Hypnosis (sometimes called “hypnotherapy”) is a type of psychotherapy that is used on a person to help create unconscious change in that person’s thought patterns, habits, perceptions, behaviors, and responses.
How to Hypnotize
When a person is hypnotized, he/she is in a trance like state that increases the subject’s willingness to cooperate and follow the instructions. The traditional form that was practiced by many Victorian hypnotists, including James Braid, utilized direct suggestion of symptom removal via the use of therapeutic relaxation. They even some taboo items, such as drugs and alcohol.
However, Braid used the term “hypnotism” in 1841, mostly to differentiate his approach of focusing on the subject’s state rather than focusing on the hypnotist’s techniques. The term “hypnosis” only became widely used in the 1880s, about twenty years after Braid’s death, mostly by those who were affected by the developments in France.
In the 1950s, Milton H. Erickson came up with an unique way of hypnotizing people. His method involved using an informal conversation approach with patients utilizing complex language patterns and therapeutic methods. This method came to be known as “Ericksonian hypnotherapy”
Another main type of hypnotherapy is known as “cognitive” or “behavioral hypnotherapy.” This type of hypnotherapy involves using a combination of clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Some claim that using the combination of the two results in better results (up to 70% more effective) when a person is put under hypnosis than when using CBT by itself.
In 1974, Theodore Barber and his colleagues published a review of the research that clinical hypnosis and CBT worked better together. Barber also argued that hypnotism was the result of normal psychological variables rather than the “special state” that many people believed it to be.
Helps Relieve Pain During Pregnancy
Hypnosis has been used for many functions. One such function is in giving birth. Before a pregnancy, a mother might be hypnotized in order to help her calm her mind. She can prepare for the challenging labor period ahead.
Original Function to Help Treat Hysteria
The original function of hypnosis in the Victorian era was to treat hysteria, a condition where a person is very emotional about a specific condition and/or object. This has been passed on to an extent in modern hypnotherapy, as it is used to help treat anxiety and control unfounded fears of objects or situations.
Helps Treat Addiction & Insomnia
In addition, modern hypnotherapy helps to treat such conditions as addiction and insomnia. Both were extreme conditions (the one being forced by an uncontrollable desire to do something, while the other being unable to sleep).
There is also evidence that various types of hypnosis have been used to treat bulimia nervosa, as that same evidence also shows that the results of someone being hypnotized were considerably better than using placebos and other treatments.
As you can see, hypnosis has had an extended history, with many forms. Braid focused more on the subject compared to his predecessors, while Erickson introduced a type of interview process to induce hypnosis. It was also combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to increase the effectiveness of both.
Top 4 Benefits of Being Hypnotized
Hypnosis has been used for many purposes, including pregnancies, overcoming hysteria, anxiety, and addiction, as well as to battle bulimia nervosa. Today, hypnosis is still relied upon by many to help overcome the stresses of their everyday lives.
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Also published on Medium.