Published on 03 October 2021

Hypnotherapy : Types, Techniques, & Efficacy

Psychological Therapy HYPNOTHERAPY
Table of Contents

We all must watch at least one movie where a person tries to control another’s mind through hypnosis. Even not in films but also cartoons, one particular episode on hypnosis is seen.    
But it does not seem like that; mainly, it’s a therapy used to get the attention of our inner mind. Many psychotherapists use this therapy on their clients to make them more relaxed. Hypnosis is referred from the greek word hypnos which means sleep.

It also alleviates various mental/emotional issues and psychological distress, such as Anxiety, depression, grief, sleep disorders, weight loss, and self-destructive tendencies such as eating disorders, substance abuse, or suicidal ideations. Let’s see more about hypnotherapy.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis is a type of guided psychotherapy that can be used as an alternative or complementary treatment to medicines. It leads you to a "trance" or altered state of awareness using extreme focus, concentration, and relaxation to achieve an elevated state of consciousness and Mindfulness.

In this therapy, A person can reduce negative thoughts from his mind due to techniques used by therapists.

Techniques Used In Hypnotherapy

During a hypnosis session, people are guided through a process to persuade a trance-like state that helps them become deeply relaxed, hyper-focused, and respond more readily. 

Hypnotherapy utilizes the heightened awareness spawned by the hypnotic state to help you focus on an issue more intensely. Hypnotherapy utilizes techniques including

Direct Suggestion

As the name suggests, Direct Suggestion involves suggesting a required behavior or outcome to the individual in the hypnotic state. This is possibly the simplest and most common technique used by hypnotherapists for guiding a patient to the desired outcome.

This technique is most suitable for modifying your behavior or working towards the desired result. It's also most effective when practiced over several repeated sessions to reinforce the changes you want to make.

It often works well with different sorts of people because each one has a different mental state, it all depends upon how clients are coordinated with this technique. The direct suggestion opens the minds of patients to new ideas, which brings creativity to them. 


In this therapy, the therapist tells their clients to visualize themselves in a state of peacefulness so that they can get relaxation. Even they are opposed to problematic conduct. 

Parts Therapy

Parts Therapy is based on the notion that a person's personality is made of various aspects, which in turn are responsible for the patient's distinctive behaviors. All these parts have a purpose.

This technique works because it helps the patient understand and uncover parts of themselves that they may have never known, considered, or repressed. Once they've discovered and comprehended these parts of themselves, they can create or initiate better behavioral changes they desire.

Unlike the Direct Suggestion technique, which initiates development via external suggestions from the therapist, Parts Therapy is a more personal and reflective approach, wherein the answers and changes often come from you.


It involves guiding the patient to explore and uncover past memories or experiences that   Have an impact on the present life.

Unlike simply reliving the memory in their minds, regression guides the patient through past experiences in a safe and comfortable space. This makes it more likely for a positive action to ensue.

By diving in on specific memories or experiences that caused their internal conflict, therapists can help the patient to change their perspective, and mindset and free themselves from its grasp.

Regression therapy works because it uncovers the root of negative behavior and helps patients understand their memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are not similar to each other. Hypnosis is a condition of mind, whereas hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that includes hypnosis.
There are four major theories of hypnosis, cold theory by Dienes and Perner, Dissociated control theory by Woody and Bowers, Integrated dissociative theory by Woody and Sadler, and Integrative cognitive theory by Brown and Oakley.
Those with certain types of personality disorders should not take hypnotherapy cause it can cause side effects.

Types Of Hypnotherapy 

Each type of therapy has its own way of working on the condition. Types of Hypnotherapies can help you through different instances, such as

Clinical hypnotherapy: It's a therapy treated at hospitals or other locations where medical conditions are treated. 

Ericksonian hypnotherapy: In this therapy, the therapist gives indirect suggestions with metaphor and storytelling.

Hypno- psychotherapy: This therapy is basically used to overcome fear. Relaxing your mind with the help of hypnotherapy. 

Hypnoanalysis: This type helps to accomplish your goals by understanding the obstacles in the path of life. 

Cognitive hypnotherapy: Cognitive therapy treats fear or phobia by changing a person's thinking pattern.

Ways To Induce A Hypnotic State

Despite their different modes of approach, all of these techniques share one primary requirement: getting the patient into a hypnotic state.

Hypnosis is often described as being in a trance; it relaxes the subject and helps them put their guard down. This makes it easier for the therapist to access their subconscious.
There are various ways to induce a hypnotic state in an individual, including

  • Relaxation techniques include making yourself comfortable, lying down, relaxing muscles, counting down in your head, controlled breathing, and speaking in a soft tone.
  • Eye fixation or Fixed-gaze induction - looking into your therapist's eyes or following the watch's movement.
  • Creative visualization - deliberate or guided visualization of specific scenarios.
  • Disrupting balance and equilibrium - creating a loss of equilibrium typically using slow, rhythmic rocking.
  • Misdirection - the patient may be misdirected to the visualization of themselves on a beach. The therapist has directed them from an unpleasant vision towards a pleasant one.

It's important to remember that different people will respond differently to different techniques. You and your therapist will need to work together to find one that is best suited for you.

Benefits Of Hypnotherapy

Along with treating mental states, hypnotherapy is also effective in treating chronic pain conditions, dementia symptoms, nausea, and vomiting related to chemotherapy. The following are some benefits of hypnotherapy which include;

  • Awareness 
  • Focus
  • Relax mind
  • Help to quit smoking

A study published in May 2021 in the journal of affective disorders, where it is found that hypnotherapy was effective as cognitive behavioral therapy, a therapy where the therapist tries to overcome their client's anxiety and depression.

Things To Consider

While Hypnotherapy is generally pretty safe and well-tolerated, that does not mean it doesn't pose any potential risks, including

  • Impressionable People may experience a decreased sense of control while under hypnosis.
  • Some people experience side effects such as headaches, dizziness, or anxiety.
  • Hypnotherapy can produce distorted or even false memories in some cases.
  • Hypnotherapy may not be suitable for people who experience symptoms of psychosis, such as delusion or hallucinations.

What Can You Expect?

Your therapist will explain the hypnosis process and set your treatment goals. Then they will typically talk gently and soothingly while describing images that create a sense of security, relaxation, and well-being.

When you're in a receptive state of mind, your therapist will suggest ways for you to accomplish your goals, such as "you do not smoke" or "you sleep easily." Your therapist may also help you visualize vivid and meaningful mental visuals of yourself achieving your goals.

When the session is completed, either you can get yourself out of hypnosis on your own, or your therapist will help end your state of relaxation.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Contrary to how hypnosis is typically portrayed in movies or television shows, you don't lose complete control over your actions while under hypnosis. Moreover, you generally remain quite aware of and remember what happens during hypnosis.

Hypnosis is not just like controlling anyone’s mind; it mainly relaxes mental state through specific techniques such as direct suggestion, relaxation, parts therapy, and regression used by hypnotherapists.

You can also induce hypnosis individually by doing such things as creative visualization, eye fixation by watching the watch’s movement, etc. 

While hypnosis can be effective in helping some people cope with pain, anxiety, and stress. Cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectal behavioral therapy are considered the first-line treatment options for such conditions.

Hypnosis in adjunction with other therapies may also be used as a part of a comprehensive program for weight loss or quitting smoking. But like other therapies, people also face side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, etc., while undergoing this therapy.