Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a sustained trance-like state in which the individual experiences focused concentration and attention. Clinical hypnosis is used by trained healthcare professionals to help individuals manage a variety of physical and psychological problems. During clinical hypnosis, the individual typically feels calm and relaxed and is open to helpful suggestions. Hypnotherapy can help the individual better cope with stress, anxiety or pain. Hypnosis can be used to help the individual gain control over unwanted behaviors and, contrary to some beliefs, does not involve a loss of control over thoughts or behaviors.

Clinical hypnosis has been helpful in treating:

  • Medical conditions such as chronic pain and nausea
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, stress,
  • Unhealthy behaviors such as insomnia, smoking, overeating

The effectiveness of hypnosis appears to lie in the way in which it bypasses critical observations and interference from the individual’s conscious mind and allows identified intentions for change to take effect.

The American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) maintains that hypnosis will be optimally effective when:
1) the individual is highly motivated to overcome an identified problem and 2) when the practitioner is well trained in hypnosis and familiar with the evidence-based treatments that can also address the presenting problem.

Although hypnosis may not be right for everyone, it provides the individual with an opportunity to explore his/her/their unconscious potential to create a receptive state that allows the individual to discover ways to achieve personal goals.