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How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

If you're curious about hypnotherapy, how it works and what to expect, these commonly asked questions and answers should help explain the key things you need to know before you get started.


What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a combination of talking therapy, (evidence-based Solution Focused Brief Therapy), with hypnosis. It helps you make changes both consciously and subconsciously. The approach is based on the latest research from neuroscience and incorporates the very best elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

The talking therapy itself is extremely beneficial and is a tried and tested psychotherapeutic process. Rather than dwelling on the problem itself, questions are carefully asked by your therapist to help you draw on your own strengths and resources that help you move forward gradually and become more solution focused. Because it is a brief therapy, change can happen relatively quickly by helping you create new neural connections that change the way you process and interpret information, therefore helping you change your response to the events in your life too.

Hypnosis or 'trance' is a very natural, relaxing state, where you remain in complete control. Encouraged using guided relaxation your therapist will continue talking as you relax often using powerful metaphors and stories which your subconscious mind can interpret and focus on at the deepest level. Positive suggestions are made that may be useful to help bring about your desired changes. Crucially, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses practical, structured, and well-researched strategies to help you make significant, positive changes quickly, focusing on the future instead of analysing the past.

What can Hypnotherapy help with?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help improve many conditions and symptoms that are often related to stress, anxiety, and depression. It is also a fantastic therapy for treating sleep problems, chronic pain, IBS, motivation, confidence, and phobias. The solution focused approach is also effective in helping in other areas such as sports performance and business, helping clients to maximise their performance to achieve their goals.

Does online hypnotherapy work?

Yes, online hypnotherapy is just as effective as face to face sessions. In fact, some people prefer working online with their therapist because they are more relaxed and comfortable in their own space or home. Choosing to begin hypnotherapy online gives you the opportunity to choose a therapist from many different locations as there is no need to travel, sessions can take place wherever you are in the world via Zoom, and I often work with clients based in the US, Europe and around the world from my UK practice. Find out more about online sessions with Andrew here.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works for many emotional and physical conditions by combining positive talking therapy and coaching with hypnosis. During the first half of the session, we talk and avoid past problems, and instead focus on the future. You're encouraged to think and express yourself in a positive way which helps you to change your thought patterns and reduce underlying stresses. Because hypnotherapy is a brain-based therapy, you'll also learn how the brain works in relation to your issues, but importantly what can be done to help.

Hypnosis uses guided relaxation techniques to calm your body and mind. As you listen to your therapist, you will be guided into a relaxed state of focused attention by asking you to imagine certain things. Positive suggestions are made to help you make changes subconsciously by encouraging a shift in perspective. It allows your mind to reflect on the ideas and solutions discussed during our session to understand how they can help you.


What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis or trance is simply a state of focused attention. In this relaxed state, your mind is more responsive to suggestion. In a therapeutic setting, either online or face to face, suggestions are designed to be beneficial to help you change unhelpful thought patterns. During the trance state you are fully in control, you'll process the suggestions and decide whether the information shared is useful, if not you will simply not accept it.

It's important to be comfortable and fully relaxed during hypnosis, either in a comfortable reclining chair, sofa, or bed if you are having hypnotherapy online. Alternatively, your therapist will offer you a therapy couch or reclining chair in their clinic. As you close your eyes, your therapist will talk with some gentle background music and guide you into further relaxation. You may find your mind wandering quite a bit, but that doesn't matter. All you need to do is relax. Everything suggested will be designed to bring about positive changes by helping you change your thought patterns. You don't normally need to talk or reveal anything about yourself during hypnosis. Hypnosis feels very relaxing, many people describe it as 'guided daydreaming', You can often hear everything that's being said whilst being in a deeply relaxed state.

Does hypnosis work online?

Yes, hypnosis does work online, because the hypnotic state, (or trance state), doesn't rely on having a therapist in the room with you. As humans, we all go in and out of the hypnotic trance state naturally, several times a day, often when were focused on the task in hand. Have you ever been watching a good film or reading a book and completely lost track of time? Trance is a very natural and safe state where you'll remain in complete control and one that can be easily achieved as your listen to the therapist guiding you into the relaxed state of focused attention.

You can read more about hypnotherapy and how hypnosis actually works in my recent blog, 'What's the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

What does hypnosis feel like?

People describe hypnosis, or trance as an extremely relaxing and uplifting experience. It helps you achieve a very calm mental and physical relaxed state. During hypnosis you are fully in control listening to your therapist as they guide you into relaxation and make positive suggestions where your mind can reflect and think about solutions and life differently which helps you make positive changes.

There is no right or wrong way to feel during hypnosis either. It’s just a matter of relaxing and allow you mind to listen, you might even find you mind wandering quite a bit, but that’s all part of the process.

Can everyone be hypnotised?

Yes, most people can be hypnotised although the experience or depth of trance differs for everyone. For the purposes of this therapy a simple light trance state is very effective for most issues and can be achieved easily using guided relaxation techniques. You’ll find it easier to achieve a hypnotic state with continued practice by using my guided hypnotic relaxation audio track at home in between sessions. 

Can I drive after a hypnosis session?

Yes, it is safe to drive and resume normal activities immediately after having hypnosis and finishing your hypnotherapy session. Hypnosis or entering the trance is something we all do several times per day as humans, and so it is completely natural and normal and therefore safe to drive following your session with your therapist face to face or online.


What happens at the initial consultation for hypnotherapy?

The initial consultation and assessment is one of the most important sessions, the beginning of real focus and change. Together we'll explore what you want to achieve and how many sessions may be required. I'll explain how hypnotherapy works and I'll briefly explore how the mind works in relation to your issues and how if you're willing to make changes, hypnotherapy can help you achieve your goals. You'll also receive a complimentary guided hypnotic relaxation audio track to listen to at home which sets the wheels in motion for your subsequent sessions.

What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

Hypnotherapy sessions begin by typically talking about the positive things that have been happening for you and how you have noticed or made any changes in your daily life that make a difference and move you towards your goals. We'll discuss aspects of mindset and how the brain works relating to your experiences to help you keep the momentum going.


In Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, we'll use some focused questions to help you visualise and consider ideas and solutions tat can help you to move forward in your life.

Once the talking is finished, it's time to relax and listen as you're guided into a relaxed state, where your mind can wander and focus on and further absorb and reflect on the thoughts that have been discovered in your session. After each session, you will feel more mentally and physically calmer, positive, and more optimistic about your future.

How long does a hypnotherapy session last?

On average hypnotherapy sessions last between 50 – 60 minutes. Most hypnotherapists suggest holding sessions weekly sessions initially for best results. Some clients continue with therapy monthly after their initial changes have been made to boost their results and maintain a positive mindset as part of their selfcare regime.

How do I prepare for my hypnotherapy session?

You don’t need to do anything specific to prepare for your session, but you will need to come with a willingness and motivation for change. If you are having online hypnotherapy, you will need a quiet place to talk freely where you cannot be interrupted. Wear comfortable clothes that help you relax and having a soft blanket is a good idea during hypnosis to keep you warm and cosy. And headphones work well to help you feel fully immersed during trance. 

How many hypnotherapy sessions will I need?

The number of hypnotherapy sessions required for lasting change is different for everyone because each of is unique in terms of our feelings and experiences. Sometimes change happens fairly quickly for clients, for others it can take longer. Some clients return after a successful treatment programme on a monthly basis to maintain their focus, which some call ‘mind management’.

We’ll discuss the number of sessions required at your initial consultation, whilst Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand, the solution focused approach does help you create positive change in a relatively short period of time.

How often should you have hypnotherapy sessions?

Hypnotherapy sessions typically happen weekly initially. At your initial consultation and assessment, we’ll discover how many sessions we think it is likely to take and tailor the approach for your needs. We review your progress each week as we move forward and as change happens and you feel better or begin to reach your goals, we may choose to leave more time between sessions. A good hypnotherapist will be guided by their clients needs at each session and tailor their approach accordingly. 


What qualifications do you have to practise hypnotherapy?

I trained at the prestigious Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training School (CPHT), which is a recognised, accredited Centre of Excellence in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. I have been awarded the Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (DSFH). I’ve also been awarded the prestigious Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD).

The letters AfSFH (Reg) and CNHC after my name demonstrate that I have received a high standard of training and have had my credentials checked, approved and validated by the professional organisations that I have voluntarily registered with. I have to provide evidence of ongoing training and professional development as well as supervision to these organisations. The CNHC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners and is sponsored by the Department of Health. Its key function is to enhance public protection by setting standards for registration. You can view my details with these professional organisations by checking their websites:

What is your hypnotherapy confidentiality policy?

I adhere to a code of professional conduct as documented with the following professional associations that I am registered with: Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH), The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and The National Council of Hypnotherapists (NCH).They ensure I uphold high standards of confidentiality. All information discussed or recorded during our sessions is fully confidential and treated with care. Your information is not shared unless you provide express permission for me to do so. I have professional supervisors with whom I may discuss your sessions with, in all cases client anonymity will be respected. This ensures that you receive a high quality of care. 

Does hypnotherapy work and can you guarantee success?

Therapists should never guarantee 100% success, no such claims should ever be made. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process and success is dependent on your desire and commitment to the therapy and for making changes in your life. I have received a high level of training and have experience of working with a broad range of clients with many differing conditions. We’ll review your progress each week and you are in control of how many sessions you feel you need to reach your desired outcome. 

Book your initial hypnotherapy consultation

If you're ready for change, start by booking a free initial chat with Andrew to ask questions and make sure hypnotherapy is the best approach for you. 


During this call we will:

  • Talk about the problems you're experiencing
  • Explain how to overcome them
  • Tell you how hypnotherapy actually works
  • Explain the best treatment options
  • Answer all of your questions