Hypnotherapy emphasizes the use of naturally induced altered states of consciousness, combined with the skillful use of suggestion, to assist individuals to make therapeutic changes. The notion that hypnotherapy involves simply suggesting away symptoms is a misconception. The most effective hypnotherapy combines the relational and observational skills of hypnosis with the induction of special trance states and the use of suggestion to facilitate meaningful psychological change.
Hypnotherapy emphasizes the use of naturally induced altered states of consciousness (trance states), combined with the skillful use of suggestion, to assist individuals to make therapeutic changes. A common therapeutic application of hypnosis, for instance, is to facilitate the recall and resolution of traumatic events that have been “repressed” by creating a dissociated state in which the patient can perceive the event without having to consciously relive any emotional or physical pain. A basic goal of hypnotherapy is to involve the cooperation of the patient’s “unconscious mind” in his or her healing process. Rather than viewing the unconscious as a repository of negative experiences or an opponent to the conscious mind, hypnotherapeutic approaches perceive the unconscious mind as benign and ‘all knowing’. It is the limited perspective of the conscious mind that introduces distortions and conflict, leading to emotional and behavioral problems. Decisions and changes made by the unconscious are viewed as more ecological and holistic.
Usually, hypnosis is used in combination with other forms of treatment. Hypnotic techniques, for example, have been successfully applied as part of various medical, psychological, and dental treatments. Uses include the control of acute and chronic pain in situations such as childbirth, skin