Frequently Asked Questions - Alan David Kershaw

Your Questions Answered

What is hypnosis?

A state of relaxation and concentration induced by suggestion, producing a state of heightened awareness. It is non-addictive and a natural manifestation of the mind at work.

Will I be aware of what is happening?

Yes. The predominant feeling for most people is: 
"It didn't work for me, I never went under" or "I didn't feel any different other than relaxed".

Could I be influenced to do anything against my will or nature?

No, in fact you would be shocked out of the hypnotic state immediately any such action was suggested to you.

Is there any cause for concern?

None whatsoever. Hypnosis is a proven therapeutic aid.

Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy

1. What is Hypnotherapy/Psychotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a state of relaxation and concentration in which the deeper parts of the mind (subconscious) become more accessible.

Psychotherapy can help people understand and resolve their emotional problems, by enabling them to investigate and deal with the root causes (that usually stem from childhood or past experiences and caused some trauma). Psychotherapy looks at the whole person, it is a process of release, insight and change that can bring about healing and recovery on a physical, emotional and mental level.

2. What can it be used to treat? (This is a general list of emotionally based problems and is not conclusive)

Agoraphobia, alcoholism, allergy, amnesia, anxiety, anorexia, asthma, bed-wetting, blushing, car sickness, claustrophobia, compulsion, lack of confidence, depression, dithering, dyslexia, exam nerves, failure syndrome, fears, frigidity, guilt, habit, hoarding, hysteria, IBS, impotence, indecision, indigestion, inferiority feelings, infertility, inhibition, insomnia, kleptomania, learning difficulties, marital problems, poor memory, menstrual disorders, migraine, nail-biting, nervousness, nervous skin disorders, neurosis, nightmares, orgasmic inability, over-eating, panic, phobias, premature ejaculation, procrastination, psoriasis, psychosexual problems, quivering hand, rejection feelings, relationships problems, seasickness, self-consciousness, shyness, stage fright, stammer, stress, tension, timidity, nervous tremor, twitching, weight loss, worry.

3. The difference between the symptoms and the cause

Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis) always said that a person will lay their underlying anxiety at the door of their environment. In other words people evaluate their problems or illness by the way they feel (i.e. the symptoms). For example, the symptoms of a headache may be caused by stress, the symptoms of indigestion may also be caused by stress of worry. In these situations, taking painkillers or something to settle the stomach would help alleviate the symptoms in the short term but do not treat the underlying cause. Therefore if the cause is not dealt with the symptoms will continue to reoccur, a bit like plastering over the cracks.

4. Are there different types of treatment?

There are basically two types Suggestion and Analysis

Suggestion has been used for more than 150 years to help suppress presenting symptoms. The symptoms may disappear quickly but often this is temporary or superficial. Underlying problems (root causes) remain, therefore the symptoms can reoccur.

Analysis has been used for the past 110 years and helps people find out and deal with the causes of their problems (which usually originate in childhood and can be complex and deep-rooted). This therapy can take a bit of time, but the benefits are profound and long lasting.

5. What is the best treatment for me?

For every symptom there is always a root cause. We are all products of our past experiences, so find a therapist who will help you to resolve issues from the past that still affect you today. Suggestion therapy will help the symptoms, but does not treat the root cause. If the root cause is ignored the symptoms can continue or come back. In some cases other symptoms may arise.

6. How do I find/choose a therapist?

For your own health you need to choose a therapist who is properly qualified. Make sure that the therapist belongs to a professional organisation and is insured.

The following guidelines are the main priorities for anyone seeking a therapist. You are entitled to this information, and have a right to ask for it. If a therapist is resistant to giving the following information, then go elsewhere.

  • Make sure your therapist is insured and the certificate should be on display.
  • Look out for the therapist’s certificate of membership of a relevant organisation or association, or for their other qualifications. At present, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy are not regulated, although most therapists are working towards this. Ask the therapist how long they trained for and what practical experience they have had before you make your choice. Don't be afraid to ask about their qualifications.
  • Make sure that the association which your therapist belongs to sets and/or maintains standards.
  • Ensure that the association has a code of conduct to which your therapist subscribes.

8. What can I expect during treatment, what will it feel like to be hypnotised?

Hypnosis is a natural state that we experience a number of times a day (e.g. daydreaming, just before sleep and upon waking). It is a time when the mind energises itself and has an overall beneficial effect. The traditional expectations of hypnosis are that you will be in an unconscious or anaesthetised state, unaware of what is happening around you (as is suggested by stage hypnotists). This is totally untrueThe truth is that you will be in a sate of relaxation, your senses will be heightened and you will be more in control throughout the entire session. People usually say afterwards that it is a very enjoyable experience and they look forward to the next session.

9. How much is it likely to cost?

Each therapist will have their own rate card and you will need to discuss prices and method of payment with them. Most importantly, find a therapist that appeals to you and that you have a good rapport with. Prices can vary very much so don't be guided by this, successful treatment has nothing to do with how much or how little you pay, it depends on your relationship with your therapist.

10. How many sessions of treatment will I need?

Psychotherapy is a course of treatment. Depending on your problem it could take between 8 and 12 sessions.

11. If I have a problem that I think is caused by emotional issues, what can I do about it?

In summary, consult your GP if you are worried about anything. Medication may alleviate the symptoms and make you feel better initially (but drugs are not commonly regarded to resolve any psychological root causes). A combined approach from your GP and therapist is the most beneficial way of helping you overcome your problem. A good therapist will encourage you to be frank and honest, it is important that you are open with them. You will be treated in a professionally organised, therapeutic and friendly way.

This fact sheet has been compiled by Alan David Kershaw, Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist, DH, MIAH, Registered Practitioner RPHH.

If you want to change your life for the better and are looking for a professional psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in the Wakefield area then contact Alan David Kershaw now on 01924 360706 to discuss your problem in total confidence. Alternatively feel free to email Alan on