Hypnosis is a changed state of awareness achieved without pharmaceuticals in which the participant can focus in a way deeper than usual. The person undergoing hypnosis is still aware but is also more open to suggestion. This can be used to create positive results in someone’s quality of life. 

How hypnosis works isn’t fully understood, but it has been used in various forms for various purposes for hundreds of years. In 1843, Dr. James Braid, a Scottish surgeon, dubbed the procedure “hypnosis,” as it had gone by many names depending on who one asked. 

Hypnotherapy, like many other methods of mental health treatment, relies on the principle of neuroplasticity, which is, boiled down, the way in which the brain changes itself. One of the most fascinating aspects of the human brain is that it can talk to itself and decide to make changes in how it operates. Cognitive behavioral therapy operates this way too. 

Some primary issues hypnotherapy is used to treat include: 

Anxiety disorders 

Persistent nausea 


Eating disorders 

Panic attacks 



Sexual dysfunction 


During a hypnotherapy appointment, the hypnotherapist guides the patient into a deep state of serenity and focus. Hypnotherapists are trained and certified to safely and effectively help the patient induce hypnosis and guide them using methods like verbal cues and imagery. While in the state of hypnosis, the patient is able to reach parts of their minds more easily without distraction. 

Here are some goals of hypnotherapy: 

To help the patient center themselves when they desire 

To discover the stimuli behind certain reactions and coping mechanisms 

To be open to guided suggestion 

To be able to identify where certain beliefs come from 

To be able to identify where certain fears come from 

To be able to identify where certain motives come from 

A small number of hypnosis patients may feel foggy afterward, but the vast majority remember everything that happened during the session. People also cannot be made to do anything they don’t want to do while under hypnosis. Keeping a journal of their observations may be helpful for the patient as they direct their neuroplasticity. 

While clinical hypnosis is far from a magician’s act, it is not appropriate for everyone. These are some of the difficulties with hypnotherapy: 

Drug use can make hypnosis inadvisable in some cases 

People who suffer from psychosis, particularly hallucinations, should not receive hypnotherapy 

Memory work must be approached with caution 

Talk to your doctor before beginning any mental health treatment. They can give you referrals and other advice, as well as run tests. Medical insurance carriers are divided on hypnotherapy. Some cover it, some do not, others will cover a portion of the treatment. Hypnotherapy is not used as the sole treatment for the patient, but in conjunction with other means including medication and help from a psychiatrist. 

To ask questions and make appointments, write to us on our website or call us at (585) 442-6960.