Hypnotherapy is the utilization of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. It can be a very useful method to deal with phobias, anxiety conditions, stress-reduction, affect regulation, smoking cessation, weight reduction and other psychological conditions. It is also used for a number of medical conditions including insomnia, hypertension, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and chronic pain.

The best way to convey its essence is to think of it as “a state of inner absorption, of concentration and of highly focused attention. This altered state of consciousness is like using a magnifying glass in the sun. When the rays of the sun are focused, they are very powerful. When our minds are very focused we are able to use more of our potential.” (Hammond. 1992)

You may have some concerns about hypnotherapy as a result of misinformation and myths. Some people worry that it involves a loss of control. This is one example of the kind of misinformation that is widespread. In fact, all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. The hypnotherapist’s role is to facilitate and guide this process. One cannot be hypnotized unless they are willing to be.

Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for calm and well-being. The majority of people describe the experience of hypnosis as very pleasant. Hypnosis is not a type of therapy, but a procedure that can be used to facilitate therapy. Hypnosis should be used as an adjunct to treatment with a qualified health-care professional who is trained in the use and limitations of clinical hypnosis.