Wedding Stress

Wedding Stress, Who’s Stressed?

Clinical hypnosis may be the answer to all your wedding stress.

By Psychologist and Master Hypnotist – Jason O’Callaghan M.Sc., BA (Hons), H.Dip.

From losing weight for your wedding to getting the groom to quit smoking for the big day and getting the father of the bride the confidence to make that all important speech, brides are turning to clinical hypnotherapy to help overcome some of the stresses that come with the special day.

Some people’s only idea of hypnosis is seeing Keith Barry, Derren Brown or Paul McKenna on TV, ensuring some person clucks like a chicken or thinks they are the world’s greatest pop star. However, clinical hypnotherapy is showing more and more scientific results in helping people reduce anxiety, stop smoking, increase confidence for public speaking and reduce weight.

What is difference between stage and clinical hypnosis?

Stage hypnosis is a parlour trick and it works on the 10% of the audience who are highly suggestable and it is being used more and more at weddings as entertainment with agencies such as Audio Networks booking out Wedding Hypnotists to entertain your guests. This is a special treat for your guests and not something they will have seen at any other weddings.

Another 10% of people don’t want to be or won’t allow themselves to be hypnotised and the rest fall somewhere in between, going to different levels. As a psychologist I have studied and practised clinical hypnosis to help clients to change for nearly a decade. But, how can it help you with your big day and on making your life and that of your other half and family easier on the run up to and on the big day?

Weight Loss for the big day

Firstly, hypnosis is proven to help people lose weight by making them so aware of what they are doing in relation to food that it stops them snacking and over eating, it focuses them on getting out to exercise and setting goals to lose weight in the medium term and to keep it off in the long term.

Most therapists will help you by putting together a programme to help you to plan your weight loss in the months coming up to your wedding. Hypnosis gives you the motivation to exercise more and eat less. The definition of hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness, which means you will be unable to eat junk without thinking of yourself in your wedding dress, therefore stopping you eating it before it’s gone.

Stop Smoking therapy

Hypnotherapy is also one of the most successful treatments to help smokers quit, by reprogramming the unconscious mind to allow them to leave the habit behind them once and for all.  If you think that a smoker spends around €4,000 a year on the habit, that’s a big chunk of the wedding budget; if both of you smoke, that’s €8,000 a year. By quitting alone, you could pay for most weddings with two years of fags?

The Big Speech

Few fathers of the bride or best men are known for their public speaking abilities so, for wedding speeches, hypnotherapy is becoming more and more widely used to help best men and fathers of the brides, who may not be used to speaking in public, get over that hurdle. Interestedly a fear of public speaking is the number one fear in the western world, even more then death. In other words, some people fear getting up to make a speech more then they fear dying?

Hypnosis is also used for insomnia, stress and anxiety reduction which are commonplace for brides in the weeks and days before the big day, leading to big black circles under the eyes which are never a good look to have for the wedding photos.

So how does it work?

Hypnosis is natural state that most of us experience every day, it’s like daydreaming or missing an exit on the motorway due to being in a world of your own. Advertising, marketing and branding are all forms of hypnosis as is text messaging and then walking into a wall. It’s focused attention on another place or time and allowing your mind to wander.

A hypnotherapist interviews the client to see how they can help and how they want to change. They then put the person into a very relaxed place using certain words and imagery; after a number of minutes the client goes into a trance like state but can still respond and hear what’s going on.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, no one can make someone becoming hypnotised, that really is something from TV. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do under hypnosis and it is in fact one of the most underused and misunderstood therapies in the world.

You will hear everything that goes on and a good therapist will record your session so you can do it at home again and again to reinforce the treatment.

Finding a therapist

Sadly, like so many trades in Ireland there is no legislation to stop anyone calling themselves a hypnotherapist or a counsellor or a psychologist. Unlike other countries like the USA, Australia or France.

Therefore, insist that whomever you pick to do hypnotherapy with is a trained medical professional, ideally a trained psychologist, doctor, dentist, (if it’s for fear of needles or dentist visits) a nurse or even a trained counsellor but not someone who has done a weekend course and is only certified by a college or school that issues their own certs. QQI offer Government backed courses if the person does not have a professional qualification.

Make sure they work out of an office and not a hotel room (yes, some therapists do this) like a travelling sales man. Also make sure that they do not put on a recording with you sitting in a chair with headphones on listening to a pre-recorded session.

Hypnosis is not for everyone but it can help and is peer reviewed to help with a variety of issues and not just those mentioned. In my clinic we see people for eating disorders, IBS, confidence for job interviews, cutting out chocolate, reducing alcohol consumption and many more day to day issues to help you deal with the big day and make it as enjoyable as possible.

Jason O’Callaghan runs and owns The D4 Clinic in Blackrock in Dublin. Call  01 6855511 or see

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