Thoughts from a Practice Manager on Hypnosis Success Rates

I want to address a question that I am asked frequently, but which is not always easy to answer.

That question is, “What are your success rates?”.

Let me start by saying, very high! But of course I am going to say that, and despite the truth of this answer that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like the question…what else am I going to answer?

When an outcome is binary, such as when we see people for quitting smoking – where someone either quits or they don’t – then we can easily arrive at rates of success or statistics so long as we receive feedback.

When the reason someone sees us relates to something like emotional difficulties, or anxiety, or even changing eating patterns or weight loss…then the desired outcome itself is going to be different for each person.

Their ultimate goal may change along the way, too. Sometimes people come along thinking they need to achieve one thing, only to realise (as part of the process) that what they actually need to address wasn’t what they originally thought.

It’s also true that this work is often deeply personal, and people choose not to talk about it to others. While we may be thanked privately it is often not appropriate to ask people to declare publicly what they came to see us about in the first place. Most people do the work, then want to get on with their lives – which is the whole point! We don’t go chasing up people for testimonials just so we can have something nice to put on our website, or on social media. We gratefully receive testimonials when they are offered, but we respect the privacy of our clients, the trust they place in us, and the sanctity of the work we do together. 

This work we do in hypnotherapy is a process – a therapeutic process. “Having Hypnosis” is not like purchasing a product or undergoing a specific treatment. This can be dissatisfying to hear – so much of what we have available to us in the world now is nicely packaged. And honestly, it would be tempting for us to do the same with our service, but we don’t – it isn’t true to us, and that means it would possibly get in the way of our ability to do and be what our clients need from us.

So while “what are your success rates?” is a perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable question to ask…it’s not quite the right question in the context of this work. This work is adaptable, and individualised, and a hypnotherapist will work hard so that it is what you need it to be.

It can be frustrating not to have the question of success rates answered directly, and I think it is important to be direct. I will try my best to answer this question in a way that is relevant to you, and using my knowledge of previous clients. I also think it’s very important to tell people when I think we can’t help. In my experience that is a much better way of going about things than offering some statistics that would probably be irrelevant to you, anyway.

I recognise that it’s hard to trust someone you don’t know, especially when it relates to something new in your experience. That’s why I always encourage people to ask questions, to talk, to get a feel for the person and practice. I hope that after having a discussion with your chosen therapist (or their practice manager!) that you are able to feel confident in their ability to help.

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