Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic approach that aims to help people to become aware of subconscious beliefs and the damaging or negative patterns of behaviour they cause.

Hypnosis vs Hypnotherapy

We’ve all seen hypnosis at work in the movies, where it wields seemingly magical powers – turning suburban fathers turn into killers or the local librarian into a Soviet spy. And we’ve seen it, too, on the stage where Saturday night revellers are convinced to strip to their underwear and eat raw onions thinking they are biting into an apple.

These examples or interpretations of hypnosis, whether true or not, are entertaining to watch, but they are about as far removed from hypnotherapy as faith healing is from mainstream medical science.

Hypnotherapists, as opposed to their screen and stage counterparts, simply facilitate a state of profound relaxation. While in this state the patient can be guided by the use of suggestion to make changes to automatic behaviours that are negatively impacting their life.

Hypnotherapy reduces feelings of stress and anxiety with the result that patients are calmer and better able to make changes in their lives.


Perhaps one of the best known uses for hypnotherapy is to help people to give up smoking.

The majority of smokers struggle more with the psychological aspects of the addiction, rather than the physical. The addictive chemicals in tobacco smoke will leave the body in about two weeks once smoking is ceased, but many smokers make it through this period only to return to smoking shortly afterwards, even though they are no longer physically dependant on the drug.

The prevalence of this type of relapse is due to the fact that the psychological habit of being a smoker has not been overcome. And this is where hypnotherapy can help. Using guidance and suggestion, the hypnotherapist can strengthen the desire and motivation of the patient to make relapse less likely. In effect, the habit of being a smoker is replaced with the habit of being a non smoker.

Studies have shown that hypnotherapy is one of the most effective methods of smoking cessation.

Other Areas

Hypnotherapy isn’t only for smokers, though. It can be successfully used for a wide range of conditions including:

  • Phobias
  • Stress
  • Improved memory
  • Exam anxiety
  • Grief
  • Insomnia
  • Weight management
  • Gambling addiction
  • Pain management
  • Sports performance
  • Self esteem

Course of Treatment

The length of hypnotherapy treatment varies with each patient, but some conditions require only one or two sessions. In some cases the results of the treatment are not immediate and it may take a period of days or weeks before behaviour begins to change.

Hypnotherapy is now a widely accepted form of treatment. It requires no harmful drugs, has no side effects and is relatively inexpensive.

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