The Quintessential Guide to Hypnotherapy & Hypnosis [2023]

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: This article was lovingly written from scratch, based on my clinical experience as a hypnotherapist.

The power of the mind is truly remarkable. A functioning mind has the power to make your life feel fantastic. Yet when it’s dysfunctional, it can make your life absolutely miserable. The dysfunctional behaviours – unhealthy eating habits, debilitating phobias, or the constant need to please others – may seem irrational at first glance, but know that the logic behind these behaviours becomes clear once you uncover their origins.

The origin is ALWAYS in the subconscious mind.

When it comes to addressing the challenges and negativity in your life, hypnotherapy is a game-changer. It delves deep into the subconscious mind, where the root causes of your issues reside.

Hypnotherapy, with its powerful tool of hypnosis, provides a direct path to those root causes. Countless individuals, including my own clients, have experienced profound transformations through this therapeutic approach. The global community of hypnotherapists consistently shares success stories, affirming the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in changing lives.

Now, let’s explore how hypnotherapy has made a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals worldwide. If you’re new to the subject, the following section will give you a concise overview of this incredible practice.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a well-known and popular healing modality that harnesses the power of hypnosis to enable positive changes to an individual’s thoughts and emotions, thus changing their behaviour. Hypnosis feels very much like a deep meditation or relaxation, also known as a trance. In this altered state of awareness, the hypnotherapist can sidestep the critical mind (aka. the conscious mind) and work directly with the subconscious mind to eliminate the root cause of the client’s challenges.

During a session, the hypnotherapist guides the client through relaxation techniques, visualisation exercises, and carefully crafted suggestions to help them explore and transform their beliefs and emotions. By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help individuals overcome a wide range of issues, such as anxiety, phobias, addictions, weight management, and self-esteem concerns. Every individual has the ability to tap into their inner resources, reframe negative patterns, and thus experience lasting change and personal growth.

How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Imagine the mind as a colossal iceberg, with the conscious mind representing the visible tip, and the subconscious mind constituting the vast and powerful base. To put things into perspective, Dr. Joe Dispenza estimates that while our conscious awareness is limited to a mere 2,000 bits of information per second, the subconscious mind processes a staggering 400 billion bits! This emphasises the profound influence the subconscious holds over our thoughts and behaviours.

In the realm of hypnotherapy, “hypno” refers to hypnosis itself. During a hypnotherapy session, the client enters a trance-like state while maintaining full consciousness. This deeply meditative state is crucial for quieting the incessant chatter of the conscious mind, which often masks the profound insights and beliefs held within the subconscious. Once the conscious mind is calmed, the true essence of the subconscious can emerge.

The term “therapy” in hypnotherapy encompasses a variety of tools and techniques utilised by hypnotherapists to help clients achieve their desired outcomes. These tools may include age regression, inner child therapy, ego state therapy, past life regression therapy, and even aura exploration. Different schools of hypnotherapy possess their unique set of methodologies, although there is often overlap among them.

During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist skilfully selects the appropriate tool from their toolkit, adapting their approach based on the client’s responses. For instance, if the client can clearly articulate their problem, the therapist may begin with a verbal exploration before transitioning into inner child therapy. On the other hand, if the client is deeply traumatised by the past, ego state therapy may be employed to reduce the intensity of the re-experiencing.

Regression, whether in the form of age regression therapy or past life regression therapy, is frequently incorporated into hypnotherapy. By revisiting significant past events, the therapist helps the client address unresolved issues that may be hindering their progress in life. This process allows the release of emotional burdens held within the cellular memory. It is important to note that while reliving past events may seem daunting, techniques are employed to mitigate the impact of past trauma. The subconscious mind also acts as a protective shield. If the client is not ready, it will block them from reviewing the trauma.

In inner child therapy, another technique used in hypnotherapy, a safe space known as the ego state room is created. Here, the client interacts with their younger selves, referred to as inner children, as well as the characters who played a role in their personal dramas. This creative space offers an opportunity for heartfelt conversations and closure between the different aspects of the client’s psyche. The healing primarily targets the inner children, rather than the adult personality, as it is through their voices that emotional charges can finally be released.

One common query revolves around determining whether hypnotherapy is effective or merely a flight of fantasy. The key lies in observing the emotions. If an individual has truly let go of the past, the emotional impact of the trauma should dissipate. For instance, consider a 50-year-old man who previously suffered from anxiety attacks. If he sobs uncontrollably while reliving the episode surrounding his father’s death, it serves as a powerful indicator that his emotions are still intertwined with the past.

What I have described here is merely one of the countless paths a hypnotherapist may embark upon to alleviate a client’s problems. Hypnotherapy is a multifaceted field, offering an array of techniques and approaches tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of each individual.

What are the Misconceptions and Myths Surrounding Hypnosis?

You are Unconscious During Hypnosis

Hypnosis has received negative attention due to stage magic and popular movies like “Hypnotic,” which repeatedly perpetuate myths about this practice. It is unfortunate that these misconceptions lead people to avoid hypnotherapy.

In reality, during hypnosis, you remain conscious and aware enough to sit up and leave the room if you wish. The state of mind experienced during hypnosis is akin to a deep meditation, but with the focus on revisiting significant episodes from your past.

I Can be Made to Perform Embarrassing Acts, Such As Barking Like a Dog

It is important to clarify that the misconceptions about hypnosis, such as performing embarrassing acts like barking like a dog, stem from stage hypnosis shows and myths about being unconscious during hypnosis. In reality, professional hypnotherapists focus on helping clients address their issues and improve their well-being, rather than resorting to such antics.

During a therapy session, clients are fully conscious and able to resist any instructions from the hypnotherapist if they choose to. In fact, resisting the process can be detrimental to the progress of therapy.

In my sessions, I make the suggestion that your eyes are sealed shut and you cannot open them. While some clients do report that they cannot open their eyes, and I’ve written about it, it is essential to remember that they remain in control of their thoughts, and this suggestion is meant to facilitate relaxation and concentration, not to manipulate or control them.

It is true that in stage hypnotism, some volunteers may play along due to peer pressure or the desire to entertain. However, this behaviour is not representative of the therapeutic context where hypnotherapy takes place.

You are either Hypnotisable or Not Hypnotisable At All

Hypnosis is not a simple binary outcome; rather, it exists on a spectrum ranging from light trance to deep somnambulism. This means that individuals vary in their hypnotisability, and everyone can experience hypnosis to different degrees.

Esteemed hypnotherapist and founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute John Kappas found that people can be categorised into two main types of suggestibility: emotional suggestible and physical suggestible. Without delving into the complexities, emotional suggestibles tend to infer meanings and nuances, while physical suggestibles are more inclined to take things at face value. However, it’s important to note that individuals usually have a blend of both characteristics, rather than being solely one type or the other.

Based on a person’s suggestibility type, a skilled hypnotherapist can tailor their language and approach to facilitate a deeper level of hypnosis for that individual. By understanding and adapting to each client’s unique suggestibility profile, hypnotherapy can be customised to achieve optimal results.

Hypnosis is a Supernatural Phenomenon

Throughout human history, events that couldn’t be easily explained were often labeled as supernatural until science provided alternative explanations. Fire and lightning, for example, were once considered supernatural occurrences. However, hypnosis is a different matter altogether.

As detailed in the section “What is the Science Behind Hypnotherapy?,” hypnosis has undergone extensive scientific research, providing solid evidence for the effectiveness of therapies that utilise this unique state of the human mind.

In essence, every human naturally experiences cycles of hypnosis throughout the day, which is most pronounced before sleep and after waking up. Many people enter a state of hypnosis when watching movies or reading a book where they are “in the zone”.

Hypnotherapy simply leverages this natural state to plant suggestions in the mind and approach problem-solving in a structured and replicable manner. This approach is firmly grounded in scientific understanding and practice.

Hypnosis is like Sleep

Sleep can be considered a form of hypnosis, but hypnosis itself is not synonymous with being asleep. In fact, there are various states of hypnosis, each with its own characteristics. During a hypnotherapy session, one of the noticeable signs that a client is in a trance is the rolling up of their eyeballs and/or rapid eye movement (REM).

In the following video, watch hypnosis in action as Dr David Spiegel hypnotises Dr Andrew Huberman without him sleeping.

REM sleep occurs during stage 4 of the sleep cycle when the eyes flutter rapidly. When a client reaches this state during hypnosis, they are in a fairly deep trance, and their level of suggestibility increases. It’s important to clarify that while this REM state in hypnosis resembles sleep, the client remains fully conscious and is not asleep.

Hypnosis exists on a spectrum, ranging from a light trance to deep somnambulism. Each individual experiences different depths during hypnosis, and it’s the role of the hypnotherapist to guide them to deeper states if necessary. It’s also worth noting that entering the REM state is not a prerequisite for benefiting from hypnotherapy. Various levels of trance can still be highly effective for therapeutic purposes.

Hypnotherapy is a “Quick Fix” for All Your Problems

Hypnotherapy has indeed been scientifically proven to work faster than many other modalities in the field of psychology.

In the version of hypnotherapy that I practice, the therapist focuses on addressing the biggest problem in the client’s life. Interestingly, the larger the problem, the faster the resolution. Often, by resolving the main issue, many smaller problems tend to dissipate as well. For instance, resolving a significant problem might lead to sleep issues, insomnia, and neck pain disappearing.

When the biggest problems are effectively addressed, the remaining challenges suddenly become much more manageable. This can create the impression of hypnotherapy as a quick fix. However, in reality, it is not an instant solution for all problems. While some clients may find relief in as few as three sessions, not all issues can be resolved through hypnotherapy. It is most effective for problems rooted in the mind, but it may have limited impact on physical issues caused by factors like poor nutrition or accidents.

The Effects of Hypnosis are due to Relaxation

In hypnosis, the induction process typically helps the client relax their body and mind, with a few exceptions. The noise in the conscious mind often obscures the subtle subconscious thoughts, where the root cause of their problems lies. Therefore, relaxation is essential to guide the client into a deep meditative state, allowing the conscious mind to quiet down.

Once the client is relaxed, and the conscious thoughts are subdued, the hypnotherapist selects a tool from their toolkit to assist the client in addressing negative beliefs. It is important to note that the healing process occurs during the relaxation phase after the induction, rather than the induction itself. Hypnosis acts as a bridge, guiding the client to the state they need to be in to facilitate self-healing.

What is the Difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a powerful healing modality that combines hypnosis and therapy to address the client’s problems which are deeply rooted in the subconscious mind. The session commences with the hypnotherapist skilfully guiding you into a state of hypnosis, commonly referred to as inducing a trance. This process helps quieten the restless mind, paving the way for therapeutic interventions aimed at resolving your specific concerns and challenges.

Although there is a technical distinction between hypnosis and hypnotherapy, the terms are often used interchangeably in practice. While hypnosis refers to the induction of a trance state, hypnotherapy encompasses the broader scope of applying therapeutic techniques within this altered state of consciousness. Together, these modalities provide a powerful framework for profound personal transformation and healing.

Is There a Difference Between Hypnotherapy and Regression Therapy?

Hypnotherapy overwhelmingly surpasses Regression Therapy in terms of popularity, as evidenced by the Google Trends report.

Google Trends report on hypnotherapy vs regression therapy

Regression Therapy is often associated with Past Life Regression Therapy (PLRT), which is a subset of Regression Therapy. However, it’s important to note that Regression Therapy encompasses more than just PLRT. It includes Age Regression Therapy, Inner Child Therapy, and potentially other modalities.

Google Trends report on worldwide interest in hypnotherapy and regresion therapy

Regression Therapy involves guiding the client back in time, allowing them to release deep-seated emotions. The journey may lead to an inner child episode in their current life or even to past lives, guided by the wisdom of the subconscious mind.

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, serves as a broad umbrella term encompassing any therapeutic technique used in conjunction with hypnosis. Hypnosis acts as the induction technique to facilitate a trance state, after which various therapeutic techniques can be employed. For instance, the popular Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be conducted under hypnosis, constituting a hypnotherapy session.

Regarding Regression Therapy, two schools of thought exist. The first believes that clients enter the therapy room with tension and require relaxation through classical hypnotic induction to proceed. The second school argues that clients are already in a trance-like state due to their presenting issue, such as anxiety, eliminating the need for a separate hypnotic induction.

Both philosophies hold merit and their effectiveness depends on the specific situation. Personally, I have been trained in both approaches and have witnessed remarkable results in my clinical practice when appropriately utilised. Generally speaking, direct regression without hypnosis can yield exceptionally swift and precise outcomes—an appealing prospect for those seeking rapid results.

Is Hypnosis Better than Meditation?

Hypnosis, also known as hetero-hypnosis, is essentially a trance state induced in one person by another. However, there is a common misconception that it entails being unconscious and completely under the control of the hypnotist. In reality, hypnosis feels more like a deep meditative state, often taking individuals to even deeper levels than they might achieve in meditation due to the skilled guidance of a therapist.

The primary distinction between hypnosis and meditation lies in their typical use cases. Hypnosis is predominantly employed in therapy settings. Once a client is hypnotised, they are guided to address and resolve their specific issues using various therapeutic techniques. These could involve suggesting changes to the subconscious mind or revisiting past events to reframe old beliefs.

On the other hand, meditation is mostly associated with achieving mindfulness and being present in the moment. It is often used to reduce anxiety and stress by focusing on the present and reducing rumination about the past or worry about the future. If distracting thoughts arise during meditation, they are acknowledged and the mind is redirected back to the focus point, such as the breath.

Although meditation is not primarily used for therapy, it has been incorporated into some therapeutic modalities, like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Certain psychotherapists also integrate meditation practices into their therapeutic approach. One such modality involves guiding clients into a meditative state and then exploring the root of certain emotions, resembling the inner child healing technique used in hypnotherapy.

In conclusion, while hypnosis and meditation may share similar experiential qualities, their fundamental purposes and applications are distinct, making direct comparisons between the two somewhat unproductive. Each serves unique functions in promoting well-being and personal growth.

What is the Science Behind Hypnotherapy?

Contrary to popular belief, modern hypnosis and hypnotherapy are supported by robust scientific evidence derived from rigorous clinical experiments. To understand the scientific basis of these practices, it is valuable to explore their historical roots. The history of hypnosis, as extensively covered by authors such as Yasuhiro Kotera and in works like “The History of Hypnosis,” provide insight into its evolution.

The origins of hypnosis can be traced back thousands of years, where it was employed in occult rituals and

Franz Mesmer

Franz Mesmer

ceremonial settings. For instance, shamans induced trance states in participants through rhythmic drumming. However, clinical hypnosis as we recognise it today emerged in the 18th century with the pioneering work of German physician Franz Mesmer. While Mesmer practiced a form of occult hypnosis called animal magnetism, he also developed a systematic approach to induce hypnotic states. His methods laid the foundation for what would become clinical hypnosis.

In the 19th century, Scottish ophthalmologist James Braid played a pivotal role in advancing hypnosis. He coined the term “hypnosis” and discovered consistent methods to induce trance states by having subjects focus their attention on illuminated objects, such as a candle. Braid conducted extensive clinical experiments, solidifying hypnosis as a scientific discipline. His work involved successful treatment of patients using hypnosis to alleviate pain and various skin conditions. Notably, around the same period, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, also incorporated hypnosis techniques into his therapeutic approaches.

The early 20th century witnessed further exploration of hypnosis through clinical experiments conducted by figures like Joseph Jastrow and Clark Hull. Dave Elman, an American vaudeville performer, made significant contributions to practical hypnosis during this time. He adapted rapid induction techniques employed by stage hypnotists and taught them to doctors and physicians for therapeutic purposes.

One of the most influential figures in modern hypnosis is Milton Erickson, an American psychiatrist renowned for

Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson

his adept use of creative language to communicate with patients’ unconscious minds. Erickson diverged from conventional hypnotherapy approaches by focusing less on identifying the cause of symptoms and more on helping patients release those symptoms by bypassing their defence mechanisms. An often-cited example of his unconventional methods involved verbally challenging a stroke patient who was paralysed and unable to speak, ultimately prompting the patient to rise from their wheelchair and leave the room. Erickson’s exceptional clinical successes earned his approach the name “Ericksonian hypnosis.”

In the late 20th century, the American Psychological Association established the Division 30 Society of Psychological Hypnosis, leading to the rigorous development of hypnosis as a scientific discipline. Research, improved training, and certification processes have propelled hypnosis out of the realm of fringe treatments. The American Psychological Association now recognises hypnosis as a beneficial therapy for various conditions such as pain, anxiety, mood disorders, and the cessation of negative habits like smoking.

What Does the Research Say about the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy?

I often encounter misconceptions about hypnotherapy being unscientific or belonging to the realm of woo-woo. However, the reality is quite different. While there may be areas of hypnotherapy where research is limited or lacking, scientific journals abound with studies on hypnosis and hypnotherapy. It’s important to note that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

In the area of stress reduction, a study by Olendzki et al. (2020) explored the effectiveness of mindful hypnotherapy as an intervention. Participants engaged in an 8-week program consisting of individual hypnotherapy sessions and daily mindfulness practice using self-hypnosis audio recordings. The results revealed significant differences between the experimental and control groups, indicating that mindful hypnotherapy is a “feasible intervention for stress reduction and increasing mindfulness”.

Meta-analytic research on hypnosis has also demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing pain during childbirth. A study by Landolt et al. (2011) found that hypnosis was “more effective than standard medical care, supportive counseling, and childbirth education classes in reducing pain” during labour. The analysis encompassed both hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis approaches.

Scientists at work

Hypnosis is frequently employed to address sleep problems, and a meta-analysis conducted by Charmine et al. (2018) examined 139 papers on the topic. The findings indicated that “58.3% of the included studies reported hypnosis benefit on sleep outcomes”. The authors also noted a low incidence of adverse events associated with hypnosis.

Anxiety is a common concern for many individuals seeking hypnotherapy. More than half of the individuals who come to me seek help with anxiety and stress-related issues. Research by Hamzah et al. (2021) investigated the “effect of hypnotherapy on exam anxiety among first-year nursing students” and concluded that “hypnotherapy is an effective tool in the management of exam anxiety”. These findings align with what I have observed in my clinical practice.

The relationship between anxiety and depression is often intertwined. A meta-analysis of 10 studies showed that “the average participant receiving hypnosis showed more improvement than about 76% of control participants”. The researchers concluded that “hypnosis is a very effective way of alleviating the symptoms of depression”.

Hypnotherapy has also shown promise in treating gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and abdominal pain. A meta-analysis conducted by Palsson (2015) on 35 studies in this domain reported significant improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms across all IBS hypnotherapy studies. For “IBS, hypnosis treatment is highly efficacious in reducing bowel symptoms and can offer lasting and substantial symptom relief for a large proportion of patients who do not respond adequately to usual medical treatment approaches”.

The application of hypnosis in the operating theatre further reinforces its credibility. Some U.S. hospitals are utilising hypnosis to reduce preoperative anxiety, manage postoperative pain, and even replace general anaesthesia for certain procedures like partial mastectomies in breast cancer. A study by Badidi et al. (2021) demonstrated high patient satisfaction with hypnoanaesthesia instead of general anaesthesia for thyroid surgery, resulting in lower postoperative pain and significantly reduced rates of nausea and vomiting.

Badidi, G., Baulieu, M., Vercherin, P., De Pasquale, V., Gavid, M., & Prades, J. M. (2021). Thyroid surgery under hypnosis: A 50-case series. European annals of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck diseases, 138(1), 13–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anorl.2020.06.010

Milling, L. S., Valentine, K. E., McCarley, H. S., & LoStimolo, L. M. (2019). A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotic Interventions for Depression Symptoms: High Hopes for Hypnosis?. The American journal of clinical hypnosis, 61(3), 227–243. https://doi.org/10.1080/00029157.2018.1489777

Palsson O. S. (2015). Hypnosis Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Comprehensive Review of the Empirical Evidence. The American journal of clinical hypnosis, 58(2), 134–158. https://doi.org/10.1080/00029157.2015.1039114

Hamzah, F., Mat, K. C., & Amaran, S. (2021). The effect of hypnotherapy on exam anxiety among nursing students. Journal of complementary & integrative medicine, 19(1), 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2020-0388

Chamine, I., Atchley, R., & Oken, B. S. (2018). Hypnosis Intervention Effects on Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 14(2), 271–283. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.6952

Olendzki, N., Elkins, G. R., Slonena, E., Hung, J., & Rhodes, J. R. (2020). Mindful Hypnotherapy to Reduce Stress and Increase Mindfulness: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 68(2), 151–166. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2020.1722028

Landolt, A. S., & Milling, L. S. (2011). The efficacy of hypnosis as an intervention for labor and delivery pain: a comprehensive methodological review. Clinical psychology review, 31(6), 1022–1031. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.06.002

Is Hypnotherapy Safe? What Can Go Wrong with Hypnotherapy?

In any realm, the skill of the user is crucial to ensure the safe and effective application of a tool. A tool in the wrong hands has the potential to cause harm. Picture a samurai sword in a child’s hand and you’ll know what I mean.

First of all, we should distinguish the tool from its user. Hypnotherapy serves as a tool, while the hypnotherapist acts as the user. It is noteworthy that some tools are more forgiving than the rest. Consider the contrasting examples of fire and paper. Fire can provide nourishment through cooking, yet it possesses the potential to burn down a house if mishandled. On the other hand, paper, although capable of giving a paper cut, is relatively more forgiving.

Hypnosis, much like paper, can be an incredible tool in the right hands, bringing about profound positive change. However, in the wrong hands, it has the potential for manipulation. Humans are inherently susceptible to suggestion in their waking state. With the use of techniques such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnosis can be exploited for less-than-benevolent purposes. I personally know an individual who utilises NLP in a manipulative way to fulfil their own desires.

Clinical hypnotherapy is conducted by reputable professionals in therapy centres, the focus is on helping individuals overcome their challenges rather than taking advantage of them. Hypnosis, in this context, becomes a safe tool to facilitate healing and growth.

Now, let’s address concerns about potential accidental harm during hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy engages the subconscious mind, which possesses remarkable intelligence. If a client is not prepared to confront past traumas, the subconscious mind will prevent them from resurfacing. However, in cases where past traumas do emerge, the client may experience discomfort during the session. It’s important to note that this discomfort does not pose any actual harm, although the intensity of resurfaced emotions can be intense. A number of my clients trembled as they relived their traumatic episode. For individuals with pre-existing heart conditions, it is advisable to inform the therapist of this concern.

Another potential negative aspect of hypnotherapy arises when a session is not appropriately concluded, leaving the client hanging with reopened traumatic memories. This may cause some discomfort because old beliefs and emotions have resurfaced and are not fully processed. Hypnotherapists are trained to avoid such situations, as they are taught to carefully address and process any highly charged emotions that emerge during therapy.

The most common healing effects of hypnotherapy are fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, and rarely headaches. I refrain from calling them side effects because they are actually symptoms that I want to observe during a session. These symptoms tell me that the therapy went well and the client was deeply hypnotised. Imagine going for a good deep tissue massage and feeling relaxed and sleepy afterwards. The feeling you get post-hypnotherapy is similar to this state because a lot of mental debris have been cleared during the session.

In conclusion, hypnotherapy is generally a safe modality. At worst, if the therapy session does not yield the desired benefits, there is typically no significant harm involved.

Is Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy Effective?

Hypnotherapy is generally regarded as an effective therapeutic modality, as demonstrated by the scientific evidence presented in the section, “What Does the Research Say about the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy?,” and the case studies in the following section, “Hypnotherapy Case Studies.”

When people inquire about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy, they typically want to know if it will work for them. The answer to this question is, in fact, “it depends.” While everyone can experience hypnosis to some degree, the depth of hypnosis varies from individual to individual.

In my practice, I find that for people with good visualisation skills and are in touch with their emotions, hypnotherapy can offer tremendous benefits. However, if they struggle with visualisation, find themselves seeing nothing when their eyes are closed, or feel emotionally detached, hypnotherapy may present more of a challenge.

Being emotionally numb doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Creative methods can be employed during hypnosis to enhance the experience and overcome this limitation. While visualisation is often emphasised due to our visual nature, it is not an absolute requirement for successful therapy. A vivid imagination or a strong connection with one’s emotions can effectively compensate for this limitation. For instance, I have had clients who initially saw nothing during a session but experienced intense emotions of sadness or fear. Some people may even hear voices or taste something before visual images arise.

Theoretically, individuals with severe psychosis, characterised by hallucinations and delusions, may not respond as well to hypnotherapy due to difficulties distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Hypnotherapy relies on a healthy imagination, which can be challenging for those with severe psychosis.

Additionally, individuals who struggle to communicate or articulate themselves effectively may derive somewhat less benefit from hypnosis. A comprehensive session necessitates two-way communication between therapist and client, as it is crucial for reviewing past events. However, even in such cases, hypnosis can still be beneficial through the use of suggestive scripts and tailored approaches.

Can Hypnotherapy be Used as a Standalone Treatment?

Contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapy can be an effective standalone treatment option. More than half of my clients sought hypnotherapy alone to address and resolve their problems. It is particularly successful in dealing with issues rooted in the mind, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Furthermore, hypnotherapy is considered very safe and does not have any contraindications, making it suitable to use in conjunction with other therapies. However, engaging in both conventional psychotherapy and hypnotherapy simultaneously might not yield optimal results, as both therapies may address similar issues. In such cases, focusing on one approach might be more beneficial.

On the other hand, hypnotherapy seamlessly complements other healing modalities, including Reiki and EFT Tapping. By integrating hypnotherapy with these modalities, individuals can experience a holistic and synergistic approach to healing.

How Many Hypnotherapy Sessions Do You Need to Solve a Problem?

Hypnotherapy is renowned for its ability to deliver rapid results. In my clinical practice, I have witnessed problems becoming manageable or completely resolving within just 1 to 3 sessions.

From a statistical standpoint, approximately 25% of my clients experience a recovery of their presenting issue after a single session. However, it’s important to note that this outcome is not the norm. The reason why multiple sessions are often necessary is because our problems are complex, resembling layers of a lasagna, intricately intertwined with one another. Furthermore, once the primary issue is addressed and alleviated, clients often become more attuned to other underlying problems that were previously overshadowed.

In addition, I have observed that it typically takes 1, and occasionally 2, sessions for clients to become accustomed to the techniques employed in hypnotherapy. While not always the case, there are instances where clients may inadvertently confuse my instructions or fail to follow them accurately. Just like learning to play a new game, it takes time to familiarise yourself with the hypnotherapy techniques.

What Should I Expect during a Hypnotherapy Session?

A hypnotherapy session typically commences with the intake, during which the therapist engages in a brief discussion with the client. The purpose is to pinpoint the core emotion or belief underlying the presenting problem through a process known as a “peel down”.

Once the intake is complete, the client reclines on a couch, and the induction process begins. Using skilful suggestions and voice modulation, the hypnotherapist guides the client into a trance state. In this trance, the client is typically transported back to the past to revisit the root cause of their issue. This reliving enables them to release the emotional and mental burdens that have been retained within their body.

The process of reliving may evoke some discomfort, particularly if the past event was traumatic. The client may shed tears or experience trembling fear, as they emotionally reconnect with their past experiences, feeling as if they are once again the 5-year-old who encountered the negative incident.

To facilitate catharsis and ensure the release of negative emotions, various techniques are employed. For clients in their first therapy session, further sessions may be required to thoroughly explore all aspects of the presenting problem. In some cases, problems can be complex, necessitating a gradual peeling off of layers to address them effectively.

The session concludes with a debrief, where both the client and therapist share their insights on the progress of the therapy. If necessary, a follow-up session is scheduled to address any remaining issues that require resolution.

How Long does a Hypnotherapy Treatment Last?

The duration of hypnotherapy sessions can vary significantly, with the shortest session I’ve come across lasting 40 minutes, while the longest can extend up to 7 hours. However, it’s important to note that these extreme cases are not representative of the typical session length.

On average, a standard session lasts between 1 to 2 hours. The specific duration of your session depends on several factors:

  1. If it’s a session where the therapist primarily reads from a script and provides suggestions, it can be completed in as little as 1 hour.
  2. For inner child healing sessions that involve delving into the root causes of the problem, it may require up to 2 hours to thoroughly explore and address the issues at hand.
  3. Your ability to visualise effectively and connect deeply with your emotions can greatly influence the smoothness and efficiency of the session.
  4. Resistance during the session can prolong the process. Some clients may initially resist discussing certain issues that arise, even if they have been brought to their attention by the therapist.

Ultimately, aiming for a shorter session duration is often desirable as it allows for a more efficient resolution of the problem at hand.

Will I Be In Control During Hypnosis?

There is a pervasive misconception that hypnosis always renders you unconscious, largely fuelled by the portrayal of stage hypnosis. By the way, participants of stage acts have revealed that they were not hypnotised but played along due to peer pressure.

While I can’t say the same of all schools of hypnosis, it is crucial to clarify that in the sessions I conduct, you will always remain in control. Rest assured, you will have ample control in my sessions to the extent that you can choose to leave the room at any point during the session.

Hypnosis can be likened to a profound meditative experience, where the constant mental chatter of the conscious mind recedes. In this state, the subtle thoughts and impressions stored in the subconscious mind can rise to the surface for examination. This process necessitates conscious awareness and, consequently, maintains your sense of control. By reviewing and reflecting upon these thoughts, you can uncover and address the underlying root causes of your challenges.

For a comprehensive understanding of how stage hypnosis works, watch Ben Cale’s captivating TEDx feature below.

What Conditions or Issues Can Hypnotherapy Effectively Address?

Hypnosis is widely recognised for its ability to induce relaxation, alleviate stress and anxiety, and address issues stemming from past experiences. However, it may surprise you to learn that hypnosis can also be incredibly beneficial for concerns typically addressed in coaching.

In essence, hypnosis has the potential to assist in resolving any problem, as it directly engages with the intricacies of the mind—the very wellspring of our numerous challenges. The following list, while not exhaustive, offers a glimpse into the wide range of issues that hypnotherapy has effectively addressed:

  1. Physical Problems: bed wetting, impotence, insomnia, nail biting, overeating, pain, sexual dysfunction, skin problems, sleep disorders, stuttering, substance abuse, thumb-sucking, weight loss
  2. Mental Problems: concentration, indecision, intrusive thoughts, OCD, stress, worry
  3. Emotional Problems: abandonment, aggression, anger, anxiety, anxiety, cravings, depression, frustration, grief, inferiority, insecurity, irritability, lack of ambition, lack of direction, lack of enthusiasm, low self-confidence, mistrust, panic attacks, passive-aggressive, pessimism, poor self-esteem, sadness, self-blame, shame
  4. Addictions: addiction to porn, addiction to sex, drinking addiction, gambling addiction, smoking addiction
  5. Fears and Phobias: fear of animals, fear of failure, fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of insects, fear of public speaking, fear of success, fear of water
  6. Others: career success, child birth, achieving goals

Read on for more examples in the next section “Hypnotherapy Case Studies”.

Hypnotherapy Case Studies

Addiction to Porn

Silas

Silas was grappling with distressing intrusive thoughts involving unusual sexual fantasies about men. These thoughts would compel him to engage in masturbation, leaving him feeling uncomfortable and out of control. During our session, we delved into his past and discovered that his addiction to pornography had its roots in his childhood. Silas carried a deep sense of disgust and shame for his actions, despite knowing his own sexual orientation as gay. Adding to his turmoil, his church pastor became aware of his sexuality and expressed disapproval, leaving Silas feeling as though he was “going to die”. He believed he had failed in the eyes of God.

Understanding the origins of his intrusive thoughts and the discomfort they caused brought about profound healing for Silas. His addiction significantly diminished, and, for the first time, he embraced his gay identity with a newfound sense of comfort. A surprising outcome of this transformation was a remarkable improvement in his self-confidence. Previously, Silas would shy away from public speaking due to intense nervousness. Yet, to his pleasant surprise, he found himself speaking naturally and addressing large crowds with ease.

Anger Issues

Lee

Lee struggled with frequent outbursts of anger, often directing his frustration towards his family and colleagues. He was fully aware of his behaviour and felt immensely frustrated with himself. Through therapy, we uncovered the underlying cause of his anger, tracing it back to a challenging childhood marked by a lack of maternal love. This upbringing led him to develop a deep-seated belief that his every action fell short of expectations, leaving him feeling empty inside. As he entered the workforce, his efforts were consistently met with criticism, further reinforcing this belief and intensifying the sense of emptiness. The accumulated frustration from these experiences fuelled his anger.

Following the therapy session, Lee experienced a significant reduction in his frustration and underwent a remarkable transformation into a much calmer individual. Even his colleagues took notice of the positive change in his demeanour. Moreover, as Lee worked through his emotional challenges, the feeling of emptiness gradually dissipated, and he no longer sought external validation to affirm his self-worth.

Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Sharifah

Sharifah experienced debilitating anxiety attacks that would cause her to scream uncontrollably when triggered. Through therapy, we discovered that her overbearing and controlling mother was the underlying cause of her struggles. Sharifah’s mother consistently imposed her own preferences and decisions, leaving Sharifah with limited choices in life. This oppressive dynamic created immense internal conflict and distress.

After just one therapy session, Sharifah noticed a remarkable reduction in the frequency and intensity of her anxiety attacks. Her depression and sadness, which had previously been at a severe level, significantly decreased from 9/10 to 2/10. The once pervasive and overwhelming thoughts of suicide completely vanished. Moreover, the emotional baggage she had been carrying around, weighing her down, was finally released. This liberation resulted in a remarkable improvement in her overall energy levels and well-being.

Peiting

Peiting endured relentless harassment from a senior colleague, causing her to experience frequent fear and anxiety attacks whenever she received scolding calls. As therapy commenced, memories from her childhood resurfaced. She vividly remembered an incident where her mother harshly scolded her for taking money to visit a doctor, belittling her intelligence and worth. This traumatic event left Peiting with a persistent belief that she was inherently wrong and incapable. Over time, this belief became deeply ingrained, leading to difficulties in asserting herself during challenging situations.

Following the therapy session, a remarkable transformation occurred. Peiting found that the panic attacks, which had plagued her daily life, completely vanished. The therapy allowed her to confront and release the negative beliefs that had held her back, paving the way for newfound confidence and empowerment.

Xin

For nearly a decade, Xin grappled with debilitating anxiety, enduring the physical symptoms that disrupted every aspect of her life. As the therapy session commenced, she was transported back to a poignant childhood memory, where she experienced a deep sense of emotional disconnection from her parents. The profound sadness she felt from always being out of their reach was compounded by frequent physical abuse inflicted upon her by her own father, the person she once cherished above all others. These traumatic experiences left Xin with profound trust issues that permeated her relationships.

Following the therapy session, Xin noticed a remarkable shift in her well-being. It struck her as strange that the overwhelming daily anxiety she had become accustomed to no longer plagued her. The familiar sensation of anxiety, like a piercing sting in her chest, had vanished after just one session. The release of these deep-rooted anxieties allowed her to experience a newfound sense of calm and freedom from the grip of her past experiences.

See Rodrigo’s case in “Feeling Inadequate”.

Binge Eating

Victoria

Victoria’s preoccupation with her weight and the unhealthy habit of binge eating fast food had been a source of deep concern. Delving into her past, it became apparent that as a child, she was consistently denied the opportunity to indulge in fast food, instead being relegated to eating leftovers. Unbeknownst to her conscious mind, this deprivation had subconsciously driven her to compensate for the lost experiences through compulsive binge eating. Remarkably, after just one session, this destructive behaviour came to a sudden halt, allowing Victoria to regain control over her relationship with food.

Brain Fog, Forgetfulness

Shhawal

Shhawal sought therapy to address the overwhelming brain fog that had plagued him for over five years. Reflecting on his past, it became evident that he had endured frequent episodes of humiliation that shattered his confidence. Surprisingly, the brain fog was revealed to be a protective mechanism of his mind, shielding him from the distressing memories associated with those traumatic experiences. Astonishingly, following just one session, there was a remarkable 30% improvement in his condition, allowing him to regain clarity and remember the whereabouts of his belongings. As time passed, his progress continued to astound, with his condition improving by an astounding 80% within the span of a month, triggered by a profound realisation that he was responsible for his own problems.

Constant Worry

See Tabitha’s case in “Feeling Not Good Enough”.
See Annika’s case in “Low Confidence, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Worth”.

Depression

See Sharifah case in “Anxiety/Panic Attacks”.

Ruyin

Here goes Ruyin’s video testimonial.

I was in a romantic relationship that lasted three and a half years. And this really took a toll on my emotional health. I hit an all time low recently. And I went through a month long depressive episode. It was the first time in my life actually. One of the hardest points in my life. During this episode, I didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t even want to do the stuff that used to bring me enjoyment. I was really in despair. And so I texted Eugene for advice. It was incredibly difficult for me during the session, because I couldn’t stop crying. It was uncontrollable.

When Eugene saw that, he suggested that we do a few rounds of EFT, the tapping therapy to help relieve some of that emotion that couldn’t stop flowing. And finally I calmed down. And we went into the hypnotherapy proper. By the end of the session. I was extremely tired and emotionally numb, because, you know, I cried so much. Yeah, but Eugene said, hey, you look better. I was really doubtful at that point. Anyway, I went home, and I went to bed really early, because I was so drained.

And the next morning when I woke up, it felt a bit different. I felt motivated enough to start cleaning up the house. I didn’t dread the chores at all. And the next day, I actually broke up with my boyfriend. It was devastating but I felt like I could finally move on and begin to heal. So over the next few weeks, I actually went back to cooking my own meals. And after two years of not exercising, I went back to exercising almost every day, actually. And I also went back to my regular singing and piano practice, started planning for lessons again, met up with friends. Also, after two years of not meeting a single person besides my students. A month later, I actually organised a successful student recital where I myself performed on the piano, singing. And I also celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with my family and friends. I’m actually enjoying hanging out with friends every week, instead of just being present like a zombie. And of course my house is much cleaner now. I’ve been slowly but steadily cleaning it up. And I still cook regularly for myself and now sometimes even for others.

So I’m really grateful to Eugene as a friend and as my hypnotherapist and for being the one who forced me to have a session when I didn’t want to so I could start healing. Eugene, you actually saved my life.

Ling

Ling had experienced verbal abuse during her previous job, and although she had moved on to a better environment, she found herself trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions, easily triggered by minor incidents. The weight of her depression began to take a toll on her work performance. Through hypnosis, we delved into her past and discovered that Ling had endured both physical and verbal abuse during her childhood. Her father would react violently whenever she said something he disapproved of, culminating in a particularly aggressive episode where he forcefully smashed her beloved violin when she couldn’t demonstrate her progress. From that moment on, Ling harboured self-hatred.

Surprisingly, just one week after the initial session, Ling experienced remarkable improvements. The cloud of negativity dissipated, she no longer found herself succumbing to “stress crying,” and a decade-long neck pain vanished. Additionally, she reported experiencing the “best sleep in years”.

Easily Irritated

Bethany

Bethany frequently found herself caught in a cycle of rumination, dwelling on unpleasant events that caused her significant stress. This pattern was rooted in a deep-seated fear of appearing incompetent and being subjected to judgment. Through the session, various incidents from her childhood resurfaced, revealing moments of embarrassment that had left a lasting impact on her. Consequently, she developed a hyper-vigilance to prevent any recurrence of such situations. In the days following the session, Bethany noticed a remarkable increase in calmness in her life. Additionally, she discovered that she no longer relied on white noise to achieve restful sleep at night.

Fear of Failure

Miglė

5-Star Google review on how hypnotherapy solved Migle's imposter syndrome

Miglė sought assistance to address her struggles with imposter syndrome, which manifested in excessive overthinking and an unhealthy tendency to overwork. Through the session, she uncovered past instances where she had faced significant failures. While these experiences initially motivated her to work diligently and led to her success, they also triggered constant worry about future failures. This persistent fear greatly affected her work performance. However, after the session, Miglė experienced an astonishing transformation. Her worrying ceased entirely, and the fear of failure was completely eradicated, bidding farewell to imposter syndrome once and for all.

Fear of Public Speaking

Hyder

Hyder sought assistance to address his irrational belief of being ordinary and insignificant. Through the session, we discovered that this belief had been inadvertently instilled in him by his parents, who unknowingly reinforced it through various incidents. As a peak performance coach, Hyder often advised his clients that a slight nervousness before speaking on stage was normal. Interestingly, he himself experienced this feeling in his stomach. However, to his astonishment, after the session, he no longer experienced any nervousness when giving talks. He felt completely in his element, free from the weight of feeling ordinary or insignificant.

Feeling Confused

See Sherin’s case in “Feeling Lost”.

Feeling Empty

See Lee’s case in “Anger Issues”.

See Sherin’s case in “Feeling Lost”.

Feeling Helpless

Ahmad

Ahmad experienced a sense of helplessness and powerlessness whenever he faced situations where he couldn’t grasp the bigger picture. Through therapy, he regressed to a 9-year-old version of himself and recalled how his mother had carefully controlled his life to ensure he would never experience failure. Her intense fear of failure drove her to take extensive measures to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Unfortunately, this overprotection hindered Ahmad’s ability to make decisions when faced with incomplete information and affected his capacity to form meaningful connections with others. Every action he took was plagued by self-doubt.

Therapy brought about a remarkable transformation for Ahmad. Following the session, he gained profound clarity and developed newfound confidence in making tough decisions even in the absence of complete information. Additionally, he discovered that engaging with people came naturally and effortlessly to him. In his own words, he expressed that the therapy sessions had restored a significant portion of the confidence and vitality he had lost over the past two years and more.

See Sherin’s case in “Feeling Lost”.

Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough

See Lee’s case in “Anger Issues”.

Rodrigo

Rodrigo had been struggling with anxiety for numerous years, which cast a cloud of misery over his daily life. At the core of his struggles was a deeply ingrained belief that he was inadequate, accompanied by a profound sense of sadness that weighed heavily on his chest. These emotions traced back to a teenage experience with his first girlfriend, where his expressions of love were not reciprocated as he had hoped, leaving him feeling undervalued. This pattern repeated itself in two subsequent adult relationships, further reinforcing his belief in his own unworthiness. The imbalanced nature of these partnerships, with Rodrigo constantly giving but never receiving in return, had also fostered deep-rooted trust issues and the conviction that others were privileged while he remained disadvantaged.

Remarkably, a single therapy session was able to halt Rodrigo’s anxiety in its tracks. Subsequent updates from him revealed a significant improvement in his overall well-being, with Rodrigo expressing that he felt much better and experienced a notable decrease in feelings of sadness and tears compared to before the session.

Tabitha

Tabitha sought assistance to address her deep-seated belief of “I’m not good enough,” which she attributed to the negative influence of her former boss. However, as the session unfolded, an intriguing twist emerged. Delving into her past, Tabitha found herself transported back to her first year of secondary school, where she experienced the sting of failure on a test. Rather than offering support and encouragement, her teacher expressed disbelief at her performance, planting the seed of doubt and inadequacy within her. Similar events repeated themselves in subsequent years, further fuelling her belief that she fell short of expectations. In a particularly significant incident, a teacher unjustly assigned lower marks to Tabitha simply because she lacked a leadership position. The session concluded by exploring the tense dynamics between Tabitha and her former boss, who persistently berated her despite her colleagues recognising her competence and accomplishments.

Despite transitioning to a more positive and nurturing work environment, Tabitha continued to harbour doubts about the intentions of others, fearing that they would cause her harm. This led her to engage in self-sabotaging behaviours, resulting in her colleagues perceiving her in a negative light. However, following the session, Tabitha experienced a significant reduction in triggers and gained improved mental clarity. She expressed immense gratitude for the therapeutic process, noting that she had not felt such a profound sense of calmness in a long time. In an unexpected turn of events, her chronic neck pain, which had plagued her for a decade, miraculously vanished. No longer reliant on heavy medication to manage the pain, Tabitha embraced a newfound freedom from this physical burden.

Feeling Lost

Sherin


Sherin found herself engulfed by feelings of being lost, empty, and confused, which manifested as difficulty expressing herself and a deep-seated fear of social interactions. As the hypnosis session commenced, her subconscious mind transported her back to a pivotal incident from her childhood at the age of three. In that moment, her parents had locked her in a room, intending to protect her. However, this experience triggered overwhelming sensations of being lost and confused, leading her to adopt the belief that “there’s nothing I can do.” It is understandable that she continued to feel adrift in her life. This belief resurfaced in two subsequent incidents, further reinforcing her sense of helplessness.

One of the significant events involved an emotionally overwhelming relationship with her ex-boyfriend. However, following the session, Sherin experienced a heightened awareness of her emotions and underlying beliefs. Rather than avoiding or suppressing these feelings, she now confronts them directly, allowing for greater personal growth. Furthermore, the intense emotional triggers associated with her past relationship dissipated, granting her newfound emotional stability and liberation.

Feeling Out of Control

Rebecca

Rebecca sought assistance to address her lack of self-respect, as she felt her life was spiraling out of control, allowing external circumstances to dictate her existence. Throughout the session, we unearthed a pivotal experience from her primary school years, where a teacher instilled the belief that she was inherently useless. This negative belief system took root within her.

As a teenager, Rebecca faced the tragic loss of her father, and she made a solemn vow to care for her mother. However, life took unexpected turns, and she found herself becoming a single mother. The weight of this situation compounded her feelings of inadequacy and intensified her perception of having failed.

Following the therapy session, Rebecca experienced a significant resurgence in her confidence. An unexpected transformation occurred when she surprised her friend by speaking up during a conversation, a departure from her usual habit of quietly listening without offering her input. Regaining control over her life became a tangible reality for her.

Humiliation

See Shhawal’s case in “Brain Fog, Forgetfulness”.

See Janine’s case in “Low Confidence, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Worth”.

Imposter Syndrome

See Miglė’s case in “Fear of Failure”.

Insomnia & Sleep Issues

Sleep issues and insomnia are prevalent concerns among individuals seeking my assistance. Interestingly, many of them rarely consider hypnosis as a viable solution, often opting for supplements like melatonin instead. However, it is quite remarkable how frequently these individuals experience unexpected improvements in their sleep patterns through hypnosis.

In two notable instances, clients who previously relied on white noise to sleep found themselves no longer needing this external aid. Another extraordinary case involved a client who experienced a week-long stretch of restful sleep, akin to a contented baby, from 9pm to 6am each night. These amazing outcomes suggest that their bodies were reclaiming and making up for lost sleep during this period.

It is astonishing how hypnosis can bring about such profound changes in sleep quality and duration for individuals who had not initially considered it as a viable solution.

See Lee’s case in “Anger Issues”.

See Annika’s case in “Low Confidence, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Worth”.

See Ling’s case in “Depression”.

See Bethany’s case in “Easily Irritated”.

Low Energy / Chronic Fatigue

See Sharifah’s case in “Anxiety/Panic Attacks”.

Low Confidence, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Worth

Janine

Janine approached me seeking clarity on her persistent feelings of unworthiness, which were hindering her from pursuing her entrepreneurial ambitions. During our session, we delved into her past and uncovered significant events that shaped her self-perception. As a young child, she experienced humiliation from her teacher due to her struggles with English, which compounded her insecurities. Furthermore, she faced bullying from her peers who taunted her for being absent-minded. Additionally, a particularly harsh reprimand from her father, despite being unrelated to her own actions, left her feeling isolated and abandoned.

Through our work together, Janine experienced a transformative shift. She was able to release the weight of unworthiness that had been holding her back for so long. This newfound sense of freedom empowered her to confidently launch her new business venture, unencumbered by the shackles of self-doubt. Janine emerged from our session with a renewed sense of purpose and self-belief, ready to embrace her entrepreneurial journey with a newfound sense of worthiness and resilience.

Annika

Annika sought therapy to address the overwhelming burden of external expectations that weighed heavily on her. As she shared her experiences, her emotions overflowed, and tears streamed down her face. During our session, she revisited a significant event from her childhood when she was just eight years old. It was the moment her teacher informed her parents about her academic underperformance, which left her father visibly displeased. Filled with determination, she diligently worked harder and eventually achieved commendable results. However, her accomplishments were consistently downplayed by her parents, who set impossibly high academic standards for her. This constant invalidation led Annika to feel unworthy and contributed to a pattern of overworking herself to the point of exhaustion in her professional life.

Moreover, Annika’s constant worry that her actions would never measure up left her trapped in a cycle of overthinking even in her personal relationships. However, following our session, she gained a remarkable ability to recognise and intercept these negative thoughts as they arose. This newfound awareness empowered her to make a pivotal decision—to leave her current job in pursuit of a healthier work-life balance. Annika’s transformational journey continued as she prioritised her own well-being and sought opportunities that aligned with her values and aspirations.

See Ahmad’s case in “Feeling Helpless”.

See Shhawal’s case in “Brain Fog, Forgetfulness”.

See Silas’ case in “Addiction to Porn”.

Trust issues

Janet

Janet grappled with persistent trust issues that cast a shadow of anxiety over her current relationship. During our session, she experienced a poignant flashback to her childhood, unveiling the pivotal role her guardian played in shaping her trust-related struggles. Growing up in a single-parent household, Janet sought solace in the presence of her guardian, forging a deep emotional bond. However, the shocking discovery of his infidelity shattered her sense of trust. Throughout her formative years, Janet repeatedly witnessed his betrayals as he cunningly concealed his unfaithful actions.

Unbeknownst to her, these experiences left an indelible mark on her psyche, shaping her adult behaviour. The impact was twofold: Janet found it challenging to trust others, and, in turn, others found it difficult to trust her. Tears welled in her eyes as she made this poignant connection, recognising the profound influence her past had on her present struggles.

See Xin’s case in “Anxiety/Panic Attacks”.

See Rodrigo’s case in “Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough”.

See Tabitha’s case in “Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough”.

Neck Pain

See Tabitha’s case in “Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough”.

Overwork / Overwhelmed with work

See Annika’s case in “Low Confidence, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Worth”.

People-Pleasing

Champ

Champ consistently found himself in a recurring pattern of prioritising others over himself. This tendency stemmed from his childhood experiences when his parents divorced, leaving him to shoulder the responsibility of caring for his entire family, including his depressed parents. Sadly, this selfless behaviour persisted in his recent relationships, where he once again found himself catering to the needs of his partners at the expense of his own well-being. Pouring his heart and soul into these relationships left him emotionally drained and depleted. When these relationships ultimately ended abruptly, mirroring the turmoil of his parents’ divorce, Champ was left feeling empty and neglected. However, in the days following our session, he expressed a notable improvement in his overall well-being, indicating a positive shift in his perspective and emotional state.

Phobia of Lizards

Jason

Phobias and fears are often confused, but they have distinct differences. A fear typically stems from a specific childhood incident, like a near-drowning experience leading to a fear of water. On the other hand, phobias lack a clear logical connection and can be perplexing. Jason’s phobia was particularly severe, to the point where even the mention of the word “lizard” would elicit an electric shock-like sensation in his chest. Curiously, he noticed that lizards seemed to gravitate towards him, intensifying his distress.

During our session, Jason unexpectedly found himself reliving a past life as a bounty hunter, where he was responsible for eliminating both human targets and exotic creatures, including a large lizard-like creature. Although it may seem unusual, exploring this past life experience provided significant clarity to his conscious mind. Following the session, he shared a screenshot of his phone’s wallpaper, proudly displaying an image of a lizard. Remarkably, his 30-year-long lizard phobia had completely vanished after just a single session.

Poor Self-Image

See Tabitha’s case in “Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough”.

Post-Natal Depression

Samantha

Samantha experienced deep depression following the birth of her child. Strangely, her thoughts were consumed by a pair of twins she had encountered nearby, and not being able to see them intensified her feelings of sadness. This obsession led her to frequently visit the location where she had met the twins and even attempt to see them at their school. The longing to catch a glimpse of them became a desperate need for Samantha to find solace.

On one occasion, she encountered the twins’ mother, who initially agreed to a playdate but continually postponed it until eventually ceasing communication altogether. Undeterred, Samantha purchased a gift for the twins and went to their home, hoping to connect with them. However, instead of meeting their mother, she was met by their stern-looking grandfather, who sternly instructed her to leave. This encounter left Samantha feeling rejected and utterly powerless.

Through the process of reviewing and exploring the entire episode, combined with creative visualisation techniques, Samantha was able to find resolution for her depression surrounding the twins.

Relationship Issues

Jared was keenly aware of a restrictive belief that he didn’t deserve to experience happiness or be in a committed relationship. His mind quickly transported him back to a corner of his childhood classroom, where he watched enviously as the popular kids surrounded the center of attention. Their condescending glances made him feel like an outcast, solidifying this belief within him.

This episode was followed by similar experiences of rejection, further reinforcing his negative belief until he sought therapy. After the therapy session, an observable shift occurred in Jared’s energy, and he began to attract the attention of beautiful women. To learn more about his journey, please read Jared’s full account.

Self-Doubt

See Ahmad’s case in “Feeling Helpless”.

Self-Hate

See Ling’s case in “Depression”.

Self-Sabotage

See Tabitha’s case in “Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Not Good Enough”.

Shyness

Francois’ shyness had a detrimental impact on his interviews. A few years ago, he began to experience the recurring thought, “I’m not supposed to be here,” whenever he met his bosses or attended interviews, leading to a constant feeling of judgment from others. Upon exploring his past, he discovered himself entangled in the high expectations set by his parents. Like any caring parent, they wished for him to excel academically and achieve good grades. However, when he fell short of their expectations, his father expressed his disappointment in a harsh manner, predicting a future with a low social status for Francois. This experience left him feeling rejected and misunderstood by his father. As time went on, these unresolved emotions manifested as symptoms of shyness and hindered his ability to secure employment.

After the therapy session, significant changes occurred in Francois’ life. He successfully obtained a job and, more importantly, developed a newfound awareness of how he approached similar situations in a more positive manner.

Suicidal Thoughts

Ting

Ting had endured years of depression, accompanied by recurring thoughts of suicide and causing harm to those around her. Whenever her husband displayed aggressive behaviour, these distressing thoughts would flood her mind. During the therapy session, she revisited a specific childhood incident that filled her with terror—an intense memory of her parents engaging in heated arguments with raised voices. Later in life, she found herself entangled in similar confrontations with her ex-boyfriend, who, in one instance, even resorted to physical violence against her. These incidents bore a striking resemblance to the fights she witnessed between her parents. Overwhelmed by emotions, tears streamed down her face as she confronted and made peace with these traumatic experiences.

Remarkably, following the session, Ting emerged as a changed individual, liberated from the grip of deeply negative thoughts. Her depression dissipated entirely after just one session, revealing a new Ting who’s free from the burden of her past experiences.

See Sharifah’s case in “Anxiety/Panic Attacks”.

Unable to Say No

Helen

Helen struggled with an inability to assert herself and frequently found herself succumbing to the requests of others, often at the expense of her own well-being. She recognised that the root cause of this behaviour lay in the belief that she didn’t exist. During her hypnotherapy session, she delved deep into her subconscious mind, regressing all the way back to the time when she was in her mother’s womb. It was there that she discovered a painful truth: her mother had considered aborting her due to the unplanned nature of the pregnancy and financial insecurities. This revelation shed light on why Helen had developed the belief that she didn’t exist.

Throughout her life, her mother’s actions and lack of faith in her had served as constant reminders of this deeply ingrained belief, and even her father had contributed to its reinforcement.

After the session, Helen found herself liberated from the shackles of this negative belief, no longer burdened by the weight of her past.

2 Comments

  • Hyprov

    This blog is a treasure trove of information on hypnotherapy and hypnosis. It's clear, concise, and up-to-date. The comprehensive guide covers everything one needs to know about these fascinating topics. It's a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding how hypnotherapy can positively impact their life. Kudos to you for putting together such an informative and engaging piece!

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