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There are many myths that surround hypnotherapy so to clear them up, our clinical counsellor and hypnotherapist Barb has answered a few of the common questions. 

Will you make me quack like a duck?

We’ve all seen show hypnosis where the hypnotist gets the audience to behave in funny and even embarrassing ways. The hypnotist does simple tests with the audience to see who is highly hypnotisable and these people are chosen to come on stage. In other words, they are primed to act out anything the hypnotist suggests. A clinical or medical hypnotherapist is not a hypnotist! 

Will the hypnotherapist control my mind?

No one can dictate to your subconscious mind what it will or will not accept. Modern hypnotherapy is indirect, meaning that the hypnotherapist offers ideas and suggests using phrases like “You may experience X or not”. The clinical hypnotherapist is a facilitator, making suggestions based on your needs and goals. The hypnotherapist is there to always ensure your mental safety and stability, give post-hypnosis suggestions, and provide self-hypnosis activities to continue your subconscious work between and after sessions. 

I heard that I can quit smoking in only one session!

Some hypnotherapists advertise that they can help you “overcome” serious conditions like depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. in a few sessions. With all deep-rooted conditions, hypnotherapy can have some relieving effects as the mind processes different ways of thinking at a subconscious level. However, it is not a solo treatment and needs to be integrated with other evidence-based psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Those who quit smoking after one session and never smoke again are those who are highly suggestible. Most people will probably stop smoking for a while and then start again unless they are doing regular and ongoing self-hypnosis work.

Can clinical hypnosis help ADHD?

Yes and no. Yes: you can learn how to focus and concentrate better using hypnotherapy, mindfulness, and other evidence-based psychotherapies. No: hypnotherapy cannot change the neuro-development nature of ADHD, a condition where it is difficult for a person to control behaviours and pay attention to tasks which are not highly interesting to them. What hypnotherapy can help with is anxiety accompanying ADHD. ADHD and anxiety are commonly co-occurring because constantly struggling with time management, organisation, and concentration is exhausting and stressful. In other words, if the mind is in a relaxed state, which is where hypnotherapy comes in, the mind will hold focus much better.

Is hypnotherapy effective for everyone?

Hypnosis, including its use in therapy, is based on suggestions and imagination and works very well for those who work well in their inner imagination and are more “suggestible”. More “suggestible” means the person’s mind is open to the suggestion facilitated by the hypnotherapist. However, we are all hypnotisable. For example, you’ve just got home from the office and can’t remember driving home. That’s self-hypnosis! Your subconscious (in this case what is called procedural memory) got you home safety as your conscious mind wasn’t needed. Spacing out, being dreamy is self-hypnosis.

If you think hypnotherapy is something you would like to try, book a session with Barb, our clinical counsellor who is also an experienced hypnotherapist. Want to know more? Barb is more than happy to have a chat over the phone if you have any questions or are unsure if it’s for you.  

You may also like to read our blog where Barb describes the process of a hypnotherapy session.