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"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."

Tony Robbins

Awaken the Change frequently asked questions/ FAQ

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

Maya Angelou


Linda Witchell MA BSc (Hons) RGN Hyp Dip.


Curious about how Awaken the Change can help you? Need more information?

Discover the answers here. If your question does not appear here, please send it to me by email to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and I will happily provide you with an answer.


What sets you apart from the competition?

Some people might say it's the training and years of experience of working with people, but I think it’s also about the care and respect afforded to every single client as I focus on a client driven business.

Do I need to be referred by a Health Professional for hypnotherapy or counselling?

People come to me via a variety of methods, many people are recommended, and some people decide to try a new way to solve their own problems.  Some Health Care Professionals do refer their patients to me as well.

What happens during my initial appointment?

We get to know each other.  I answer all your questions, we will discuss which of the solutions I offer will best suit your needs, we agree on a programme and how many sessions you are likely to need.

How am I safeguarded?

You are safeguarded because I am fully insured and a member of reputable organisations, and follow professional codes of conduct.

Does anyone else answer your emails on your behalf?

No I am the only person who will see your emails no one else has access to my emails your privacy and confidentiality is assured.

Where do you practice... home or office?  Can I have my sessions at my home?

My practice office is located in Bournemouth, and in most cases it is preferred that clients attend my office for sessions.  However, on occasions due to personal circumstances I may exceptionally agree to holding sessions at a client’s home or to provide help to people via Skype.

Are your services available for men and women of any age?

Absolutely, I offer services to both men and women over 18 years of age.

What hours do you work?  I can only attend evenings or weekends due to full time employment.

I operate on flexible hours Monday - Saturday so I am able to accommodate individuals in full time employment.

I am not sure which of your services will be most helpful for me. how will we determine which method you offer is best for my situation?

Following an initial discussion with you I will advise you which solution I consider will benefit your circumstances the most, and how many sessions I think you will require. I like to base my recommendations on research and evidence of what would work best for you.

Do I need to complete any paperwork prior to undergoing any therapy or coaching?  How is this information kept, and my confidentiality protected?

Yes I have an Initial Consultation Form that you will need to complete, and also a Post Treatment Assessment Form.  All paperwork is kept securely in a strong locked filing cabinet to which only I have access.  Iam registered with the Information Commissioner and I adhere to GDPR rules.

How long does each session last?  How many sessions will I need?

Our first session is a Free initial consultation and could last up to 30 minutes. When you book further session sessions they are usuallyup to 60 minutes in duration.  The number of sessions you require will vary upon an individual’s circumstances and requirements, but I will give you a rough idea during our initial meeting session.

Have you thought about hypnotherapy before, but weren't sure how safe or effective it was?

This is not an unusual thought, but with the correct information you will find out that it is very effective for a wide range of conditions. Maybe you have seen people performing silly acts in films or television programmes during stage hypnosis. Just like most people you want to be in control. You will be. I am a hypnotherapist - I DO NOT DO STAGE HYPNOSIS.

So why is hypnosis often perceived as a strange and mysterious mind controlling technique?

It's because hypnosis has been likened to the evil Svengali and other films and media hype. But this is not what happens in reality, and with the correct information you will find out that it is very effective for a wide range of conditions. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring process. We go into trance every day. Do you remember the last time you were engrossed in a good film or an interesting book? Or are you a daydreamer? Perhaps you have driven somewhere in your car, but couldn’t remember getting there. You were probably in a trance with all these experiences.

Maybe you have recently become interested in hypnotherapy because of things you have heard about or seen on the television?

The interest in hypnotherapy is certainly increasing and there is a growing body of research and evidence showing that it can help people with a variety of issues. Recently there has been television coverage for weight reduction, performing operations and relationship problems with hypnotherapy. Some professional sports people use hypnotherapy. Perhaps you have read that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence confirms that hypnotherapy can help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Hypnotherapy is used all over the world and is now supported by a lot of research and evidence. I specialise in hypnotherapy for medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome.

How does hypnotherapy work?

Hypnotherapy usually involves relaxation and visualisation. It links with the subconscious mind where positive suggestion is introduced to encourage the change that you desire. It is not known exactly how hypnotherapy works but the results can be amazing. Some people think that it is a way of focusing the mind while other people think that it is an altered conscious state similar to the time just before you go to sleep. 

Is hypnotherapy safe?

Hypnotherapy is thought to be safe when practised by trained hypnotherapy practitioners. The British Medical Association since 1955 has endorsed hypnotherapy. However, not all hypnotherapists are trained to the same standards, so beware. This is because the UK doesn't have any legislation to control hypnotherapists. So make sure you check out any therapist that you decide to use. I am fully qualified and registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register and the National Hypnotherapy Society. These organisations ensure that their members are qualified, insured and follow a code of conduct. Added to this I also have had considerable other training, I attend professional supervision and I keep updated.

Are there any side effects with hypnotherapy?

For some people recall of past memories while in a hypnotic state may not be accurate and may make them release emotions. However, people often say that they feel much better after releasing past emotions. Occasionally clients will not remember being in a trance or will be surprised how the session has flown past. Some people tell me that they experience positive side effects. For example, some clients say that they have slept very well after their first hypnotherapy session even though the original issue was not related to insomnia.

Is hypnotherapy unsuitable for some people?

Hypnotherapy is not suitable for very young children or anyone who is unable to listen and understand. I would not use hypnotherapy for clients with severe mental illness or those people under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. I would always want to consult with the client's doctor before hypnotising a client with epilepsy.

What happens during hypnotherapy?

I invite you to sit in a relaxing chair and I talk to you in a hypnotic way. You do not go to sleep but we know that hypnotised people's brainwaves slow down. Hypnotherapy usually involves relaxation and visualisation. It links with the subconscious mind where positive suggestion is introduced to encourage the change that you desire.

There is much more preparation if you are having hypnotherapy via Skype but I will explain all this first.

Can hypnotherapy help me with all my problems?

Every client is assessed and we have a discussion about the tools that can help before starting, however hypnotherapy can help with many issues. Hypnotherapy is just a tool, albeit a powerful tool. I have several tools so you have my knowledge, skills and hypnotherapy.

Do you ever mix hypnotherapy, coaching and counselling in the same session?

My aim is to help you. If you agree there are times when I use skills from all areas.

How long does a hypnotherapy/ coaching / counselling session last?

The sessions are usually up to one hour in length, but I do offer a two hour session for stop smoking with hypnotherapy, and coaching sessions can be up to 3 hours.  Counselling sessions are usually 50 mins to one hour. Telephone consultations are usually 45 minutes. It all depends on the issue and how you would like me to work with you. This is usually agreed in advance.

What is coaching?

According to the International Coaching Federation coaching is ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Life coaching is about investing in yourself.

How does coaching differ from counselling and therapy?

Generally therapy is about healing and helping people to feel better. For example, counselling can help you talk about personal issues which come from the past or are about the present or future. I support you and you discover the solutions. I am an 'integrative counsellor' so I use several different counselling approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Solution Focused Counselling, and Gestalt techniques. Coaching clients are generally well, or have health issues controlled. Coaching is a partnership where you need to contribute to setting goals and finding ways to achieve those goals. Coaching takes its tools and techniques from a variety of sources. Although coaching is different there can be some overlap with counselling.

What are the benefits of coaching?

The benefits of coaching can be huge. People achieve their goals, feel better and learn to develop their lives.

How do coaches actually work?

I can work with you face to face or by telephone or Skype. We work together on the issue. I listen. I ask questions. I sometimes need to challenge you. I help to motivate you and give you support. You will work with me and you will set and achieve your goals.

Is there a difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are very similar. They are talking therapies and both use the same skills. Some people say psychotherapists deal more with complex cases and mental health issues but some counsellors also deal with these issues. Counsellors tend to see clients for much shorter periods than psychotherapists. Counselling is a short-term process that encourages the change of behaviour.

Are counsellors and psychotherapists regulated in the UK?

No so I advise you to always check the counsellors’ credentials and experience first.