Smoking and weight loss hypnosis
I get more referrals from weight-loss clients and smoking clients than from anything else, and it is not surprising that these people, particularly, want to tell others about their success with hypnotherapy because most of them have tried lots of other methods that didn't work before they came to me. Because of previous struggles with lousy methods, many of these clients weren't really expecting hypnotherapy to work either, and are therefore genuinely surprised - and of course delighted - when it does.
So if they tell all their friends and family about it, it is hardly surprising that some of them come along too, to see if they can get rid of a problem of their own, because they already know that the method has worked for somebody else. But if those same people had only heard about hypnotherapy success from myself just talking about it, do you think they would find that so convincing?
Hypnotherapy sounds too good to be true!
Let's acknowledge that, and deal with it. Why does hypnotherapy sound too good to be true? Because it involves no effort, and the success can be dramatic. From an early age, we all had it drilled into us that if we want to be successful in anything, we have to try really hard! Which may be true enough in most things, but it just doesn't apply in hypnotherapy because all the changes are taken care of by the Subconscious mind, not by willpower, not by conscious effort. Whenever the Subconscious mind does anything, it is always without apparent effort.
Really? How can anything be achieved without effort?
Here is a simple example that everyone will recognise from their own experience. You know when someone says to you: "What's the name of that bloke that was in the film we watched the other night - the one who was married to the girl with red hair?" Immediately you try (conscious effort) to remember, scanning your conscious memory... you find the red-haired girl, and through that you find your way back to the face of her 'husband' in the film. But the name escapes you! This is frustrating, because you 'know' you know it, but you haven't used that name recently - he was called Bob in the movie, you remember that, but...
This effort may continue for a minute or two, but you soon realise that you aren't going to locate it that way. So at some point you abandon the attempt to find it through conscious effort, and you say: "It'll come back to me." Then your conscious attention turns again to other matters. You have stopped trying.
Later that day - or maybe even sometime the next day - the name comes zooming into your conscious mind as if from nowhere, when you aren't even thinking about it! "That's the guy!" Success, but with zero effort. In fact you were not even paying attention to that matter at all on a conscious level when the name suddenly appeared.
So where did the name magically come from? Well, the moment you said to yourself: "It'll come back to me", you performed a little bit of ordinary self-hypnosis, though you may not have realised that! You just instructed the Head of Archives in the Subconscious to "Go Find". And it went and did exactly that, and as soon as it located the required information, it hurled it straight back to conscious awareness like a boomerang. No effort at all, yet total success... just like everything else the Subconscious does, in fact!
Everyone can recognise that example from their own ordinary experience. But how many people have ever experienced any of the other fantastic things that the human Subconscious mind can do, just as easily as that? Nearly everything we do in hypnotherapy is exactly that easy, but I know for sure that if I get up on my soapbox and tell everyone about it, the majority of people will assume I'm exaggerating, because of course it all sounds too easy!
For years now, there has been a heated debate in the hypnotherapy profession as to whether we should include Client Testimonials in our advertisements or on our websites. Some say we shouldn't, because they say it might seem tacky or because they could be faked. In some Associations there is a general consensus that as long as you have obtained the permission of the client - and you have that in writing - it is okay to use that for promotional purposes, as it is genuine independent evidence of real success, and therapists do have the right to demonstrate how successful hypnotherapy is.
Our Duty as Hypnotherapists
I would go further: I think it is our duty, as long as it remains the case that most people honestly have no idea how successful they could be with hypnotherapy, to do everything we can to make them aware of that... because if we don't, they will only go on trying to succeed with methods that don't work. Methods like dieting, nicotine replacement products, dangerous pills and even (God forbid) gastric surgery. In fact, if we hypnotherapists are at all backward in coming forward, we effectively leave the public little choice but to turn to things like that.
I sometimes wonder if the therapists who are against the use of testimonials actually aren't very good therapists, and don't get many messages like these:
I am amazed !
Hi Chris, I came to see you on Friday about my poor relationship with food and wanting to lose weight. You said be prepared to be amazed. I am! Without any real effort my habits have changed dramatically. I am so thoughtful about anything I consume, and am eating very slowly and chewing and savouring even just a single grape. It is almost like it isn't me. I have gobbled food without thinking for years.
Thank you so much for showing me a different way. I am hoping your hypnotherapy will keep on working with my subconscious. But I really will want to come and see you again in a few months. You have made me so much less anxious about life.
You have a very special knowledge and talent. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
That email came in 3rd March this year. And yes, I have Pippa's permission to reproduce it here. Over the last nine years I've had literally hundreds of messages like that. Like to read a couple more?
23rd February 2009
Just a quick email to let you know about my progress. I came to see you on 21st January to help me lose weight, I have lost 12lbs since my visit to you (in 4 weeks). My friends congratulate me on my success and tell me how well I'm doing, however, I have to keep telling them I'm not doing anything. I don't feel like I'm depriving myself of anything, or struggling with cravings, and I can't believe I have lost my sweet tooth which at times I felt was uncontrollable.
I still have about a stone and a half to lose but I'm well on my way to my goal. I sing your praises to all who will listen.
Thanks again for your help
Now come on folks, be honest: if you regularly got messages like this, would you be against the use of testimonials? The delight and astonishment of these people is obvious, and it is precisely because they really didn't think they could have success like that! So if anyone reading this is feeling the same kind of self-doubt, or initial scepticism about hypnotherapy, well - it didn't stop these people from being successful, did it? Much to their own surprise, evidently! Here's another one:
Dear Chris ,
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how things were going. Since seeing you last Monday I haven't eaten or even been tempted to eat a single sweet thing or snack type food. The point when I knew the hypnotherapy had really worked was at a hen night on Saturday. My friend and I had eaten some lovely chicken wraps at about 6.30 and arrived at the party around 9pm. Laid out on the table was an array of party food, crisps, mini-cakes and chocolates. In the past, even though not feeling hungry I would have helped myself amply from the spread or, if being self-controlled, not actually eaten but would have been constantly aware of the temptation even while chatting and enjoying myself but this time the fact that the food was available was a matter of complete indifference to me! It was amazing. I feel so proud of myself and glad that I came to you. I know you said that success with hypnotherapy is my own success but I wanted to say thank you. I thought the session was great, and telling you the whole story was a therapy in itself. I don't think I've been so frank with anyone before about my weight and relationship with food, so that was good too because you made it very easy to talk... I'm released from worrying and feeling guilty about eating fattening food. They simply don't exist for me any more.
If you would like to find yourself sending messages like that too, then all you have to do is exactly what these people did: pick up the phone!
Office: 0161-474-8120 or call/text 07748 838 644 any day, any time.
Consultant Hypnotherapist Chris Holmes is Director of Central Hypnotherapy and has been helping people from all over Stockport, Cheshire, Manchester and Tameside UK to stop smoking and lose weight since August 2000.