Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one’s own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves which can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.
Contrary to popular belief, people under hypnosis are in total control of themselves and would never do anything they would normally find highly objectionable.
The positive suggestions people are given while hypnotized are referred to as “post hypnotic suggestions” because they are intended to take effect after the person emerges from the trance and is no longer under hypnosis.
Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy is made up of four (4) main elements; Suggestion, Focus of Attention, Relaxation and Imagery.
Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy), because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories which may be hidden from their conscious minds. In addition, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.
Since hypnotherapy is an adjunct form of therapy, used along with other forms of psychological or medical treatment, there are many applications. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety, phobias, substance abuse including tobacco, sexual dysfunction, undesirable spontaneous behaviors, and bad habits. It can be used to help improve sleep, learning disorders, communication, and relationship issues. Hypnotherapy can aid in pain management and help resolve medical conditions such as digestive disorders, skin issues, and gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can also be used by dentists to help patients control their fears or to treat teeth grinding and other oral conditions.
Before your hypnotherapy session begins, you'll have a discussion with your therapist about your reasons for seeking this treatment as well as what your goals are for it. When your provider feels comfortable that s/he properly understands your needs and goals, it's time to enter the trance-like state. Once you've positioned yourself in a comfortable way physically (lying down or sitting up), your therapist will begin talking you through and into the trance-like state. Once you're physically and mentally relaxed, you become open to the suggestions of your therapist, which will always be dedicated toward helping you achieve any goals you've set for this treatment.
Hypnosis is not a psychotherapeutic treatment or a form of psychotherapy, but rather a tool or procedure that helps facilitate various types of therapies and medical or psychological treatments. Only trained health care providers certified in clinical hypnosis can decide, with their patient, if hypnosis should be used along with other treatments. As with psychotherapy, the length of hypnosis treatment varies, depending on the complexity of the problem.