What happens in a first hypnotherapy session?

Richard Ingate
5 min readDec 26, 2019

What happens when you go to a hypnotherapy session for the first time? You may be curious about that!

Hypnotists have very different styles, so what I am writing applies mostly to my own practice of transformational hypnotherapy but there should be some general truths too for those of you who might be wondering just what happens — will I be made to do the funky chicken?

Talking about the issue

It may surprise you, but the first thing you are likely to do is not hypnosis. It is to talk about the issue that prompted you to seek hypnosis in the first place. Part of that is for you to be able to explain what you want to explain and part of it is for the hypnotherapist to begin to get an understanding for how you are ‘doing’ your problem.

‘Doing’ here does not mean you are deliberately and wilfully having a problem, but rather it is unpicking the way your mind and body are experiencing and coding the problem feeling, thinking and behaviour. For example, if anxiety is the issue, when do you become anxious, what are the triggers, the automatic thoughts and feelings, the avoidance behaviours? All of this will become part of the eventual treatment plan.

Talking about hypnosis

People have all sorts of questions and misunderstandings about hypnosis…

Will you make me dance like a chicken? Yes, but only if you want to and that costs extra…

Can you make me tell you my PIN number? Well, for me, I’m 60 years old. If I could do that I would probably be on a beach sipping a drink with an umbrella by now…

And there are more serious questions embedded in there about control.

Is hypnosis mind control? It’s a good question and the usual answer is to say, no, it’s not. But that isn’t quite true even if it makes people feel safer.

Hypnosis is about mind control and that control is a collaborative venture. It is not a case of the all powerful hypnotist zapping you into unconscious compliance. Hypnotherapy today is about working together to rewire the connections in your mind. Hypnotherapy today is the artful appliance of neuroscience, and it is a joint venture between you and the hypnotist working together to achieve…

Richard Ingate

Coach and owner at Coaching Works Online Ltd www.coachingworksonline.com