Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapy and behaviour modification, so it is used as a therapeutic tool by certified professionals. To practice hypnotherapy, you enter into the stage of hypnosis, where you provide suggestions directly to the subconscious mind, which might have therapeutic benefits.
Types of Hypnotherapy
|Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
|Past life regression
|Time Line Therapy™
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a trance-like mental state in which the person or patient experiences increased attention, concentration, and suggestibility. While hypnosis is often considered as a sleep-like state, it is better expressed as a state of focused attention, heightened suggestibility, and vivid fantasies by the patient. A person in a hypnotic state often appears to be sleepy and zoned out, but in reality, they are in a state of hyper-awareness. While there are many myths and misconceptions related to hypnosis, it is a very real process that can be used as a therapeutic tool. Hypnosis has been proven to have medical and therapeutic benefits, especially in the reduction of pain and anxiety. It has even been suggested that hypnosis can minimize the symptoms of dementia.
History of Hypnosis
The use of hypnotic-like trance states is recorded back thousands of years, but hypnosis began to gain popularity during the late 18th-century from the work of a physician named Franz Mesmer. Hypnotism became more popular and important in the field of psychology in the late 19th-century and was used by Jean-Martin Charcot to treat women experiencing hysteria. This work influenced Sigmund Freud in the development of psychoanalysis.
More recently, there have been various theories to explain exactly how hypnosis works. One of these theories is the famous Hilgard’s neo-dissociation theory of hypnosis, under which, people in a hypnotic state experience a split consciousness in which they experience two different streams of mental activity. While one stream of consciousness answers to the hypnotist’s suggestions, another detached stream processes information outside of the hypnotized individual’s conscious awareness.
Hypnotherapy vs Hypnosis
The words “hypnosis” and “hypnotherapy” tend to be used interchangeably in the field of Psychology. But there’s a key difference between these two. During hypnotherapy, a patient is hypnotized, but once they reach this trance-like-state, “therapy” is performed. In other words, hypnotherapy is a more focused and therapeutic form of hypnosis.
Uses of Hypnotherapy
Many people seek out hypnosis to help deal with chronic pain or to lessen pain and anxiety caused by medical procedures such as surgery or childbirth. Hypnosis has also been used to help people with behaviour changes including quitting smoking, losing weight, or preventing bed-wetting. The following is a list of a few of the applications for hypnosis that have been demonstrated through research:
- Alleviation of symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Control of pain during dental procedures
- Elimination of skin conditions including warts and psoriasis
- Management of certain symptoms of ADHD
- Treatment of chronic pain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Treatment and reduction of pain during childbirth4
- Reduction of dementia symptoms
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
If you are interested in trying hypnotherapy, it is important to search for a professional who has credentials and experience in the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool. While many places offer hypnosis training and certification, it is recommended to look for a mental health professional who has been certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.