What to expect during a Hypnotherapy consultation or treatment session.
A hypnotherapy consultation will vary a bit from therapist to therapist, but basically you’ll be invited in to their consulting/treatment room, and asked to sit down and make yourself comfortable. Some therapists will offer you a drink and maybe explain where the loos and exits are. Then they’ll ask you what it is you’d like help with – why you chose to come and see them.
This is the point at which you start to explain what your situation is and what you’d like to change about it. It’s very much a two-way conversation, and the therapist is most likely going to ask you for clarification on a few points you mentioned. Don’t worry if you have difficulty explaining things – some things are very hard to be precise about and put into a verbal form. Your therapist will be used to this though, and be able to help you with the process.
He or she will ask you to complete a record form at some point, usually a pretty simple one, and he or she will make additional notes too, all of which will be part of your treatment record. It may involve questions about any medication you take, any major medical treatment you may have had in the past, or are awaiting, any allergies and so on. You might also be asked if you have experienced hypnotherapy or other alternative medicine treatments. All this is completely confidential, and your therapist should never reveal this to anyone unless specifically obliged to by law – just like any other health professional. Also, everything you verbally tell your therapist is also completely confidential. You understand that what I say here only applies to therapists who have agreed to abide by the code of ethics set by one of the professional governing bodies, such as the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council, for example.
There are a lot of other questions which could be asked.
In my case, for example, I like to know if the client has any fears or phobias – perhaps nothing to do with what they came to see me about, on the surface.
Your therapist will probably then ask if you have any further questions you would like to ask him or her, either about the treatment, the process, what you’ve been discussing up ‘til now, or anything else that you haven’t covered between you. The next question will be about how you actually feel now, and how you’d like to feel after treatment – in other words, what you’d expect and want the treatment to achieve.
Assuming everything has been covered to your satisfaction, and the therapist thinks they can help you, and that you are willing for them to do so, some treatment will be suggested or recommended, and if time permits, it will usually start straight away. Failing that, another appointment will be made.
When treatment does start, you’ll normally be invited to make yourself comfortable either in a chair or on a treatment couch, and the hypnotherapist will start to talk to you. Maybe there will be some soft background music too, but that’s not always the case. You’ll likely be invited to close your eyes, but again, that’s not universal.
What happens next sounds very simple. The therapist will continue to talk to you, and you will relax more and more until the therapist forms the impression that you are in a good frame of mind for beneficial suggestions to be introduced into what he or she is saying. You will not fall asleep – if the therapist thinks you are falling asleep, they will very likely say something to raise your consciousness level a little from that state.
You’ll hear what the therapist is saying quite clearly, although you may not consciously hear all of it as your attention may wander considerably – this is intentional – and what the therapist is saying may not always make sense at the time. This is because he or she is phrasing things in such a way as to generate acceptance by your unconscious mind, which prefers things put in a certain way. On occasion the therapist might ask you a question. If they do, you’ll find that you can respond quite easily.
This process will continue until the therapist considers enough has been done in this particular treatment session, at which point they will start to conclude what they’re saying. Then they’ll verbally ease you from your relaxation, and welcome you back to normal day-to-day life. Session over. You will almost certainly feel very relaxed and content after the treatment.
If a single session has been enough, you and your therapist will part company at this point.
If not, you will arrange another mutually agreeable time for your next session, and go on your way until then.
This is quite a long post. Your brain’s reaction to the session is a different discussion, so watch this space, and I’ll come back to it another time. Therapists also have different styles and ways in which they approach their treatments, so I’ll deal with that another time too. The purpose of this post was just to allay any apprehension you may have had about what goes on when you go to see a hypnotherapist. I hope I’ve answered my initial question “what to expect during a hypnotherapy consultation or treatment session”, and I hope you found it helpful. By all means contact me with any queries you may have, or ask about anything I haven’t covered.