FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. Clients begin by phoning or emailing me to book a free initial consultation. This half hour meeting at my Plymouth hypnotherapy and counselling office enables me to decide whether I can help them, and to begin planning a programme of hypnotherapy and counselling to meet their needs. Normally I’ll be able to give a rough estimate of how many sessions would be needed. This is also the client’s opportunity to ask me any questions. Many clients will have already learned a lot by reading some of the 20+ articles on this website. If they wish, clients can be accompanied by one friend or relative at any session. If a client is under 18 I require their parent to attend at least the first session and to give written consent.
CONFIDENTIALITY. Everything clients tell me is kept strictly confidential, unless it involved serious crime or a serious intention to commit suicide. If a client tells me they’ve made serious plans to kill themselves, I would assume that they want my help to stop this
happening, and would insist on agreeing a plan to keep them safe. This would normally include telling their family or friends and their GP. Like all counsellors and psychotherapists I do discuss my work at “supervision meetings”. These meetings help counsellors and therapists to improve their service by sharing knowledge. However we discuss problems and techniques, not clients’ personal details from which they could be identified. The therapist with whom I meet at present is Dr John Campbell-Beattie.
HYPNOTHERAPY. Merely knowing how to hypnotise people would not make you an effective hypnotherapist- just as knowing how to use a stethoscope would not make you a doctor! Where possible, I use techniques that have been scientifically tested, based on authoritative sources such as the Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis (published by the University of Oxford, one of the most respected universities in the world). See my articles “What is Hypnotherapy?” and “How Does Hypnotherapy Work?” for more information.
SELF HYPNOSIS MP3s and CDs. For many clients I will create an individualised hypnotherapy MP3 or CD for them following their first session. Listening to this will powerfully reinforce the “live” therapy. Of course you must be sitting or lying down somewhere safe to listen to the MP3 or CD. You must not listen to it while driving!
MAKING PROGRESS WITH HYPNOTHERAPY. Sessions are normally weekly, sometimes two-weekly. I often show clients how to keep a simple chart to record their progress. At each counselling/hypnotherapy session we will review progress and modify the programme to include anything that’s arisen since your first session. I often teach clients self-hypnosis.
WHAT I NEED FROM YOU. I need commitment from my clients- I can’t force you to change if you don’t really want to, and I can’t help you if you don’t turn up for appointments. Ideally I like to book ahead, although I don’t require payment in advance except for the intensive stop smoking course. Some of my clients are very busy people, however you do need to prioritise attending your appointments for me to help you. I do however recognise that for parents of young children life can be very unpredictable!