What is Hypnotherapy, and What is it Actually Used for?

get out tea scene
Universal Pictures

Hypnosis isn’t a cheap party trick or a tool used to coerce people into doing things they wouldn’t normally do. 2017’s satirical thriller Get Out paints a pretty terrifying picture of hypnosis—involving (spoiler alert) brain transplants and prisons of the mind.

Fortunately, hypnosis is more commonly used as a tool to help people make positive changes in their lives. In a professional setting, hypnosis can be combined with therapy for truly powerful transformations. Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Lynnsey Robinson clues us into the reality of hypnotherapy and its many, many benefits.

Kaitlin Willow: What is hypnotherapy? 

Lynnsey Robinson: Hypnotherapy is the practice of using hypnosis as a therapeutic technique to help a client create positive subconscious change. Hypnosis itself is a very natural state that humans go into and out of everyday. A hypnotherapist is trained to induce that natural state in the client (with the client’s permission) and facilitate reprogramming of the subconscious “knowns” to what the client desires to achieve. This is just a very brief description, but please feel free to check out my short video that goes much more into detail on how hypnosis works for goal achievement. 🙂

KW: What are some of the benefits of hypnotherapy/what is it most commonly used for?

LR: There are hundreds of reasons people seek hypnotherapy, but in my experience, the most common are habit control, weight control, pain management, pregnancy & childbirth, overcoming fears/phobias, past life regression (one of my faves), releasing limiting subconscious beliefs about themselves and/or their abilities (my chosen specialty), or just simple curiosity! The possibilities are only limited by the client’s imagination, really.

That’s one of the things that make my work so fun and fascinating to me! No matter the reason for seeking hypnotherapy, the benefits are pretty much the same; improved sleep patterns, more positive mindset, closer connection to their own spirit/inner wisdom, and long lasting positive shifts that can ripple into every aspect of the client’s life, just to name a few! 🙂

KW: What might someone experience during a first-time session? 

LR: Hypnosis feels different for everyone, but the general consensus is an amazing, deep relaxed and calm feeling of the mind and body. There is a heightened state of mental focus, while the body and conscious mind are in a relaxed, peaceful state. The subconscious mind remains very alert and receptive to positive suggestions for change. Breathing gets deeper and heavier, you may experience a soft tingling sensation or warmth throughout your body. In this state, one is able to focus intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions.

There is a heightened state of mental focus, while the body and conscious mind are in a relaxed, peaceful state.

Under hypnosis, your mind may wander. You may wonder if you locked the door, or what you will eat for dinner tonight, for instance; but this is completely normal. Even though you may not feel hypnotized, your subconscious is still being accessed and will pick up everything that is said under hypnosis. Most first time clients are reluctant to come out of this state once they are in, because it feels so wonderfully relaxing!

KW: What are some of the myths/misconceptions you’ve heard about hypnotherapy? How would you dispel them? 

LR: My favorite myth is the idea that only some people can experience hypnosis. This is completely untrue. EVERYONE with normal cognitive function is able to experience hypnosis, and thus the benefits. The only requirement is that the person must want to experience hypnosis and give consent, because no one can be hypnotized against their will.

That said, every person is a unique individual. Therefore, the method of hypnotic induction must cater to the client’s specific individuality. You do not take in information the same way as others do, so you will not respond to the same hypnosis techniques that others do. My job is to find out how you take in information, in order to give you the most fulfilling and effective hypnotic experience.

No one can make you say, do, or feel anything that goes against your morals or core beliefs.

Another myth that I hear a lot is that hypnosis makes people lose control of their mind or body. Also not true. Free will is not given up, deactivated, or altered in any way under hypnosis. Hypnosis is not a sleep or unconscious state. The client is still very aware of their surroundings under hypnosis, but is so relaxed and focused that they may chose to ignore all other distractions. No one can make you say, do, or feel anything that goes against your morals or core beliefs. And again, no one can be hypnotized against their will.

KW: Why did you become a hypnotherapist? 

LR: I became a hypnotherapist in 2012 after giving birth to my first son. I was about to go back to a 50+ hour work week and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my brand new baby at home while I went back to a job I didn’t like. I think that’s when my entrepreneurial light switched on, and I decided was going to do something where I was in charge of my work schedule and my hours. Something I was actually passionate about. I’d always been fascinated by the workings of the mind and LOVED reading about cases of past life regression. I had previously had my own past life regression in 2006 and it changed my whole life (a crazy story for another time!). That’s when I decided I was going to do hypnosis, but had no idea how to go about it!

I researched schools and found one in Los Angeles right down the street from the job I would have been returning to! To me, that was a green light that the Universe was on board with this new plan, so I went for it! The training program at this particular institute is one of the longest and most extensive in the nation, and is the first accredited college exclusively for hypnotherapy.

I trained in behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy and NLP for a year, with a residency of 6 months before graduating with honors and gaining my certification in clinical hypnotherapy, as well as being offered a position at the school to train future hypnotherapists. Since then, I’ve blessed to be able to help women all over the world discover what lights them up, release the subconscious, limiting beliefs holding them back from their success, and use the power of their minds to literally create the a life they LOVE.

Kaitlin Willow

Kaitlin is Founder and Editor in Chief of The Vim. She works for Dermstore during the day and writes novels and short stories in the evenings. She lives in Long Beach, California with the coolest dog in the world, Benny. (Find him on Instagram: @bennythejetsetter)


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