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What is Self-Help Hypnosis?

Karyn Maier
Updated May 17, 2024
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Self-help hypnosis combines two key elements: The desire to create positive change and the use of hypnosis as a tool to effect change. As the term implies, reliance is upon the self rather than the services of a clinical hypnotherapist. Aside from the obvious financial and time saving factors realized from taking this approach, there are other benefits to be gained from undergoing self-help hypnosis. For one thing, the seeker of change has a vested interest in achieving success. For another, there is little doubt as to the level of confidence and trust in the person filling the role of therapist.

A person may be motivated to attempt self-help hypnosis for a variety of reasons. Often, the incentive is a desire to modify or eliminate certain behaviors, such as smoking, compulsive eating, or other self-defeating behaviors that compromise personal health. Many people turn to hypnosis to increase self-esteem, to boost productivity, or to simply reduce stress. For that matter, proponents of the self-growth and improvement community view self-hypnosis as an instrument with which to enhance the overall quality of life.

Of course, many people remain skeptical about hypnosis as a therapeutic tool in general, let alone find acceptance in self-help hypnosis. It should be noted, however, that hypnosis is a form of therapy not only recognized by medical professionals, but well-documented as an effective treatment for a variety of mental and physical conditions. The list of potential applications is lengthy, but range in scope from treating depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome to addressing cancer and managing chronic pain. While self-help hypnosis may be used to help cope with these types of conditions as well, the unique level of intimacy provides a pathway to accessing emotional blocks that may hinder intellectual, spiritual, or even financial health. The therapist is able to forego speculation and investigative tactics to get to the root of the problem based on the advantage of possessing self-knowledge.

The mechanism behind self-hypnosis is the same that drives traditional clinical hypnotherapy. Once a state of relaxation is reached, the executive branch of the brain can be diffused and prepared to receive new programming. In other words, the part of the brain that sends commands to other areas of the body in an effort to maintain control over movement, sensory perception, and thought processes is temporarily put on pause. This results in the ability to accept new information without being tempted to censor or judge the validity of its content. In effect, this equates to giving the brain a new set of instructions on how to make decisions in the future based on new imprinting rather than past experience or habit.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Karyn Maier
By Karyn Maier , Writer
Contributing articles to WiseGEEK is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill Mountain region, Karyn is also a magazine writer, columnist, and author of four books. She specializes in topics related to green living and botanical medicine, drawing from her extensive knowledge to create informative and engaging content for readers.

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Karyn Maier

Karyn Maier


Contributing articles to WiseGEEK is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill...
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