Is hypnotherapy right for you?

Many people report great success with hypnotherapy, but does that mean it’s the right option for you? There’s no doubt about it, the research now firmly supports the idea that hypnotherapy can help with depression, addictions and anxiety.

For some people their reservations about hypnotherapy are more to do with the therapist than the process itself. If you arrive at a therapists office and find yourself surrounded by strange symbols and metaphysical paraphernalia there’s a good chance you’re in the wrong place. Professional hypnotherapy is more about counselling and finding out precisely where the origins of the issue lie than it is about embracing the unfamiliar belief system a metaphysical healer may have. Today you may be surprised by how clinical hypnotherapy has become.

You may have concerns about whether or not you are capable of being hypnotised. Have a look at this post if that is the case.

Hypnotherapy is all about suggestion.  It’s really the most powerful tool a hypnotist has. However, there’s little one can do with that unless there’s a thorough understanding of the client’s challenges. A good therapist will take the time to understand their client and learn what is at their core of their problem.

Hypnotherapy has become far more mainstream than once it was.  It is unquestionably one of the most power forms of treatment for depression and addictions and has many applications for people struggling with other issues. So why is it not more widely used?

Well, to answer that we have to look not at the therapy itself, but at the hypnotist.  It’s virtually impossible to accurately assess the value of hypnotherapy as it is so dependent upon the relationship between the therapist and the subject. This is all about rapport. A great hypnotist who has no rapport with their client is not going to achieve a whole lot. Equally, a therapist with great rapport, and little in the way of hypnosis skills is also likely to have little success. This is why it’s so important to take the time to connect with the therapist and discuss the issues in a very open and honest manner.

This discussion is as much about getting comfortable discussing the issue as it is about gaining information. Once both parties are on the same page finding a path to a successful resolution is fairly straightforward.

If you’d like to talk about working with a hypnotherapist give me a call. If I’m not the right person for you I will steer you in the right direction.

Rob Hadley

778 919 0197

Can I be hypnotised?

From time to time, whether it be at a group show or in a one on one situation, I am asked ‘can everyone be hypnotized?’

For anyone shelling out hard earned money that’s a fair enough question. The short answer is “yes, if they wish to be.”

Occasionally we’ll come across someone who doesn’t really go very deeply into trance, however deep trance is not necessary for hypnotherapy. In some instances very deep trance can detract from good hypnotherapy, although it looks very dramatic and in a stage setting can be great.

The ideal state is a light state of relaxed trance, in which the client is receptive to suggestion. Many clients do not recognise trance states as it’s not really something they are particularly familiar with. If you’ve ever lost track of time while working on a spreadsheet, or playing video games, you’ve likely experienced a trance state. Equally, some people fall into a light trance when driving long distances. They check their watch and find that an hour or two has simply slipped by. This is neither unusual nor unsafe.

Trance is a perfectly natural brain state during which the mind is surprisingly receptive to suggestion. It can appear dramatic, as in some of my videos below. But keep in mind, these are extreme examples. Generally it’s very benign and surprisingly enjoyable.

In the videos below subjects go into hypnosis easily and swiftly. That’s because I do a lot of stage hypnosis, I use some great techniques in these situations, and they are entertaining. It’s not really what we’re aiming for in a therapy environment. However, it does illustrate how hypnosis can look.

Many people don’t even realise that they have been hypnotised. I apologise for the terrible sound quality below, however you’ll see what I mean if you watch the video.

Sometimes it’s so quick the subject has no idea they are even being hypnotised.

Now and then someone will come along and tell me their mind is ‘too strong’ to be hypnotised. This usually tells me a couple of things. Firstly the person has no idea what hypnosis really is, and secondly that they’re an idiot.

Hypnosis is a collaborative process between subject and hypnotist. No one can be hypnotised if they choose not to be. When I am confronted with someone ‘challenging’ me to hypnotise them I usually head for the door. It’s not going to be a productive exercise. During a comedy hypnosis show it’s not so much of a problem – I just tell the hypnotised subjects that they are a pack of dogs, and the person who can’t be hypnotised is a fire hydrant. It makes for a damp but amusing evening.

Mostly people who visualise well are great at hypnosis. They have the ability to concentrate and process ideas at both a visual and conceptual level. Many of the best hypnosis subjects are artists, theatre professionals and people who enjoy presenting ideas to others.

There are a few exceptions. I am told people who are clinically insane cannot be hypnotised. As someone who’s done quite a lot of work in the UBC Psychiatric centre I would dispute this. Equally, people who cannot concentrate do struggle to go into hypnosis, though there are techniques which can work. Finally there’s those who are drunk or under the influence of drugs. Again, my experience is that they can be hypnotised in some cases. So, while it’s a little hit or miss on the peripheries, yes – virtually everyone can be hypnotised if they wish to be.

Quitting Smoking Using Group Hypnosis.

I have done many group hypnosis sessions over the years. One of the most popular themes of these sessions has been quitting smoking. In this periscope broadcast I talk a little about them. If you’re thinking of quitting smoking in a group session feel free to contact me and ask when my next group session is.

The many reasons clients choose to reduce alcohol.


I was recently chatting with someone online when it became evident that their perception of the term ‘alcohol reduction’ was firmly linked to the idea of alcoholism and issues of addiction.  This made me stop and think, as I have been asked by so many clients to assist with alcohol reduction and in many cases it’s really nothing to do with alcoholism.

I’ve always found it useful to remind myself of the definition of addiction – as we’ve used in my practice for the past 13 years. An addiction is the compulsive use of a substance, or behaviour, that is damaging to the individual. Now, there’s a few things in there that help a lot. ‘Compulsive’ means that you really can’t help yourself. Damaging to the individual could include damage to your mental health (stress) or even your bank account (gambling). There’s some wiggle room in there, but it covers most aspects of behaviours we call addictive.

The thing is, some people who struggle with alcohol issues don’t do it compulsively. For example, many binge drinkers only get out of control once every few months. Are they ‘alcoholic’? Well, not necessarily. Certainly, they’re abusing alcohol, but they are clearly a very different type of fish when compared to the person that needs a shot of whiskey before they can face a day at work.

This of course begs the question, why do some treatment centres and programs deal with both of these cases in the same way, when they are so radically different? Well, it’s because that’s the way they’ve always done it. The Hollywood set who can’t understand why they are in and out of rehab all the time really don’t seem to realise that:

  1. The treatment isn’t helping.
  2. Putting an addict in the immediate proximity of other addicts is not always a great idea.
  3. Repeat custom is part of the rehab centre’s business model.

So, one on one counselling starts to look like a very good idea simply because every one is different. They had different reasons for starting their drinking and they’ll probably have different reasons for ending it. The binge drinking client and the constant use alcoholic will require different approaches – but certainly both can be helped with hypnosis.

But there’s another group as well. Some people simply want to reduce their use of alcohol. Over the years it creeps upwards, and at some stage it just becomes something they’d like to reduce. Just as they may choose to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet, or lactose or gluten – or whatever the next doctor on a soap box tells you is unhealthy. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to reduce alcohol. In a study a few years ago it was shown that even one glass of wine a week increases your risk of cancer over a long period. But does that mean we should really cut all alcohol out of our life?

Well, in some cases it does. But not in all. There’s a far greater chance that intelligent moderation is a better path for some clients. But is it right for all clients?

No. A glass of fine wine now and then is what makes life worth living, even if it does mean we die a little in the process. Alcohol moderation is simply a good idea, in the same way that moderation in most things is a good idea. Fortunately we have hypnosis to help with that. There are some powerful techniques we can apply, and I am delighted to offer my clients some great ways to do this.

I am offering members of my mailing list two things this month. The first is a 20% discount for alcohol reduction, if you feel you could benefit from it. I’ll honour this till the end of the month.  The second is, if you refer a friend for any aspect of hypnotherapy, get them to drop your name and I’ll give them a 20% discount. I know what you’re thinking, I’m incredibly generous. It’s true. My rates are here.

Finally, I am now offering remote hypnosis sessions.  That’s simply the same service you get if you come to the office, but over your Skype or Whatsapp connection. You can read more about that HERE.

Have a lovely week,

Rob Hadley

Alcohol Moderation

There’s a host of ways out there to deal with alcohol issues. Even the term ‘alcohol issues’ is loaded (pardon the pun). The truth is, we all have different ideas of what is a reasonable amount of alcohol to consume.

Probably the most reasonable approach to this touchy subject is to focus on remaining in control of the alcohol consumption. Should you move toward a position in which you don’t feel in control you’re already well over the limits.

In this simple hypnosis exercise I help you retain control of how much alcohol you allow into your system. It’s a method that has helped thousands of clients over the years, and it can help you.

Working with groups – a talk for hypnotherapists.

Working with clients in a group format can be a wonderful addition to your practice. In this talk I look at several formats for working in a group setting.