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Hypnotherapy is one of the safest, quickest and most effective forms of treatment for the majority of psychological and emotional problems. It fosters an attitude of independence and mastery in coping with problems and can also accelerate the healing process in many physiological problems.
It always helps to have someone really listen to you, and to believe that you DO have a problem. Unfortunately, most doctors simply don't have time to really talk to their patients and to understand the whole person. They are pressured to quickly prescribe medicine for individual symptoms, or to do nothing. I believe that if you feel ill, then you are ill! Hypnosis will almost always improve how you feel about yourself, inside.
There are also some very slight risks associated with Hypnosis. These are most likely to arise from treatment by a badly trained, or untrained therapist, but I'll list them all, in any case. I will highlight any of the potential problems which could occur in my clients in dark green.
If you do encounter a problem, it is important to talk it over with your Hypnotherapist first because simply stopping treatment is unlikely to be the answer, and could make things worse. Some "side-effects" are actually good indicators that the treatment is working. Most problems will arise when an existing problem comes to the surface.
Positive aspects of hypnosis include the production of a much more profound level of relaxation with a concomitant reduction in stress levels. To some previously very stressed or unhappy people, this feeling of relaxation is so different that they may worry about being light-headed, etc.
Many people have problems rooted in past events. We can often "bury" traumatic events away for years or decades. The use of Psychotherapy under hypnosis reveals the root causes and then also helps us deal with them. Some clients may feel a bit low for a few days following sessions. It isn't a nice smooth upward path. Hypnotherapy can be hard work, depending upon your past.
As described elsewhere on this web site, traumatic memories are stored along with the original intense emotion. One of the objects of hypnotherapy is to allow this emotion to be "vented". Sometimes, a client will try to hold back this emotion and, in a few cases, this can lead to a headache. (The same thing can happen after a funeral, if you hold backthe tears.) If this does happen to you, tell the hypnotherapist, who may be able to help you there and then. If the headache comes later, take your usual headache remedy and try to get some sleep and tell your therapist at the next session. Therefore:-
If you feel angry, shout with rage!
If you feel sad, cry!
Remember, if you already have epilepsy, even if it's controlled or it was years ago, hypnosis could still trigger a seizure. (You don't want to lose your driving license for several months!) I always check with clients beforehand. Don't worry, though - hypnosis can't cause epilepsy. This concern does not apply to people who had temperature fits as babies.
It is strongly recommended that you do not appear in, or even attend, a live stage hypnosis act, nor approach a stage hypnotist for treatment as you may be affected after the show. He or she will most definitely not be trained to the standard expected of the National Society of Professional Hypnotherapists, nor the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council.
It is also important that people who are being treated for a psychotic illness must only be treated under medical supervision, or with permission of their psychiatrist. Hypnotherapy can have such a profound effect that people who must keep taking medication to control their condition, sometimes feel so good that they suddenly stop taking their prescription. This can have serious results. As a genera; rule people who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), etc., should not seek Hypnotherapy without consulting their psychiatrist first!