Should I see a male or female hypnotherapist?
Individuals often wonder if they would do better with a male or female therapist. Research on therapist gender and therapy outcomes have failed to identify any relationship between the two. Factors such as warmth and empathy are much more related to outcome than the gender of the hypnotherapist.
However, the nature of your particular problem as well as your own preferences may lead you to seek out a male or female therapist. For example, a woman who was sexually abused by her father may feel more comfortable working with a woman therapist.
How do I know if my hypnotherapist is ethical?
By using an ACCPH member you know that they have been verified by the us. Their qualifications, insurance and experience have been verified and they are governed by our strict Code of Conduct/Ethics.
What is membership/accreditation with a ACCPH mean for a Hypnotherapist?
To be a Member of ACCPH the therapist must have achieved a minimum Level 2 qualification by an Ofqual regulated body or a school accredited by us. This is usually home study only.
Accredited therapists must have achieved a minimum Level 3 qualification by an Ofqual regulated body or a school accredited by us. This is will include a minimum number of classroom teaching and supervised client practice hours.
We run conversion courses so that Members with home study courses can complete the required teaching hours to become accredited.
Some accredited members may gain that status by the Portfolio Route. They could have qualified with a school we do not recognise or other means such as workplace training, if they have proven through a portfolio of evidence that they are qualified to the level we require.
How do I know what type of hypnotherapy my therapist will use?
When you meet with your therapist and talk about your goals for hypnotherapy, it is likely that they will then choose the type of treatment that they feel will be most effective for you. For example if you are seeking help with changing a habit (such as smoking) they may use a different approach compared with someone who is seeking help with stress and anxiety. The whole idea is to tailor the hypnotherapy to your needs – and your therapist will explain what they are going to do to ensure you feel at ease.
Is hypnotherapy confidential?
Yes. Your therapist is not permitted to talk about you with others. However; they are duty bound to breach confidentiality if they believe you could cause significant harm to you or another person.
Many hypnotherapists have a Supervisor and they will talk about your case without disclosing your identity. This is a similar process to your GP discussing your case with a specialist.
Will my therapist respect me as an individual?
All ACCPH hypnotherapists will treat you with respect regardless of age, gender, sexual identity, disability and/or race, etc.
Can I bring a family member or friend with me to the sessions?
You may be able to the first time you meet your hypnotherapist. They may be allowed in or asked to sit outside. You need to check this before you arrive. It is usually far better to have nobody you know in the room as they often prevent you talking honestly, especially if they are your partner..
Is there an age limit for having hypnotherapy without my parents knowing?
This is a very grey area. Some professional bodies subscribe to the concept that someone is still a child until they reach 18. So up to that age parental consent is required.
ACCPH works on the basis that generally, if you are over 16, you can decide for yourself to go for hypnotherapy. You can give consent for an operation or abortion at 16 so unless you are of diminished responsibility you can have hypnotherapy.
Under 16 is a very grey area and the hypnotherapist will make a careful decision about whether your parent or carer should be present in the room with you. They must be outside in the waiting area if they are not with you in the room.
How many sessions of hypnotherapy will I need?
This will depend upon: your individual problem(s), the approach of the hypnotherapy used, how well you respond to the therapy, and many other factors.
Sometimes a single session only is all that is needed, but for a deep-rooted emotional issue several sessions may be required.
How long is a session?
Session will usually take 60 minutes, but this includes note taking and information gathering. You may spend around 30-40 minutes in hypnosis. Your hypnotherapist will inform you at your first meeting. Some therapist conduct sessions that are longer for specific problems or due to the approach used.
How often will I see my hypnotherapist?
It may be once a week but this is flexible; more rapid approaches may require you to attend twice a week.
Do I have to pay for hypnotherapy sessions? How much does hypnotherapy cost?
All ACCPH hypnotherapists are private therapists and will usually charge for sessions. They will let you know what their fees per session are – they should put it on their profile.
Fees can depend on the location and experience of the hypnotherapist. London and other city locations may be the most expensive. Some may offer a free initial assessment or consultation, reductions for people who are unemployed or on a low income. Senior Members and Fellows, or supervisors also tend to charge a little more.
If you want free therapy contact your GP or a charitable organisation.
What happens if I have to miss a booked session?
Your hypnotherapist will explain such things as their policy on late or missed appointments.
Can a hypnotherapist guarantee to cure me? Will hypnotherapy work for me? Can I get a refund if I don’t get better?
No hypnotherapist can guarantee that hypnotherapy will cure you or work for you. It has helped millions of people overcome their difficulties. The hypnotherapists supply the safe environment and tools for you to make the changes you desire. If they have provided these correctly and you do not make the changes in your mind, sorry but that is not their fault.
You are employing the services, (time and hypno-therapeutic knowledge), of the counsellor or hypnotherapist, you will have had this so no refund is due. The only circumstances that a refund may be applicable is if a therapist has misled you or broken our Code of Conduct/Ethics.
Can I have hypnotherapy on Skype or by telephone?
Very few hypnotherapists offer Skype appointments, ACCPH knows of none doing telephone work. Hypnotherapy is really face to face work.
Do hypnotherapists offer group sessions or workshops?
A few hypnotherapists offer group sessions for weight loss or smoking. The success rate is not high so people usually need to book back-up sessions.
What happens at the first session?
It is possible that you will feel quite apprehensive about meeting your therapist for the first time – they will understand this and do their best to put you at ease. At the first session they will tell you all about the practical information you need to know and of course you will be able to tell them about your own goals for attending therapy.
What happens if I can’t relax?/What if I can’t go into a trance?
Hypnotherapists are trained to help people to relax and have their set way to achieve a trance state. Some hypnotherapists prefer rapid induction but when someone is anxious about going into a trance they will usually use a slow and gentle progressive relaxation technique.
For a long time it was thought that some people could not be hypnotised. We now know that anybody who will allow themselves to be can be hypnotised. In other words it is the client who decides whether or not they are going to be hypnotised.
Some people may go into a hypnotic trance quickly, others take their time. It is usually found that the speed of going into a hypnotic trance increases with practice. The same applies to the depth of trance; some people go deep in their first session and others may not do so until the second or third trance or never go deep at all.
What are the risks?
There are no dangerous risks. The only ‘risk’ is that the therapeutic goal may not be achieved. This is usually due to ‘resistance’ on behalf of the client who may not actually be ready to change some aspect of their problem(s).
Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
No! You cannot get stuck in a trance; it is like being in a deep daydream and you can come out at any time – even during therapy.
Can the hypnotherapist control my mind and make me do things I don’t want to do?
No! They cannot take control of your mind and they are not able to make you do anything you would consider to be morally wrong – your mind would reject those sort of suggestions. They work in cooperation with you to achieve a goal which has been agreed between you and them. Therefore, it is a matter of help/guidance towards your aims, not controlling you.
Is hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis the same thing?
Both use trance phenomena but in very different ways. A hypnotherapy session is private and intended to rid the client of a problem. A stage hypnosis show is public entertainment for the benefit of an audience.
The people who you see on stage making idiots of themselves are exhibitionists who want to be seen doing so.
Am I asleep during hypnotherapy?
You are not asleep. You will be in a dreamy altered state of consciousness. You will be aware of everything that is happening and being said the whole time, however you will be so deeply relaxed that you may find yourself drifting into different levels of awareness.
Remember, your unconscious mind is active throughout and it is this that the hypnotherapist is working with.
What does hypnosis/being in a trance feel like?
You will be sitting in comfy ‘hypno chair’ or lying on a couch before you are taken into hypnosis. Some people may feel a heaviness in their arms and legs, as though you do not wish to move them (you can move them if you need to do so). You may also have a similar feeling in your eyelids and your head. Every person is different, some feel like they are floating and no sense of heaviness at all.
You will feel quite happy, euphoric emotions are very common.
Your mind will become quite focused on what the therapist is saying, initially you may find that your attention slightly wanders. However; you will soon be completing mind-changing strategies so will need to remain very focused during this work.
Is self hypnosis and hypnotherapy the same thing?
Some hypnotherapists, usually those conducting slower analytical techniques, teach their clients how to do self hypnosis. It is a simple process which allows a person to go into a light hypnotic trance on their own. This is useful for repeating suggestions which the client has been given in therapy in order to reinforce their effect, and also for motivating a person to achieve their goals. The individual can emerge from the trance instantly should there be a need to do so.
At ACCPH we do not insist that private clients are taught self-hypnosis.
What if I’m under a doctor’s care or taking medication?
If you have any questions about whether or not hypnosis will help or conflict with a present medical condition, ask your GP. A hypnotherapist will never advise you to change any medication – this must only be undertaken with the full consent of your GP or Consultant.
The interesting reaction of hypnosis on medication is that, over long periods of time, it tends to “potentiate” medication, which means if you’re currently taking medication, after a series of hypnosis sessions you may find that you need a lesser strength of the drug.
Hypnosis can often complement traditional medical care and better or more informed doctors are in favour of it. It can act as an adjunct to medical treatment.
I am worried that I may say or do something stupid
When you meet with your therapist for the first time do tell them about any concerns that you may have and they will be able to reassure you. Unfortunately the only thing that many people know about hypnosis is what they have seen of so called ‘stage hypnosis’ where people may indeed be encouraged to do ‘silly’ things for the entertainment of an audience. Hypnotherapy is nothing like this – your therapist is an ethical practitioner and everything that happens during your therapy is completely confidential.
How long will it last for? Will it wear off after a few days?
The intention is that any desired change should be permanent, e.g. smokers who wish to stop smoking will want to do so permanently. Hypnotherapists want you to have a happy, independent life and not remain dependent on further sessions.
However; no therapist can predict or control what happens in your life after you have completed your session(s).
Let’s use smoking as an example:
• you were born a non-smoker and you chose to start smoking
• you chose to quit using hypnosis and do stop smoking
• three years later you lose your job and feel like a failure and choose to start smoking again.
The hypnotherapy was working fine until you chose to ignore it. The hypnotherapy had not stopped working, you made the choice to become a smoker again.
Does past life regression really work/exist?
Past life regression involves taking a client back to a previous life while in a hypnotic trance. This can be for therapeutic purposes or just out of curiosity.
The life story which emerges comes from the client’s unconscious mind may provide therapeutic benefits by revealing issues which the client may have difficulty discussing consciously. Because the client needs to know how to access their inner world the process of regression improves with practice.
The hypnotherapist should be very careful to not ask any leading questions. ACCPH recommends that you see a hypnotherapist with extra training for this kind of work.
What if I don’t like my therapist – do I have to keep going?
It is absolutely your choice to continue seeing a therapist or not. It is important that you feel comfortable with your hypnotherapist so you can relax and feel confident with them.
What happens if I am not satisfied with my hypnotherapist?
In the event that you are not professionally satisfied with your hypnotherapist tell them why. If need be ACCPH has a has Public Protection Procedure to deal with any complaints about professional conduct.
This is not for use if you just don’t like the hypnotherapist.
Can an individual and therapist have a relationship outside of therapy?
No. Therapy is a one-way street.
This does not mean that one cannot have any contact with the therapist outside of the therapy situation. This is especially true in small towns where social contact may be inevitable. However, it is generally not a good idea to seek therapy from someone you know personally.
Can I contact my hypnotherapist between sessions?
You will have the opportunity to ask your hypnotherapist about things like this. They may allow it if they need feedback on changes you are making. In most cases there will be no contact between your sessions.
Does therapy involve physical touch?
The use of touch varies. Some therapists may pat a client as a sign of support or comfort. However, physical touch is powerful and should never be sexualised.
Kissing, excessive touching and sexual activity have no place in therapy. Any therapy involving inappropriate sexual behaviour should be discontinued and the therapist should be reported to ACCPH straight away.
ACCPH is of the opinion that there should be no physical contact in hypnotherapy unless it is an emergency.