Founder, Description, Philosophy

Hypnotherapy is the use of guided hypnosis in a therapeutic setting. Hypnosis is a state of relaxed inner concentration and focused attention that can be experienced as a more passive or trance-like state that can facilitate greater connection between the conscious and unconscious mind. The premise is to focus attention on a specific event or specific behaviours to help the client be able to make change or regain control in problem areas of their life. Hypnotherapy is typically used along with other forms of therapy and is rarely used completely on its own. Hypnosis is not considered a type of therapy or treatment. It is generally considered  a therapeutic technique that can facilitate other forms of therapy. Several prominent names in the history of the development of the technique include Émile Coué, Clark Hull, Dave Elman, Milton Erickson, Joseph Wolpe, and Albert EllisWhat does this approach look like in practice? i.e. What is the focus in this type of therapy (family of origin, current situation, thoughts, feelings, observing self and actions). What are the types of interventions?

What type of problems is this approach used to treat and what populations can it serve?

Hypnotherapy is often used with people who wish to stop certain habits like smoking but can also be used for depression, anxiety, phobias, gastrointestinal disorders, weight loss, pain management, and other health problems. Hypnosis does not work for everyone however, a person’s ability to respond to hypnosis depends on fears or concerns that come from certain misconceptions. People who are hypnotized do remain aware of who they are, what they are, where they are, and what transpired during the hypnosis.

What does this approach look like in practice? What are some types of interventions?

Hypnotherapy is done by a trained clinical hypnotherapist. Different forms of hypnosis exist. However it is typically done in a quiet, calm, environment. The therapist will guide the client into a relaxed state and ask them to envision experiences and to think about positive ways that can help them to begin to change the way they think and behave. The therapist will make suggestions about what to think about or what to focus on however the client chooses whether they will act on those suggestions or not.



American Psychological Association

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