Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy

What is hypnosis?

The American Psychological Association (APA Division of Psychological Hypnosis) defines hypnosis as a state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestions. Hypnotizability is defined as an individual's ability to experience suggested alterations in physiology, sensations, emotions, thoughts or behavior during hypnosis. The capacity for hypnosis and the ability to use one’s hypnotic talent in hypnotically augmented psychotherapy can be reliably measured by a well-trained clinician in a matter of minutes. A hypnotic induction is simply a psychological procedure designed to bring about a state of hypnosis. As Dr. David Spiegel of Stanford University, one of the authors of the APA definition of hypnosis explains, hypnotic states can be experienced in a matter of seconds without long drawn out inductions or dangling watches.  But hypnosis alone is not hypnotherapy.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy involves the use of hypnosis to augment a therapeutic strategy in the treatment of a medical or psychological disorder or concern. Hypnotherapy may be used to overcome symptoms of emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, stress, fears, phobias and panic), unpleasant physical symptoms (e.g., acute and chronic pain, nausea and vomiting), unhealthy habits or behaviors (e.g., smoking, overeating, and insomnia) and to learn more creative ways of solving life’s challenges. Hypnotherapy has also been used successfully in the treatment of physical conditions including asthma, gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., IBS), and skin conditions.

Brief or intensive hypnotically augmented treatment?

Hypnotically augmented treatments may be either brief ( generally a single session or two) or more intense and involve more time and attention. Certain conditions generally respond well to brief therapeutic interventions, particularly habit disorders (including tobacco use disorders and unhealthy eating behaviors), specific fears and phobias, (including flying phobia and performance anxiety), primary insomnia and pain associated with medical or dental procedurals. Other conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorders (GAD), protracted social anxiety disorders and chronic pain disorders may be treated with hypnotically augmented therapy as well, although treatment for these conditions typically involve more intensive procedures to treat successfully. In your initial therapy session your therapist will discuss the options of treating your concern with either brief or more intensive hypnotherapy therapy.

Can hypnotherapy be conducted remotely?

Yes, hypnotherapy can be conducted remotely. In fact, some people find  remote sessions even more effective because they are not required to travel and they can remain in the comfort of their own home. The only requirements are that the patient or client can reasonably expect to be free of distractions during the session, that their video device has a stand so it can be operated hands free, and they are able to get good audio reception. A set of headphones or earbuds may be useful to enhance privacy and audio reception.