National Society of Psychotherapists 
 
Supporting Therapists In Practice 
 
 
 
 
 

Hypnotherapy FAQ 

 
Hypno-Psychotherapy FAQ 
 
1. What is hypnosis? 
 
Opinions vary on the exact definition of this natural state of mind. First of all, contrary to what many people believe, hypnosis is not always a trance state or a sleep state even though a person in hypnosis may appear to be sleeping. Hypnosis is really natural state of mind and is an important part of everyday life. Whenever our mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as reading a book, driving a familiar route, watching a film we are in a state of hypnosis. 
 
Brain scans on people who are in hypnosis state show that brain wave activity moves from a Beta state to an Alpha state, and sometimes a Theta state. This is not dissimilar to the pattern of brain activity during meditation. 
 
2. If I’m hypnotised do I give up control? 
 
Do we give up control of our mind to someone else when we are reading a book or watching a film? In situations like this you are in a hypnotic trance, although you still have the power to emerge from that state if wished. Whatever or whomever hypnotises you; you always have the power to resist. 
 
When you realise that you are the one in control, when you decide how deeply into hypnosis you wish to go, then you become aware of what hypnosis is. A hypnotherapist is a guide and helps you on a journey, but the change can only be made by you. 
 
Often the realisation that you are in control, and that you can make change yourself is very empowering. You’ll find that the more often you go into hypnosis, the more comfortable with the process you become & the more you realise how easy it is to let go, secure in the knowledge that you can always in control. 
 
Some hypnotherapists use the knowledge that actually we are always in hypnosis and will have an open discussion with you, just altering their language patters, using suggestions relating to your goal and the changes you wish to make, without taking you into a ‘trance state’ at all. 
 
3. How does hypnosis feel? 
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind; people are often surprised that they hear every word and could get up and walk out of the room at any moment. Unless you enter a deeper state, you may not seem any different, just very relaxed although if you decide not to relax you can remain alert. 
 
It’s similar to drifting off to sleep at night, that stage when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep, you may feel a sense of weightlessness or you may feel heaviness as all your muscles relax. Everyone experiences it differently, and your therapist will be able to reassure you and help you relax and enjoy the experience. Most people are surprised at just how relaxing it is; although some do not recognise when they are relaxed. 
 
Your therapist is relaxing your ego structure, within your ego structure you have twenty seven known copping mechanism that maintain your learned behaviour by relaxing these controlling mechanisms you are more likely to accept new ideas or ideas of change. This means that therapy can be greatly enhanced with the use of hypnosis. 
 
4. What can hypnosis be used to treat? 
 
Hypnosis can be used to assist the recovery from anything that you might wish to change or improve: 
 
Fears and phobias 
Physical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, skin conditions and migraines 
Anxiety and stress 
Panic attacks 
Tinnitus 
Fertility 
Insomnia 
Lack of confidence 
 
It can also be used as a tool to: 
 
Manage pain 
Improve performance at work or in sport 
Improve birth outcomes 
 
5. What will happen in a hypnosis session? 
 
Your hypno-Psychotherapist will take detailed history and with some conditions may request permission from you to write to their doctor, to let them know you are having hypnotherapeutic support. 
 
They will then discuss your goal and what you would like to see or feel at the end of your sessions. 
 
Using a range of different techniques your hypnotherapist will help you to relax, help you to feel comfortable and work with you towards achieving your goal. 
 
After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and very relaxed. Often change is very subtle, as your hypno-psychotherapist will be working with your unconscious mind, and you may just notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling. 
 
6. How do I choose a hypno-psychotherapist? 
 
A hypnotherapist should be registered with an independent Professional Body, which welcomes hypno-psychotherapists with the right level of training from a range of different schools.