If you’ve never experienced hypnotherapy before, you’re probably curious to know what actually happens in a session of hypnosis. Each session will be a bit different and it will obviously depend on what issue you want to work on, but I hope this will give you some idea:
Initial assessment session
Your first session will be an initial assessment session, in which I find out as much as possible about what the issue is and how it’s affecting you. I also explain how hypnosis works and what’s involved in hypnotherapy and you can ask any questions you might have, so that you’re completely comfortable with the whole process.
In many respects, the initial assessment session is the most important session, because I use the information I gather from it to plan your sessions. After the initial assessment session, I give you a session plan, so that you know how many sessions I recommend and what I recommend that we cover in sessions.
Although hypnosis is the main therapy I use, I’m trained as a cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapist, which means I draw on techniques from cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy. Hypnosis on its own and cognitive-behavioural therapy on its own are very effective, but combined together, they are even more powerful – that’s why I do both. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques can also be extremely helpful too, so I use them in sessions.
In some sessions, there may not be any hypnosis, because we’re focusing on important skills and techniques that will help you make the changes you want to make, long-term. For the vast majority of my clients, relaxation is an essential skill to master. It’s one of the best things you can learn to help with any form of anxiety or stress, with fears and phobias, with insomnia and IBS – even with stopping smoking and weight loss. I usually spend one session helping you find the relaxation techniques you can build into your day easily and teaching you cue-controlled relaxation. This is a must-have technique that means, with practice, you are able to turn on relaxation at will, whenever you want to, wherever you are.
A typical session runs something like this:
- We’ll spend a few minutes following up from the previous session on anything I’ve recommended that you do between sessions, on what improvements you’ve noticed and on anything else that’s been going on for you.
- The first half of the session will then be spent looking at how you can make changes. This could involve analysing negative thinking patterns, which are causing you problems, and coming up with more helpful and realistic thoughts that you’ll focus on instead. It could involve discussing how you want to behave differently in a particular situation, for example how you can be relaxed and confident, well-prepared, and speak clearly and calmly, when giving a talk in public.
- Sometimes, it’s important to use the whole session to really nail the new thinking or behaviour patterns that are going to make the difference for you. Sometimes, I may take you through some powerful NLP techniques to give you a different perspective on things or to help heal past experiences and memories that are still troubling you. I’ll always discuss this with you in advance, so you understand why I’m suggesting a particular approach.
- Usually though, the second half of the session is taken up with hypnosis. Firstly, I help you to relax and go into hypnosis. When you’re in hypnosis, you’re able to shut off the normal distractions going on in your mind and you’re able to focus intently on helpful ideas. I take you through a process of imagining yourself thinking and behaving in the ways we discussed in the first half of the session. In hypnosis you become much more receptive, so that the helpful thoughts and behaviour come much more easily to you outside of hypnosis.
- Finally, in the last part of the session, we review what we’ve covered and agree what you will do before the next session to put things into practice.