What is the difference between hypnotherapy and hypnosis?

Dr. Rossi Davis

Hypnotherapy is used to treat conditions such as anxiety, smoking cessation, phobias, stress and other psychological conditions/addictions. It is usually administered by a mental health clinician certified in hypnotherapy. Hypnosis can be administered by anyone having knowledge/training of how to do it, and in nature it is closer to stage hypnotism for entertainment purposes, instead of offering treatment. Past life regression falls under hypnotherapy when a client wants to learn about how suppressed memories affect one's behavior today. When the client only wants to get an idea of what may have taken place in his life without following up with therapy, it falls under hypnosis. Both hypnotherapy and hypnosis aim at working with the subconscious mind in alpha and theta brain levels of functioning.

Many people believe hypnotherapy and hypnosis are the same thing, but there is a distinction to be made. The word hypnosis refers to the inducing of a passive state of mind, or trance, that promotes better communication between the conscious and the subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy is the psychological healing process that uses hypnosis to achieve a desired result. Under hypnosis subjects may show better responsiveness to suggestions, and hypnotherapy attempts to change current feelings or behaviors that the subject desires to alter.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.