Hypnotherapy – What to expect in the first session

Sunny Leaves

Attending any appointment for the first time can be a daunting prospect and this is especially true of Hypnotherapy due to the many myths that accompany it and the nature of the therapy.

So in the first session, what can you realistically expect? The information that is stated below relates to how I work and there maybe differences between different therapists.  Read more….    

The fundamental of any healthcare appointment is that it is for You and your main and responsibility in the sessions are to ensure that you get the best care for you. Therefore it’s important that you have any questions answered and you have the information you’d like.

In the first session, we would normally begin by going through confidentiality and boundaries.  We would go through a brief assessment, followed by establishing what you’re looking to achieve, discuss the background of what you’re looking to achieve and then we’d practise the hypnotherapy itself.

Confidentality is key as you may want to discuss sensitive material.  The sessions are confidential however there are some exceptions. If you disclose you’re involved with any terrorism, if I believe you’re at risk of harming yourself or someone else or if you disclose any current child abuse, I am legally and ethically bound to report this.  I may also break confidentiality in supervision.  I see a supervisor at least once a month and sometimes will discuss people who I see on an anonymous basis.  This is to ensure that I’m working ethically and to the best of my abilities.

In terms of boundaries, I would discuss how the sessions are about 50 to 55 minutes in length and that there is a 24 cancellation policy.

From here, we will go through the brief assessment where initially I will take some details such as your address and GP details and any medication being taken.  Part of this is about assessing risk and I will ask if you’ve harmed yourself or if you’ve had suicidal thoughts in the last 6 months.  We may then discuss things that may be disturbing your wellbeing or indicating that you may be using unhealthy means to regulate emotions and will ask about sleeping, eating patterns and alcohol use.

We would then discuss Why Now is the right time for you to be attending and seeking help and we’ll talk about what you hoping to change or to achieve.  This is possibly the most important part of the assessment as the conversation is likely to explore where you’ve come from and establish where you’re looking to go.

The assessment provides all the information for me to put together a strong hypnotherapy session that’s tailored to You.  We are likely to discuss how hypnotherapy works and then provided you’re happy, the hypnotherapy will begin.  This involves me guiding you into a relaxed state and from that point using the information from the assessment, I will make suggestions into your subconscious to allow the changes you’re seeking to be made.  If at any point you feel uncomfortable with this, you’ll be able to open your eyes and stop the process.

You will experience the process in your own unique way and many people describe it as being between sleeping and being awake; a lovely relaxed place.  You may hear everything I say or very little and there’s no need to actively listen as the suggestions will be absorbed by your subconscious.

At the end of the hypnotherapy, it may take a moment or 2 to ground yourself and then we are likely to discuss your experience of it before the session closes.

Please contact me if you’d like any further information about any of the points raised or if you’d like further details about how I may able to help.


(Picture by Gary Davison)

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