Question to Anonymous Client 1: What do you think hypnotherapy is?

Answer: “Derren Brown uses it for entertainment. Paul McKenna helps people stop smoking and lose weight. In films it helps police by making people give more evidence. NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) is linked to it and I know it is used by unscrupulous salespeople to brainwash others.”


This client was accurate, in naming separate uses of hypnosis. With Derren Brown using hypnosis for entertainment and Paul McKenna for using hypnosis for hypnotherapy, stopping people’s habitual behaviours.

The distinction between the uses of hypnosis will be important to explain to clients. This will ensure clients know we are there to help them, not simply to entertain. We can address this by looking the part of an authority figure. We can appear more like Paul McKenna with his friendly, studious, doctor like professional demeaner to clients. Rather than the mysterious, shadowy, deep-set eyes and razzle dazzle of Derren Brown’s stage shows. Doing so will mean we have a better starting point for serious, positive hypnotherapy.

If You Think Hypnotherapy Will Work it is More Likely To Work

This client accurately focussed on uses of hypnosis within hypnotherapy that he could make use of for himself. He is an ex-smoker and said he stopped by himself, without needing outside aid. However, he is still in the process of losing weight and did say he might find hypnotherapy useful for this.

The latter is important for us because after simply being asked about hypnosis he sounded positive about it and willing to try it. This means hypnosis has positive grounding in his mind to help him with weight issues. Like with the placebo effect (Wikipedia 2021) if there is some belief in the therapy being able to work, then it is more likely that it will work.

Hypnotherapy is a Joint Venture Between You & Your Therapist

I believe that hypnotherapy is a joint venture between our clients and us to do things (lose weight in this case) they really do want to do. If we are sure they are confident about the efficacy of the treatment, it is more likely it will be able to help them.

It is important this client’s confidence about hypnosis and hypnotherapy being able to help him is increased. Hypnotherapists must be very confident about it themselves to do this. He does not yet have the confidence to be calling for an appointment but, it will be possible to further demonstrate to him it will work.

In my workI have used several weight-loss therapy’s that have worked. There is further evidence from Bolocofsky D et al (1985) saying “…hypnosis clients showed significant additional weight loss…“ Also Wadden T et al (2008) goes on to say hypnosis can be an aid for weight loss.

The Use of Hypnosis in the Courts

This client used a film as an example of hypnosis being used on people giving evidence in court. Interestingly this use of hypnosis is not wrong, just ethically questionable according to authorities.

In some jurisdictions in the U.S.A. evidence gained by hypnotising a witness is considered admissible in court, while in other jurisdictions it is not. The Justice Department (2020) says “…whether hypnotically refreshed evidence is admissible at trial is still an open [question] in many jurisdictions…”. 

In the UK the C.P.S. (2018) says evidence gained by hypnotising a witness is generally inadmissible and should only be called on in exceptional circumstance. They consider this sort of evidence to be “confabulation”, that being possibly true. possibly false but, no one can tell which.

This is important to hypnotherapists because it means in the UK we cannot be called on to help with court cases in many circumstances. Also, in the U.S.A. we would have to be certain the jurisdiction we were working in did allow it as evidence, otherwise we would be wasting our clients time.

Your Hypnotherapist at Relaxing Hypnotherapy Will Be Ethical

Lastly this client linked hypnosis with NLP, unscrupulous sales techniques and brainwashing. Unfortunately, with a simple google search you can see that there are numerous books flaunting N.L.P., dark psychology, brainwashing and mind control. Although I haven’t and really don’t wish to delve into this subject in any way, the concept is definitely out there for those of questionable moral standards to indulge in. He got this idea from the sales team he worked with and were very pro immoral brainwashing and sales technique they learned on N.L.P. courses.

This is important to us because we will have to find a way to explain to our clients, should they ask, that we are not going to brainwash them and hypnosis is not mind control. Unfortunately the bad reputation of N.L.P. may tarnish the good reputation of ethical hypnosis and hypnotherapy for this client. A good method of allowing him to see the truth is to produce good rapport with him. In doing so we will have to explain fully to him our hypnotherapists here are of good moral character and always stick to ethical guidelines. In building this good rapport we will mention and repeat to him that we are here only to do good for him. Also, we are here to help him reach the positive goals he wishes to reach and has told us, in his own words how he wants to achieve them.


Wikipedia (Last update 7 February 2021) Placebo [online] available at Accessed 25/02/21

Bolocofsky D et al (1985)  Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioural weight management [online] available at;2-Z Accessed 25/02/21

Wadden T et al (2008) Hypnosis and weight loss: A preliminary study [online] available at Accessed 25/02/21

The United States Department of Justice Archives (2020) 288. Admissibility at Trial [online] available at Accessed 25/02/21

The Crown Prosecution Service (2019) Hypnosis [online] available at Accessed 25/02/21

Please note: All answers published here are kept anonymous. Even so I have been given full permission to publish by the clients concerned.

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