What is the difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?
The difference between them is a simple one: Hypnosis is the process by which we reach an hypnotic state of deep relaxation, the so called trance state. Hypnotherapy on the other hand is the therapeutic work done either by yourself (Self Hypnosis) or a Hypnotherapist while the subject (you) is under Hypnosis usually with positive suggestions or positive affirmations. Commonly during therapy there is also a Creative Visualization part.
I know we are talking about semantic but even if these two words are usually interchanged together with Hypnotism they mean different things. The hypnotic session or treatment is made up of (Self) Hypnosis first, when you relax as deep as you can until you reach the trance state, and (Self) Hypnotherapy later when you give suggestions to your mind in order to achieve a desired outcome. If there is a Hypnotherapist doing the session he will use Creative Visualization and post hypnotic suggestions to help you achieve your desired outcome.
These suggestions are aimed at working, after the session is finished, in your daily life. So, Hypnosis or Hypnotism is only the induction to a trance state of deep relaxation when our mind is relaxed and extremely receptive, Hypnotherapy are those suggestions or affirmations given to our mind to achieve the desired result while in the trance state.
What are Positive (Post Hypnotic) Suggestions and what are Positive Affirmations:
Positive or Post Hypnotic Suggestions are those instructions given to the Subconscious Mind to get a desired result. They are usually pretty long, three to five sentences, or even longer like short stories full of embedded (undercover) hypnotic suggestions. Positive Affirmations instead are usually one sentence long repeated around five times aimed at being used also during the day for repetition. In my opinion using Positive Affirmations is the best way to go given that being shorter they are better absorbed by our Mind. Do you remember better a poem or a short summary? A quote or a full page?
While the mind is always ready to try new roads and change habits if it gets a clear demonstration that the new road is better than the old one on the other side the mind, both our Subconscious and Conscious, hate being cheated and sooner or later goes back to its previous instructions or habits. One thing is showing a better way to do things, another one is telling a story with embedded suggestions (these are positive suggestions which do not seem such) which has also the risk of being boring. As with almost everything in life keeping things short and simple is the best policy.
While a preparatory phase is pretty useful, like “Dear Subconscious, I know you know everything about me…..” the suggestion should be focused on one sentence only for better absorption and faster results. While during the day you can’t repeat all the long story it is pretty useful or better required to repeat the Positive Affirmation as much as possible.
The only exception is if the preparatory phase (the story) is part of the Induction, that is instead of using a deepener like counting from 10 to 1 the Hypnotherapist begins talking to the Subconscious, just like Emile Couè, the father of Self Hypnosis, used to do. Anyway the focus must be on a single sentence, Couè used the famous “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better” while all the rest of his speech was the Induction part. The same goes if you or the Hypnotherapist use a Creative Visualization, always add a Positive Affirmation.
While I agree during Hypnosis on the usefulness of using a direct talk with the Subconscious with embedded suggestions as a deepener my opinion is that Hypnotherapy should be based always on Positive Affirmations.
Do you agree? What do you think?