Clinical Hypnosis

Hypnosis has always had a fascination and air of mystery about it. Unfortunately many people’s knowledge is limited to memories of stage hypnosis where they see people being “made” to do silly things seemingly under the hypnotist’s control.

Yet people who undergo hypnosis in a therapeutic setting are amazed at the results they achieve, they find it relaxing, are always in control, and feel really good afterward. I am writing this article to extend knowledge about Hypnosis and to bring awareness about the use of Hypnosis in a therapeutic session.

What sorts of issues can be resolved with hypnosis?

Hypnotherapists deal with a range of issues including: anxiety, insomnia, smoking cessation, nail-biting, hair pulling, weight loss, bruxism, stress management, anger management and many other issues that are presented by clients.Let us have a closer look at how some of these issues are dealt with:


After a detailed history is obtained from the client the therapist studies the information to determine if there is some causal link for the onset of anxiety. If there is then this is discussed with the client and a course of action is determined.

Often there are other cognitive techniques that can be put in place that help the client deal with anxious situations. This is especially so when anxiety leads to panic attack. Here the client is made aware of the physiological symptoms of panic. These can include increased heart rate, sweatiness, trembling and fear of losing control. For the most part these symptoms are common with the “fight or flight response”. In themselves the symptoms are harmless unless, of course they, are prolonged or continue over time.

The client is taught about the relevance of those symptoms and instructed on how to deal with them or eliminate them when they occur. In most cases the client is asked to participate in a progressive relaxation that leads to a relaxing hypnotic trance during which therapeutic suggestions are given that assist the client to alleviate anxiety. The client is also led to mentally rehearse the techniques that were put into place to eliminate the unwanted symptoms. When treated with Hypnotherapy Anxiety States have a very favorable prognosis.


Insomnia is a prevalent condition in our modern world. Ask anyone you know and chances are that they have experienced insomnia in one form or another.

Once medical causes have been ruled out it is the therapist’s role to investigate further. Many people do not realize that drinking alcohol can bring about insomnia and that drinking coffee even during the day can cause disruption in sleep patterns.

Another leading cause is that in our modern day world people are mentally exhausted but their body has not exercised or undergone physical work. The result is that the mind wants to sleep but the body, needing activity, causes the mind to stay awake.

The experienced therapist should take a holistic approach to this problem. Once any obvious causes have been eliminated the therapist then concentrates on possible client self-talk or other mental activity that prevents onset or duration of sleep.

Once this has been defined the therapist then assists the client enter a hypnotic trance during which therapeutic suggestions are given to assist the client deal with any mental activity that prevent a good night’s sleep.
Quite often the therapist will also give cognitive techniques that the client can use to further assist resolution of the insomnia.


The key element to quitting smoking is that it has to be totally voluntary. People cannot usually be made to do anything that is against their will. Therefore if a smoker desires to quit, the smoker must really want to quit. If the desire to smoke overrides the desire to quit, chances are the client will relapse.

One of the main elements in that assists the client to become single-minded about quitting is to educate the client about the harmful effects if smoking. Most clients have seen advertisements that illustrate the harmful effects of smoking and have become desensitized to them. When detailed information about how smoking affects major organs and systems in the body it is usually better understood and becomes more convincing.

The therapist should also help the client discover the possible causes or triggers that have brought on the smoking habit and suggest alternative ways that the causes or triggers can be dealt with. The therapist should also discuss with the client what the triggers would be that could cause a possible relapse. Strategies could thus be is put into place to prevent possible relapse.

Once all the information has been put into place the client is then relaxed under hypnosis and therapeutic suggestions given that will reinforce the strategies. The client is also mentally rehearsed to deal positively with events that could possibly cause relapse.

Weight Loss

Here again all medical causes should be eliminated. Hypnotherapy will assist best when the causes are due to behavioral, psychological or emotional factors. Sometimes these are not strikingly obvious to the client therefore some investigation by the therapist may be necessary. Hypnotherapy can assist with weight loss by:

• Raising hope and self-esteem
• Moderating eating behavior
• Changing eating habits
• Diverting attention away from fattening foods
• Reinforcing healthy food choices
• Increasing and reinforcing motivation to exercise
• Altering cognitions and mood states

Once all changes have been established, reinforced and maintained weight loss becomes inevitable.

Hypnotherapy is not limited to the above applications. Clinical hypnotherapy may assist with a number of other emotional issues. For more information on the suitability of hypnosis/hypnotherapy for your particular situation, consult your doctor.

Alf Bellanti is a content writer and the webmaster of Hypnosis Sydney. For more information on hypnosis in Sydney, please visit

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