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Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. At no other time is a person so relaxed and simultaneously so highly focused. In this state, the subconcious mind is much more accessable and available for making positive changes.


How Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis is a useful aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy), because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds. 

Hypnosis can be used in various ways, as suggestion or resource-oriented therapy or for patient analysis.

Suggestion therapy: The hypnotic state makes the person better able to respond to suggestions. Therefore, hypnotherapy can help some people change certain behaviors, such as stopping smoking or nail biting. Hypnotic suggestions are also useful in gaining self confidence and improving self-esteem.

Resource-oriented therapy: Resource-oriented therapy uses the resources already available in the client to approach problems with a new perspective. Often metaphors are used to bring awareness to these resources.

Analysis: This approach uses the relaxed state to explore the psychological root cause of a disorder or symptom, such as a traumatic past event that a person has hidden in their unconscious memory. Once the trauma is revealed, it can be addressed and released.

What Are the Benefits of Hypnosis?

The hypnotic state can be used to improve the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:

Hypnosis also might be used to help with pain control and to overcome habits, such as smoking or overeating. It also might be helpful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.


What Are the Drawbacks of Hypnosis?

"Hypnosis might not be appropriate for a person who has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, or for someone who is using drugs or alcohol. It should be used for pain control only after a doctor has evaluated the person for any physical disorder that might require medical or surgical treatment. Hypnosis also may be a less effective form of therapy than other more traditional treatments, such as medication, for psychiatric disorders.

Is Hypnosis Dangerous?

Hypnosis is not a dangerous procedure. It is not mind control or brainwashing. A therapist cannot make a person do something embarrassing or that the person doesn't want to do."

Hypnotherapy - Hypnosis - WebMD

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