Hypnotherapy is a safe and relaxing treatment that enables you to deal with your own mental challenges and blocks, so that you can build on your strengths and take control of your life.
It is a gentle, effective way to deal with stress, fears and phobias, and to increase your self-esteem, confidence and motivation.
Do you have specific feelings, fears or behaviours that prevent you from living the life you want?
Are you feeling fed up or down, yet you've no idea why?
Do you sometimes wish you could just 'clear out your head', and feel better?
Are you finding it hard to concentrate, sleep or relax?
Do you have low self esteem, or lack confidence or motivation?
Do you have a physical issue that there seems to be no medical explanation for?
Hypnotherapy is a safe, gentle way to address these issues
Please note: hypnotherapy may not be appropriate for everyone, and it should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice. You are encouraged to speak to your doctor in the first instance if you are experiencing distressing symptoms.
I will explain everything to you and answer your questions.
About Hypnotherapy, advantages and benefits
Hypnosis is an altered and heightened state of awareness, that is sometimes referred to as a trance state. You slip in and out of trance states throughout the day. For example, when you day-dream, and when you are at your most relaxed and comfortable. This is often when the best ideas 'pop' into your mind! Basically, there are two parts to the mind, the conscious and the subconscious. Many therapists use the term 'unconscious' instead of 'subconscious', and many describe the workings of the mind in great detail. My explanation is very simple:
The Conscious Mind
You are aware and in the present with your conscious mind. It’s the part of your mind that reasons, and makes decisions and choices. It acts as a filter to thoughts and suggestions, deciding whether to keep them in the forefront of your mind, or put them ‘on hold’, or to dismiss them altogether. When a thought or suggestion is put ‘on hold’, it goes straight to the subconscious where it is filed away.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious is a container for your thoughts. Amongst other things, it houses all the information your conscious gives it to store, like memories and things it can't deal with immediately.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to gain access to the subconscious mind, so that it can find solutions to issues that the conscious mind has been unable to deal with. For example, if you have a fear or a phobia, or lack confidence or self esteem, this is most likely to be because of an experience that happened early in your life. This may not have been anything bad, but as a child, you viewed it in a certain way. You might have forgotten all about it, but whatever it was has kept you running on a programme throughout your life, and so certain situations and events will trigger a reaction from you. One of the huge advantages of hypnotherapy is that it can usually get to the root of the problem and sort it out very quickly indeed.
Another benefit is that whilst in hypnosis, your subconscious is very receptive to positive suggestions. Therefore your therapist can help you to reframe the way you think and feel about things, replacing negativity with thoughts and feelings which are more advantageous to you.
What to expect from Hypnotherapy
The usual programme of treatment
I will explain everything to you so that you know what to expect. We will discuss your problem, and I will take a brief medical history. Then I will help you into hypnosis. You may not even realise that you are in hypnosis, but when you come out you will know, because you will feel so relaxed. In fact, many people have said that it is the best relaxation they have ever had! At the end of the first session, you will be given a short CD or MP3 to listen to each day before your next session.
Usually during subsequent sessions, I will help you into hypnosis, and together we’ll gently search into your past to help you find information that will help you to understand why you have the ‘problem’. Then as you relax and let go of the things that are anchoring you there, you’ll be able to put these experiences into perspective and put them behind you, and you'll feel more positive and confident as a result.
During all hypnotherapy treatment you will be aware of everything going on around you, and you'll easily be able to talk and interact with me. You cannot be made to do or say anything that your subconscious does not want you to. This is because any suggestions that do not fit with your own values or sense of personal well being will be rejected by your subconscious mind. Furthermore, you are in control, because you can come out of hypnosis whenever you want – just open your eyes!
What does hypnosis feel like?
There is no particular feeling in hypnosis. It's rather like being in a daydream. When you are in hypnosis, your body and conscious mind will be beautifully relaxed, but you won’t be asleep. In fact, you will be aware of everything going on around you, and you will find it easy to focus on the voice of your therapist, and to respond.
Could I be made to say or do things against my will?
No, you cannot be made to do anything that your subconscious does not want you to do. This is because any suggestions that do not fit with your own values or sense of personal well being will be rejected by your subconscious mind.
So you won't have control over my mind?
No. In hypnosis, you remain completely in control of your own mind and thoughts
Will I tell you something I don't want anyone to know?
No, because you remain in control all the time. If there is something that you prefer to keep private, that is your choice.
What’s the difference between hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis?
Stage hypnosis is used for entertainment. But hypnotherapy is exactly what it says – it is therapy. It is a private and confidential process.
What if I don't come out of hypnosis?
There is no danger of this. If you were in a daydream, you would come out of it whenever you were ready to. The same applies to hypnosis. And rest assured, I as your therapist will make sure you are in a normal waking state before you leave the therapy room.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
If you want to go into hypnosis, you will, because it is a perfectly natural state, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes. However, hypnosis is not appropriate for everyone, and this is something we will discuss when we have an initial phone call.
Does it really work?
It certainly does – but it’s not a magic spell or a trick. You must be committed to wanting to change in the first place.
How many sessions will I need?
You are likely to need 6 sessions for a full 'treatment', although for some issues one or two sessions may suffice. We will discuss this when we speak.
How long does a session last?
Most sessions last for 1 hour.
Where did you train?
I was initially trained by Valerie Austin, internationally recognised hypnotherapist and author.
I also trained with Larry Elman, the son of Dave Elman (1900-1967) who was recognised as a pioneer of modern hypnotherapy; and Jerry Valley and Tommy Vee, world-renowned father and son team, leading stage hypnotists and clinical practitioners.
"In 2009 you saw me in Harley Street for a series of sessions for my fear of flying. My fear had got so bad I could not even go to an airport. My therapy allowed me to live the life I wanted to again - and 4 years later, here's a photo of me jumping out of a plane! "
"I'm not a boxer, and I was very, very nervous about the fight in case I got hurt. But I wanted to win because it was for a children's charity, and I’d been training for months. When I agreed to do it I hadn't realised quite what was involved or how I'd feel, and my trainer was concerned. So I decided to try hypnotherapy. I had one session on the morning of the fight. As I walked around Cavendish Square afterwards I felt quite different. Much better somehow. And that night I won the fight!"
"I feel really great now. It was like a light switch – even after the first session I felt so much better. Other people have noticed a huge difference too. I hadn't realised before that certain things had had such an impact on me, and I would never have consciously made the links. I feel much calmer when driving. I don't worry about busy traffic like I used to, and I'm driving on motorways again now."
Mrs S Kane
Caroline Carr teaches people how to adopt a positive perspective and build their confidence and inner strength through mindset, movement and laughter. She is the author of several books on mental health and women's health, and has been featured in the national press and interviewed on radio and TV.