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What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses guided hypnosis and the power of suggestion to encourage positive change. We can all use this, right?


What is the difference between hypnotherapy and hypnosis?

Think of hypnotherapy as the therapeutic approach and hypnosis as the state of mind—heightened awareness and focus that leave you calm, relaxed, peaceful, and even blissed out with total clarity.


What is the difference between clinical and medical support hypnotherapy?

These are related, but medical support hypnotherapists have additional, specialized training beyond clinical hypnotherapy to work with clients who have a medical diagnosis or, perhaps, want to improve a surgery outcome. There are tons of ways medical hypnotherapy can have an impact on patient outcomes—physically, mentally and emotionally, and financially.


It’s important to know that any kind of hypnotherapy never replaces a physician’s or another therapist’s role. It’s about complementary collaboration—we’re all here for you.


What is a certified hypnotherapist?

Basically, just what it says. This is someone who has done certification training to do hypnosis for therapeutic benefit. These trainings are dense and intense, and the good ones include a lot of practical training. That means we practice being both hypnotherapist and client (or co-therapist). Perspective and plenty of it.


How is hypnotherapy different from affirmations and guided visualization or meditation?

This is such a good question. As a yoga teacher going through clinical and medical support hypnotherapy training, this was one of the first questions I had. Meditation and visualization—these are general relaxation strategies. Hypnotherapy is much more specific than meditation or guided visualization, or even reciting affirmations. A hypnotherapist works with you using hypnosis to quickly bypass the typically rigid and resistant conscious mind—also called the critical factor—to communicate with the subconscious mind and replace negative behaviors or beliefs through direct, positive and repetitive suggestions. The subconscious mind is the powerhouse where all of our programs from childhood and beyond are stored; it is more than a million times more formidable than the conscious mind.


I like this quote from biologist Bruce Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief:


“If the desires of the conscious mind conflict with the programs in the subconscious mind, which ‘mind’ do you think will win out? You can repeat the positive affirmation that you are lovable over and over…But if, as a child, you repeatedly heard that you were worthless…those messages programmed in your subconscious mind will undermine your best conscious efforts to change your life.”


So, if your affirmations, visualizations and meditations aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for, hypnotherapy may be what you need to change your subconscious beliefs and thought patterns. Put another way, if you haven’t dismantled these successfully, it’s going to be a challenge to change something that you subconsciously believe you don’t deserve or that isn’t true.


Whew—that was a long answer, I know. Hope this helps to clear up these distinctions.


Can I do self-hypnosis?

Oh, yes. And, it’s easy. Typically, your hypnotherapist will teach you how to do self-hypnosis in your first or second session. After that, there are no limitations to how or how frequently you choose to do self-hypnosis. You may use this to supplement what you’re working on with your hypnotherapist, work on other specific goals, or to resolve a situational issue.


What types of issues can hypnotherapy help with?

Honestly, the better question may be what can it not help with. The list is much shorter and, even then, there is room for discretionary use of hypnotherapy. Individuals with medical or mental health diagnoses or issues should always be under the care of doctors, psychologists or others who are trained to specifically treat these conditions. These professionals may prescribe hypnotherapy as a complementary therapy for pain, relaxation, or to address the feelings and emotions related to their patient’s diagnosis. In these cases, it’s best that patient/client works with a hypnotherapist who has had additional training in medical support hypnotherapy.


Can hypnotherapy help me?

So, here’s the thing with hypnotherapy. You have to really want the thing. Whatever the thing is, you must be ready for it. And, you should know there’s work involved—sometimes uncomfortable work. Can it help you? Absolutely. Are you ready to get started? Good! Reach out to me here for a free consultation.


How many sessions will I need?

This will always depend on the specific issue you may be working on. Generally, clients have 3, 6 or 10 sessions.


How long are hypnotherapy sessions?

Like with everything, it depends. Typical hypnotherapy sessions are 45 to 90 minutes long. Sessions for kids run considerably shorter. First sessions can be longer for anyone.


Will I lose control during a hypnotherapy session?

This is a tired and inaccurate myth perpetuated by movies and media. You always have control—in fact, you have amazing control in hypnosis, which is basically a relaxed, but natural and heightened state of awareness. No one can make you do something that is counterintuitive to your moral and ethical values—or your core beliefs. Remember: You have to really want the thing for it to happenAnd, you can always bring yourself out of trance by counting from 1 to 5 and opening your eyes.


Will I get the same benefits during a tele-hypnotherapy session as I would in person?

Absolutely, and many people have discovered this during COVID-19 shelter restrictions, and actually prefer this option for its greater flexibility and autonomy. The only things you really need are a stable internet connection, decent audio (microphone and speaker), and a comfortable, private space wherever you’re receiving hypnotherapy—such as your home, office or vacation spot.


Is hypnotherapy safe for kids?

Yes, and they are often more responsive than adults—their imaginations are more active and they’ve had fewer life experiences that muddy their subconscious minds. Some things to consider are age, emotional maturity and the specific issue that needs attention. But, remember: Hypnosis is a natural and heightened state of awareness.This is true for children and adults.


How much does hypnotherapy cost?

This usually depends on the hypnotherapist’s geographic location, years of experience, etc. Generally, rates are anywhere from $75 to $250 a session, with the average about $125-$175. Many hypnotherapists do free 20 to 30-minute initial consultations by phone or video. Others offer packaged sessions, half-off first sessions, etc. It just depends.


Is hypnotherapy covered by insurance

Sometimes hypnotherapy is covered by private health insurance, yes. But, this varies by coverage and individual cases. You should ask your insurance provider about its policy related to hypnotherapy. You may be able to submit a request for reimbursement.



American Journal of Medicine

Hypnosis: The Most Effective Treatment You Have Yet to Prescribe


American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hypnotherapy or Medications: A Randomized Non-Inferiority Trial in Urgency Urinary Incontinent Women


American Psychological Association

Hypnosis for the Relief and Control of Pain


American Journal of Gastroenterology

Effect of Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy on IBS in Different Clinical Settings—Results From Two Randomized, Controlled Trials


Internal Medicine Journal

Successful Hypnosis for Obesity


Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine


Cerebral Cortex

Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Associated With Hypnosis


Clinical Psychology Review

The Efficacy of Hypnosis as an Intervention for Labor and Delivery Pain: A Comprehensive Methodological Review


Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Hypnosis Intervention Effects on Sleep Outcomes: A Systemic Review


Journal of Behavioral Medicine

The Effectiveness of Hypnosis for Reducing Procedure-Related Pain in Children and Adolescents: A Comprehensive Methodological Review


Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress

A Review of the Impact of Hypnosis, Relaxation, Guided Imagery and Individual Differences on Aspects of Immunity and Health


The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Efficacy of Individual and Group Hypnotherapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IMAGINE): A Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial



Using Hypnosis to Treat Cancer’s Side Effects


Huffington Post

Stressed Out? How Hypnotherapy Helped Me Feel More Breezy



With Hypnosis, Anesthesia May Become a Thing of the Past



How Self-Hypnosis Changed My Life


Los Angeles Times

Hypnosis: You Are Getting Sleepy…and Calm, and Thin, and…


Time Magazine

Is Hypnosis Real? Here’s What Science Says


The New York Times

Opinion: Hypnosis Changed My Life


New Scientist

What Hypnosis Does to Your Brain, and How It Can Improve Your Health


Penn Medicine Blog

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Hypnosis


Parade Online

Hypnotherapy Benefits Are Real—But What Exactly Is This Ancient Technique, Exactly, and Should You Try It?



The Healing Power of Hypnosis: Research Shows That It Eases Pain, Speeds Healing, and Even Fights Cancer



Altered States


The Washington Post

Hypnotherapy Isn’t Magic, But It Helps Some Patients Cope With Surgery and Recovery


Yoga Journal

Beat Stress and Anxiety With DIY Mindful Hypnotherapy

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