10 Ways to get the best from your Hypnotherapist
by Sara Longmuir BA (Hons, BSc (Hons), D. Hyp, PDCHyp, Dip. Psych. Couns.
1. Do some research
Choose carefully. Phone a shortlist of hypnotherapists in your area and ask a few questions such as:
• How does hypnosis work?
• Have they worked with people like you?
• How many sessions do they envisage?
• What training have they had?
• Do they offer support between sessions?
If their answers are open and you feel comfortable about how they sound, this can be a good first step.
2. Ask about the cost!
Calling to establish prices may give you an idea of price but not of quality: better qualified hypnotherapists may charge more but may save you in the long run by being more effective more quickly.
With the exception of one session smoking cessation, your hypnotherapy may take a number of sessions, so take this into account.
3. Play your part
Any therapy is a partnership. The hypnotherapist brings their skills, you bring knowledge of you. Be honest and open with your therapist. If you don't feel that you trust them, go back to step 1. and find another therapist.
4. Talk about the trance state
A hypnotic trance is not like you see it in stage hypnosis – that's entertainment – clinical hypnosis is therapeutic. People may experience trance differently: some feel heavy, some light, some drift off into a sleep-like state, some can hear every word that's said.
Your therapist will have lots of techniques to help you access trance and can vary what s/he does to suit you. Talk to your therapist in advance about what it might be like and let them know afterwards how you experienced it.
5. Tell us how you feel!
Hypnosis is likely to involve you closing your eyes, sitting in a room with a hypnotist who you've only just met. Not the most naturally relaxed of situations!
If you don't feel comfortable, physically, or with your therapist, say so, “I'm not feeling very comfortable”. Sometimes we feel a sense of politeness and believe that the therapist must be right, but a good therapist would much prefer to hear any doubts or queries. Then s/he can put your mind at rest. When you are relaxed with your hypnotherapist, you're more likely to get the outcome that you want from the therapy.
6. Know that change can happen quickly and sometimes it takes a bit longer
Hypnosis can feel magical. Sometimes people make big changes that feel natural and easy, like stopping smoking after a single hypnotherapy session. But not everyone! If your issue has been with you for many years, it may take a number of sessions for you to create the new patterns of thinking and behaving that you want.
7. Be prepared for ‘homework'!
Your hypnotherapy session takes up a fraction of your day. Be ready to do your part in continuing your progress between sessions; your therapist may ask you to do ‘homework assignments'. These are negotiable! But it's good to begin to do some things differently. Then you'll more quickly re-establish feelings of control over your issue and you'll avoid becoming dependent on your therapist.
8. Follow up
You may want to choose a hypnotherapist who offers support between sessions via e-mail or phone. With any form of personal change, you may experience things that you want to talk about with your therapist before the next session is due. Do check whether they offer this before you choose them!
9. Focus on what you want
We tend to get more of what we focus on. So instead of focusing on the ‘problem' start thinking of what it'll be like when the problem has gone away completely. What will you be doing? How will you be thinking and feeling? Look for your successes and take small action steps towards what you want. It really will help you to get there.
10. Keep a journal so you can monitor your change
One of the curious features of change is that once it has occurred, we happily blank out the old state of mind. Keeping a journal or making notes after the sessions will help you to see how far you've come.
Spread the word!
Many people can benefit from hypnosis but are nervous of taking that first step. When you've achieved amazing results through hypnotherapy, please pass on the details of your hypnotherapist to family and friends. Spread the word!
Sara Longmuir is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Executive Coach with practices in Oxford Street London W1, Pinner in Middlesex and at Pinewood Studios. Contact her on 020 8866 8620 or 07941 015 866 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.saralongmuir.co.uk