Does Hypnotherapy work?

Becky Burdon

Becky Burdon

This is a question that I am often asked and very recently, someone asked me the question below. I thought it might be useful to share it with you and an example of the kind of answer I gave. The question was in relation to having previous experience of hypnotherapy for smoking.

Q: “Does it work for everyone or are some people just not possible to hypnotize? If the latter, any idea why?”

A: In short, yes, I do believe that it can work for everyone however there are times it doesn’t. In hypnotherapy, the client is in control of the experience and can choose to let themselves go into a trance or not. It is not the same as the stage hypnosis that people see on TV.
With hypnotherapy there are occasions when it doesn’t work but it’s most likely because there’s something, usually in the subconscious, that either doesn’t want to give up (in the case of smoking) even though consciously you might really want to. If a client came to me who had had hypnotherapy before for quitting smoking I’d want to explore why it’s not worked in the past.
I believe that if a person can dream or day dream then it is possible for them to be in a hypnotic trance, hypnosis is just helping a person to reach the stage of consciousness that is like REM sleep. Results may vary though and although hypnotherapy is powerful, it isn’t a magic wand! Most of the time treatment needs to be accompanied by some hard work from the client. I know this having had hypnosis myself. I also use self-hypnosis. Recently I did some self-hypnosis to get rid of migraines and it was really hard dealing with some of the issues that came up but it was worth it!
It’s also important that any hypnosis is tailor made for you- if the therapist was just working off a general script it’s less likely to be effective.

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