Hypnotherapy (hypnosis) is the use of intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness. Sometimes referred to as a trance. In this naturally occurring state, you can focus your attention on specific thoughts or tasks.

Hypnosis is considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy). The hypnotic state allows you to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from your conscious minds. This is due to the brains defense mechanisms. In addition, hypnosis can helps you to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.

Hypnotherapy uses a relaxed state to explore possible psychological root cause of a disorder or symptom, such as a traumatic past event that a person has hidden in his or her unconscious memory. This allows for integration of a past experience to help promote healing.

The hypnotic state allows you to be more open to discussion and suggestion. It can improve the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:


> Phobias , fears, and anxiety
> Sleep disorders
> Depression
> Stress
> Post-trauma anxiety
> Grief and loss

Hypnosis has been studied for other conditions, including:

> Pain control. Hypnosis may help with pain due to burns, cancer, childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures and headaches.

> Hot flashes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.

> Behavior change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, and overeating.

> Cancer treatment side effects. Hypnosis has been used to ease side effects related to chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

> Mental health conditions. Hypnosis may help treat symptoms of anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress.

What you can expect

We will explain the process of hypnosis and review your treatment goals. Then you will be guided through talk and descriptive imagery to create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.

When you’re relaxed and in a receptive state, suggestion will be made for ways for you to achieve your goals. You may also be helped through visualizing vivid, meaningful mental images of yourself accomplishing your goals.

When the session is over, either you are able to bring yourself out of hypnosis or your therapist helps you end your state of relaxation.

Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. Also, you generally remain aware of and remember what happens during hypnosis.

You may eventually be able to practice self-hypnosis, in which you induce a state of hypnosis in yourself. You can use this skill as needed — for instance, after a chemotherapy session.

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