The Oxford Dictionary tells us that hypnosis is the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction.
In recent years there has been a growing interest once again in hypnotherapy as a treatment options, taking it back to its routes away from stage pranks and fun.
Now that you mention it, what is the difference between clinical hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis?
Stage hypnotists are very good performers, they are good at reading an audience and are able to quickly identify more extravertive individuals who will step up to the stage and perform. Stage hypnotists do put their guests into a state of relaxed trance, the depth of such trance is highly debatable; which is why the hypnotists depends on audience members who when relaxed are subject to having a good time and sharing the laugh with the crowd.
On the other hand, clinical hypnotherapists work with people in a state of heightened awareness due to the hypnotic state one has been guided into with the use of relaxation techniques and subconscious scripts to help you enter the safe space of a hypnotic mind.
What is important to note is that during this time you are still in control, it is not the role of hypnotherapist to force you to do this that you do not want to do; but rather to guide you through a mental journey where you can confront hidden memories; overcome fears; develop internal strengths and other goals subject to purpose of the treatment session.
How does hypnotherapy help us?
The thing is hypnotherapy helps your mind to focus into parts that may have become subconscious. Think about it like this, in the busy day of life we are distracted by thousands of stimuli such as sound, light, smell, conscious thoughts and more. When one is hypnotised, you are put into a deep relaxation type state that is designed to quieten the conscious mind so that our unconscious brain can be focussed on.
What makes this such a helpful state in clinical treatment is that our critical mass factor has relaxed, which in essence means it has been weakened slightly which helps open the brain to be more receptive of different ideas, to perhaps release some thoughts that are a bit scary to do outside of the supportive environment of a clinical space; or even to plant seeds of constructive thought.
How does it typically work?
Depending on what a client is seeking treatment for will influence the process of hypnotherapy journey. However, most hypnotherapists will spend some time forging a trusting bond with the client and in doing this will identify what might be the treatment benefit of hypnotherapy.
Once they have defined a pathway of treatment the hypnotherapist will explain to the client what they would like to do; what messages may be worked on within the treatment script and then they will invite you to agree so that the journey can begin.
Does it always work?
Results tend to vary, but the best response to this is if both the practitioner and the client believe in the journey then best results will be achieved.