How Hypnosis work


Hypnosis works. It has an impact on the brain that can be measured scientifically Only recently, one of America’s leading psychiatrists conducted experiments on volunteers that proved how much the brain can influence our thoughts when under hypnosis. Given that the subconscious mind is responsible for 90% of our actions – if we can change our minds – we can change our behavior too.

Hypnosis alters

Hypnosis alters our state of consciousness in such a way that our conscious (thinking) mind is switched off and our subconscious (emotional) mind is made more alert. Because the unconscious mind is a deep-seated, more instinctive force- it is this part of the brain that listens to the words the therapist is using – and uses them to reprogramme negative patterns of behavior Emile Coue said, “When will and imagination are in conflict, imagination always wins That is to say, when the conscious mind phenomenon of hypnosis and the subconscious mind are in conflict the subconscious mind always wins. The subconscious mind wins because it has the power and it is bigger.

Hypnotherapy is a proven effective treatment

Hypnotherapy is a proven effective treatment for a wide range of issues. The British Society of Clinical Hypnosis states: A hypnotic state occurs normally in everyone when certain physiological and psychological conditions are met and a skilled hypnotherapist can use this state to make deep and lasting changes to thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The power of Hypnosis

So, something happens to the mind in hypnosis that doesn’t happen in any other state. Under hypnosis, older people can often remember with perfect clarity, events from fifty years before. Your unconscious memory is virtually perfect It is your conscious recall that is suspect. The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “master program.”


What hypnosis does so effectively?

What hypnosis does so effectively is to change the programming Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently, it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.


There is no single definition surrounding the phenomenon of hypnosis. 

A huge range of approaches have developed over the past two centuries often beginning with Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) who many cite as the founding father of hypnosis. His use of metaphor and hypnotic suggestion mesmerism – were unheard of in his day but his taste for showmanship also brought the practice into disrepute.


James Braid (1795-1860) managed to move hypnosis away from any association with the occult and stage hypnotism by exploring the state of trance. He introduced the notion that hypnosis was a psychological phenomenon rooted in a physiological process.


In contemporary times. Milton Erickson (1901- 1980) has also been hugely influential in the field with many aspects of this thinking, such as the use of subtle language patterns filtering into the different approaches adopted by hypnotists and hypnotherapists worldwide.


Two explanatory frameworks are generally offered by academics/researchers and practitioners to explain what hypnosis is, or is not. They are usually defined as State and Non-State theories.

State theorists claim that hypnotic induction evokes a unique altered state of consciousness in the participant. Whereas non-state theorists might argue that the effects of suggestions can be experienced with or without the use of a hypnotic induction


Hypnosis is considered to be a naturally occurring phenomenon. Despite this difference, there is agreement that hypnosis comes about through focused attention, a sense of self, and a deep sense of relaxation, and where participants are directed toward a specific purpose generally relating to feelings, sensations, and imagery.


You will hear Diana using this key phrase time and again which is ‘what are you seeing, hearing, feeling, and experiencing?”


The debate between ‘state’ versus ‘non-state’ theories has been very useful as it has led to a superior understanding of hypnosis. It has paved the way for the development and design of many practical applications for effective hypnotherapy sessions and increased our attention to the importance of psychological and physiological realms to well-being. In conclusion, a consensus that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of different issues and that hypnosis can maximize therapeutic gain exists. There is a full session in the RTTⓇ online course that explores the history of hypnosis.



  1. ‘Don’t expect to feel Hypnotised.”

Many people come thinking that there is something about hypnosis which is markedly different from their “normal” state of consciousness. They may have seen a stage hypnotist and are basing their understanding on that. This is definitely not the case. A light hypnotic state will likely feel no different from relaxation. In fact, they will be more aware of hypnosis. You can say, “Don’t expect to feel hypnotized. It is a natural state.” There is no right or wrong way to experience hypnosis. You don’t go anywhere and many people don’t realize they are in hypnosis until they come out of it.”

  1. ‘Do expect to feel relaxed!

Hypnosis is a natural state where you feel increasing levels of relaxation because it will be suggested to you to feel relaxed.

  1. ‘You ARE in control.’

During the induction, your client needs to know that they are in control. For example, if you told them to stand up, they would, right? But if you told them to rob a bank they wouldn’t do that. Well it’s the same in hypnosis. They are in control. They only accept the suggestions that are given if they feel if it is in their interest to do so. Remember you are working with the client’s internal values and beliefs and that’s what you are actively trying to change.

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