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What is Hypnotherapy? A Journey from Ancient Mystique to Modern Marvel…


What is Hypnotherapy?


Hypnotherapy is a fascinating field that has intrigued people through the ages (it’s the oldest form of talking therapy, started in 1770!), and unknown to some, there are different ‘schools’ of hypnotherapy training and therefore very different approaches that can be experienced by the client.

Although each approach can alter from school to school, and even from therapist to therapist, most hypnotherapists will be offering the same overarching goal to their clients…



Change is generally a key fundamental across all therapies (rarely do people come to stay the same after all), but most people looking to take hypnotherapy sessions specifically are looking to alter a pattern of behaviour or to change a way of thinking.

Sometimes, for those without an immediate concern to attend to, a need to move on from a stuck place may well be what someone is looking for, and often, the search for a more balanced life can be front and centre of someone’s needs as they search for a greater meaning of their future.


The Stress of Modern Living

As we all know, modern life can be quite a challenging prospect.

The seemingly constant demands of work, a home life, significant relationships, children etc. can be plenty enough to drive the stress levels sky high. Then add in future career thoughts, ill parents, break ups, and rising costs of food and fuel too and in no time you can quickly see how that fight/flight mechanism built within all of us starts to get a little, well, ‘over-active’ shall we say.

It’s often at these times when stress is particularly high, and when our own stress management and self care routines begin to slip, we start to put our own health, both emotional and physical, on the back bench.

Symptoms of low health start to creep in, and with less and less time to address these personal issues, we understandably begin to reach for those vices such as food, or sometimes alcohol, to give us that happy little short-term high, or that much-needed break from thinking about our problems, to get us through the day.

But as much as the sense of immediate relief these vices often give, long term the cracks begin to show, and problems just do not want to go away.

At these times, seeking out some professional assistance can be a solid way to steady the ship, and hypnotherapy sessions can often help someone begin to re-align directions and aims towards more positive and progressive outcomes.



what is hypnotherapy?



Hypnosis For Reducing Unwanted Symptoms 

Hypnotherapy is a combination of a therapeutic approach alongside the use of hypnosis, to bring about positive changes to someone’s emotional and physical day-to-day. The therapeutic approach can be any ‘type’ of therapy such as CBT or Solution Focused Therapy, and hypnosis is then used in conjunction with these therapeutic sessions to accelerate the changes someone is working through with their chosen professional.


The aim?

Well, often someone’s first aim is to reduce the negative feelings associated with a stressful life, such as the want to feel less anxiety, to move forward from a depressed state, or being able to reduce feelings of anger in order to live an improved life.


Other needs that clients may want to see improvements in can be

  • a reduction of fear/phobic responses
  • to dissolve stressful overthinking
  • calming of a heightened state of worry
  • a lift in mood from a prolonged feeling of sadness
  • an increase in motivation and enthusiasm
  • improved sleep patterns
  • more energy/less fatigue

to name just a few.


Types of Hypnotherapy

These are some of the diverse approaches within the field of hypnotherapy, each tailored to address different issues and preferences of clients


  • Clinical Hypnotherapy: This type of hypnotherapy is used to address various psychological and emotional issues, such as anxiety, phobias, and trauma. Clinical hypnotherapists state that this approach involves deep relaxation and suggestion to bring about positive changes in behaviour and thinking.


  • Hypno-psychotherapy: This is an integrative approach, where hypnosis is used alongside another branch of psychotherapy (such as psychodynamic, Humanist, Gestalt or mindfulness). Professionals who offer this form of therapy will have training in both hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. Hypno-psychotherapy can be used to look at more deep-seated issues and may be helpful for those who feel they would benefit from more intensive work.


  • Ericksonian Hypnotherapy: Named after Milton H. Erickson, this approach states it uses indirect and conversational techniques to communicate with the subconscious mind. Practitioners consider this approach is particularly effective for individuals who may resist traditional hypnosis.


  • Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: This form of hypnotherapy focuses on the here and now, looking at your current situation and how you would like your future to look. Solution-focused hypnotherapy is client-centred, meaning that you take the lead in your sessions with your hypnotherapist guiding you. It help you focus on your existing strengths, assists you to build upon them, and utilises already inherent abilities within you to create manageable, achievable solutions to concerns


  • Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH): CBH combines hypnosis with cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques. It helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours, making it effective for a wide range of issues.


  • Analytical Hypnotherapy: Also known as hypnoanalysis, practitioners of this approach state that they delve into the root causes of psychological issues by exploring the subconscious mind. It seeks to uncover and resolve deep-seated emotional conflicts.


  • Behavioural Hypnotherapy: Behavioural hypnotherapy focuses on modifying and improving behaviours, such as breaking addictions or enhancing performance. Practitioners consider the use of suggestion and reinforcement techniques help client achieve what they want.


  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): While not strictly hypnotherapy, NLP techniques are often used alongside hypnosis to address issues by changing thought patterns and behaviours. It emphasises language and communication.



Does Hypnosis Help with Anxiety?

Anxiety is a common concern that affects many individuals, impacting their quality of life.

Hypnotherapy has shown great promise in helping individuals achieve a state of relaxation and reduce the flight-or-fight response associated with anxiety. and through guided hypnosis sessions, a skilled hypnotherapist can help individuals access their inner resources, and to help someone engage in their natural ability to promote a sense of internal calm.

Through the therapy taken with hypnosis, someone can learn more about their existing skills and strengths and can learn to grow and build on these already established foundations to improve their coping mechanisms.

Hypnotherapy also helps with concerns such as health anxiety and social anxiety. It can free you from the clutches of obsessional thinking and catastrophising, allowing you to think less about fears of your health or other’s health, beyond necessary levels of attention, and it can help calm your worries in regards to being outside in open spaces, communicating comfortably with others, and allowing you to enjoy once-loved social interactions with friends, colleagues and within your significant relationships.


what is hypnotherapy

How Powerful is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy’s strength lies in its ability to stimulate neuroplasticity – the brain’s capacity to reorganise itself and form new connections.

By tapping into the mind’s ability to laser-like focus on preferred outcomes, and engaging the brain’s natural way to change and adapt, hypnotherapy can facilitate natural behavioural adjustments.

Solution Focused Therapy helps a client towards a better understanding of what their existing strengths are, how realistically they would like life to be beyond therapy, and through discussion, gain a greater understanding of their existing abilities to create achievable, preferred outcomes.

It empowers individuals to develop healthier patterns of thought, speech and behaviour, and encourages people to move beyond their current state.

Hypnosis then accelerates the learning, allowing the mind to establish someone’s new ideas and directions in a more concentrated way.

The strength of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy lies in its light, yet concentrated way of formulating a clear, simple, and achievable plan through focused conversation, and making that wish and drive more concrete through the use of hypnosis.


What are Examples of Hypnotherapy Outcomes?

Hypnotherapy offers a range of practical applications that can significantly impact everyday living.

  • Day-to-Day Relaxation:

Hypnotherapy sessions can teach individuals how to achieve deep relaxation and practice mindfulness, fostering a sense of calm, and can help someone learn how to reduce stress in their life.

  • Flight-or-Fight Response Reduction:

Hypnotherapy can help individuals reframe their responses to stressors, enabling them to manage the fight-or-flight response more effectively.

  • Stress, Anger and Tension Management:

Through targeted hypnotherapy techniques, individuals can gain a better understanding and control over their emotions, leading to improved balance and regulation of worry, fear and concern.




Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool that can positively influence someone’s life by harnessing the potential of hypnosis and promoting neuroplasticity (brain change).

By improving relaxation, reducing the flight/fight response, and by engaging skills to deal with stress, anxiety, depression and anger management, hypnotherapy offers valuable solutions for everyday challenges.





Helpful Links:


UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations

TIME Magazine – How Hypnosis Works

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