Hypnotherapy Forms

Many forms of hypnotherapy can help a hypnotherapist reach his client’s subconscious mind. Learn about different types of hypnotherapy, including traditional hypnotherapy, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, age regression hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy.

Traditional Hypnotherapy

Traditional hypnotherapy involves making either direct or indirect suggestions to the subconscious mind. Also known as suggestion hypnotherapy, this method basically instructs patients on what to do. Due to their mental state, these individuals are generally accepting and not overly critical.

Traditional hypnotherapy may be very effective in curbing unhealthy habits, such as smoking and overeating. This type of hypnotherapy may deliver quick results, usually requiring only one or two sessions. However, traditional hypnotherapy may not be effective in the long run and for individuals with complex thinking patterns.

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

In the Ericksonian hypnotherapy method, the hypnotherapist presents suggestions and ideas to the subconscious mind through analogies and metaphors. These stories penetrate the mind, bypassing any barriers presented by the patient’s conscious critical mind and awareness. This form of hypnotherapy delves deep to find the origin of an issue.

Ericksonian hypnotherapy is often successful in resolving physical issues, such as chronic pain, and emotional problems, like phobias. Because of its complexity, the Ericksonian hypnotherapy method may require more sessions than the traditional methods.

Age Regression Hypnosis

In age regression hypnosis, a hypnotherapist recalls a patient’s perceptions and feelings about a specific experience to get to the root of an issue, allowing the patient to reframe his feelings and change the behavior. The purpose of age regression hypnosis is not to relive past events, but to help a patient understand and re-evaluate his behavior and feel better about himself.

Age regression hypnosis is often effective in easing guilt, anger, fear of success and/or failure, self-criticism and self-mutilation. Some people are skeptical of this technique, especially with regard to the validity of the patient’s childhood memories experienced during the hypnosis session. Others, however, stand by this method.

Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy

Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy aims to change rigid ways of thinking that cause recurring issues. This technique focuses on the idea that thoughts create feelings, which result in behaviors, reactions and coping styles. Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy may make patients more aware of distortions in the thought process that lead to emotional or behavioral problems.

By learning how to readjust adverse reactions into positive ones, patients learn to react in a positive manner. This technique may be effective at enhancing stress management, self-awareness, motivation, pain management and overall wellness.

Each form of hypnotherapy varies in effectiveness, based on the patient’s desires and needs. Discuss the various options with your hypnotherapist to find out which form is best for you.


Harold, S. (n.d.). Hypnotherapy: What types of hypnotherapy are there? Retrieved August 11, 2010, from http://www.hypnotherapyarticles.com/ArtG/articleg00015.htm

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