A definition of Hypnotherapy
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep
sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in
it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating
entirely on the hypnotist's voice. In this state, the conscious mind is
suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed. The therapist is able to
suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of
which become firmly planted.
The practice of promoting healing or positive development in
any way is known as Hypnotherapy. As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of
psychotherapy...hypnotherapy aims to re-program patterns of behavior within the
mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed
emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during
the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper,
the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along
nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become
less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or
indigestion, to be alleviated.
How does Hypnosis work?
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of
consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is
turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The
conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken.
Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the
conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the patient's behavior
and physical state to alter. For example, a patient who consciously wants to
overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do
it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror
and prevents the patient from succeeding. Progress can only be made be
reprogramming the subconscious so that deep-seated instincts and beliefs are
abolished or altered.
In 1973, Dr. John Kappas, Founder of the Hypnosis Motivation
Institute, wrote and defined the profession of a hypnotherapist in the Federal
Dictionary of Occupational Titles:
"Induces hypnotic state in client to increase
motivation or alter behavior patterns: Consults with client to determine nature
of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis
works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degree of
physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client, using
individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of
test results and analysis of client's problem. May train client in