what is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a therapy or intervention used under the state of hypnosis to draw out patterns that run within your subconscious mind.

To explain this further it is helpful to recognise the difference in the states of your conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind is responsible for logical, analytical and linear thinking. We often learn something step by step with our conscious mind, such as learning to tie our shoelaces. Once this skill is learnt the subconscious mind takes over and the activity becomes an automatic behaviour, something that you no longer need to consciously think about. Habits such as nail biting and thumb sucking are examples of automatic behaviours that are driven by your subconscious mind.


Hypnotherapy in general uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness and draw out those patterns in the subconscious mind. Your attention is so focused, while in this state, such that anything going on around you is temporarily blocked out or ignored. 

In this naturally occurring state, you may focus your attention – with the help of a trained therapist – on specific thoughts or tasks. In this way, hypnotherapy can help some people change behaviors such as smoking or nail biting as well as change perceptions and sensations which are useful in managing pain.

To better understand what hypnosis is, it may be useful to understand what it is NOT:

  • Hypnosis is NOT mind control. You will be fully aware and have free will. If you are requested to do something or answer a question that you do not want to, you can simply choose not to.
  • Hypnosis is NOT being unconscious or asleep. The state of hypnosis lays just beneath the layers of being awake. In-fact you will be in a state of heightened awareness. If you fall asleep you have gone past the range of what the hypnotic state is.

Hypnosis IS a state that we naturally go in and out of multiple times a day.

  • During the period just before and after sleep
  • Driving the car to regular destinations
  • Deep daydreams when the world around you may not seem to exist
  • Deep involvement in a book or movie
  • Deep bliss moments in exercise