Hypnosis therapy is effective for treating depression, targeted behaviors (such as smoking and overeating), anxious feelings, fears, testing anxiety, and sleep issues. Traditional hypnotherapy is a therapeutic approach that offers individuals greater focus and increased concentration. This deep state of concentration allows the individual in the hypnotic state to move past the negative critic in their mind to allow suggestions and direction to make positive changes. Hypnosis is not as often fictionally portrayed in films, television series, or even books. A therapist will not be able to make their client do anything against their will. In all forms of hypnosis, a client has pre-approved goals and desires that will be enhanced using a hypnotic state. Hypnotherapy has a few different approaches, including Ericksonian, cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, and regression.
Examples of the different approaches to hypnosis therapy include:
- Ericksonian hypnotherapy is named after the individual considered the ‘father of hypnotherapy.’ This form of hypnosis uses more of a story-telling process, providing an indirect approach to suggestions to help the client understand why they are experiencing a particular issue.
- Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy uses the techniques common to cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with hypnotherapy techniques to create positive change in the individual’s targeted maladaptive behavior.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy focuses on the client’s current problematic issue. This technique relies more prominently on problem-solving and goal setting.
- Regression hypnotherapy involves uncovering past experiences that might be the source(s) of current issues. This form of hypnotherapy is a more focused and in-depth exploration into the root causes underlying current behavior that might be maladaptive and in need of readjustment.
Using any form of hypnosis, the client puts their mind and body into a heightened state of learning, which will provide the client with the opportunity to be more suggestible to self-improvement or behavior modification. In a hypnotherapy session, the client is in control the whole time, and they will hear the suggestions made to them and be able to remember them later after the session has concluded. These suggestions will come from goals the client establishes with their therapist before entering the hypnosis state. The client and their therapist will decide together if hypnosis is the right tool for the client.