does hypnotherapy work

Does Hypnotherapy Work?

does hypnotherapy work

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a type of alternative medication or treatment which uses Hypnosis to treat psychological conditions or change undesirable habits. Hypnosis is usually achieved with the help of a trained hypnotherapist, who uses guided relaxation methods, such as positive verbal repetitions and mental images, to successfully lull you into a state of heightened focus and awareness. Often referred to as a naturally occurring trance-like state. When you're under Hypnosis, you should reach a state of total relaxation, and you usually become more susceptible to suggestion. Hypnosis can be used in isolation or alongside other treatments and can benefit your physical health and mental wellbeing in many ways. It is important to note that you remain in control of your behaviour whilst you are more prone to suggestion under Hypnosis. 

What to expect from a hypnotherapy session?

There are many different ways of achieving Hypnosis, so, hypnotherapy sessions can vary dependent on the patient and their personal goal. During your first hypnotherapy session, your hypnotherapist will begin by explaining how Hypnosis works. After that, you'll have a conversation to establish what you hope to achieve by the end of your session and agree on the methods that your hypnotherapist will use.

Then, the hypnotherapist may:

  • Use guided relaxation techniques, such as speaking in a soothing voice, to lull you into a deeply relaxed state of mind and body;
  • Use your agreed method to help you achieve your goal. For example, advising that smoking is detrimental to your health so you should be encouraged to drop the bad habit;
  • To conclude the session, your hypnotherapist will gradually bring you out of your trance-like state.

It is important to remember that you have complete control of your behaviour when you're under Hypnosis, so you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state if you want to. You will not achieve Hypnosis successfully if you do not want to be hypnotised. 

How can hypnotherapy work?

Weight Loss

Does hypnotherapy work with weight loss? Well, If you're looking to lose weight, hypnotherapy may be more effective and efficient for you than dieting techniques and exercise alone. With weight loss, hypnotherapy sessions will influence your mind to change bad habits, such as binge eating and not exercising, to help you achieve your goal weight. At Focused Hypnosis, we look at the process of importance and work with you to tackle the thoughts and feelings that trigger the bad habits that lead to weight gain. We help you tap into your drive and determination, which will enable you to make beneficial diet and exercise health choices. 

Quit Smoking

Hypnotherapy has also helped many people to quit smoking. Whilst there are support networks like the NHS Smokefree team, nicotine replacement therapies such as NiQuitin, and anti-smoking medication like Champix, many smokers find that they relapse within the first couple of weeks after quitting. However, Focused Hypnosis will help you discover what is triggering your smoking habits. Then, we will work with you to disassociate smoking's bad habit with positive outcomes, such as smoking relieving anxiety. By partnering you with an experienced stop smoking hypnotherapist and an effective method of quitting, we hope that you will achieve the right mindset for success. With your tenacity and the help of your hypnotherapist, we treat the root of the problem, so you can change your smoking habits and live a healthier lifestyle. 


Research has also shown that clinical hypnotherapy can be effective at easing anxiety in patients. Whilst there are free treatments for anxiety available on the NHS, often waiting lists are long. Focused Hypnosis can offer you an accessible and efficient form of natural therapy. Your hypnotherapist will help you achieve a deeply relaxed mindset, where you can imagine the thing or situation which makes you anxious. Then, your hypnotherapist will talk you through coping methods that will help you control your anxiety. We will work with you to tackle the negative thought patterns that occur with stress and replace them with positive images and verbal repetitions. By mentally facing your anxiety in a safe environment, you will be more likely to tackle it in real life.


Low self-confidence and self-esteem can become a huge problem that can affect your day-to-day life if you leave it unchallenged and unaddressed. It can affect your performance at work, your behaviour in relationships and hold you back from achieving your aspirations. However, at Focused Hypnosis, we work with you to help you regain your self-confidence. We will partner you with a qualified hypnotherapist who will help you access your unconscious mind and address your negative perceptions of yourself. By using self-affirmation techniques, your hypnotherapist will encourage you to think positively about yourself, your goals, values and interests, and will help you tackle the cause of your low self-confidence.


Phobias are common and have many causes: some people instinctively acquire them from copying their parents; others develop them through association, as they have had an unpleasant experience, incident or trauma with a thing or an item; and many cannot pinpoint when their phobia developed. Still, whatever the cause, phobias can be debilitating and need to be tackled to ensure that you can live your life to the fullest. At Focused Hypnosis, your hypnotherapist will work with you to disassociate your phobia with bad outcomes and will help you deconstruct your phobia so that it becomes more tolerable. By treating the root cause of your phobia, we will ensure that it does not re-emerge later in life. However, we will only use treatments that you are comfortable with. When tackling phobias, some therapists use exposure therapy to bring the thing or object that the patient fears into the room, which many people find anxiety-inducing. Therefore, if you believe that you would not benefit from exposure therapy, we will not use it. Instead, we were hoping you could gain a different perspective on your phobia so that it becomes less overwhelming and can no longer have a detrimental impact on your life.


Does hypnotherapy work with insomnia? Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining our physical health and mental wellbeing, yet many people have insomnia. Generally, insomnia is caused by underlying anxiety, such as stress from work, relationship issues, or financial problems. However, you can tackle it, and hypnotherapy is one of the best natural remedies for the condition. A hypnotherapist will help you discover which anxiety is triggering your insomnia and disrupting your sleep in a safe, calm environment. Then, the hypnotherapist will work with you to help you think more positively about your anxiety and relax.


We all experience stress from time to time, which we all deal with differently. It all links to the evolutionary fight or flight response, an automatic psychological reaction to something that we perceive as stressful or frightening. Whilst some people thrive under pressure, often feeling stressed for a prolonged period can have a dramatic negative effect on both your mental wellbeing and physical health. It can leave you feeling anxious, angry, irritable, and overwhelmed. Indeed, we will never control the stressful events or situations that life throws at us, but hypnotherapy can help you manage your reaction to them. At Focused Hypnosis, we will work with you to break the negative thought patterns with stress. Instead, we will suggest different, more healthy ways of responding to overwhelming situations.

What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?

  1. Hypnotherapy sends you into a deeply relaxed state of mind and body, which can have a massive impact on your physical health. It can reduce your nervous system activity, decrease your blood pressure, slow your heart rate, and accelerate your body's healing process.
  2. Hypnotherapy empowers you to take control of your life, body, relationships, and surroundings. It offers you the tools to think about yourself more positively, which will allow you to face overwhelming issues or situations in a calm and collected way.
  3. Hypnotherapy is self-led, so you have control of your healing process. Unlike many other forms of psychological treatment, you have the power when under Hypnosis, as you can control the methods that your hypnotherapist will use, and you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state whenever you want to. 
  4. Hypnotherapy will teach you valuable life skills. By learning how to control bad habits or behaviour, hypnotherapy offers you independence, which allows you to take charge of your self-management and self-care.
  5. Hypnotherapy allows you to directly influence your future, as it delves into your unconscious and beyond the surface level to re-affirm your core beliefs and behaviour.
  6. Hypnotherapy is all-natural and has minor side-effects or complications. As you are not putting any toxins or medicines into your body, you will not disrupt your natural balance.
  7. Hypnotherapy is cost-effective and a cheaper option for psychological treatment, as it only requires around six sessions.
  8. Hypnotherapy teaches you self-sufficient methods that can be practised and have effects that last for the rest of your life.

What are the side effects of Hypnosis?

When Hypnosis is conducted by a trained hypnotherapist, therapist, or health care provider, it is generally considered a safe, complementary, and alternative psychological treatment. However, Hypnosis can sometimes cause adverse reactions, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety or increased stress
  • Creation of false memories

It is important to remember that all medical treatments cause side effects, rare among hypnotherapy patients.

Additionally, Hypnosis may not be appropriate for people with severe mental disorders, such as:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Schizophrenia

Does hypnotherapy work for everyone?

Hypnosis can be an effective, efficient, and accessible form of treatment if you need help tackling anxiety, a phobia, boosting self-confidence, or changing bad habits. However, Hypnosis is not the correct form of treatment for everyone. For example, if you are not open to Hypnosis, you will not achieve a trance-like state. Also, for some severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, Hypnosis can have detrimental effects as it can create false memories.

How long does Hypnosis take to work?

The length of a hypnotherapy session will depend on you, your hypnotherapist, and the treatment method. Generally, a hypnotherapy session will last for about an hour, and most people start experiencing the full effect of Hypnosis within 10-minutes of their hypnotherapy session. Most people find that they need around four to six hypnotherapy sessions before they see improvements.

How much does a hypnotherapy session cost?

The cost of a hypnotherapy session can vary from practitioner to practitioner. However, generally, the more skilled and experienced the hypnotherapist, the more they tend to charge. At Focused Hypnosis, we work with qualified and experienced hypnotherapists to establish the best therapy for you. We have a diverse team of hypnotherapists available, and the average price is £70 per session. If you are looking for a hypnotherapist, it is essential to pick one that makes you feel comfortable and is tailored to your particular needs or condition.

How do you find a qualified professional?

In the United Kingdom, hypnotherapists do not have to have any specific training by law. So, if you are interested in hypnotherapy, it is essential to find a reputable and qualified hypnotherapist. Generally, hypnotherapy is not available in the NHS, so you will probably have to find a private hypnotherapist practitioner.

So, when looking for a hypnotherapist, you should:

  • Find someone with a healthcare background, such as a doctor, psychologist, nurse, counsellor, or another health professional;
  • If you have a mental health condition or a severe illness, make sure that the hypnotherapist works within that clinical field or has expertise in your situation;
  • If you're looking for a hypnotherapist for your child, make sure that they are trained to work with children;

Check that they're registered with an organisation that the Professional Standards Authority accredits.

Qualifications needed

There are no essential qualifications to become a hypnotherapist. However, if you are looking for a hypnotherapist, they should have a qualification that has been approved by either the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), the National Hypnotherapy Society or the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC).

How to prepare for your appointment

If you decide that Hypnosis is the correct form of treatment for you, there is not much preparation that you need to make before your session.

However, it is wise to get plenty of sleep before your hypnotherapy session. Otherwise, you might fall asleep when you go under Hypnosis. Also, wear comfortable clothing, as this will help you relax and focus on your goals. 

About the author:

Richard Hennessy is a hypnotherapist in Sheffield
Richard Hennessy is the principal hypnotherapist at Focused Hypnosis. He founded Focused Hypnosis in 2009 and since then it has consistently been one of the highest rated hypnotherapy clinics in Sheffield. It is now the biggest hypnotherapy practise in Sheffield. Richard specialises in weight management.