Frequently Asked Questions
What made you first get into hypnotherapy and counselling?
This is relatively easy to answer: I suffered severely from anxiety disorders as a child and young adult (I was hospitalised at the age of 11), and sought to learn everything I could about them. Naturally I looked to the field of psychology, and my interest generalised to include all major mental and emotional problems. Having my own hypnosis and psychotherapy was an important part of my journey, and this became the inspiration to pursue hypnotherapy as a profession. Most of all I enjoy helping people transform their lives - often after many years of suffering.
Are you properly qualified and recognised?
Absolutely. I have a BA hons in psychology, and advanced training in counselling, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, hypnoanalysis, cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy and anxiety specialisation. I am registered as a Senior Hypnotherapist with The General Hypnotherapy Register, and Accredited Member of both Association for Professional Hypnosis & Psychotherapy and National Register of Psychotherapists & Counsellors. I am also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), sponsored by the Department of Health and ensuring that members meet national standards of practice in their work.
Do you treat children, couples or families?
Yes. Although the majority of my work is individual one-to-one, I see children, older teens, couples and families from time to time at my discretion when I believe I can be of benefit. Other times I may refer to more specialist practitioners or organisations. This way I ensure that I am highly successful at what I do and you will always get the maximum benefit available.
Have you been CRB/DBS checked?
Can I bring a friend or relative with me to the session?
You may bring a friend or relative to the first appointment if you are very nervous, but it is not ideal simply because you may find it difficult to be completely open and honest when there is someone else present. Beyond the first appointment it is a private one-to-one therapy, unless I am treating you as a couple or a family.
How will I know when I am hypnotised?
You might not! For a complete answer please go to: 7 Hypnosis Myths
Will I be unconscious or out of control?
Absolutely not. Again go to 7 Hypnosis Myths
Could I be made to do or say anything against my will?
No, you couldn't - and even if you could there would be no therapeutic value in this. Again go to 7 Hypnosis Myths
What about those TV and stage shows where a hypnotist makes people do all kinds of stupid things?
I have never been a stage hypnotist and never desire to do so. Entertainment tricks have nothing to do with therapy, and no such things take place in my consulting room! For more on this you can go to 7 Hypnosis Myths or my article Are Hypnosis Shows Real
What if I get upset during the session?
Sometimes, people get upset when they begin to talk about their difficulties. Some, but not all, therapies are designed to allow an emotional release (called an abreaction) that is part of the healing process. Remember that I see people sad and upset most days of the week - unhappiness is my work! I provide a safe environment for painful emotions to be resolved, so that you can begin to function more comfortably.
What is your success rate?
Very good! For a complete answer go to Our Success Rate
Is it completely safe?
Counselling, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy conducted professionally by a responsible practitioner is very safe. Before doing any therapeutic work I always carry out a complete assessment. This includes screening for any condition that could be aggravated by anything I intend to do. Examples include psychotic paranoia or schizophrenia. Oftentimes, if one type of therapy is contraindicated, there will be something else I can do that is still beneficial.
If there is a question about your physical health I will work under the advice of a medical doctor. This is because hypnotherapy can effectively reduce pain and make you feel better. I would need to make sure this was not masking a potentially serious condition requiring prompt medical treatment or diagnosis.
Are there any side effects?
Given the above - that the work is undertaken by a properly trained responsible practitioner, and who only treats conditions that hypnotherapy is suitable for, and that they are trained to deal with, then no - not in the way that medications or even natural remedies can cause side effects. It is possible to feel worse temporarily as you face whatever is causing your problems, but I wouldn't call this a side effect.
An improperly trained therapist though may unearth part of your problem and leave you feeling worse, so it is always worth making sure that any therapist you see is fully and properly trained and registered with one of the major hypnotherapy or psychotherapy organisations (such as, APHP, NCH, UKCP or BACP). Check also that they are trained and competent in dealing with the release of past trauma and emotional abreaction.
Is there anything you would especially not want to treat?
Yes, quite a few things actually. I would not attempt to treat anyone who was psychotic and symptomatic. I also do not treat psychopathy or other extreme forms of character disorder. I do not treat people who are intoxicated with alcohol or substances at the time of their appointment. I do not treat severe developmental disorders, such as learning disabilities or autism. And I do not treat physical disease except under the advice of the prescribing doctor.
The doctor gave me some tablets, should I take them?
By all means, take what the doctor has prescribed; you may need the medication to get well. People often fail to appreciate that depression or severe anxiety are real illnesses, which, left untreated, will do you far more harm in the long run than taking any tablets.
Can you help me if I am already taking tablets?
Certainly yes. In fact some people do especially well with a combination of therapy and medication. An exception would be if you were so sedated that you could not reasonably participate during the session, but doctors rarely prescribe in that way these days.
It is too far for me to travel to see you, do you do online appointments?
Yes, I am available for appointments via Skype or on the phone.
How much is it going to cost?
You get an initial free consultation, afterwhich my fees are normally £65 or £95 per session depending on whether you book 60 or 90 minutes. A limited number of concessions are available to people on a low income (on means tested benefits for example). See Price List & Terms
What payments do you accept?
I accept cash, debit and credit cards.
How many sessions am I going to need?
This is variable depending on the type of problem you have and how quickly you respond as an individual. A simply phobia, for example, may only take 2-3 sessions. A complex emotional issue or generalised anxiety might need 8-12 sessions. For any issue it is very brief compared to many traditional psychotherapy models which can span over months or years.
Will I have to do anything in between sessions?
Again it varies depending on the type of therapy undertaken. Often there is a homework element, and if so you will be given individualised tasks to complete from time to time to your benefit.
What happens if I need to cancel or rearrange an appointment?
I ask for at least 2 days notice to cancel or change a booked appointment. If you can give me at least 2 days notice you can simply rearrange at no extra cost. Half of the paid fee becomes payable for cancellations with less than 2 days notice and the full fee for 'no shows'.
I ask for this because it is during the 2 days before your appointment that I carry out the work of preparing the session (an individualised hypnotherapy session, for example, could take several hours to prepare). It also gives me time to offer the appointment to other patients who are waiting. See also Price List & Terms
I can't get to see a professional at the moment, is there anything else I can do to help myself?
Yes, there is a lot you can do. Why not go straight to my article: Anxiety Self Help - 11 Tips.