Hypnotherapy is a type of talking therapy that can be used to treat mental health conditions. Many people find that Hypnotherapy is an effective intervention when trying to relieve symptoms of mental illness.

There are many different types of talking therapy. Therefore, it is important to consider your choices. This article provides some key areas worth knowing in regards to Hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy typically involves a close relationship between therapist and patient

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis in an attempt to treat a condition. Hypnotherapy normally involves an individual being in a deeply relaxed state. The therapy also uses focused attention and concentration to induce a heightened state of awareness. This allows the patient to focus on specific thoughts or factors. Hypnotherapy will commonly involve suggestion therapy, which allows a person to be more inclined to changing behaviours (including pain management). It can also be used to explore causes of a condition or symptom. This may include events that have been hidden in an individual’s unconscious memory.

1. Hypnotherapy involves the patient being put into a trance-like state

The first thing to be aware of is that Hypnotherapy involves a patient being put into a trance-like state. The purpose of this is that it puts the patient into a state of heightened awareness. This allows a person to recall past events, whilst also making them more open to a therapist’s suggestions or commands.

2. The evidence is largely good!

Hypnotherapy is a very well-studied subject area. Hypnotherapy’s effect on multiple mental health conditions has been researched, with the evidence widely pointing to Hypnotherapy being seen as effective.

It is most-suited to trauma-based conditions, with research finding that Hypnotherapy is effective in treating a situation where a person needs to overcome a traumatic event or experience [1].

Hypnotherapy can also be effective in treating Somatic Disorders, bad and harmful habits, and phobias among other conditions.

3. Society’s depiction of Hypnotherapy is not accurate

Unfortunately, many people associate hypnosis with some form of brainwashing or a person bringing another person under their control. This is mainly due to how hypnosis is portrayed in the media.

In reality, Hypnotherapy is a very calm procedure that involves a person being treated for a mental health condition, rather than being used as some sort of weapon against an enemy.

Hypnotherapy has also been criticised by some individuals in the psychiatric industry, with some even suggesting hypnotherapy is a form of pseudoscience [2].

4. However, hypnosis is poorly regulated

Just as an added note to the above, it is important to state that Hypnotherapy is poorly regulated – with practically anyone capable of claiming to be qualified to conduct hypnosis. But it is crucial to only select a qualified hypnotist that has good experience and reviews.

While unlikely, there is always the possibility that someone with a hidden agenda could be masquerading as a specialist in hypnosis – with brainwashing possible.

A person also needs to be brought out of hypnosis in a careful way, which an amateur may not know how to do.

5. Hypnotherapy can open doors for further treatments

While hypnotherapy can be an excellent form of treatment for mental health conditions in its own right – it can also pave the way for further treatment.

For instance, if a person had been feeling low or depressed for some time but didn’t know why, hypnotherapy can help to bring to light what is causing the issues. The therapist may then believe that those particular issues can be treated through a different type of therapy.

In this sense, hypnotherapy can act as a conduit – as it helps to direct a person into a form of therapy that can be highly-suitable for them.

Hypnotherapy is always conducted on a 1-to-1 basis

6. Hypnotherapy takes time to work

While hypnotherapy isn’t typically a type of therapy that would need to take place over several months in order to work, it is still a gradual process – and not something that can be fixed overnight.

Expect sessions to take place for a few weeks, as this is how long it can take to get to the root of the problems facing a patient. This form of therapy will only end when the patient believes their symptoms have been relieved.

7. Hypnotherapy isn’t always suitable

While hynotherapy can treat many conditions, it is important to state that hypnotherapy isn’t always suitable. When a person is going through a psychotic episode, hypnotherapy can actually worsen their condition.

But if a person is in a mental health crisis, hypnotherapy can help them to calm down and stabilise their mind. But as mentioned above, it isn’t something that can help in every situation under the sun.

8. Hypnotherapy requires a strong patient-therapist bond

Many people are concerned about what they might say while they are hypnotised. As a result, they may try to resist hypnosis a bit – which can have a negative impact on success levels of hypnotherapy.

But it is important to note that what is said will always be kept between the patient and the therapist. The therapist won’t judge the patient. Instead, they are there to try and work effectively with their patient to find a solution to the problems that are facing the patient.

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[1] Shakibaei, F., Harandi, A., Gholamrezaei, A., Samoei, R. & Salehi, P. (2008). Hypnotherapy in Management of Pain and Reexperiencing of Trauma in Burn Patients. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 26 (2), p185-197.

[2] Hilgard, E. R. (1971). Hypnotic Phenomena: The Struggle for Scientific Acceptance: Modern experiments are bringing hypnotic phenomena out of the fringe area of pseudoscience into the domain of normal psychological science. American Scientist. 59 (5), p567-577.