Psychotherapeutic Hypnotherapy is the use of any psychotherapeutic process on someone, who is experiencing some sort of hypnotic state, even the alert state.

  • Hypnotherapy is mistakenly perceived as a therapeutic approach on its own, but it is actually therapeutic processes delivered whilst a person is experiencing a hypnotic state. This is why some professionals will not use the term hypnotherapy and instead refer to it as therapeutic hypnosis.
  • A fully trained hypnotherapist is a psychotherapist, who uses hypnosis. So if your training has not taught you psychotherapy, then you are not a hypnotherapist. You may be calling yourself a hypnotherapist, but you are not a therapist.
  • On its own, hypnosis as a process has no intrinsic therapeutic or beneficial value, however a natural relaxed physiological state, i.e. the parasympathetic response state created by some types of relaxation hypnosis, on its own is of intrinsic therapeutic and beneficial value (similar to some meditative practices).
  • When hypnosis is used and combined with therapeutic suggestions or processes, then it has therapeutic value. One can be hypnotised by a hypnotist but not undergo any therapy, in contrast to this, a hypnotherapist or therapeutic hypnosis practitioner or self hypnosis practitioner integrates therapeutic suggestions or processes with the hypnosis process to effect change in the individual. Some practitioners of hypnosis and hypnotherapy may call themselves hypnotism practitioners, this is mainly to avoid breaching regional legislation and licensing laws regarding using the term therapist – the term hypnotism is popular in the USA because of their strict state laws regarding medical, psychological and dental licensing.
  • Different types of hypnosis practitioners, depending on their background, training, clients and practice environment, will use different hypnosis techniques, delivery styles and therapeutic processes and approaches. A practitioner who is helping a client improve their career prospects or performance abilities (like coaches) may not use processes and approaches that may be classified as therapeutic – they are helpful and beneficial, but not therapeutic, one can argue. A psychologist or medical practitioner who is using hypnosis to treat a condition or symptom of a condition is working therapeutically. Unlike a stage hypnotist, who is a hypnosis practitioner, but not a therapeutic hypnosis practitioner.

So if you really want to practice hypnotherapy, then you should ensure that you are going to be taught modern psychotherapy and the clinical skills that are required to practice competently and ethically.

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