Hypnosis elicits and makes use of the experience of inner absorption, concentration, and focused attention. When our minds are concentrated and focused in this way, we are able to make use of the power of our minds to bring about change. Using hypnosis and self-hypnosis can allow people to have increased control over their behaviors, thoughts, emotional responses, and even physiological responses and physical health. Recent research supports the view that hypnotic communication and suggestions effectively change aspects of the person’s physiological and neurological functions.
Practitioners use clinical hypnosis in three main ways. First, they encourage the use of imagination. Mental imagery is very powerful, especially in a focused state of attention. The mind seems capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining. A second basic hypnotic method is to present ideas or suggestions to the patient. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with the individual’s goals seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind and body, and are therefore more readily translated into desired changes. Finally, hypnosis may be used for unconscious exploration, to better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. Hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often interferes with the discovery and ability to make use of new possibilities.
Most hypnotic processes can be accomplished in a light to medium state of trance, where the patient or client has a clear memory of what was said and done. You will not become unconscious and you will be aware of everything at all times. Your will is not weakened in any way. You are in control and cannot be made to do anything against your will. You will not begin to reveal information you wish to keep secret.
Uses of Hypnosis in Psychotherapy:
– Anxiety and stress management
– Alcoholism and addiction treatment
– Controlling habit/behavioral disorders, such as trichotillomania
– Performance enhancement for athletes, and concentration skills for test anxiety and learning disorders
– Obesity and weight control
– Sexual dysfunction
– Sleep disorders
– Smoking cessation
– Victims of physical and sexual abuse
– Self-esteem/ego strengthening
Medical Applications of Hypnosis
– Gastrointestinal disorders (ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s Disease)
– Dermatologic disorders (eczema, herpes, neurodermatitis, pruritus [itching], psoriasis, warts)
– Pain (back pain, cancer pain, dental anesthesia, headaches and migraines, arthritis, or rheumatism)