Hypnotherapy: Effectiveness, Susceptibility and Feeling Safe

Hypnotherapy works through suggestion, not instruction and research shows that Hypnosis is an effective therapeutic tool, not just an entertaining trick, but how does feeling secure play a role in aiding change and how susceptible are you?

To learn How hypnotherapy could help fill your life with passion, meaning and purpose tap here

Fish being effective by leaping into a greater fishbowl, due to being safe and susceptible to hypnosis

Hypnotherapy Can Help You Feel Safe and Release Stuck Emotions

As a Hypnotherapist, I help you to enter a relaxed state where you become open to suggestion. If you have some experience of meditation, the state of hypnosis will bare some familiarity to you. In this state many things become possible that are less possible in normal waking life. With my guidance, you’ll be able to transcend beliefs and mindsets that have kept you from moving on from harmful thinking and behaviours and re-programme them.

Take, for example, anxiety. The more primitive parts of your brain may have, at some point during your life, used anxiety as a way to keep you safe from perceived danger. Children as young as 6 months old commonly experience separation anxiety in an effort to ensure they are cared for. At this age it is likely the only available behaviour to keep them safe. Typically we develop additional, more appropriate mechanisms to stay safe as we grow older and indeed to flourish. It is possible, however, for fearful reactions to continue to exist in some form, perhaps triggered through different circumstances, or indeed for us to develop new fears and reactions (Martin, 1998).

In adulthood it is not uncommon to feel anxious about, for example, moving on in life, about the threat of climate change, about life coming to an end, or indeed for no apparent reason. Hypnotherapy can offer you the flexibility to identify as an observer, as distinct from and enabling you to learn from these processes (Drigas and Mitsea, 2022).

Feeling Secure Catalyses Change

Hypnotherapy can help you to feel safe enough to be with the emotion, allowing your unconscious mind to process it, from the security of the therapeutic relationship, as the adult you are in this moment (Drigas and Mitsea, 2022). This is where the alchemy happens, where that which used to be seen as a problem can become seen as a gift.

How Suggestible are You to Hypnosis?

Hypnotic suggestibility varies a great deal according to context. To maximise the chance that you are susceptible and Hypnotherapy is effective, consider the following questions: Is this something you really want? Are you willing to invest your time and money for your outcome? Do you feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist and the setting for hypnosis? Are you confident that they are in a position to help you?

It can also depend on your general attitude towards hypnosis. When you have a positive attitude you are far more susceptible.

There are certain personality traits that can increase your potential for suggestibility. For example, a tendency to absorb yourself in and a respond “to sensory, cognitive, and imaginative experiences”.

Interestingly, people who are moderately or highly suggestible typically underestimate their level of suggestibility, so you may not be able to rely on your opinion of your own suggestibility. The best way to know for sure if you are hypnotically suggestible is to have an experience. Book a free “Get to Know Me” session (lasting up to 30 minutes) here.“Suggestion” is just as it says, even in a hypnotic trance. It is not mind control and you do not submit to the will of the hypnotherapist. As Dr. David Spiegel clarifies, “while most people fear losing control in hypnosis, it is in fact a means of enhancing mind-body control”.

If at any point you would like to exit a hypnotic trance, you are always capable and free to do so.

Got 4 minutes? Have a go at “The Lemon” Hypnotic Suggestibility test:

Microscope symbolising a search for evidence showing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy

How Effective is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy has a solid underpinning of research. Prestigious Clinical Psychologist Michael Yapko, recognised for applying hypnosis clinically states that “hypnosis works and the empirical support is unequivocal in that regard. It really does help people”.

Use of hypnotic interventions shows benefits for treating anxiety, depression and psychosomatic disorders, among other outcomes, according to Terhune et al., (2017) and there is stronger empirical support for hypnotic treatments in treating pain, irritable bowel syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder from Jensen et al., (2017).

Hypnotherapy for anxiety and Depression

In research conducted by Valentine et al. (2019) hypnotic treatments reduced anxiety by 79%, and at follow-up, more than 84%, for average participants compared with controls. Hypnosis is additionally “a very effective way of alleviating the symptoms of depression” (Milling et al., 2019).

Hypnotherapy combined with other forms of therapy

While hypnotherapy works as a standalone treatment, it combines effortlessly with other forms of therapy. Therefore, hypnosis can form part of any toolkit of therapies for mental wellbeing practitioners to help clients with conditions that have so far been untreatable (Whorwell, 2008,  cited in Sutton, 2021, PositivePsychology.com).

What are the Differences Between Hypnotherapy and Coaching Sessions?

During Hypnotherapy sessions I coach you to help you to the point where hypnosis will have the greatest effect. I then use hypnosis to:

-Help you deeply embed perceptual shifts and belief changes

-Visualise with greater richness and clarity

-Have the changes manifest as they it were second nature

Two contrasting types of tree, tacitly demonstrating the contrast between hypnotherapy and coaching
Person embracing fear, due to being susceptible to effective hypnotherapy

Which Kinds of Issues have I Helped People Overcome?

I always aim to help my clients gain passion, meaning and purpose in life and not only to help them overcome symptoms of anxiety and depression. Here are some other ways I have helped people:

-Mental and emotional impacts of long COVID

-Climate anxiety

-mid-life, quarter-life and end-of-life crises

-Other existential crises

-Identity crises

-Relationship issues

-Mental and emotional impacts of cancer diagnosis

-Panic attacks

-Sleep issues

-Stuttering / Stammering

-Addictive behaviours (including smoking, alcohol, drugs and video games)

-Weight loss

-Fears and phobias (including dogs, heights, spiders, needles, MRI scanners, open water and flying)


-and many more

My Hypnotherapy Experience and Qualifications

I qualified with a diploma in Hypnotherapy in 2004 and have been practising since then. Along the way I have enriched my skills with NLP qualifications to the level of Advanced Master Practitioner, as well as numerous other short courses.

In 2011 I gained a master’s degree in Psychology. I undertook research into the emotional exhaustion of Special Educational Needs Coordinators. This broadened my understanding of human nature and therapeutic approaches.

I am currently training to qualify as a Hypno-Psychotherapist and gain full clinical UKCP membership

graduated elephant now ready to effectively carry out duties as a hypnotherapist

Contact me here to ask about Hypnotherapy

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