by Steven Harold
Hypnosis or trance is something all of us experience naturally every day of our lives. Examples are daydreaming, or when watching TV, and even during periods of driving a car along a motorway. Hypnotherapy is the deliberate intention of guiding a person into hypnosis (trance) and the use of that state of hypnosis in a therapeutic way.
There are generally two main types of hypnotherapy.
1) Suggestion Hypnotherapy
This type of hypnotherapy uses the power of suggestion, whether that is direct suggestion (eg. you will stop smoking now) or indirect suggestion (eg. suggestions in the form of metaphors and stories).
i) Can be very powerful and effective for unhealthy habits such as smoking, weight, nail-biting etc
ii) Can be very quick. Usually requires 1 to 2 sessions
iii) Takes advantage of the client’s perceived idea of the power of the stage hypnotist
i) Symptoms may return if similar conditions are experienced by the client that started the original issue
2) Analytical Hypnotherapy (hypnoanalysis)
This type of hypnotherapy delves into the causes of the client’s issue. It helps to find the original experience or experiences that led to the formation of the issue and then uses various techniques to help release the issue. Physical issues such as pain, eczema, hay fever as well as emotional issues and more may be relieved using an analytical approach.
i) Issues or symptoms are less likely to return as the original cause has been addressed
ii) May also release other connected issues
iii) The power of suggestion hypnotherapy can be utilised as part of the total approach
iv) Often leads to increased self-understanding and a better relationship with oneself
i) The number of sessions required is typically more than for suggestion hypnotherapy and may be circa 8 or more.
Some schools of hypnotherapy have distinguished their approach to applying hypnotherapy in a particular way with specific label. For example a hypnotherapist may state that they are a regression hypnotherapist. This simply refers to the guidance of a client back into their personal history with the intention of addressing past possibly disturbing experience. All hypnotherapy, possibly with the exception of Suggestion Hypnotherapy, may include regression and it would often be part of an analytical hypnotherapy series of sessions.
Other schools have produced a specific structure to sessions that they encourage their graduates to follow. An example is 5-path hypnotherapy. This has 5 phases that lead to the resolution of the client’s issue. Typically 5 to 8 sessions are required.
All hypnotherapy has the same aim. Their intention is to make changes in the most powerful part of the mind; the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is considered to be the weaker part of the mind. The urges, instincts, habits and behaviours that an individual exhibits come from the subconscious and although conscious intervention and intention can help, sometimes a powerful intervention such as hypnotherapy is required to make that change in the subconscious mind.
Steven A. Harold