A hypnotic state is a state of deep relaxation with focused attention and is thought to be an altered state of consciousness characterised by increased suggestibility.
A hypnotic state is a natural phenomenon, which occurs when the brain is in a quiet, receptive state, such as for example when daydreaming, reading a book, watching a movie or listening to music. People enter into a hypnotic state naturally when they become so engaged in an activity that they become oblivious to what’s going on around them.
Clinical hypnotherapy is a form of therapy which purposefully induces a hypnotic state to facilitate achieving therapeutic goals. Once a person has achieved a hypnotic state, the therapist uses many different therapeutic methods ranging from simple suggestions to more complex psychological approaches. It is important to remember that although hypnosis can be a very useful tool in overcoming simple problems, the treatment of more complex behavioural patterns, such as for example depression, eating disorders or panic disorders, can require more complex therapeutic approaches combined with psychological homework.
There are many misconceptions and myths about hypnosis and hypnotherapy, but the most important thing to remember is that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and that nobody can ever be hypnotised against their will. Even during a hypnotic state, people still remain in complete control, and they can accept or refuse a given suggestion. Just as a person cannot be forced to do anything against their own will, neither can that person be made to relinquish their own judgements or moral codes.
Clinical hypnotherapy is used for therapeutic purposes only and is absolutely safe if used by a qualified clinical professional.
There is vast scientific evidence that hypnotic procedures are very beneficial in the treatment and management of a wide range of conditions and problems including anxiety, phobia, trauma, tension, stress, reduction of acute and chronic pain and alleviating the symptoms of a range of complaints, which fall under the heading of psychosomatic illness. These include headaches and migraines, asthma and irritable bowel syndrome.
There is also evidence that inclusion of hypnotic techniques in a weight reduction programme, in overcoming bad habits such as smoking or procrastination, improvement of personal performance and increasing confidence significantly enhances the outcome of treatment.
Clinical hypnotherapy significantly reduces time necessary for recovery and is probably one of the most pleasant therapeutic approaches.