Could Hypnotherapy Be The Anxiety-Reducing Solution You Need? Here's What To Know

If you have tried just about everything under the sun to help ease your daily anxiety and have come up fairly empty-handed, then aiding your body into a state of rest to lessen your symptoms with hypnosis may be worth a try. While some may be skeptical at first, hypnotherapy has been recognized as a legitimate method of medical treatment by the American Medical Association since 1958.


Hypnotherapy in real life does look a lot like it does in the movies, but it's actually a bit more complicated than following a pendulum with your eyes until you're sleepy. However, the results of hypnotherapy are similar to those of meditation, which makes it a great tool to cope with phobias and various anxieties. So, if you're still on the hunt for an anxiety-reducing solution, here's what you need to know about hypnotherapy and why it could be your new saving grace.

Hypnotherapy helps you control your state of awareness

If you're wondering what exactly hypnotherapy is, you likely aren't alone. Apart from being in a sleepy state, it's tricky to understand what exactly is going on and how this benefits the nervous system. According to Psycom, hypnotherapy essentially allows us to experience a clearer, heightened awareness of where we can make changes. Someone undergoing a hypnotherapy session may look like they're sleeping, but they're actually in an opposite state of hyper-focus.


In this trance of hyper-awareness, we're able to gain access to the areas of our mind that typically lay dormant. From this untapped space, we can address irrational fears and anxieties, as well as the root cause of unhealthy addictions. Many have turned to hypnotherapy to take charge of smoking or overeating habits. The idea is to examine what ails us from a place of nonattachment. In a calm and regulated state achieved through hypnotherapy, we can take inventory of what's happening without becoming emotionally reactive.

Who may or may not be a candidate for hypnotherapy

While most tend to be candidates for hypnotherapy, there are a few cases in which the treatment should be avoided. Hypnotherapy is ideal for those who truly want to make a change in their lives and aren't pressured into the treatment by anyone else. It also cannot be guaranteed that hypnotherapy will yield the desired results, but it's not easy to predict whether or not it will work for each individual, so if you're a candidate for the treatment, it's at least worth investigating.


Those who may not be candidates for hypnotherapy are individuals dealing with hallucinations or any other psychotic symptoms as it has the potential to create false memories — or confabulations (via Healthline). It also requires that an individual has the capacity to focus for a longer period of time and can do so willingly. Anyone who has had success with meditation, for instance, would likely transition easily into a hypnotherapy session.

What to expect in a hypnotherapy session

If you opt to give hypnotherapy a go to treat your anxiety, you'll be led into a hypnotic trance state,which will feel a lot like the times you are fully focused during any given day and lose track of time. Daydreaming is a similar state and actually has some mental health benefits. Here, your body is at ease, relaxed, and ready to process. Your hypnotherapist may use various techniques to get you there, including visualization and aromatherapy. Sometimes during a hypnotherapy session, emotions will arise to be released and the therapist will guide you in doing so.


If an individual is ever in too much distress during a hypnotherapy session when they're revisiting difficult events from the past, the therapist can always ease them out of hypnosis and back to their fully conscious state. Depending on what anxieties you're hoping to heal, the number of sessions will vary for each individual. You may work on rewiring negative thought cycles that contribute to your anxiety during these sessions or face the phobias that worsen your daily anxiety.

What hypnotherapy is most typically sought to treat

General anxiety can certainly be treated with hypnotherapy, but there are also more specific fears and phobias that many have turned to hypnosis to cope with. Some may use hypnotherapy to manage their fear of public speaking or performing in another professional capacity. Others might use the treatment to prepare for childbirth — which you may have heard of referred to as 'hypnobirthing.' Weight loss is another common goal that many utilize hypnotherapy to accomplish, as is dropping habits like smoking. And if you've ever supported a loved one who is quitting smoking, you know how tough that can be. Some may also be able to find support in coping with chronic pain or illness through hypnotherapy.


"The Neurointuitive Method is always centered around identifying and resolving inner conflicts," Keylee Miracle, M-NLP, CCH, a master hypnotherapist and creator of The Neurointuitive Method, told PureWow. "Every thought and behavioral pattern has a series of supporting beliefs, decisions, and emotions that can be modified. I tend to do this through an auditing session and production of a custom hypnosis track to more fully empower my clients."

How to find a hypnotherapist

When you set out to find a hypnotherapist who's the right fit for you and what you'd like to treat, it's important to make sure that the therapist you hire is a licensed professional. Some insurance policies may even cover a portion of the treatment. There are some licensing agencies, like the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists which require a set number of hours dedicated to workshops, training, and clinical practice. Some medical and dental offices may even already use the technique with their clients, so be sure to research all of the options in your area.


If you're doubtful that hypnotherapy would be effective for you, remember that your mindset is key for this particular treatment. Consider the potential benefits and see if you can shift your perspective just a bit and be open to hypnosis as an anxiety-reducing solution. "Since everyone has a parasympathetic nervous system, if someone comes with a need and a willingness to be served there is a good chance of effectiveness," Miracle told PureWow.