Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention. It is a way of inducing a pleasant, voluntary state of relaxed attention during which the conscious critical mind is relaxed and relatively inactive. It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use them more powerfully. In this comfortable state, suggestibility and senses are heightened, mental absorption is increased, and imagination is activated in a controlled manner.
Hypnosis is a collaborative and cooperative therapist-client relationship. A hypnotized subject cannot be made to do anything he is not willing to do or goes against his will. Capitalizing on the power of suggestion, hypnosis is often used to help people relax, to diminish the sensation of pain, or to facilitate some desired behavioral change.
The hypnotized client is not asleep. When a person is in hypnosis, he is relaxed and aware of his surroundings. He hears the sound of the hypnotherapist’s voice and will remember more or less of what the hypnotherapist says. The hypnotized client is relaxed, comfortable, focused, and in a state of daydream type thinking. His analyzing, thinking mind (Conscious mind) is “turned off” and his feeling and intuitive, creative mind (Unconscious mind) is aware of everything that is going on.
Hypnosis is not a “truth serum”. When hypnosis is used as a tool to refresh memory, some, much, or none of the memory material recalled under hypnosis may have a basis in objective reality. Material recalled or generated under hypnosis can represent actual memories, distorted memories, fantasies, symbolism of inner conflict, combinations of memory and fantasy, or could have other bases.
Hypnosis can be used to treat: