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Hypnotherapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2019

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a procedure in which a person's state of trance or a mental state, where most of the negative thoughts are pushed to the background. In it, the therapist uses certain special techniques and natural means to slowly take the patient to this state. Once the patient has reached the appropriate level of mental state, the therapist starts sending some positive messages which will be received by the patient.

There are different types of treatments available and those who wish to avail the treatment must get themselves acquainted with these, before subjecting themselves to hypnotherapy. The therapist uses hypnotherapy to trace the root cause of some of the disorders the patients may be suffering from. Once the root causes are traced, the psychotherapist may take over and offer the required treatment.

There are also other types, like clinical and cognitive or behavioural hypnotherapy. Once the patient has the first level of consultations, the specialist would be in a position to identify the exact need and then direct the patient to the right kind of hypnotherapy. The patient will then have the option to choose the therapist and go for the treatment.

What procedures does hypnotherapist perform?

The treatment is usually carried out in a very peaceful environment. The room in which the patient is asked to lie down is either made soundproof or the place itself is located in a quiet surrounding. In many cases, the lighting inside the room is also dimmed to create the ambience for the patient to feel relaxed. They go into a condition of trance or some kind of a mental state where the therapist can address the sub-conscious mind of the patient.

The therapist may even use some soothing music and a headphone to take the patient to a state of relaxation and inner peace. The hypnotherapy specialist will know the stage at which he or she can begin the treatment and start speaking to the patient. The usual method is to slowly make some positive suggestions. The therapist will keep a close watch on the responses to the suggestions and then keep proceeding further.

It is possible that the desired results may not be obtained in the first hypnotherapy session and additional sessions might have to be scheduled. It is left to the therapist to make the assessment at every stage of the treatment. The therapists also use the treatment for analysing the patient’s disorder and making a report that can be passed on to a psychoanalyst and to a psychotherapist for final treatment.

Who would need hypnotherapy?

There are different types of disorders that can be treated through hypnotherapy. In terms of the frequency of cases observed, men and women with avoidable habits like smoking have been seen to be choosing hypnotherapy. There are also persons with certain mental disorders such as anxiety, phobia and depression. These conditions are caused due to impressions formed inside the person’s mind, which can be eliminated through suggestions provided during the treatment.

Who is not eligible for hypnosis treatment?

If someone is already suffering from conditions or symptoms identified as psychotic in nature, then they should avoid being subjected to hypnotherapy. If the person has hallucinations or if he or she suffers from drug or alcohol abuse, then this method of treatment may not prove to be very effective. In certain cases, it has been observed that mental disorders get treated quickly through medication than through hypnotherapy.

What are the side effects of hypnosis?

There are not too many side effects on undergoing hypnotherapy. The only possible risk is related to the choice of treatment for people who have specific known conditions like psychotic issues. Similarly, people with other mental conditions are susceptible to absorb the suggestions during the treatment in the wrong manner and the possible consequences thereof can be of an avoidable nature. Again, these are rare instances. As long as the therapist is a fully qualified and experienced person and the treatment has been chosen after accurate diagnosis by the expert, the chances of any side effects remain very slim.

What care is necessary after the hypnotherapy session?

There are no specific instructions given to patients upon completion of treatment through hypnosis. Since the treatment itself is non-interventionist in nature with no medicines prescribed, the patients should be able to lead a normal life after the completion of the treatment. However, there can be cases where the chances of the person falling back into the same disorder are high. In such instances, the doctor can make a few suggestions to educate the person on the steps to be adopted, if he or she tends to go back to the condition. In the case of the example cited, such as smoking, there are chances the person might leave the habit completely, but may be tempted to restart it at some future point. The therapist can leave a few tips to avoid the situation from going out of hand.

How long does it take to recover from hypnosis?

The duration of hypnotherapy could vary widely and will depend on the nature of the complaint, the type of treatment chosen and even on the response getting from the treatment sessions. In normal circumstances, each treatment session may last about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The average number of sessions used is 4, but it can go up in some cases. It’s purely a mind game and the stronger the person is, the faster are the chances of being treated.


How much does it cost for hypnotherapy session in India?

The total cost of the treatment can also vary according to the number of sessions availed for the complete treatment. One can assume that each session could cost up to INR 2500 and the total cost will not be less than INR 10, 000.

Does hypnotherapy really work?

Since hypnotherapy is a mind-related treatment, it is difficult to make predictions on how long the effects of the treatment will last. If the disorder or habit has been acquired by the patient due to his or her surroundings and if he or she goes back to those same surroundings, then there may be chances of the condition recurring. If the patient takes proactive steps to get out of such situations and starts a fresh life, then hypnotherapy can offer a permanent solution as well.

What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?

Here are the benefits of hypnotherapy:

  • Resolvement of important issues: The treatment of hypnotherapy is very trusted because this really works in this problem resolving. If you are dealing with a serious problem then using hypnotherapy you can sort out the problem easily.
  • Person-centred: This treatment has an individual approach, totally designed for the needs of the patient. It means that hypnotherapy is individually designed for the patient who is going to use it.
  • Help to overcome some of the habits like smoking or overeating.
  • Help in controlling pain.
  • Success in the several treatments like sleep disorder, depression, stress, anxiety, grief and loss
  • Overcome fear and phobias

What are the alternatives to hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a treatment by choice. People who wish to transform their outlook on certain lifestyle issues and wish to get out of habits like smoking, turn to this treatment. Some issues such as anxiety and depression can be treated through medication as well. The assessment must be done at the initial stage itself, by the GP or the specialist consulted, on the need for hypnotherapy or any alternative treatment.

Key Highlights

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: Low

Recovery Time: Medium

Price Range: RS. 2500 -Rs. 10,000


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Written ByDr. Milind Barhate MBBS,DPMPsychiatry
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