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The Top 5 Myths Surrounding Hypnotherapy

Written by: Nicole Woodcock, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


As a certified Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist, I have heard. and been asked personally, a lot of questions that come from a lack of understanding of hypnosis. Old films and ‘on-stage performance hypnotists’ have given people are very obscured view of what Clinical Hypnotherapy actually is.

It’s important to know how and where your Clinical Hypnotherapist qualified, as it still remains a fairly unregulated industry. That’s why I am a member of the professional body AFSFH (Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists) A UK leading Clinical Hypnotherapy body who hold their members to account to attending continuous professional development. I studied an in-depth qualification with CPHT Peterborough which is the UKs leading provider of solution-focused hypnotherapy training. Alongside I have now completed CPHT Level 5 supervisory training.

If your hypnotherapist shows you a certificate then please make sure you find out where it came from, and that it wasn’t something they paid £50 for online. It's unlikely you would come to any harm but you certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a service or share personal details, with someone completely unqualified.

Once you have found a reputable Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist then you may have more questions and these are some of the more common myths that people are led to believe.

Hypnotists are like magicians and have special powers.

I am afraid to say, that as a trained Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist I did not at any stage of my training receive any special magical powers. Although I’m sure my children would have thought that was pretty amazing! We learned about how the brain works and functions, and how to help our clients produce more serotonin, a natural hormone that is lacking in people who suffer from depression and anxiety. This in turn creates more positive neural pathways in the brain which enables our clients to support themselves. Solution-focused.

So I can confirm that no magic is involved – just good old science.

Hypnotism is bad for your health.

On the contrary, there is zero evidence to support this. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is actually good for your health and there is an abundance of evidence that says so. In fact, although Clinical Hypnotherapy is not available on the NHS right now, there are Doctors of Psychology and Trauma Specialists who are using these skills in practice. Your GP, health visitor or school SENCO should be able to point you in the direct of one if you ask for it.

When in hypnosis you are asleep and unable to move

When in hypnosis you are in a trance-like state. You are in complete control of everything. What you say and what you do. You can get up at any time. If there was an emergency you would be fully capable of getting up and leaving the room. Some people fall asleep during hypnotherapy, as their eyes are closed and they are completely relaxed, which is perfectly normal. Trance is a normal everyday phenomenon that we enter into many times of the day and can be likened to daydreaming.

You have to be ‘weak-minded’ to be in hypnosis.

Hypnosis isn’t about getting you to say or do anything you don’t want to. And therefore having a weak mind has no relevance. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy involves both talk therapy and utilising trance, where your mind is in a relaxed state, to support the brain in increasing serotonin. How effective this does not depend on how ‘weak’ your mind is. There are a huge number of factors that determine how many sessions a client may need, or how effective the treatment will be. All of which we discuss in our initial consultation and as we progress. On average most clients will see me for 8-12 sessions.

Hypnosis is mind control.

Celebrity and performance hypnotists are entirely different to Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapists. It’s well known and collectively assumed that these ‘hypnotists’ choose people from the audience who are very much ‘up for it’ in terms of entertaining. They ‘want’ to act out on stage, or at least feel like they need to. There is no mind control at play – everyone has free will. These shows however give the wrong impression. Stage hypnotism and Clinical Hypnotherapy are two very different modalities. One is used for entertainment purposes and the other is a very professional therapy incorporating psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy to support many mental health conditions and daily stress.

Any Clinical Hypnotherapist who is a member of a professional body with the relevant qualifications becomes a Clinical hypnotherapist to support people. To help people overcome crippling issues that stop them from leading a ‘normal’ life. It’s an honour to be part of such an amazing profession and one that is becoming more recognised and understood by the wider public with ongoing research papers and studies. The future for solution-focused clinical hypnotherapy really does look mind-blowing.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website!


Nicole Woodcock, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nicole Woodcock is a solution-focused clinical hypnotherapist working with neurodiverse children and adults. Also, Lecturing solution-focused clinical hypnotherapists to become practitioners.

After having a mental health breakdown and struggling with general anxiety disorder solution-focused hypnotherapy supported her to overcome many issues and also gain positive headspace.

She is a senior lead at CPHT Nottingham, business owner at Hummingbird Hypnotherapy, and appointed Mental Health Support for the Lincolnshire Parent and Carer Forum.

Her purpose is to provide positive mental health support in a solution-focused way. Every problem has a solution.



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