Hypnotherapy is a form of treatment which exposes a client to subconscious elements. When exposed to their own subconscious behavior the client begins to function on a higher level of intellect. The process of hypnosis takes place when a person begins to experience a deep relaxation which is initiated by the therapist upon client agreement. Hypnotherapy is part of a practice that helps a client either overcome an experience or become empowered through subconscious manipulation. Reaching the subconscious will only happen after a hypnotist has explored the patient's problem or traumatic event. Hypnotherapy creates a trance-like state in which the patient undergoes a heightened sense of focus and awareness.

Goals of Hypnotherapy

The purpose of hypnotherapy is to re-program the individual's brain pattern because it has been causing distress, irrational thoughts, phobias or suppressed emotions. These conflicts must be having a negative impact on their lives in one way or another. It's often times that there are misconceptions behind the goal of hypnotherapy. The practice is not for the purpose of making a patient do anything that they wouldn't normally do. Patients are completely aware of their surroundings during the trance. Therapy is for the purpose of treating a patient who may be facing an emotional, bodily or psychological disorder. It allows the client to overcome the problem and go about dealing with it in a strategized and focused manner.

When is Hypnotherapy Used?

Hypnotherapy is used depending on the client's condition and participation. It cannot be used to treat a medical condition although it has the capacity to assist the individual in dealing with symptoms associated with a chronic condition. Those who are fit for it experience a shift in their automatic response to scenarios they are faced with. The hypnotists work in co alliance with a doctor to help the patient reduce pain sensations in medical situations, such as surgery or childbirth. The methods are often used with patients who experience phobias or suppressed memories. It is commonly used with those who have undergone a traumatic event. Traumatic events can make an individual experience night sweats and violent behavior. Hypnotherapy helps prevent these events from affecting their lives and relationships.

How Hypnotherapy Works

Therapy can only work if the hypnotist has the ability to get past the subconscious gatekeeper. In order to do this the hypnotist must put the client into a trance state by relaxing their mental and physical until consciousness has been altered. It's important that the person has the right attitude before the trance and doesn't have any hesitancy in believing that it can happen. If there is hesitancy present it may prevent the conscious mind from opening up the subconscious.

When a client is in their trance state the hypnotherapist may help to get rid of old influences and replace them with new ones. The hypnotist may assist the patient in remembering an experience that is causing problems in their life. When the experience has been found the therapist uses techniques to explore it, heal the patient and help them patient grasp a new thought process or response. Imagination plays a huge role in the change and the person must be able to imagine overcoming the issue if they want to break free of the grievance.

Hypnotherapy is effective because once a suggestion has been placed within the subconscious mind it is accepted. The changes that happen in the subconscious alter the client's reality and feelings toward a given subject. It doesn't require any willpower on the behalf of the client because the subconscious mind has already decided upon its course of action.

Criticisms of Hypnotherapy

There is some controversy toward hypnotherapy in terms of repressed memories or a client experiencing their old thought process after some time has passed. It is a sensitive issue if the experience to overcome relates to sexual abuse, especially when the client does not recall the experience. If a therapist suspects that a client has been abused it is then their job to override the client's denial by confronting the truth through trance. It's been scrutinized that some do not possess higher educational training although states capacitate the practice in training programs and medical guidelines. Some argue that just because a person has been trained in psychotherapy; it doesn't mean that they are competent enough to implement the practice without having completed advanced training. While some seem to think that the criticism of hypnosis comes from therapists planting hidden suggestions into the mind of the patient – it usually has to do with repressed memories or patients using a hypnotherapist who isn't licensed to perform hypnosis.


About hypnotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.thehypnotherapyassociation.co.uk/abouthypnotherapy draft 1a.php

Mental health and hypnosis. (2012, June 5). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-hypnotherapy

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