Hypnotherapy is a skilled communication aimed at directing a person’s imagination in a way that helps elicit changes in some perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts and behaviours.

In a typical hypnotherapy session the hypnotherapist and client will discuss the intended alterations or therapeutic goals desired. The hypnotherapist will ask questions about previous medical history, general health and lifestyle to decide on the best approach for the individual.

Hypnotherapy may be found to be helpful for those seeking relief from a range of problems and is used alongside a person’s own willpower and motivation to seek a desired goal. It is often used to help relieve anxiety, aid sleeping, help to address bedwetting, address attitudes to weight, and help clients achieve behavioural change to stop smoking.  It may also help with minor skin conditions that are exacerbated by stress and confidence issues, and may also be used to enhance performance in areas such as sport and public speaking.  Hypnotherapy may help people to cope with and manage the relief of perceived pain.

Hypnotherapy has also been used with both adults and children to help manage the pain associated with irritable bowel.  There is evidence to support its use in this condition for both adults and children and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) recommends the NHS should consider referring patients for hypnotherapy if their irritable bowel is persistent and has failed to respond to simple prescribed medicine.

Choosing a practitioner

It is important to choose a qualified hypnotherapist who has undertaken all the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of hypnotherapy.

You can check whether a hypnotherapist is registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) by searching the register at By choosing hypnotherapists registered with the CNHC you can be confident that they are properly trained, qualified and insured.


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