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Hypnotherapy Vs Hypnosis?

Updated: Jul 10, 2019


What is Hypnosis?


Hypnosis is the act of guiding someone into the trance like state. Different experts define this trance state differently, but they almost always refer to: 'a deep state of relaxation, hyper-focus and concentration, and increased suggestibility'; if that sounds common place, it’s because it is. Most of us go in and out of the trance state regularly. If you’ve ever zoned out on your daily commute, fell into a reverie while listening to music, or found yourself immersed in the world of a book or movie, you’ve been in the trance state.


The only difference between Hypnosis, and these everyday trance states is that, in Hypnosis, someone induces the trance state to achieve something: healing, discovery, or stress relief, for example.


What isn't Hypnosis?


What about the part where the hypnotist tricks you into quacking like a duck or doing their evil bidding?

I'm a Hypnotherapist, not a Hypnotist!

The idea that hypnotists can take over the minds of their subjects and control their actions is, of course, an entirely media-driven myth. In the trance state, you control all of your actions, you can hear everything around you, and you cannot be forced to do something against your will.


In a Hypnotherapy session, clients are conscious; they are awake, participating, and remembering, Hypnosis is known for harnessing 'the power of suggestion', but it’s hardly the only time our minds are susceptible to suggestion. For example, advertising, music, movies, and books routinely plant suggestions into our subconscious, as do language and communication. Even participants in stage Hypnotism shows operate under the control of their own minds, as it is impossible for someone not to be conscious while in Hypnosis.


What is Hypnotherapy?


To understand the difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, think of Hypnosis as a tool and Hypnotherapy as the use of a tool. In layman's terms; Hypnotherapy is to Hypnotism as art therapy is to art. The definition of Hypnotherapy is clear from the word itself: 'Hypnotherapy is the practice of Hypnosis for therapeutic purposes'.


In other words, if professional mental health therapists, or medical doctors are using Hypnosis to help clients overcome a mental or physical conditions, they are practising a form of Hypnotherapy.


The Hypnotic trance state is a remarkably flexible tool for solving mental and physical health problems such as:


Helping people stop smoking, or reduce overeating by focusing their minds and suggesting healthier behaviour. Accessing the mind-body link to relieve chronic and acute pain, including during surgery and childbirth. Hypnotherapy has also proven effective against stubborn physical afflictions like irritable bowel syndrome and dermatological conditions. Diving deep into the subconscious mind to uncover and treat the root causes of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction.


As many hypnotherapists have discovered, the trance state is the key to unlocking the hidden depths of our minds, memories, and motivations.


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