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Hypnotherapy attempts to address an individual’s subconscious mind, using the power of suggestion for beneficial change. A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to give relevant, positive beneficial suggestions to help an individual bring about the change they desire.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a type of complementary therapy that is widely promoted as a treatment for various long-term conditions, despite the fact that there is no strong evidence to support its effectiveness.

Hypnotherapy is not usually provided on the NHS, however it’s a good idea to consult your GP before approaching a hypnotherapist, particularly if you suffer from clinical depression, epilepsy or schizophrenia. Some of the conditions that hypnotherapy is used for include:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Phobias
  • Giving up smoking
  • Weight loss
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Skin conditions

Types of hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapists will often combine hypnosis with other psychotherapy and counselling techniques to benefit individuals. The techniques used will depend on the issue the individual is seeking help for. There are two main types of hypnotherapy:

  • Suggestion Hypnotherapy – involves the hypnotherapist giving an individuals unconscious mind a series of ‘suggestions’. These suggestions can help an individual to find it easier to do something they want to do (e.g. public speaking) or easier to stop doing something they don’t want to do (e.g. smoking).
  • Analytical Hypnotherapy – involves psychotherapy using hypnosis. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to find the root cause of a problem, and deal with the issue. For example, a phobia may be ‘masked’ using suggestion therapy, however the root cause will still exist. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to identify the root cause and deal with it.

Does everyone respond to hypnotherapy?

According to the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH), it is estimated that 85% of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnotherapy. Some individuals are more likely to respond to hypnotherapy than others and having confidence in the technique helps.

It is important to recognise that it is not possible to hypnotise an individual against their will, and even if an individual is hypnotised, you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state if you want to.

What qualifications and experience should hypnotherapists have?

There are currently no laws in the UK about the training and registration of hypnotherapists. Hypnotherapists can register with a professional association of hypnotherapy with its own code of ethics and those who are members of a professional association will have met certain eligibility requirements. You should always check their registration before visiting a hypnotherapist.

To find a hypnotherapist in your area, visit the Hypnotherapy Directory website.

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Last updated: August 3, 2020