Q: In this current difficult situation, when it's not possible to have a face-to-face session with a therapist, is it possible to have a session online? Would it be as effective? A: Absolutely, yes, it is possible to conduct sessions online. All you need is a laptop/PC and Internet connection. Sessions can be conducted via Skype/Zoom/Google Meet. They are as successful and effective as meeting face-to-face. In fact, when you're in the comfort of your own home you feel safer and more relaxed and open to making a positive change. For example, after a hypnotherapy session, when you're relaxed, you can just stay in your chair/bed, without the need to rush out of the therapist's door and drive home. There are a lot of advantages of working this way and my sessions held online are cheaper than meeting face-to-face! So, that's another advantage.
Q: What can I expect when I come to a session? A: There are a few questions that need to be asked about you and the challenge you're facing. It's important that the therapist knows your situation, reasons for choosing this type of therapy, how committed you are to change and other information with regards to your health, home-life and professional life. Expect to be talking with your therapist to build rapport and for the therapist to gauge how to best proceed. A hypnotherapy session isn't about being hypnotised for the whole hour, it is rather, a mixture of talking, counselling etc. It is important to explain to the client how hypnosis works. It is NOT a quick fix, nor is it a way of shifting responsibility for the challenge you're facing and placing it on the therapist. Owning it, being committed to change and flexible in your approach is already half the battle. Own it, commit to it, be flexible.
Q: Is hypnotherapy effective? A: Yes, it is. However, it is very individual and the response depends on the person, their beliefs, attitude and approach. If, for instance, someone wants to stop smoking as they know it'll be beneficial for them but are unwilling to give it up 'just yet', then they will find a way to make excuses and shift the blame on something/someone else. This is why it is so important for the therapist to get to know the client and find out any underlying beliefs and reasons for continuing with an unwanted habit. It's important to remember that hypnotherapy is not a magic wand. You need to put in some effort too. As with anything worth pursuing, it is a process and something worth investing in.
Q: How many sessions will I need? A: It really depends on the individual and their goals they want to achieve. Again, this is something that the client and therapist will be able to agree upon together and monitor progress.
Q: What can I expect from a session? A: It is important for the therapist to get to know the person in front of them. A chat about you and your goals is vital. A hypnotherapy session therefore is a mixture of a warm, full of empathy chat and the 'hypnotherapy' part will follow. The best results are achieved when there is mutual understanding, strong rapport, the feeling of safety in an environment where you can relax and open-up. Sessions are confidential, carried out in a warm, emphatic non-judgemental atmosphere.
Q: What if all I want is to talk things through with someone who knows how to listen? A: That's absolutely fine - it is the client who decides what they want from a session. We all have the need to be heard and understood. In this fast-paced world we live in, there's not enough time and willingness to stop and listen to another person. The therapist's role is to listen and ask the right questions and often this process clears away any fears and doubts, helps the client decide on the best action, makes them more confident. Just the process of voicing your fears, frustrations etc, helps you feel better. And the fundamental part of this is that it is done in an emphatic, non-judgemental environment. The therapist's role is also to challenge your old, disempowering beliefs. If you keep thinking and doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. That's not what change is. So be prepared to be challenged a little so that you could move forward in life.
Q: How can REBT help with my problem? A: REBT - Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, is an active-directive therapy that is focused on changing behaviour by examining irrational beliefs and changing those beliefs to more helpful, rational beliefs (for more information please go to the Services page of this website). In REBT, we believe that it's not the event/situation that has caused disturbance, but beliefs that hide behind it. By changing the beliefs, the person can change their behaviour to something more adaptive, becoming more resilient in the process. During a session, we would uncover and examine any belief that the person might hold (often unconsciously) about something/someone and rationally dispute it and come up with more logical, adaptive beliefs and ways to make the new beliefs permanent by practising new, helpful behaviours. This is not a quick fix, as many beliefs and behaviours that follow from the beliefs, we have been holding since early childhood and changing them is a consciously applied consistent effort, practise in disputing any old, maladaptive, archaic dogmas that no longer serve you. As you can see, this is not something that happens overnight but the change is long-lasting and happens on a deep level. The mind is very good at holing on to the old beliefs as it TAKES TREMENDOUS EFFORT and ENERGY to learn new rational beliefs and change behaviour. The change can only happen when we're aware of the irrational belief and often, sadly, we are not.
Q: I might struggle to articulate what I really want to achieve. Would that be a waste of time for both of us? A: Absolutely not. Very often we don't have a clear idea of what we want to change in our life. Often it is a nagging thought, anxiety, a nervous feeling. The sensation(s) could be triggered by a specific stressor, for example if there is a stressful situation coming up, like a presentation, exam, being made redundant etc. However, oftentimes we're not aware of what is causing us to feel unsettled. Coming for a session is a great opportunity to voice concerns and get things out of one's head - that's when things become more obvious and clearer.