Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Does Hypnotherapy really work or is it just a made-up idea?

We are frequently confronted with this question and although it seems like a rather straight forward question the answer is rather more complex?

In order to make what we mean a bit clearer, think about the following question:

“Do Anti-Depressants work?”

Yes? In other words, is it true that anybody who takes anti-depressants no longer suffers or feels depressed?

According to a study reported in Scientific American:

Anti-depressants Don’t Work!

A 2008 study led by Dr. Irving Kirsch of Harvard Medical School started a big ruckus in the mental health world. 

He and his colleagues re-analyzed 35 different antidepressant drug trials submitted to the FDA for the licensing of Prozac, Effexor, Serzone, and Paxil.  

He used the Freedom of Information Act to get access not only to the studies that showed the drugs worked, but also to the studies that didn’t show an effect, which were, unfortunately, most of them.

For individuals with mild-to-moderate depression, they found that treatment with an antidepressant was almost no different from placebo. (Read the Scientific American Research Paper)

So it would seem that for a certain percentage of people, anti-depressants are no more effective than “believing” that they have had a drug that will work.

What can we conclude from this; that modern medicine “does not work?”

Of course not!

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The study goes on to suggest in fact, that people with SEVERE Depression DO get a benefit, whilst those with Mild to Moderate Depression get very little.

It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that some people do benefit and some people don’t – the main variables in these trials are the people taking the drugs and not the drugs themselves.

The same can be said when considering the question Does Hypnotherapy Work?

For many people Hypnotherapy provides a wide range of positive benefits whilst for others the process seems to be ineffective, but this does not, of course, mean that Hypnotherapy is not “real” in the same way that we could not conclude that anti-depressants are not “real” because less than 100% of people taking them get any benefit.

In fact the same data appears across the entire therapeutic field – some people simply do not benefit from any kind of therapeutic intervention, regardless of its proven efficacy.

How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy works by firstly helping a person achieve an altered state of awareness (in fact a “heightened state of awareness”) during which the client and the therapist are able to directly access the person’s “unconscious mind.”

The unconscious part of the mind is the part that manages all of the automatic behaviours and responses that do not require conscious control, for example, breathing, regulating body temperature, blinking as well as also handling those behaviours that have become unconscious over the years, such as phobic responses and reactions to situations perceived as “dangerous” to that particular person.

In other words irrational fears that have become “embedded as “normal” behaviour such as a Fear of Flying and so on.

In doing this, carefully worded suggestions and phrases can help a person to effectively “re-wire” or “re-programme” these unwanted behaviours allowing people to behave and respond differently, or more “appropriately”, such as being able to take a plane journey in the full knowledge that it is the SAFEST form of transport!

This ability to re-programme certain ways of thinking can be see in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, a system of psychology based on understandings originally developed from hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

So, Does Hypnotherapy Work or Not?

For some people YES and for others NO, there’s really no hard and fast rules as to who these people are, but its is estimated that 15% – 20% of people are “highly susceptible” to Hypnosis with about 60% being “moderately susceptible” and around 20% “minimally susceptible” (Research data taken from, in other words, 80% of people can experience Hypnosis and therefore benefit from Hypnotherapy.

Will Hypnotherapy Work for YOU?

If you’d like to find out more about our Hypnotherapy treatments, or you have a specific problem you’d like to solve with Hypnotherapy, then please get in touch with us (below) to arrange a completely Confidential Initial Consultation with Joan.

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Initial Consultations for Hypnotherapy

Joan offers all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your problems and how hypnotherapy may be right for you.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

You can get in touch with her on her mobile: 07434 776504

or e-mail her on to arrange a suitable time with her.

During this consultation sh will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

Contact Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP

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