How Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis is one of the most misunderstood experiences out there. Anybody you ask will have an opinion on it.  Some people will immediately dismiss it as nonsense. Others will tell you about amazing results, changes and experiences. Researchers on hypnosis also struggle to find a common definition of hypnosis. 

Hypnosis is a tool which is used within a therapeutic change process, it works directly with the emotions and imagination and it can be combined with other therapeutic tools too. 

Hypnosis is an ideal tool for helping you change unwanted patterns of behaviour such as smoking, vaping, irrational fears and phobias, sleep issues and more.  

What to expect from a hypnosis session?

If you are considering hypnosis, you may be wondering what actually happens within a session.

Initial Consultation
Before attending your session at Boost Hypnosis, you'll first have an intial consultation via a Zoom call, it's an opportunity to meet me before working with me.  It's an informal chat where you can explain the challenges and why it's important for you.  If I think you will be a good match for my skills, expertise and methods I will outline the ways in which I can help you.

Your Hypnosis Sessions
Many people I see have never seen a hypnotist before. They are often unsure of what to expect. The kind of session you have depends on you and your issue. There's often a mix of discussion, thought-experiments, mind-body techniques as well as hypnosis.  It is also possible to keep your eyes open during the session.  Everything is designed to match your specific situation, for maximum effectiveness

  • We work on a specific problem and goal. I will help you ensure it is reasonable and we will work as a team to help you get there. 
  • The work we do together is important and should be treated as such. 
  • You may release strong emotions, so make time for your sessions. 
  • Change is a process. I do not promise cures or magical solutions. Change can happen quickly, yet everyone is different.  It is not a race. 
  • I believe in helping you get the result you are looking for in the most efficient use of your time, so you are not reliant on sessions spanning years or months. 
  • Results are important, so I will follow up with you after we have finished the work together. 

Meet Me


Hi, I'm Oliver M. James. I run Boost Hypnosis here in Brussels, Belgium. I am originally from the UK and have been here for almost a decade now. I work often with the expat community, as well as people from all over the world.  I offer hypnosis in Brussels as well as virtual hypnosis sessions too.

I am a certified professional hypnotist and have been involved with hypnosis for over 15 years, and have been running my services in Brussels since 2019.

Learn more about my skills and qualifications

Getting Started


Step 1 - Book a consultation

This is a quick chat to learn about you, your goals and what you can expect when we work together.  You may also gain a new perspective on your issue, which can be immensely valuable. 


Step 2 - Booking Online

I make it really easy to arrange your appointments, once you decide to start, you'll be able to pick from the range of times available.  

You can arrange and pay in just a couple of clicks, it takes less than 30 seconds. 


Step 3 - The First Session

In the first session, we'll dig a little deeper into the issue and work together as I show you ways in which we can change it.

Many people may not want to divulge lots of information about themselves, many of my techniques are designed with this in mind.  

The sessions take place live in Brussels or online-via zoom. 


Step 4 - Follow-up and subsequent sessions

I'll check in to see how well things are going. In between sessions there may be certain short exercises to do, to really get the most out of the programme. 

What I help with:

  • Foreign language confidence
  • Quitting smoking (cigarettes, cannabis, e-cigarettes, vaping)
  • Clearing irrational anxiety, fears and phobias. Both common ones and rare ones. 
  • Business confidence - idea for job interview anxiety, public speaking, 
  • Exam related stress
  • Mental blocks around performance (ideal for musicians, artists)

How can I possibly help with all those things?
Whilst these issues may appear very different, they all run very similar patterns which can be rewired with the help of hypnosis.  Drop me an email if you have a question about something which is not on this list.

Hypnosis Questions and Answers

How does hypnosis work?

A very simple way of looking at it, is imagine your brain like a computer running software, after a while it can get bogged down with old stuff that doesn't work that well anymore. With the help of hypnosis, I can help you make an important update. The video below explains more. 

Evidence Based Research
The following help article talks in more detail about how hypnosis works and the scientific evidence behind it. 

How much time do I need for a session?

The first session lasts up to 90 minutes. The subsequent sessions are typically shorter, lasting up to 60 minutes.  I will typically see you 7-14 days apart. 

How many hypnosis sessions will I need?

This varies depending on the issue, I aim to help you in the fastest and most efficient use of your time. We will typically begin with 3 sessions, in some cases this is all that is required. I work on the basis on providing you a full service, rather than a session by session basis, so I ensure you have all the tools you need.

As everything is personalised to you, book a free consulatation to learn more about how I can help you. 

Can I see you in-person?

Yes of course! These sessions are stictly by appointment only, I can welcome you in my office in Brussels.  This is only possible once you complete a first initial consultation call online and you have paid for your session in advance. 

What does hypnosis feel like?

There is no specific feeling.  Many people will notice profound relaxation, but not everyone. It varies from person to person, and can the feeling itself change throughout the session. There will be moments where you can feel incredibly relaxed, and others more alert.

What happens during a session?

There’ll be a mix of discussion, thought-experiments, hypnosis.  It is possible to keep your eyes open during the session too. 

Do I need to do anything in between sessions?

I may provide techniques and exercises between sessions to further enhance the work done.

The techniques I share are designed for busy people with little time, so you'll have no problem fitting them in.

I'll ask you to keep me updated, it will be your responsibility to do the exercises and stay in touch. 

How much does hypnotherapy cost?

Pricing can vary depending on what is required, check my pricing page for more information. 

I also offer a small range of hypnosis audio downloads as a budget friendly option, or for those who prefer to work by themselves. 

Will hypnosis really work for me?

The only honest answer here is maybe.  I have hypnotised thousands of people over the years so I know what to look for.  You might be seeking out hypnosis because you have tried everything else and nothing has worked.

Research shows that people vary in their hypnotic responsiveness and that their level of hypnotisability does not have a direct impact on change. 

I will check your hypnotic capacity during the consultation and first session, and that will determine the best route for you.

Fortunately, for most cases your level of hypnotisability is not that important - the processes I use can work well inside and outside of trance, eyes closed or eyes open.   Hypnosis is a tool - which when applied appropriately can deliver good results. 

I don't really believe in all this stuff, can you still help me?

Yes, the good news is you do not really need to believe in hypnosis to get results.  As explained above, hypnosis is a tool which is part of a wider change process.  

Any fear, anxiety or habit is being run at an unconscious level, we know this is true because people will often report that their problem seems out of control.  It is being held together using our focus and imagination.

Hypnosis is an ideal way to amplify your imagination and help you discover a new way of thinking and wire-in new patterns of behaviour. 

One tip I can advise is not to put yourself under too much pressure. An all or nothing mentality is not helpful for creating change.  

Are there refunds, if I do not get the result I want?

No. You pay for my time and expertise. I will help you providing you want help and are willing to put the effort in.

Safety - Is hypnosis safe?

Yes, the work I do is carried out with your safety as the top priority.  Hypnosis itself is generally not dangerous, but like any tool it should be treated with respect and care.  

It's a common belief that hypnosis is a form of mind control or brainwashing, this comes from tv and movies mostly, as well as a few dodgy stage shows. 

  • You cannot become stuck in hypnosis, even if the internet connection goes offline.
  • You remember as much as you would from a regular conversation
  • This process is about giving you back control of what seems uncontrollable

I am looking for help on behalf of somebody else, can you help?

Family members and friends:

I can only work with people who want to change, if they have no desire in changing at all, unfortunately there is not much I can do, but I may be able to provide some helpful pointers and alternatives to help you steer the conversation in the right direction. 

If they do want to change, I am happy to talk to them. 

Many people are skeptical of hypnosis, due to its portrayal on tv, on stage and in films. I address these common misconceptions during the initial consultation call

Children and Teens:

Parents or legal guardians must provide consent before any work can begin on anyone under 18. They will be expected to be present during the session and initial consultation. 

Children and Teens can benefit immensely from hypnosis because of their active imaginations. I keep things fun, light hearted and interactive. 

Your child or teen, must be part of the process and their needs must come first. 

I encourage parents to contact me first, sometimes parents and other members of the household can benefit from some sessions too. Especially to reduce anger and stress. 

Online/Virtual Hypnosis - How it Works

My programmes do not require a physical presence or touch.  They are specifically designed for online use.  

Many are carried out online, through video conferencing (Zoom), giving you more flexibility and freedom to arrange the session at a time and place that suits you. 

  • You need a camera, microphone and somewhere comfortable to sit
  • It’s easy to connect, click the link in your confirmation email to connect. We use Zoom which can be used from a smartphone, tablet or computer. 
  • Experience hypnosis in any suitable environment, anywhere in the world,  whether it be at home, office or in your car (parked of course!)
  • Hypnosis works in exactly the same way as in person, and is just as effective online because you’ll be able to feel and apply what you have learnt directly in your own environment, rather than a clinic.

How to Book

Learn more about how we can work together to help you change by booking a free consulation call now.

This can be done in a couple of clicks.

The call will take place via Zoom, just like a regular session.