is a form of therapy
in which the use of hypnotism
constitutes the core of the
treatment, it uses the power
of the mind to help heal physical
as well as emotional problems.
It helps the patient discover
the underlying emotional and
psychological causes to their
Hypnotherapy is particularly
useful in helping people to
deal with stress and anxiety
related conditions such as panic
attacks, phobias, insomnia and
other emotional problems like
depression, lack of confidence
and self esteem, etc.
Hypnotherapy can also help you
change unwelcome habits such
as smoking and nail-biting,
and deal with problems relating
to food and body image. This
is achieved by finding out what
the real problem is and finding
better, more positive ways to
meet your needs
Hypnosis is not a state of sleep
but a state of relaxation varying
from light to deep. Tests have
shown that a person is neither
unconscious, nor asleep. Tests
have shown that a person in
deep hypnosis is in a state
of deep relaxation and engaged
in normal mental activity..
initial task of the therapist
is to establish rapport with
the client. This involves encouraging
the client to talk about his
or her concerns. The therapist
would spend time with the client
first to take a clinical history.
As well as establishing a clinical
record, the discussion contributes
to building trust and confidence
between the therapist and the
client. Feeling safe, comfortable
and secure with the therapist
helps the induction of a hypnotic
length of treatments depends
on the problem or symptom and
the individual's circumstances.
With some people a problem like
nail biting can be successfully
treated in one session. Other
problems such as panic attacks
can take up to 5 or 6 sessions.
the course of the therapy clients
are usually taught self hypnosis
as part of a number of therapeutic
first session usually lasts
one and a half hours with subsequent
sessions between an hour and
an hour and a half.
The roots of medicine by therapy
lie in ancient societies even
earlier than the Ancient Egyptians
and Ancient Indians. Religious
rituals were characterized by
dancing, music, and masked peoples
assuming new identities.
the nineteenth century, healers
like Abbe Faria and practitioners
like Franz Anton Mesmer, Scottish
neurosurgeon James Braid, James
Esdaile, John Elliotson, Ambroise-Auguste
Liébault, Emile Coue,
Jean-Martin Charcot and more
recently Andrew Salter with
his conditioned reflex therapy,
began experimenting with the
principles of what we now understand
research into the prevalent
ailment of 'hysteria' led to
the theory of animal magnetism.
This is comparable to modern-day
stress, or in hysteria's most
extreme examples, appears to
bear similarity to post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD). A contemporary
of Mesmer had claimed to have
discovered a physical force
in all living things (people,
trees, plants and animals) through
which humans would reach the
hysteria state instantly on
contact with a specially "magnetised"
tree or bush. Following an elaborate
ceremony 'magnetising' trees,
sufferers of hysteria or hysterical
nature would touch the tree
and experience something akin
to a fit, after which the hysteria
would usually not recur.
staged an animal magnetism without
having 'magnetised' the trees
to illustrate that the ceremony
was a sham. However, all of
the volunteers for Mesmer's
event had the same effect from
the non-prepared trees. That
is, the very suggestion of animal
magnetism being at work was
enough to create the bodily
then wrote various theses on
this previously unheard-of psychological
effect, later termed [mermerism]
as shorthand for the effect.
In common parlance, we have
since retermed this the Placebo
Effect. (reference outstanding)
Braid was next to develop modern
hypnosis a step further. In
his scientific studies of brain
workings, he became driven to
understand the nature and logistics
of sleep, and specifically dreaming,
in the brain. In his writings
and studies later published
on these findings, Braid referred
to the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos.
As such, the new branch of learning
became known as "neur-hypnology".
Sigmund Freud for the first
15 or so years of his own psychological
treatment in the late 1930s
employed something similar to
hypnosis with his own hysteria
clients, upper-class Viennese
women. This took the form of
the svengali-esque [swinging
watch] technique, to defocus
the eyes before a fully authoritarian
and overt induction.
not all Freud's clients found
this effective, as he later
abandoned the procedure in favor
of his newly developed free
association technique. This
is often viewed as the beginning
of modern [psychotherapy], in
that the patient would be asked
ongoing questions to 'keep them
talking' from which Freud would
then deduce an explanation and
treatment based on his own theories
and frameworks. During such
procedures, various props were
used to allude to the patient's
own psychology and preferences...
including inkspots of undetermined
shape Rorschach test (pronounced
'raw-shock') and [lucid dreaming]
similar to waking hypnotherapy
of the modern day.
he showed a preference for his
own home-made procedures, the
principles of conscious, unconscious,
dream utilisation and refinement
of attention are ongoing themes
throughout the majority of his
work. They also predate what
we nowadays refer to as hypnotherapy,
although the chasm between the
schools of psychotherapy and
hypnotherapy has deepened as
these elements of Freud's format
are left aside in favour of
a more [counselling]-based approach.
H. Erickson, M.D. is considered
one of the most successful modern
hypnotherapists. He has written
many books, journals, and articles,
on the subject, and his accomplishments
are well documented and of divine
interest to those desiring to
learn this profession.
the 1970s, Erickson saw unprecedented
success treating his medical
patients with hypnotic procedures.
He was responsible for an entirely
new branch of hypnotherapy as
we now call it, Ericksonian
hypnotherapy. This was the use
of covert suggestion in normal
conversation, without the formal
"you are feeling sleepy"
authoritarian induction rigamorole
used by Freud. ( with thanks
- by returning to an earlier
ego-state the patient can regain
qualities they once had, but
have lost. Remembering an earlier,
healthier, ego-state can increase
the patients strength and confidence.
- remembering past experiences
can contribute to therapy. For
example; the hypnotist may ask
"have you ever been in
trance?" and then find
it easier to revive the previous
experience than attempt inducing
a new state.
Guided Imagery - a method by
which the subject is given a
new relaxing and beneficial
Parts Therapy -
a method to identify conflicting
parts that are damaging the
well being of clients, then
helps those parts negotiate
with each other through the
therapist to bring about a resolution.
a method developed by Milton
Erickson in which the subject
becomes receptive to ideas because
- the more an idea is repeated
the more likely it is to be
accepted and acted upon by the
- suggesting directly. "You
feel safe and secure".
- using "interspersal"
technique and other means to
- people are more receptive
while relaxed, sleeping, or
in a trance.
- the client recalls moments
from his past, confronting them
and releasing associated emotions,
similar to psychoanalysis.
Post Hypnotic Suggestion
- a suggestion that will be
carried out after the trance
has ended. "When you re-awaken
you will feel refreshed."
Binds or Double binds
- tension on a bind causes trance.
This is like "the centipede
who when asked which comes first,
the left foot or the right,
lost his concentration, stumbled,
then rolled into the ditch".
Binds are very common in hypnosis
and it is essential to know
the capacity of the subject
and to ensure they will concentrate
on the leg that will carry them
through their journey. The duty
of the hypnotist is to concentrate
the subject on their desired
- being told to imagine or visualize
a desired outcome seems to make
it more likely to actually occur.