Updated: Mar 17
If you're reading this after booking your first hypnotherapy or coaching session, congratulations on taking a courageous step! It means you are keen to invest in yourself and create change in your life – you're already on the road to success.
Still trying to decide whether hypnotherapy or coaching is right for you? This article is for you too. I start with some insight into what to expect from a transformation therapy session, and then give you nine steps that will help you get the most out of it.
As soon as I let go of who I am, I become what I can be. – Lao Tzu
1. Focus and intention
Be clear about what you want to achieve from your transformational therapy sessions (whether it is hypnotherapy or coaching). The clearer your intention, the sooner you will see change.
When you book your first session, I have a small questionnaire for you that will help you think about your intention, or goal. Spend some time on this, and paint a picture in your mind. How do you want your life to look? What is it that you want to transform? How will you know when you have achieved change?
If you struggle to be specific, form a clear idea of your overall focus area. Are you in a negative relationship pattern? Do you struggle with low confidence or self-worth? Do you need a career change? We can work together to identify a more specific goal during your first session.
Journalling is a fantastic way to identify your goals before your first transformation therapy session, and to help you recognise change as it happens. You can do this on your phone / laptop or in a notebook.
Once you have started your journal, you'll find it very beneficial to make notes between hypnotherapy and coaching sessions. This might be reflections on what is happening for you internally, and notes on specific situations that you can bring to your next session.
Review your notes before each session to help you focus.
In the hours leading up to your hypnotherapy session, stay away from caffeinated drinks, cigarettes and stimulating activities.
Remove all sources of distraction:
Turn off notifications on your devices.
Let people who live with you know that you mustn't be disturbed for an hour or so.
If you have dogs that bark, is there someone who can take them for a long walk?
Finally, make sure you're not hungry or thirsty.
And use the bathroom immediately before the hypnosis session begins.
4. Your comfort
Wear loose clothes, and find a quiet, relaxing position. For online hypnotherapy sessions, find the most comfortable chair that gives support to your head. You can lie down on a couch or bed if you prefer, as long as I can see you clearly.
You might want to cover yourself with a light blanket for warmth and comfort. Adjust lighting to a dim, relaxing setting, and have some nice smells around you. Lavender oil is wonderful. Make sure you have water close by to stay hydrated.
5. Technical details
Online hypnotherapy sessions work best with a laptop or computer screen as I need to be able to see you clearly from your waist up, including your hands.
Get your device set up in advance, and test the sound input and output. It is best if you use a headset. Get into a comfortable position and check the screen before we start.
6. Your expectations
Set aside your expectations of what hypnosis 'should' be like, and open your mind to your own unique experience in the therapy session. There is no right or wrong way of accessing your subconscious mind. Be prepared to go with the flow and be surprised by the thoughts, feelings or memories that come to you.
Don't worry about how easy you will find the session. Everyone is different, and you are already committed to hypnotherapy or coaching because you believe it is right for you. Trust yourself and the process. It has worked for many people for many centuries, and if you let it, it will help you too.
7. Your thinking mind
Change can be challenging sometimes and you may feel some inner resistance, but if you stay with it, you will begin to feel more relaxed.
A common stumbling block can be the way your conscious (thinking) mind tries to interfere with the process. For example, in response to the suggestion ‘You’re getting very relaxed,’ you might think, ‘Am I getting relaxed? Is this going to work? I don’t know if this is going to work.’ You can turn this around by simply asking your mind to accept the suggestion wholeheartedly with the words, ‘Yes, I am getting relaxed.’
This simple switch opens your mind to new possibilities, helping you to make the change you desire.
8. Commitment to change
You have chosen hypnotherapy because you want to transform yourself and your life. It's therefore vital that you come ready for change. This means a change in your behaviour, mindset or beliefs, and it requires intentional effort.
I am here to support you through this process, but however good your hypnotherapist is, only you can overcome your resistance to change. Make sure you are fully committed to your transformation before you begin, and you will be far more likely to succeed.
9. Have fun!
Most of all, have fun and enjoy the experience. Hypnosis offers you a wonderful, deep connection with your unconscious. Most clients who experience it don’t want it to stop because it’s such a great space to be in.
You are on an exciting journey! Prepare to achieve goals, create self-awareness, think critically, gain new insights, be supported, challenged, inspired, encouraged, and create the change you truly want in your life.
My hypnotherapy and coaching are based on the Five Ericksonian Principles.