What is the difference between 'hypnosis' and 'hypnotherapy'?


10:00 am

In many ways it is po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Both hypnosis and hypnotherapy involve guiding a person into an altered state in which their mind becomes open to suggestions. From a technical standpoint, the steps used are very similar, though the hypnosis most people are familiar with is that used in stage shows and street performances, which just tends to be done quicker.

In loose terms, 'hypnosis' refers more to general hypnotism such as that used for entertainment purposes, whereas 'hypnotherapy' is used more often to refer to the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes (i.e. to change thoughts, perceptions, sensations, and behaviours which are in some way impeding a person's quality of life). 

When looking at a practitioner's credentials, someone who refers to themselves as a 'hypnotherapist' technically should have an advanced degree from an accredited college/university. A 'certified hypnotist' or 'consulting hypnotist' is usually someone who has completed an applied course in hypnotism and is registered with a recognized governing body such as the National Guild of Hypnotists. Either would be qualified to perform hypnosis/hypnotherapy, but avoid anyone who received online-only training. 

Will I give up control of my mind?


10:00 am

​People often look to TV or the movies to support this misconception. Hypnotism is not mind control and you are in control the whole time. Hypnosis is merely a heightened state of suggestibility. Simply put, that means allowing a hypnotist to help you bypass your conscious mind so that you can gain control over the part of your mind that you need to be able to access in order to change thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. The key here is "you". 


​You can feel perfectly safe. There is a protective part of your mind that will be monitoring things the whole time, so if there is anything you are uncomfortable with saying or doing, you ARE in full control, capable of making decisions, and you have the ability to choose which suggestions you accept and which you reject.

? Simply drag and drop elements.

Can I get stuck in hypnosis?


4:30 pm

Hypnosis is not a fixed state so you cannot permanently nor even temporarily get "stuck" in hypnosis.

Your hypnotist will 'emerge' you at the end of your session (which is just another word for bringing you out of hypnosis and back to a normal state). Even if your hypnotist didn't emerge you for some strange reason (extremely unlikely), you would emerge naturally on your own once you were no longer receiving suggestions from your hypnotist.


You also have the ability to bring yourself out of hypnosis at any time you want. All you have to do is stop following the hypnotist's instructions and emerge yourself. 

How do I know if I can be hypnotized?


4:30 pm

With few exceptions, anyone of normal intelligence who wants to be hypnotized and is willing to follow suggestions can be hypnotized. The key words here are "want" and "willing". If you flat out refuse to be hypnotized and/or are not willilng to follow suggestions, you cannot be hypnotized. If that is the case though, you really should re-phrase your objection from, "I 'cannot' be hypnotized," to the more accurate, "I 'don't want to' be hypnotized."

It is natural to feel a bit apprehensive and uncertain about hypnosis and you may not want to be hypnotized "yet". However, once you are open to hypnosis and comfortable with the idea of at least trying it, there should be no reason why you can't be hypnotized.  

Besides a willingness to be hypnotized, there really are only two things you need to be hypnotized - trust that your hypnotherapist has your best interest at heart and is going to do everything she can to ensure you have a positive experience, and a good imagination! Imagination is the language of the subconscious, so having a good imagination is really helpful. Walt Disney would have made a great hypnosis client!

As a side note, some people will report that they tried to be hypnotized at a stage show and didn't succeed so they believe they can't be hypnotized. However, keep in mind a public stage show with lots of lights, noise, cameras, and a large audience of people is not the same as a private office setting. Even though there may have been some excitement to be hypnotized, besides the distractions, there could have also been some deeper reluctance to fully let go due to misconceptions about hypnosis or possible embarrassment if you did end up on stage. 

Can I be made to do things against my will?


4:30 pm

People often learn this misconception thanks to stage hypnotist shows. You cannot be hypnotized against your will if you do not want to be. Hypnosis is a consensual state so you need to want to be hypnotized.

​Once hypnotized, you also cannot be made to do anything that is inconsistent with your values, morals, and beliefs. You are in full control and if, at any time, you are not comfortable with what is going on you have the ability to bring yourself out of hypnosis. All you have to do is stop following the hypnotist's instructions and you will emerge naturally on your own, or you can ask the hypnotist to stop. 

You might be thinking, "but what about those people on stage made to cluck like a chicken or do sexual things? They wouldn't do that normally in public if they weren't made to!!" Keep in mind those people on stage are 'volunteers'. They knew they were going to be made to do embarrassing things, yet they actively participated by following the hypnotist's instructions and allowing themselves to go into a hypnotic state. They consented to being hypnotized and going on stage. Ultimately everyone on stage has a part of them that likes the attention and wanted to be part of the show. If they were terrified of being on stage or firmly believed that what they would be made to do would go against their beliefs, they would not have been hypnotized in the first place.

Can I be made to reveal my secrets?


4:30 pm

You CANNOT be made to share any secret you would not want to reveal in a waking state. If there is something you are not comfortable sharing, don't share it!


However, keep in mind that you are visiting a hypnotherapist because you are seeking help with overcoming some sort of obstacle in your life, and part of therapy is sharing details of yourself so an effective treatment approach can be developed. If you hide important information it may make your sessions less effective. That is why it is important to work with a therapist you are comfortable with, so you can feel safe sharing information and can trust that anything you choose to share will remain strictly confidential. That is also why it is important to ensure your hypnotherapist belongs to a trusted organization such as the National Guild of Hypnotists. All certified practitioners must adhere to the highest standards of ethics, and that includes protecting private and personal information that is revealed during a session.

Can hypnosis cure me?


4:30 pm

Hypnotists are not faith healers who can perform physical miracles. They can’t magically restore lost senses, cure diseases, or reverse injuries.


There are amazing physical changes that can happen in the body as a result of changing thoughts and beliefs in the mind, but it involves more than just a snapping of the fingers and making all of your problems go away. As long as you are on board with making positive changes, you and your hypnotherapist can accomplish great things together. Through hypnosis you can better manage pain; overcome fears and phobias; change unhealthy beliefs and behaviours or undesirable habits and feelings; work through emotional challenges; experience emotional healing; improve personal development; and yes, even experience amazing physical changes that even medicine sometimes struggles to understand. However, you are going to have to actively participate in the process to make the changes you are wanting to experience happen, and you will have to be patient because changes will not happen overnight.

Isn't hypnosis evil?


4:30 pm

Hypnotism has sometimes been referred to as, "the devil's work", black magic, sorcery, or the dark arts. There is nothing evil, paranormal, or unnatural about hypnosis. It is a natural state of mind that everyone already experiences in some form on a daily basis. Hypnosis simply helps to access that state in a more controlled manner.

While there are certainly some more controversial elements in hypnosis (past life regression, remote viewing, astral projection), at its heart and soul hypnosis is simply helping to change thoughts, perceptions and behaviours. It is about personal growth and change, and its roots are in psychological principles even if the origins of hypnosis did have some occult influences.

If there are some things about hypnotism that are too "out there" for you, find a hypnotherapist that you are comfortable working with. If you find things like chakras and energy work to be too 'woo woo' for you, find a clinical hypnotherapist whose focus is more on the medical and scientific approach. If you are spiritual, connect with a hypnotherapist who is also spiritual. If you think things like past life regression and astral projection are bunk, simply don't ask for those types of sessions!

What will I remember with hypnosis?


4:30 pm

This one is actually a two-sided question. One group is those who are worried they won't remember anything from their session, and the other group who think they will be able to remember everything that has ever happened to them.

A hypnotherapist can use regression techniques to help you try to recall events from the past that are influencing current thoughts and behaviours. However, hypnosis isn't a key that unlocks a door and all of a sudden everything that has ever happened comes flooding back. When regression is used, it is for trying to re-frame an initial sensitizing event. Unless the issue you need help with stems from something in the past, your hypnotist will not even use regression techniques. This is particularly true if you are simply using hypnosis for relaxation, pain, or stress-relief.  

As for remembering, you will generally remember everything from your session, even if the memory has a dream-like quality to it. In most situations, you are not asleep or unconscious; you are alert and aware of everything being said. That said, it is not uncommon for a person's mind to wander or even for someone to get so relaxed they fall asleep, so there may be some things you don't hear your hypnotist say to you even though your subconscious is still listening.  

There is also something called hypnotic amnesia or post-hypnotic amnesia, which is when suggestions are given during hypnosis to forget certain things from before or during hypnosis. This is not generally used to treat most issues, though there is a therapeutic purpose for it in some specific situations, such as having the client forget unhealthy thoughts or memories that are causing significant anxiety or emotional pain. 

Does hypnosis actually work?


4:30 pm

A common impression of hypnotism is that it is woo woo, hippie dippie, new age mumbo jumbo. The reality is that it is an extremely effective therapy that is gaining traction in the medical, psychological, and scientific communities. We won't get into the evidence here, but will encourage you to do a bit of research if you want to see some of the studies that have been conducted that prove hypnosis has a well-deserved place along side other healing modalities. 

Many of the people who report hypnosis didn't work for them simply didn't give it a chance. If a person goes into hypnosis with the mindset that it isn't going to work and is resisting the suggestions provided by the hypnotist, it likely will not work. Also, many people think they can just show up for one session and be magically cured with the snap of a finger. Hypnosis is helping to reverse thoughts, perceptions, and behaviours that have often developed for years, so for most issues one session usually is not going to cut it. There is also important post-session work on oneself that requires active participation, so if a person just walks out of a session and does nothing, change is unlikely to happen. 

Frequenty Asked Questions

There is no such thing as a dumb question. If you can't find the

answers you are looking for below, please feel free to contact us

with your questions and we would be happy to help. 

We also offer an "Introduction to Hypnosis" session where you can

meet your hypnotist and have all of your questions answered.

Healing Vibrations


Disclaimer: This website and the services offered by Blu Holistic Health and Healing Vibrations Regina are not meant to diagnose or cure any particular illness or condition, nor are they a replacement for a qualified medical practitioner. We simply provide an alternative for our clients to use in conjunction with their existing health and wellness regimen, with consent from their primary health care provider, when necessary.

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Disclaimer: This website and the services offered by Blu Holistic Health and Healing Vibrations Regina are not meant to diagnose or cure any particular illness or condition, nor are they a replacement for a qualified medical practitioner. We simply provide an alternative for our clients to use in conjunction with their existing health and wellness regimen, with consent from their primary health care provider, when necessary.

© 2020 by Healing Vibrations Regina

#218-1933 8th Avenue, Regina, SK, S4R 1E9
hello@healingvibrationswellness.com  639-997-7957


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