What are the Different Types of Hypnotism for Anxiety?

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  • Written By: Jeany Miller
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Medical hypnotism is a tool that may be used by licensed health professionals to treat anxiety. Hypnotism is often believed to change a person’s state of awareness, therefore making them more open to medical advice and suggestions. Examples of hypnotism for anxiety may include conversational, self-induced and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques. Each of these works slightly differently to produce a more desirable response to anxiety-causing situations. Sleep therapy may be an effective way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and improve one’s sleep quality.

Clinical hypnotism may be used to produce a momentary change in a person’s perception or awareness. Trained doctors, psychotherapists and other licensed health professionals may in turn use that time to treat or correct problematic behaviors. Some researchers believe that hypnotism can improve a person’s physiological functions and alleviate fears, phobias and negative habits.

Hypnotic states are occasionally used as anxiety treatments because they may reveal the underlying cause of anxiety. Such causes may be relative to a specific event or memory that is later addressed by the therapist. Hypnosis may also provide an opportune time to treat anxiety. This state often begins by intensely focusing the mind so that all external distractions are ignored. The patient may, in effect, be more susceptible to the therapist’s guidance.


Conversational hypnotism, also known as covert hypnotism, is a technique that often uses directive and suggestive communication. The brain may be broken into three rough but essential categories: the conscious, subconscious and dreaming components. During sleep, the brain may transmit messages across each category. Conversational hypnotism for anxiety, therefore, usually induces a wakeful state that is similar to sleep. The therapist may use this state to suggest healthy alternatives for dealing with anxiety-filled events, and the patient may readily incorporate them into his or her life.

Some people consider conversational hypnotism to be a powerful and persuasive tool. As such, the therapist may be able to treat anxiety without the patient’s realization. The patient is thus often relieved of forming arguments against or justifications for the therapist’s suggested behavioral changes. This is what may be responsible for the smooth transition from anxiety-ridden moments to those that are calm and collected.

A self-induced form of hypnotherapy is often known as self, or auto, hypnosis. This may require the subject to learn a series of steps that create a hypnotic state. A licensed therapist may recommend and teach this kind of hypnotism for anxiety because it may promote relaxation. Self hypnosis may be used to complement traditional hypnosis. The difference between both methods is the patient acts on his or her suggestive thoughts rather than those of a therapist.

Another form of hypnotism for anxiety is NLP hypnosis. This is often similar to self hypnosis in that both techniques can be utilized without the presence of a licensed therapist. The two are usually viewed differently, however, because NLP hypnosis does not promote relaxation. Instead, it often works to evoke positive reactions that may replace fear and anxiety. This tool may improve one’s self-confidence, communication skills and decision-making abilities.

Anxiety may also produce problems that are potentially treatable with sleep therapy. Nightmares, for example, may be induced by excessive anxiety. Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) is a technique that may teach patients how to alter their nightmares to reflect what they want. In this manner, nightmares are viewed as learned behaviors that can be controlled. IRT may ultimately improve one’s quality of sleep and also diminish the symptoms of anxiety.


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