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Integrated Therapies

What is Hypnosis?

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Many people think of hypnosis as a means of controlling people’s minds and causing them to behave absurdly because ofsome mysterious power exerted by the hypnotist. I, myself, have enjoyed movies, TV, and stage exhibitions of hypnosis even though I shudder at how they promote such a distorted view of hypnosis as a form of mind control. Fortunately, the field of clinical hypnosis has overcome such misconceptions and presented hypnosis in a more positive and realistic light as the therapeutic tool for which it was originally intended. Hypnosis began as a healing method. The state of mind induced by hypnosis is called the trance state - a state of deep relaxation. It is similar to the state one is in when very relaxed, daydreaming, meditating, or concentrating deeply. In the trance state, a person’s subconscious mind is more suggestible or open to receiving suggestions made by the hypnotist. In every case, a person must be in agreement with the suggestions, otherwise they will not work. In clinical hypnosis, clients respond to suggestions that are designed to benefit them in some way, such as to change unwanted behaviors or to support health-enhancing behaviors. Hypnosis can be used to reduce or eliminate habits, increase focus, improve performance, produce relaxation, and reduce pain. Because it is a safe, effective, drug-free, and relatively inexpensive form of therapy, I believe it should and could be used in accompaniment with medical and/or psychological treatment to promote client health and well-being.