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I was intrigued to learn more about why hypnotherapy works faster than talking therapies. A few years ago I had cognitive therapy for arachnophobia (phobia of spiders), and just recently I had some sessions, with our hypnotherapist Vera Peiffer to address my fear of driving.

I am happy to say that both of the therapies worked, they both lasted an hour each time. However, because I had had 12 cognitive therapy appointments and only three with Vera, I wanted to know why the hypnotherapy achieved a quicker result. As a matter of fact, only one of the appointments (the third one) I had with Vera was conducted under hypnosis, the first was a consultation, and the second was a relaxation treatment.

So, why is it that hypnotherapy works faster than talking therapies?

When I asked Vera about why her therapy had helped me in such a short amount of time, she was only too happy to give me an explanation. The example she gives is not related to fears or phobias, but it allowed me to understand why hypnotherapy works quicker than talking therapies.

“Think about it. You want to lose weight, and rationally, you know it is not a good idea to eat chocolate and cake if you want to slim down. But there is this little voice in your head that says, ‘Oh, go on, you deserve it. One piece of cake won’t do any harm!’.  So, what happens? You have that piece of cake, and possibly also two pieces.

If there is a contest between your rational mind and that little voice in your head, the little voice wins every time. That little voice in your head is your subconscious mind.

If you go for counselling or any other form of talking therapy, the talking therapy will address your rational and conscious mind, but that’s not where your problem sits. On a rational level, you already know that you should not eat cakes and chocolate if you want to lose weight. The problem is that your rational mind is a lot weaker than your subconscious mind.

It is your subconscious mind which is actually running your life. The subconscious mind is like your auto-pilot, your knee-jerk reaction, which kicks in every time you need to make a decision. If that knee-jerk reaction links ‘cake’ with ‘happiness’, your rational mind does not stand a chance. Your fork is already in the cake before you can think, ‘I’ll regret that later!’.

Hypnotherapy addresses your subconscious mind which is the true seat of your overeating. By changing the messages you get from your subconscious mind during a hypnotherapy session, it becomes very easy to leave that piece of cake, because the little voice in your head now says, ‘Oh no, I’m too full, I couldn’t possibly have any cake now. It’s too sweet anyway.’. Suddenly it becomes easy to eat sensibly and lose those extra pounds.” 

So, now I understand why hypnotherapy works more quickly than the cognitive therapy. I tackled my fear of spiders on a conscious level, whereas my fear of driving was overcome by addressing my subconscious mind. Incidentally, I can’t wait to share my experience of hypnotherapy and I will be writing a separate article about it!

Vera Peiffer has been in full-time practice as an analytical hypnotherapist since 1986, she holds a degree in psychology, she previously worked from Harley Street and Surrey before moving to Chichester. Vera is available at Chichester Natural Health Centre on Thursday afternoons.

If you are interested in booking in, there is always a warm welcome for you at Chichester Natural Health Centre – so why not call in or telephone to find out more. Our reception is covered six days a week. 

 01243 786946

Chichester Natural Health Centre,

5, City Business Centre,

Basin Road,


West Sussex

PO19 8DU

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