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What is Hypnotherapy?

Mar 02, 2023


Hypnosis is a natural state of altered consciousness that occurs normally in every person just before he/she/they entere into the sleep state. In therapeutic hypnosis, we prolong this brief interlude so that we can work within its bounds and use it for healing for you.

The human mind is extremely suggestible and is constantly being bombarded with suggestive stimuli from outside, and suggestive thoughts and ideas from the inside. A good deal of suffering is the consequence of “negative” thoughts and impulses invading one’s mind from unconscious recesses. Unfortunately, past experiences, guilt feelings, and repudiated impulses and desires are incessantly pushing themselves into awareness, directly or in disguised forms, and sabotaging one’s happiness, health, and efficiency. By the time one has reached adulthood, they have built up “negative” modes of thinking, feeling, and acting which persist like bad habits.

In hypnotherapy, we attempt to replace these “negative” attitudes with “positive” ones. It takes time to disintegrate old habit patterns. But change is much quicker when addressing issues at their source: the unconscious mind. If you continue to practice the Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy principles taught to you by your therapist, you will notice change quite quickly. Even though at first, you may not notice changes and apparent alterations on the surface, a restructuring is going on underneath.

An analogy may make this clear: If you hold a batch of white blotters above the level of your eyes so that you see the bottom blotter, and if you dribble drops of ink onto the top blotter, you will observe nothing different for a while until sufficient ink has been poured to soak through the entire thickness. Eventually the ink will come down. During this period while nothing seemingly was happening, penetrations were occurring. Had the process been stopped before enough ink had been poured, we would be tempted to consider the process a failure. Suggestions in hypnosis are like ink poured on layers of resistance; one must keep repeating them before they come through to influence old, destructive patterns.




To better understand hypnotherapy, you first need to know the difference between therapeutic hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Therapeutic hypnosis consists of the therapist giving suggestions to the client while the client is in a trance state. As long as these suggestions are compatible with the desires of the client, they may last quite a long time. However, when they don’t last, this is an indication that hypnotherapy is needed. It is an indication that there are deeper unresolved conflicts that only a qualified hypnotherapist is trained to work with.

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is the use of hypnosis and that trance state to help the client reach the unconscious beliefs and emotions, so that psychotherapy can then be more effective by healing on a deeper level.

As many emotional and physical struggles are most often the product of inner emotional conflicts, you are helped to become aware of, to understand, and to resolve your conflicts on the very deepest of levels with Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. In this way, it is possible for you to do something constructive about your current situation and experiences.



Heart-Centered Hypnotheray (HCHT) trained therapists follow a similar protocol that takes you through the process of identifying old conclusions and beliefs and replacing them with new, positive beliefs and behaviors.

  1. We always begin by building or strengthening the internal positive resources of the client: a) a strong, wise adult, b) a favorite, relaxing place they can always return to with a simple anchor, c) a spiritual connection, if they choose to have that, for protection and healing, d) if needed, a “dimmer switch” to better control emotions and memories, and e) working always from the Heart Center and surrounding the client with love
  2. We then address the current problematic situation in the client’s life, whether that be behaviors, emotions, or physical issues
  3. The HCHT therapist discovers the deeply hidden emotions and feelings connected with the issue.
  4. We use those feelings and where they are located in the body to regress back to the source of the issue, regressing to deep within the unconscious mind of the client.
  5. We use various techniques to assist the client to release from their body, these deeply buried repressed emotions and conflicts
  6. We discover: a) what internal programming they received that are still affecting them, b) what unconscious conclusions they made about themselves, c) what unconscious decisions they have kept buried but which are still in operation
  7. We help them to bring in their higher resources to find resolution for the small child part within
  8. We then bring in all the healing tools we have to: a) extinguish negative behavioral patterns, b) extinguish destructive emotions, c) bring in new conclusions about themselves, d) make new decisions about conscious behavior, e) increase the their spiritual connections (if they choose to), and f) increase the heart-centered love within them


As with any kind of psychotherapeutic treatment, there are certain emotional and psychological risks. Some are more common than others, but it is important you understand the risks before engaging in treatment, and that you are willing to undergo the potential risks in order to receive the benefits.

  • STRONG EMOTIONAL RESPONSES - an important piece of your healing is the expression of emotions you’ve been carrying around. This can be uncomfortable, but many clients report feeling better after having released this energy. Some report feeling sad, angry, fearful, mildly disoriented, and/or disturbed for several days after a session. Please know that this is normal, and use of the coping skills you learn in session will often help these emotions subside more quickly.
  • REGRESSION - during your HCHT session, we will regress you back to the source of the negative conclusions and emotions that are plaguing you today. This is another important aspect of your healing. During a regression, you may experience the intense emotions from your past, or the same bodily sensations from a traumatic memory. It may feel to you like you are back in the traumatic or painful past experiences, which is seen as a needed aspect of the healing process. We cannot control “where” (i.e., to what memory) your psyche takes you, but we can make every attempt to help you cope through the emotions, reducing them if need be, and help you connect with positive inner resources to get you to the healing portion at the end of the session.
  • PAST LIFE REGRESSION - some people have the experience of regressing to the womb, their birth, or even a past life. While some believe in the Truth of these experiences, others see it as a manner in which their psyche has decided to present the needed healing information to them. Depending on your background, this experience may challenge your spiritual, religious, or other beliefs. In any case, the most helpful coping tool is to see your experience as a manner in which you are processing unconscious material, is a natural occurrence in hypnotherapy.
  • HEIGHTENED STATE OF AROUSAL/TRAUMA RESPONSE - those with a history of trauma may find themselves going into a “fight/flight/freeze” mode that may last several minutes, or several days. You may experience symptoms of panic (i.e., difficulty breathing, tense muscles, a sense of wanting to run and/or hide), tearfulness, irritability, nightmares, or other re-experiencing of trauma. If this persists for more than a week, please contact me so we can come up with a coping plan.
  • SHOCK - it is very rare that people go into shock during a session. Shock is characterized by the mind and body being in a state of “overload” from the emotions, thoughts, and/or images being experienced. One may find themselves experiencing little-to-no movement, little-to-no talking, withdrawal from interaction, and/or being “out-of-it”. I am trained in identifying the signs of shock, as well as in how to treat it. We also have safeguards in our sessions in case you go into shock, as we have you: a) identify a safety person to be available that I may contact if you go into shock, b) keep on-hand hot and cold items (i.e., ice pack, heating pad, etc.) to help the body calm and return to a state of homeostasis.
  • SUICIDAL IDEATION - it is even more rare for an HCHT session to CAUSE someone to have thoughts of self-harm or suicide. To my knowledge, this has not happened in persons who have never before had these types of thoughts or tendencies, but it should still be noted that there is a small risk of this occurrence. As a reminder, I do not provide crisis services, but if this happens during an appointment, I will alert your emergency contact to get you to the care you need. If it happens after/between appointments, you must go immediately to the nearest ER or call a crisis hotline. We can then have a follow-up session sooner than planned, if need-be.

Do you have more questions? Check out my Hypnotherapy FAQ’s on my website here (it’s the 3rd section down).