On this page, I'm guiding you through the terms and definitions used in hypnotherapy and describing the imaginative technics I also use in integrative hypnotherapy. Then you can read about the scope of hypnotherapy and can have a closer look at how it works behind the scenes. Let's get started with a short clarification among these concepts.
Hypnosis is not hypnotherapy, but it is part of the hypnotherapy process as an altered state.
Hypnosis is often perceived as the weirdest, the most mysterious, sometimes the most frightening altered state. What makes it so scary is that most people think that they can lose control while being hypnotised. The truth is that hypnosis is a straightforward and naturally occurring process or state. As a treatment intervention, it involves inducing the client into a relaxed, suggestible state. It uses the hypnotic trance, the simple shifting back and forth between the conscious and subconscious mind, to create this relaxed, suggestible state. Being in this altered state of mind quite similar to the pre-sleep state of daydreaming or processing routine activities while your mind wanders off.
Hypnosis is one of the world's oldest treatments. The first sign of its existence is those ancient hieroglyphics that show the Egyptians were using it as early as 3,000 B.C. There is more evidence the Greeks and the Mayans understood it and used it as well. Then it has been reinvented by psychoanalysis in the 19th century and started its reborn triumph through centuries. Today it is a legitimate modern medical practice, where it is called hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis used professionally and adequately is simply a way of helping you make the right decisions and develop the correct beliefs for you, thereby helping you feel better and getting better day-to-day results.
The differences between hypnosis and hypnotherapy
While hypnosis and hypnotherapy are both a form of the altered states, they are very different from each other. The core difference is that hypnotherapy is an internationally-recognized therapy technique for treating mental and psychosomatic issues. It uses hypnosis to break through to the subconscious better to understand the foundation of a client's problems. So trance is a tool of hypnotherapy to achieve the subconscious mind.
Hypnotherapy is the practice of psychotherapy with a client who is in the hypnotic altered state of consciousness. Hypnotherapy is a powerful way to access the source of distress, like depression and anxiety, and for people to reconnect with dissociated emotions and disowned parts of themselves. Hypnotherapy helps therapists and client get closer to the source of a client's issues by opening the doorway to their subconscious mind.
The efficiency of hypnotherapy
There have been hundreds of studies researching the value of hypnotherapy. The British Medical Association has been formally studying and verifying it since 1892.
In the 1950s, both the British Medical Association and the American Medical Association confirmed hypnotherapy's efficacy as official policy. They claimed: "For the past hundred years there has been an abundance of evidence that psychological and physiological changes could be produced by hypnotism which was worth study on their account, and also that such changes might be of great service in the treatment of patients."
In 2001, the British Psychological Society reported that: "Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy."
Hypnotherapy is different. Why?
The core difference between hypnotherapy and other methods is depth and speed. Using hypnotherapy techniques like relaxation, guided imagery, and the trance state, therapists can access the subconscious more quickly than traditional methods. Traditional methods may take weeks, months, or years to uncover the subconscious reasons behind issues that are manifesting in clients. With hypnotherapy, these reasons can be found in as little as one session.
The subconscious mind is where we store everything that has ever happened in our lives. Therefore, it is much more efficient to do therapy while in the unconscious state, using hypnotherapy to access these moments in our lives that have impacted us. This results in greater awareness of one's issues. With this awareness comes the ability to recognise the cause of behaviours that one desires to change.