When I first heard of hypnotherapy, I immediately envisioned what I’ve seen on television when someone is “put under.” You may recall a scene in which the hypnotist convinced his volunteers that the temperature in the room felt like an oven, and they started to undress? Yikes! Well, that may be a great example of hypnosis, but it’s not even close to what takes places during hypnotherapy.

So let’s break it down…

Hypnotherapy is not hypnosis in the traditional sense – you’re not put under, asleep or out of your control. The technique allows the therapist to use guided relaxation exercises with their clients to help them focus on a particular unpleasant thought or task. The client remains awake, under their own control, and the level of concentration is very intense which allows them to become very aware.

This awareness allows the client to reach a new level of openness which can allow perceptions to change. Clients can change their perceptions about something that has been causing angst in their life, and those negative emotions lessen or get left behind altogether. It can also help to change negative behaviors and habits such as nail biting and smoking. Hypnotherapy is helpful for working through grief, anxiety, trauma and phobias such as fear of spiders (yup, that’s me).

I’ve seen the benefits of hypnotherapy firsthand, and it has proven to be a very useful tool in helping my clients resolve their issues and live a healthier, happier life. My next few posts will explore some of the issues that hypnotherapy can help, and the techniques that work.


Kristin Hall, is a Counselor in Training within the State of Missouri and focuses on grief, substance abuse and general life transitions. Kristin is also a certified clinical hypnotherapist.   She is an adult therapist with Step By Step Counseling.