Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique that allows the client to open their mind to creating change. Hypnosis begins with an induction to prepare the client’s responsiveness to the following suggestions from the therapist. There are several different types of inductions including relaxation, eye fixation on an object, and flashing lights. The induction prompts the client to enter a state of mind where they are more accepting of the therapist’s suggestions to focus their attention on changing their sensations, thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors.1 This mental state has been compared to that of daydreaming and during this mental state, the client maintains full control over their behaviors and their response to suggestions.2
Historically, hypnosis was used for the reduction of pain,3 however, data also supports the use of hypnosis with other psychological disorders such as anxiety related disorders, depression, eating disorders, and self-esteem difficulties. Furthermore, hypnosis has been empirically supported in assisting with health related issues, smoking cessation, and obesity.
Hypnosis may help with the following:
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Lynn, S.J., Rhue, J.W., & Kirsch, I., (2010). Handbook of clinical Hypnosis. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
Lynn, S.J., Rhue, J.W., & Weekes, J. R. (1990). Hypnotic involuntariness: A social-cognitive analysis. Psychological Review, 97, 169-184.
Paterson, D., & Jensen, M. (2003). Hypnosis and clinical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 495-521.