"A physically relaxed state with an associated mental focus. It is a pleasant experience and will help you to de-stress."


"The use of hypnosis to give specific suggestions based on the removal of unwanted thoughts, behaviours and feelings. The suggestions will be thought out and agreed with the practitioner before the hypnotherapy starts."

Clinical Hypnosis

"A specific treatment protocol designed to reduce fears, alleviate symptoms, improve personal abilities and enhance skills."

Definitions from The clinical hypnosis textbook by Ursula James.

What happens in a session?

What is hypnosis like?
Being in a hypnotic trance feels very pleasant and extremely physically relaxing, just as you might associate with a place or situation where you have felt totally at ease in the past. Similar states occur when you are engrossed in a good book, or idly day-dreaming.

You can move around, the same way as you would during sleep, and it won’t disturb you. If you wish to talk, you can do so. 

Your mind will be fully alert, and you will be able to hear everything the hypnotherapist says. You will not be 'asleep' as such, and – if you desire to – you will remember everything that happens while you are in the trance.


Will I be in control?
Yes. You will remain in control at all times.

This concern is often voiced by those who have watched stage shows and wondered – quite understandably – if they could be made to do such things.

In hypnotherapy, you and the practitioner work together to promote positive enhancements and you will only accept suggestions that your unconscious mind deems beneficial. You will not accept any suggestions that do not fit into your own moral and ethical framework.


Can everyone be hypnotised?
Most people can be hypnotized. However, nobody can be hypnotized against their will. How receptive you will be to suggestions depends on a number of things:
  • How comfortable you feel with your practitioner (which is why it is a good idea to talk to them before coming for a session).
  • How motivated you are to make the changes. (Hypnotherapy can be used to enhance your motivation if required.)
  • How confident and calm you are currently. (Hypnotherapy will help with both of these matters)
  • If you are prepared to make the changes suggested in the hypnosis. (The practitioner will always work with you to make sure that the changes are appropriate for you.)
If you are being treated by a medical practitioner, you will be asked to contact your GP for their permission to treat. This is to ensure that the hypnotherapy does not interfere with any treatment you might be currently undergoing.


Are there side effects?
Hypnosis is completely natural, so the only side effects are the pleasant by-products of improved well-being.

These normally include sleeping better, feeling more confident and having a more positive outlook.


What happens in a session?
The first part of the session will be an opportunity for you to discuss your problem and how the hypnotherapy can help you. Hypnosis will be explained, and you can ask all the questions you want.

The rest of the session will be taken up with the hypnotherapy itself with ample time afterwards to give feedback, and talk about your experience if you wish.


How long does is a session?
Sessions are normally around an hour in length. However, the first session is always longer, as there is more to discuss.


How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions depends on three components: Your state of mind, the condition, and how well you respond to hypnotherapy. This is not a treatment which requires you to come for many sessions.

When hypnotherapy works, it works rapidly. The maximum number of sessions for the majority of conditions is three. You may also be recommended a CD or MP3 to listen to between your sessions, to supplement the suggestions and improve your resilience to stress.

For many conditions, one session is sufficient. For more information on specific conditions and how they are treated, see What is Hypnotherapy.


Ask Ursula a question...
If you have a particular question that you would like to ask Ursula then use the contact form to ask it and I will always respond.

If the question is of general interest, then I may add it to these FAQs.