Hypnosis is a natural and enjoyable state of consciousness that we all experience many times a day. From sitting idly at a desk and daydreaming, to the mental focusing required to study in a noisy environment, these are variations of the state that is known as Hypnosis. In particular, when you are either just drifting into or awakening from sleep, are also states of hypnotic trance.
Because of its unique individual, internal quality, the experience of hypnosis is difficult, if not impossible to accurately define. Each person will experience something slightly different. Hypnosis is a consent state, with the hypnotised person always maintaining ultimate control.
Dr Milton H Erickson defines hypnosis as: “A state of intensified attention and receptiveness, and an increased responsiveness to an idea or to a set of ideas.”
So Hypnotherapy is when you are deeply relaxed and in a state of trance, and your analytical, critical and rational mind (the conscious part) takes a rest while you then tune into your subconscious. In this deeply relaxed state, your subconscious mind becomes very receptive to positive suggestions, and a therapist can utilise these suggestions in a therapeutic way to change habits, patterns of behaviour, automatic responses, and to reframe thought patterns.
Research a few years ago at the child and adolescent psychiatry department of Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo Norway indicated that "Children are more easily hypnotised than adults, and hypnotherapy as a method responds to the general developmental needs of children by addressing their ability for fantasy and imagination. Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis are tools with which to assess and develop protective factors, and enhance positive adjustment. "