How Does Hypnotherapy Work

Various forms of hypnotherapy have been employed for thousands of years. The word hypnosis comes from the Greek “hypnos” or “sleep.” The form of hypnotherapy commonly practiced today is often credited to Austro-German physician Franz Anton Mesmer, whose name inspired the term “mesmerize.”

What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is an artificially induced, sleep-like state of consciousness. Hypnosis causes a patient to become both open and impressionable to emotional or behavioral suggestions. When you are hypnotized, you are more susceptible to suggestion–interaction with a hypnotherapist usually centers around this semi-conscious state of vulnerability. An exchange of behavioral information serves to improve the patient’s health.

Although you are semi-conscious in a trance, your senses are actually heightened. Your cognitive abilities are in no way compromised when you’re in this state.

What Happens While You’re Under Hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy involves a psychiatrist or other mental-health professional putting a patient into a deep state of relaxation. During this state, practitioners of hypnotherapy believe the mind is more open and impressionable. Hypnotherapists may utilize different techniques to achieve hypnosis, but most follow similar practices.

If you choose to undergo hypnotherapy, the hypnotherapist will first establish what’s troubling you through conversation. After the problem is revealed, the hypnosis will begin. Hypnosis will put you in a trance, a heightened state of awareness, in order to focus your attention acutely, so you temporarily block out everything else going on around you.

While you’re in a trance state, the hypnotherapist will speak to you. The goal of the exchange is to reshape your opinions and habits as they relate to a specific problem. Once the hypnotherapist feels you have sufficiently comprehended the advice given, he will break your trance.

What is Hypnotherapy’s Purpose?
Hypnosis is commonly used for two purposes–analysis and suggestion therapy.

  • Analysis: Mental health professionals may use hypnosis to unearth a repressed or forgotten memory of a traumatic. This helps in finding the root cause of a disorder, allowing the patient to address it through psychotherapy.
  • Suggestion therapy: People are more likely to respond to suggestions in a hypnotic state, helping them to break certain habits, such as smoking, or alleviating their perception of pain.
  • Before you begin hypnotherapy, you might wonder what to expect on your first hypnosis.