What is Hypnotherapy (Clinical Hypnosis)?


Hypnotherapy, or “Clinical Hypnosis” is a form of psychotherapy. A competent hypnotherapist has also been trained in other forms of psychotherapy as well, such as psychodynamic, Gestault, cognitive behavioral, EMDR, etc. This other training is vital for the therapist to be able to respond appropriately to whatever may arise for the client while they are in the hypnotic state. The word “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word “hypnos” which simply means “sleep”. Although the person experiencing hypnosis may have appeared to be sleeping to others, and often may have their eyes closed, this is, in reality, not an accurate description of what the person is experiencing. In the state of hypnosis, the person feels very relaxed and comfortable, and keeping their eyes closed often enhances those feelings. However, while experiencing “trance”, it is possible for the person to open their eyes and still retain their hypnotic experience, unlike sleep . Also, during a light to medium trance, people are able to talk, as well as respond to questions, unlike actual sleep. During the time the person is hypnotized, they are aware of the therapist, and being in such a relaxed state can assist them to explore past uncomfortable memories, without re-traumatization. All people actually experience hypnosis at least twice a day, and move through the trance experience as they begin to wake up in the morning, and right before they fall asleep at night. Often, people experience it during the day as well. Have you ever “spaced out” while driving, and missed your freeway exit? Hypnosis! Have you ever, right before falling asleep, been aware of other noises around you, and chosen to disregard them? Trance!

There are a variety of uses for clinical hypnosis, and most people can be hypnotized by a trained professional. Hypnosis should only be used by a trained professional with the agreement of the client, after fully explaining how the person will be hypnotized, and what will be done once they are in trance. While in trance, in addition to exploring past experiences and trauma, a person is much more open to positive suggestions These suggestions can be used to help the client “rework” some of the negative “programming” they may have received, often early in childhood. “You cry, and I’ll give you something to cry about” is common example of negative programming. Positive suggestions can help clients break bad habits, overcome sleep disturbances, and a variety of other uses. As in all therapies, the relationship that is established between the therapist and client is paramount in order to achieve a long lasting and positive outcome.

Interested in Clinical Hypnosis?

If you are interested in Clinical Hypnosis, please contact me as soon as possible. I would love to hear from you, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is never too late to get help.

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Robert Jaffe, Ph.D, LMFT
15720 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 520
Encino, CA 91436
Phone: 818-462-8383
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