Does Hypnosis Work?


For thousands of years, altered states of awareness have been used for psychological benefit. Using an individual’s subconscious mind, a hypnotherapist will attempt to bring about change through the power of suggestion. Dealing with emotional issues, health problems, insomnia, phobias, and weight loss are just some of the therapy’s applications. Although many are skeptical about the effectiveness of hypnosis, it may be the answer to some of the mental health problems you’re facing.

How It Works:

During hypnosis, the analytical left side of the brain is turned off and the more creative right side becomes more alert. Hypnotherapy works by altering a patients state of consciousness to allow them to become more susceptible to cognitive influences. This allows them to address deeply held issues rooted in their subconscious.

A hypnotherapist will help a patient to enter a trancelike state by inducing deep relaxation. Then the therapist will direct beneficial suggestions (previously agreed with the patient) directly to the patient’s subconscious mind. The patient remains in control while hypnotized and can bring themselves out of the hypnotic state at any time.

There is some evidence that hypnotherapy can help people suffering with cancer and other serious illnesses deal with the pain, stress, and anxiety of their disease. It’s also been used to manage other ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, sciatica, burns, joint pain, and neck pain. Studies suggest that using hypnosis to treat chronic pain resulted in a significant reduction in perceived pain, which was often maintained for several months.

What A Session Looks Like:

Like any modality of therapy, it’s essential for you and the therapist to establish a good rapport.

Typically the session will begin with the hypnotherapist asking a lot of questions about your history in order to establish your mindset, personality type, the problem you wish to address, and the desired outcome. Next comes the hypnosis itself. The hypnotherapist’s gently guiding voice will lead you into a state where body and mind are relaxed and almost asleep. At this stage, the therapist will introduce the things you wish to change or work on, as previously discussed and agreed on with you.

Finally, following the hypnosis, the therapist will encourage you to discuss your experiences during the session and any insights gained.


Hypnotherapy should not be
 used on anyone suffering from psychosis 
or with a personality disorder, as it could
 make these conditions worse. If you do use a hypnotherapist, check that they are accredited and ensure they are trained specifically to work with your particular condition. Children should only be hypnotized by therapists trained to work with their age group.

Does It Work?

There is evidence to show that hypnotherapy does work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it works for everyone. The best way to find out if it works for you is to give it a try.

Skeptical about hypnotherapy? Talk therapy can be just as effective.