Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
What is hypnosis and how does it work?
There are many myths and rumours surrounding hypnosis. Let’s deal with those first.
-When you’re hypnotised you’re not asleep.
-I can’t make you do anything you wouldn’t normally do.
-You’ll be in control because you can only be hypnotised if you allow yourself to be.
Hypnosis is a state of increased focus. It’s not always about relaxation. You can use hypnosis with people who’ve just come off treadmills – so they’re definitely not relaxed. However, it can be used to further relaxation and most of could use a bit of that in our lives!
You’ll close your eyes, I’ll guide you into a focused state of mind, and when our clinical work is finished I’ll count you up again. When you open your eyes you’ll feel calm and relaxed.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
Lots of people think that. The only people who cannot be hypnotised are those who don’t want to be. However, the depths and response levels vary depending on the person.
However, I always teach hypnotic skills and hypnosis is a skill like any other, you become better with practice.
Will you talk to my unconscious mind?
Our brains are very complex and clever. Most of our actions and behaviours happen without us having to consciously think about it. When we learn we do it consciously, once learned we don’t have to think about those things any more. This is your automatic pilot, often called unconscious competence. It’s like a computer programme running in the background. This is massively helpful to us because we have so many tasks to get through every day. Unfortunately, this also applies to any negative behaviours.
We do have unconscious thoughts or automatic thoughts, however, there is currently no scientific evidence an unconscious mind exists as a separate entity to the brain.
Many hypnotherapists work on the basis of an all knowing unconscious mind that is communicated with under hypnosis. It was the way I was originally taught but there is no evidence to support this. Others talk about conscious and unconscious mind as a metaphor.
What does cognitive mean?
The adjective, cognitive, comes from the Latin cognoscere “to get to know” and refers to the ability of the brain to think and reason as opposed to feel. A child’s cognitive development is the growth in their ability to think and solve problems.
Many of the interventions, tools and techniques I use are cognitive techniques as used in cognitive behavioural therapy and are, of course, evidence based.
I had CBT and it didn’t work. Will hypnotherapy work?
I’ve successfully treated many clients after failed CBT.
Some of the reasons why clients may not get the best from the NHS are:
– while targets have to be met the therapist’s livelihood does not depend on getting results.
– Clients may not have the same level of personal investment in the process.
– Due to time constraints some strategies are very standardised.
– Treatment is more effective when there’s a good working alliance between therapist and client – obviously you don’t get to choose your NHS therapist and they may not be right for you.
– Around half of NHS psychologists should be receiving treatment for depression according to the staff wellbeing survey conducted by the British Psychological Society and the New Savoy Partnership.
Of course, many people benefit hugely from the NHS of which I’m a huge fan. My family and I have benefited greatly from it over the last few years.
Does hypnotherapy work?
Whenever I talk to anyone about Hypnotherapy the first question they ask is ‘does it work?’ There’s a huge amount of evidence (see evidence-based hypnotherapy page) to demonstrate hypnosis is an effective treatment for many issues. It certainly worked for me and that’s why I trained as a hypnotherapist.
Isn’t all hypnotherapy the same?
No. There are many types of hypnotherapists. So somewhere out there should be the right fit for you. As an evidence-based hypnotherapist I combine the latest, evidence-based approaches in my practice.
Some hypnotherapists specialise in Timeline therapy, regression or hypnoanalysis. These techniques are about reliving and letting go of traumatic memories. These techniques can re‑traumatise or result in false memories. Hypnotherapists who talk about ‘getting to the root of the problem’ are often referring to regression.
There are also Ericksonian hypnotherapists – this approach recommends the therapist tries to overcome the client’s resistance by using indirect suggestion and patterns such as riddles, metaphors and story-telling. There is no evidence to show this indirect approach is more effective.
Are you part of a professional body?
Yes, I am a registered member of the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) – the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners, including Hypnotherapists since December 2010.
The Department of Health recommends that when looking for a hypnotherapist you consult with someone who is CNHC registered.
Are you qualified?
Yes. My name is Lindsay Smyth and I have a Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD) and an NLP practitioner certificate (PNLP).
The HPD is the most respected professional qualification in my field. Candidates are continually assessed during training which focuses on both theory and practical work. They must also demonstrate their knowledge, experience and ability to research by completing a portfolio of learning outcomes. This is a large piece of work that takes many hours to complete and is first year university standard.
After my initial training with The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy I did specialist hypnobirthing training. I was privileged to undertake the Cognitive Behavioural Certificate course with Adam Eason – a truly world class hypnotherapist – and my practice has been exclusively evidence-based since 2014.
Am I suitable for hypnotherapy?
Anyone can benefit from Hypnotherapy as long as they are able to understand what is being said, have a sufficient attention span and adopt a hypnotic mindset.
There are some diseases and disorders that prevent the use of hypnosis due to the fear that symptoms may be worsened as hypnosis amplifies states, thoughts and emotions. I ask all clients health questions to ensure they can be safely treated.
To find out if hypnotherapy is suitable for you, contact me for a free initial consultation, without obligation.
Do you charge a cancellation fee?
Yes, I charge a fee of £30 if you miss an appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, as this is lost time for me.
Should I arrive early?
Please arrive as close to the appointment time as you can. I may be with a client and unable to answer the door if you arrive early.
What payment methods do you accept?
At the moment I can only accept payment by cash or cheque.
Will I lose control or tell you secrets?
This is one of the things people worry about most, probably due to stage hypnotists that they see on TV who seem able to make people do weird and wonderful things.
I can’t make you do anything you wouldn’t normally do and you will be in control at all times. Anyway, I’m a clinical hypnotherapist and bound by a strict ethical code.
Will you be able to hypnotise me?
Yes, but only if you allow me to.
Do you treat children?
Yes, I do treat children and they respond very well to hypnosis. Children must be accompanied, preferably by a parent. An appropriate adult, parent or legal guardian must give consent before treatment can start.
I underwent Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking in England. This was previously called a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.
Will do you do home visits?
Nowadays there are such good internet based video chat applications such as Facetime or Skype home visits are unnecessary.
Are you insured?
Yes I have Professional Indemnity Insurance to practice at any location in the UK.
How long does the initial free consultation last?
The free consultation usually lasts around 30 minutes. You can ask questions you may have and decide if hypnotherapy is the right way forward for you.
Do you offer regression?
Lots of people expect to experience regression and assume it’s a necessary part of hypnosis and some other therapies.
If traumatic experiences are revisited through hypnosis which amplifies states, thoughts and emotions there is a risk of re-traumatising. There is also the risk of creating false memories (false memory syndrome). In the 1990s there were lawsuits in the United States based on adults who developed false memories of being abused as children, while in therapy.
This is a controversial issue and all therapists have an obligation to explain the risks in order to seek informed consent from their patient/client.
Personally, I choose not to use regression which has some risks and a lack of evidence as to its effectiveness. I don’t think it’s in the client’s best interests.
Do you offer past life regression?
No, I do not. Research on past life regression has not produced credible positive evidence.
Do you offer guarantees?
I absolutely guarantee that I have the best intentions for my clients to achieve what they desire. I guarantee that I will work to the best of my abilities applying my knowledge and experience.
However, I can’t guarantee an outcome that involves someone else (the client). It’s like one person guaranteeing their marriage will be long and happy. It ignores the role their spouse plays.
Years ago offering a guarantee was considered acceptable, normal even, but it’s now considered irresponsible and unethical. In fact, many top hypnotherapy associations do not allow it. If a hypnotherapist belongs to a reputable association they could be breaking the code of ethics by offering guarantees.