Hypnotherapy can include some confusing jargon. Here we offer you some definitions to demystify hypnotherapy words and phrases and help you get to grips with understanding what it’s all about.

  • Conscious and Unconscious. These terms describe aspects of your mind. Think of the range of states your mind experiences as a spectrum. At the right extreme of the spectrum is the super-alert states you’re in when you’re frightened or excited. At the left end of the spectrum of mind states is deep sleep.

  • Direct and indirect suggestions. A direct (or authoritarian) suggestion gives an explicit instruction to do something such as ‘Stop smoking now’. It acts as a form of reprogramming. An indirect (or permissive) suggestion allows your unconscious mind to explore a variety of possibilities before coming up with a response. For example, ‘I wonder how soon it will be before you stop smoking and start to enjoy a healthy lifestyle?’ Indirect suggestions allow your unconscious mind to make change in a way that fully suits you.

  • Hypnosis. Hypnosis is a technique. The word hypnosis comes from hypnos, the Greek word for sleep. People used to think that hypnosis was the same as sleep, but it isn’t. Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state where your mind can help you to focus extremely well on any task that either you or your hypnotherapist suggests to help you.

  • Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis used for therapeutic purposes becomes hypnotherapy. Many different hypnotherapy techniques and applications exist. Hypnotherapy is a way of solving personal problems through reaching a deeply relaxed state of mind called trance.

  • Trance. Trance is a state of mind that involves a selective focus of attention. You are in trance-like states naturally several times throughout the day, such as when you are fully involved in reading a book. Trance-like states are often associated with states of relaxation. Hypnotherapy uses the trance state to access the powerful forces of your own subconscious to make the changes you want.

  • Post-hypnotic suggestion. This is a suggestion given in trance, for you to make something happen when you are not in trance. Your mind is reprogrammed to respond in a healthier way to something.