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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Hypnosis


Hypnosis: Hypnosis is like a daydream state. You are awake and aware but are very relaxed with your attention focused on a specific thought or image. Second, you always have control. If the hypnotist told you to rob a bank you would just say, “No” and open your eyes; you would not rob the bank. Of course, if you really wanted to rob a bank anyway, then you would follow the suggestion to do so. The point is that it is you, not the hypnotist, who makes hypnosis work or not work.
source: Truth about Hypnosis, William Hewitt

Hypnotherapy: The use of hypnosis combined with techniques such as suggestion and metaphor to help a person achieve behavioral changes. It should be noted that a person trained in how to hypnotize others—a skill that is relatively easy to learn—can quickly hypnotize most people. However, learning how to help a person make desired changes in his or her life can take years of training. Hypnotherapy has some outer similarities to Stage Hypnosis used for entertainment, but has many differences and should not be confused with hypnotherapy.

Stage Hypnosis: The use of hypnosis (or an imitation of hypnosis) for the purpose of entertainment. Although there are some similarities with the professional use of hypnosis to help people make changes in their lives, the differences far outweigh the similarities and have given many people a completely false impression as to the nature of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. As a result, hypnotherapists need to spend time with clients explaining the myths that surround hypnosis as a result of such shows.


An Altered State of Conscious that provides a bridge to the subconscious mind by which conscious suggestions mobilize subconscious resources including current and past life memories, and exercise certain control over physical body responses to external stimuli and internal functions, access areas of the Collective Unconscious, and channel communication between astral & mental levels and the physical level. The hypnotic trance has been associated with various psychic abilities.

As the historical and scientific advancements in hypnosis continue, interest in hypnosis has slowly expanded to include self-hypnosis and its applications, particularly toward self development and personal empowerment. That trend is due in large part to the recognition that hypnosis, to be effective, depends not only on the skill of the hypnotist, but even more importantly, on the receptivity of the participant. That recognition places the participant, rather than the hypnotist, at the center of the induction process. The result is a moving away from an authoritative, often dramatic induction approach that commanded the participant to respond toward a more permissive, person-centered approach that permitted the participant to respond. That change is based on the premise that hypnotic suggestions become effective only when accepted and integrated by the cooperative participant.

Suggested Reading:

Hewitt: Hypnosis for Beginners: Reach New Levels of Awareness & Achievement

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


The use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes.

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

Also See: Hypnosis


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