What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a natural, safe and effective form of therapy. It helps you to relax deeply and then helps to change your mindset so that you can manage behaviours or the way you respond to things. Some of the behaviours we have are due to unconscious conditioning. We then help find other ways of thinking that serve you better.

You are completely in control at all times. We are often in trance, sometimes when daydreaming, or even whilst zoning out watching Netflix. PLEASE READ THE 10 MYTHS about Hypnosis.

What is Strategic Psychotherapy?
Many therapy approaches focus on finding meaning and insight into a person’s problems and behaviours. As a Strategic therapist delivering brief therapy, I am interested in creating a better future for you rather than focusing on the past. We at Affinity Hypnotherapy Coffs Harbour believe that the problem isn’t the past – the problem is that coping strategies from the past have now created some rigidity in your approach and are not working for you today.

Perhaps you learned through experience that you couldn’t trust people in the past. You will have a process gap around who you can and can’t trust today perhaps. Or maybe the skill you lack is the ability to turn off your busy mind, or to know when to stop eating? No matter what your particular problem is, it comes down to the pattern you are running in the here and now. The good news is that by using Strategic questioning and then Hypnosis as a method to deliver personal and relevant suggestions to you, it becomes negotiable and you can change it.

Yes, but it is continuously changing. Please check with your health fund provider to see if you are covered. Or you can contact us for more information.

24 hours’ notice is required for cancelling a session or as much time as possible. This allows us to be able to allocate the time to another client.

What does being in a trance feel like?

It is different for everyone. Some people feel the deepest sense of relaxation that they have ever felt. Some people have described it as feeling light and weightless, others feel their body as heavy and very comfortable. Some people say it is similar to meditation. Many people can hear and concentrate on every word, whereas others drift in and out knowing that the session is recorded so they can listen to whatever they think they have missed later on. Often, we take more in when we are open and deeply relaxed.

Will I still be in control?

Yes, you will remain in control. This is not stage hypnotism. You will not be clucking like a chicken in the room. This is for professional and therapeutic use only. Just like in the waking state you are able to pick and choose what thoughts you listen to and take on-board. Even in a hypnotic state of mind you are still able to hear (even if deeply relaxed) what is being said and make decisions and choices for yourself.


1. A hypnotist might turn you into a chicken or make you do other embarrassing things.

FACT A clinical hypnotherapist would not do this. A stage hypnotist is very different and will do this because it is expected of them as an entertainer. Participants would also have agreed to be involved in this way. Clinical Hypnotherapy is only used to help fulfill therapeutic goals by enabling the subconscious to make positive changes.

2. I can’t be hypnotized because my mind is too strong. Only weak people can be hypnotized.

FACT This has been proven to be untrue. An open mind is actually a strong mind. It depends on what people think the experience will be like. It is not something that is “done” to you. Many people are aware of everything that is being said and if they don’t agree with something, they can reject that idea just as if they were wide awake.

3. Hypnotists swing a watch in order to hypnotise a subject.

FACT This is outdated these days and rarely used. It is actually more like a deep-guided relaxation exercise.

4. What if I fall asleep and have no memory of the session?

FACT Hypnosis is often found to be so relaxing and occasionally some people drift off to sleep. However most people are able to relax and also listen clearly to every single word. There are medical studies that show that even in deep hypnosis a person is still aware and are actually concentrating at some level. The hypnosis session is recorded so that it can be listened to as homework to reinforce the benefits, so if someone falls asleep it doesn’t matter.

5. Someone else will be in control of my mind?

FACT No, not at all. You will remain in control. Just like in everyday life you are able to pick and choose what thoughts you listen to and take onboard. You are still able to disregard things that you may not agree with. Even if deeply relaxed you are able to make decisions and choices for yourself. There is a saying that “all hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis” and that really you are always in control.

6. You can remain permanently stuck in hypnosis.

FACT You can’t get stuck. Some people may relax so much that they don’t want to open their eyes straight away, as they are enjoying the feeling so much. It is a bit like watching television and zoning out, where you don’t notice things around you. You become aware as soon as you hear someone mention your name, your attention comes back instantly.

7. You’ve never been hypnotized.

FACT Many people think they’ve never been hypnotised but actually we often go into a type of trance almost daily. When we are daydreaming for example, or driving long distance or even watching television. Try asking a child a question when they are fixated to their favourite program or engrossed in a game. Meditation is even similar to self-hypnosis.

8. If I can hear the therapists voice during the hypnosis then it hasn’t worked.

FACT No not at all. That is a big misconception. Even in hypnosis you are able to listen and follow the hypnotherapists voice, this is evident because as the therapist brings the session to a close the client listens and opens their eyes when asked. Some people may feel like they have drifted off because they have been relaxing, but it depends on the person. Even if they are lightly in trance the effects can still be as effective.

9. A hypnotist cured me in one session!

FACT Many people have heard this and this can lead to an unrealistic expectation. It is not a magic pill. In reality the person may have considered the changes they have wanted to make for some time and therefore ready to think differently. Often a problem has been around for quite some time and therefore more than one session is suggested to help enable lasting significant change.

10. Hypnosis comes from the “Supernatural.”

FACT Hypnosis is a very natural state that has been studied scientifically and proven to have significant benefits and successful outcomes. Hypnotherapy is based on many years of clinical research and helps people to focus their mind on the ways they would prefer to think rather than being stuck in old patterns and unhelpful behaviours. When a person is calm they are more open to new ideas and have clarity. For example it is known that some people listen to classical music whilst studying to help them relax and therefore concentrate better. Hypnotherapists are not magicians. (Although the results can feel magical)

The value of tasking – Your crucial contribution.
Tasking provides opportunities for experiential learning, as there is no better way to learn and progress than to learn by experience. Evidence shows that the best way to benefit from therapy is to fully participate in any activities suggested by your hypnotherapist, whether it is listening to audio tracks at home, or carrying out any homework set.
Action is important here, rather than passively reflecting on the task without carrying it out. Knowledge always helps, but direct experience is more likely to get you the results you want. When you expand your range of experiences, you will also expand your personal resources that can be applied to develop new perspectives or life skills.

These tasks should also help you to realise that the problem isn’t you – it’s the way you have been going about it. Perhaps keep a folder for your notes so that you can refer back to them as you progress in sessions. You may notice later that your thinking was either incorrect or incomplete which was creating the problem.

What is your role?
Many clients come to Hypnotherapy looking for a magic bullet. They often do not recognise the importance of their own participation in the process, and hope that the therapist will somehow “ZAP” them better. If only we could! We often hear people wanting a switch inside their head turned off, or on as the case may be.
Of course, in the real world, the issues are a little more involved that that. The problems you have been experiencing usually come down to habituated patterns that you run. Whether they are behavioural or perceptual, and alternatives have to be installed and generalised. This requires your participation.

Therapy is about learning how to do things differently, and whilst a lot can be done at the cognitive and emotional level, this is generally reinforced by real world experience. Long lasting change will only be yours when you have developed new skills and knowledge that renders less desirable patterns of behaviour and thinking obsolete.

This is why I want to emphasise the importance of completing your tasks. Please trust me, I will never give you tasking simply to fill in time. They will always have a purpose.

The free 30 minute consult is part of your first session. During this time, I’ll answer any of your questions and address any doubts. Once we reach the 30 minute mark, if you want to you can just walk away without any problems at all – any money paid will be refunded IN FULL right there and then. Or, you can give me the green light and we’ll continue on with your session.

Either way, there’s no pressure. You’re in control. You can feel comfortable with your decision. Most people give the green light. If they only got booked for 30 minutes instead of the full time slot, they might have to wait a while to get seen. We book full appointments assuming that you’ll want to push forward towards your specific solution.

Any person suffering from any degree of emotional or physical “dis-ease” can benefit from Clinical Hypnotherapy. The problems treatable through hypnosis are equally diversified. Although hypnosis is commonly associated with habit cessation (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.), almost any area treatable by conventional means can be enhanced through the use of hypnosis. The well-trained clinician, using hypnotherapy can help clients suffering from the following –

Alcoholism, Anger, Anxieties, Asthma, Bed Wetting, Blood Pressure, Blushing, Breathing Disorders, Bulimia, Burns, Chronic and Acute Compulsions, Confidence, Dentistry, Depression, Eczema, Exam Nerves, Exam performance, Gambling, Gastro – intestinal Disorders, Goal Setting, Grief, Guilt, Habit Control, Headaches, Hostility, Insomnia, Memory Enhancement, Mood Swings, Nail Biting, Obsessive / Compulsive Behaviours, Obstetrics (hypnobirthing), Over Eating, Pain Control, Assertiveness, Communication, Pain management, Panic Attacks, Personal Growth, Phobias, Psoriasis, Public Speaking, Relationships, Relaxation, Releasing the Past, Resentments, Sexual Dysfunction, Skin Problems, Sleep Disorders, Smoking Cessation, Sports Motivation, Stress relief, Study Recall, Stuttering, Warts and Worry.

Hypnosis can be utilised in the treatment of most disorders, whether mental or otherwise, where the relaxation response promotes the person’s attitude. For example, with a physical injury, the person’s mental resources can be enlisted to aid in managing the subsequent discomfort, allow for some rest and lessen the associated emotional trauma. It must be noted that Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment from a doctor. The most important determinant of the eventual success of the therapy is the true desire to get well.

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