What is HypnoTherapy

The Ericksonian HypnoTherapy Experience

Most of us have heard of hypnosis, but what is it? There are so-called examples of hypnosis on television shows, movies and even stage performances. In these “examples” the person receiving the “hypnosis” seems to have no control over their actions or behaviors and sometimes have no memory of their actions! While we could spend the time to explain what these instances are in reality, I can assure you that they are most certainly NOT hypnosis.

Clinically, medical professionals and therapists have historically used a form of hypnosis where the therapist makes suggestions about what is best for the patient after inducing a hypnotic state. The therapist is the “expert/authority” and the subject is the “patient.” This is certainly one form of hypnosis. You may have encountered this in hypnosis groups marketed for stopping smoking or losing weight. Milton H. Erickson (father of family therapy and modern evidence-based hypnosis) said that these forms of hypnosis “are great for the BASIC person. Problem is, I’ve never met a BASIC person.”

Ericksonian hypnosis is a strengths-based approach founded on a few principles that respect a person’s natural resources and abilities and is supported by the most current in neuroscience research. It utilizes the relationship between therapist and client to inform the interventions so that client is able to connect with their innermost “knowing” to facilitate their own new solutions. Clients of Ericksonian hypnotherapy are fully in control of their participation level. The therapist is not the “expert” of the experience. The therapist may, however, expertly guide a client, using the client’s own trance, to assist the client in finding whatever solutions or shifts for which they are looking.