A Beginner’s Guide to Hypnotherapy

More and more people are starting to hear about hypnotherapy. However, because of their preconceived notions about it, they might not fully understand how it can help and exactly how it works.

Contrary to the image often portrayed in films, books, and popular media, hypnotherapy doesn’t actually involve a therapist taking control of your mind. Besides, you have to take note that nobody can hypnotize you against your will and no one can make you do something you don’t want to. The reason behind this is that your subconscious mind will reject any suggestion that’s inappropriate for you and you’re always in control.

If you want to know more about hypnotherapy, make sure to read this guide.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is basically a method used by professional hypnotherapists to induce you into an altered state of consciousness that’s different from your daily awareness.

The process of hypnosis creates a state of deep relaxation and may help to concentrate your mind on specific thoughts, sensations, feelings, or memories while blocking out some distractions. Hypnosis can also make people more open than usual to various suggestions and this may be used to change behaviors and improve well-being and health.

Being in a hypnotic trance offers a relaxing experience, but you can still be aware of the physical sensations around you. The experience of being hypnotized is similar to being in a daydream. Depending on the therapeutic method you’ve agreed to beforehand, hypnotherapists will put you in a deep trance or light trance.

What to Expect in a Hypnotherapy Session

If you’ve decided to try hypnotherapy, having a clear idea of what will happen with all your sessions can be beneficial. It’s crucial to note that sessions with hypnotherapists can differ from each other significantly, as their approach will vary depending on one’s circumstances.

Regardless of their treatment approach, hypnotherapists will usually start with a consultation. It’s where you can express with your therapist what you’re hoping to achieve with hypnotherapy and they’ll explain how they can help you. For instance, you can discuss your desire to overcome or manage anxiety. You can also discuss the number of sessions you’ll require and ask some questions you might have regarding the process.

Once you’re done asking questions, the hypnotherapist will lead you into a state of deep relaxation. The process starts once you’re in the hypnosis state. This is where various approaches and techniques will be used to help you attain your goal. Once it’s complete, you’ll be brought out of your trance. Then, you can ask more questions and discuss the summary of the entire session or progress made.

How Hypnotherapy Can Benefit You?

Hypnotherapy can be used to help with a wide range of health concerns. Any problem that might have roots in the way you behave and think can be addressed. With that said, there are conditions that can’t be helped using hypnotherapy, which includes personality disorders and psychosis.

The most popular way hypnotherapy can help is by changing habits, which helps ease anxiety and other stress-related conditions. Below are some of the common problems that can be addressed using hypnotherapy:

  1. Stress-Related Conditions

Stress affects everyone, both mentally and physically. Hypnotherapy for stress provides a much healthier alternative as it changes a person’s negative responses to stress. Aside from helping with stress directly, hypnotherapy can help with some stress-related conditions like sleep problems and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Insomnia – Stress may often result in sleeping problems and can result in insomnia. When you have sleeping problems, the cycle of worrying about sleep and the experience of sleeplessness can develop into an unhealthy pattern in one’s subconscious. This is where hypnotherapy comes in; it allows you to address the subconscious and change the thought patterns to help you experience a good night’s sleep.
  • IBS – The link between the brain and the digestive system is now more apparent than ever. For instance, IBS may be caused by stress. By easing stress, the symptoms of IBS can be reduced. You can consider the influence of hypnotherapy in managing your stress to help you to deal with IBS.
  1. Changing Habits

Habits are hard to change with your willpower alone because they’re hardwired in your subconscious. If you have behaviors or habits you want to alter, hypnotherapy can support you. This approach works by suggesting more positive behaviors and healthier reactions to life events. Often, hypnotherapy is used by those who want to change their eating and smoking habits.

  • Quitting Smoking – There are various methods you can try to stop smoking. From considering nicotine replacement therapy to going cold turkey, you’ll be able to quit smoking gradually. Hypnotherapy can also be a good complement to these. The primary goal of hypnotherapy is to break all the thinking patterns that are linked to smoking.

With hypnosis, your unconscious can generate alternative positive behaviors that you’ll carry out automatically. In effect, your hypnosis session will reprogram your unconscious mind to produce the same intentions that you’ve associated with cigarette smoking but in healthier ways.

  • Eating Habits – If you’re not happy with your eating habits, hypnotherapy can be of great help. Most people have a complicated relationship with food and often turn to it as a source of comfort. Once this relationship becomes unhealthy, hypnotherapy may help you with weight management by letting you embrace healthy and positive changes.
  1. Anxiety-Related Conditions

Another way hypnotherapy can benefit you is with its effect in managing anxiety or any condition related to it. These positive changes work by encouraging new responses and relaxation to specific stressors. In some cases, this approach can reach parts of the mind that some therapies can’t.

  • Phobias – Generally, a phobia exists in one’s subconscious, which makes hypnotherapy an ideal method to approach irrational fears. Your sessions may include exploring what caused your phobia and providing positive suggestions to change how you feel and think about the phobias in question.
  • Anxiety – Hypnotherapy works well for anxiety, depending on the triggering factors. Most hypnotherapists find relaxation useful in helping a person go into a trance state. Typically, the process works like a mental massage and eases your anxiety.


Hypnotherapy may not be the best approach for everybody, but its potential health benefits make it worth exploring. Just make sure to work with the most reliable hypnotherapist in your area. When looking for a hypnotherapist, getting recommendations from friends and family is a perfect place to start. You can also check with a naturopath, therapist, acupuncturist, or integrative physician for recommendations.