive direction.
Hypnotherapy is a very powerful tool. And I saw that for myself since during some times in the past, when I’ve had some extremely difficult periods in my life, I found that I had some panic attacks. I saw a hypnotherapist myself and it was hypnotherapy that actually helped reduce those panic attacks. So I saw for myself the real power that hypnosis and hypnotherapy can have for people.
Can you describe what a session with a hypnotherapist in London, such as yourself, is like?
So I don’t always know what other therapists do, but I can outline how I work. Normally I encourage people to initially speak with me on the phone, before booking a session. I offer a free phone consultation and that’s really good, so that I can explain more about what happens during sessions and a potential client can also explain to me about what’s going on and what they would like to achieve during sessions or what they would like to work on. Following that, I will email details which will include a brief background questionnaire and also I will send what I call a ‘working agreement’. This is really a document which sets out terms and conditions of how hypnotherapy sessions work. As a hypnotherapist, just like any other therapist it is very important that both therapist and client are clear on boundaries and expectations. Then it’s simply a matter of booking a time and then having that first session. If there’s an urgent need, a hypnotherapy session can be scheduled within a day or two. There’s no real reason to have to wait a long time.
When it comes to the session itself, my sessions, in general, are for 50 minutes. However my quit smoking programme is different. Being a hypnotherapist in London, my sessions can be a mixture of talking and hypnotherapy (hypnosis). Often in a first session there will be approximately 20 minutes of talking and then about 25 minutes or half an hour of hypnotherapy. If somebody is coming for more sessions, some of those sessions will have all hypnosis, whilst some sessions there will be no hypnotherapy at all. This is because I will do what I feel is most productive at that time to help a client towards the goals they have set to reach.
Something that may make me unique as a hypnotherapist is that I ensure sessions are an active process. Therefore I always mention that I will set little home assignments for people to do during the days between sessions. And this is important to really embed the work we do during hypnotherapy sessions. The aim is to help people take charge and be more empowered and look after their progress during the week. So the hypnosis sessions aren’t just a once a week one off event. The good work that we’re doing is continued during the week as well.
People come to see me as a hypnotherapist in London for what’s called ‘gut directed hypnotherapy’. These are hypnosis interventions tailor-made for functional digestive issues affecting the gut, such as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive issues, or stress related conditions such fibromyalgia. I have also had success with people referred by London gastroenterologists, who are suffering with Crohn’s Disease or Colitis. For people with gut or digestive concerns I will give hypnosis recordings to listen to daily. This is also the case for teens I see with IBS or similar conditions. I also regularly receive referrals from London paediatric gastroenterologists.
My quit smoking program is normally a two session program. The first session is for 90 minutes. And then the second session is for 50 minutes.
Is being a hypnotherapist in London challenging?
Well, I think it’s challenging from the perspective that there are quite a few therapists in central London. So there is a lot of competition and so it can feel sometimes that the market is a bit saturated! There are plenty of psychotherapists or other types of counsellors and a lot of other hypnotherapists too in a small area. For example, I work in the Harley street district of London on Harley street. So there are quite a few people working, even in the same building as me, as hypnotherapists close by. So there’s the marketing challenge of helping to ensure that people find out about me and explaining to people what I do. One advantage of getting to know related professionals is that I now have a network of trusted practitioners to whom I can refer people. So if I need a dietitian, IBS doctor (gastroenterologist), psychiatrist or therapist, I have some wonderfully skilled people I know to call upon.
Other challenges can be logistical problems which anybody would face, whether they work in central London or somewhere else. So for example, a lot of people really want to come and have sessions after work rather than during the day. So it’s important that I am available in the evenings, which I am on Harley Street. I also have some weekend appointments too.
The main challenge for me which I really enjoy is trying to understand and help people as best I can. So sometimes somebody will come with a phobia or with some anxiety or stress and they’re not really quite sure what is the cause of it. So part of the challenge is to help them, in fact really facilitate their own investigation and digging deep and exploring what’s really truly going on. And a real challenge can often be ensuring that in all cases, the solutions and what we do is their agenda, not mine. So that I’m always working together with a person and not imposing anything on them.
How are you different from other therapists or hypnotherapists in London?
I would say that how I differ, as a hypnotherapist in London, from colleagues, is my way of working. My aim in therapy sessions is to really explore and dig deep into the underlying causes of what’s going on for a person. So rather than boasting that I can cure you in one hypnosis session or stop you smoking in under an hour, my main aim is to really get to the root causes of the smoking or the anxiety or the phobia. I don’t want it showing up again. I want my hypnotherapy or therapy sessions will provide a long term solution. I do know that some hypnotherapists advertise that they can somehow magically cure you in one session or similar promises or guarantees. I do not do that. However, compared to other therapists, for example, a psychotherapist, I do work in a much shorter timeframe. So somebody who comes to see me for depression or anxiety, it wouldn’t be for months or years, but rather more of a question of weeks.
My sessions are very, very focused and goal orientated. I want to ensure that there’s no time wasted during the sessions, that everything we talk about and all conversation is really geared to that one question which is always in my mind, “how can I right now best help you to achieve your goals?” It’s so important, as a hypnotherapist to have that focus.
Also I’m available between sessions by email and I’m even happy for people to call me up to ask anything. I think it’s important that I’m not seen as just once a week and that’s it. And for some people that session once a week is divided up. So now, currently, I have a client where his 50 minute session is divided. It’s 25 minutes one day and then it’s about 30 or however many minutes on another day at the end of the week. It is good to ensure sessions work for people, to ensure progress and momentum is maintained.
What advice would you give someone thinking of becoming a hypnotherapist in London?
Well, that’s a really interesting question. I would say, just as with any therapy, it’s important to ask yourself the reasons why you wish to jump into such a career. Often somebody wants to become a therapist because, on some level, maybe even subconsciously, they wish to cure or help themselves with issues that they have. They feel that by training in this field they will sort themselves out. So it’s important to be aware of any agenda that you might have. If you are considering becoming a hypnotherapist I would look around and see what you think may be right for you or not right for you. Perhaps have a session with a hypnotherapist in London or close to where you live. See how you feel or think about the session and if the hypnotherapy approach suits you.
Of course there are many different ways that one can approach different concerns. For example, anxiety can be treated through hypnotherapy, but it can also be treated through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or EMDR, which is about a reprogramming and desensitizing of the way that we look through our eyes.
So there are many different approaches and you might ask yourself if you prefer one approach in particular. Often a CBT therapist will only do CBT. However you may decide that it’s useful to have a number of different approaches in your skill set. Then when a client says something or raises an issue, you have an intuition or a feeling of what would work at that present moment for you to respond or say.
To be a good therapist, it’s really about being present and having good listening skills. Often it’s not even so much about the type of therapy on offer. It’s about the relationship that is created by the therapist with their client. If you’re able to listen and be present, you can create a very nurturing, open and nonjudgmental atmosphere. Often that will be what’s needed for somebody to feel confident and enough trust to open up and share with you. It always feels a real honour that people are willing to share and open up about their lives with me. I know that they really don’t have to. They could quite easily speak to somebody else. But my advice to you, if you want to become a hypnotherapist is to read up on it. Maybe speak to a variety of hypnotherapists who take different approaches. And also maybe you might consider if there’s something in particular you would want to specialize in. For example some hypnotherapists specialise in quitting smoking, whilst some hypnotherapists will only see clients with IBS or digestive issues. Some hypnotherapists really focus on hypnosis for phobias. They do that really well. Other hypnotherapists specialise in treating addictions or pain, for example. So that might be something to think about. But also you might find that there are certain issues in your life that point to some expertise you have. So for example, if you come from a business background, then you may find that actually you would be really suited to helping people in the business world, in the city of London. People who work in banking, finance or the law and have concerns you are familiar with from your previous career.
As a hypnotherapist in London, have you had any challenging or interesting clients?
I find each client to be really fascinating and interesting because it’s always interesting how people think about their lives. I’ve had a few people with interesting concerns, so that might be an interesting phobia. For example, I had somebody who had a phobia of holes or bumps. I was really happy that I was able to help them in one session, which was great. In the past, when I worked in Golders Green, North London, I had people who asked me to carryout past life regression hypnotherapy. This involves taking somebody through memories into their memories before they were born. You then help them use that information, the imagery that appears, to help them with whatever they’re concerned about right now in the present day.
Interestingly, for example, I have had concurrently say five or six different people who all wish to quit smoking. Then inevitably you’ll have that same number, five or six, completely different approaches to that habit. Everyone is so unique, which means that the very same nicotine habit will bring out each person’s unique personalities. As a hypnotherapist I really am fascinated by how everyone has their own unique ways of dealing with things and viewing the world.
I often see people from interesting careers or walks of life. A group of people I enjoy helping are those experiencing chronic pain because often chronic pain is masking something underneath it. This could be some trauma or difficult life experiences. So it can be challenging to help someone bring that out and become aware of it. Often, since pain does, of course, feel very physical, it’s easy to not fully realize that there’s normally also an emotional or psychological component. This connection, the two way influence of the mind and the body together, I find to be really, really fascinating. Hypnosis work is particularly suited to bringing out things on a subconscious level, which as a hypnotherapist is one of my skills.
What is the best way to contact you to book a hypnotherapy session in London?
You can contact me via my website, www.jasondemant.com. You can also email me or you can phone me. I’m always more than happy to speak on the phone at length to hear more about what’s going on and discuss and explain more about hypnotherapy sessions. It’s really important that you feel comfortable.
I also offer online therapy sessions by Skype or by Zoom. You can book Skype therapy sessions by emailing me. When booking online or Skype therapy, I always ask that sessions are paid for in advance, before the session.
As a hypnotherapist in London, can you recommend any books about self-development?
I’m always recommending books. However it really depends on the area that you’re interested in. If you’re interested in time management or goals, then I would recommend Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. When it comes to issues around addiction and addictive patterns or digestive conditions such as IBS, I would recommend looking up on YouTube or reading any books by Gabor Mate.
If you’re concerned about sex addiction or pornography addiction, I recommend Facing the Shadow by Patrick Carnes. This is actually a book that I regularly ask some of my clients to work through to accompany our work together.
Another book that I like a lot is Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. For many clients, I will recommend books to read which are very much focused on what their concerns are.
Thank you Jason for sharing your thoughts with us. For more information about Jason Demant, Hypnotherapist in London, visit his site, JasonDemant.com.