Hypnotherapy works in several ways, some of which are discussed here.
RELAXATION. Hypnosis can help clients learn to relax both physically and mentally. At my Plymouth hypnotherapy practice I teach clients to calm themselves quickly without even closing their eyes. By this means they can better control their own emotions, preventing anxiety and fear from overwhelming their ability to think and choose their own actions.
IMAGINATION. To make lasting changes to ourselves we must first believe that change is possible. And to believe something we need to imagine it- for instance, to imagine ourselves being more confident or weighing less. Hypnosis can greatly enhance the power of our imagination, enabling us to change and extend our self-belief. To the subconscious mind, images are much more powerfully than words. A common technique is to imagine yourself in the future, when you have achieved your present goals, and then look back along the way from now till then.
ALTERED PERCEPTION. Hypnosis is a state of selective attention. In hypnosis we can learn to pay more or less attention to sensations like hunger or pain. This is useful in psychosomatic problems.
DISSOCIATION. Hypnosis can enable us to experience our thoughts and feelings and sensations as separate from ourselves. This makes it easier to control our thoughts and feelings. For example, it’s easier to control your own anger if you imagine it as being outside you, instead of just thinking that you are “an angry person”. Because hypnosis is a powerful treatment, you should ensure that you consult with an experienced hypnotherapist who has not only studied techniques for inducing a hypnotic trance, but also has a thorough background knowledge of psychology theory, practice, and research.
Of course, results will vary from person to person as with any therapy. In my experience the difference between success and failure is mostly down to the client’s level of motivation, which is why no therapist or doctor can ever guarantee success.