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Three big reasons why hypnosis will flop

Does hypnotherapy work for everyone?  While the short answer is ‘no’, I must be honest and add, ‘but it can’.  The effectiveness of hypnosis is completely dependent on you – and your motivations.

Let me explain, there are three primary reasons hypnotherapy will be ineffective.

1 Your environment is toxic.

Did you know that scientists can now prove that cells are either in ‘shutdown survival’ or ‘thriving and growing’?  There are no other states.  It’s one or the other, and cells are switched into either state by environmental factors.

Take a moment to consider what’s going on in your environment.  Your thoughts and self-talk create an internal environment, while your friends, family, colleagues, and even your geographical location, contribute to your external environment.  Does yours support you to thrive and grow, or are you in shutdown survival, surrounded by toxic people, toxic relationships, maybe even a toxic workplace, or toxic living circumstances?

You’re possibly wondering how does this relate to the effectiveness of hypnotherapy?  Well, as I’ve heard it described, if you take a fish from a toxic pond, help it heal and thrive by putting it in a clean pond, and then afterwards return the healthy fish back to the toxic pond, it will become sick again.  So, as you can see, your environment matters.

To create change, you must make the choice to change, AND to clean up your surroundings, to create a positive space for yourself.  Once you do, an intriguing phenomenon occurs where your outer world adjusts, relationships transform, and people around you change, usually for the better.

2 You’re receiving a benefit from being unwell.

Believe it or not, the clinical term for this is ‘secondary gains’, and these are the ‘benefits’ you get from NOT overcoming your issue.  It is generally not something you’re consciously aware of, and it doesn’t mean having the illness or problem is positive for you overall, just that there are some benefits to maintaining it.  For example, suffering anxiety may get you out of having to do things that you don’t particularly like to do, but would otherwise be required to do, if you did not have the anxiety.

A secondary gain positively reinforces your unwell state.

There are also ‘secondary losses’.  These are the personal costs, or disadvantages of getting well, or being well.  They are further attitudes and behaviours that would need to be confronted and released so that healing could be achieved.  Let me give you a very straightforward example of a secondary loss:  A past client told me if he recovered, he would be expected to return to his job which paid far less than his insurance paid him for remaining ill.  Therefore, by becoming well, he would be losing money.

As you can see, honestly exploring and understanding how you keep yourself stuck is the true key to setting yourself free.  To do this, think about what staying unwell actually gives you, and what might change for the worst if you do get well.  On the other hand, you could also list what will change for the better when you are well, and how you will feel once you heal.

3 Arriving unprepared to do the work.

The last reason hypnosis will fail is because you don’t really want to do the work.  Hypnotherapy might just be another thing on your bucket list of things to try, that you have already decided won’t help.  Too often I hear ‘you’re my last resort’.  This is especially true if you’ve repeatedly told your story to other professionals and are fatigued with looking for a way to solve your problem.

For whatever reason, you may be in that mental space of telling yourself that your circumstances are special or unique, that no one can help you, and that nothing has worked so far, so why will hypnotherapy?

An example of this is when a wife calls to book in her husband to quit smoking.  He more than likely doesn’t really want to quit, as much as his wife wants him to, and won’t be as prepared to do the work to get the result.  Hence, hypnotherapy is just another thing that didn’t work.


The good news is there are ways to get past these three key challenges, to get you into that healing focused mindset.  And yes, it does require a measure of commitment and a willingness to do some work.  As the saying goes, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.  Your limits are all within yourself’.

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