‘Therapeutic Hypnosis’ is a trance or dreamlike state induced by a trained professional in a therapeutic setting to support a positive therapeutic health outcome for the client.

‘Therapeutic Hypnosis’ is a trance or dreamlike state induced by a trained professional in a therapeutic setting to support a positive therapeutic health outcome for the client.

‘Hypnosis’ is a mental state of mind.

‘Hypnotherapy’ is the act of inducing hypnosis.

A ‘Hypnotherapist’ is a trained professional who induces hypnosis.

An excellent example of using hypnosis in a therapeutic setting is a clinical trial undertaken by Guy H. Montgomery et al. In this trial Montgomery showed many positive outcomes for controlling side effects for patients undergoing surgery.

These outcomes included subjects requiring less pain medication, reporting less pain intensity, less nausea, fatigue and emotional upset. These outcomes delivered a reduction in costs to the medical facility of approximately $771(US) per person.

The results were achieved with a 15-minute hypnotherapy session prior to surgery and considered superior in delivering the outcome than an attention control group. [1]

According to Better Health [2]

Hypnosis can help you change attitudes, perceptions and behaviours. It can be effective in treating various medical and psychological issues, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Fears and phobias
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Migraine
  • Obesity
  • Thumb sucking
  • Sleep problems

In more research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine by Gary Elkins et. al findings indicated “hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with various chronic-pain problems. Also, hypnosis was generally found to be more effective than non-hypnotic interventions including attention, physical therapy, and education.” [3]

Whilst we might imagine the hypnotic state is something that can only be achieved in a specific, way this is incorrect. We can naturally find ourselves in states like hypnosis during the performance of daily tasks as our minds naturally slip between various states of arousal or relaxation.

For, example when we are absorbed fully by a task and lose track of time; when we daydream or zone out or stop listening, when we are doing tasks that require little attention and we can complete them successfully, these are all states like the state of hypnosis as we are functioning and conscious but not paying attention.

Therapeutic hypnosis is the intentional induction of this state by a hypnotherapist to produce a desired outcome specified by the client like quitting smoking, reducing anxiety or choosing healthier food options. Once hypnosis is induced the client’s mind is relaxed and therapeutic suggestions can have a positive influence in changing thoughts, feelings and behaviours about their goals.

Throughout this, state only suggestions that are agreeable to the client are accepted. This means you as the client are in control and can stop the process at any stage., Therefore when seeing a trained professional concern around being somehow manipulated or losing control is unnecessary.

Not all people believe they are capable of being, hypnotised however it is argued that if you have ever daydreamed you can be should you choose to be. Hypnosis does require the consent of the client and therefore unwilling participants are less likely to achieve their desired result.

There are occasional but rare side effects from hypnotherapy and these may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Upset Stomach
  • Headache

Prior to any hypnotherapy, appointment proper investigations into chronic health conditions should be undertaken by a qualified medical professional. Your Hypnotherapist should also require a thorough medical history prior to your session.

Hypnosis should be avoided if you are suffering from:

  • Severe depression
  • Psychosis
  • Whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Chronic pain that has not been investigated and diagnosed by a qualified doctor.


[1] https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/99/17/1304/2522227

[2] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hypnosis

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752362/

Category: Hypnotherapy

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