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How to apply Hypnosis in psychotherapy?

How to apply Hypnosis in psychotherapy?

I would like to share some misconceptions or myths about hypnosis as we seldom touch this topic – hypnosis unless we go to google and search for it.

I have been using hypnosis in the past to work with many clients who have presented a variety of problem situations such as panic attack, anxiety, back pain, PTSD, depression, alcohol addiction, quit smoking, work stress, immune system disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, examination performance, etc.  I always feel amazed, as well as my clients that after each session of hypnosis, not only do they feel relaxed, their problem situation has also been resolved or reduced.    I have tried it on my son who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago, and the blood test after a few days indicated that the inflammation index went down from 16 to 6.  It was a big improvement after one session.

What is hypnosis?

There are two elements in hypnosis, namely, trance and suggestion.  Trance is a special state of mind where the conscious mind is less active and the subconscious is more dominant.  It is a bypass of the critical faculty or the conscious mind.  During hypnosis, there is a process of implanting of selective thinking.  The hypnotizer will influence the recipient through the presentation and acceptance of an idea or opinion given by the hypnotizer.  The recipient will cooperate and comply with the suggestion.

It is a physiological phenomena, but it works like magic.  I was so thrilled when I first learnt hypnosis and applied it on people.  It is an altered state of consciousness not unconsciousness.  It cannot be forced against a person’s will and requires a consent.  Hypnosis happens everyday in our daily life, e.g. day dreaming.  Any one who can daydream can be hypnotized.

Applications for hypnotherapy

It can be used to help improve concentration, clear thinking, memory enhancement, confidence, confidence boosting, overcome nail biting, anxiety, phobias, stress and to enhance performance, e.g. sport, study, exams, i.e. any activity of the human mind can be altered with hypnosis.  Hypnosis can also be used to treat depression, PTSD, sleep disorder, the mind/body conditions, manage pain, manage anger, etc.   No ill effects will occur after hypnosis.

Sometimes hypnosis can be happened in a waking state, and we call this a state a waking hypnosis.  When hypnotic effects are achieved without the use of the trance state, such hypnotic effects are called waking hypnosis.  In every case, it involves a bypass of the critical faculty or conscious mind and the implanting of selective thinking.  During this time the subject has to like the idea and be interested in what is going to happen.  The minute the subject thinks of that, his/her critical faculty is bypassed, and substitute judgment is used.  The mind of the subject must lock itself around a given idea.  For instance, the crying child is certain that if his/her mother kisses him/her the pain will disappear or reduce.  To cause the human mind to lock around a given idea, suggestions in the waking state must be given with complete confidence and absolute assurance.  If doubt creeps in, the suggestion usually becomes ineffective.  Firstly, the mind of the subject must lock itself around a given idea.  Secondly, the suggestions must be one which the subject wants.  Dental patient is an excellent example, i.e. ready for waking hypnosis.

A waking suggestion is a suggestion given in a normal state of consciousness which does not precipitate a waking state of hypnosis.  For example, someone in the room yawns.  Someone sees him yawn, and he yawns too.  Another person sees him yawn, and the third person yawns, and pretty soon you have a room full of yawning people.  That is waking suggestion.  Everyone of us has seen this occurs.  There is no bypass of the critical faculty involved.  In therapy, I always give clients some positive suggestions, and invite them to give some positive suggestions to themselves before they go to bed and when they get up in the morning.  An example of these would be: I will be able to face some unnecessary or inappropriate fears; I will be able to enjoy doing today’s tasks, etc.  This is very effective and overtime they will change their perspective and look forward to live a better life.

Day by day, in every way, you will be getting better and better.

Gabriel Wong

Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Hypnotherapist






Gabriel Wong
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