How Hypnotherapy Is Used in Mental Health Counseling


Hypnotherapy is using hypnosis for the purpose of accessing the sub-conscious mind or the part of the mind/body that we normally tune out, such as suppressed emotions, memories or even inner resources like creativity and more physical energy.

Hypnotherapy can be used to do an “inner child rescue”, which means imagining your adult self walking into a past situation which was traumatic for your past self or inner child and imagining protecting and comforting said inner child; thereby internalizing what it feels like to be protected and comforted, instead of shamed and abandoned. Doing an “inner child rescue” facilitates the release of fear, grief and anger and replaces it with love, compassion and strength.

There are many myths about Hypnotherapy. One myth is that while in a relaxed, hypnotic state called “trance” people can be made to do things they don’t want to do. Not true. Free will is still very accessible while in trance. Hypnosis is simply a deep state of relaxation and is obtained through the willingness to act on suggestions made by the hypnotherapist, i.e., “with each breath imagine becoming more and more relaxed and more and more aware of your body, feelings and thoughts.”

Another myth is that “hypnotic trance” means being asleep, unconscious to some degree or not aware of self. Not true. In fact, while in a state of hypnosis people are more keenly aware of themselves than when not in a state of hypnosis. They also have access to parts of their personality that are usually not accessible, which is why hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for changing people at depth.

Issues that hypnotherapy can be used to address include unresolved grief, anger, fear, pain, traumatic experiences, addictive behavior and dysfunctional relationship patterns.