Therapy advertising – big, bold claims (2)

Therapy advertising – big, bold claims (2)

More examples of psychotherapy websites making  claims which are great  marketing but not great  therapy – not quite lies, but quite misleading.


Hypnotherapy claims, true but artful

Tricky, this one. Literally, it’s true. Many problems “can” be resolved in a few hours of treatment. But look at the artfully positioned list: … anorexia … bulemia … cancer treatment … eating disorders. You’d think that these are the problems that can be resolved in a few hours, wouldn’t you? Wrong! These can be very major issues that need persistence and commitment, perhaps over years rather than weeks, as can many of the others on the list.

Then there’s that “Using a special form of hypnotherapy and hypnosis …” Oooh! Take that, old-fashioned has-been therapists who aren’t using a special form of hypnosis! The artful implication is that a new form of hypnosis so special that even anorexia and cancer treatment succumb rapidly. No such thing exists.

And the next:


Strong hypnotherapy claims

Two or three sessions will cure simple phobias, definitely, but not more complicated ones. Weight also,  but only if simple habit.  Smoking, yes for most people, if highly individualised sessions. The rest? Well yes, sometimes people only need that few sessions. But much more commonly, normal people need more sessions. And beyond that, any one of those could be a deeply-seeded issue. As I said in the previous post, have a look under the “Health > Mental Health” section of Yahoo Answers and you find sadly many people with these issues who need far, far  more then two or three sessions. OK, the advert doesn’t say “resolve completely” in two or three sessions but there is a pretty clear implication of done-and-dusted in that time. And again, it just ain’t so for many people.

A final example from the same website:


Claims for OCD treatment.
Text reads: Dealing with or letting go of your Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, with hypnotherapy should really only take two or three sessions ~ well that`s our experience.

Certainly not my experience. It’s the same story; some people with mild OCD can be helped in 3 – 5 sessions of behavioural hypnotherapy. But OCD can have a real grip on people’s lives, and I would more typically say 10-15 sessions of highly behavioural-oriented hypnosis, maybe a good many more.

As I rarely deal with OCD I googled “number of sessions OCD” and the authoritative says on similar lines:  “The experts recommend 13-20 sessions as the appropriate number of CBT treatments for the typical patient. When speed is of the essence or OCD is particularly severe in adults, intensive CBT (daily CBT for 3 weeks) may be preferable.”

To repeat from the previous post. I’m not suggesting that these advertisers are being dishonest. But they are over-enthusiastic in their marketing, and  very likely naive about some aspects of therapy – they see a limited range of clients and don’t realise how serious some issues are. I’ll talk more in later posts about how honest people can make misleading claims.


When therapists make, or imply, dramatic claims for rapid success “with hypnosis” or “with a special kind of hypnosis” for serious issues, they may, perhaps, be wonder therapists with a magic special cure. Or they may simply not know what they are talking about.

What my clients say

You are really, really a very kind person. Thank you for your effort and advice in helping me!

I was never convinced counselling would work. But your approach and your ability to use different methods to suit individual needs has truly changed me on a deep level.

The very first session I had with him was so helpful and powerful that I recommended him to two other people straightaway.

Andrew works gently and safely and I felt held in a safe space throughout the session.

I have made some major breakthroughs in sessions with you.

I was blown away by your insightful and transformative approach.

A different approach from other therapists I have seen before, so that I have finally solved my problem.

More happened in the first session I had with you than in 4 or 5 sessions with a counsellor.

[Your hypnosis] was remarkably effective and entirely different and tailor-made for my individual needs and experiences. Thank you!!!

Although counselling was new territory for me, it was invaluable and worth every penny.

Had a massive effect on my relationship. Learned loads of really good stuff – surpassed my expectations.

Andrew is one of the best therapists I have ever worked with. If you want to make a breakthrough with an issue in your life or relationship, I highly recommend…

I have made some incredible progress and I am now in an intimate and happy relationship thanks to your help.

Leave a Reply