Sarah Woodward Hypnotherapy

What is Hypnosis?

In Solution Focused Hypnotherapy we use a combination of solution focused talking therapy aka Psychotherapy and trance aka hypnosis.

I find people are usually cautious of hypnosis and given the way the media chooses to portray the subject it comes as no surprise.


I remember when I was a child, seeing hypnosis depicted in cartoons such as Scooby-Doo, I was led to believe that hypnosis was some kind of mind control.

Characters with mystical powers would capture the poor, unsuspecting victim in their hypnotic stare (usually with swirly eyes) and the person would lose all conscious control and be at the mercy and bidding of the evil villain.


As I got older, I would see stage hypnotists on TV enthralling their audiences by influencing their brave volunteers to go up on stage and perform sometimes daredevil feats such as walking over hot coals without feeling the heat and of course, the more commonly mentioned, clucking like a chicken and generally making a fool of themselves.

I’m sure if you cast your mind back to your first impressions of hypnosis they will have been as a result of similar portrayals.


So it’s little wonder that many people feel naturally suspicious of hypnotherapy. Most of my clients will come to me professing that hypnotherapy is the “last ditch attempt” to resolve issues where other previous forms of talking therapy have fallen short for them and two particular questions crop up very frequently:


“Will you make me cluck like a chicken?”

Short answer: No

Want more detail? 

You can be rest assured that I have no desire whatsoever to suggest to someone that they cluck like a chicken! The biggest take away here for you is even if I did suggest it (and I won’t) it would require the person to actually want to do it for it to happen! That’s right, even when in hypnosis, you are the one in total control of what you choose to do or not to do. If something is suggested to you that goes against your moral compass or just something that you don’t want to do, then your mind will instantly reject the idea and move on.

Hypnosis Is Not Mind Control (sorry Scooby-Doo fans).


“What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?”

You already know! It is in fact a 100% natural, deeply relaxed state of mind commonly referred to as “trance” – a word I don’t love, it makes it all sound mystical and a bit “Woo” doesn’t it? And that’s exactly what it’s not but regardless of my personal feelings toward a word, trance is so ordinary that each of us already experience it multiple times each day!

Have you ever had a friend nudge you when in conversation and say “Hey, Daydreamer! – you were away with the fairies then!” You were in trance. Maybe you’ve set out on the journey to work and you know it’s a 40 minute drive but it seems to only take 5 minutes, you don’t seem to remember much of the journey, how often did you change gear? Did you indicate at the last roundabout? You’re sure you did but can’t remember doing it – you were in trance. 

As I sit here in my garden writing this, I stop for a moment and gaze up at the branches of the monkey puzzle tree, I quietly observe how the lush green branches seem to touch the vivid blue sky and admire the beauty of the colours, my eyes wander to the cloud formations off to the right and my gaze fixes there for how long? I have no idea, I have absolutely nothing on my mind. I’m aware of the next door neighbours grandchildren excitedly and loudly playing hide and seek in their garden, I hear the sounds of footsteps as people walk down the street on the other side of the fence and I hear the buses and cars as they approach and turn at the junction on which we are situated. I’m aware of who and what is around me, but at the same time I’m deeply and totally relaxed, allowing myself to just be still, not needing to consciously pay attention to anything or anyone, and this is what hypnosis feels like to many of my clients in their sessions. They still hear the traffic outside the window or voices from other rooms but they don’t notice it so much, it doesn’t bother them, it can even help them to relax further, knowing that the world is continuing to do it’s thing while they allow themselves this time to just rest. Physically you may feel like every part of you is sinking deeper and deeper into the couch in a wonderfully, heavy sensation – or – you may feel light as a feather as if you are floating on a wave of relaxation, you may not notice either and all are completely normal.


Trance or hypnosis, which ever word you chose, is a wonderfully relaxing experience which most people find leaves them feeling refreshed, energised, enlivened and ready to cope brilliantly with whatever life has in store. Neuroscience has shown us that when talking therapies (preferably solution focused) are followed up with trance this gives the subconscious mind time to digest information and work on the discussion, allowing you to then to more easily find the next step you need to take to progress on your journey toward your goals in life.


I offer a FREE Initial Consultation via Zoom, so please do contact me if you’d like to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you to move forward in your life.