Sex, Lies, and Hypnosis - New Series! Begins Monday July 2

sex, lies and hypnosis
clair and woody (1/4)

Bringing relationship hypnotherapy to the screen, this brand new series features warring couples who are in the midst of relationship crises. The couples undergo therapy with top UK hypnotherapist Ursula James, who uses her skills to unlock the couples’ deepest secrets, and reveal the raw truth about their feelings for one another. The process forces them to confront the issues they have been repressing, with sometimes explosive results. In the first programme we meet Clair and Woody, a young couple who are living apart because of their ferocious arguments.

Clair and Woody have been together for four years and have an 18-month-old daughter, Casa. However, their once-happy relationship has been transformed by months of escalating fighting. With their relationship now at breaking point, Clair and her daughter have moved to escape the pressure of life with Woody.

Ursula James aims to tackle the root of the couple’s problems over twelve weeks of intense hypnotherapy and task-setting. She believes that by digging deep into their subconscious minds and unlocking repressed memories, she can help Woody understand his anger and Clair her need for control. “Sometimes,” she explains, “people don’t want to accept responsibility for their own problems. Hypnosis confronts them with the fact that it is their responsibility – so then they have a choice to do something about it.”

During her sessions, Ursula employs EEG technology to monitor the brainwaves of her subjects. Using a graphic display to indicate levels of activity and relaxation within the brain, Ursula can tell when a subject is in a state of trance, and can pinpoint when a person is reliving a particularly traumatic past experience.

First to undergo Ursula’s treatment is Clair, who is taken back to her troubled past before Woody. The session exposes deeply rooted memories and an intense lack of control. Ursula believes that confronting these painful memories will help Clair move on, ultimately overcoming the emotional ‘hangover’ she has been unable to shake off in her conscious life. Clair also believes that remembering a period in which she was powerless will help her understand her current need to control situations with Woody.

Woody proves a more difficult subject. He resists the process at first, explaining that he is worried about what the treatment may uncover: “There are a few things that… I’d rather keep private,” he says. But Ursula manages to earn his trust, and tells him that some memories are “better out than in.” Taking him deep into his subconscious, she begins to unlock the source of Woody’s anger and quick temper. However, it will take many further sessions to get him to come to terms with his past, which, like Clair’s, was dominated by violence and feelings of helplessness.

As the treatment draws to a close, it is clear that Clair and Woody’s relationship has improved. In order to ensure that their past problems are gone forever, Ursula invites them to sit down together as a couple to watch a video of their sessions. “You are no longer the people that you are about to see,” she explains. Having come to know themselves and each other better through their time with Ursula, it is now up to Woody and Clair to apply what they have learned to make their relationship work. “I still don’t completely understand it,” says a happy Clair of her treatment, some weeks later, “but it has helped us so much.”

About the author

  • As a clinical hypnotherapist I found this programme to be quite refreshing in that it showed true hypnotherapy being used to help people make sense of why they feel and act like they do, and to change unwanted behaviours for positive ones.

    At the end of the episode Clair and Woody were obviously feeling much better about themselves and each other, which should be the aim of any good, skilled professional hypnotherapist.

    It shows that hypnotherapy could help people let go of any unwanted thoughts, actions, feelings or behaviours and live their lifes as they want to.

    Be happy,


  • Congratulations on your show Sex, Lies and Hypnotherapy.

    Ursula James is obviously a very caring and accomplished Analytical therapist working in this rather specialised field of relationship problems.

    Many Hypnotherapists use Analytical therapy to bring out, and help neutralise trapped emotions from the past which are causing problems in the present day. However it is unusual for the public to be able to witness this kind of Hypnotherapy in progress.

    I run a Register and Discussion Group for Hypnotherapists, which covers the whole of the UK and Ireland, and one or two of our members are a little concerned that although this kind of Hypnotherapy can be extremely beneficial where deep rooted emotional problems are involved, some of your viewers may be a little alarmed and possibly ‘put off’ Hypnotherapy by seeing only the more dramatic phases of the Analytical process, when repressed emotions are eventually released.

    Therefore perhaps it might be useful to point out that there are many different disciplines of Hypnotherapy, and the methods depicted on your programme are not always used for every problem.
    Hypnotherapy is generally very gentle, and often uses only deep relaxation and positive suggestion in order to gain beneficial results. The skilled Hypnotherapist will adjust the kind of Hypnotherapy used to the needs of their client.

    However, I would like to thank you for bringing this fascinating programme to our screens, and thereby raising awareness of the benefits of Hypnotherapy.

    Cliff Cowin

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1