Hypnotism therapy is a process used to access someone’s subconscious mind and change the way he looks at the world. It is used to treat everything from chronic pain to depression, and sometimes it's even used to summon repressed memories from deep within a person's mind. The hypnotist will generally require a patient to focus on something and relax while speaking to him and guiding his thoughts to put him into a hypnotized state. Contrary to many popular beliefs, the hypnotized individual will generally remember the experience perfectly.
There are many myths about hypnotism therapy. For example, doctors can’t generally use hypnotism to make a patient do something that he wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. If hypnotism therapy works on somebody, most experts believe it’s because the person already wanted to do what the hypnotist asked in the first place.
Hypnotism therapy can potentially help people access their deepest motivations and change them so they learn to give up things that were previously difficult to do without. This is why many people use hypnosis as a way to stop using drugs and cigarettes. This kind of therapy doesn’t work for everybody, and even if it does, the person will still normally have to expend significant personal effort in the fight against addiction.
There is another kind of hypnotism therapy in which people use concentration techniques to put themselves into a trance. This could almost be seen as a kind of meditation, and some people actually do describe it that way. Many hypnosis experts say that self-hypnosis isn’t actually very different from regular hypnosis, suggesting that people are simply going through the same process using a different mechanism. Self-hypnosis is used for many of the same reasons as regular hypnotism therapy, and according to experts, the results can be similarly effective.
Sometimes doctors use hypnotism therapy as a way to find memories hidden deep in a person's subconscious. There is some evidence that this may not be effective, and some even believe that it is slightly unethical. Generally, when people are in a hypnotic state, it can be easy for a therapist to accidentally manipulate the patient's imagination. This often happens because the therapist asks a question and the person will imagine an answer that isn’t true. When the patient wakes up, he may actually believe that the imagined event is a discovered a memory, and this can lead to all kinds of problems in his life.