Hypnotherapy Defined

This article, Hypnotherapy Defined, talks about the beginning of the practice known as hypnotherapy and how it has changed over the years.

Hypnotherapy falls under the category of psychotherapy where hypnosis is used to control the subject’s responses, attitudes, thoughts, feeling or behaviors. When a person is hypnotized they are in a heightened state of suggestibility and are more responsive to the changes being given.

The use of hypnotherapy today can be applied to quitting smoking, controlling overeating, obsessive compulsive disorders, phantom pains and much more.

In traditional hypnotherapy that was practiced by hypnotist in the late 1800’s, by names like Jean-Martin Charot, Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. These hypnotists used a direct method of suggestion symptom removal by employing therapeutic relaxation and some sort of drug like alcohol or narcotics.

In the mid 20th century, Milton H. Erickson changed the way hypnotism would be practiced by using an informal conversational approach with the subjects, observing complex language patterns and other therapeutic strategies. This approach would later be known as “Ericksonian” or “Neo-Ericksonian hypnotherapy”. There have been disputes to this theory and some claim Erickson’s approach to not be “hypnosis”.

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) methodology assimilated much the Ericksonoan approach to hypnotism. There have been disputes here to that the NLP methodology has any resemblance to Milton Erickson’s work in the subject.

The method known as Cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) merges both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and clinical hypnosis results in a higher treatment effectiveness. Results of cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy studies in the early 1970’s were 70% greater that subjects receiving cognitive behavioral therapy alone.