Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to try to treat conditions or change habits.
What happens in a hypnotherapy session
There are different types of hypnotherapy, and different ways of hypnotising someone.
First, you'll usually have a chat with your therapist to discuss what you hope to achieve and agree what methods your therapist will use.
After this, the hypnotherapist may:
- lead you into a deeply relaxed state
- use your agreed methods to help you towards your goals – for example, suggesting that you don't want to carry out a certain habit
- gradually bring you out of the trance
You're fully in control when under hypnosis and don't have to take on the therapist's suggestions if you don't want to.
If necessary, you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state.
Hypnosis doesn't work if you don't want to be hypnotised.
Don't use hypnotherapy if you have psychosis or certain types of personality disorder, as it could make your condition worse.
Check with your GP first if you've got a personality disorder.
Can I get hypnotherapy on the NHS?
Hypnotherapy isn't usually available on the NHS.
To find out if you can see a hypnotherapist on the NHS in your area, ask your:
- local clinical commissioning group (CCG)
Finding a private hypnotherapist
In the UK, hypnotherapists don't have to have any specific training by law.
This means hypnotherapy can be offered by people with little training who aren't health professionals.
When looking for a private hypnotherapist:
- choose someone with a healthcare background – such as a doctor, psychologist or counsellor
- if you have mental ill health or a serious illness (such as cancer), make sure they're trained in working with your condition
- if you're looking for a therapist for your child, make sure they're trained to work with children
- check they're registered with an organisation that's accredited by the Professional Standards Authority
A private hypnotherapy session can cost anything from £50 upwards.
Page last reviewed: 17 January 2018
Next review due: 17 January 2021