We recently caught up with Nicole Valens, a Hypnotherapist from Finchley, London. We learnt more about her therapist experience including her journey into complementary therapy, her perspectives of hypnotherapy and what you can expect as one of her patients.
1. Can you tell me about your journey into complementary health and why you chose hypnotherapy?
As a mental health social worker, I was keen to develop as a therapist. I enrolled on a 3 year Advanced Diploma in Counselling, the first year of which was Hypnotherapy. I loved how effective it was with so many issues, and the process itself is so relaxing for clients. I was amazed by the positive results I was able to achieve with people in a short amount of time. That was over 10 years ago and since then I have been successfully treating hundreds of private clients, specialising in stress and anxiety.
2. How would you explain the benefits of hypnotherapy to someone unfamiliar with it?
Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful psychotherapeutic tool that can be used to make positive changes to negative thinking, unhelpful habits or inappropriate responses to triggers. Because hypnotherapy works directly with the subconscious, it is extremely effective with emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. It works well for phobias, changing unwanted habits such as smoking, and increasing self confidence. It is also very effective way of pain management.
Hypnotherapy is totally safe, and has no side effects. Most people find it a very relaxing, enjoyable experience.
3. What do you wish more people knew about hypnotherapy? What is the biggest misconception?
Hypnotherapy is not like mindfulness or meditation. It is a powerful psychotherapeutic tool which offers an effective and rapid treatment for emotional, physical and mental disorders. EG Anxiety can be significantly reduced within 6 weeks of treatment.
It is not like you see in the movies – there are no swinging watches, and you won’t be made to cluck like a chicken! You cannot be hypnotised against your will and you are not under the control of the therapist. You, the client, are in control at all times, and are being empowered to make the positive changes you want to make.
4. What advice do you have for individuals interested in exploring hypnotherapy options for their own wellness?
Make sure that you choose a therapist who is appropriately qualified, and a member of a recognised body such as the National Hypnotherapy Society. Talk to 2 or 3 therapists and choose one who you feel comfortable with and who has the right level of experience and expertise to deal with your issue.
5. How do you approach appointments with your patients?
I offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation. Then I offer an face-to-face assessment so that I can get a really good understanding of the client’s issues, explain how hypnotherapy works and devise a treatment plan. Then I would recommend a course of treatment based on this. Although everyone is different, most people experience significant improvement after 4-6 weekly sessions of an hour each. Progress is monitored throughout so the treatment can be tailored to each person’s needs. I work online, which is just as effective as in-person treatment and means people can get treatment in the comfort of their own home. I offer evening appointments to fit in with clients’ work commitments.
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