Commonly asked questions and misconceptions

Stage hypnotists have raised the profile of hypnotism significantly, but also created a lot of discredit to the discipline.
Fear of hypnosis will prevent you from achieving your goals. Here are some answers to the commonly heard worries.

Can anyone be hypnotised?


Have you ever daydreamed? Ever been driving and realised you had missed the last 5 minutes of the journey? You were in a trance – the same natural state that we create during hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis is nothing more than a state of relaxation that many people slip into and out of quite naturally.  The only difference is that you are choosing to make that change to your brain activity.

Everyone can be hypnotised as long as there are 3 conditions in place:

1. You have given consent to be hypnotised
2. You trust the person you are working with
3. There is clear communication between you and the therapist

Do you do online sessions?

Very simply, yes!

You can work face to face with me in Salisbury, Wiltshire or we can do a session online.  The way we work together is the same, the only difference is geography.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, most client sessions were conducted online and it was proven that the successes achieved by clients was not inhibited by our physical remoteness.


Will I remember what I said?


When in a trance state your subconscious is in charge. And it is the subconscious that stores all of your memories (which is why we can access things under hypnosis that the conscious has forgotten).

When you come out of trance, you will typically recall the session vividly and many clients also start to experience an improvement in their memory in their normal wakened state too.

How many sessions will I need?

This is the proverbial ‘how long is a piece of string’.

Phobias typically only require 2-3 sessions to be resolved.  Weight management clients often have 4-6 sessions.  Few clients see me for more than 8-10 sessions if we are working on one behaviour.

We work session by session, managing frequency in line with what your diary and finances are comfortable with.

Will I tell you all my secrets?

You will tell me only what you want to.

However, my business is based on trust; if I shared secrets, I would soon go out of business!

You may tell me things you have not told anyone else, but similarly, you won’t if you don’t want to.

A good therapeutic relationship is based on mutual trust and the content of your session is confidential and as a professional therapist, I am non-judgemental.

What if I don’t wake up?

You will wake up!

Hypnotic sleep is fantastically relaxing, but it is different to the sleep you have at night.  You will feel extremely relaxed, but just as you would wake up if a fire alarm went off, or you heard a window smash at night, you would also come out of the trance state, regardless of how deep it was. In the hundreds of years of recorded cases of hypnotherapy, (in fact there is evidence of hypnosis practise going back over 3000 years), there are no records of anyone ever having failed to return from the trance state.

Can you make me cluck like a chicken?

I cannot make you do anything!

Whilst you are in hypnotic sleep (trance) you are still fully in control.

If a suggestion made to you was unacceptable, you WILL NOT do it. A person who dances naked on tables when drunk, would accept a suggestion to undress under hypnosis. In TV shows where people have been hypnotised to do silly things, those subjects had values that meant that act was within their boundaries of acceptability.

Thousands of tests have proven that if a suggestion is given to someone and it is perceived as improper, they either reject it or come out of trance.

It is also important to recognise that my role is to help you in achieving your goals, not to be entertained!

FOr more information on the differences between the therapeutic use of hypnosis and that on stage, click here

How is it different to other therapies?

Typically, it takes less time.

Many talking therapies (such as counselling, psychoanalysis etc) are accessing your conscious mind.  This part of you is rational, mature and logical.  However, many of the behaviours we don’t like are not rational or ‘grown up’ – eg running away from a spider you consciously know can’t hurt you. This behaviour is being driven from the subconscious mind.

Hypnotherapy is a way of accessing that part of your mind and identifying what is feeding your behaviour.

Imagine a weed in your garden.  Talking therapies are like gardeners who come and cut the weed off at soil level.  The garden may look lovely for a couple of weeks, but the weed grows back – and often stronger each time.  To keep the garden nice, you have to keep calling the gardener in. Hypnotherapy is about going beneath the soil and pulling the root out meaning that the weed has gone and the garden can stay looking lovely – and no more gardening!

How do you feel when hypnotised?

In one word – relaxed!

The trance state is a completely natural state that we can all experience. Have you ever daydreamed or ‘drifted off’ for a minute? Or perhaps you have been driving and got somewhere but not remembered most of the journey? In both cases, you were in a trance state.

The only difference is you actively choose to go into a trance when being hypnotised. Typically it is a very pleasant experience and when people come out of trance they feel very relaxed, tranquil and often re-energised.

To read some personal accounts of people who have been hypnotised please take a look at some client stories.

Do you have a question not answered here? Let me know what it is and I will answer it for you.