“Hypnosis is to consciousness what a telephoto lens is to a camera,” David Spiegel, MD, Director of the Center on Stress and Health and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine.
Clinical hypnosis, combined with or integrated into psychotherapy, is referred to as hypnotherapy and is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Clinical hypnosis is done with the help of a therapist using relaxation, verbal repetition and guided imagery. When you’re under hypnosis, or in a trance state, you usually feel very calm, relaxed and are more open to suggestions.
Clinical hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy because the hypnotic state allows people to explore thoughts, feelings, and memories that might be hidden from their conscious minds. Hypnosis can be used to help a person gain control over undesired habits or behaviors. The hypnotic state enables a person to respond more positively to suggestions that aid in attaining goals such as quitting smoking, reducing-anxiety, treating pain or curing insomnia. It’s important to know that although one is more open to suggestion during hypnosis, there is no loss of control over behavior.