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Hypnotherapy: How does it work? 

How does hypnotherapy actually work? 

hypnotherapyThere is no complete agreement about how hypnosis or hypnotherapy actually works.  The most commonly accepted theory focuses on two aspects of the mind, the conscious and subconscious minds.   

Most of us are aware of the conscious mind as it is used to make everyday decisions.  However, the conscious mind is said to be ruled by the desires of the much larger subconscious mind which is also involved in all mental and physical functions, from regulating blood pressure to actually storing memories. Subconscious desires are believed to be so strong that they will always triumph over conscious desires.  For example, if you make a conscious decision to stop smoking but your subconscious does not want to, you will usually not stop. 


Hypnotherapy is based upon the belief that the subconscious is the source of human energy and power, and is actually the core of your personality and desires. Some therapists also believe that if you do not learn to understand your subconscious you'll never understand yourself, and if you do not learn to use your subconscious mind, you also will never realize your full potential.  Another belief about the subconscious mind is that it will believe anything you tell it.  Hypnotherapy or hypnosis sometimes exploits this mental submission by putting the conscious mind to sleep temporarily to reach the subconscious, where you can replace negative beleifs with positive ones and introduce constructive emotions in the place of those which are believed to be destructive.  The reprogramming associated with hypnotherapy is done by suggestion, which means that the therapist suggests to you targets or beliefs aimed at counteracting your problems.  For example if you want to give up smoking, the therapist may tell you that you will never want to smoke again.  This plants a seed of belief in your subconscious mind, which if regularly reinforced will eventually accept the anti-addiction suggestion.  Every time you want a cigarette your subconscious will remind you to act according to your new belief.  Hypnotherapists reach the subconscious by introducing what some describe as a trance in the subject.  The trance can be light, medium or deep depending upon the individualís needs and suitability.  Deep trances are rarely induced, partly because only about 10% of individuals are believed to be susceptible to them, and partly because they are often unnecessary for successful hypnotherapy.

Some information from Alternative Therapies 

Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist  Ph.D Candidate

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