The organisation of practitioners who have had at least four years of relevant training and who comply with the best professional standards of competence and ethics in hypnotherapy

Founded in 1958

30 Cotsford Avenue New Malden Surrey KT3 5EU
Telephone: 020 8942 3988

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Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a state of enhanced relaxation and concentration in which the deeper parts of the mind become more accessible.

Hypnosis isn't Sleep

James Braid, who invented the word 'hypnotism', meaning a sleep-like state, later realised it isn't. He tried to substitute the word 'mono-ideism', which didn't catch on. Hypnosis is a state of relaxation and concentration in which deeper parts of the mind become more accessible. There's no loss of consciousness. Unless you give yourself a suggestion to the contrary and accept it, you'll remember afterwards what occurred during hypnosis.

Hypnosis is self-induced. The practitioner provides the conditions for you to go into hypnosis if you choose. If you're afraid of finding out about yourself, or haven't been completely truthful to the practitioner, you're unlikely to go into hypnosis. The practitioner reserves the right not to try hypnosis if he takes the view that you aren't ready for it or that it isn't appropriate. Hypnosis isn't a cure-all.

Hypnosis is safer than drugs in the treatment of emotional problems, and much more useful. It may be a great help if you want to untangle your problems, but not if you're trying to avoid facing them. No properly-trained hypnotherapist uses suggestions that your problem will go. The best use of hypnosis, proven by long-term follow-ups, is to enable you to remember repressed incidents or thoughts which have been distorting your life, understand them, and release feelings associated with them. Hypnotherapy, correctly used, is often a voyage of discovery.

There are two types of Hypnotherapy, very different from one another.

INDOCTRINATION HYPNOTHERAPY - sometimes called 'medical hypnotism' or 'suggestion-hypnotism' or 'programming'.

Since about 1840 hypnosis has been used to help people to visualise losing their presenting symptom. People using this method put suggestions into your head. Hypnosis is still widely used in this way and there are numerous organisations of such practitioners. Most of these organisations have impressive-sounding names but can be joined by anyone upon payment of a fee. Nearly all of these hypnotists advertise their services. Some of them are entertainers; stage hypnotists.

This type of hypnotherapy is widely available. It's simple. It should be cheap as little or no training is usual. It often does suppress the presenting symptom, at least for a while.

Many of these hypnotists routinely tell their patients, 'When you come out of hypnosis you will remember nothing of what happened while you were in hypnosis.' Many use, or sell, suggestion-hypnotism audiotapes.

These hypnotists have not usually understood, let alone resolved, their own problems, so may act these out on their patients, or be as blind to them in their patients as in themselves. Disappearance of the presenting symptom may be quickly achieved but this result is likely to be superficial and is often only temporary. Underlying problems remain. The patient may be left in turmoil. Substitute symptoms may appear.

INSIGHT HYPNOTHERAPY - sometimes seen as a form, or aspect, of psychodynamic therapy

Hypnosis, if appropriate, is used to aid recall, and is used in the context of properly conducted psychotherapy. This approach originated as very simple hypno-analysis in about 1896. It has been much improved and developed by British Hypnotherapy Association therapists, who have integrated it with modern knowledge of psychodynamics during the last 40 years or so. It helps people to find out and deal with the causes of their problems, which usually originate in childhood and can be complex and deep-rooted. It can take time, but the benefits are usually profound, comprehensive and long-lasting.

These therapists will not ask you to forget what occurred in hypnosis. Their approach is investigative and cathartic - the opposite to indoctrination or suppression.

To use this approach competently, the practitioner needs to have had at least four years of relevant training, starting by being a patient and investigating and resolving his or her own problems thoroughly. The organisation of practitioners who have this training, and who comply with high standards of competence and ethics, is the British Hypnotherapy Association. Its members do follow-ups of long-term results as a routine aspect of their work. They don't advertise. The BHA gives free information and has a wide range of publications available, including ones on training to its standards and on choosing a hypnotherapist.

With the help of these therapists, people have successfully dealt with a wide range of problems, including emotional difficulties, relationship problems, phobias, anxieties and psychosexual problems.

Beware organisations with similar-sounding names. They have very different standards, far below those of the BHA. Beware also therapists who falsely claim to be on the register of the BHA or who falsely claim or imply membership. They have nothing like the required standards and do not have the integrity which is essential in this work. Check with us.

 If you wish to enquire about treatment, please ring the following number:

Tel: 020 8942 3988

or, email:

Alternatively, write to us at 30 Cotsford Avenue, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 5EU,
stating your name, address, telephone numbers, problems, age and work or study area if other than where you live.

For further information about psychotherapy, please visit

British Hypnotherapy Association, 30 Cotsford Avenue New Malden Surrey KT3 5EU. Telephone: 020 8942 3988
(c) 7th November 2023
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