Hypnoanalysis for anxiety – Scam

Hypnoanalysis, analytical hypnotherapy, pure hypnosis – call it what you will. For those of you who are regular readers of this blog and have an interest in anxiety disorders this treatment is probably known to you. Just to recap I have recently had the chance to view hypnoanalysis from the eyes of a long term sufferer of anxiety and phobias. It has been an education into the dark arts of scamming money from people with anxiety and panic attacks.

The therapy promised a lot, and when I say a lot I mean it promised the world. The web-sites and brochures of those therapists involved speak of "cures", "solutions" and a complete cessation of symptoms – fast! They have testimonials where people, with blandly implausible sounding names, wax lyrical about how their anxiety, depression, phobias and OCD evaporated. Sounds great. Problem is, it doesn’t work and is basically a money making exercise which takes advantage of human misery and desperation.

I knew that hypnoanalysis was unproven. I quick Google search showed that the only study that mentioned it by name had found no benefits over equivalent psychotherapy. I was also worried that, for such a miracle cure, no one that wasn’t making money from it had talked about their experiences – either positive or negative – on forums and chat rooms. If it was that amazing, I am sure, with hindsight, that they would have. I later realised why there were few, if any, negative experiences reported about it.

Hypnoanalysis has two main underpinning ideas.

1. All anxiety symptoms can be traced back to one event that caused guilt and shame, and that event has often been pushed out of conscious memory.

2. If you uncover that event and release the trapped emotion you will be able to let go of your anxiety (or other mental or physical health problem).

Both of those principles are wrong.


Anxiety can have a number of causes, and while it can be post traumatic (ie stemming from one negative experience) it is often just the product of the way you interpreted events either when you were younger or, in some cases, later in life. In either case, dealing with trauma from childhood carries no promise of success. Quite the contrary, you may well have processed those memories fully years ago, and now be suffering from bad habits and faulty thinking. Messing around with childhood memories (real or imagined) probably doesn’t do a great deal for you.

That said, Hypnoanalysis has probably worked for a few people to some extent. Some people may release some emotion in a mildly relaxed hypnotic state and feel better for it, for others there is the ever mighty placebo effect. These people are a small minority.

So, hypnoanalysis doesn’t work. That’s nothing new, there are many therapies that are not all they are cracked up to be. So why this big post dedicated to hypnoanalysis and it’s scamming? Well, I don’t like it for several reasons.

I have met two hypnoanalysts and they were both horrible. "Wait", I hear you cry, "you can’t tell us that all hypnoanalysts are bad based on a sample of just two!" Well, I can and I will, and that is a much more scientific survey than the hypnoanalysts themselves have ever done on the efficacy of their therapy. People with anxiety disorders are by their very nature nervous and insecure, they like to be made to feel comfortable. Hypnoanalysts are cold, overbearing, brash, arrogant, impatient and dismissive. Their sessions are often shorter than they advertise and they bundle you out at the end as quickly as possible. They say it is because of "transference" issues that they want to know only the bare minimum about you. This is rubbish.

My second problem is the price. Often these people are charging £70-90 for 45 minutes. It is not a highly trained profession – in fact listening to someone reel-off childhood memories is much easier than being a bog standard "suggestion" hypnotherapist, who would normally charge around half of that. One hypnoanalyst I met joked about having a client as a "cash cow". Would you want to tell your deepest and darkest secrets to this man?

The third thing I came to hate was the "Get Out Clause". Scam therapists always have an awkward moment when they have to get rid of the patient without having provided the promised cure. Often the patient will just cut their losses and stop going to sessions, others, more desperate perhaps, will persevere. It was interesting to see, in my case study, how the therapists language changed. In the initial email contact before therapy began it was stated that  "…(after treatment) you will probably feel better than you have ever felt before". In the initial session it was stated that cure would be like bursting a bubble – a dramatic release. It was also said that releasing emotion was an essential aspect of this therapy. This was maintained until the end when it changed: actually change can come slowly and gradually, and that it in fact isn’t necessary to release emotion. Eventually the final get out clause was…"you are resistant. It’s not your fault. Go away for six months, get drunk, have sex and live your life. Then start again, from session one with a new therapist. Not with me as a therapist – there are transference issues that mean hypnoanalysis will never work for you with me". So, that was that – the promised cure hadn’t come and despite being told again and again that he was a perfect subject for free-association and hypnoanalysis he was now told that they could no longer help him. Money back guarantee with this ultra-successful therapy? No chance.

Last of all comes the Danger part.

Two different hypnoanalysts fabricated false memories of serious abuse. This is dangerous because, if the client believes them, they could very well accuse loved ones of being criminals. There are many documented cases of this "False Memory Syndrome" and now I know where many of them came from.

Let me show you how this is done with this simple exercise.

1. Close your eyes and imagine there is a small blue elephant in the corner of the room.

2. He’s got something on his head, what is it? What colour is it?

3. Now open your eyes and understand hypnoanalytical logic: because you could imagine the elephant clearly it must have happened. It’s that simple. Now imagine you were being abused…can you make it seem real? Even though you know it never happened?.

I know the memories of abuse uncovered in this case were false and irrelevant (the mind will imagine the most unsavoury of things). In fact two hypnoanalysts used the same technique to bring up two quite separate false memories which they both claimed were root cause of my anxiety and low self-esteem. By their own admittance there can’t be two separate and different root causes. Of course again they were speaking rubbish.

Lots of people are conned in hypnoanalysis but few people complain, ask for a refund, or write about it online. Why? I’ll tell you why…anxiety sufferers are generally nervous and socially aware and don’t like looking bad. This type of therapy is cruel and degrading and tends to leave the subject feeling dejected and invaded. Few people want to speak out about such an unpleasant experience that has cost so much for such little reward.

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42 Replies to “Hypnoanalysis for anxiety – Scam”

  1. This is exactly what has happened to me.

    I had gone over my paid-for sessions and all of a sudden the therapist did not seem as interested. I was told that I had finished therapy, but I am still none the wiser.

    I have been left with these “memories” (that now seem like they could have been real, as I have now imagined the same scenarios over and over again) and I am not even sure happened.

    During therapy, I could have imagined anything happening and with the therapist’s help in asking me to “imagine”, I am now stuck with these “memories”. I have had no release of emotions and have been left uncertain about my relationship with whom these “memories” occurred.

  2. While there are lots of snake oil salesmen about it is not always the case that the therapist is unethical. This is a quote from the course material given to me as I started training.

    ” The tool of hypnoanalysis can be very powerful and some therapists will fall into the trap of thinking that every client will need to rlease some hidden skeletons from the closet of their subconscious. This however is far from the truth and using hypnoanalysis when it is not appropriate does nothing for you as a therapist, the profession as a whole and most importantly may damage the client”

    Its not a perfect therapy but what is?

  3. I underwent hypnoanalyis to ‘cure’ my social phobia and had the exact same outcome as the 2 posts above. It was a complete waste of time and money.

    They hypnotherapist I saw was very professional. You would have been easily convinced by his demeanour and approach that this therapy would work. There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that it would fail. He said i was one of the best clients he ever had at following his instructions.

    However, it did fail. The alleged ‘repressed memory’ that i had gave me no release from my symptoms. Why?…because it never actually happened.

    It might sound strange to someone who never underwent this therapy but i will try to explain to you how it works. Basically you are told beforehand that the repressed memory is always related to guilt and shame.

    So when you get to the final stages, you are encouraged to trust your mind and diverge the next idea/thought that comes into your head. You believe it’s going to be related to guilt and shame so you naturally think of something nasty/disturbing.

    Thats what happened to me but i got no release from this memory. I am convinced i made it up now. I have no connection with it on any level.

    I am annoyed with myself for falling for this scam/con. It has absolutely no scientific evidence or independent research backing up it’s extravagant claims.

    The mistake i made was from a lack of knowledge about hypnotherapy, my condition and my desperation to cure it. Some types of hypnotherapy have been proven to work for other symptoms/problems. I foolishly concluded that hypnoanalysis should therfore work for me as promised.

    I am very annoyed with the parent organisation that my hypnotherapist is a member of. They are basically misleading people. They leave you with no doubt from their website that this therapy will work. But as you can see from these posts, they are talking rubbish.

    All i can say is be very careful if your thinking of using hypnotherapy. It can be useful in helping certain problems but unfortunately, it seems to be full of scam artists. It is up to the government and other respectable hypnotherapists to clean up the industry. Hopefully, all these scam artists will be jobless in a few years!

    If you have a problem, see a medical professional or research your condition thoroughly. Make sure there is specific and independent evidence that the therapy you are thinking of using actually works. I just want to save people a lot of money, time and pain and not make the same mistakes i made!

    Thankfully, i think i have found the right therapy for me to help me overcome my SA. It is called CBT, it is endorsed by the NHS and has independent scientific evidence backing it up. It is not as attractive as other therapies advertised because it takes time and patience but who cares because it ACTUALLY WORKS!!!

  4. I suggest anyone seeking to use Hypnoanalysis make sure that the therapist is registered with the
    'International Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts'. This will ensure that the person has gone through an approved 2 year course and had police checks etc. – Kirsty

  5. Kirsty, I must disagree…i think hypnoanalysis is a waste of time and money and an exercise in making money. I urge people not to be fooled by the hype!

  6. Kirsty, I think a lot of people who have had trouble with hypnoanalysis used the very organisation you mention…with respect I don't think belonging to that organisation makes a therapist above dishonesty or scamming…

  7. Crikey….your experiences sound awful. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I am a hypnotherapist practising hypnoanalysis and suggestion therapy. I have never, ever and would never get a client to imagine what it is like to be abused!!!!!!!!!! What???? I work very differently and allow the client to take responsibility for their own recalls – never suggesting this could have happened or that could have happened. I have a very good success rate through hypnoanalysis. I always give a person the option of either suggestion therapy or hypnoanalysis after talking through both options with them. Allowing them to make an informed choice. I would also as a therapist part/or indeed fully reimburse a client if they felt hypnotherapy had not worked for them. Hypnotherapy has had dramatic affects for a lot of people and I would say to anybody who felt they had been mistreated they write a letter firstly to the hypnotherapist explaining why they felt this and ask for a refund. If you do not get a refund or a satisfactory response then put a complaint in to the registering body. x

  8. I have just had my 10th Hypnoanalysis session for Social Anxiety, with a therapist registered with IAPH. And like many of you who have taken the time to contribute to this message board, I’m sorry to report that it does not appear to be working for me either. I had such high hopes but absolutely nothing has changed for me – I’ve even had ‘the big emotional release’! Has anyone actually asked for their money back – and got it? Love to all you fellow SA’ers! CBT it is then! x

  9. You write off decades of positive work with hypnoanalysis, starting with the work of Watkins in 1945 who used the technique to treat PTSD post world war 2. I agree there are scammers out there, which is a sad reflection of the regulation and image of clinical hypnosis in general. But how many times has it been said that if it sounds unbeleiveable then it probably is?
    For those people who are not finding any benefit from this treatment, or any psychotherapy please consider the complex defenses your ego uses to protect your sense of self. This unconscious process could be causing resistance to accept change even if you consciously want it. You can’t always blame the therapist but the charlatans don’t help when all you want is some positive change. Good luck

  10. like the above went to this organisation for s/a and now on my 9th session and its alot more down than up and 400 quid wasted but did get a insight into why i am like i am. feel different but dont know if its better different they will tell you anything to get your money

  11. I too am a victim of this nonsense. I’m trying to set up some sort of crusade at the moment to get people to speak out and hopefully stop more desperate, innocent people wasting their money on bogus claims.

    I was promised 100% that I would be cured. I want justice brought against the therapist who ‘cured’ me. I went through hell as I was doing the sessions and by session 3 I was dubious of the methods. The therapist (if I can call him that) developed an unhealthy obsession with my father and ignored every memory I visited unless my father was present. Each session was so upsetting, I was exhausted from crying about things like my cat dying to more serious things like how I reacted to the news of my cousin being molested. My therapist would always coldly tell me to “move on”, if my Dad wasn’t there at that event. He would twist what I said and has soured my childhood. The bad memories bought up made me re-think bad events outside of the session and towards the end of the treatment I became depressed. With the added worry that maybe I’d been abused but somehow couldn’t remember this. Most of my days were spent worrying about how I’d cope if such events were revealed, as I was told it was an event I wouldn’t be able to remember in normal life. I don’t believe I was abused but therapy that makes you feel that way should be banned. I wasn’t in a good way for months after my 12th and final session. I felt suicidle. My sleep became interrupted by nightmares every night and I couldn’t bear the thought of sex because of what that horrible, sick therapist suggested.

    I trusted this man and assumed he knew what he was doing. I was very wrong. It was the BIGGEST mistake of my life. It is a shame these articles don’t come up when you do a general search on hypnoanalysis. Maybe if I’d had read such sites I could have avoided it. I wasted 600 pounds and now feel I need counselling to undo the damage.

    I wish we could unite and see some sort of law against the therapists claims.

  12. You do all seem to have had very unpleasant experiences and I definitely wouldn’t want to work with someone who treated me in that way. I use hypnotherapy with clients who want to reduce their anxiety and would certainly never go down the route you have described above. I teach people techniques they can use themselves so that they can start to take control over their emotions. I also help them address anything that could have contributed to their anxiety so they can put it behind them and move forward. Some of my clients have attributed their anxiety to childhood abuse but they were aware of it before they even phoned me. In most cases though the cause tends to be being made to look foolish as a child (sometimes only on 1 or 2 occasions), bullying by family or peers or having anxious parents.

    My advice to anyone looking for a hypnotherapist would be to speak to the person first. Get a feel for them. Do you feel comfortable with them? Do they listen to you? Do they seem to understand what you are saying? If the answer to any of those questions is “no” then find someone else.

    I am always really pleased when someone comes to see me for help with anxiety because I appreciate how much courage it has taken. That’s why I’m more than happy for them to bring someone along with them to sit in on the whole session if they want.

    Finally, I use CBT as well and in my opinion it works best when combined with hypnotherapy because the CBT gives you understanding of why you are thinking and reacting in a particular way and the hypnotherapy helps you to change those thoughts and reactions.

  13. I too WASTED around £700 on this therapy for anxiety and stuttering.

    I really believed it would work, but as the sessions progressed I became more and more aware that the therapist (IAPH registered) was trying to create memories for me. They always looked for something shamefull and linked with sex that happened when I was a child. The truth is, nothing like that ever happened to me, and I have no problem with anything sexual – no hangups at all. I felt like they were constantly steering me to say things that werent true. They were also quite dismissive of anything I did feel I wanted to talk about and would quickly move on to the next thing.

    I was told my stuttering would either be gone or almost non existant, I just wanted some improvment to be honest.
    I got none of those. I attended 8 or 9 sessions before I pulled the plug on them, which I thought was a little high, even by their own discipline. I was told too that I was a “natural” with free association, and should be an ideal candidate for this therapy. I felt that by the 8th session they wanted to focus in on one memory and change it, I felt pressured into saying things that I knew to be wrong and at the end of the session I decided enough was enough. Here was this therapist who didn’t know me, hadn’t bothered to listen to the parts of my childhood that WERE hurtful, and wanted me to lie about things that were totally inconsequential.

    I think it really takes advantage of vulnerable people and infact takes their problems and amplifies them. I certainly felt worse for a few months after (having focused in on some hurtfull memories), infact I don’t know if I have recovered from it now. It cost me £65 per session (45 minutes) – That’s not cheap at all. It promised so much, and at that time in my life, I really needed something, my confidence and self esteem were at an all time low, and my stuttering was really bad – to the point where I couldn’t talk to people at my new job (needless to say I made a great impression there..)

    I should have known better, I mean how can this method solve such a wide range of issues? It works on the basis that your problems are linked back to one childhood memory of guilt or shame (usually of a sexual nature). The fact is the problems we have in life are often caused by a combination of things, and are usually very different for each of us. I wanted to believe it would work, I needed it to work. I saw the testimonials and being desperate I fell for it completely.

    I urge you all NOT to make the same mistake I made. If you need someone to talk to, go to your GP and see a real therapist. Unfortunately, I spent £700 to discover that my problems cannot be solved by finding someone selling snake oil on Google.

  14. yes it seems to be a big scam as i had 10 sessions for s,a and didnt change anything but brought up a lot of bad memories from my past would of rather forgot but therapist was goosd as she new i was skint and gave me last 2 sessions for nothing but still didnt work

  15. I’m saddened to hear of yet more cases of this terrible ‘cure’ making us all feel worse. The comment by Another Victim sounded the same as my experience(previously described). It’s now been a year since I was traumatised and I’m finding it hard to talk to anyone to get help. Not really an easy subject to broach. I especially don’t want people to think that this was my problem when it wasn’t. I’m still troubled everyday. How could I have been such an idiot to waste my money and carry on with it even when my instincts told me otherwise?! I’m determined to write the ‘therapist’ a letter. Hopefully within the next few weeks. My partner is going to help me. I need to draw a line under this and try to sort it out. I’m so annoyed to have more problems than when I’d originally sought help. Maybe we should be reporting these issues into other areas of the media. Investigative tv programmes like Watchdog could help. Is it a legal matter? Is it against the law to claim you can cure someone when there is no evidence to back it up.

  16. Having followed all the links in the above article and the claims made in those links I now have to say your entire article is …’the pot calling the kettle black’ bit of unscrupulous marketing really !!

  17. I think that some/most of you need to take a little bit of responsibility. I agree that it is extremely unethical for a therapist to tell anyone that their therapy will work 100%. Nothing in this world works 100% of the time for 100% of the people. If you were told such things, you should have questioned it and thought twice about entering therapy with that individual. Hypnotherapy/Hypnoanalysis has been proven to work for many people but like I said nothing works 100% of the time for 100% of the people. Everyone is different and will react to therapy differently. Unfortunately there are people out there that will tell you anything in order to get your money, however the onus is on us to do our research and make and informed decision.

  18. I would just like to comment on a few things there Matt D: You say it has been proven to work….where is this proof? I have never seen any and I have looked pretty hard!

    And also, the onus is not just on us to make informed decisions…societies and organizations are there to weed out the charlatans, not try and find them new victims!

    I say it again….hypnoanalysis doesn’t work beyond placebo and is a waste of money…the practitioners are either deluded or snake oil salesmen. Give it a wide birth!

  19. You are clearly just trying to promote web sites that you have an affiliation with. What makes any of THEM worth their salt? I will digress as this blog is merely a waste of time for any and all. YOU SHOULD DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!

  20. Now you are just deleting my retorts – real professional – nothing to hide there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????????

  21. I am a practising Hypnotherapist using Pure Hypnoanalysis. And no, it is not for everybody, just as no drug and no therapy and no product, even your Panic Away product, is for everybody. But there are thousands of people who have been freed from their anxiety and panic using this therapy. The IAPH, mentioned several times here have documented and verifiable research available to this fact, (if you had bothered to contact them).

    Having said that, there are poor doctors, poor tradesmen and unfortunately poor therapists, no matter what training or study they have undergone.
    No Hypnoanalyst should ever direct a client as to the particular cause of their problem, nor should they specify the nature of that cause.

    Pure Hypnoanalysis, as practiced by IAPH members is a “brief therapy”, expected to be effective within 12 sessions. It is actually stated on their website that members will not charge should more sessions be required.

    However, it is a long known fact that not all therapies suit all people, but also that successful psychoanalytical therapy is based on the personal relationship and honesty between therapist and client.
    If anyone does not feel comfortable with their therapist, in any way or for any reason, they should bring that up with them at the earliest opportunity.

    And finally, the basis for this strategic discounting of an alternative “product” is highly questionable. I, in my time, have come across MORE than two unhelpful, unprofessional and unpleasant doctors. But does that mean that I should disregard the whole medical profession and all that modern medicine has to offer?

    – Kieran.

  22. Kieran, thank you for your comments. Just to make it clear, the reason why I completely discount hypnoanalysis as a treatment for anxiety is not because I have met two dodgy practitioners. In fact from what people have told me in emails about their own experiences with hypnoanalysis including with IAPH members is that my two were par for the course. The reason why I discount Hypnoanalysis is because no one who doesn’t make money from it has a good word to say about it. You don’t discount modern medicine on the basis of two unhelpful and unpleasant doctors because you can clearly see (and have probably witnessed yourself) how modern medicine helps lots of people. Hypnoanalysis has no independently verified cure to its name – just plenty of dissatisfied customers that thought they were alone, until they read comments from other people on places like this. Again, I urge people to keep their money away from these expensive, unpleasant and unproven therapies.

  23. After having been to two psychiatrists and a psychologist and reading four books on controlling parents, all of them agreed that I was ready to move away from my parents soon. I went to a fourth therapist who happened to be a hypnoanalyst. On my first visit, I told her that I came to ask for pointers on what to say to my parents when I leave. She never gave me any pointers. Instead, she asked personal questions about my past and wanted to know everything devastating in my life.

    I told her that the books already has cured my guilt for leaving my parents and the emotional imbilical cord. She insisted that there was a child inside me that was afraid of my father and needed to be protected from him before I leave. I am 40 years old. And I had a session with the foremost expert and author on controlling parents over the telephone and read four books. I know that the initial problem was emotional guilt or blackmail or emotional need to keep the parents happy. Not as fear of my father. But as fear of depression due to guilt and not being happy unless my parents were happy.

    The hypnotherapist asked me if I’d be interested in hypnotherapy. I said that I wasn’t comfortable doing that. On our second session, she mentioned that we would do hypnotherapy. But she avoided asking for my permission. Realize, that we never discussed why we were doing this. She did mention that she wanted to build my ego so that I wouldn’t feel guilty leaving my parents. But she had already agreed that I wasn’t feeling guilty anymore.

    I’ve been to two psychiatrists, a psychologist and a counselour. The psychiatrists would cover everything within one session. But the psychotherapists without an MD would seem to want to not solve the problem. Because once it’s solved, there is no more client. I remember when I first made an appt. with my counselour, the secretary said that she sees her clients on a weekly basis. She doesn’t even know what I’m there for yet to assume that I’m going to be going routinely.

    I was very impressed with the knowledge and solutions that the psychiatrists had. The non psychiatrists knowledge seemed lacking. I’m not saying that they didn’t have anything to contribute. But they seem to beat around the bush, give wrong advice and/or want to slow things down. My guess is that psychiatrists are very busy because they can prescribe drugs.

  24. I’m not worried about the money. What really put me off was the sleep command. She went over the safety boundaries of the sleep command. That the sleep command can not be accidentally triggered while driving a car or dangerous situation. I don’t know if this was to impress me. But it scares me to think that a total stranger is going to have access to my mind while I’m unconscious. I could think of ulterior motives like keeping me coming back for more sessions for profit, etc. Now, if I was in a desperate situation and we had a specific goal in mind, I may consider hypnotherapy as a last resort. But the circumstances in my situation sounds shady.

  25. Hang on just a second….you state, and I quote:

    “The web-sites and brochures of those therapists involved speak of “cures”, “solutions” and a complete cessation of symptoms – fast! They have testimonials where people, with blandly implausible sounding names, wax lyrical about how their anxiety, depression, phobias and OCD evaporated.”

    And yet, there are links on this very page to other supposed anxiety cures that are exactly like that!! Hardly an unbiased view is it? Bang goes your integrity.

  26. Hi CD,

    I don’t have a problem with people making claims about treatments as long as there is some evidence of it working so that someone suffering from anxiety might get some benefit from using it. On this site there are I admit some ads that I don’t have total control over, but I am not actively endorsing those products, people can take notice of them if they choose too. There are some other products I do actively recommend including some books and some courses which are more expensive. The courses I recommend have got two things over the charlatans that practise hypnoanalysis: 1: People have independently verified that they have been helped. 2: They carry a no quibble money back guarantee for 60 days – for any reason! Let’s be honest, no one in hypnoanalysis will be offered a “no win no fee” or any kind of guarantee.

  27. Hi admin,

    I am glad to have stumbled across your blog. I am considering undergoing pure hypnoanaylsis therapy with an IAHP trained hypnotherapist. Everything else I have found online while researching the approach has been very positive.

    This comment you make in your Blog is quite disturbing.
    “I know the memories of abuse uncovered in this case were false and irrelevant (the mind will imagine the most unsavoury of things). In fact two hypnoanalysts used the same technique to bring up two quite separate false memories which they both claimed were root cause of my anxiety and low self-esteem. By their own admittance there can’t be two separate and different root causes. Of course again they were speaking rubbish.”
    End quote

    Can you confirm that these two hypnoanalysts were trained using the pure hypnoanalysis approach as taught by IAPH. As this would be a very serious and a real cause for concern, leading to a re-think.

    I know from their website that they have a complaints procedure in place which uses a professional who is external to the organisation as part of the process. I must say I found this very reasuring. Do you have a different experience? In your blog you say;
    “Lots of people are conned in hypnoanalysis but few people complain, ask for a refund, or write about it online. Why? I’ll tell you why…anxiety sufferers are generally nervous and socially aware and don’t like looking bad.”

    Given that you feel strongly enough about this subject to have created a blog I imagine you would have little trouble iniating a complaint especially under such blatant circumstances.

    Assuming these two hypnoanalysts were associated with that organisation did you register a complaint? What was the outcome?

    Just out of curiosity why did you see two therapists using the same technique particularly when as you say

    “Often these people are charging £70-90 for 45 minutes.”

    It is a shame there is no contact info for you as I would love to have a chat about these issues.

  28. Hi, thanks for your questions.

    Both the therapists I saw were registered. I did not officially complain against them for two reasons further to the one outlined in the original post: 1. significant amount of time had passed. 2. I was advised be legal experts that I didn’t really have a case – a therapist is not under a legal obligation to cure you. I saw two therapists because when one doesn’t get results they pass you to a friend who they say might be able to help. As far as I can this is just to get a bit more money from you. I am happy to admit it: I was foolish to get mixed up in it.

    I have a question for you. You say

    Everything else I have found online while researching the approach has been very positive.

    What have you found? is it impartial? is it from websites owned by hypnoanalysts? Have you found someone who claims hypnoanalysis helped them?

    Many thanks

  29. Hi admin,

    I have no torch to burn for any particular group or theraputic approach I am merely seeking a route to a solution for my own issues. That said, for the sake of clarity were the two hypnoanalysts you saw IAPH members practising pure hypnoanalysis as taught by that organisation or were they hypnoanalysts affiliated with other organisations. This is an important distinction as they claim on their website that the approach they take is different to traditional hypnoanalysis, this being the reason they differentiate themselves by the title pure hypnoanalysis. As I said earlier that is the therapy I am looking at taking and this is why I want to be clear about who you saw and what their affiliation was.

    With regard to the complaints it is not a legal redress more an attempt at a resolution to a disagreement. Is there a time limit for complaints to be made impossed?

    In answer to you own question. I have seen a number of positive responses on various forums from people who have undergone this particular therapy. I cannot of course vouch for the validity of the statements anymore than I can for those who decry the technique.

    Again, just to be clear I have no affiliations or vested interests other than to find my own solution. Your opening line
    “Hypnoanalysis, analytical hypnotherapy, pure hypnosis – call it what you will.”
    Fails to acknowledge the claimed difference between ‘standard’ hypnoanalysis and pure hypnoanalysis I just want to be sure that you realise that there is, if only in their own minds a difference. The above statement smacks of being a general dismissiveness of that whole theraputic approach.

    Thanks, Tom

  30. I am very disappointed, I thought I had come across a genuine website that was trying to help sort the wheat from chaff in the world of anxiety treatments.

    I have looked through you articles here, on ezine articles and on numerous other forums. You talk about evidence and independent proof of the success of treatments and then promote at least two spurious products through affiliate links. One of which delights in telling would be affiliates like yourself that you only need make 1.5 sales per day to make $2700 a month.

    You said in response to CD above,
    “The courses I recommend have got two things over the charlatans that practise hypnoanalysis: 1: People have independently verified that they have been helped. 2: They carry a no quibble money back guarantee for 60 days – for any reason! Let’s be honest, no one in hypnoanalysis will be offered a “no win no fee” or any kind of guarantee.”

    You say 1: “People have independently verified that they have been helped.”
    How is what they show on their sales page any different to a therapist showing testimonials on their website, apart from the fact that the therapist has to keep copies of the testimonials with contact information available for verification whenever requested.

    You say 2: “They carry a no quibble money back guarantee for 60 days – for any reason! Let’s be honest, no one in hypnoanalysis will be offered a “no win no fee” or any kind of guarantee.”
    That 60 day guarantee is enforced by clickbank it is not down to the good hearts of the people flogging the programme.
    As you well know internet marketing is a numbers game that is why they use affiliates like you to promote their programmes. They produce one programme and sell it 100,000 times. A relatively small number of buyers will request and get a refund. Many more people will be dissatisfied but as you say “anxiety sufferers are generally nervous and socially aware and don’t like looking bad.” they will not make a fuss over the relatively small sum of $97.
    The programme seller and his affiliates, like you, are racking in a tidy sum and especially in the case of the affiliates like you, not providing any service whatsoever.

    You then compare that to a therapist who has spent hours over a period of months working with a client closely on a one to one basis. Get real.

    I can only conclude that your low opinion and stand against hypnoanalysis and other therapies is taken simply because they don’t offer an affiliate programme through clickbank.

    You set yourself up as the peoples champion, taking on these ‘snake oil salesmen’ and ‘ charlatans’ You should be ashamed, have you no morals.

    I seriously doubt you will include this post unedited. Now you know at least one punter has twigged your game. Rest assured I won’t be the last.

  31. Well, i did allow your comment to be published unedited because unlike the hypnoanalysts that you are apparently interested in I do allow criticism of this site to appear on this site.

    I have put together this website offering what I have learnt over the years. All the information I give is in good faith. From time to time I go back and make revisions. At first I was sucked in by the allure of hypnoanalysis as well, I had to go back and make changes later.

    I am able to recommend products – yes, even products with cheesy sales pages and that use affiliate marketing techniques. I also recommend many more therapies and techniques that don’t make me a single penny.

    I am satisfied that the techniques in the products I recommend do work for a significant number of people. I have checked this myself, not relied on the information they give on their sales pages. Some of these products are rather aggressively marketed. I wish they weren’t.

    Money Back Guarantee.
    I stand by what I said in the original post about anxiety sufferers not being the worlds best complainers. Hypnoanalysis was, in my opinion, a degrading and demeaning experience. To then have to go back and speak to the therapist (who like most hypnosis experts I’ve met tended to be rather confident people) and revisit some of the shame and ridicule they have made you go through and have them try and talk you out of the refund or explain why it’s not possible in this case would be horrendous.

    As for the products offered on this site: I HAVE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES REFUNDS BEING GIVEN. The customer does not have to explain themself to anyone, they do not even have to talk to anyone, they merely have to click a link and write one single sentence. I have had people buy products through this site, review them, and then get a refund because it wasn’t for them.

    I don’t have a problem with the fact that the products I offer don’t cure all anxiety because I am satisfied that the chance of success is high enough to merit an attempt and ultimately nothing ventured nothing gained. AND THEY CAN GET THEIR MONEY BACK.

    The idea that I don’t like hypnoanalysis because I don’t make any money from it is laughable. As I said, I recommend many things that make neither me nor anyone else a penny. I am not going to dignify your allegation further by saying more.

    Finally, please feel free to criticise and comment as much as you like, but please do be civil. By writing this article I am simply trying to stop people waste their money and more importantly go through a rather cruel experience.

    You seem to like the idea of hypnoanalysis. If you do decide to go ahead and find that it does (or doesn’t) work for you then please come back and tell us all about it. I have heard first hand accounts of all sorts of things working for anxiety and panic, but I am still yet to hear from someone that hypnoanalysis was of great benefit. Is that because people who had hypnoanalysis are so cured they are busy getting on with their lives? Possibly. But somehow I don’t think so.

  32. I thought I would spend a couple of minutes responding to this blog.

    I suffered from anxiety and depression from childhood ranging from social phobia, drug addictions, sexual compulsions, suicidal feeling, anger and rage spanning 30 years.

    I had seen counsellor after counsellor including private counsellors, private psychologists and a creative therapist in the hope that I could rid myself of the profound unhappiness and the constant sense of doom. I spilled my life out over and over until I was sick and tired of hearing my own voice. I hated myself, I hated my life.

    I had been prescribed a number of different drugs over the years. One prescription drug caused me to become so disassociated that I could not relate to any human being, I could not communicate at all and I lived in a stupor. Another prescription drug caused off the scale depression and a very real desire to finish myself off.

    I have self help books which have been useful in my understanding of anxiety disorders, I have tried herbal remedies, homeopathy, vitamins and minerals, diets, exercise, all of which I am sure are beneficial.

    The spectrums of conditions I have had to endure have fouled virtually everything I have endeavored to achieve, relationships, friendships, education, careers etc.

    I assume most that have to endure similar conditions search endlessly to obliterate their feelings.

    I looked at hypnotherapy and searched for therapists in my area. I looked at dozens of websites and finally decided to try pure Hypnoanalysis via a therapist registered with IAPH, primarily because of the information presented on their main website which reflected much of what I understood about my conditions, I also thought the website was friendlier than others. Most of the other organizations appeared cold and clinical with too much emphasis on appearing academic.

    I booked my appointment with the nearest therapist, which was over 30 miles away. The first two sessions did not amount to anything and I expected to experience the same disappointments and failures.

    On the third session my world experience changed dramatically. During the session I began to recall in vivid detail an experience of when I was 7 years old. Emotions began welling up and up until they began flooding out. It was an experience I can only describe as vomiting emotions uncontrollably, sobbing in convulsions; I recall wanting to leap off the couch and run, I was shocked that I could melt into such a gibbering slosh. I hadn’t experienced that level of emotional outpouring in my entire life.

    The traumatized emotions of the 7 year old boy gushed and gushed, it was an unbelievably degrading and humiliating experience.

    I will tell you this; whilst the therapy is not comfortable it provided me with the most incredible release of years and years of personal torture, layered over and locked away.

    It was completely unexpected and it worked.

    It was not like the other therapies which taught about the conditions and taught coping strategies; this therapy actually released years of personal hell in one volcanic eruption of emotion.

    The cost of the three session amounts to £240.00 plus approximately £30.00 in fuel. The cost of £270.00 in providing me with a future and a life without a constant sense of foreboding cannot really be compared.

    I am eternally grateful for Pure Hypnoanalysis and the therapist which I only visited three times compared with 30 years of NHS, thousands of pounds of private practitioners, herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, gymnasiums and books.

    I have no doubt you will claim that I am just one success out of many but I will say that from my perspective and experience that Pure Hypnoanalysis is not a con or a scam and delivered precisely what it claims.

    Yes Hypnoanalysis can be a degrading and demeaning experience, but my god it worked wonders for my life.

    I love my life now and believe I have much to offer with my life experience. I genuinely know what it feels like to live in constant despair and I feel for anyone suffering.

    I now live life in love and not hate, fear and loathing.

  33. Paul your email is so uplifting and positive to read. Whilst I have never suffered any of the problems you had, my partner has a very similiar story to yours. We are looking into pure hypnoanalysis at the moment and until I read your text I really thought it wasn’t for him! There is so much negativity on this site! I now think maybe it could help him. Like you he has tried so many things to get well and has had the problems for just as many years. Thank you for sharing your story and may you continue to have health and happiness.

  34. I am a hypnotherapist and a counsellor. I have worked with a few clients who have been mistreated by purehypnoanalyst. Often we need to work on the damage that was created, before we even start on what they wish to work with. My client’s are confused, scared, anxious about their experience of the hypnoanalyst directing and leading them into false memories, usually of so called sexual abuse.

    please anyone considering these type of therapy – please consider it very carefully. you may be lucky and just throw around a few hundred pounds, or you may be left with confusion, false memories which impact family relations and cause deep wounding.

  35. I too had a similar experience to the posts above i was told that it would a one time event then he changed his mind and said that it was something that happend many times over a long period, when i said i had no memory of what he said happend i was told basically to make it up. When this magical cure never happened he changed his mind again and said it might be somthing else once my twelve sessions was up i was told that he did not know what caused my problem and i should forget i had ever been to see him. After doing some research on the **** i found out that one of there therapists had been lock up for sexual assualting a women while using this “amazing” therapy just type in (stephen barker hardwick sexual assault hypnotherapy) in the search engine, he was also married to another **** therapist who is still praticing today. How can someone be married to a pervert and not know this and then claim she is a good therapist after all a doubt that someone gets to 61 a suddenly becomes a pervert he has probably been like this all his life. Also the person that is in charge of this scam called the **** claims to be some sort of psychological genius why is he then training people like this after all if he was any good at his job then he should of known the man was a pervert. I found numerous stories on the internet of people who are depressed and suicidal after going for this bad therapy any one who uses this bad therapy should be ashamed of them self’s for putting your own finacial greed in front of peoples health. If anybody wants to find out more about this damaging therapy research (recovered memory therapy) which is the method the **** uses if you still decide to have this therapy then i recommend secretly recording the sessions so when you become damaged by these poor methods you can get compensation for this negligence not that money can undo the damage caused by these poorly trained therapists.

  36. Hello,
    I am currently finishing my studies in Hypnotherapy and have found the comments very alarming.
    I agree that trying to implant false memories is unethical. But is that really the case? With all the due respect, but I think is quite serious to make allegations as such based on ignorance and on top of all that every story has two sides.
    Most of the complaints so far were made without knowledge of the profession… HOWEVER if that is what really really happened, then it would be the case of reporting to the relevant association. Another point is: what is the point of recording the session when you are supposed to get a recorded copy of the session. During my case studies I allowed them all to record the whole process in their IPhone. No problem at all.
    PEOPLE!! There are good and bad professionals in every profession… and yes there are therapists out there who went to a 2 day training course on how to become a Hypnotherapist… You have got to research first, ask them what did they have to do to obtain their qualification and if you are not happy just walk away! You are all grown ups and shouldn’t be behaving like children!! You are NOT in a position to judge the profession at all!

  37. After years – about 25 of suffering from fear of vomiting I decided to give pure hypnoanalysis a go. I had already tried normal hypnotherapy (I call it normal as it was just about trying to relax me) all very nice but didn’t really help. I then tried CBT, again not really for me and seeing people being sick over and over again didn’t make me feel any worse but certainly didn’t make me feel any better either! Anyway desperate to find a ‘cure’ I found pure hypnoanalysis. It sounded fantastic and I went for my consultation.

    Now I was a little taken aback by the hypnotist’s demeanour – he was brash and ever other word started with f and ended with ing. Now I don’t mind the odd swear word so I just accepted that this was a good thing and we’d get along great, I left feeling very positive.

    Right from my first session I felt like all he wanted to talk about was anything seen as ‘sexual’, this was strange and my mind was not freely going to these places. I stumbled across a memory involving with my father – this memory I have had for years, nothing new, something a bit uncomfortable but not in the sexual abuse league! However all my therapist wanted to do was incorrectly sexualise the situation. I started off talking about this memory without any problems, maybe feeling a little uncomfortable, until I was asked to ‘imagine’ what could have happened next. Now what my therapist made me ‘imagine’ was absolutely disgusting and certainly not right. However under hypnosis your mind concludes that this disgusting thing which your being told happened did actually happen….. until your told wake up, you hand over the £75, get in your car, drive home and think ‘ what the f**** !

    After balling my eyes out over something the therapist made me ‘imagine’ he then decided I needed a little pep talk and he started to ask if I liked drinking milk, if I liked eating rice pudding and If ever swallowed after performing oral sex. He was obviously hoping my answer would be no to all, unfortunately for him I only answered no to one – the one which most ladies will be able to relate too! He got a bit flustered and just said ‘see you next week’. He was hoping that he would then be able to tell me that the reason I didn’t like to partake in these things was due to my ‘abuse’. What a k**b!

    I stopped the sessions after telling him I didn’t trust him and that this whole ‘imagining’ was incorrect and just plain sick’ – the hypnotist then went on to say it wasn’t my fault I didn’t trust him (dam right it wasn’t my fault!) and that I should go and see his colleague a women who would help because my abuse stemmed from a male and he could no longer help me. All very similar to other stories above. Suffice to say I will not be going to see any more IPAH approved gods who can 100% cure people.

    Anyway I could go on and on. But basically this is dangerous stuff and for the most vulnerable amongst us this is exceptionally damaging. This really has to be stopped, although I have no idea where to start. I am going to see my GP next week and hopefully I can see if talking to someone about the way I am (for free) might help to clear a few things up. I’ll also be sharing my hypnoanalysis experiences. I’m still open to anything having happened to me in my past – as long I can REMEMBER and its 100% TRUE.

    I strongly agree with Another Unfortunate Victim – if you don’t believe it’s as bad as a lot of people claim, then go – but record the sessions and be prepared to be none the wiser and a whole lot more confused!

  38. this therapy completely destroyed my life – I am down over £5,000, as i was used as a cash cow, 2 and 1/2 years i was keep in it, informed my mum that i would require therapy for the rest of my life “if she was willing to pay, he would offer his services” – isolated me from all friends and family,made me dependant on him, reaptly tell me its all my mother, encouraged me to commit sucide, I was blanking in and out of reality, even now im unsure the full extent of what occurred, told me that he can cure dsylexia and had me writing notebooks for the best part just writing and then he would read it during the session and slander my mum, and encourage false expression
    there is no money in the cure
    plays mind games, humilating recklesss use of suggestion (i think thats what it called)
    stuff like “laugh so i start laughing, you cant read people’s faces” wat does that even mean?
    in my last session after trying failing to encourage me to go back to my parents to pay his fee” eventually he tells me that I am a high functioning schzienic but really its my mother”
    I ring the IAPH and they tell me its my word against his, so now having had my life destroyed completely – I am bringing a lawsuit against both my therapist and the IAPH
    none the wiser (from the experience) my mind has been erased, my self knowledge reversed, my self esteem eradicated and my confidence blown away
    if anyone can give me any help – are point me in the direction of someone who gives a fuck?

  39. Question for Paul above who claims to have fixed his life long issues. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to name the specific therapist that fixed ya?

    I’ve seen these 3 therapists below and all 3 gave me 10 sessions and helped me, not one bit. £3K down the drain!

    – Philip Monaghan
    – Steve Williams
    – Ailsa Wright

    And looking online for IAPH now, the site has disappeared and diverts to Rob Kelly’s ‘Thrive’ therapy model. Should we be going after Rob Kelly, is he the problem?

  40. Thank you Jason Cooke!

    I was the first poster back on 3rd March 2009. I had been too scared to post who I had my sessions with, but having read your post above I feel it fundamental to help others now.

    My sessions were with Cara Ostryn. I had no joy of a “release” with her after my final session, so was referred for an additional session with the one and only… ROB KELLY!! He basically just clarified everything she had said was true and couldn’t wait to usher me out of the room.

    The sessions still haunt me now, over 8 years on. Even though I know it was all just utter sh!te!!

    Seriously people, don’t let your life and relationships be tainted by what you are told to imagine by these charlatans.

  41. im reading through these comments and i’m seeing alot of broken people….

    couple of things i found out – there is no regulation for hypnotherapy, the IAPH does not put any of there therapists/hypnotist’s through therapy

    Did anyone sign a consent form before the therapy started outlining what occurred and the possible damages? – cause i didnt

    I dont know if i just got a totally fucking asshole posing as a therapist or if they all are the same, but I do know they are ridculously terrified of lawyers,

    If your in doubt, confused or just plain dont understand what occurred go to the ICO (information commissors office) it is your human rights to ask for a copy of all notes/file, explaining what happened

    if they refuse, which is one of the things that happened to me – you have grounds to bring a lawsuit aginst them

    ps. the IAPH is now the IAEBP (international association evidence based psycotherapy)

  42. I read all these stories in absolute horror. Every single person here has gone to someone looking for help, and instead you have been treated badly and on behalf of all good therapists I apologise. These horrible experiences give the rest of us decent practitioners a bad name. Yes, I’m a hypnotherapist, but wait, let me give a quick outline to what you should look for and ask so you can a) find a decent therapist and b) choose the right one for you..

    1. Ask the therapist what the memories are about. If they’re worth their salt they’ll mention that what you ‘recall’ or what you think of isn’t necessarily a rock solid factual memory. Understanding what comes up isnt exactly a ‘memory’ (ie factual recollection) would have saved a lot of you loads of worries. Instead they should talk about how certain parts of your brain will give something ‘symbolic’ that in therapy with the help of your therapist you’ll come to some kind of understanding about, and its that connection or meaning you, YOU as client gets to (not the therapist, they should never interpret your life for you) that will help resolve the issue you went for help with. They should be able to back it up with some understanding of neuroscience. If they can’t – dont go there.

    2 – ask for testimonials. Happy clients give good reviews. There will be confidentiality protection for clients but if you’re happy for the therapist to give your contact details to past clients, they can give you a call. This is how I chose my therapist before I was inspired and trained up myself – albeit a few years ago now.

    3 Last – and hope this puts some of you at ease – the article makes reference to 2 “principles”. You’re right, they are incorrect. But these are not what I was taught when I trained in this practice.

    “All anxiety symptoms can be traced back to one event that caused guilt and shame, and that event has often been pushed out of conscious memory.”

    Absolutely not. There are different forms of anxiety – as many as there are individuals dealing with it – bit they can come down to 3 main categories. And they are not all about guilt and shame. The therapist should consider individual cases carefully, and only rarely – RARELY – does it need to be explored with hypnoanalysis. In fact I was specifically taught this method as a final additional method when eg the client had responded to every other method but is still carrying something more that they dont understand or hasnt yet been resolved. Like after flossing and brushing your teeth are good and clean, but it needs that final mouthwash to sweep out any remaining problems that need to come out.

    2. If you uncover that event and release the trapped emotion you will be able to let go of your anxiety (or other mental or physical health problem).

    Well, kind of, but its like saying if you learn how to grow spinach you’ll never be hungry again. I understand the note is to get the idea across quickly, but there’s so much more to this. One of the things this is referring to is eg if as a child or young person, you understood an event to mean XYZ but actually it was about ABC, it can set up an understanding, or personal rule, or even a belief (eg tidy people are good people, messy people are bad people) that can create a basis from which the adult judges everyday experiences/interactions. Sometimes that understanding turns out to be not so helpful, and actually creates an anxiety – eg the person becomes so worried about being tidy it turns into a behaviour that’s a problem for THEM. Using the point at the top of the article as an example, if the client can adjust the understanding in the brain, this can adjust the basis from which the person judges experiences, which can alleviate the anxiety enough that therapy can take place. This can fit easily alongside other brilliant methods like CBT, counselling, etc. Hope that makes sense. Again, they should be able to talk about the psychology and neuroscience behind it.

    So – I hope that has given some practical ideas about choosing the right therapist for you, and shed a bit of light on the premises this approach uses to help people. Please be reassured there are decent therapists out there who really do want to help, who have attended proper training and work experience, and I really hope you find them.

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