Gentle Hypnosis BLOG

Hypnotherapy is a Brief Therapy

In the last couple of decades, brief therapies like cognitive-behaviour, interactional, humanistic and EFT have been coming to the fore. Depending on which brief therapy you are looking at, anything between 4 and 20 sessions are being quoted as constituting a brief therapy. Some people would not consider 20 sessions to be brief, but it certainly is brief compared to traditional psychoanalysis which may require several years.

The truth is that the number of sessions will depend on several factors:

  • on the skill of the therapist;
  • on whether the chosen brief therapy suits the client; and
  • on how co-operative the client is.


What makes hypnotherapy a brief therapy?

Hypnotherapy is a brief therapy because it allows access to the subconsious mind.

The subconscious mind is where feelings, memories, beliefs and autonomic nervous system reactions are stored. So if you are overeating because your confidence is low or because you cannot cope with a difficult life situation, your overeating is governed by what is happening on a subconscious level.

On the conscious/rational level, you know you shouldn’t have that second piece of cake, but there is another part of you on a subconscious level that says something like: ‘Go on, have it! You’ve had a difficult day!’ And we all know which part is going to win…

Even though consciously, you know what to do, the subconscious mind can sabotage you. This is because if the conscious message is in conflict with a subconscious message, the subconscious mind always wins. Hypnotherapy sessions help to resolve such a conflict so that your subconscious mind will support your conscious decisions. ***

So how long does it take to sort out a problem with hypnotherapy?

Sometimes, when a problem is just an unhelpful habit, for example some cases of overeating, nailbiting, smoking or simple fears, hypnotherapy can sort out the issue quite quickly, generally in 1 to 4 sessions.

If there are other underlying issues such as lack of self-esteem, stressful childhood memories or a current untenable life situations, it will be necessary to check where negative self-beliefs come from and to work through them during one or two more hypnotherapy sessions, but on the whole, most of my clients don’t need more than 6-8 sessions.

The number of sessions does not depend on how long you have had the problem for.

I’m worried some deep dark secret will come out and I won’t be able to handle it

Most clients who come to see me already have a fair idea which life events caused their low self-esteem and which life stresses, past or present, have a negative impact on their life today, so it is quite rare to discover any deep dark secrets. Very often, a client tells me they know why they have the problem, but they are unable to get over the memory or past event that is causing their current problem.

I always work with my client, so if anything difficult comes up in a hypnotherapy session, I will help you deal with it, so that at the end of the session, the topic has been dealt with and can be filed away. Once old blockages have been dealt with, positive changes start happening.

What happens in the first session?

After you have had your initial consultationand decided to start hypnotherapy sessions with me, this is what happens:

  • I take your background history.
  • We establish what you want to achieve with your sessions.
  • I explain to you what a self-hypnosis exercise in detail so you know what to expect.
  • You close your eyes and I talk you through the self-hypnosis exercise. This is a dry-run and it doesn’t matter whether you can do it or not.
  • You open your eyes again and check how you feel after having done the exercise.
  • You tell me what was easy and what was difficult about doing the exercise and I can give you some tips to make the exercise easier if necessary.


After the first session

I send you an MP3 audio recording of the self-hypnosis exercise so you can practise at home. This will help to show you that you are in control of the process.


Vera Peiffer BA (Psych) FAPHP MNRPC

Chichester Practice

Hypnotherapy-Counselling-Energy Psychology


*** If you want to learn more about how to influence your subconscious mind, go to my Positive Thinking course at