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Clinical Hypnotherapy Training tutor Robert Shields      Hi, Robert Shields here writing to you from the U.K.


What is Hypnotherapy

A simple explanation on the uses and application of Hypnotherapy

A common misconception in the general public's eyes is that Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis are the same.

Let me say this emphatically, Hypnotherapy is not Hypnosis!

What is Hypnotherapy:

Simply explained it is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis as part of its tools to achieve a successful conclusion to an applied therapy, usually a form of counselling or psychotherapy.

Hypnotherapy, How it is used and applied:

A visit to a Hypnotherapist will almost always start with a consultation session when the Hypnotherapist will ask questions to ascertain what the presenting symptom to the problem is and to learn the personal details of the client.  The Hypnotherapist will begin by assuming that the presenting symptom is not necessarily the cause of the problem to be resolved.

During this consultation, the Hypnotherapist will also ask additional questions to be sure that should he/she decide to use hypnosis, that it will be safe.   For example, the therapist will always ask about past and present medical backgrounds and drug usage.  There are certain modern drugs that are not conducive to effective hypnosis, such as major psychotic drugs.

During the initial consultation the Hypnotherapist will decide on the best procedure to start with towards resolving the client's problem.  He can use various techniques to establish whether the therapy should be a talking therapy, known as counselling, or the use of hypnosis alone or both.   He may or may not do this during the first session, but whenever it is done, the outcome will be the same.   

As you can see, a Hypnotherapist has a number of tools available to him to help resolve a client's problems, including psychotherapy techniques and even behavioural methods.  However, counselling techniques can be slow to reach a satisfactory conclusion and therefore, most Hypnotherapists will use hypnosis, if appropriate, to resolve problems quickly.

An example could be that a client has a relationship problem that only needs to be talked through to a sympathetic ear.  Using hypnosis would not be necessary.  However, if the client also has an anger issue, it may be helpful to use hypnosis to control the anger.

Another example could be a client who wants to break or give up a habit or phobia.  After discussing the problem and using techniques to ensure the correct approach to using hypnosis, the client may be offered purely hypnosis to resolve the problem.  

The above examples could be combined in cases where counselling is given and hypnosis used to reinforce the counselling.

In conclusion:

What is Hypnotherapy?  It is the use of counselling techniques following certain psychotherapy guidelines that the Hypnotherapist will have studied and qualified in. 

Or it could be using hypnosis to produce a relaxed and receptive state of mind when beneficial suggestions can be given to a client.  Or, it can be a combination of the two.

As I have said, Hypnotherapy is not the same as hypnosis.  Anyone can hypnotise as it is mostly a mechanical process.  Stage hypnotists, for example, are just ordinary people who prefer the highlights and exposure to people who sometimes see them as extraordinary.   However, a Hypnotherapist always has the client's welfare at heart and  uses hypnosis as one of the many tools to his trade and has learned how to use hypnosis to benefit a client, not to make him or her look foolish on a stage.

I hope the above has helped you to understand a little better what Hypnotherapy really is.


More articles are being added periodically so please book mark this site and return to it later.

Thank you for visiting,

Robert Shields 

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