It used to be the case that if you told anyone you were a hypnotist they would assume you made people run round like chickens for a living. Fortunately, and thanks in no small part to the work of organizations like the British Society for Clinical Hypnosis, we hear more and more of hypnosis being embraced in main stream medical care. Two London hospitals have been treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with nothing other than hypnosis and ego-strengthening suggestions for the last two years and have a 75% total remission rate. Major surgery including heart bypass and some brain procedures have been comfortably performed with no other anaesthetic than hypnosis.
Yet it is still viewed by some with suspicion, perhaps because no one has ever satisfactorily explained how it works. Only recently a gynaecologist was acquitted of raping a woman who alleged he had made her pregnant under hypnosis. Despite the acquittal it transpired that he was already serving six years for similar offences of which he was found guilty.
The industry-standard mantra is that you cannot be made to do anything in hypnosis that offends your morals or that you would not otherwise do normally. I don't think that is true and I don't know why anyone else should. How credible would I be if I said I could make you quit smoking, reduce weight, sleep properly, stop grinding your teeth, feel good about yourself and love your mother-in-law but I couldn't make you take your shirt off?
So I prefer to be honest. There is every reason for you to believe that I could indeed make you hand over your plastic and your pin numbers, and sleep peacefully while I go and collect my fees. But just because we can do something doesn't mean that we will do that thing. I could just as easily kick a patient in the shin but I'm not about to do that either.
As I want my patients to be at ease, however, you are welcome to ask that the session be recorded. In addition you are free to bring another adult with you who can sit in throughout the session if you wish.