How to get the most from hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy combines gentle, relaxing hypnosis with therapeutic techniques tailored to benefit your specific needs. It isn’t a magic wand or mind control but rather works towards a planned positive outcome. Getting the most from your hypnotherapy sessions involves working together in partnership by using the techniques to help you manage and control the issue that you feel you need help with, such as anxiety, fear, phobia, confidence, weight or menopause symptoms.


Hypnotherapy can really help with a whole range of symptoms and conditions if you are open to giving it a go. Below are some tips to help to gain the most from hypnotherapy with a qualified hypnotherapist.

How to get the most from hypnotherapy 

Be open and don’t worry, you’re not being judged

Being open and telling your therapist exactly what is going on gives a much fuller, clearer picture and enables us to provide the best support for you.

You may feel apprehensive about sharing your thoughts and experiences, but try to remember that we are here to help you, not to judge you and there is very little you can say that will shock us. We all have our own struggles, nobody is perfect, it’s part of being human. We are all perfectly flawed.

There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed of sharing anything with your therapist – we all have negative self-talk from time to time which can convince us that things are worse than they actually are. Whatever you tell us is completely confidential, so please be assured that your privacy is protected. The only exception to this is where we believe your life, or someone else’s life is in danger and this is extremely rare. 

If you recommend us to a friend we won’t discuss anything that you have shared in our sessions, or vice versa.

Be open to beneficial change

Change can seem daunting, especially if you experience anxiety. It can be easy to want to stay confined by our comfort zones, even when they may be holding us back or are even detrimental to us. Being open to making small changes in the way that we think and do things can help enormously in achieving a breakthrough. In the long term, we may feel that significant progression has been made.

Ultimately, it is about making proactive beneficial changes and taking back control of our lives so that we feel happier and more balanced. We aim to have more good days than bad, and to learn to use coping techniques to recognise and deal with those occasional setbacks independently.

In order to reach that point, we need to be open to making some changes that break old patterns and move us forward. After all, if we apply the same thinking that got us in the situation in the first place then it’s unlikely that anything is going to be resolved.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Be prepared to show up to regular appointments

Showing up for regular appointments is key for continuity with your therapy. Your hypnotherapist will advise weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions according to your specific requirements. Missed appointments can really impact getting the most from hypnotherapy. When appointments end up being weeks and weeks apart, it can be like starting all over again in each session. 

Commitment to attend appointments is part of valuing and helping yourself. It’s natural to feel nervous at first, especially before your first appointment. Your therapist will chat and put your mind at ease, making it easier to attend further sessions. Sometimes ‘doing the work’ involved in therapy can feel a bit daunting and uncomfortable. This is perfectly natural and releasing trauma or discussing your issues can be emotional, but equally extremely rewarding and advantageous to you. 

If you have signed up for a specific hypnotherapy programme, (quit smoking or weight control, for example) it is essential that all of the sessions are attended and the programme completed for it to be effective.

Regular attendance does really benefit getting the most from hypnotherapy, but we understand that there are rare occasions when illness can mean that you are not well enough to attend, or that you may have to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances.

If you feel you want to stop your therapy, or feel it isn’t going to work for you, this could be because the subconscious mind can sometimes be resistant to change and tries to stop change occurring, even if it is beneficial change, just as it’s about to get better. If this does happen, tell your therapist and try your best to attend one final ‘tidy up’ closure appointment which concludes therapy and provides the ability to move forwards. You can stop hypnotherapy at any time, share your feelings with your therapist, we are here to support you.

Be realistic: Breakthroughs can happen, magic doesn’t

Hypnotherapy can be powerful, effective and productive, although be aware that hypnotherapy isn’t a magic fix. A hypnotherapist ‘putting you under’ and controlling your mind to miraculously make you think or act differently isn’t possible. Hypnotherapy, contrary to stage show hypnotism (that is for entertainment purposes only), is a process of using a natural gentle state of deep relaxation where you are awake and in control at all times, along with recognised therapeutic techniques. Expecting a hypnotherapist to miraculously make you eat less and shed all of your excess weight in a very short period of time, for example, when you don’t have the motivation to eat smaller portions and healthier foods, isn’t going to happen. Realistically, you will need to do your part.

Hypnotherapy can help you with belief providing you have some motivation and commitment. For example, the belief you feel fuller quicker, the belief that you will naturally eat smaller portions of healthy foods and feel satisfied, the belief that your cravings for unhealthy foods is diminishing, the belief that you will feel so much healthier as the excess weight is released gradually step by step over a period of time, etc. Quitting smoking takes motivation, belief and commitment too. Hypnotherapy can really help with the belief aspect and help to keep the motivation going. 

Anxiety is unlikely to be totally transformed by a single hypnotherapy session, but it can be understood and eased. It can be controlled and managed with specific coping techniques set up in hypnosis. Being able to independently regulate your anxiety is a worthwhile goal. 

Breakthroughs do take place, I have seen this with clients I have successfully treated. For instance, a previous client had a fear of being a passenger in a car, to the extent that it was limiting and restricting her life. She wanted to go on holiday with her partner driving the long distance involved. After four hypnotherapy sessions where she experienced hypnosis with suggestions targeted at calming her fear and replacing those feelings with calm, confident ones, as well as a physical NLP technique and self-hypnosis for her to use whilst in the car, she was able to go away on holiday as a passenger. Some fear still remained but she was able to control it and instead of it being 10/10 it was now 4/10. This was a significant breakthrough for her and she contacted me to let me know how delighted and proud she was. 

Another example is a client who has a fear of dentists due to a traumatic experience as a child. After working to release and process the trauma from the past, in hypnosis using a NLP technique, we worked together on imagining being in the dental chair for a check-up and feeling calm – creating a totally new and positive experience of dentists. At first, my client was very distressed at even trying to think about being in a dental surgery.

Gradually, after around four to five sessions, there came a breakthrough where imagining sitting in the dental chair, with the dentist carrying out a tooth inspection was tolerated. After building on this and listening to a personalised recording regularly, my client made the decision to make an actual appointment for a check-up at a dental surgery and was able to attend. It wasn’t easy but the complete meltdowns that had been experienced prior to hypnotherapy were now gone. Being able to have a dental check-up was a major breakthrough. 

When the root cause is found during hypnosis and the emotions attached to it are released, then a breakthrough can occur rapidly. An example of this is when a client had a fear of flies. She went back to an incident from early childhood involving a fly and knew this was where the fear initiated. The event itself was fairly minor and she found her fear had now diminished. She continued with further sessions to help to ease her generalised anxiety. 

Breakthroughs not magic, set realistic agreed targets in your first appointment (these can be reviewed and revised at a later date).

Practise, exercise, and try it out at home

Most hypnotherapists will give you tasks to do at home in between sessions. They will show you self-hypnosis and share techniques for you to use to help your specific issue. 
I explain to my clients that these techniques, or exercises, are like physio for the mind. If we go to a physio session and do the exercises in the session they will have some benefit, but if we repeat those exercises at home on a regular basis they will be far more effective.

The same applies to the techniques and exercises in hypnotherapy. The more often you practice them, the greater the effect they will have on your subconscious mind. We all live busy lives these days, but we can find five or ten minutes a day to try out and practise the methods we are taught. This helps us to value ourselves and brings positive change. Even if it may seem that the exercise isn’t working at first, give it time as it is likely that your subconscious mind is learning and reprogramming. 

An example is a simple technique I advise my clients to use repeatedly to help to diminish intrusive thoughts that just cause worry, upset and serve absolutely no purpose to us at all. It is a technique I have used repeatedly myself when I experienced intrusive thoughts once post-menopause. I know it works because I persisted and conquered those unhelpful disturbing thoughts that now only appear rarely and I can stop in their tracks. 
It is crucial to practice, carry out the exercises and try it out at home. Making a small amount of time on a regular basis to do this really does reap rewards and has a positive impact.

And, finally, closure

A closure appointment helps to review, give resolution, identify achievement, reinforce and draw therapy to a close smoothly in order to aid long-term mental health or issue resolution. It is an essential part of therapy and attending a final ‘tidy up’ session is vital for you to get the best from hypnotherapy. 

Our doors are open for your return for future sessions should you want or require them, although our aim is to help you to independently manage and control your issues or symptoms by yourself. Imagine how good it will feel to take back control of your life!

If you would like to try hypnotherapy please reach out to me or another qualified hypnotherapist listed with Hypnotherapy Directory.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire, WV5
Written by Laura Hawkins, Dip. Hyp., Adv.DPLT, DPLT, GQHP, B.Ed. Hons
Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire, WV5

Laura Hawkins - hypnotherapist, regression therapist and advanced past life regression therapist.
Please see my Hypnotherapy Directory profile for further information

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