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We’re nearly at the end of January. How are those New Year resolutions going? The Edinburgh Reporter’s Mike Smith is a qualified hypnotherapist who runs a successful practice, Mind Generating Success, in the west end of Edinburgh. Here, he explains what hypnotherapy can do for you and answers those most asked questions about hypnotherapy – and there’s a special offer for Edinburgh Reporter readers at the end of the article!

Do you wish your life could change? Do you want to make the changes but need support? Hypnotherapy – or life therapy as some people call it – is a holistic method of getting you to think differently about unwanted habits. And all you have to do is sit in a chair and listen to me for an hour!

The range of issues that hypnotherapy can help with is extensive. Here are just some:

Weight loss

Food disorders

Smoking cessation

Stress and anxiety

Self-esteem and confidence




An estimated 13.4 million sick days are taken for work related stress every year.
Feeling stressed or unable to cope at work? Hypnotherapy can help.

Who can benefit from hypnotherapy?

Virtually everyone! We can all experience hypnosis since we all day-dream and hypnosis is similar to a pleasant relaxed day-dream. Of course, being individual personalities, each of us will experience it slightly differently.But when hypnotised you don’t go to sleep, your hearing is perfectly normal, your memory is often enhanced and also you can talk quite normally. In fact, it is a pleasant experience in which you are helped – not controlled. The hypnotherapist does not control you at any time. In hypnosis you don’t pass out or go to sleep. You will hear the therapist’s soothing and positive words.

After hypnotherapy, people often say they have ‘never felt so relaxed’. Hypnosis is such a natural state of mind that some people are even not aware when they are in a trance.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural and highly receptive therapeutic learning state. It is often described as an altered state of consciousness, where the unconscious and conscious parts of your mind can work on the same concept at the same time without conflict. It is a powerful state of inner focus, concentration, and enhanced self-awareness

How does hypnotherapy work?

Post-hypnotic suggestions and other approaches – such as regression and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – are used to change negative feelings, habits and patterns of behaviour.

Hypnotherapy enhances the effectiveness of what is said, by communicating with the unconscious mind. Selective thinking is made more effective.

Is it like stage hypnosis?

No! In stage hypnosis there is no therapy or benefit to the recipient, it is designed purely as entertainment.

Can you be hypnotised to say or do something against your will?

You are free to accept or reject suggestions made to you in hypnosis and what you say (if anything) is entirely under your control.

Hypnotherapy is always used in a respectful and understanding way. Your therapy will be discussed with you in advance to ensure that you are comfortable with the approach.

Hypnotherapy can help with insomnia

Can you lose control or become ‘stuck’ in hypnosis?

No. Hypnosis involves focused attention and you remain physically and mentally in control. Certainly, you won’t become stuck in hypnosis and can start or finish as you choose, just as you can start or finish a daydream, or become engrossed in a book or film. You can drive a motor vehicle immediately after hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is about the unconscious mind; therefore, it is best to let your directed thoughts (conscious mind) rest and not be analytical. For example, avoid thinking ‘am I hypnotised’ or trying to relax. Don’t try, just let it happen is best. Leaving your analytical mind to enjoy a rest is best.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Yes indeed. Everyone (unless they have a serious mental health condition) can experience hypnosis, it is a totally natural state of mind rather like daydreaming. Everyone daydreams! Of course, like everything in life, there is a range of responses – from a deep state to a lighter trance. Hypnotherapy can, however, be just as effective for someone who is at the lighter end of the range. The main requirement is simply being receptive, to allow beneficial change to naturally occur.

How many sessions will I need?

This will very much depend on the extent of the problem you want to address and the extent of your desired outcome. Everyone is different. Therapy is tailored to meet individual needs and objectives. It is a facilitator of self-development, to aid in developing potential. For most issues, a programme of two to five sessions is typically recommended. Further sessions if needed will depend on how these sessions progress.

Find out more at Mind Generating Success, a successful hypnotherapy practice based in Edinburgh. Contact Mike Smith on 07521 353 787 or email: to arrange an initial chat. Evening appointments available. 

As a special offer for readers of the Edinburgh Reporter, there’s 10% off every session! Just quote ER2019 to claim the deal.

Go on – change your life today!