Hypnosis vs. Hypnotherapy

So what is the deal with hypnotherapy? And what is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Actually, hypnotherapy can be the same as hypnosis. Or it can be different.

Some who call themselves hypnotists practice what some hypnotherapists call “hypnotherapy”, preferring to call it “change work” themselves. They consider that they don’t do “therapy” as would be defined by psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. They help people change their habitual behavior.

In some states, neither hypnosis nor hypnotherapy are defined. In other states, there is a legal difference between the two determined by the type and length of training that the hypnotist or hypnotherapist has received.

And there is of course a hypnotists’ guild, which permits full membership to those with extensive live training.

My definition? I always called myself a “hypnotist” until I took up stage hypnosis. Now I am beginning to differentiate between the two, so that there isn’t confusion as to whether I am doing entertainment or therapeutic change work.

Stop smoking = hypnotherapy. Comedy hypnosis = clearly not therapy. And of course, there is always overlap. So the definitions will never be fixed and clear-cut. Most self-help recordings are hypnotherapy.

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