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What’s the Difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

Updated: May 25

Most people don't know what the difference is between hypnosis and hypnotherapy and use the words interchangeably. This photo shows what hypnosis looks like. As you can see, it's that far away stare. And you've seen it before on others and they have seen this look on you. It's a natural state.

photo of a girl with a blank stare- this is what hypnosis looks like.
This is what hypnosis looks like- Learn hypnosis at

People drift in and out of hypnosis all day, every day, their entire lives. That's right. EVERY day. Hypnosis goes by many names. Vegging out. Zoning out. Daydreaming. It's the state between awake and asleep. You enter hypnosis right before you drift to sleep- and just as you move from sleep into the awake state. Hypnosis happens automatically when we are tired. But we also enter the state of hypnosis when we are very emotional or overwhelmed.

photo of a hypnotherapy session
Hypnotherapy session

What is Hypnotherapy -what's the differences between hypnosis and hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic tool that uses the state of hypnosis to help a person break habits, reach goals and resolve problems where other methods failed.

In general hypnotherapy is used to lift a person up and out of their limitations and change how they feel and respond in the world. It's used to create positive outcomes.

Here is a very short list of areas where hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been effective:

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for weight loss

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy to stop smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for alcohol addictions. Either to drink less or stop drinking completely

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for Insomnia and sleep disorders

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for anxiety

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for depression

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy to get over the past- a past relationship, or negative event

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for trauma. This can be a personal experience of physical or emotional abuse. Or something we witnessed. Trauma can just be a childhood experience such as bullying.

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for confidence

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for fears and phobias

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for relationships

· Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy for stress reduction or relaxation

Why Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Traditional counseling methods work to help a person understand the reason why. Why they do something or why they feel the way they feel or why someone else might have done something. Traditional talk therapy uses the conscious mind and logic to help the client make sense of the situation or bring closure and understanding to a problem or event. But that doesn't work very well for habits, addictions, chronic problems, extreme feelings and trauma. A person may KNOW what to do, if for example, they want to lose weight. But too often they aren't successful because they just can't get themselves to DO it. That's because the feelings override the logic. The best way to shift the feelings is by working with the feeling part of the mind. Hypnotherapy works with the feelings and the imagination and with past memories. It helps a person change how they feel and then how they think and then how they act.

Smiling, confident man with crossed arms

Why Do People Choose Hypnotherapy over Counseling, Psychology, Coaching or Psychotherapy?

Traditional talk therapy requires that a person talk with the therapist about the upset and the therapist helps them reframe it. But this is a slow process.

Hypnotherapy uses the relaxed state of hypnosis to soothe a persons emotions and shift their perspective. Of course the client and therapist discuss the situation and the goal. But they talk BEFORE the client goes into hypnosis. The client tells the hypnotherapist what their goal is and what gets in the way and together they create a plan. Then the hypnotherapist helps the client enter the state of hypnosis and the hypnotherapist uses words, and paints pictures to help the client step access a new point of view and lighter feelings.

Anyone can learn how to help a person enter the state of hypnosis, but very few understand how to be effective. People learn in different ways. People have different life experiences. And people interpret words and experiences in a variety of ways. The best hypnotherapists know that they can't just say the same thing to everyone. They don't just read a script about the problem the person came in for. No. The best hypnotherapists must be taught about the mind and the brain and the emotions. They need to know how to think about people. And they must learn how to address difficult situations. They must be taught how trauma affects people so they know what to say to a person and how to say it.

Just understanding this much, you can see why a 30 hour training just isn't enough time for a person to learn what they need to learn- unless they just want to do hypnotherapy as a hobby. But by the time a person comes for hypnosis or hypnotherapy, they have already tried everything else and they are losing hope and are desperate for results. That's why we owe it to a person to learn everything we can so that whoever walks in our doors, can get what they came for.

​Now you understand the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy and also what the state of hypnosis looks like.

Logo of The only state authorized school of hypnosis in the state of Georgia for over 20 years The only state authorized school of hypnosis in the state of Georgia for over 20 years.

If you're interested in learning Hypnosis or hypnosis certification and you want to become an Expert, then reach out to us and to discuss your goals, answer your questions and guide you to the next steps.

If you're interested in our expert hypnotherapy services, then schedule a free consultation.

If you want to understand hypnosis and hypnotherapy better, read my book, Accidental Hypnosis. It's available on Amazon. Or if you want it for free, then email me and ask!


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