Hypnotherapy: What is it?

Hypnotherapy: What is it?

By Emily Ferrer

Hypnotherapy helps clients gain control over unfavorable behaviors, cope with anxiety or pain, or alter their ideas about a certain idea or image. Hypnosis involves a trained psychologist and entails placing the patient into a trance-like state that can make you feel extremely calm, focused, and open to suggestions[1]. Over many years, hypnosis has been found to help many people with issues such as pain control, chemotherapy, hot flashes, behavioral changes, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), addiction, weight loss, and more[2]! In fact, a study done in 1970 found that hypnotherapy has a 93% success rate in less sessions compared to other forms of therapy[3]. The average amount of hypnotherapy sessions needed to see results can be as little as 4 and as much as 15[4]. This is much less than the average number of sessions needed for other forms of therapy, which are usually around 20 or more until you start to see results[5].

You are probably curious what exactly to expect in a hypnotherapy session and how to prepare. There is no preparation needed on your end before your first hypnotherapy session other than an open mind and a willingness to change your behaviors or ideas. The first session will usually not involve any hypnotism, however, the therapist may use this session as an opportunity to get to know you, the problems you are facing, and what you want to change. The second session is usually when your hypnotherapy begins. Your therapist will always explain the process to you and begin by talking in a soothing and gentle voice. The therapist may also start to describe very vivid images to you to create a sense of relaxation and security. Once you are in a relaxed state, your therapist may begin suggesting ways to work towards your goal that you wanted to work on, such as fear, pain, addiction, anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc. This will help you visualize your path to success and believe in your ability to accomplish your goals[6]. Eventually, your therapist will guide you out of your state of relaxation and the hypnosis session will end. Hypnosis can be extremely helpful to those it does work for but suicide/suicidal thoughts is not guaranteed.

If you or someone you know is interested in trying hypnotherapy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists certified in hypnotherapy at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .


[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hypnosis/about/pac-20394405#:~:text=Hypnosis%2C%20also%20referred%20to%20as,verbal%20repetition%20and%20mental%20images.

[2] https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/january/hypnosis

[3] Barrios, A. A. (1970). Hypnotherapy: A reappraisal. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 7(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0086544

[4] https://thehypnosisclinic.com/blog/how-many-sessions-do-i-need/


[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hypnosis/about/pac-20394405#:~:text=Hypnosis%2C%20also%20referred%20to%20as,verbal%20repetition%20and%20mental%20images.


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