Here you will find the answers to some of the most common questions asked about Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy.
The answer depends on who you ask. Some see it as a state separate to normal consciousness – the kind of thing you see in stage shows. We think of it as a normal part of the spectrum of mental states we can occupy during any given day – from relaxation in front of the tv, to being stressed at work, to daydreaming while driving, to focused attention when concentrating on something. We think that states often referred to as trance are part of every problem clients bring to us – moments when we lose control or choice over our actions and do things that are usually against our wishes – like smoking, over or under-eating, fears, anxiety, or depression. You can see that this takes us a long way from the usual description of trance as a relaxed state – it can be, but running away from a spider is every bit as much of a trance, and definitely not relaxing. We see our role as helping you ‘de-hypnotise’ yourself so that you remain in control of your actions and choices in moments when you didn’t used to be, and to create positive trances to help you perform at your best.
It’s different because our Cognitive Hypnotherapists are taught a thorough understanding of the mind/body connection, grounded in modern neuroscience. This is combined with training in powerful techniques drawn from a wide-range of approaches. These are contained within a framework which guides your therapist to help in the way that most suits you. There are no scripts or set procedures – instead we deal with you within your model of the world, tailoring our approach to your needs. Cognitive Hypnotherapists believe that everyone has the resources they need to make the differences they want in their life. It’s an interactive therapy where the therapist acts as a guide. The principle is that the client can find their own solutions with skilled assistance. It does not involve the therapist as a ‘controlling’ agent, or someone who dictates what is ‘best’ for the client. A Cognitive Hypnotherapist works within the clients model and experience of the world, not the other way round. See our ‘What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ page for more detail
No, you remain in control at all times. A Cognitive Hypnotherapist does not have any control over you. You could open your eyes at any time, and everything will be explained and agreed to before proceeding. This is a collaborative approach, so we need your engagement in it. Your experience will be very different from the portrayals you see on the TV or at stage hypnosis shows.
Treatment plans are tailored to the individual client and their presenting problem, so this is usually something best discussed with your therapist. The first session is usually one where you have a chance to meet and determine the best way to help you. Cognitive Hypnotherapy takes recent understandings of how the brain works, a modern view of trance, and a wide range of techniques, to create a bespoke combination that can be very effective in a relatively short amount of time. Typically the majority of problems can be helped in as little as 3-6 sessions, but our main focus isn’t on just helping you quickly, but making your improvement permanent.
Lasting therapeutic change does require client participation. Some clients have had an expectation that they’ll be placed in a trance, the therapist will click their fingers and the problem will disappear. That doesn’t really happen. Experience demonstrates that the level of therapeutic success is proportional to the level of client participation and willingness to change. In other words, you have to put the work in. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an interactive therapy where the therapist works as a guide, following the principle that the client can find their own best solutions with skilled assistance. It does not involve the therapist as a ‘controlling agent’, or someone who decides who the client should change into. We help you find your way to live your life, not somebody else’s version of it.
Trance is a natural state. Everyone goes in and out of natural hypnotic trances every day, without perhaps knowing it. Have you ever been so absorbed in a book or film that the hours seemed to fly by? Or been in a meeting where every minute seemed like an hour? Or realised that someone was talking to you, but you were ’miles away’? All these are examples of trance. When you experience the thing you’d like to change in your life – like fear, anxiety depression or any circumstance where you feel you’re not in control of your outcome? That’s you in a trance. So yes, if you have a problem, you can be hypnotised, because your unconscious is already doing it to you to get you to behave in a way it thinks is helping you.
No, anymore than doctors can. Cognitive hypnotherapy is all about you taking responsibility for making whatever changes you need to make and, whilst your therapist can guide you in that process, they cannot make change happen for you. What they will guarantee is that they’ll work with you as a guide and do their best in helping you let go of your problem and work towards a solution. The only thing they ask is that you have a willingness to actively engage and do your best.