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About Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis, the tool used in hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which one has a heightened focus and concentration. 


When under hypnosis, one feels calm, relaxed, more open to suggestions and very comfortable.

Hypnosis can be used to help gain control over undesired behaviours, help cope with anxiety, negative thinking, depression and pain, and increase positivity throughout many areas of one's life. It's important to know that although you're more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you do not lose control over your behaviour and you can open your eyes at any time if you're uncomfortable and do not wish to continue.

Dr Milton Erickson, a leading American hypnotherapist, described the process of clinical hypnosis as “a free period in which individuality can flourish”.

In Australia, and throughout the world, hypnotherapy is now recognised as a highly valuable therapeutic technique.

Types of Hypnotherapy I use

ERICKSONIAN HYPNOTHERAPY - a method made famous by Milton Erickson and the foundation of modern hypnotherapy using metaphors, imaginary lands and scenarios to bring about change.

TRADITIONAL HYPNOTHERAPY - using more direct suggestions to bring about change. 

PARTS HYPNOTHERAPY - discovering, learning about, and reassigning the parts of you that are working negatively against you.

REGRESSION HYPNOTHERAPY - being taken back into the past to see, emotionally release from, come to terms with, or perhaps learn to bypass any issues which cause problems in your present.

SELF-HYPNOSIS - doing it yourself. Techniques or recordings to listen to in order to take yourself into a deep relaxing state and make the changes you want to make. In actuality, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION - teaching the techniques to gain life understanding and deal with that overly busy monkey (negative) mind and putting one on a sound path of growth and personal development.

NLP - utilising the power of words, phrasing and other techniques used throughout all hypnotherapy. 

A brief history of hypnosis

Hypnosis is not a new modality of treatment. It has had a variety of names and has been used for millennia as a means of influencing human behaviour. Therapeutic suggestion and concentration have been practised throughout history as we have sought to treat pain and disease. The Celts, Druids and Egyptians all practised hypnosis. 

In Vienna during the 1700s a young physician named Franz Anton Mesmer rediscovered the use of hypnosis, which at that time became known as Mesmerism. Mesmer guided his patients to use their powerful imaginations with remarkable results, and by doing so unwittingly lay the cornerstone of many present-day therapies. 

In 1855, English surgeon, James Esdaile, used hypnotic skills in India. He operated on three thousand patients, of which three hundred were major procedures. Using hypnosis his mortality rate dropped from 50% to 5%, and many of his patients recovered quicker, had both increased resistance to infection, and had greater comfort both during and after the procedures. He presented his findings to the Royal Academy of Physicians in London... his work was denounced as blasphemous because,

“God intended for people to suffer”.

During World Wars I and II interest in hypnosis was heightened as it was found to be very effective in combating various war neuroses. This success through a reliving and re-pathing of traumatic events created a wave of enthusiasm for hypnotic methods post-war.

Even though hypnosis is highly effective, it's probably true to say that hypnosis has been clouded by more myth and misconceived ideas than any other form of psychological practice. Fortunately for human healthcare this is now changing




Benham, Grant; Younger, Jarred. (2008). Hypnosis and Mind-body 
Interactions. In Nash, Michael R. (Ed); Barnier, Amanda J. (Ed). The 
Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis: Theory, Research, and Practice, (pp. 
393-435). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

The history of hypnosis is rich in its examination of mind-body interactions. Early 
reports of mesmeric cures extolled its ability to heal physical illness, psychosomatic 
disorders were analysed and treated through hypnotic sessions, and subsequent 
papers provided numerous examples of its promise for reducing surgical and other 
forms of pain. As technology evolved, researchers also became increasingly well 
equipped to study the physiological concomitants of both the hypnotic state and 
hypnotic suggestions. The nature of the physiological basis of hypnosis has mutated 
over time, arguably as a result of the particular Zeitgeist surrounding medical 
disease (animal magnetism, organ theories such as hysteria, nerves and electrical 
impulses). Today, researchers are increasingly aware of the complexity and 
interconnectedness of systems of the human body and have targeted the brain as the 
central player in understanding hypnotic phenomena. Throughout these changes, the 
notion that hypnosis is a powerful healing force has stood the test of time. In 
attempting to address the issue of hypnosis and mind-body interactions, we present 
a summary of research on the potential for hypnosis to alter physiological processes 
in response to hypnotic suggestions. Such research has been increasingly embraced 
by clinicians and researchers as ongoing investigations demonstrate the impact of 
psychological states on health. Even as psychodynamic interpretations were 
succeeded by biomedical models and psycho-neuro-immunological or 
psycho-neuro-endocrinological explanations of these mind-body interactions, the 
notion of the inseparability of ‘mind’ and ‘body’ remained strong. 

Pinnell, Cornelia Maré; Covino, Nicholas A. (Apr 2000). Empirical 
Findings on the Use of Hypnosis in Medicine: A Critical Review. 
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol 
48(2), 170-194. 

Recent changes in health care have been characterized by an increased demand for 
empirically supported treatments in medicine. Presently, there is moderate support 
for the integration of hypnotic techniques in the treatment of a number of medical 
problems. This critical review of the research literature focuses on the empirical 
research on the effectiveness of hypnotic treatments as adjuncts to medical care for 
anxiety related to medical and dental procedures, asthma, dermatological diseases, 
gastrointestinal diseases, haemorrhagic disorders, nausea and emesis in oncology, 
and obstetrics/gynaecology. Wider acceptance of hypnosis as an intervention to 
assist with medical care will require further research. 

Simpson, I. (1991). Hypnotherapy and the GP. Canadian Medical 
Association Journal, Vol. 144, 908-9. 
Kaye, J. M., Schindler, B. A. (1990). Hypnosis on a Consultation-Liaison Service.

General Hospital Psychiatry, Vol. 12, 379-83. 
The use of hypnosis was demonstrated on a psychiatric consultation-liaison service 
(CLS) in a broad spectrum of medically hospitalized patients. Hypnosis was 
employed as an adjuvant measure to traditional medical and psychologic treatment 
modalities. Tapes for autohypnosis were used for reinforcement. Twenty-nine 
women and eight men from 24 to 75 years of age were hypnotized for relief of 
depression, pain, anxiety, or side-effects from chemotherapy. Results were excellent 
(total to almost total relief of symptoms) in 68% of the patients, fair in 22%, and 
poor in 11% with no differences among the results with the various conditions. This 
report demonstrates that hypnotherapy can be an extremely useful tool in the 
medical management of patients on a CLS. 

Mutter, C. B., Coates, M. L. (1990). Hypnosis in Family Medicine. 
American Family Physician, Vol. 42, 70S-73S. 

Hypnosis can be a useful adjunct to other treatment modalities. For example, 
hypnosis may induce a level of relaxation that allows patients to cooperate more 
easily with conventional treatment. The often dramatic historical background of 
hypnosis has led to misconceptions about hypnotic technique and its clinical 
applications in modern medicine. Hypnosis is useful in the treatment of acute and 
chronic pain, somatoform and habit disorders, anxiety and depression. Persons who 
are attempting to stop smoking, patients with bulimia and those with psychogenic 
impotence may respond to hypnosis. 

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