Often people will come to me and ask if hypnotherapy, either at my practice in Winchester, my London office or even by Skype comes with a guarantee. Is it 100 per cent certain to work?
My answer is always… no.
I’m often reminded of the phrase: “There are only two things in life you can be certain of, and that’s death and taxes: anyone else that offers you a guarantee you should run a mile from.” Forgive me if I’ve not got that verbatim. It’s important to be upfront, I think: no hypnotherapist can give you a cast-iron guarantee that the treatment you receive will be 100 per cent effective – just as your local GP, your cardiologist or your personal trainer probably can’t either.
I embrace people’s skepticism, though. I don’t try and bamboozle them with statistics and numbers: I say, “Come along and find out for yourself.”
By the time someone consults with a clinical hypnotherapist, they’ve often exhausted more traditional routes. So they’ve started to think that stuff just isn’t working for them. All I can say is suspend any disbelief you might have and give it a go.
Commitment is important. If, when you turn up for hypnotherapy in London or Hampshire, your attitude is that you refuse to do any pre-session work and you are thinking, “this is a waste of time,” it’s unlikely to be effective. While hypnotherapy can and does work, it can’t work for all of the people all of the time.
Success in hypnotherapy
There are several sets of circumstances in which the chances of success are diminished. One is if the client has not paid for the treatment themselves; if you’re an adult and someone else is paying for you, you’re not financially invested in it.
Another is that there is something called ‘secondary gain’: when it comes to people’s problems, sometimes they actually benefit from them. If that’s the case, and they don’t truly want to get rid of whatever is bothering them, then hypnotherapy won’t work. Think of the newly-single guy who is getting lashings of sympathy from his mates and the girls at work because his girlfriend has just left him. On the one hand, he may complain that it has knocked his confidence, and he wants to address that. But if the sympathy and attention is a bigger positive than the loss of confidence is a negative, then he won’t truly want to change because of this secondary gain. I’ve worked with clients who have had so much secondary gain that they just won’t let the problem go.
Sometimes clients also have deep-rooted beliefs that can be hard to shake, too, and these sometimes affect how successfully they will respond to hypnotherapy. If you 100 per cent believe you can never ever be confident, it’s hard to challenge that.
I’ve had success with most of the people who have come to see me, be that for phobias, anxiety issues, wanting to lose weight or stop smoking, and for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The letters we’ve had from satisfied clients about out stop smoking therapy in London and Winchester speak volumes. And while I might not give you a guarantee, I will always tell you beforehand if I don’ t think that hypnotherapy is right for you.