Step Away From. Step Towards. Step Up.

Hypnosis- What it is and Isn't

There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about both hypnosis and hypnotherapy and this is something I will be happy to answer further questions about when we meet.

  • Firstly, hypnosis is not something that is ‘done to you’. Hypnosis is a process that you take part in and engage with. It involves the use of focus and attention and is a process of directing the mind so that it begins to work for you and not against you. It is a process of directing your mind to change your experience in a way that serves you. Hypnosis is not a passive experience where you, the client, close your eyes and wait for something to happen. It is a process that you engage in, you do your best to follow any instructions I give you and you engage your imagination with the suggestions.


This is when we get great results together. There are hypnotherapists who will tell you all you need to do is lie back, and drift off while your subconscious mind takes care of things for you. This is not, in my opinion, a sound working methodology and this is not what you get with me.

When you come to see me, you actively engage in the process. You become an active contributor to the change you want to see. This makes our work together exciting, fun and productive. It also puts you in the driving seat of what you want to achieve from our sessions together.

  • Secondly, hypnosis does not involve putting someone into a trance and you certainly do not ‘go under’. As there isn’t anything to ‘go under’, it naturally follows that you cannot get stuck in hypnosis. Research into this subject has shown that that there is no one signature brain state that is indicative of hypnosis and that could be referred to as a 'trance state. 

  • Thirdly, hypnosis does often feel very relaxing. Many of the clients that I work with have come to me with anxiety related issues and in this context, delivering relaxation through hypnosis can be very beneficial.


"Etain is empathetic, open and professional. I had no previous experience of hypnotherapy and found the process to be transformative, with change starting in the first session"

Semi-Professional Athlete. Belfast

Clinical Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a complementary, not an alternative therapy. I employ hypnosis alongside practical, psychological therapy modalities many of which are from the field of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.


Our work together involves directing your focus and attention, engaging your imagination to create the change you desire.

  • I do not use generic scripts during hypnosis sessions. Many hypnotherapists will simply read to you from a pre-written script once your eyes are closed. This however does not provide individualised and targeted therapy and this is not a method I employ.


All our sessions together are unique, personal and are tailored around your own specific needs and rate of progress at that time.

  • We do not use the language of 'going under' or 'being put in a trance' as these are outdated and unhelpful ways of describing what is happening in hypnosis.

  • I provide you with two MP3 Hypnosis Audios that you can listen to in between sessions. The first MP3 is aimed at helping you relax and to become familiar with the feeling of engaging in the hypnotic process. The second of these is aimed at helping you with your specific issue and is tailor made to your own experience.

  • I teach all clients how to develop their own Self-Hypnosis practice. This is an area where I have additional training and a tool that I am keen to pass on to clients.

  • My approach to Hypnotherapy does not involve unnecessary analysis of the past events in your life in order to understand how you feel now. This does not mean that the past is not relevant because of course it is. The way we have been conditioned throughout our lives informs the way we interpret and react to our lives in the present moment. However, when we repeatedly analyse and mull over past events, especially when these have been traumatic or depressing, what we are essentially doing is rehearsing our problem. Our aim therefore, is to leave past events where they belong, work with what we have in the present and shape the future in a way which best serves us. This is where our personal power lies.

The first aspect of your hypnotherapy sessions will involve showing you the role that your mind plays in creating your experience of life. Once we really understand this, the second aspect of the work becomes much easier and exciting and fun.


The second aspect refers to the way we go about changing this experience. This might be moving away from an experience you want less of, such as pain, anxiety or low self esteem. Or it could be an experience you want to move towards, such as motivation, self-confidence or inspiration.

My aim is to empower you to begin creating the life you desire. My intention is not that you should feel dependent on me or our sessions together, but rather that, after our first set of hypnotherapy sessions together, you will feel equipped with the knowledge and techniques to make changes for yourself in the future.